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 Post subject: 2TB SATA drives - relative spin up times?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:39 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:31 am
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Sounds like a funny question, but it seems quite hard to dig up the information successfully (as in the time from drive power on before the system can access the drive), but I figured some of the users here would have experience with the drives for HTPC use and might be able to give some feedback.

Currently I'm running a 2TB Samsung F3 as a media drive for my HTPC inside an external USB chassis, which I'm considering swapping to another 2TB, probably an F4 (which are meant to be quieter, faster and lower power due to some improvements and a shift from 4 to 3 platter).

Now because the external chassis is set to automatically powerup and power down, it reboots the drive during the windows boot sequence when USB hardware is initialised. As the system is based around an SSD, boot time is extremely fast, and the media drive doesn't complete its spin up/initialisation quick enough after the usb reinitialisation (actually it's probably the longest I've ever seen a drive take to spin up, it must be close to 10 seconds before its ready for use), which can cause issues with file navigation, due to the drive not being accessible in time.

The money side of things isn't a worry as the old drive will get sold or used elsewhere if it is replaced.

As it is, even with AAM on quiet, I think this 2TB is the loudest Samsung drive I've ever used, its got quite a noticeable spin up whir and seeking (a view which also seems relected in the SPCR review of the drive I read yesterday), so I'm not against the idea of swapping for something else anyway, as I'm pretty sure its actually louder than the HTPC itself which only produces an extremely faint 'air movement' noise.

Thanks in advance!

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 Post subject: Re: 2TB SATA drives - relative spin up times?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:03 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 3:29 am
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Welcome to SPCR!

Just as a starting point, WD unfortunately doesn't give drive access times for its 3.5" drives, but the 2.5" Scorpio claims 4 seconds, though of course it only comes in capacities up to 1 TB. As for the 3.5s, presumably a 5400rpm drive would be at an advantage compared to 7200. Ten seconds seems like a long time no matter what the drive is.

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 Post subject: Re: 2TB SATA drives - relative spin up times?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:42 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:31 am
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Thanks for the welcome, I've lurked on and off for a few months but figured it was time to ask a question.:)

Sorry if I was slightly confusing, I am primarily looking at 3.5" drives, its the 3.5" F3 5400rpm drive I have right now.(The WI model). I was looking to replace with another 3.5", preferably a ~5400 rpm drive for noise reasons, but hopefully with a speedy startup time :)

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Almost completely silent HTPC


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 Post subject: Re: 2TB SATA drives - relative spin up times?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 2:09 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 1:51 pm
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Location: Gefle, Sweden
Drives with low power consumption cannot be very speedy on winding up since that's the typically highest load situation there is for a drive. Since 5400rpm desktop products tend to be labeled as "green" they all have to limit themselves when it comes to that. Fortunately with the F4 drives the idle whirr is very low for a desktop drive so in regular situations they can be kept spinning without much noise. Unfortunately for you that external chassis has its own, non-configurable power saving scheme. No chance of bodging the drive into the HTPC chassis instead I guess? :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: 2TB SATA drives - relative spin up times?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 2:40 pm 
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Ironically for me, power is the factor Im not really that bothered about. Noise inside the element is a much bigger issue, even actual overall speed isn't a bother as USB is the major bottleneck and thats more than enough for 1080p. I actually timed the drive a little earlier and it took the best part of 12 seconds to reach accessible from power on :?
It was no faster when run in a different external casing via E-SATA either, it still delayed everything by a substantial amount during the boot sequence.

The whole auto-off functionality of the external casing is really useful for this sort of application too, as it lowers noise/heat when the machine is off. I don't really want to put it inside the case, as it wont make any difference (as demonstrated running in E-SATA) and because occasionally it moves between PCs to to copy across newly ripped media etc, and I'd rather not have to open the case each time.


If anyone has any of the current 2TB drives (Sammy F4/WD Green etc), could you possibly measure with a stopwatch (most modern phones have one) how long it takes the drive from power on to become accessible (often you can tell when this is because the drive will usually make some seek/spin up noises during startup).

