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-- Samsung SP1614N 160 Gig 8MB Cache
-- 01.02.2004
-- Price: $130.00
-- By: brutal
-- Page: 1 2 3 4 5

Before we move onto our testing, I thought I would take some time to describe what PC I am using to test. Computers run the gambit between brand new 3Ghz processors and the older pentiums and earlier AMD's with different memory and bus types and when it came to choosing computers for testing, I choose one of my older ones, a Pentium 3 450Mhz running on an Abit BE-6. This Motherboard has an ATA-66 IDE Local Bus meaning the maximum bandwidth for Hard Drive Transfers is 66.6 Mbytes/sec. I also choose a Pentium 3 1Ghz on an ASUS CUSL2-C motherboard with an ATA-100 IDE Local Bus. It would be very easy to benchtest the Samsung HD only on an ATA-100 or ATA-133 system, but I thought it was more important that the average person can relate to these tests and see what the differences are between ATA-66 and ATA-100.

This test is provided by Ziff Davis and is designed to deliver two different result sets. The first section, Business Disk WinMark 99 consists of routines written to duplicate real world business users daily activities, multiple applications running and switching between them. This includes Corel WordPerfect Suite 8, Lotus SmartSuite, and Microsoft Office 97. The Business Disk tests report one result in which all components of disk subsystem such as the drives speed, operating system cache, system memory, and IDE controller speed.

The second section, High End Disk WinMark 99 consists of routines run in isolation to each other. The High End test uses it's applications include AVS/Express 3.4, FrontPage 98, Microstation SE, Photoshop 4.0, Premiere 4.2, Sound Forge 4.0, and Visual C++ and runs tests one after the other instead of concurrently. This leads to a score in which each component is weighted into an overall average.

From the WinBench Help File: The Disk WinMark results can tell you how well the PC's disk subsystem performs when executing these disk operations. Because the test reproduces the kind of disk activities applications carry out, you can use the results as a guide to the kind of throughput you can expect to see when working with the PC's disk subsystem.

The following table summarizes what you can learn from the other disk tests.

This test: Produces this result: And tells you:
Disk Playback Thousand Bytes/Sec The number of thousands of bytes per second (1,000, not 1,024) the PC transferred during the test. Bigger is better.
Disk/Read Random Access Time Milliseconds The average access time in milliseconds. Smaller is better.
Disk/Read CPU Utilization Percent Used The percentage of the total processor time the PC spends retrieving data from the CD-ROM subsystem. Smaller is better.
Disk/Read Transfer Rate Thousand Bytes/Sec The number of thousands of bytes per second (1,000, not 1,024) the PC transferred during the test. Bigger is better.

Please click on the graphic to open a larger version.

I have learned quite a bit about hard drives because of WinBench99. What I found interesting is how hard drives can be good at different tasks but really excel at others. My take of these results is that this Samsung drive is really good for day to day activities and is about 20% faster in the Business Disk WinMark section than the very speedy Western Digital Second Edition hard drive. You might think the story is reversed when it comes to the High End Disk WinMark, but the Western Digital hard drive is only about 2% faster.

Overall, I will give Samsung the performance win in this test, since most people run multiple applications at the same time both at home and at work.

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