Surprise From An Outsider: Samsung SV1204H With 120 GB

Interface: UltraATA/100

Even though UltraATA/133 has been introduced and Serial ATA has finally arrived, UltraATA/100 hasn't actually been around for that long. The maximum data transfer performance of the latest drives is approximately 50 MB/s. Even when you consider the loss in bandwidth due to the overhead of the UltraATA protocol, UltraATA/100 still achieves over 80 MB/s in practice - this is a value that even the next generation of drives won't quite achieve.

Here, we should mention the burst transfer rate: this corresponds to the maximum data rate reached when data is transferred to the system via the drive interface. This is not achieved by reading the surface of the drive, but when data is already within the cache memory of the drive.

Nowadays, IDE drives have 2 to 8 MB cache memory. In practice, it makes very little difference whether the interface transfers 100, 133 (UltraATA), or even 150 MB/s (Serial ATA). Switching to a faster hard drive makes a much bigger difference.

Technical Specifications

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Samsung SV1204H
Capacity60 GB (SV0602H)80 GB (SV0813H)120 GB (SV1204H)
Rotation Speed5400 rpm
Seek Time8.9 ms
Cache Memory2048 kB

More information can be found at Samsung's website: