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 Post subject: Samsung EcoGreen F4 & Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB Hard Driv
PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:17 pm 
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http://www.silentpcreview.com/samsung-f4-seagate-xt-2tb/


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:05 pm 
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Very nicely done. I prefer spcr's reviews better than others commonly seen on other hardware sites. I just wish you'd do more. I like that you hit on two aspects that we're most concerned about - noise and power utilization.

Looking forward to your 3 platter seagate caviar green 2tb review.

A suggestion - it'd be nice for spcr to have a charts section (like tom's charts). Where if you're looking for hdd/cases/fans/etc you can go and see the two numbers we care about the most (above) and have links to the detailed reviews.

EDIT: Please please do an article on a <50w quiet + efficient psu. The info is all over the forum but we need to spcr touch on it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 4:36 pm 
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Location: NEW YORK WORD AND STUFF YEAH OK
really nice drive, the green one at least.

200 dollars is crazy for a 2TB drive. I think so at least. shrugs.

Does the green one park or go idle whatever ever? I am thinking that this is a fantastic drive for what I am building, using an old amd64 pc and putting 2 of these in it for a storage place. I wouldnt want it parking though....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 5:02 pm 
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Twitch:

There are no "Seagate Caviar Green" drives. Perhaps you meant "Western Digital Caviar Green" instead?

Also what do you mean by a <50W quiet and efficient psu?

If one with a maximum power capability that low: What do you actually gain by limiting the maximum power capability? It won't be any cheaper than much more robust models because of demand and supply. The maximum power capability of a psu just means that the psu will be able to handle at least that much power drawn from it by the rest of the system without failure. Every 500W psu is also a 50W psu but the converse does not need to hold.

If you instead meant just a psu that is efficient and quiet at less than 50W load, I can tell you that any psu that is rated quiet at any level by Silent PC Review would also be quiet at <50W load. Also spcr does give efficiency numbers at 20W and 65W loads so you get an efficiency interval from there - I'm sure there were some pretty good models reviewed even with these criteria.

So please do clarify.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 5:32 pm 
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Yep - the WD caviar green.

On the <50W: Here is a link for a green htpc at 15w: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthre ... hlight=15w

The challenge is finding a psu that is both quiet and efficient at this wattage at the same time be able to handle a large number of hdd (for a nas). With sandy bridge around the corner this number may even go lower. Many psu can be relatively silent at wattage that low but have less than desirable efficiencies. Pico psu or the likes may come close.

From an HTPC perspective (even perhaps nas to some degree) the majority of the time the system (including the hdd) would be in idle state. Even when playing 1080p hd video which will be handled by the gpu there is hardly any load placed on the cpu. So for all practical purposes the system would be in idle or very low cpu utilization state most of the time. Toms hardware had shown a core i5-661 system under 25w utilization. A key point from that article was using a low max wattage fortran (fsp) 220w psu gave them a better efficiency (at such low system loads) than a 600+w psu. Unfortunatley most of the new psu's (evermax/seasonix) that come out stay far noth of the territory we want to be in. It seems like the psu industry seems bent on selling us 1kw+ psu when all we need is really just a fraction of that. Even the c2d mac mini system can idle at 8-11w.

This hdd in your review certainly helps drive down the total power utilization further down. I guess what I'd really like to see (and perhaps many of us?) is an htpc + nas at the lowest db possible using the least amount of watts. The key ofcourse is in balancing everything. This is where we could use some help in benchmarking a test system that can be reproduced by spcr members. Something I had in mind - utilize say 6 of the f4's from your review + 1 ssd (onboard pciex card perhaps so as not eat up a sata slot?) + p183 + some slipstreams to cool everything down. I think spcr may even have all the individual components to make this htpc + nas at low power utilization and fairly silent. Now only if we could get our hands on that sandybridge engineering sample...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 5:52 pm 
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twitch --

My own slapped together HTPC w/ AthlonII 240e (45w tdp), 4gb ram and 500gb 2.5" drive in an Antec nsk1480 case w/ stock 80+ seasonic-made PSU runs 30~32W AC at idle, barely reaches 40W during HD video file playback, and maybe peaks occasionally at 50W. The PSU is a bog standard 80+ efficiency model. Probably hits ~75% efficiency at these power loads.

