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120GB models seem to be the most interesting option right now among hard disk drives of the 2.5” form-factor. Currently offered by all the leading manufacturers, they provide an impressive storage capacity at a rather low price whereas their spindle rotation speed of 5400rpm guarantees relatively low power consumption. We have reviewed such HDDs before (check our Storage section for mroe articles) and we are about to check out three more in this review.

Please meet our testing participants.

Testing Participants

Hitachi Travelstar 5K160 HTS541612J9AT00

The Travelstar 5K160 series includes models with capacities of 40, 60, 80, 120 (the one we are about to test), and 160 gigabytes. The 120GB model has two platters and four heads. Its spindle rotation speed is 5400rpm and it has an 8MB cache buffer. Our model is equipped with a PATA interface. Its average seek time is no higher than 11 milliseconds. The drive can sustain an operating shock up to 325G and a non-operating shock up to 1000G.

The main technological feature of the series is Perpendicular Magnetic Recording technology that increases the areal density with all the ensuing consequences. As opposed to the traditional recording method, the data bits are placed in perpendicular rather in parallel to the surface of the platter. The manufacturer calls such drives “super-pendular” ones. Among other innovations implemented in such HDDs the following should be emphasized: iridium-magnesium-chromium (IrMnCr) magnetic heads that ensure increased performance and reliability at read operations; fluid dynamic bearings in the electromotor increase its reliability and reduce noise; “on-the-fly” error correction; ABLE and HiVERT technologies to minimize power consumption; TrueTrack technology to protect the drive against shocks and vibration; adaptive formatting; Ramp Load/Unload technology that places the heads on a special ramp off the platter surface when the drive is not at work; and Smooth Stream technology that works with the PATA interface to optimize audio/video data streams.

We can’t tell you the retail price of the drive as it was not selling yet at the time of our writing this review.

Samsung SpinPoint M60S HM120JI

The SpinPoint M60S series includes 80, 100 and 120GB models. The model we are going to test – the 120GB one – has two platters and four heads. Its spindle rotation speed is 5400rpm; the cache buffer is 8MB large. Our model is equipped with a SATA interface. Its average seek time is not higher than 12 milliseconds. The drive can sustain an operating shock of 325G and a non-operating shock of 1000G.

This HDD features a magnetic recording technology that utilizes the tunneling magnetoresistive effect (TMR). The following innovations are also implemented in this device: GMR heads; support for the native SATA command set; fluid dynamic bearings in the motor; Load/Unload Head technology; support for the ATA Security Mode Feature Set, ATA SMART Feature Set and ATA Automatic Acoustic Management Feature Set; the hardware error correction mechanism Multi-Burst On-The-Fly Error Correction; SilentSeek technology; and Hybrid Latch System for Reliability and Quietness.

The average retail price of the drive is $125.

 
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