Samsung EcoGreen F2 500GB / platter is out!

Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

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TooNice
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Post by TooNice » Thu Apr 02, 2009 3:06 am

The drives has been around for at least a month now (if not two or three), yet I can't seem to find a single review, let alone one that compares it with the WD GP. Are most people simply not too bothered comparing the two?

flyingsherpa
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Post by flyingsherpa » Sat Apr 04, 2009 3:02 pm

Yeah, I can't find any reviews either. I'd like to stick one of these in my series 2 tivo to expand capacity and reduce noise. But I want to make sure it's really quiet...

Benjiro
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Post by Benjiro » Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:52 am

Your not finding a review, because nobody has one in stock.

German Pricewatch = 0 results.
Several shops that get new tech fast = No Samsung above 1TB ( but they do have the WD's ).

Internet search = 0 in stock.

Its another paper launch. Samsung has done that before with some of its hd's. Or they found a last minute problem... And they did not want to end up like Seagate.

MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:21 am

From my own experience, Samsung drives are better made and packaged to the consumer than a WD equivalent. Samsung drives are mostly made in their own country, Korea, whereas WD outsources to Thailand and Malaysia for manufacturing. (I'd definitely go for a Made in Malaysia drive over a Thailand one if I had the choice.) Samsung pack it in a clamshell package with manual and screws for the average user, while WD pack it in a standard anti-static bag only. This does not make a difference to the experienced user, but for the average one, it shows a lot more thought for them on Samsung's part.
You're not comparing retail packaged drives at all. afaik, Samsung doesn't offer any. You describe their standard OEM packaging. WD, on the other hands, offers two distinctly different packages: One for OEM and another for retail. You describe their OEM package, which is just in the antistatic bag. Their retail package is in a full color cardboard box, like Hitachi's. Finally, I don't think the country of manufacture matters a wit. The factories are almost completely automated.

Regarding reviews, afaik, Samsung has not offered samples to any reviewers for a couple of years. This is certainly true of Samsung Canada, and of Samsung US as well, afaik. Hence the absence of reviews, whether the product is in the marketplace or not. 99% of tech sites depend on free samples.

BUT!.... A thoughtful SPCR enthusiast who lives not far from Vancouver has generously offered to allow a couple of the single platter 500gb ecogreens to make a stopover at our lab in transit from newegg.ca, so we should have a review up in a couple of weeks.

cfp
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Post by cfp » Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:28 am

They're certainly available in the UK as I bought 8 of them a week or so ago. They seem pretty damn quiet as despite having that many of them I can't hear them over my computer's background fan noise.

trxman
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Post by trxman » Sat Apr 11, 2009 6:49 am

any info on when will 1.5TB F2 be available worldwide?

Benjiro
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Post by Benjiro » Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:23 pm

trxman wrote:any info on when will 1.5TB F2 be available worldwide?
I've seen several stores in Europe with dates showing this week, or next week for availability, but none of them have it available.

At the same time, i'm somewhat disappointed by the price.

Over here, you can get the 1.5TB Seagate for 115€ to 125€, yet the Samsung costs 145€ or higher. So, for a few watt power saving, and a 5400rpm, instead off a 7200rpm, you are paying +- 10 to 20% more...

Its even worse, when you look at the Western Digital's 1.5TB, en 2TB drives. Even the 1.5TB WD asks a premium for there slower "green" drive. You can guess, i've ordered the Seagates today ;)

trxman
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Post by trxman » Tue Apr 14, 2009 4:51 pm

Benjiro wrote:Over here, you can get the 1.5TB Seagate for 115€ to 125€, yet the Samsung costs 145€ or higher. So, for a few watt power saving, and a 5400rpm, instead off a 7200rpm, you are paying +- 10 to 20% more...

Its even worse, when you look at the Western Digital's 1.5TB, en 2TB drives. Even the 1.5TB WD asks a premium for there slower "green" drive. You can guess, i've ordered the Seagates today ;)
but, at least, with WD and Samsung one can be sure he will not get self-locking firmware... :D

orenattar
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Got the Samsung F2 500GB

Post by orenattar » Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:47 pm

I bought the Samsung F2 500GB.
It has a slight whining sound and very noisy seeks...
Could there be different batches of the same model that sound different?

PartEleven
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Post by PartEleven » Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:04 pm

~El~Jefe~ wrote:You know...... I thought this too for a long time.

