IBM's drive runs cool to the touch even after extended use... exactly what one should expect from a two-disk, 5400 RPM unit. The drive is quiet, though not in the same league as the Samsung SpinPoint V10200 or the 7200 RPM Fujitsu MPF-AH. Idle noise is audible without opening our testbed's case (this can, of course, be said about virtually every other drive save Samsung and Fujitsu). Seeks are quite muted... among the quietest we've heard, though again louder than Sam and Fuji.
All in all, the Deskstar 40GV is quite an attractive package. Despite its 9.5 ms seek time and 512k buffer, this value drive offers category-leading performance. It balances scores between WinBench 99 and IOMeter, satisfying (or perhaps displeasing?) proponents of each benchmark. To us, IOMeter scores approaching that of the Samsung SpinPoint are impressive. Though the IBM doesn't quite surpass the Samsung, it offers up to twice the capacity of the Korean drive. IBM undoubtedly enjoys a better reputation than Samsung- most users probably trust Big Blue more. Finally, the drive can be had from many more resellers than Samsung's scarce unit. The Deskstar 40GV is fast, cheap, cool, quiet, and available. What more could you ask?