Samsung 2TB EcoGreen F3 Hard Drive

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COMPETITIVE COMPARISON

The airborne acoustics of the Samsung EcoGreen F3 2TB are middling to high for a low power drive, and its level of vibration is similarly middling. Power consumption is low for a 2TB drive.

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
PREVIOUSLY TESTED DESKTOP DRIVES
WD Caviar Green
1.5TB WD15EADS
November 2009
firmware 01.00A01
9
Idle
13
4.5 W
(2.8 W heads unloaded)
Seek (AAM)
14
5.8 W
Seek
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB ST3500418AS
September 2009
firmware CC37
8
Idle
18
(16 muffled)
4.7 W
Seek
19~20
(18 muffled)
7.9W
Samsung F2 EcoGreen 500GB HD502HL
February 2009
firmware 1AG01114
8
Idle
12
3.2 W
Seek (AAM)
15
5.3 W
Seek (Normal)
16
6.1 W
Seagate Pipeline HD .2 1TB ST31000424CS
April 2009
firmware SC13
7
Idle
12
3.4W
Seek
16
8.0W
Seagate Pipeline HD .2 500GB ST3500414CS
March 2009
firmware SC13
8
Idle
13
3.0 W
Seek
13~14
7.0 W
WD Caviar Green
2TB WD20EADS

February 2009
firmware 01.00A01
7
Idle
13
6.4 W
(4.0 W heads unloaded)
Seek (AAM)
6.5 W
Seek (Normal)
13~14
Seagate Pipeline HD
500GB ST3500321CS

July 2008
firmware SC14
6
Idle
14
4.8 W
Seek
15
6.9 W
Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB ST32000542AS
June 2009
firmware CC32
6
Idle
14
4.4W
Seek
17
8.6W
Seagate Pipeline HD Pro
1TB ST31000533CS

September 2008
firmware SC15
4
Idle
15
7.1 W
Seek
16
10.1 W
WD VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS
300GB, 10K RPM
15 May 2008
firmware 03.03V01
8
[w/o frame]
Idle
15
8.2 W
Seek (AAM)
20
12.2 W
Seek (Normal)
22
12.2 W
WD Caviar SE16
640GB WD6400AAKS
February 2008
firmware 01.03B01
7
Idle
16
6.8 W
Seek (AAM)
16~17
8.1 W
Seek (Normal)
18~19
9.3 W
Samsung F1
750GB HD753LJ

February 2008
firmware 1AA01109
6
Idle
16
6.9 W
Seek (AAM)
18~19
8.9 W
Seek (Normal)
20~21
10.2 W
Seagate 7200.11
1.5TB ST31500341AS

October 2008
firmware SD17
4
Idle
17
8.8 W
Seek
19
10.7 W
WD Caviar Black
1TB WD1001FALS

July 2008
firmware 05.00K05
4
Idle
21
8.5 W
Seek (AAM)
10.9 W
Seek (Normal)
25
11.0 W


AUDIO RECORDINGS

These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.

The recordings are intended to give you an idea of how the product sounds in actual use — one meter is a reasonable typical distance between a computer or computer component and your ear. The recording contains stretches of ambient noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness of the subject. Be aware that very quiet subjects may not be audible — if we couldn't hear it from one meter, chances are we couldn't record it either!

The recording starts with around 10 seconds of ambient noise, then 10 second segments of the drive in the following states: idle, seek with AAM enabled (if applicable), and seek with AAM disabled (if applicable).

Comparatives:

CONCLUSIONS

Our sample of the Samsung F3 EcoGreen 2TB HD203WI proved to be fairly quiet but not exceptional acoustically. Its noise level is nearly up to the quietest 7200 RPM drives. It does not fare well in a comparison with similar capacity quiet 3.5" drives from the WD Caviar Green or Seagate Barracuda LP lines, and it certainly doesn't hold a candle to Samsung's own single-platter 500GB F2 EcoGreen. Its vibration levels are decent but again not exceptional. Power consumption is low, however, better than most others in its class. Overall it is a good, but not the best, choice for a quiet 2TB drive. Pricing might be a tad higher than some of the other low power 2TB models, but the market varies enough that it's hard to be definitive about this.

So among the low noise, highest capacity HDDs SPCR has reviewed, the WD Caviar Green 2TB still holds the crown. Our F3 EcoGreen 2TB sample is just high enough in noise (compared to earlier, lower capacity versions of the EG series) to suspect the possibility of a slightly errant sample, but we'll never know unless we can get our hands on at least several more samples, ideally from from different production runs. Samsung's new F4EG 3-platter 2TB drive should have a better chance at the crown. Hopefully, we will find out soon.

This review was made possible by the generous contributions of forum members klankymen, frenchie, sea2stars, and BillyBuerger in the SPCR Donate for Review program. Much thanks for their kind support.

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Articles of Related Interest:
SPCR's Hard Drive Testing Methodology
SPCR's Recommended Hard Drives
5900rpm Seagate Hard Drives: Barracuda LP, Pipeline HD .2
Samsung F2 EcoGreen HD502HI: Silent 500GB 3.5" HDD
WD Caviar Green 2TB & Seagate Pipeline HD 500GB

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