Now I finally got a block for my 3870 ati card and running a zalman reserator setup on gpu/cpu. hm. I have an S-flex mid speed 120fan on rear, a passive antec psu. nothing else moves. its not being picky but I can tell that a very annoying sound eminates from a humming hd. I have a samsung 320gb drive that was recommended at the time. Its on rubber grommets, but the vibrations still transmit. it's really annoying. I am considering a raptor, but its kinda expensive at 300gb's.
It's time to suspend, my friend.

Ksanderash
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Post by Ksanderash » Tue May 12, 2009 4:56 am

I'm thinking of getting a 500Gb F2 for a VERY silent home PC. I.e. the speed is no object here. I just need a silent storage that couldn't be heard during nights.

Any suggestions -- to buy or not to buy? :)

_MarcoM_
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Post by _MarcoM_ » Tue May 12, 2009 6:23 am

I wonder whether it is reliable. It's a relatively new technology :|
However I would like to see it reviewed on SPCR :mrgreen:

Ksanderash
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Post by Ksanderash » Tue May 12, 2009 8:21 am

_MarcoM_ wrote:I wonder whether it is reliable. It's a relatively new technology :|
However I would like to see it reviewed on SPCR :mrgreen:
Plus Barracuda LP, that is, as Seagate website says, 5900 rpm. But they will be only 1, 1.5, and 2Tb. I don't need so much Tbs right now. So as the additional platter :)

_MarcoM_
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Post by _MarcoM_ » Tue May 12, 2009 1:13 pm

Ksanderash wrote:
_MarcoM_ wrote:I wonder whether it is reliable. It's a relatively new technology :|
However I would like to see it reviewed on SPCR :mrgreen:
Plus Barracuda LP
I agree, plus Barracuda LP for me, too :)

trxman
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Post by trxman » Tue May 12, 2009 2:18 pm

just be careful choosing right firmware...




(just kidding)
:D

_MarcoM_
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Post by _MarcoM_ » Tue May 12, 2009 3:04 pm

trxman wrote:just be careful choosing right firmware...




(just kidding)
:D
OMG :lol:

Ksanderash
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Post by Ksanderash » Mon May 18, 2009 4:36 am

Hi folks. You can congratulate me on the risky purchase. I just have ordered a 500Gb F2!

It cost me 62USD, so it's not a big deal if it dies on me ;)
Last edited by Ksanderash on Mon May 18, 2009 4:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

_MarcoM_
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Post by _MarcoM_ » Mon May 18, 2009 4:42 am

Ksanderash wrote:Hi folks. You can congratulate me on the risky purchase. I just have ordered a 500Gb F2!
It cost me 62USD, so it's not a big deal if it will die on me ;)
Congratulations m8, live long and prosper to your new F2 :)
A vote here for your personal review about this disk :wink:

Ksanderash
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Post by Ksanderash » Mon May 18, 2009 4:58 am

Hey, thanks! 8) I'll post as soon as it comes. It's at the local store, just can't wait to put my hands on it.

Shamgar
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Post by Shamgar » Wed May 20, 2009 7:26 am

MikeC wrote:You're not comparing retail packaged drives at all. afaik, Samsung doesn't offer any. You describe their standard OEM packaging. WD, on the other hands, offers two distinctly different packages: One for OEM and another for retail. You describe their OEM package, which is just in the antistatic bag. Their retail package is in a full color cardboard box, like Hitachi's. Finally, I don't think the country of manufacture matters a wit. The factories are almost completely automated.
Okay. I only recently saw a retail box internal WD in an office superstore. There is a premium over OEM, but not as much as it used to be.

Since I often have to travel throughout town to get my PC parts, I sometimes ask the store where I'm buying from for some packing foam and carton as the OEM drives come with no bump protection at all. Or I take my own with me. Carrying a hard drive around town in just an AS bag isn't the best level of safety.

Looking forward to seeing SPCR's review on the F2s. And the Barracuda LP. More choices is better!

Ksanderash
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Post by Ksanderash » Wed May 20, 2009 9:53 am

So, finally, I got the drive. Turn a deaf ear to carping tongues -- it’s cool, quiet, and fast! :D 107Mb/sec at 5400?! Wow :D

Comparing the noiseness between my old HM080HC and HD502HI I can say that 3.5" is louder, but not much. It is the most silent 3.5" I’ve ever heard (also I heard the noise of WD10EADS – 1 platter EcoGreen is quieter). The temperature in idle is ~30C° (see the pic where HDD is lying). I’m yet transferring now files from the old drive to the brand-new and higher that 33C° I haven’t seen so far.

