Having digested the benchmark results, we can get over the fact that the new Spinpoint F1 comes a few months later than announced by Samsung Compare Prices on Samsung Spinpoint F1. The Korean uber-company, which produces virtually everything from simple electronic devices to industrial-scale technology, really made it: it beat Hitachi, Seagate and Western Digital when it comes to performance. Hitachi and Seagate still offer better access times, which is why Samsung does not dominate the I/O benchmarks, but only the Barracuda 7200.11's access time is noticeably quicker. The maximum throughput of 118 MB/s is up to 18% faster than Seagate's 100 MB/s maximum, and the average and minimum throughput when reading and writing also dominate the benchmark results. When compared to WD's Caviar GP, the new Spinpoint F1 by Samsung offers roughly a third more throughput, which is very respectable.
At a 46°C drive surface temperature it doesn't even get very warm. The other terabyte drives utilize more moving parts, so they all get hotter than Samsung's latest storage monster. Finally, the terabyte Spinpoint F1 even does well in power consumption tests: it requires 6.8 W at idle and as much as 12.2 W when performing intense I/O operations.
WD's new RAID Edition Caviar GP clearly is the most energy-efficient terabyte hard drive, and is the only terabyte drive besides Hitachi's Ultrastar A7K1000 that is validated for non-stop operation. Both also come with a five year warranty, which isn't the case for the Samsung drive. However, the power consumption difference from a performance standpoint is invalidated when looking at the huge gap between the WD Caviar GP (or the RAID Edition) and the Samsung Spinpoint F1, which is still more energy-efficient than Hitachi and Seagate.
We will follow up soon, comparing mainstream capacity versions of all four products. From what we've seen, we expect the Samsung drives to dominate other capacity points such as 750 GB and 500 GB as well, which puts the Korean manufacturer into an excellent position to take away significant market share not only from market leader Seagate, but also from Hitachi and Western Digital.
The hard drive space has become more competitive with Samsung turning up the heat. We really hope that Hitachi has a product update soon, and of course we're still waiting for Western Digital to renew its Raptor, which once was a synonym for the fastest hard drive available.