I have managed to do a few HD Tach becnchmarks today, testing (not on my PC but one at work) the P120 200GB SATA, a Maxtor DM9+ 8MB 120GB PATA, and a Seagate 7200.7 2MB 80GB PATA.
The Maxtor has the highest average throughput by 1MB/s, the Seagate is a touch slower than the P120.
The Maxtor had the fastest seek times 14.7ms, the seagate was about 16ms, and the P120 was 17.4ms on the slowest quitest AAM setting of 128.
I also measured the samsungs seek times, on the fastest noisiest AAM setting of 255 it measured 16.2ms.
Just to test it out, I dissabled AAM and ran HDTach again, I cancelled the test before it even finished, it was just too loud, no where near as loud as the DM9 though.
FYI, the AAM setting didnt change the sequential read performance at all.
Noise however is not as low as I would have hoped, the Samsung, had less vibration, and less spindle noise than the Seagate it's replacing, but has a higher seek noise, slightly higher pitched than the seagates deep rumbling, and has less seek vibration, so one's miles may vary depending on their case and mounting, I will repeat the spindle noise, practically inaudiable, in my office (not particulary quiet, I could only hear the drive from about 2 inches away, whereas I could hear the Seagates from about 4 inches.
The seek noise within my Sonata, with the drive mounted in it's usual fashion (no suspension), the seek noise apears to be louder than the Seagate, and the pitch seems to have been reduced to a deeper more vibrational noise than when I was listening to it at work where it was placed on an antistatic bag on a couple of soft napkins on a wooden desk.
Another seek noise comparison, I now have my P120, and a PATA 200GB Seagate 7200.7, the seek noises appear to be very similar with if anything the Seagate being slightly quiter.
I havent yet tried suspension at all, I may try it at some point in the future, as I think it may reduce vibrational noise caused by seeking, due to not having the metal drive tray vibrating against the metal drive rack.
The real test is going to be tonight, when everything is very quiet, I will try a few different seek noise tests, downloads, NAV virus scan, general web browsing using mozilla, unfortunatley I dont have the 80GB Seagate in my machine to do a direct comparison with.
By the way, the above mentioned 80GB 7200.7 is the second quietest 7200.7 I have come accross, I found an identical drive made in China that was even quiter, I compared it to a 40GB Cuda IV (at my noisy office), they were indistinguishable by ear. So when I say the P120 is NOT as quiet as I hoped, it's the 3rd or 4th quietest drive I have ever heard, and thats saying something.
Main PC, P180, CM Silent Pro 500M, i5 3570k @ 4.2Ghz, 8-GB @ 2,000MHz, 256 GB Samsung 830, 500-GB 7K500, MSI 660Ti Twin Frozr, PC is super quiet :o
Server, 6-TB RAID-5 array, + 2 x 2-TB backup drives, 380W Enermax Pro82+, 4x very quiet fans, positive pressure only, no exhaust fans
Living Room PC, 3500+, 2-GB RAM, HD501LJ