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Samsung Spinpoint F, RAID, EcoGreen

1,000 GB: Three Samsung TB Drives

Samsung currently offers three different drive families that are suitable for desktop PCs. The first is the Spinpoint F1, which is a mainstream desktop hard drive available at capacities up to 1 TB. The second model is the Spinpoint F RAID, which is very much the same product, optimized for 24/7 operation and better durability. Finally, the EcoGreen F is a low-power hard drive, which is in fact a different product designed to achieve better power efficiency.

Desktop Mainstream: Samsung Spinpoint F, HD103UJ

We reviewed the initial Spinpoint F1 at 1 TB capacity almost one year ago. However, our recent terabyte hard drive comparison revealed that the Samsung drive still does well despite the latest competition from Hitachi and Western Digital. This was the first 7,200 RPM hard drive that stored a full one terabyte capacity on only three platters. Knowing that Seagate is about to ship its new 1.5 TB Barracuda 7200.11 drive, Samsung could theoretically have assembled a 1.5 TB drive months ago if it wanted.

The Spinpoint F family is available at various capacity points, where the 320 GB, 640 GB and 1,000 GB models make most sense, as they utilize full platters to store data. All higher-end drives at 750 GB and up come with a 32 MB cache memory. All Spinpoint F models are based on Serial ATA/300 interfaces and include Native Command Queuing (NQC). The drive’s seek time isn’t exciting, but the drive provides solid application performance and high throughput.

Business: Samsung Spinpoint F RAID, HE103UJ

Samsung’s Spinpoint F RAID edition does not differ much from the standard desktop version. It has similar specs of 7,200 RPM, 32 MB cache, SATA/300 with NCQ and various capacity points between 160 GB and 1,000 GB. It comes with a slightly higher price tag and with a doubled MTBF rating (1.2 million hours instead of 600,000 hours) to underline reliability, and also has increased power consumption. Performance was different from the other two Samsung models, since the drive wasn’t optimized for quiet seeks, just for maximum performance. Hence the RAID edition clearly is the fastest Spinpoint F drive you can get, reaching almost 120 MB/s throughput.

The Spinpoint F RAID comes with a five-year factory warranty, which we consider important not only for this high-end category of desktop hard drives. The operating environment specifications, however, aren’t different.

Efficiency: Samsung EcoGreen F, HD103UI

The EcoGreen F drive family is fundamentally different from the other two. It has the same SATA/300 interface with NCQ, the same 32 MB cache memory, and the same environmental specifications, but it only spins at 5,400 RPM, which is the reason for the decreased power requirements. As a consequence, access time is a bit longer, and the throughput is limited to 86 MB/s maximum. This is roughly at the same level of WD’s Caviar Green drive, which operates on a similar basis.

However, the access time difference is actually small enough to have the EcoGreen F drive be the clear winner in our workstation I/O performance per watt benchmark. The power consumption decreases from around 7 W with the two other drives to only 4.3 W, which also makes a noticeable difference in the surface temperature test. The other models level off at a 115°F (46°) surface temperature after hours of idling, while the EcoGreen F stays at cooler 102°F (39°F). In addition, the EcoGreen F is noticeably quieter, and so very suitable for living room PCs, which you don’t want to notice.

Please also look at the article Energy-Saving Hard Drives, which compares the WD Caviar Green and the Hitachi P7K500 low-power drive.

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  • -6 Hide
    Kari , September 23, 2008 11:18 AM
    WTF is that amch questionmarket survey that keeps hijacking my browser everytime I continue to the next page! It's getting pretty annoying and I don't 'qualify' for the survey but that doesn't stop them from trying.. >:( 
  • 2 Hide
    randomizer , September 23, 2008 12:02 PM
    No surveys showing up here.
  • 1 Hide
    Dogsnake , September 23, 2008 1:06 PM
    What survey? No problems going page to page on 3 separate systems I checked with. Maybe your infected?
  • 2 Hide
    one-shot , September 23, 2008 1:51 PM
    I just imagine that smug little cat saying "no problems here" like it knows whats going on. That pic makes me laugh, all the smugness
  • 1 Hide
    arkadi , September 23, 2008 3:10 PM
    i hope to see performance of Raid configuration on popular chip sets. Raid 0,5. I have 2 Spinpoint F mainstream model drives on my nforce4 sli Raid 0, and i can fell the differents in performance comparing 2 my old two 250 wd raid drives (Raid 0).
  • 1 Hide
    SDLeary , September 23, 2008 4:32 PM
    Could you perhaps do some comparisons with the WD Caviar Green? Its not listed on the main spec page, but these drives are supposed to have a variable rotation speed; between 5400 and 7200. If the Samsung is fixed 5400, then there might be some performance differences!

  • -1 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , September 23, 2008 4:40 PM
    Link failure. :\
  • 0 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , September 23, 2008 4:43 PM
    Er, ignore that. Replied in the wrong tab.

    What I wanted to post here is that I also want to see a comparison with the 5400/7200 variable speed drives. Does that offer any real advantage, and what about the power savings?
  • 2 Hide
    ravenware , September 23, 2008 6:38 PM
    Yes! Finally another hard drive review, because these are so much different than the last hard drives that were reviewed.

    Can we have another SSD review this week too? You know, one that shows how great the SSD performs but how it also costs too much?
  • -1 Hide
    Kari , September 23, 2008 6:52 PM
    DogSnakeWhat survey? No problems going page to page on 3 separate systems I checked with. Maybe your infected?

    nah I'm clean.
    Looks like it's gone now. It used to be a little popup window before that i blocked but today it was more aggressive and annoying. And I've never seen it on any other sites, only here at toms, must be some sponsor or smthgn... Heres hoping they got ridd of it permanently
  • 1 Hide
    caskachan , September 24, 2008 10:09 AM

    samsung latest batch of 1tb drives could not perfrom well at high speeds so, what thye do
    sell them as eco friendly low spinning drives yay!

  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 25, 2008 10:38 AM
    The "green" moniker is obvious marketing babble. These drives are designed and very well suited for non-pc appliances like settop boxes and game consoles. In the pc arena you mentioned HTPC and NAS but office pc's can also use a quiet and cool running drive. To me all these lower performance applications look like at least 50% of the market.
  • -1 Hide
    jacke , September 30, 2008 7:07 PM
    1 TB is now in Your notebook. Take Dell Precision M6400


  • 0 Hide
    JonnyDough , October 4, 2008 12:30 PM

    Wait, is it just me or is Kari also Randomizer...? Hmm. Delete the profiles? Check ISP #s? Where is the Stasi when you need them.
  • 0 Hide
    randomizer , October 5, 2008 1:52 AM
    JonnyDoughWait, is it just me or is Kari also Randomizer...?

    Why would you say that? And why would I need another profile? :lol: