hard drive history

21st century: big, cheap, bland

Samsung SpinPoint SP1213N

Photo: Red Hill.

Samsung SpinPoint P80

A typical Samsung drive: quiet, performance near enough to the same as any other 7200 RPM model, as reliable as sunrise.

The P80 arrived mid-way through 2003 with no great fanfare. Rather unusually for a Samsung drive, it was readily available in a range of models: there were 3 basic flavours: 80, 120 and 160GB, all three available with standard ATA interfaces in 2MB and 8MB cache versions, and in SATA with 8MB. Samsung also listed a 60GB unit, but demand for that odd size was never strong and as far as we know it was not imported here. The most popular model by quite a margin was the SP0802N (2MB cache and 80GB).

The P80 has had an extraordinarily long market life: it was still accounting for the majority of Samsung's production as late as July 2005, and remained as popular as ever. It wasn't until April 2005 that a new 200GB model appeared to supplement it.

Data rate741 Mbit/secSpin rate7200 RPM
Seek time8.9 msBuffer2MB or 8MB
Platter capacity80GBInterfaceATA-100
SP0802N & SP0812N80GB2 GMR heads*****
SP1203N & SP1213N120GB3 GMR heads*****
SP1604N & SP1614N160GB4 GMR heads***