Samsung’s Spinpoint F1 hard drive

Manufacturer Samsung
Model Spinpoint F1 (1TB)
Price (Street)
Availability Now

If asked to name a hard drive manufacturer, most folks are likely to point to Seagate or Western Digital. Some might even mention Hitachi or Maxtor, but Samsung? Probably not. Samsung’s hard drives have seemingly been lost in the flurry of flat-screen televisions, cell phones, MP3 players, printers, and other products in the consumer electronics giant’s portfolio. That’s really a shame, because Samsung’s latest Spinpoint F1 hard drive is quite an achievement.

The F1 is Samsung’s first stab at the terabyte mark, and it comes to the party a little late. Hitachi’s Deskstar 7K1000 first broke the terabyte seal last year, and it was followed by Western Digital’s Caviar GP and Seagate’s Barracuda 7200.11. However, what makes the F1 special isn’t its terabyte capacity, but how Samsung has packed that much storage capacity into the drive. Hitachi achieves a terabyte using five 200GB platters. Seagate and Western Digital use four 250GB platters. Samsung needs only three platters, each of which packs a whopping 334GB.

By squeezing 33% more capacity per platter than its closest competitor, Samsung has bestowed upon the Spinpoint F1 a huge potential performance advantage over its rivals. The lower platter count should also help to lower the drive’s power consumption and noise levels and even improve its reliability. This all sounds like a recipe for success, but how does it pan out in the real world? The folks at NCIX hooked us up with a Spinpoint F1 and we’ve tested it against two dozen other drives to find out, with enlightening results.

The drive

Samsung’s 334GB platters are arguably the most important element of the Spinpoint F1 not only because they represent a technical milestone that is a marked improvement over what the competition has been able to accomplish to date, but because areal density plays a large role in defining a hard drive’s performance. Areal density is a measure of bits per unit area; the more gigabytes one can squeeze onto a hard drive platter, the higher its areal density. This factor influences performance perspective because higher areal densities allow the drive head to access more data over shorter physical distances, which can lead to higher sequential transfer rates.

Maximum external transfer
rate
300MB/s
Maximum internal transfer
rate
175MB/s
Average rotational latency 4.17ms
Average read seek time 8.9ms
Spindle speed 7,200RPM
Available capacities 320, 500, 750GB, 1TB
Cache size 8MB (320, 500GB)
16MB
(320, 500, 750GB, 1TB)
32MB (750GB, 1TB)
Platter size 334GB
Idle acoustics 2.45-2.7 bels
Seek acoustics 2.75-2.9 bels
Idle power consumption 5.4-8.2W
Seek power consumption 9.5-13.4W
Read/write power
consumption
8.0-9.5W
Warranty length Three years
Component design life Five years

Given its use of 334GB platters, you would think Samsung would offer two additional F1 variants to accompany the terabyte model: a 334GB model using a single platter and a two-platter model with 668GB of capacity. And you would be wrong. Instead, Samsung is sticking to the industry-standard capacities embraced by its competitors, extending the F1 down to 750, 500, and 320GB. It’s hard to see the rationale behind such a move. Those lower capacities leave a respective 250, 168, and 14GB of unused platter capacity on the table, which strikes us as unnecessarily wasteful.

In addition to the various capacities, Samsung offers the F1 with between 8 and 32MB of cache. 32MB is reserved for high-end models with 750GB and 1TB of capacity, but every drive in the range is available with 16MB. They all spin at 7,200RPM, as well—a feat not yet matched by Western Digital’s terabyte offerings.

We’ve already discussed how the F1’s areal density can improve transfer rates and allow for terabyte capacities with fewer platters, but there are further benefits to be reaped in the area of power consumption. With only three platters, the Spinpoint’s drive motor has less weight to spin, which takes less energy and thus consumes less power. We’ve also found that drives with fewer platters tend to generate less noise than those with more, likely because drive motors tend to run louder the harder they’re working.

There’s even a potential reliability benefit to a drive with fewer platters. Head crashes are the most catastrophic of common hard drive failures. With fewer platters presenting themselves as potential candidates for warping or targets for a wandering drive head, the F1 has a statistically lower chance of failure than drives with four or five platters. That assumes, of course, that all other elements within the drive are equal, which they’re not.

Even so, that’s a good segue into Samsung’s warranty coverage for the F1, which lasts for three years—the de facto industry standard for desktop hard drives. Interestingly, the F1’s component design life specifications suggest the drive should last an additional two years before it begins to degrade.