Image

P.S. And one important thing: no parking sound at all! Something clanking appears only when you disconnect the power. As you can see on the photo, there is no heads’ parking unit at all 8) That's why I'm against WDs :roll:

P.P.S. A detailed THG article with HD502HI participating.

_MarcoM_
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Post by _MarcoM_ » Wed May 20, 2009 11:52 am

Are you using F2 as a system disk or storage?
Nice to ear it is a good quiet drive :)

Ksanderash
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Post by Ksanderash » Wed May 20, 2009 11:57 am

As a system(+temporary storage) disk, of course. I don't like many spindles in my nightly living compie ;)

Btw, it will be the first night... I'm a bit anxious... If it's the right drive... :)

Shamgar
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Post by Shamgar » Thu May 21, 2009 1:09 am

Ksanderash, thank you for testing the HD502HI!

I'm also considering this drive. I have a Samsung HM160HI 2.5" as my system/temp drive. Transfer rate and access time is disappointing, so I hope to better that with a quiet 3.5". I have a spare WD6400AAKS I can use for system, but its noise is bothering me a bit, so I keep it for backup.
Ksanderash wrote:Btw, it will be the first night... I'm a bit anxious... If it's the right drive... :)
I always hear about Samsung "unreliability" on web forums and Newegg, so I'm also concerned about whether it is a good choice. Price is AUD$75 for me, same as my notebook drive.

BTW, what case is that in your pic? Do you always have the drive/s laying at the bottom on foam; is there an intake fan blowing across them?

Ksanderash
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Post by Ksanderash » Thu May 21, 2009 2:33 am

Shamgar wrote:Ksanderash, thank you for testing the HD502HI!

I'm also considering this drive. I have a Samsung HM160HI 2.5" as my system/temp drive. Transfer rate and access time is disappointing, so I hope to better that with a quiet 3.5". I have a spare WD6400AAKS I can use for system, but its noise is bothering me a bit, so I keep it for backup.
Hey, it's almost the same story with me! I also was thinking of buying HM160HI, but it turned out otherwise -- by the mistake I've received HM160HJI(hybrid), and soon I got tired hearing it doing a constant clank, so exchanged it for a Fujitsu MHW2160BH. But no luck for me this time too -- persistent 2-plattered spindle hiss+occasional parkings. So after a while I returned to my old dead-quiet 2.5" HM080HC. Btw, I have a WD 320GB 1 platter too. It was my system disk for some time past but not long -- louder than 2.5", hotter... Now I only keep a copy of working system there (in off-line mode)

Tell me about your HM160HI, pls. Does it park sometimes heads in idle?
I always hear about Samsung "unreliability" on web forums and Newegg, so I'm also concerned about whether it is a good choice. Price is AUD$75 for me, same as my notebook drive.

BTW, what case is that in your pic? Do you always have the drive/s laying at the bottom on foam; is there an intake fan blowing across them?
The case is Chieftec DH-01, a 2003 year model. I don't like it's HDD mounting place (can't insert there shock absorbers for a low resonance) so I simply put the hdds on the bottom. Nobody moves the case, and I'm unworried about the hdds. No special air convection at all -- only PSU fan on top. When it is 30C°-33C° I don't think I should insert a whining fan.

Shamgar
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Post by Shamgar » Thu May 21, 2009 4:00 am

Ksanderash wrote:Tell me about your HM160HI, pls. Does it park sometimes heads in idle? "
I am using my old computer right now -- haven't had much chance to test the new one thoroughly. When I was formatting/partitioning the HM160HI at the bottom of case on foam, I could not hear anything. Idle temp was between 22-28°C, after benchmark 29-33, after fulldisk error scan temp jumped to 40.

When I get to test it more thoroughly at night/morning silence, I will report back with regards to noise. I hope there is no surprises.

Ksanderash
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Post by Ksanderash » Thu May 21, 2009 4:47 am

Shamgar wrote:When I get to test it more thoroughly at night/morning silence, I will report back with regards to noise. I hope there is no surprises.
I see. And I will look more closely at my F2, but first impression is very positive.

summertan
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I've had it for a week

Post by summertan » Fri May 22, 2009 9:23 am

I have the EcoGreen F2 model HD502HI 500GB 5400rpm SATA 3.0 (3Gbits/s ~ 300 MBytes/s).

