Samsung F2 EcoGreen HD502HI: Silent 500GB 3.5" HDD

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Samsung F2 EcoGreen HD502HI: Silent 500GB 3.5" HDD

Post by MikeC » Sat Jun 13, 2009 10:22 pm


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Post by thejamppa » Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:01 am

Very nice review! Thank Mike.

I wonder how Samsung F2 EcoGreen 1TB 5400 RPM (HD103SI) Will match the charasterics of 500 GB drive. But still, 46€'s for the 500 GB version it is indeed very cheap in here too. Thanks mike. I might buy one for storage.

It seems much quieter than Samsung 500 GB I have as primary HDD in enclosure. Technology advances very much in couple years in HDD's.

This 500 GB drive seems to be a winner. Most likely can easily be used in Silicone cushions in P182 case and no need for suspension.

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Post by porkchop » Sun Jun 14, 2009 5:40 am

impressive indeed- i just hope the wd is just as quiet since they're more readily available around here.

now for a question: the numbers show this drive being quieter than the 2 500gb 2.5" hdds reviewed a little while back- does this mean that the only advantage 2.5" hdds have nowadays is their smaller size?

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Post by Ksanderash » Sun Jun 14, 2009 5:53 am

thejamppa
As for HD103SI I saw some not so pleasant opinions conserning it's noise fitness (starting moment, seek) :( So be watchful.

You'd better look closely at the Barracuda LP series. According to the ST31000520AS' datasheet it produces only 1.9 Bel in idle, while HD502HI is 2.2 Bel.
Last edited by Ksanderash on Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by thejamppa » Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:49 am

Ksanderash wrote:thejamppa
As for HD103SI I saw some not so pleasant opinions conserning it's noise fitness (starting moment, seek) :( So be watchful.

You'd better look closely at the Barracuda LP series. According to the ST31000520AS' datasheet it produces only 1.6 Bel in idle, while HD502HI is 2.2 Bel.
That's good note, thank you very much of it. I'll probably order that 500 GB version. It seems to be almost perfect. Barracuda LP seems noteworthy too.

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Re: Samsung F2 EcoGreen HD502HI: Silent 500GB 3.5" HDD

Post by dhanson865 » Sun Jun 14, 2009 7:28 am

MikeC wrote:Samsung F2 EcoGreen HD502HI: Silent 500GB 3.5" HDD

* It is inaudible in idle, which is the single most important HDD characteristic for low noise computing.
* Its vibration level at idle is so low than unless the PC case is particularly flimsy and resonant or placed very close to the user, there may be little benefit to mechanically decoupling the drive from the chassis. It's the first time since starting this site over seven years ago that I can write this about a 3.5" HDD.
* In seek with AAM engaged, it's a bit noisier than the WD Green 2TB, but still very quiet, and the noise may be reassuring for those who prefer to know the drive is actually working. Of course, if you're so inclined, that noise can be virtually elminated with elastic cord suspension (still the most effective way to mechanically decouple the drive from the chassis).
* Its performance is very good, with only random access falling a bit behind 7200rpm desktop drives.
* The power demands are lower than any drive tested in the past, not by some increment of a watt, but by some 1.5W at idle over its closest competitor.
* This Samsung does not employ the "head park" feature which is a source of anxiety about possible early failure in the WD Green drives.
* Finally, it's priced so low than almost anyone can afford one.
The bullet point I'm missing assuming it is true is:

* This Samsung has a unique part number so there is no chance of ordering a two platter drive by mistake which is a source of anxiety about possible issues faced when purchasing WD drives.

So tell me if you know is HD502HI enough to tell me for sure that this is the one and only model that I'll receive if I order it somewhere that might have old stock?

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Post by MikeC » Sun Jun 14, 2009 7:41 am

Ksanderash wrote:According to the ST31000520AS' datasheet it produces only 1.6 Bel in idle, while HD502HI is 2.2 Bel.
Not sure where you got 1.6 bel -- I'm looking at the LP manual and it cites 1.9 bel typical idle for the 500gb and 1tb models.
dhanson865 wrote:The bullet point I'm missing assuming it is true is:

* This Samsung has a unique part number so there is no chance of ordering a two platter drive by mistake which is a source of anxiety about possible issues faced when purchasing WD drives.

