so ive had this drive for a few days now, and im pretty impressed with it. i dont have my main rig set up right now(rebuilding slowly), and im not at my usual location(little higher noise floor here), and i dont have my kill-a-watt on hand here for power consumption estimates either... but i did still run some tests, and moved a fair bit o data between them all, so here goes nothing
first comes the benches, then i'll talk about what they're really like.
all the pics are set up the same:
left: Hitachi 7K1000.C - 7200rpm, 1TB, 2x500GB platters
center: Hitachi 5K3000 - ~5940rpm, 2TB, 3x667GB platters
right: Samsung F4EG - 5400rpm, 2TB, 3x667 platters
ATTO Disk Benchmark v2.46
HDTune Pro 4.01
[thumbs because not everyone cares to load ~4mb of pics every time they preview their post xD]
a few notes:
motherboard was a 780g, with sb700... so performance isnt as good as it might be with a better chipset. performance:
the spikes you see in hdtune are from hwmonitor checking the smart data. (you cant just ask for temps, and some smart data is actually stored on the drive itself.)
tests were run MANY times to make sure the results were consistent, however i didn't zero fill or anything like that between tests(lets be honest here people, thats not representative of real world use).
all hdtune tests were run at default settings, other tests have their settings clearly shown.
for these tests the 7k100c and the f4eg both had aam set to maximum performance. (it is noticable, both here and when i turned them down fr the noise/vibe tests)
the 5k300 does not have an option for aam.
the f4eg is running on the new firmware, not that it changed performance.
the 5k3000 is a sata iii drive, but i dont have a sata iii controller to test with; and i doubt it'd make a difference anyways.
if you want more benches, including a comparison to the wd20ears check this link
theyre all pretty good. there wasnt much that set them apart in terms of speed. the 7k100c consistently had the best access times; the 5k3000 kept pace with it, and outpaced the f4eg by a slight margin; the f4eg was very consistent across its surface though, for whatever reason it's speed is maintained much better, with less of a drop off at the center than the other drives. im really not sure that the results show it, but thats how it was. hdtune specifically isnt indicative of real world performance for these drives; and if i had tons of time and somewhere to put my data i might run those benches again with a different file size, as the default is 64KB, and i think most people will look to these drives for storing large files. vibration:
i actually had fun testing this. i dont have a mic and an aluminum box like the spcr team, but ive got imagination~*stars and rainbows appear* mmk, enough with the foolishness. what i actually did was take the drives, and installed some long drive screws on the bottom of them. then i placed them on their back, on my desk; and finished off my setup by placing a spare license plate on top of the drive screws. yep, a license plate. to test i just plugged in the drive, listening to it spin up; ran a surface scan for lots of seeking; and then listened while it wasnt being accessed, but still spun up. it's difficult to rank them with such an unscientific method that clearly wasn't optimal... so i wont.
the 7k1000c definitely had more vibration than the others, especially on spin up. while under typical use though, all 3 drives seemed to produce similar levels of vibration: not much. really, until i did the quick surface scans on them, they remained very well behaved. i think the slower drive speed pretty much negated the added mass of another platter.
mounted in my mini p180's drive cages (but still just on my desk), they didnt produce any vibration that i could notice. it wasnt until i had all three of my 7k1000s mounted in a single cage and running that i actually got a response. the 2TB drives were mounted on the horizontal drive trays upside down; so they more or less hang from the silicon dampers. i didnt notice any vibration from them when they were running together in that configuration. i think thats a bit more important than the open air/ license plate tests... i mean, none of you
will just blot a hard drive to the case, right?acoustics:
the pitch derived from their rotational speed was the only differentiating factor here. the 7k100c had what was clearly a higher pitched sound, but it was tricky getting my noise floor low enough to actually hear it. i ended up listening from very close, maybe 4 inches away. the 4feg and the 5k3000 sounded... different, but both were certainly as quiet as the 7k1000c. certainly i'd say that they're all very very quiet drives. seeks were louder with both hitachis, but not by much really.final thoughts:
theres really not much separating these drives acoustically, or performance wise. spcr's sample of the 7k100c was reported to have a fair bit of vibration, which i cant say ive experienced. the quality of the 4feg seems to be in question, certainly we've seen lots of variation within the forums. the firmware bug is also a hassle, samsung's website not really being a helpful resource. the 5k3000 hasnt really been out in the wild long enough for those kind of issues to reveal themselves though.
i wouldnt feel bad about recommending any of these drives. between the two 2TB drives...i dont really sense much difference. to me theyre both sufficiently fast for their purpose: mass storage. small file transfers and quickly copying files is snappy on both. larger files paint a similar picture. i do want to say it clearly though, the samsung isnt as fast as the hitachi. it didnt really make a difference on perceived performance, but for instance when i scroll through a folder of vacation pictures (12mp) with extra large thumbnails the hitachi loads them quicker (a few thumbs faster... i guess xD). it does this at the cost of more aggressive seeking though... so it really feels like a toss up between the two.
the 7k1000c is definitely a very nice option for someone who wants to expand their storage quietly and inexpensively. personally though, i dont see the point of buying 1TB drives anymore. for me it doesnt make sense, for someone else it might though. it kinda got thrown into the fray because of its recent review, and by virtue of me having a few on hand.tl;dr
the hitachi's sound alike(slightly different tone, same volume). the samsung is slower, but also has quieter seeks. inside a mini p180(no fans except mugen2 on low) all of them are damn hard to hear a metre away from above, even closer from the side. as long as you dont get shafted by the sample variation fairy, you cant go wrong with either the 4feg or the 5k3000. i'd recommend the hitachi though, its a bit quicker and theres no firmware bug.