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Samsung Spinpoint F4EG Review Discussion


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#1 Brian

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 03:53 PM

Samsung is a brand that might not immediately come to mind for most users when they think of hard drives, but those in the know have likely been using them for a while. In this review, we're looking at Samsung's updated green hard drive, the Spinpoint F4EG (EG for EcoGreen). Building on the success of the F3EG, Samsung historically has a good history of producing a quality hard drive with a very competitive price.

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#2 cbrworm

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 06:42 PM

It still amazes me that these 'green' drives can hit 140 MB/sec throughput.

When will we see this next step up in throughput in 7,200 rpm drives? They should be hitting 200 MB/sec. Are the sectors interleaved on some of the new drives?

#3 vandy

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 08:24 PM

Great review as always Brian. I recommended these drives to my friends they love it. No to mention the price is just right.
I built a RAID 6 array (ARECA 1222 raid card) with 8 of these drives about 4 months ago and they are wonderful. Great performance and very quiet.

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#4 Brian

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 09:17 PM

Not bad at all, that's pretty respectable for $80 per drive ;) Just have to love those idle power consumption numbers too.

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#5 MediArchive

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 10:53 PM

Would be cool to add data from the WD20EARS 3-platter drive to the charts if you can get one to test. Wouldn't be surprised to see Samsung release a 3TB 3-platter drive soon based on their 1 gigabyte platters that have been discussed the past few days.

#6 Brian

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 10:12 AM

Yeah - we have a new 3-platter drive but there are a few issues that are preventing us from completing the review. We'll have details of the problem soon, we're working with WD to solve some issues right now.

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#7 BradC

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 05:39 PM

Yeah - we have a new 3-platter drive but there are a few issues that are preventing us from completing the review. We'll have details of the problem soon, we're working with WD to solve some issues right now.



Any hints as to it's capacity? 2.25, 2.5 or 3tb?

#8 TSullivan

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 07:27 PM

Any hints as to it's capacity? 2.25, 2.5 or 3tb?


The new 3-platter is a 2TB. The issues span a lot of WD drives though (unique scenario that doesn't affect most users) making it hard for us to complete our benchmarks so we have been putting those on delay for a while.

#9 johnmw1

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 10:19 PM

Hi Brian,

Just trying to understand the last part of this statement from the review(the bit in brackets), not really sure of what that was meaning.

"While Seagate has strapped all the newest trimmings to their drive in the form of a 64MB cache and SATA III interface, Samsung elected to stick with the tried and true, opting to keep the cache at 32MB and stick with the old (and not liable to be saturated by a mechanical drive) SATA II interface."

Cheers,
John

#10 TSullivan

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 10:44 PM

Basically no mechanical hard drive has been able to push the limits of SATA II yet (and certainly not a consumer model). To do that the drive would need to go above 250MB/s. So far only SSDs have been able to push that boundary.

#11 Brian

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 07:37 AM

Right - drive manufacturers are touting their new SATA III interfaces, but that doesn't help the drives go any faster.

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#12 taltamir

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 06:09 PM

It wasn't mentioned in the review, but what kind of advanced format does it use? 512e or 4Kn?
Any news on when we would be able to get 4Kn drives?
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#13 TSullivan

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 05:50 PM

I was to say it was reporting as 512 logical and 4k physical

#14 taltamir

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 07:11 PM

I was to say it was reporting as 512 logical and 4k physical


that would be 512e (e stands for emulation, n stands for native).
A real shame, I am trying to hold out for non emulated drives, I really don't want to have to work around that backwards compatibility nonsense ruining my performance due to misalignment.
I do not have a superman complex; for I am God, not Superman!

#15 Eyal

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 08:38 AM

This being a popular site for storage discussion, and the model being very popular these days, it is worth mentioning that these disks had a significant firmware issue (clash with smart leads to silent on-disk data corruption) and a fix is available on Samsung's site. I am talking from personal experience. This also applies to the 1.5TB model in the series (see link).

http://www.samsung.c..._bbs_msg_id=386

FYI

#16 TSullivan

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 08:42 AM

Thanks for the tip! I will see if our review models need the flash, update if required, and add a section to the review mentioning this!

#17 Nessi

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 09:27 AM

Add bought this disk 2 months ago, it crashed two weeks ago. I was using it in a Synology NAS.
I have spinpoint F1 in my computer, still working fine for two years, with some months of 24/24 /7/7.