It's very silent, no vibration no audible high pitched spindle noise. On the other hand I easily hear it when it seeks, it's not too annoying though. That noise can be muffled down, but not totally eliminated, if you download the Samsung's ESTOOL.EXE from samsunghdd-dot-com and set the accoustic control to "quiet". It is set to "performance" by default. Setting to "quiet" decreases the read speed about 5-10%.

I measured the read/write speed, while on "performance" with DiskBench:

reading of 1GB video file: 90-95 MB/s
copy 1GB video file from C: to D: logical partition, both on the drive: 50 Mb/s
file creation and saving: 250-330 MB/s (C: partition); 340-390 MB/s (D: partition)

I compared those speeds with the 1TB 7200 rpm model: Samsung HD102UJ. Surprise surprise, both drives, the 5400rpm and 7200rpm have indistinguishable speeds (difference below 5 %). If you look at the specs on samsunghdd-dot-com you will see the specs are almost the same for the two drives. The difference is that the 7200rpm model has faint but clearly audible high pitched spindle noise. So if you need silent PC go with the 5400 rpm, it has the same speed and less noise. Both models have the seeking noise I mentioned above but it's more audible for the 7200rpm.

Now, reading speed of ~ 100 MB/s is BELOW the maximum for SATA 1.5 standard (which is 150 MB/s). I checked online reviews for both drives and they all measure about 100 MB/s read speed which is consistent with my findings. I wonder if everybody is doing something wrong because the specs of the drives cite max speed ~ 160 MB/s and nobody achieves that. The manual for the EcoGreen F2 5400rpm says you have to use a program HUTIL to manually enable SATA 3.0. I couldn't find that program on samsunghdd-dot-com but found the ESTOOL.EXE which has an option to set the maximum SATA. I checked it and mine was already set to 300, it didn't change anything. I am quite suspicious since two drives with different rpm speeds give the same reading speed, seems like there is a bottleneck somewhere that sets the maximum speed below SATA 1.5, irrespective of the HDD. It's not my motherboard, processor or RAM so I don't know ...

So I'm still waiting for the Samsung high level tech support to call me and explain how to achieve the max advertised SATA 3.0 speed.

I highly recommend this drive - I almost don't hear it on idle and "quiet" accoustic mode.

Ksanderash
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Re: I've had it for a week

Post by Ksanderash » Fri May 22, 2009 1:38 pm

summertan wrote:I have the EcoGreen F2 model HD502HI 500GB 5400rpm SATA 3.0 (3Gbits/s ~ 300 MBytes/s).
Hey, we are the crew ;)

Totally agree with everything (!) posted, except one thing:
Now, reading speed of ~ 100 MB/s is BELOW the maximum for SATA 1.5 standard (which is 150 MB/s). I checked online reviews for both drives and they all measure about 100 MB/s read speed which is consistent with my findings. I wonder if everybody is doing something wrong because the specs of the drives cite max speed ~ 160 MB/s and nobody achieves that.
SATAII = SATA2.0 = SATA/300 = 300Mb/sec limited interface is already enabled in this drive, and we can only decrease the interface mode to a minor version in the mentioned Samsung's DOS-utility ESTOOL.EXE. You simply shouldn't mix up BUFFERED speed with LINEAR speed. Linear -- it is what we get from the platters, and buffered goes from drive's cache (16Mb on F2 500Gb), and this speed can't be lasting long, it's just a little buffer, not the drive itself. The speed claimed in the manual must be buffered one. That's just a marketing related thing, don't pay much attention to paper :)

Here is the bench:
Image

Nevertheless EcoGreen F2 has the fastest linear transfer speed in the 5400rpm category (pending Barracuda LP arrival):
Image
I highly recommend this drive - I almost don't hear it on idle and "quiet" accoustic mode.
Another thumbs up for the EcoGreenF2! 8)
Last edited by Ksanderash on Fri May 22, 2009 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

summertan
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Post by summertan » Fri May 22, 2009 1:57 pm

I understand now, they need the SATA 3.0 interface for the burst from/to buffer speeds but that won't change the from/to platter speed. Yet according to Samsung from disk to buffer the max speed is 166 MB/s, from buffer to computers RAM (that's how I interpred the buffer to host speed) max speed is 300 MB/s so the max speed must be around 166 MB/s under ideal conditions.

I wonder though where the bottleneck is - why would two drives with 5400rpm and 7200rpm have close read spead of 100 MB/s. Is it some limitation in the reading electronics in the head cause everything else equal the 7200rpm drive must see faster data stream under its reading head?????
Last edited by summertan on Fri May 22, 2009 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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