Test notes
We’ll be comparing the performance of the Spinpoint F1 with that of a slew of competitors, including some of the latest and greatest Serial ATA drives from Hitachi, Maxtor, Samsung, Seagate, and Western Digital. These drives differ when it comes to external transfer rates, spindle speeds, cache sizes, platter densities, NCQ support, and capacity, all of which can have an impact on performance. Keep in mind the following differences as we move through our benchmarks:


Max external
transfer rate

Spindle speed

Cache size

Platter size

Capacity

Native Command
Queuing?

Barracuda 7200.7
NCQ
150MB/s 7,200-RPM 8MB 80GB 160GB Yes

Barracuda 7200.8
150MB/s 7,200-RPM 8MB 133GB 400GB Yes

Barracuda 7200.9
(160GB)
300MB/s 7,200-RPM 8MB 160GB 160GB Yes

Barracuda 7200.9
(500GB)
300MB/s 7,200-RPM 16MB 125GB 500GB Yes

Barracuda 7200.10
300MB/s 7,200-RPM 16MB 188GB 750GB Yes

Barracuda 7200.11
300MB/s 7,200-RPM 32MB 250GB 1TB Yes

Barracuda ES
300MB/s 7,200-RPM 16MB 188GB 750GB Yes

Barracuda ES.2
300MB/s 7,200-RPM 32MB 250GB 1TB Yes

Caviar GP
300MB/s 5,400-7,200-RPM 16MB 250GB 1TB Yes

Caviar SE16
300MB/s 7,200-RPM 16MB 83GB 250GB No


Caviar SE16 (500GB)
300MB/s 7,200-RPM 16MB 125GB 500GB Yes


Caviar SE16 (750GB)
300MB/s 7,200-RPM 16MB 188GB 750GB Yes

Caviar RE2
150MB/s 7,200-RPM 16MB 100GB 400GB Yes

Caviar RE2 (500GB)
300MB/s 7,200-RPM 16MB 125GB 500GB Yes

Deskstar 7K500
300MB/s 7,200-RPM 16MB 100GB 500GB Yes

Deskstar 7K1000
300MB/s 7,200-RPM 32MB 200GB 1TB Yes

DiamondMax 10
150MB/s 7,200-RPM 16MB 100GB 300GB Yes

DiamondMax 11
300MB/s 7,200-RPM 16MB 125GB 500GB Yes

Raptor WD740GD
150MB/s 10,000RPM 8MB 37GB 74GB No*


Raptor X
150MB/s 10,000RPM 16MB 75GB 150GB Yes


Raptor WD1500ADFD
150MB/s 10,000RPM 16MB 75GB 150GB Yes

RE2

(750GB)

300MB/s

7,200-RPM

16MB

188GB

750GB

Yes

Spinpoint F1
300MB/s 7,200-RPM 32MB 334GB 1TB Yes

Spinpoint T
300MB/s 7,200-RPM 16MB 133GB 400GB Yes

Note that the 250GB Caviar SE16 and the Raptor WD740GD lack support for Native Command Queuing. The WD740GD does support a form of command queuing known as Tagged Command Queuing (TCQ), but host controller and chipset support for TCQ is pretty thin. Our Intel 955X-based test platform doesn’t support TCQ.

We have test results from several versions of Western Digital’s Caviar SE16 and RE2. To avoid confusion, we’ll be listing their capacities in parentheses in each of our graphs.

Since Seagate makes versions of the 7200.7 both with and without NCQ support, the 7200.7 in our tests appears as the “Barracuda 7200.7 NCQ” to clarify that it’s the NCQ version of the drive. The other drives aren’t explicitly labeled as NCQ drives because they’re not available without NCQ support.

Finally, we should note that our WD1500ADFD has a slightly newer firmware revision than the Raptor X sample we’ve had since February 2006. The drives still share identical internals, but firmware optimizations could give our newer Raptor an edge over the X in some tests.

Performance data from such a daunting collection of drives can make our graphs a little hard to read, so I’ve highlighted the Spinpoint F1 in bright yellow and its high-capacity competitors—the Barracuda 7200.11 and ES.2, the Deskstar 7K1000, the Caviar GP and RE2-GP, and the Caviar SE16 and RE2 750GB—in pale yellow to set them apart from the others. We also have two sets of IOMeter graphs: one with all the drives, and another with just the Spinpoint F1 and its direct rivals. Most of our analysis will be limited to how the F1 compares with its direct rivals, so it should be easy to follow along.

Our testing methods
All tests were run three times, and their results were averaged, using the following test system.