Nelson.

#18 Bill Todd

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 04:57 PM

I am trying to hold out for non emulated drives, I really don't want to have to work around that backwards compatibility nonsense ruining my performance due to misalignment.


So align the partitions: it's not rocket science. For NTFS and extX partitions, all you need to do is make the partitions begin on 4KB disk boundaries (if you're using traditional partitioning utilities common to XP and earlier systems, just make sure that they think the logical disk geometry has 255 heads and tweak the start locations accordingly). For FAT32 partitions it's a bit more complicated (you can check the 'first data sector' offset within the partition using something like EASEUS Partition Master, add the partition start offset, and tweak the 'number of boot sectors' value using something like Paragon Partition Manager until the 'first data sector' winds up on a 4KB disk boundary - both of those utilities are available in free editions).

Or use Vista/Win7 to create your partitions and they should align them appropriately by default (well, I don't know about FAT32 partitions). Current Linux systems may as well, or ask you to choose. Or use Samsung's alignment tool to do the same thing for partitions created under earlier environments.

Or just ignore the issue: the only noticeable performance impact is for small write requests (I noticed about 25% performance degradation on a misaligned partition when copying a large number of smallish files from another disk: Samsung's caching algorithms seem to be pretty effective at masking the underlying overheads).

If you still decide to 'hold out for non emulated drives', that's obviously your choice. But at least you'll understand the trade-offs better.

#19 tpma

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 06:35 AM

I'm missing information on the noise levels of these drives.
Also, how much heat do they generate ?

Important for HTPC

#20 speedlever

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 11:22 AM

I just added an F4 drive to my rig. The drive is on the bottom of 3 drives in an Antec Solo case. On top of it is a Samsung HD321KJ and on top of that is an 80GB Intel SSD. There are two fans in front of the drives. Both Samsung drives are very quiet and the F4 runs about 1*C warmer (28*C) than the HD32KJ (27*C).

#21 Stoatwblr

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 12:00 PM

FWIW....

The drives are 512e. If you're using "exotic" filesystems like ZFS you'll need to manually define ashift=12 (or 13 for 8k blocks) - this does make a serious difference to performance.

I've got a 5 drive ZFS raidz1 array which has been running for 5 months. One drive arrived with a few bad sectors mapped out and has been steadily remapping more out until it hit 216 today - this seems to be the spare sector limit (I thought there'd be more - there were that many spares on a 200Mb drive 20 years ago)

I'm pretty happy with the drives - have ordered 4 more and as long as they arrive clean I'll remain happy. My supplier is already firing off a RMA procedure on the troublesome unit - they're all using 1AQ10001, which I gather has "issues", so I'll flash 'em later.

It's possible the jumpers toggle between 512e and 4kn responses, but I'm not brave enough to fiddle and find out. Any Samsung gurus around?

#22 taltamir

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 12:48 PM

It's possible the jumpers toggle between 512e and 4kn responses, but I'm not brave enough to fiddle and find out. Any Samsung gurus around?

There is no jumper toggle between 512e and 4Kn.
The jumper toggles an address shift to compensate for windows XP misaligning the partitions. It is only useful if you let windows XP align your partitons. What it does is shift all addresses by 1. So if the OS requests sector 1284 it will get sector 1285. This compensate for XP aligning to sector 63 instead of something divisible by 8 like 64. The drive is 512e in both conditions.

Edited by taltamir, 22 August 2011 - 12:25 PM.

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#23 kasa

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 06:08 AM

the review isn't clear to me I read reviews of

WESTERNDIGITAL WD20EARS Caviar Green 2TB 64MB SATA 3.0Gb/s
SAMSUNG HD204UI Spinpoint F4 2TB 32MB 5400rpm SATA 3.0Gb/s
SEAGATE ST2000DL003 Green 2TB 64MB 5900rpm SATA 6.0Gb/s

my conclusion is WD isn't worth it, Samsung has lower power consumption (but how much KW difference will it make per month?), you say price but currently seagate is 5 dollars cheaper at stores around here, but which one is faster (I assume Seagate for 5900 rpm)

also even though SATA 3 is not reachable via mechanically or old X58 boards may it be useful some time future or if you combine mechanical HDDs with SSD



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