Samsung P120 200 + 250 GB Hard Drive

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POSTSCRIPT, Jan 30, 2006: SP2504C

A product of this importance for silent computing sometimes deserves a second look. Recently, we got our hands on a sample of the larger 250 GB model, and we threw it on the test bench to see if there was any difference between the two.


SP2504C looks just about identical to SP2004C

Ambient conditions for the second round of testing were 18 dBA and 22√ā°C.

SAMSUNG SPINPOINT P120 NOISE EVALUATION
Drive Model
Mfg date - firmware

Vibration at idle
1-10
(10 = no vibration)

Activity
Airborne Acoustics
Power
Samsung Spinpoint
P120 SP2504C
Septemeber 05 - firmware VT100-33
5
Idle
21 dBA/1m
7.2 W
Seek (AAM)
23-24 dBA/1m
9.4 W
Seek (Normal)
23-24 dBA/1m
10.3 W
Samsung Spinpoint
P120 SP2004C
June 05 - firmware VM100-33
5
Idle
21 dBA/1m
7.1 W
Seek (AAM)
23-24 dBA/1m
8.9 W
Seek (Normal)
23-24 dBA/1m
10.4 W

The objective measurements for the two drives were identical, and this pretty much tells the whole story. The 250 GB sample exhibited the same strengths and weaknesses as the original 200 GB sample: A smooth, quiet idle, and seeks that are louder than the original P80 series but still fairly good overall. The level of vibration was similar, and AAM was equally as ineffective for reducing seek noise. Even power consumption remained the same, with the exception of AAM seeks, which consumed about half a watt more.

Of course, there were minor subjective differences, but these can be attributed to sample variance and the change in firmware, not the difference in capacity. The main difference was the quality of the seeks, which were sharper with less rumble than the first sample.

Predictably, our impression of the P120 series has not changed: It's still our top pick for a desktop drive with more capacity than the earlier Samsung P80s can deliver.

MP3: Samsung Spinpoint P120 SP2504C (Idle: 21 / AAM: 23-24 / Seek: 23-24 dBA/1m)

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