Samsung may not be the first name that springs to mind when you think about hard drives, but it has an extensive range of drives for the desktop market. Not only that, it can also claim a world first with the SpinPoint F4EG, as it was the first to market (a claim that may well be disputed by Western Digital), with the best areal density of any drive in its class (5,400rpm).

In plain English, this means it only uses three 667GB disks to achieve its 2TB capacity instead of the normal four 500GB ones. Using just three discs improves the power consumption of the SpinPoint F4EG over that of its rivals, as well as providing better performance than its four-platter competition.

While SSDs currently take all the plaudits for speed, the platter technology in Samsung's SpinPoint F4EG proves there's life in the old mechanical dog yet, and there will be for quite a while longer while the cost per gigabyte is firmly in their favour.

The SpinPoint F4EG uses the latest formatting technique called Advanced Format Technology (AFT) or as other companies call it, Advanced Sector Formatting (ASF). Either way, the technology does away with the old legacy 512 byte per sector formatting, and introduces 4kB per sector formatting in its place. This closes the gaps left by the old style of formatting, meaning better data integrity and, more importantly, larger capacities per disc.

In the case of the SpinPoint F4EG, each platter (disc) has a 667GB capacity. This is fine in Windows Vista and 7, but XP users will need to find a partitioning utility that supports the technique for best performance.

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