So tell me if you know is HD502HI enough to tell me for sure that this is the one and only model that I'll receive if I order it somewhere that might have old stock?
How can I possibly tell you that? I can't vouch for human errors by people working "somewhere".

AFAIK, there are two 500gb Ecogreen models: HD502HI EcoGreen F2 and HD502JI EcoGreen F1 DT. HI and JI are different enough that it would be hard for a vendor to send you one instead of the other and try to justify it -- unless the model # was not shown on the item description, in which case, you do the smart thing and ask before you buy.

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Post by winguy » Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:07 am

Hi,

Is the HDTach random access of 16.7ms with or without AAM engaged? If it is with (without) AAM, what is the random access time without (with) AAM?

Thanks. :)

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Post by scdr » Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:04 am

Small note:

The captions on the graphs are confusing. On page 2, both graphs that list SPL output for the Samsung are labled " Samsung HD502HL in idle."

Assume from the surrounding text that the second graph so labeled should say "Samsung HD502HL seek."


Looks like an interesting product. Thank you for the review.

A note about warranty length would be nice in the summary of specifications (unless that varies by country).

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Post by Ksanderash » Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:29 am

winguy wrote:Is the HDTach random access of 16.7ms with or without AAM engaged? If it is with (without) AAM, what is the random access time without (with) AAM?
AFAIK, that was with AAM at 128 value (most silent mode). And when you switch AAM OFF (most loud mode) random access time drops down to ~15.0ms in HD Tach (v3.0.1.0 or 3.0.4.0, doesn't matter)

But don't bother that much with these figures. The most important thing is firmware optimization for different patterns of the drive use.

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Post by dhanson865 » Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:44 am

MikeC wrote:
dhanson865 wrote:The bullet point I'm missing assuming it is true is:

* This Samsung has a unique part number so there is no chance of ordering a two platter drive by mistake which is a source of anxiety about possible issues faced when purchasing WD drives.

So tell me if you know is HD502HI enough to tell me for sure that this is the one and only model that I'll receive if I order it somewhere that might have old stock?
How can I possibly tell you that? I can't vouch for human errors by people working "somewhere".

AFAIK, there are two 500gb Ecogreen models: HD502HI EcoGreen F2 and HD502JI EcoGreen F1 DT. HI and JI are different enough that it would be hard for a vendor to send you one instead of the other and try to justify it -- unless the model # was not shown on the item description, in which case, you do the smart thing and ask before you buy.
I'm not talking about human error. I'm talking about how WD hard drives such as the WD3200AAKS have a sub part number that isn't advertised that is the difference between an old 2 platter drive and a new 1 platter drive.

Does Samsung play tricks with reusing old model numbers? If you don't know that's OK but it doesn't take any magic knowledge of the retailer. This is a question about the manufacturer.

Put another way the question is:

Has there ever been a two platter version of the HD502HI?

Has the HD502HI ever had platters of any density other than the 500GB platter you tested?
Last edited by dhanson865 on Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Spawn » Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:47 am

Is there a problem with the audio file?

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Post by MikeC » Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:56 am

Spawn wrote:Is there a problem with the audio file?
yes, it was a bad link, fixed. (Also fixed caption on p2)

Amazed no one tried to listen to the sound file before or complained -- the article has been read nearly 5000 times. Does anyone listen to these? If not, then maybe we should stop doing recordings? It takes a fair amount of effort for all the products reviewed.

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Post by MikeC » Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:58 am

dhanson865 wrote:Put another way the question is:

Has there ever been a two platter version of the HD502HI?

Has the HD502HI ever had platters of any density other than the 500GB platter you tested?
AH, ok.

AFAIK, no to both questions.

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Post by Ksanderash » Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:51 pm

MikeC wrote:
Spawn wrote:Is there a problem with the audio file?
yes, it was a bad link, fixed. (Also fixed caption on p2)

Amazed no one tried to listen to the sound file before or complained -- the article has been read nearly 5000 times.
Mike, I've noticed that sound link is broken, but I thought you just haven't done yet with the article, so I didn't press the panic button ;)

Noise recordings are unique zest of SPCR, don't cut them off. Can you give in the reviews a photo of the drive sitting in the anechoic chamber? Just for visualization. E.g. is it screwed in the empty computer case there or simply lying on the carpet or something?

