Check out the performance charts and pick whatever 500 GB per platter drive performs best under your usage patterns. The WD Black 2 TB is a good choice but at smaller capacities, you are limited to the Seagate 7200.12 or the Spinpoint F3. The 7200.12 excels in gaming, multimedia and pictures whereas the F3 wins at music and movie maker. See the comparisons here (copy past link in manually, link won't work in forum):
I usually buy either WD or Seagate drives, but have bought Samsung as well. All have been good. So what's the determining factor among these when I need a drive? Price. If I see one from these companies that's on sale or otherwise cheaper I buy it. In this case, the Samsung is the cheapest, so I'd buy that, be happy, and not think about it further.
Don't get too caught up with synthetic tests and figures and the biased opinions of others. I can guarantee you that from a real-time user experience, nobody can tell the difference between any of the drives you listed, I don't care how much anyone insists otherwise! If the samsung is cheaper and is more power efficient than I suppose that's the one you should go with. Other than that, it boils down to brand loyalty and subjectivity. Like sailer stated above, when you have to choose between good, good and good, then all options are good - so let the price settle the indecisiveness!
...I'm just jaded from their enterprise level HDD's.
(Which may be unfair, but 3 out of 5 failed within 2 years. Heartbreaking)
Perhaps unlucky, or perhaps a victim of some of the recent Seagate troubles which have since been solved. On the other hand, I've only had one Seagate drive fail in the last 20 years and it was DOA. I have had hard drive failures from WD, Samsung, and a few others, but they have been rare for the most part. Only Maxtor failed often enough to earn my wrath.
Sorry to hear that about the Seagates. The last two Seagates I've bought have worked without a hitch. The previous "bricking" problem was supposedly solved the last I heard, with the new drives having a software fix and the older drives getting RMA'ed and replaced with new ones.
My Samsung has been going 24/7 for months now. No trouble yet. Of course, I know that's no guarantee of what will happen tomorrow. But as of yet, no troubles are apparent.