hard drive history

1998: a year of transition

Samsung SpinPoint V4300

Photo: Red Hill.

Samsung SpinPoint V3200 and V4300 Families

In time gone by, Samsung hard drives had been notorious. Warned by the horror stories surrounding the old 125MB SHD, we religiously avoided Samsung drives for years.

Around the end of 1998 I decided it was time to re-test the water. I'd heard some encouraging reports from friends in the trade, and Samsung had been claiming much improved reliability for some time, so we put the products to the test, very cautiously, starting with this model.

Naturally, we didn't buy in large quantities, nor use these drives for anything mission-critical.

When we opened our first shiping carton of V3200s, the drives were unremarkable: nicely finished, very reasonably priced, and not noticably faster or slower than similar-sized drives from other makers. As for reliability, we were quite unable to fault them. To be sure, we only sold small numbers, but in the end, not a single one of our V Series Samsungs ever gave us the slightest trouble.

Illustration: old and new: two near-identical SV4300s. On the left, the traditional Samsung styling. The newer drive on the right, updated to an ATA-66 interface but otherwise unchanged, has the new-style Samsung label which would become very familiar indeed over the next ten years as we began to sell more and more Samsung drives.

Data rate173 Mbit/secSpin rate5400 RPM
Seek time10.0msBuffer512k
Platter capacity3.2GBInterfaceATA-33
SV0322A3.2GB2 MR heads*
SV0644A6.4GB4 MR heads*

Data rate200 Mbit/secSpin rate5400 RPM
Seek time9.5msBuffer512k
Platter capacity4.3GBInterfaceATA-66
SV0432D4.3GB2 MR heads*
SV0643D6.4GB4 MR heads
SV1296D12.9GB6 MR heads*