If replaced with a PSU that is 85% efficient at these loads, we might see 3~5W reductions. Is that worth it? Not ecologically -- the cost of manufacturing the new PSU would far outweigh the reduced energy consumption over the life of the machine. Not sonically -- the htpc is cooled with two fans -- one in the PSU, one on the CPU HS -- running silently.

The point I am making is this: The lower the overall power consumption, the harder it is to improve it with better PSU efficiency unless the original is terribly inefficient to begin with. Like maybe a 50% unit replaced by an 80% one... but hardly anything has that low effieicny, and at these power levels, DC/DC boards + AC/DC adapters dominate. In combination, they tend to give at least 75% efficiency. There's no $$ for PSU makers to pursue this sector, and little in the way of energy incentive. User patterns become far more important -- for example, Keeping a machine off an hour more each day would have a much bigger overall impact than a more efficient PSU.

Addressing your last paragraph, we are currently working on a small Silent Home Server Build Guide and 6 2tb WD GP drives are being tested in it. This is a machine that can easily double as a spare PC, HTPC or even a middling gaming rig. I think this article will address all of your queries.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:45 pm 
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This review provides two eye-brow raisers to me:

1. Both disks have a measured noise level more than 10 dB below their advertised values!

2. In most applications the 5400 rpm disk isn't as far behind the 7200 rpm disk as I'd expect.

Cheers
Olle


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:09 pm 
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~El~Jefe~ wrote:
Does the green one park or go idle whatever ever? I am thinking that this is a fantastic drive for what I am building, using an old amd64 pc and putting 2 of these in it for a storage place. I wouldnt want it parking though....


The EcoGreen doesn't head-park - the Caviar Green is the only desktop drive that does this AFAIK.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:47 am 
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Olle P wrote:
1. Both disks have a measured noise level more than 10 dB below their advertised values!

How are those advertised values measured ? Maybe the mic is 1 inch away from the disk ;)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:12 am 
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I have an F3 and F4 2T drives and I don't notice any particular difference in noise between the two drives, and they are both very quiet. There are differences from one example drive to another.

One thing that wasn't mentioned in the review is that the F4 is low level formatted to 4k sectors, but emulates 512 sectors and that's how it appears to the OS. This is significant for folks using Win XP, and particularly WHSv1, since they can be used "as is" without touching jumpers or running alignment software.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:07 am 
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Lawrence Lee wrote:
the Caviar Green is the only desktop drive that does this AFAIK.

Iirc it can be disabled with a little DOS utility.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 5:08 am 
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Olle P wrote:
This review provides two eye-brow raisers to me:

1. Both disks have a measured noise level more than 10 dB below their advertised values!

2. In most applications the 5400 rpm disk isn't as far behind the 7200 rpm disk as I'd expect.

1. Actually, both drives cite acoustics in BELs, which is sound power, not decibels @ 1m, which is SPL. The latter is what we report. There's no easy formula to convert one to the other, but the rough -10 difference is typical for HDDs. F4 2tb is rated at 2.5/2.8 bels idle/seek, while XT is rated 2.8/3.2 bels.

2. Higher areal density of the F4 helps: 3 667gb platters vs 4 500gb platters in the XT.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:40 am 
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Anyone have experience with these drives setting CCTL or ERC? Equivalent of WD's TLER - time-limited error recovery, to prevent it from dropping out of RAID arrays.

The WD20EADS is getting more difficult to find (the last drive I've used that lets you set TLER). EARS that I've used doesn't support the setting, and Hitachi's are too noisy!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:12 am 
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@MikeC

I for one would be interested in the spinup times of the large (1TB and up) slow spinning media drives.

