Samsung intros two-platter, 1TB notebook drive

Sure, all the cool kids are putting solid-state drives in their laptops. That doesn’t change the fact that, right now, mechanical drives still offer unbeatable amounts of capacity per dollar. Just look at Samsung’s latest Spinpoint M8 2.5" hard drive, which crams 1TB inside a standard 9.5-mm form factor using a pair of ultra-dense 500GB platters.

According to Samsung, the Spinpoint M8 is already in mass production and carries an asking price of just $129. The drive uses Advanced Format Technology to achieve its high capacity, and Samsung outfits it with a 3Gbps Serial ATA interface. I don’t see other specifications in the press release, but considering the 750GB version of the Spinpoint M8 has a 5,400-RPM spindle speed, I’m guessing the 1TB variant’s platters spin no faster than that.

A $129 launch price doesn’t sound unreasonable compared to low-speed, 1TB mobile drives with thicker-than-normal enclosures. Those seem to retail in the $80-110 range at Newegg right now, but they won’t fit in your typical laptop. Folks who want the absolute best performance may be better served spending that kind of dough on a 64GB solid-state drive, but 64GB can be awfully limiting when you’re on the go.

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    • jimmy900623
    • 8 years ago
    • ronch
    • 8 years ago

    This just underlines the fact that all four major desktop drive brands (ST, WD, HGST, SEC) continue to push the envelop. It’s just sad that soon this product may well be relabeled as a Seagate Momentus or something. I really don’t like the idea of having to choose just between Seagate and WD next time.

    • Berek
    • 8 years ago

    This looks to be a great drive for an internal solution, though I’m really hoping for a 1.5TB 3platter or less external 2.5″ solution. The Seagate 1.5TB 4platter has been out for quite awhile now, but this is too many platters for my taste.

    • TREE
    • 8 years ago

    Only 5400-RPM 🙁

    I really want to get a new hard drive, I have a 1TB Cavier Black that is now reaching a year or two old and it really is starting to annoy me with its noise levels and unexplained ‘slowness’. For some reason the hard drive dive bombs in performance when you actually use up more than 15% of its capacity. My brother has a Spinpoint F3 and his hard drive is filled to the brim and yet it runs a lot more snappy than my Cavier Black.

    Has anyone else experienced this with the Cavier Black range? It might benchmark well on a new install of windows but it certainly does not perform anywhere near the same once you put a reasonable amount of data on it. (Damage labs ought to maybe take this into account when benching hard drives?)

    Also any word on a 7200-RPM hard drive using the two platter design from Samsung?

      • cygnus1
      • 8 years ago

      You did understand that this a 2.5″ laptop drive and not a 3.5″ desktop drive right?

      • jstern
      • 8 years ago

      Doesn’t higher density = faster hard drives? So why focus so much on the RPM?

        • Bauxite
        • 8 years ago

        You are correct, and if you bench today’s 5400 drives they beat 7200 from not very long ago.

          • TREE
          • 8 years ago

          Does that rule apply to random seek times?

          Also, no I did not realise that the drive in mention was a 2.5″ drive. Thanks.

            • continuum
            • 8 years ago

            It does but it’s complex– the heads have less area to cover for many of the seeks, so they could be faster.

            But more tightly packed sectors requires more precise head positioning, which can take longer if head technology hasn’t kept up.

            And obviously fully random seeks still take longer.

            That said in laptop drives, given how important firmware is as well as areal density… a high-density 5400rpm drive is often just as fast as an equivalent generation (note I said generation, not areal density) 7200rpm drive.

    • flip-mode
    • 8 years ago

    I’m thinking of putting a small sized SSD in my laptop just because of the heat put out by my mechanical drive.

    The only downside is that my laptop is getting a little old to spend money on.

      • stdRaichu
      • 8 years ago

      Personally, I’m waiting for mini-PCIe SSD’s to become mainstream beofre I upgrade my laptop – small SSD to boot off, large 2.5″ HDD for storage, best of both worlds and consuming very little extra space – perfect for 11-12″ form factor. For all intensive porpoises I wouldn’t really care how fast the 2.5″ was, just how quickly it could spin up from standby.

      I thought the Thinkpad X220 was going to come with options for mPCIe SSD’s but there don’t seem to be many available at present, and none via the lenovo confugulator.

        • Bauxite
        • 8 years ago

        Been in stock a couple times in the last week or so, I picked one up:

        [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820167040[/url<] DIY upgrades tend to be cheaper than CTO as long as you aren't replacing an existing part.

          • stdRaichu
          • 8 years ago

          Nice, they haven’t made it to this side of the pond yet. Now all I need is a chassis worthy of one! Shame these things are still SATA (and thus limited to the speed of the SATA bus rather than the PCIe bus) but much better than wasting a whole 2.5″ slot for an OS.

      • Peldor
      • 8 years ago

      Most laptop drives are around 2W active and 1W idle. Not a lot of heat to save even if you get a lower power SSD.

        • flip-mode
        • 8 years ago

        I have no way of knowing, but I suspect my drive sucks more wattage than that. That whole corner of my laptop gets hot and the hard drive is the only thing in that corner.

        • indeego
        • 8 years ago

        Intel 1.8″ SSD is 75 mw (DIPM), .06 W (Non-DIPM) idle. It’ll be idle the vast majority of the time.

          • OneArmedScissor
          • 8 years ago

          That’s an order of magnitude lower than reality. The figures manufacturers give are almost always way off.

          Kingston 30GB and V+ drives (same controller) idle at 0.2w and generally stick to around 0.6w for short lived reading and writing. That’s the only line in the last few years to consistently keep power use low through each new iteration. It’s possible for SSDs to go lower than typical 2.5″ HDDs, but rare, and not by much.

          This is the only good example I’ve seen of what to expect with a current low power SSD:

          [url<]http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=30317&page=5[/url<] If you want low power use, you really have to cherry pick from the current crop of SSDs.

            • NeelyCam
            • 8 years ago

            [quote<]That's an order of magnitude lower than reality. The figures manufacturers give are almost always way off.[/quote<] Do you have actual data to back that up? BTW, check out any of the Corsair Force series SSDs on Anandtech's reviews: low idle AND load powers. They would seem promising for whatever crazy super-low-power applications you're designing.

    • PrincipalSkinner
    • 8 years ago

    Too bad those will soon be Seagate’s.

      • 5150
      • 8 years ago

      This x 1,000,000

    • egon
    • 8 years ago

    That didn’t take long, did it?

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