Guest Eugene

Samsung SpinPoint P120

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Guest Eugene

Earlier this year, Samsung was the first manufacturer to follow Seagate's lead in reaching significantly beyond the 100 GB/platter barrier that has plagued the industry for some time now. The 250 GB SP2504C also represent's the firm's first attempt at a native SATA design. How peppy is Samsung's latest? StorageReview puts the SpinPoint P120 up to the test!

Samsung SpinPoint P120 Review

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Typical Samsung drive really - painfully average. At least it's quiet. Surprised by the reliabilityof the P80. I suppose the margin for error in the reliability survey is such that you could call 34% average though

On the Sequential Transfer rate graph the legend says "Series1" and "Series2" instead of inside tracks, outside tracks or whatever term is used!

Dave

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Guest Eugene
Typical Samsung drive really - painfully average.  At least it's quiet.  Surprised by the reliabilityof the P80.  I suppose the margin for error in the reliability survey is such that you could call 34% average though

On the Sequential Transfer rate graph the legend says "Series1" and "Series2" instead of inside tracks, outside tracks or whatever term is used!

Dave

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Thanks for pointing out the STR error, should be fixed.

Regarding the 34% reliability... the P80's calculation is based on a combined 1200 drive-years of use... relatively speaking, its a higher-confidence score (lots of data) than many other drives.

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Reliability Database includes following fields for each drive family:

Family ----- Released ----- Number Of Comments ----- Percentile

Could it be possible to add a "combined drive-years of use"-field for data reliability evaluation purposes? What's the criteria of combined drive-years for a drive X, after which it is given a Percentile (i.e what's the minimum floor of participation required)?

Edited by whiic

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I think SR needs to reconsider testing only the "flagship" model of a model of drives. Take for example this Samsung series that tops out with a 2 platter 250GB model. It may be at a disadvantage against a drive such as the Seagate 7200.9 500GB which also has 125GB platters but 4 of them so it will have shorter seeks (but more head switches).

And then you can turn this around, of course the 4 disk Seagate is going to have more noise, heat and power. Its a 500GB versus a 250GB! SR's conclusions tend to speak to a model line, not a specific model and that just doesn't seem accurate or fair.

At this point we know that even drives of the same model can have vastly different designs. Seagate 7200.9 again makes a good example. The 160GB model acheives this with a single 160GB platter, yet the 500GB uses 4x125GB platters! How can the 500GB speak to the performance of the 160GB model?

I think it would be more beneficial to break it into 2 or 3 capacity points for each generation of testing. I know this would increase the workload at SR, but would give more meaningful comparisons.

After all, this 250GB Samsing is competing against 200-300GB Maxtor, Seagates and Hitachis of which we don't really know the performance. It is not competing against 500GB monsters. Who is to say that the smaller Seagate and Hitachi doesn't have better power heat and noise?

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Just looked at my local retailer and they list a 300GB Spinpoint P-series ATA drive, cant find anything about this drive on Samsungs site - could it be a typo?
Perhaps the P should have been a T.

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Yup google'd it and found the T model. Btw i just bought a Spinpoint P120 250GB pata and boy are they silent :P

And it feels much faster than my DM9 200GB pata, even a tad faster than my DM10 300GB sata but it could be because its a fresh XP install.

Edited by stefanpi

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No 'specific' mention that I can see that the drive tested from the outset was actually the 250GB model SP2504C beyond the title of the transfer graph jpeg and too many references to family designation as a whole ie P120. Only the SP2504C model can be assured of actually using 2x 125GB per platter so results are not representative of both drive models within family.

While on the subject of transfer graphs I had issue with this:

Though it should not have any bearing on high-level performance, the SpinPoint delivers one of the more jagged transfer rate graphs around.

If it has no bearing then why even mention it? Or if you're going make it an issue then to be fair you should link to graphs of other drives 'within the review' as well with explanation of importance and relevance rather than just slight the Samsung for something that in your own words comes across as contradictory and of little importance. Succinctly, put up or shutup.