Processor Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.4GHz
System bus 800MHz (200MHz quad-pumped)
Motherboard Asus P5WD2 Premium
Bios revision 0422
North bridge Intel 955X MCH
South bridge Intel ICH7R
Chipset drivers Chipset 7.2.1.1003
AHCI/RAID 5.1.0.1022
Memory size 1GB (2 DIMMs)
Memory type Micron DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz
CAS latency (CL) 3
RAS to CAS delay (tRCD) 3
RAS precharge (tRP) 3
Cycle time (tRAS) 8
Audio codec ALC882D
Graphics Radeon X700 Pro 256MB with CATALYST 5.7 drivers
Hard drives Hitachi 7K500 500GB SATA
Western Digital Caviar SE16 750GB SATA
Maxtor DiamondMax 10 300GB SATA
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 NCQ 160GB SATA
Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 400GB SATA
Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 160GB SATA
Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 500GB SATA
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 750GB SATA
Western Digital Caviar SE16 250GB SATA
Western Digital Caviar RE2 400GB SATA
Western Digital Raptor WD740GD 74GB SATA
Western Digital Raptor X 150GB SATA
Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB SATA
Western Digital Caviar RE2 500GB SATA
Western Digital Caviar SE16 500GB SATA
Seagate Barracuda ES 750GB SATA
Samsung SpinPoint T 400GB SATA
Maxtor DiamondMax 11 500GB SATA
Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 1TB SATA
Western Digital RE2 750GB SATA
Western Digital Caviar GP 1TB SATA
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1TB SATA
Seagate Barracuda ES.2 1TB SATA
Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB SATA
OS Windows XP Professional
OS updates Service Pack 2

Thanks to the folks at Newegg for hooking us up with the DiamondMax 11 we used for testing. Also, thanks to NCIX for getting us the Deskstar 7K1000 and Spinpoint F1.

Our test system was powered by OCZ PowerStream power supply units. The PowerStream was one of our Editor’s Choice winners in our last PSU round-up.

We used the following versions of our test applications:

The test systems’ Windows desktop was set at 1280×1024 in 32-bit color at an 85Hz screen refresh rate. Vertical refresh sync (vsync) was disabled for all tests.

All the tests and methods we employed are publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.

WorldBench overall performance
WorldBench uses scripting to step through a series of tasks in common Windows applications. It then produces an overall score. WorldBench also spits out individual results for its component application tests, allowing us to compare performance in each. We’ll look at the overall score, and then we’ll show individual application results.

Samsung gets off to a good start with the F1 taking top honors in WorldBench. Of course, it’s not alone at the top, sharing the limelight with a trio of Western Digital drives. Note that the Spinpoint does score better than four other terabyte offerings, though.

Multimedia editing and encoding

MusicMatch Jukebox

Windows Media Encoder

Adobe Premiere

VideoWave Movie Creator

Scores are generally tight through WorldBench’s multimedia editing and encoding tests, with Premiere the only real exception. There, the Spinpoint reigns supreme with a seven-second advantage over its closest competitor and up to 22 seconds over the slowest terabyte drive in the bunch.

Image processing

Adobe Photoshop

ACDSee PowerPack

ACDSee spreads the field a little, and again, the Spinpoint comes out on top. This time it ties a couple of 750GB Western Digital drives, but still maintains a lead over the entire terabyte pack.

Multitasking and office applications

Microsoft Office

Mozilla

Mozilla and Windows Media Encoder

WorldBench’s office and multitasking tests don’t usually tease out performance differences between drives, but the multitasking test sees the Spinpoint stretch its legs a little. The 12-second advantage the F1 has over its closest competitor in that test only works out to about 2%. However, even a small performance gap is notable in a test that produces so few.

Other applications

WinZip

Nero

WinZip and Nero both stress the storage subsystem, and in the former, the Spinpoint climbs to the top of the podium once more. Nero pushes the F1 to third place behind a couple of 750GB drives, but that still puts the Spinpoint ahead of the terabyte field.

Boot and load times
To test system boot and game level load times, we busted out our trusty stopwatch.

For whatever reason, our test system takes its sweet time booting into Windows with terabyte hard drives. The F1 is no exception, although among the terabyte drives we’ve tested, it’s marginally the fastest.

Level load times are mixed for the F1. In Doom 3, the Spinpoint beats its closest rivals and falls short of only a couple of 10K-RPM Raptors. Far Cry sees the Spinpoint in the middle of the field, a couple of seconds off the pace set by the fastest terabyte offering, which in this case is the Deskstar 7K1000.

