Samsung SP2504C - Half a Terrabyte of SATAII RAID 0

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Samsung SP2504C - Half a Terrabyte of SATAII RAID 0
Test Setup and Synthetic Tests
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Products: 2x Samsung SP-2504C 7,200 rpm SATAII 250GB HD
Provided By: Samsung Canada
Price: ~ $150.00 CDN (


Samsung has been around for quite a while and while they gain more press from their line of LCD's, HDTV's and Digital Audio Players, they do offer a growing line of Hard Drives.  In times past, enthusiasts would never run Samsung drives as their performance was a bit lacking.  Samsung is trying to change this image as they are now offering a full line of SATAII Hard Drives complete with Native Command Queing and 3Gbps transfer rates.  Today we are going to take a look at a set of SP2504C drives that size in at a nice 250GB each and compare them to a set of 120GB Hitachi Hard Drives that we've looked at previously.

I'd like to thanks Samsung Canada for lending me these drives for a month.  They came in handy as I had to back up my main system (280GB) of files so I could upgrade and reinstall.  Unfortunately, I have to send these back.  Enough of that, let's take a look at the drives.

Top View - Matching Drives
Top View - Matching Drives

The Drives:

The drives Samsung sent over are 250GB SATAII Drives that spin at 7,200 rpm and feature an 8MB cache.  This is a pretty standard fare right now, with the latest drives from Maxtor, Western Digital, Seagate and Hitachi shipping with an impressive 16MB of cache.  8MB is still nothing to sneeze at, and for most applications it does quite well.

Connectors - SATA Power Only
 Connectors - SATA Power Only

Bottom View - Chipset & RAM
 Bottom View - Chipset & RAM

You'll notice in the above pictures that Samsung chooses to use a SATA power only interface, and they've completely dropped the standard 4-pin Molex connector from the drive.  This shouldn't be an issue as most PSU's these days include at least 2 SATA power connectors, and you can find Molex-to-SATA adapters very cheap at your local computer store.

Samsung uses a Marvel chipset on the drive as well as their own 8MB RAM chip.  I guess it makes sense as they are one of the worlds largest memory manufacturers.

Features & Specs:

For the classic listing of features and specs of this drive, we go to the Samsung website for the info:

  • 100GB/125GB Formatted Capacity Per Disk
  • Serial ATA 3.0 Gbps Intergface Support
  • SATA Native Command Queuing Feature Set
  • Device Initiated SATA Power Management
  • Staggered Spin-up Support
  • High Speed Dual Digital Signal Processor (DSP) Based Architecture
  • ATA S.M.A.R.T. Compliant
  • ATA Automatic Acoustic Management Feature Set
  • ATA 48-bit Address Feature Set
  • ATA Streaming FeatureSet (Optional)
  • ATA Device Configuration Overlay Feature Set
  • NoiseGuardâ„¢
  • SilentSeekâ„¢

Drive Configuration Capacity
Serial ATA II 3.0 Gbps
Buffer Size
8 Mbytes
Performance Specification
Read Seek Time(typical)
Track to Track
0.8 ms
8.9 ms
Full Stroke
18 ms
Average Latency
4.17 ms
Rotational Speed
7,200 rpm
Data Transfer Rate
Media to/from Buffer (max.)
973 Mbits/sec
Buffer to/from Host(max.)
300 MB/sec
Reliability Specification
Non-recoverable Read Error 1 sector in 10 14 bits
600,000 POH
Start/Stop Cycles (Ambient)
Component Design Life
5 years
Acoustic (Average Sound Power)
2.5 Bel
Random Read/Write
2.8 Bel
Environmental Specification
0 ~ 60°C
-40 ~ 70°C
Thermal Gradient(max.)
Humidity (non-condensing)

5 ~ 90 %
5 ~ 95 %
Linear Shock (1/2 sine pulse)

Operating, 2ms
63 G
Non-operating, 2ms
350 G
Vibration (swept sine, 1 octave per minute)20
Vibration (swept sine, 0.25 octave per min)

5 ˜ 21 Hz
0.034" (double amplitude)
21 ˜ 300 Hz
1.5 Gp-p
5 ˜ 21 Hz
0.034"l (double amplitude)
22 ˜ 500 Hz
1.5 Go-p
Altitude (relative to sea level)

-1,000 to 10,000 feet
-1,000 to 40,000 feet
Power Requirements
+5V±5%, +12V±10%
Spin Up Current (max.)
650/1900 mA
Seek (typical)
9.5 W
Read/Write (typical)
8.0 W
Idle (typical)
7.5 W
Standby (typical)
0.7/1.5 W
Sleep (typical)
0.7/1.5 W
Physical Dimension
1 inch
4 inches
5.75 inches
1.44 pounds


These drives are very quiet and cannot be heard over any other system fans you may have running.  Temperatures are also very respectable and the drives barely get warm when transferring large files or loading applications.


Head on over to the next page and take a look at the test system and some performance numbers.