As evident from our benchmarks and the noise and heat production measurements the 80GB, Western Digital 800JB with 8MB cache and the 120GB, IBM 120GXP offer the best combination of performance, noise and heat levels. The IBM has our preference as it has the largest capacity and thus offers the best price/performance ratio.
If you're looking for a good 7200-rpm harddisk then look no further than the Western Digital WD800BB, with 2MB cache, just a tad bit slower than the WD800JB which features 8MB of cache. The surprising newcomer is the Samsung SP8004H that scores well on all fronts and certainly deserves your attention too.
Equally surprising was the performance of Western Digital’s 400AB and 800AB, both 5400-rpm harddisks showed exceptional performance on par with all but the fastest 7200-rpm harddisks. If you’re looking for an affordable, high-performance and yet silent 5400-rpm harddisk either of these will fit your needs exactly.
If you’re however looking for a harddisk that offers an impressive combination of performance and low noise then look no further than Seagate’s ST380021A Barracuda IV, it really is an engineering marvel that combines the best of both worlds. No match for the IBM or Western Digital but a fair trade-off between performance and noise level.
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