File Copy Test
File Copy Test is a pseudo-real-world benchmark that times how long it takes to create, read, and copy files in various test patterns. File copying is tested twice: once with the source and target on the same partition, and once with the target on a separate partition. Scores are presented in MB/s.

To make things easier to read, we’ve busted out our FC-Test results into individual graphs for each test pattern. We’ll tackle file creation performance first.

Wins in three of five test patterns get the Spinpoint off to a good start in FC-Test’s file creation tests. Even if the F1 doesn’t manage to top the field with the Install and Windows test patterns, it still manages higher transfer rates than the rest of the terabyte drives.

Apparently unwilling to concede victory in any test pattern in our read tests, the Spinpoint sweeps the field. It does so in style, too, breaking 100MB/s with the ISO test pattern and enjoying a sizable lead over the next fastest drive with each test pattern.

FC-Test – continued
Next, File Copy Test combines read and write tasks with some, er, copy tests.

The Spinpoint’s FC-Test domination continues as we move to file copy tests, where the F1 again runs the table. Seagate’s Barracuda 7200.11 makes it interesting with the ISO test pattern, which includes just a few very large files, but the F1’s margin of victory is otherwise significant.

FC-Test’s second wave of copy tests involves copying files from one partition to another on the same drive.

Copying from partition to partition produces similar results for the F1, which again sweeps the field in dramatic fashion.

iPEAK multitasking
We’ve developed a series of disk-intensive multitasking tests to highlight the impact of command queuing on hard drive performance. You can get the low-down on these iPEAK-based tests here. The mean service time of each drive is reported in milliseconds, with lower values representing better performance.

Our initial wave of iPEAK multitasking workloads produces mixed results with the F1. The drive starts off well in the dual file copy test and heads to the front of the class with workloads that involve file copy operations. However, the drive’s performance with workloads that swap our file copy operation for a VirtualDub import is considerably less spectacular. With those workloads, the F1 actually slips behind all of its direct rivals.

iPEAK multitasking – con’t

Through our second wave of iPEAK workloads, the F1 continues to fare much better when we use a file copy operation as our secondary task. When that secondary operation switches to a VirtualDub import, the Spinpoint falls way back, turning in response times slower than all of its closest competitors.

IOMeter – Transaction rate
IOMeter presents a good test case for command queuing. To keep things easy to read, we’ve busted out two sets of graphs here. The first includes the Spinpoint and its closest competitors, while the second has results for all the drives we’ve tested. With over two dozen drives, those latter graphs are a little difficult to read, so we’ll focus our attention on the first set and the F1’s direct rivals.

Samsung doesn’t intend for the Spinpoint F1 to be used in disk-intensive multi-user environments, and looking at the drive’s IOMeter results, it’s easy to see why. Only the Deskstar 7K1000 is slower than the Spinpoint here, and the Hitachi at least makes an effort to ramp transaction rates as we hit the highest loads. The F1’s performance profile is much shallower by comparison, and well off the pace set by the bulk of the pack.

Good luck with these, folks.

IOMeter – Response time

As one might expect, the F1’s IOMeter response times are the lowest of its direct rivals. Things look particularly dire for the Spinpoint under the most demanding loads, which assault the drive with up to 256 concurrent I/O requests.

IOMeter – CPU utilization

Despite low transaction rates and slow response times, the Spinpoint at least manages competitive CPU utilization in IOMeter. However, given how tightly-packed all our drives are, that’s not saying a whole lot.

HD Tach
We tested HD Tach with the benchmark’s full variable zone size setting.

With by far the highest areal density of the lot, it’s no surprise to see the Spinpoint smoke the field in sustained sequential transfer rates. The F1’s closest competition here is Seagate’s Barracuda 7200.11, whose 250GB platters fall 84GB short of those in the F1.

Burst speeds are all about cache performance, and the F1 looks pretty snappy here, as well. Sure, it doesn’t quite match the prowess displayed by the Seagate drives, but the Spinpoint is quicker than the terabyte Deskstar and everything in Western Digital’s stable.

The F1’s 13.7-millisecond HD Tach random access time puts the drive just about exactly in the middle of its closest competitors. This isn’t a bad place to be, although it’s worth noting that both the Caviar GP and RE2-GP spin at significantly less than 7,200RPM.

HD Tach’s CPU utilization results are well within the app’s +/- 2% margin of error in this test.

Noise levels
Noise levels were measured with an Extech 407727 Digital Sound Level meter 1″ from the side of the drives at idle and under an HD Tach seek load. Drives were run with the PCB facing up.