The SP2504C is no longer the flagship model so should NOT have been compared to other manufacturers latest flagship models. T series is out there already and SR is way too late 'as usual' reviewing Samsung drives and comparing them directly with their true contemporary competitors ie the DM10 250GB, 7200.8 or 7200.9 250GB models etc.

Please, compare apples with apples and do it in a timely fashion so that one of them is not left rotting in the bottom of the barrel to be 'eventually' and disfavorably compared to others just picked.

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Guest Eugene
Please, compare apples with apples and do it in a timely fashion so that one of them is not left rotting in the bottom of the barrel to be 'eventually' and disfavorably compared to others just picked.

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Testbed4 had, unfortunately and for reasons I'm not going to get into right here and right now, expanded into a nine-month-long project. Granted, we dusted off Testbed3 and reviewed a pair of WD drives (the WD3200JD and WD2500KS) and the Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 If you glance over the conclusions of these drives, you'll see that none of the three exactly received a ringing endorsement from SR. Indeed, all were rather average.

These products were reviewed because these two specific manufacturers repeatedly approached SR for a review. Other than these three disks, SR was on a painful and far-too-visible hiatus. During this time, we did not solicit any product whatsoever from any manfuacturer.

It was only when it became quite apparent that Testbed4 was finally going to launch in October that I felt right in actively requesting the latest product from all manufacturers. At that time, they were the WD4000YR, the 7K500, the 7200.9, and the P120. Samsung had NOT announced their new product.

Further, though I requested product from all manufacturers all on the same day, Samsung by far responded the most slowly. Had the P120 arrived BEFORE the WD4000YR, 7K500, and 7200.9, it would have been "spared the misfortune" of being "unfairly" compared to these products.

At any rate, the P120 did arrive... eventually. It arrived, in fact, AFTER the November 3rd publication of the 7K500 review. I broke normal protocol and prioritized it over projects that many SR regualrs know I've been working, on, such as array performance and notebook drives. The P120 received preferential treatment in this regard.

As of tonight, the newest Samsung drives which you say "is out there already" appears on exactly 0 pricegrabber queries. Should I have simply held off of the "creaky" P120 and not published something at all? Would make the "SR hates Samsung" crowd's objections less strident?

As of today, the P120 is Samsung's currently available SATA flagship. Because of its relatively late arrival, it was reviewed after and therefore compared with units such as the 7K500. Help SR out. Tell Samsung it is in everyone's best interest to get samples to us in a more timely manner.

And, finally, apples -will- be compared with apples. You will see the P120 compared with other 250 GB drives in an upcoming roundup. You can even get a hint of some results as it stands now by comparing it to the WD2500KS and Maxtor MaXLine III (though, technically, the Diamondmax 11 is as "available" as the T133 that you intimate I choose to overlook).

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"...

At any rate, the P120 did arrive... eventually. It arrived, in fact, AFTER the November 3rd publication of the 7K500 review. I broke normal protocol and prioritized it over projects that many SR regualrs know I've been working, on, such as array performance and notebook drives. The P120 received preferential treatment in this regard. ..."

Thank you for getting this review out. As one who shops based first on time of need, second on noise and third on capacity, I would have missed this drive had the review been delayed or dropped.

As a significantly quieter drive at a reasonable (over-220GB) capacity, this drive looks like a winner for most any quiet-pc enthusiast.

Cheers,

Bob

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I appreciate that you wanted to do a top-of-the line comparison, that is one kind of benchmark. And its great to have this drive reviewed. For myself, I have always approached drive comparisons with a budget in mind. It would have been simpler for me if the comparison drives were comparable price points. In aussie dollars, best street price, the WD4000YR is $358, the 7K500 is $560. The other drives in the comparison have a purpose, being either true competitors or an older model. The P120 goes for about $150 aussie. That seems so far removed from these other two as to render comparison academic at best.

What would have worked better for me is that these two drives could be mentioned in a paragraph comparing top-of-the-line performance and instead replace them the details with something like WD2500KS ($176) and the T7K500 ($175). Maybe others would have found this more useful as well.

thanks for your time

regards

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The 250 GB drive roundup is on its way - just waiting for the last drive to arrive from Seagate, IIRC.

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I liked the review and see no point in "waiting" for some theoretical apples to apples comparison. If the manufacturers want there drives reviewed its up to them not SR. SR provides a great service as far as I am concerned.

I bought this drive as it seemed a good compromise between noise, performance and capacity.

Keep up the good work and release the drives as soon as you are done!

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I got my Samsung P120 250GB drive yesterday. And what chocked me was the vibrations!

I have it in a external enclosure and when it's on the stand (with rubber feet) my whole desk still vibrates.

If I just put the disk on the desk it lies there and "jumps" and the noice is terrible. Is this normal?

None of my current and earlier disks vibrates at all when I rest my hand on them.

Some source sayd that Samsung use two differant motor manufaturers and that one vibrates.

Do you have any more info? What should I look for? Should I try RMAing the drive, or?

PS! In adition to be annoying, will the vibration damage the drive over time (and what about other things in my PC case when I fit it there, I guess everything will vibrate - haven't tried mounting it internally yet though)?

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Guest 888
I got my Samsung P120 250GB drive yesterday. And what chocked me was the vibrations!

I have it in a external enclosure and when it's on the stand (with rubber feet) my whole desk still vibrates.

If I just put the disk on the desk it lies there and "jumps" and the noice is terrible. Is this normal?

None of my current and earlier disks vibrates at all when I rest my hand on them.

Some source sayd that Samsung use two differant motor manufaturers and that one vibrates.

Do you have any more info? What should I look for? Should I try RMAing the drive, or?

PS! In adition to be annoying, will the vibration damage the drive over time (and what about other things in my PC case when I fit it there, I guess everything will vibrate - haven't tried mounting it internally yet though)?

Yes, this model (or at least many batches from this 2006 year) is known for its serious vibrations... I have not statistics of type of motors used there but I have noticed (and also read from several sources from Net) that many larger-capacity Samsungs vibrate more than average today.

Yes, large vibrations may wear the drive mechanics more (but not just quickly - drives are constructed pretty solid to withstand this). Vibration could also affect your CD/DVD drive, too (especially just during precise writing/reading).

I would try to RMA it, although it depends where and how it is possible. If you make RMA with your end-retailer then you may very probably get another similar vibrating drive as they are probably from the same batch...

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Grrr.. It's always somthing. Finally I find a test-winner that is supposed to be nice and quiet, and then they manage to mess that up on the later models... Do you have some nice alternatives to this P120 250GB (I have a smaller Hitachi Deskstar to day, but it suddenly got lots of bad sectors right after I bought it so I'm not going to buy from them again either). I'd like a solid (long lasting), quiet 250GB drive. Speed is not main issue.

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Guest 888
Grrr.. It's always somthing. Finally I find a test-winner that is supposed to be nice and quiet, and then they manage to mess that up on the later models... Do you have some nice alternatives to this P120 250GB (I have a smaller Hitachi Deskstar to day, but it suddenly got lots of bad sectors right after I bought it so I'm not going to buy from them again either). I'd like a solid (long lasting), quiet 250GB drive. Speed is not main issue.

Look in the "Computing" subforum here. There's several topics, at least one active today concerning 250GB models. Generally saying, WD (in example WD2500KS) drive may fit all your needs the best (although the SR's over 1.5-years ago written review shows it to be noisy, its current production is just all whisper quiet).

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Look in the "Computing" subforum here. There's several topics, at least one active today concerning 250GB models. Generally saying, WD (in example WD2500KS) drive may fit all your needs the best (although the SR's over 1.5-years ago written review shows it to be noisy, its current production is just all whisper quiet).

The guys at WD are able to mess it up too. I bought a 2500KS yesterday because all the reviews I read conclude that it is a quiet drive. Well... it's vibrating like mad and I will definitely try to have it replaced right after the holidays (hoping that it is just a single faulty drive and not the whole batch...).

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Samsung T166 320GB, 400GB, and 500GB SATA 2 drives are selling in Seoul. They probably first appeared in retail a few days ago.

http://pc.danawa.com/price_right.html?cate...mp;pcode=396255

The 500GB version costs just a little over US$200 but it should be around US$150 in the US market. T166 400GB costs nearly the same as T133 400GB.

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