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September 4, 2006 by Devon
Samsung Spinpoint T Series HD400LJ
400GB, 7,200 RPM Hard Drive
Until very recently, the only desktop drives that we recommended were made
by Samsung. Samsung's Spinpoint P80 series established itself early on as a
very quiet drive, and, with the retirement of Seagate's Barracuda IV and V,
it was hands down the quietest drive for more than a year. Its successor,
the Spinpoint P120 expanded the maximum capacity drive to 250 GB and was almost
as quiet. However, its relatively low capacity and improved products from other
drive manufacturers meant that it wasn't quite the runaway success that the
Samsung's Spinpoint T Series pushes the maximum capacity to 400 GB, but it
has been quite slow to reach the market. Although it is much larger than the
P120 series, it is still smaller than the largest drives offered by other companies
so it will not appeal to those who care primarily about storage space. On the
other hand, it's not so small that it will exclude much of the market. If it
can uphold Samsung's reputation for low noise, it should still find plenty of
happy users. Not everyone needs half a terabyte of storage!
Samsung needs to do more than just maintain the standard that they set with
the Spinpoint P80. Our recent
look at Western Digital's flagship drive has raised the bar for what we
expect from a quiet desktop drive. Samsung will be hard pressed to match the
near inaudible seek noise of the Western Digital especially if they are
as sharp and sudden as they were in the P120 series.
|Samsung Spinpoint T Series (quoted from Samsung's
|FEATURE & BRIEF
| Maximum 133GB
formatted capacity per disk
|| Larger than
the 120 GB platters found in the P120, but smaller than the 160 GB platters
that other manufacturers are using.
| Bowl type architecture
recent press release: "The T133-Series moved from the traditional
platter-type design to the bowl type design to improve shock & vibrational
| Fluid Dynamic
Bearing (FDB) motor technology
| Low power seek
control with PWM driver
but lower than others?
| Multi Sinusoidal
Seek (MSS) algorithm
technique similar to AAM.
| SMART Command
Transport (SCT) feature
to the drive's SMART data.
| Adaptive error
there's some kind of error recovery... but this doesn't tell us what.
of potential data error location
get remapped to spare sectors.
| ATA security
drive to be password protected.
| ATA Host Protected
||Used to create
| ATA Automatic
Acoustic Management feature
||AAM can be
invaluable or useless depending on how well implemented it is.
| ATA Device
Configuration Overlay feature
standard ATA feature.
| Permuted RLL/ECC
on-the-fly error correction
| ATA SMART Selective
drives to be detected in advance.
SATA power Management
consumption by about half a watt.
in the EU.
and increased rigidity in the frame.
||See MSS algorithm
The specifications below are specific to model that we examined. Capacity,
cache size, platter number, interface, and even performance vary from model
to model even within a single product line. Acoustics and power dissipation
also vary depending on the number of platters in the drive; smaller capacity
drives tend to have fewer platters, and tend to produce less noise and use less
Specifications: Samsung HD400LJ
Samsung's web site)
||Serial ATA II 3.0 Gbps
| Spindle Rotation Speed
| Average / Full Stroke Seek
8.9 ms / 18 ms
| Media To / From Buffer Transfer Rate
400 / 1000 Mbit/sec
| Operating Temperature
0 - 60¬įC
| Power Requirements: Idle / Seek
8.4 / 10.5 W
| Acoustics: Idle / Seek
2.7 / 2.9 Bel
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