My HTPC has proven to be allergic to the WD 1TB GB for some reason (if I connect it, I cannot so any other SATA devices) so I decided to go out and get a 1TB F1 to see if that worked any better.
No luck there (samsung drives has always been hard to find in Tokyo) but to my surprise, I found some shops carrying the new 1TB EcoGreen drive so I got one of those instead (darned cheap drives as well, just about 16000 JPY).
Now, I have not gone through extensive testing with this thing, and mind you that I got an older Pentium M Aopen motherboard here with a slightly sensitive SATA implementation.
What I can say is... wow. I got seagates, WD 5000 KS and AAKS and 1TB GP around on various computers in the house, but the HD103UI quickly had me going wow...
The reason for the wow was that I just connected the thing and had no time to actually test anything. I just dragged out a sata cable and put the drive flat down on the TV table.
This stunt usually gives me some vibration noise in the TV table, but this time, I head no such thing whatsoever.
There was some seconds of clicking at spinup, but otherwise the thing was just silent.
The next thing I noticed after the drive had been lying there for a while in a room that was ambient 29C was that it was very very cool. Not cold, but just that kind of warm which is actually comfortable to hold your hand at.
I have just taken my 2 termometers out and with 25.5C ambient, I am now measuring 32.5C on the upside of the drive and 33.9C on the underside (facing the table). This is after spinning 24x7 for 3 days with some light traffic.
This is on Linux and smartctl gives me a SMART temp of 29C.
I then tried to 6 processes to random writes to the disk at the same time for 15 minutes which caused the temp to rise to 34.5C on the upside and 30C according to SMART.
Please note that this is without any airflow whatsoever. Its lying on the TV table just behind my plasma. Disks normally get reasonably hot in that position if I leave them for a long time.
I had a bit hurry to move some data on it to replace a failing drive, so I have already copied 300GB of data to it, but running a sequential write of an 8GB file reports an average of 79.6 MB/sec (which is not the max of the drive, since its already 1/3 full and the outermost cylinders has the highest throughput) and reading the same 8GB file is done at 94.5MB/sec.
Not state of the art of course, but pretty good for a 5400 rpm drive.
This is all very unscientific testing (I know) but I dont really have much time to test on right now.
Unfortunately, I do not have a GP drive I can use for direct comparison either (the once I have are in use, but I am very tempted to tear up my P180 and take one out for direct comparison... the Raid should in theory allow me to take it out and put it back in rebuild after all
) but my memory tells me that the samsung is just a small bit cooler and more silent than the GP and even better, it seems to work flawlessy with the moody SATA controller on my HTPC.
Maybe I got a lucky sample, but I got a feeling we might have a new low noise/temp champ here.