For all intents and purposes, the Spinpoint F1 is every bit as quiet at idle as Western Digital’s GreenPower drives. That’s an impressive feat considering that the GPs have the luxury of spindle speeds that are much closer to 5,400RPM than 7,200RPM. Noise levels rise as the drive is seeking, and although the Spinpoint is audibly louder than the GreenPower drives here, it’s still quieter than terabyte drives that share its 7,200RPM spindle speed.

Power consumption
For our power consumption tests, we measured the voltage drop across a 0.1-ohm resistor placed in line with the 5V and 12V lines connected to each drive. Through the magic of Ohm’s Law, we were able to calculate the power draw from each voltage rail and add them together for the total power draw of the drive.

Having fewer platters pays off for the Spinpoint in our power consumption tests, where the drive sips less juice than any of our 7,200RPM terabyte contenders. The F1 isn’t quite as power-efficient as Western Digital’s GPs, of course, but that’s to be expected given their lower spindle speed.

Conclusions

The fact that Samsung, a relatively small player in the hard drive market, is the first to offer a three-platter terabyte drive is an impressive feat in itself. But this is more than just a symbolic milestone. The Spinpoint F1 employs its three 334GB platters to provide incredible performance with low power consumption and noise levels.

The transfer rates this drive can sustain are staggering, and as we saw in our FC-Test results, it makes little difference whether you’re throwing the drive a heaping helping of smaller files or just a few extremely large ones. Other terabyte drives—or even Raptors—are simply no match for the F1 if you’re pushing files around. WorldBench performance is good, too, and the Spinpoint fared pretty well in our disk-intensive multitasking tests.

Perhaps more impressive than the F1’s performance are its acoustics, which are surprisingly low. The drive is easily the quietest 7,200-RPM terabyte drive we’ve ever tested, and at idle, its noise levels are all but identical to those of Western Digital’s near-silent GreenPower drives. Having only three platters to propel also helps the F1 achieve the lowest power consumption we’ve seen from a terabyte drive spinning at 7,200RPM.

Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB
February 2008

If the Spinpoint has a weakness, it’s the drive’s performance under multi-user workloads simulated by our IOMeter testing. The F1 just doesn’t scale well as the number of simultaneous I/O requests increases, ruling it out as a candidate for demanding server-class environments. However, this weakness does little to harm the drive’s competency in desktop applications, its true mission in life.

The Spinpoint F1 1TB can currently be had for as little as $270 online, which is a fantastic price given the drive’s blend of blistering performance with blissfully low noise levels. In fact, this drive is such a good value that we’ve given it our coveted Editor’s Choice award. Samsung may not be the first name you associate with hard drives, but if you’re shopping for a high-capacity storage upgrade, the Spinpoint F1 should be at the top of your list.

Comments closed
    • JeffC
    • 10 years ago

    I want to put one of these in a new QNAP TS119 single Drive NAS but I am a bit concerned about the iometer test results that tend to show that this drive does not scale in a multi-user env. I might have one of my daughters streaming MP3’s while someone else streaming video from this source.
    I wonder whether the Ecogreen would be better choice? or would suffer the same in this respect?

    Jeff

    • prf
    • 11 years ago

    I appreciate the effort to gather all of these drives and test them head to head. However, what I’m left with are numbers that I don’t how how to interpret. Some of the tests are explained, others are not. When does a one point difference really matter and when does a 20 point difference not matter? Should we be looking at percentage differences? What tests are similar to others? Is there a way to isolate groups of tests and create sets of summary scores? For instance, if I’m going to be doing a lot of XXX, then I’ll want to look at A, B, and C; but if I’m doing YYY, then. . . Is there a way to identify a small representative sample of tests and create an overall score? If the F1 is the overall winner, what drive placed second, third, and last? Since I’m scared off by the by number of adverse reports on the F1 and cost is a factor, how can I use the results to help me decide what drive to buy?

    • Bensam123
    • 11 years ago

    Wish you could test longevity of the drive. I’m pretty sure something like this is too good to be true.

    • Fastidious
    • 11 years ago

    Thinking about getting one of these but undecided since no one seems to know 100% if the 750GB model uses the 334GB platters. The 1TB model is way over priced.

    • Kulith
    • 12 years ago

    SO then what utility should I use to make sure my 750gb f1 has no errors?

      • Kaleid
      • 12 years ago

      You probably need to wait for Samsungs latest version of hutil.
      There are many ways to scan for failed sectors like hdtune and ms diskcheck

        • iq100
        • 12 years ago

        Low level ECC corrections are probably hidden from the suite of tests that TR and others run. Specifically I do NOT think that hdtune would pick up successful firmware level ECC corrections, or even bad blocks which low level firmware has successfully replaced.

