1.5 TB Low-Power HDDs: Green Gets Big

Samsung Spinpoint F2 EcoGreen (HD154UI)

Samsung’s EcoGreen F2 drive was launched in late fall of 2008, but it took a while until the Korean firm shipped 1.0 and 1.5 TB capacities. Our last hard drive roundup included the 500 GB model, which did well.

The 1.5 TB capacity version delivers quicker access time, but it does not reach the same throughput: it’s 113 MB/s maximum for the 500 GB model, versus 107 MB/s for the 1,500 GB variant. The 500 GB model is also superior in I/O performance, while the 1.5 TB model is better at the various PCMark Vantage HDD tests.

The technical data reads like the WD datasheet, as the key characteristics are equal: 5,400 RPM, SATA/300 with NCQ, and a 32 MB data cache. Samsung’s drive is much lighter than the WD: 650 g vs. 730 g. However, it is specified at 5.1 W idle power, while WD lists only 3.7 W. We measured 3.5 W for WD, but 3.8 W idle power for the Samsung drive, which is much less than specified (due to low-power active idle mode initiated by the device after a certain amount of time idling).

Although Samsung’s HD154UI delivers higher maximum throughput than the WD Caviar Green WD15EADS, it cannot maintain the same average and minimum throughput as WD. However, Samsung still shines from a performance per watt standpoint, as the power requirement at various workloads is much lower than the power required by WD’s drive. The similar performance in throughput benchmark gives the Samsung drive an advantage over WD in performance per watt for streaming reads, while WD remains stronger in I/O power efficiency.