As we've reviewed hard drives over the past two years, we've cited six major manufacturers in the consumer hard disk world: Seagate, IBM, Quantum, Fujitsu, Maxtor, and Western Digital. The former four present both ATA and SCSI offerings while the latter two specialize in ATA units. A seventh company, however, has been quietly supplying OEMs such as HP with their unassuming drives... enter Samsung.
It's quite difficult to find Samsung drives for sale through the usual outlets. Even Fujitsu seems to enjoy better distribution here in the US. Even so, we've watched as Samsung has announced drives with specs matching offerings from the big boys. We jumped at the chance to take a look at one when Tony Wilson over at Red Hill Technology down in Australia offered to send a sample.
The SpinPoint V10200, reviewed here, is a 5400 RPM offering from the Korean manufacturer. It features 10.2 gigs per platter in assemblies of up to 2 disks, yielding flagship capacity of just 20.4 GB. The specified seek time is the most intriguing... at 8.5 milliseconds, the lowest ever for a 5400 RPM ATA unit. A 512k buffer, a tad on the small size these days, rounds out the package.
We must admit that we approached testing with just a bit of skepticism. Would this unit from a company that no one pays attention to be able to keep up with offerings from the big boys? Let's turn now to the figures and find out where the Samsung stands!