        I would rather see one low level test result than so many higher level test results. What causes higher level disk results to differ on the same disk? It is mostly how the disk vendor’s firmware caching system, if any, interacts with the algorithm used for the high level tests.

        I would vote for every TR review/test of a new hard drive to begin with running the low level tests and diagnostics supplied by the hard drive manufacturer which are usually used to qualify for an RMA. Even if the Samsung diagnostic provides a false positive and triggers an unneeded RMA that is important to know. As long as such vendor’s own diagnostic provides false results it will jeopardized maintaining the drive in the future.

        • evermore
        • 12 years ago

        Maxtor PowerMax FTW!

        Really, I’ve never had an issue withPowerMax working, but all the other manufacturer’s test programs either don’t have the same full features or just plain won’t boot on half the systems I tested (which seems to be a PC-DOS issue really).

    • Luminair
    • 12 years ago

    “Those lower capacities leave a respective 250, 168, and 14GB of unused platter capacity on the table, which strikes us as unnecessarily wasteful.”

    It strikes you as such because you are wrong. Don’t write about things you don’t understand. Not all F1 drives have the same size and type of platter.

      • flip-mode
      • 12 years ago

      There’s a difference between having the information and understanding the information. I’m sure if there is an issue with the article it is related to the first case, since an understanding of hardware technology seems to be one of Geoff’s and Scott’s strong suits. So, don’t be such a jackass.

    • iq100
    • 12 years ago

    Hard to understand how a review based on honesty and competency can fail to ignore the FACT that the drives fail to pass several of Samsung’s own utility tests, and that Samsung has apparently finally admitted this, and will be offering an update.
    Any honest and competent review would have mentioned the Samsung utility tests, the failures thereof, and the reasons for.
    You can read more here:

    §[< http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=41140&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=240<]§ I suspect these reviews maybe more about some hidden corporate sponsorships/incentives that really revealing any problems with the drive. Any simple google search would have revealed problems beyond the newegg review mentioned above. And it turns out the newegg review problems were REAL. I would suggest an addendum to the tech review, that specifically focuses on these issues, if techreports is serious about their integrity!

    • fpsduck
    • 12 years ago

    l[

      • wesley96
      • 12 years ago

      ..and in the country where I’m staying now…
      It’s hard to IGNORE Samsung brand.
      I guess it’s a matter of having good distribution channels.

    • coldpower27
    • 12 years ago

    There are 2 models using close to the maximum capacity coming around, the HD642JJ and HD322HJ which would make use of 320 GB platters in 2 and 1 configurations vs the flagship of 3x 333GB platters.

    Looking toward the future though, I would think they would go to 400GB next and re-introduce the 400GB models and just slap 2 platters on the 750GB model with 375GB platters and maybe just use 417GB platters in a 3 config for a 1.25TB HD.

    • droopy1592
    • 12 years ago

    I know what my next drive is… I’ll just wait for that $200 price

    • albundy
    • 12 years ago

    Gonna wait and see some RAID benchies with these. Wonder how one would splice them to get low latencies and good speed. maybe 50GB per drive?

    • evermore
    • 12 years ago

    Dammit, why won’t Samsung and WD put the latest technology into anything but their highest-capacity, most overpriced models? Sure it ensures they get the best margin on it and can keep using the old production lines for smaller models, but it’s been pissing me off for months that I can’t buy a lower-capacity model and still get the best performance and acoustics in the SE16 line, and now even Samsung’s doing it. Move the old production lines into the “value” segment already and. Or have they realized that they can’t get any higher density or performance, so if they make the entire SE16 or F1 line the same performance/density, then they won’t have anything for a new lineup?

    Hell at least WD is honest and tells you that the 750GB SE16 is the only one with PMR. Samsung’s got a dozen different models of F1 listed on their site, with no specifications file available for downloads, and the basic specs listed just have “334GB per platter max” on some of the models, with no relation between capacity and whether it says that.

    Plus, ONLY the 750GB and 1TB models are even available anywhere. Why even bother claiming to have anything else?

    Actually, according to Tom’s, there are some (not available but listed) models that actually do use the higher density platters without wasting space.

    §[< http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/11/21/samsung_overtakes_with_a_bang/page5.html<]§ Can't really blame them for a 320GB model wasting a measly 14GB though. Easier to market it with a common capacity like 320 than an oddity of 334. Half the people that see 334GB would think "oh they must be overstating the size and it's really a 320GB drive, damn marketers".

