Samsung 2TB EcoGreen F3 Hard Drive

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Samsung 2TB F3ED

August 10, 2010 by Mike Chin

Samsung EcoGreen 2TB F3 3.5" hard disk drive (HD203WI)
Sample Funding
Market Price

The Samsung EcoGreen is one of four lines competing in the green, quiet HDD space, the others being the WD Caviar Green, and Seagate's Barracuda LP and Pipeline LP series. The EcoGreen drives, like the WD Caviar Green, spin at 5400 RPM, while Seagate's LP offerings run at 5900 RPM. Seagate is a relative newcomer to the sub-7200 RPM 3.5" HDD consumer/desktop market; SPCR's own forum members have a much longer history with the Samsung and WD green offerings. The 2TB EcoGreen is the highest capacity model in Samsung's lineup at the moment.

Why the EcoGreen 2TB is called F3 instead of the previous F2 is not particularly clear from Samsung's marketing or technical releases. The fact that there is a SpinPoint 7200 RPM series also tagged F3 makes it even more confusing. It has the same 500GB/platter density of earlier F2EG and very similar specifications. A newer EcoGreen F4 clearly boasts higher 667GB/platter density, and a new 2TB F4ED features just three platters.

In any case, the 2TB F3EG is very similar to the Western Digital's 2TB WD20EADS, which remains — more than a year after our review — on our Recommended HDD list as the quietest and highest capacity drive. Can the 2TB EcoGreen F3 match or surpass the WD?

Samsung is totally stingy about HDD samples for reviewers, and most of our previous samples have come from direct purchases or loans from stores and readers. The purchase of this HD203WI sample from Newegg was funded by our new Donate for Review program. Much thanks to forum members klankymen, frenchie, sea2stars, and BillyBuerger for the generous contributions to make this review possible.


The HD203WI has a fairly standard Samsung HDD casing.

The cast aluminum frame feels and looks sturdy. Chips on the PCB include a Marvell 88i8925e and a Texas Instruments SH6125b.

Samsung EcoGreen 2TB F3 HD203WI: Features & Benefits

• MAX.500GB Formatted Capacity Per Disk
• Serial ATA 3.0Gbps Interface Support
• Improved recording stability over temperature with PMR
• Advanced dynamic FOD control for best data integrity
• Intelligent compensation of external disturbance
• SATA Native Command Queuing Feature
• Device Initiated SATA Power Management
• Rotational vibration sensor
• Environment friendly product with RoHS compliance
• Improved performance with dual-ARM based firmware
• ATA S.M.A.R.T. Compliant
• ATA Automatic Acoustic Management Feature
• ATA 48-bit Address Feature
• ATA Device Configuration Overlay Feature
• NoiseGuard™
• SilentSeek™
• 3-year limited warranty

Ah so!

Samsung EcoGreen 2TB F3 HD203WI: Specifications
Capacity 2 TB
Cache 32 MB
Disks / Heads 4 / 8
Interface SATA 3Gb/s
Rotation Speed 5400 RPM
Data Transfer Rate / Buffer to/from Buffer (Max.) 135 MB/s
Data Transfer Rate / Buffer to/from Host (Max.) 300 MB/s
Average Seek time 8.9 ms + 5.56 ms Avg Latency
Weight 690 grams
Power Requirements:
Spinup Current (Max)
Standby & Sleep / Idle / R&W / Seek

+5V, +12V
2A (on 12V line?)
1W / 5.4W / 6.2W / 7.1W
Idle / Performance Seek
2.7 / 3.1 Bel

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