The software appears to predate the Hitachi buyout of the IBM hard drive business as it is identified as IBM Ftool but it works perfectly and does a top job.
You might be tempted to use the AAM (Automatic Acoustic Management) slider control to back off the Performance default and head to the Quiet end of the scale, but we advise that you leave well alone. Although the Hitachi 7K1000 is the noisiest hard drive in this round-up it is still virtually silent.
The test PC that we used to run the hard drives was built around a passively cooled Abit IP35 Pro motherboard with a quiet Zalman cooler on the Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 CPU. The MSI NX8800GT graphics card and Enermax Liberty 620W power supply are also relatively quiet pieces of hardware, and in practice all fours hard drives were effectively silent when they were idling. When the drives were working away during our benchmark tests they were audible but the difference between the quietest drive – the WD, at 27dBa - and the Hitachi's 32dBa was less significant than the 5dBA may suggest.
The biggest contribution to the ambient noise level was Windows Vista as it keeps your hard drive ticking away almost non-stop. Where XP allows the drive to idle silently between jobs, Vista seems determined to keep the drive busy indexing its contents ceaselessly.
To test the drives we installed Vista Ultimate Edition SP1 on each drive in turn and then used each of the other three drives as a data drive.
The Hitachi set a decent benchmark for performance as a standalone drive in PCMark05 and also as a data drive when we ran HD Tach 3. File transfers within the Hitachi were faster than the Seagate and Western Digital but a fair amount slower than the Samsung. With the Hitachi as the Windows drive, we saw fast transfer times with the Samsung and Seagate as data drives. However, the Western Digital lagged. When the Hitachi was used as a data drive it performed at a very similar rate with all three drives but the performance was middling.
If you fancy a Hitachi 7K1000 we suggest you use it as your main Windows drive and not as a secondary data drive.
As others have pointed out, you need to get your act together re: pricing.
The Samsung is the cheapest, the fastest and the quietest. Only the Seagate comes near.
The only other factor is reliability; In my experience, the Hitachi is trailing (along with Maxtor) and the the Samsung & Seagate are up in front, but YMMV.
Seagate = Shitegate
Well I can only agree with Steve Roper about Seagate drives.
I've had 10 replaced in the last 5 years. All different sizes. They don't seem to cope too well with BitTorrent and other P2P programs.
I have had 2 Maxtors and 2 Samsungs in the same period - all still work, but the Samsungs are VERY slow.
I am in the market for 4 x 750gb drives and I will be going WD or Samsung only.
Seems to me my experience is as varied as everyone elses' - I have found Maxtor and Hitachi/IBM to be dreadful, and WD to be the best by far for reliability.
I've not had any first hand experience of Samsung but I've never wanted to buy one as they've not been around as long as the other major manufacturers.
I've had 4 WDs in a RAID 5 array for 2 years constantly at home in a server, in a cupboard normally reaching 30 C at times, and not one has failed yet, touch wood! Not had any problems with them at work either.
Gotta hand it to the reg, it may not have included some information which a lot of us would have found useful, but it's by far the most detailed review I've ever seen on reg hardware!
Things can only get better (I hope!)
>Hitachi seem to me to be the most reliable drives around.
Just goes to show how personal bias/experience can colour these things.
After a bad experience of IBM/Hitachi drives repeatedly failing (and a few Samsungs too) I am loathe to touch either manufacturers drives .
Personal choice has always been for Maxtors with Seagate being second choice alongside WD.
The good thing is though, looking at the review, I am pleasantly suprised at how close they are to each other, we never had it so good :)