      • Irascible
      • 12 years ago

      You said it. I’ve wanted to upgrade my drive for over a year. And I want two. So either I shell out nearly $600 for the best performance or I buy two lesser drives for half the price. My solution to the problem has been to operate within my current storage limitations and buy nothing.

        • Usacomp2k3
        • 12 years ago

        I assume by 600 you mean 270?

          • Irascible
          • 12 years ago

          $270 x 2 + tax + shipping ≈ $600

          The deal of the week points to the 750 GB version with the /[

    • Kulith
    • 12 years ago

    the 750gb f1 costs $150, the 1T costs $270…. isn’t that kinda gay? I wouldnt pay that difference just for 250gb and the performance increase from the 3 platters just doesn’t seem worth the price.

    Im about to buy a 750gb f1 unless someone changes my mind.

      • pikaporeon
      • 12 years ago

      look at how the 750gb F1 compares to the 750GB Caviar GP.

        • Kulith
        • 12 years ago

        give me a link, I was under the impression the GP was good for low power consumption and stuff but the f1 was better than the SE16 and only for $150. Plust the GP runs at 5400rpm….

      • cynan
      • 12 years ago

      As stated elsewhere in this thread, I believe the 750GB version uses 250GB platters, so do not expect to get the same performance.

      • Nitrodist
      • 12 years ago

      Totally gay, dude, totally.

    • Gerbil Jedidiah
    • 12 years ago

    OMG my wife is gonna kill me. I just bought one of these.

      • My Johnson
      • 12 years ago

      At least you have balls.

        • bthylafh
        • 12 years ago

        Until she catches him. 😉

      • willyolio
      • 12 years ago

      buy another one and fill it with the complete Sex in the City series DVD rips.

        • nonegatives
        • 12 years ago

        LOL! Thanks for justification that would definitely work for me! I’ve been holding out on a large capacity purchase for a while now, waiting for the new product price to settle down. I’ve been using Seagate and while not disappointed with the drives, just not enthusiastic about their performance lately. The only thing from Samsung I’ve had a problem with is my lousy cell phone.

    • ascus
    • 12 years ago

    Nice drive.
    But it seems there are some reliability/compatibility issues with the F1 based on the user reviews at Newegg.
    §[< http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=N82E16822152102<]§

      • 5150
      • 12 years ago

      Normally I pooh-pooh the dolts on NewEgg reviews, however, this is pretty hard to brush aside.

        • paco
        • 12 years ago

        Looks like most of the problems are firmware and can hopefully be fixed by an update.

        • continuum
        • 12 years ago

        Fortunately users are still morons at Newegg, just like everywhere else. The HD utilities people are using seem to have an incompatibility with the drive… not the drive being bad.

      • Kent_dieGo
      • 12 years ago

      I have never seen worse feedback. I could never imagine anyone spending $270 after reading that.

      • My Johnson
      • 12 years ago

      One person speculated that it was with an nforce board that caused the issues and no one else within the 1st couple of pages reported the board they were using the drive on.

        • Bauxite
        • 12 years ago

        Theres probably a good reason nvidia’s IDE driver has that nasty extra warning (even after you’ve hit “next” about 8 times) about enabling all of its features.

    • provoko
    • 12 years ago

    334gb platters!! NICE! Can’t wait till WD makes a HD with that size.

    By the way, what’s with the boot times?

      • paco
      • 12 years ago

      When the system boots it loads a lot of different files, and that was clearly the weak point of the F1.

        • My Johnson
        • 12 years ago

        All the TB drives sucked at load times.

          • provoko
          • 12 years ago

          I thought the slow boot was due to 5-6 platters, but the F1 has 3 platters.

      • insulin_junkie72
      • 12 years ago

      WD drives with 320GB platters are out in the wild already, if a 320 GB drive is enough space.

      The B3A0 rev of the WD3200AAKS is already being sold, but WD isn’t going out of their way to distinguish it from the original version still on the shelves.

    • webkido13
    • 12 years ago

    I have been using the 750GB Version for a few weeks now. It’s the fastest hard drive I have ever used and I’m extremely satisfied with it. On top of that it’s the cheapest overall drive (cost per GB) I could find in Switzerland. Great review btw.

      • Mithent
      • 12 years ago

      However, it is unlikely that the 750GB version has the same performance, since it doesn’t have such high density.