P.S. Barracuda LP 1Tb -- you're right, there is 1.9 Bel.

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Post by Ksanderash » Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:07 pm

dhanson865
If you see a model number HD502HI that's a 500Gb single platter drive GUARANTEED! And there is no sense to Samsung corporation for spending extra resources for an additional aluminium disk since they have acheived the 500Gb p/pl density. The drive costs too low for such tricks.

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Post by MoJo » Sun Jun 14, 2009 2:43 pm

Very nice review, as always.

When you say 500GB formatted capacity, does that mean the drive's capacity as seen by the OS is actually 500GB and not the ~450GB of similar drives based on the sly GB = 1000 * 1000 * 1000 lie that most manufacturers use? Until now, only Hitachi seemed to use the true 1024 powers of two figure.

At the end of the review you say SSDs are now the best choice for a silent PC, but I have to disagree. There are still major issues with SSDs. All loose performance as time goes by, many becoming unusably slow after a month or so. Only the Intel ones reduce this slow-down to a level when it is just about acceptable, all the others introduce annoying pauses and delays. As such, I'd say HDDs are still the way to go until the problems get sorted out.

PS. Windows 7 is supposed to have better support for SSDs, which in theory should remove most of the performance issues, but it remains to be tested.

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Post by flyingsherpa » Sun Jun 14, 2009 3:55 pm

Thanks for another great review. I've been waiting for this... I really want to upgrade my Tivo with one of these drives, but wanted to be sure it had the SPCR stamp of approval. Looks like it is a winner, thanks.

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Post by mattthemuppet » Sun Jun 14, 2009 7:52 pm

kudos to Freek/ Johnathan for supplying the drives, how cool is that?

great review and what a great drive! I was very happy with my WD6400AACS GP drive until I read this, now I'm just happy :) If I were to build this (or another) system again, I'd go for this drive, if only to avoid WD's sneaky "we'll run out all the old crap by reusing model no.s then plead ignorance to RMA claims" that dhanson pointed out above.

(I thought I was being clever by getting a WD6400, I only realised after I bought the drive that I had the GP, 5400rpm version, not the 7200rpm version, though I should have checked first)

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Post by Thomas » Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:08 pm

MikeC wrote:Amazed no one tried to listen to the sound file before or complained -- the article has been read nearly 5000 times. Does anyone listen to these?
I dont use them - tried them a long time ago, but wasnt confident with the result. Speakers sounds different and tone adjustment and volume plays a factor too.

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Post by jhhoffma » Mon Jun 15, 2009 4:56 am

MikeC wrote:Amazed no one tried to listen to the sound file before or complained -- the article has been read nearly 5000 times. Does anyone listen to these? If not, then maybe we should stop doing recordings? It takes a fair amount of effort for all the products reviewed.
I only listen to the sound file when I'm personally recommending the item to someone without ever owning it or when I'm planning on buying the item myself. When I'm just reading the article to keep up to date, I don't listen.

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oranges and apples

Post by lobuni » Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:34 am

It would be great if we could now get a review of the possibly signle platter WD equivalent Caviar Green drive WD5000AADS. They list the idle noise 1 db higher than for the wd5000aacs

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Post by MoJo » Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:44 am

MikeC wrote:Amazed no one tried to listen to the sound file before or complained -- the article has been read nearly 5000 times. Does anyone listen to these? If not, then maybe we should stop doing recordings? It takes a fair amount of effort for all the products reviewed.
I only tend to listen to them if I am considering buying the product, rather than just reading the review out of interest.

I do find them useful for checking that I will be happy with the sound a drive makes. Obviously it's going to be different inside a P182 under my desk, but I find that with the recordings to back up what you say in the review text about the sound I have a pretty good idea of what I will be getting.

I suppose only you can decide if it's worth the effort. Maybe you should set up some more detailed stats for the site, see how many times the sound files are downloaded and when. My bet would be that people will start to listen to them after the review has been out for a while, and they are looking to buy components based on it. You will probably get a slow but steady stream of downloads.

One suggestion I have would be to do recordings (or just written review) of the drive/fan inside a P180. That would cover most silent enthusiasts cases, which tend to be dampened and soft mounted from factory or DIY. It would also give a realistic test to listen to.

