Samsung 2TB EcoGreen F3 Hard Drive

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TESTING

Our samples were tested according to our standard hard drive testing methodology. As of mid-2008, we're conducting most acoustics tests in our own 10~11 dBA anechoic chamber, for more accurate low SPL readings than before. Our methodology focuses specifically on noise, and great effort is taken to ensure it is comprehensively measured and described. Performance is covered only lightly, for reasons discussed in detail in the methodology article.

Two forms of hard drive noise are measured:

  1. Airborne acoustics
  2. Vibration-induced noise.

These two types of noise impact the subjective perception of hard drive noise differently depending on how and where the drive is mounted.

Both forms of noise are evaluated objectively and subjectively. Airborne acoustics are measured in our anechoic chamber using a lab reference microphone and computer audio measurement system. Measurements are taken at a distance of one meter from the top of the drive using an A-weighted filter. Vibration noise is rated on a scale of 1-10 by comparing against our standard reference drives.

Summary of primary HDD testing tools:

A final caveat: As with most reviews, our comments are relevant to the samples we tested. Your sample may not be identical. There are always some sample variances, and manufacturers also make changes without telling everyone.


Our Samsung EcoDrive 2TB F3 sample was made in May 2010.

Ambient conditions at time of testing were 10.5 dBA and 23°C.

ACOUSTICS

There were high expectations for the acoustics of the HD203WI because Samsung has been a silent HDD leader for many years. We're a bit disappointed this time around. Sitting on foam to take vibration out of the equation, its noise profile was very quiet but not record breaking. Compared to the WD Green 2TB, there is a greater "hollow" aspect to the sound, which seems to be caused by somewhat prominent peaks in the 1~2.5 kHz band. It seems more tonal than the WD, which sounds largely broadband. The 2~3 dBA idle noise difference is definitely audible, though that difference will be less audible inside a computer case. Seeks were distinctly audible, where as the WD's seeks were very muted. Our sample arrived with AAM turned off. Turning it on to minimal noise with HDD Scan 3.3 resulted in very subtle changes that moight have amounted to a 1 dBA reduction at best.


The Samsung EcoGreen 2TB F3 is very quiet at idle, but doesn't challenge the WD Green 2TB, which is over 2 dBA quieter; the difference is audible.

POWER CONSUMPTION & VIBRATION

DRIVE NOISE TEST SUMMARY
Drive
Manufacture date
firmware version
Vibration
1-10
(10 = no vibration)
Activity State
Airborne Acoustics
(dBA@1m)
Measured
Power
Samsung EcoGreen F3
2TB HD203WI
May 2010
firmware 1AN10003
7
Idle
15.5
4.7 W
AAM
17~18
6.1W
Seek
18~19
6.9 W

It's no surprise that a 4-platter HDD has a bit more vibration than the best on our recommended list. While it's not bad, on par with the WD Caviar Green 2TB, there's no doubt a mechanically decoupled mounting will reduce vibration-induced noise in most PC cases. The power usage is low, better than average for a "green" drive, a bit better than the 2TB WD Green, and substantially lower than a typical 7200 RPM model.

HD TACH / PERFORMANCE SUMMARY

The speed of the 2TB F3EG on HD Tach was a touch higher than that of the 2TB WD Green, but sgnificantly slower than the 2TB Seagate Barrucada LP, wiht its higher 5900 RPM spindle speed. It stands in the middle of the pack.

HD TACH RESULTS COMPARISON
3.5" Drive s
Random Access
Avg. Read
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB
14.2ms
109MB/s
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB
15.3ms
107MB/s
Seagate Pipeline HD Pro 1TB
17.0ms
102MB/s
Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB
14.9ms
97MB/s
Seagate Pipeline HD .2 500GB
18.6ms
96MB/s
Seagate Pipeline HD .2 1TB
15.0ms
95MB/s
WD Caviar Black 1TB
13.6ms
91MB/s
Samsung EcoGreen F3 2TB
16.8ms
89MB/s
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1TB
12.4ms
88MB/s
Samsung EcoGreen F2 500GB
16.7ms
87MB/s
WD Caviar Green 1.5TB
14.6ms
84MB/s
WD Caviar Green 2TB
17.9ms
82MB/s
Seagate Pipeline HD 500GB
17.7ms
75MB/s
5400~5900rpm drives in green, 7200rpm drives in blue.

The HD203WI's performance is close enough to its closest competitors that differences are not likely to be noticed. Minor differences in computer component performance rarely get noticed in actual use. It usually takes a number of faster or slower components working in tandem to see a significant general difference in PC performance. For those seeking a more detailed performance analysis, here is Storage Review's review of the Samsung HD203WI.



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