        • GodsMadClown
        • 12 years ago

        Did you read the first page of the article, where Geoff implied that the F1 family uses the same platters, with the same density, across the board?

        q[

        • Prototyped
        • 12 years ago

        It does, and in fact, since it’s short-stroked to 3/4 of the capacity, the heads have less to travel, so its access times will be even lower than the 1 TB drive, with the result that it’s likely to perform even better.

          • vortigern_red
          • 12 years ago

          I read that it used 3×250 gig platters and the TB drive was the only one using 334gb platters. I bought one on the assumption that it was as you described but read later that it was not. Still very happy with the drive.

            • mboza
            • 12 years ago

            I think it is safe to assume all the 334 platters are going into the 1TB drives, as they comand such a price premium. The 1 and 2 platter models will only come out when the GB/$ for the TB model drops to a more sensible level.

            It would be nice if you could review more than the top end drive from each new line, as the top drive is never worth buying, and the performance of the other drives is just left as guesswork.

        • Kaleid
        • 12 years ago

        Exactly. The benchmarks numbers seem to indicate that the 750GB version uses 3 250GB platters instead

    • Dposcorp
    • 12 years ago

    Wow. Good job Samsung, and good job Geoff.

    I still wish for a 5 or even 4 year warranty, just to be a step up from the 3 year guys.

    Anyone RMA a Samsung hard drive before?

    I ask because I have RMA’d Seagate and WD drives and it was very simple to check the warranty, get the RMA number and mail them out. Curious to see how Samsungs RMA is done.

      • axeman
      • 12 years ago

      For what it’s worth, I’ve never had to RMA one, and I’ve used a lot of them, so although I can’t comment on the quality of their service, they certainly seem to make reliable drives.

      On another note, besides the poor multitasking performance, this thing is downright IMPRESSIVE. Sizeable lead in straight up read performance. Large drives like this are likely to be used for storing large contiguous files, not millions of small ones, and the faster you can move those huge chunks of data around the better. I’m copying 200gb of video right now, and let me tell you, it tries my patience.

      • Deli
      • 12 years ago

      RMA sucks with Samsung. so much hassle.
      i did it twice about 5 years ago. I don’t know if things have changed since. I’m asian and yet i could hardly understand the guy on the other line and the guy was F’ing rude.

      lastly, i had to fax my receipt over to samsung for verification. I don’t have a fax machine for the last 3 years cuz it just takes up space. They don’t take email. Again, things may have changed by now.

      All in all, a poor RMA experience. I have done RMA with seagate, maxtor and wd. WD and what was maxtor is by far the best. It took me 5 weeks to get my seagate back.

      I am a WD guy now.

        • Dposcorp
        • 12 years ago

        Deli, thanks for the reply. I was afraid of that.

        WD & Seagate just ask for the numbers off the drive, and you are all set.
        I think you can give a credit card to have them cross ship / overnight a drive to you while you RMA.

        digging up a receipt or having to fax something would be a joke.

      • smilingcrow
      • 12 years ago

      “Anyone RMA a Samsung hard drive before?”

      I’ve RMA’d one in the UK and it was easy and quick. I input the serial number on their website and received an email giving details. I mailed it to them on a Monday and received the replacement on the Thursday.
      The warranty is something like 3 years plus 3 months from the date of manufacturer if you don’t have a receipt or 3 years from the date of purchase if you do.

      • loneg
      • 12 years ago

      I’m in the UK and use Samsung drives all the time, and I use ALOT! I have only had one failure and that was because the PSU died taking out the Motherboard, PSU and Hard Drive. I called Samsung, spoke to a support guy who confirmed that the drive was dead, they gave me a RMA number and a website to enter my RMA info (Rexo). I had a replacement hard 3 days after returning the faulty drive. I also got a brand new retail boxed drive as a replacement! The last WD and Seagate drives I returned were replaced with reconditioned drives!!!

      • Sargent Duck
      • 12 years ago

      I RMA’d a Samsung hd last year. Called up the support line, got a nice woman who spoke excellent English (native North American), and she told me the RMA number. Packed it up, shipped it out, and got it back in a reasonable amount of time (I forget the exact time frame). No problems at all.

    • UberGerbil
    • 12 years ago

    Nice. If you’re looking for a big drive for a home media server / HTPC, this looks like the one to get. A good option for people doing media apps like NLE, too.

      • willyolio
      • 12 years ago

      i think the caviar GP would still be better for HTPC applications. lower noise and heat output especially, since HTPC cases are usually pretty cramped.

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 12 years ago

    Very nice. I might have to look into those for backing up. We’ll see how the price holds.

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