I just got a F3 also, I unplugged everything except PSU, seeks are very quiet (even with AAM disabled) but I only care about idle noise which perhaps is a little bit louder than the WD6400AAKS (the WD is really a great drive) and my HD Tune graphs show massive regular dips about every 7 seconds
I have seen this problem elsewhere on the net with these drives and have heard quite a few examples of dead drives, also my own days old new F3 has already "lost more health" in ActiveSmart than my 18month old WD Blue OS drive
Unlike the other 3 different model drives I have , the F3 seems to do this depending on which SATA port I use. Weird.
Its a new formatted drive with indexing disabled so not sure whats going on
Anyway when plugged into a sata port it liked, in terms of average read transfer rate vs the WD Blue it was 111ms vs 85ms .
F3 has 500gb platters, older WD6400AAKS has 320gb platters.
Random access time was 14.4ms vs 12.3ms in favour of the WD Blue.
Short-stroking them both to anywhere between 60gb-400gb (as I would for OS + games) gave the F3 a bigger statistical advantage, namely read transfer avge of 130ms vs 100ms and still behind on seeks by about 0.5-1ms.
Not sure which is best for an OS + gaming drive, random access or transfer rates, I personally dont move large programs like games etc around much, I install a bunch that stay on all year.
I do a ton of quicksaves and quickloads though , which OS drive would you reccommend given my short-stroke results above?