Next up we have the Samsung SpinPoint F1 with the model code HD103UJ. This drive was sent to us by Quiet PC because it has such a low noise rating. As we mentioned, its design uses three platters which means it sets a new standard of areal density.
Samsung SpinPoint F1: Phew, what a performer...
Samsung’s website doesn’t offer any software for its hard drives, and the PDF installation guide is incredibly short and uninformative, so we’re somewhat in the dark about the HD103UJ. It has Native Command Queuing, staggered spin-up, perpendicular technology, FoD (Flying on Demand) and RVC (Rotational Vibration Controller). These last two features maintain control of the read/write heads as operating conditions alter, but we’re none the wiser how they do their jobs.
What we do know is that the Samsung is an impressive performer.
It delivered the fastest performance in PCMark05 and had the fastest file transfer times when the three other drives were used as data drives. File transfers within the Samsung eclipsed the other drives. Those real world tests show the Samsung at its best, but we have to sound a note of caution. In HD Tach 3, the Samsung has superb average read and write speeds and burst speed is also high. However, we saw some strange results with HD Tach in this round-up. The Western Digital also performed well in the burst speed test yet it is unquestionably a slow drive.
The CPU usage figure for the Samsung in HD Tach was higher than the other drives, but we’re only talking about four per cent, rather than the two or three per cent that we might have hoped for. However, the margin of error is plus or minus two per cent.
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 :)