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 Post subject: Re: 2TB SATA drives - relative spin up times?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 3:52 pm 
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Location: Gefle, Sweden
My HD204UI's seem take about 8.5-9 seconds to spin up. That is from having been put to sleep by the operating system and then opening a pdf document on them. The external chassis may well add about a second to the spinup when timing by flipping the power switch.

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 Post subject: Re: 2TB SATA drives - relative spin up times?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 11:20 am
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Location: TN, USA
The term to look for is "drive ready time"

Back when 640GB drives were all the rage I pulled the data from three WD drives

Black = WD6401AALS 11 sec
Blue = WD6400AAKS 13 sec
Green = WD6400AACS 14.3 sec

name your drive and you should be able to look up the official specs on the company web site in HTML or in a company supplied PDF.

for the HD203WI (Samsung 2TB F3 Ecogreen) the time is 15 seconds and is pulled from http://www.samsung.com/global/system/bu ... 93f3eg.pdf.

Not really hard to find, just have to do it one drive at a time.

Now your actual time to drive ready will vary depending on temperature, humidity, vibration, etcetera but the published specs are readily available if you want to compare an apples to apples time.

Any low power / Green drive is likely to have longer power up times as spinning the disk up quickly takes more power.

HD203WI 15 sec (2TB F3 EG)
HD204UI 13 sec (2TB F4 EG)
WD20EADS 14.5 sec (WD 2TB Green)
WD20EARS ?? sec (I'm guessing 14.x sec like other WD green drives) now that one I had a hard time finding presumably it's the same. You'd probably have to email WD support to get an exact answer.
ST2000DL003 (seagate 2TB green) <15 secs
ST32000542AS (seagate 2TB LP) <16 secs

And of course higher RPM or lower capacity drives will have faster ready times

ST31000520AS <12 secs (1TB Seagate LP )
WD10EADS 14.3 secs (1TB WD Green)
HE103SJ 11 secs (1TB F3R)
WD1002FAEX 11 secs (1TB WD Black)
WD1001FALS 11secs (1TB WD Black)

now look at what happens in the same WD series at 1.5TB and above

WD2002FAEX WD2001FASS WD1502FAEX WD1501FASS all say 21 secs. (1.5TB WD Black and 2TB WD Black drives).\

Ooh, here is a good progression from http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/library/S ... 701338.pdf
These are all WD RE4 drives
WD2003FYYS 2TB 21 sec (4 platters)
WD1503FYYS 1.5TB 21 sec (3 platters)
WD1003FBYX 1TB 18 sec (2 platters)
WD5003ABYX 500GB 14 sec (1 platter)
WD2503ABYX 250GB 14 sec (1 platter)

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 Post subject: Re: 2TB SATA drives - relative spin up times?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:57 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:31 am
Posts: 6
Thanks for the info, I'd had a quick look through the sites but they hadn't made the information immediately obvious in the specifications sections.

Going over the info there, given the capacity I'm after, and the review the drives recieved on noise (one of the best) the F4 Ecogreen seems my best choice; fastest official spin up out of the large drives, and also one of the quietest.

Thanks everyone who's contributed :)

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 Post subject: Re: 2TB SATA drives - relative spin up times?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:13 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:31 am
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Again thanks for all the advice, my Sammy F4EG has just arrived, and having the drives side by side copying approximately 1TB of data over; not only does the F4 vibrate less than the F3EG, its also noticeably quieter with your ear near the drive, the startup noises are less pronounced, and yes, it starts up a second or two faster to boot :)
Hopefully that'll translate to a decent improvement once its stuck inside the caddy, as it'll vibrate the caddy less too as a result :)

Definately the better drive for a HTPC, and seeing as the machine is based off a Win7, I didn't even have to spend much time even considering the whole 4k vs 512byte sector argument I've noticed going on :)

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Almost completely silent HTPC


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