Because normally I let my mini-server go to sleep (suspend to RAM) as soon as possible only to wake it up when really needed by sending it a Wake-On-Lan signal from my work PC. But if if takes "too long" for the drive to spin up I'll have to let my server be up and running more than I really would like. [But maybe the time-to-ready are more or less the same for the various brands - I really don't know...]

So if possible could you please also document these values in your reviews. I and hopefully also a few other SPCR readers would be very grateful indeed.

Big thanks for all your work by the way.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:17 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
1. Actually, both drives cite acoustics in BELs, which is sound power, not decibels...
It says bels, meaning it's just the "deci" prefix that's been left out. source

Cheers
Olle


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:39 pm 
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Olle P wrote:
MikeC wrote:
1. Actually, both drives cite acoustics in BELs, which is sound power, not decibels...
It says bels, meaning it's just the "deci" prefix that's been left out. source

That info is out of date. It's technically correct. No question decibel was derived from bel, the original term, but it quickly became preferred, as bel was so coarse. (2 bels is twice as loud as one... while 1 dB increase or drop is very subtle.)

For at least a decade or two, the widely accepted usage in acoustic metrics has been BEL or bel only for sound power measurements, and decibels exclusively for sound pressure. It was to avoid confusion between sound power and sound pressure units... since they all use the same bel as the root. Just search around for real usage. There are probably exceptions here and there, but most acoustics pros follow this.

If Seagate and Samsung are really reporting 25 and 28 dBA/1m SPL idle noise for these drives, that's absurd, they should fire their acoustics team.... and hire SPCR! :lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 1:41 pm 
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Olle P wrote:
It says bels, meaning it's just the "deci" prefix that's been left out. source

1 Bel = 10*deciBel in SOUND POWER
1 Bel = Sqrt(10)*deciBel in SOUND PRESSURE.

Iirc our hearing "measures" sound pressure.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:18 pm 
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I would have been awesome if the 3 platter WD20EARS was in the test. I'm waiting for the F4 to arive where i live and will chose then. Those 2 seem the best options for 2TB "green" drives. But which one is the better choice... :?


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:54 am 
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twitch wrote:
Very nicely done. I prefer spcr's reviews better than others commonly seen on other hardware sites. I just wish you'd do more. I like that you hit on two aspects that we're most concerned about - noise and power utilization.

Looking forward to your 3 platter <...>caviar green 2tb review. <...>
The 2TB 3-platter would be so close to the 1.5 TB (http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1004-page5.html), I doubt they would bother with reviewing the 2TB.

Marc


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:44 pm 
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~El~Jefe~ wrote:
really nice drive, the green one at least.

200 dollars is crazy for a 2TB drive. I think so at least. shrugs.

Does the green one park or go idle whatever ever? I am thinking that this is a fantastic drive for what I am building, using an old amd64 pc and putting 2 of these in it for a storage place. I wouldnt want it parking though....


For what it is and for its capabilities, I would have to say that the price is pretty decent. I'm also taking into consideration that it's a Seagate hard drive. Most seagate products are on the pricey side and for valid reason . . . they're good! Western Digital is just as good, but their products have a tendency to break or falter very easily. However, I'm going solely by my experiences.

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 Post subject: Re: Samsung EcoGreen F4 & Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB Hard Driv
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 1:29 pm 
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Got myself a F4 2TB drive...and my boot time is much better in a freshly installed Windows 7 with programs and such than in this review.

Boottimer measures 44-46 seconds.

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 Post subject: Re: Samsung EcoGreen F4 & Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB Hard Driv
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:34 am 
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Sorry for brigging back up an old thread, but if you get the HD204UI, be aware that under certain conditions, write errors may be reported and bad blocks may appear on the disk.
For more info, check out this link : http://sourceforge.net/apps/trac/smartm ... GBadBlocks

You should update it with this patch from samsung : http://www.samsung.com/global/business/ ... msg_id=386

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