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Post by merlin » Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:49 am

I have to admit that I generally don't listen to the sound file of a product when I first see the review. But I do like to listen when I go back to decide on actual purchasing decisions. I think the audio files are a great and unique aspect of spcr. Imho, they're most useful when making a final decision on something beyond looking at numbers.

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SpeedQ

Post by Thomas » Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

I do consider buying this Samsung disk, but I lean towards the WD Caviar SE16 640GB WD6400AAKS for speed.

However, I would like to compare the speed numbers to my Hitachi 5K160 in order to relate to something well known. If the Samsung F2 is much faster than my current 5K160, the F2 is the obvious choise for me :wink:

I was on StorageReview, but could only find the 5K160.

Anyone with firsthand experience with these drives? Or ideas to where I could look for comparable speed numbers?

Thanks :D

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Re: SpeedQ

Post by MikeC » Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:37 pm

Thomas wrote:However, I would like to compare the speed numbers to my Hitachi 5K160 in order to relate to something well known. If the Samsung F2 is much faster than my current 5K160, the F2 is the obvious choise for me :wink:
No contest. The Samsung kills it for every performance spec. Maybe even noise.

edit -- kill might be too strong, as access time is only marginally faster, but transfer speed has to be nearly double. The 5k160 areal density is 80gb per platter; the HD502HI's is 500gb/platter. This has a direct bearing on transfer speed. In HD Tach write speed of the Samsung was 87mb/s. Storagereview reported write speed of their 5k160 sample as 47.5mb/s.

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Post by colin2 » Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:39 pm

1. I share porkchop's interest in how to compare this with 2.5" drives. My experience with 2.5s has been good in terms of noise and power. And they're easy to suspend.

2. I'm planning a new PC combining the Intel X-25M (80GB), for OS and apps, with a larger HDD for storing documents. In that application would this Samsung offer any special advantage? I think the 2.5" still idles at less watts.

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Post by porkchop » Tue Jun 16, 2009 3:31 am

oh snap! forgot about power consumption.

so i guess the advantages are less power and smaller size- though i'd expect a single platter 2.5" to be even more quiet.

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Post by trandy1001 » Tue Jun 16, 2009 4:23 am

I just recently purchased the 1TB version of this drive (Ecogreen F2).

I am pleased to report that it is the best overall drive I've ever used, it is almost as fast as the 500gb single platter Seagate 7200.12 drive I use as a system drive and has better vibrational characteristics than the 640gb WD green drive I used for storage. Seek is audible, but it is very low tonally and something I can live with. All of these drives have been very good and come highly recommended.

To contrast, I had to sell a hitatchi 1TB 3-platter drive because I could not get it to behave acoustically. It vibrated enough to cause pleasure. That was bad news.

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Post by MikeC » Tue Jun 16, 2009 4:27 am

porkchop wrote:oh snap! forgot about power consumption.

so i guess the advantages are less power and smaller size- though i'd expect a single platter 2.5" to be even more quiet.
We've tested only a couple of 2.5" drives in the anechoic chamber so far but I don't think any of them are either quieter or have lower vibration -- unless you go back to much lower capacity single-platter models which are not even available any more anyway. The 500gb 5400rpm drives we reviewed recently are 3-4 dBA/1m noisier at idle and have at least as much vibration as the "frEEk" HD520HI samples.

Our Audio PC, with fanless Silverstone PSU and 45W AMD 64 X2 4850e, has just one 500rpm Scythe fan on a Ninja heatsink. Housed in an Antec 3480. Until recently, it had a WD Caviar 640 in a Smartdrive enclosure on a soft pad on the bottom, which became the obviously loudest thing in the whole room after the other PC in the room was outfitted with an SSD and was left with only one 500rpm fan. The Audio PC was going to get the same treatment, but the SSD for it was going to be otherwise occupied for a while, so a Seagate 500gb 5400 Momentus was put in place temporarily -- softmounted on the bottom, not enclosed.

Right now, that 2.5" HDD is the loudest thing in the room. I'm quite sure a Samsung HD520HI would be significantly quieter. I have another coming in this week, will let you know whether this is true.

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