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Samsung launches 2TB tri-platter drive

Samsung launches 2TB tri-platter drive

Samsung's latest EcoGreen drive - the F4EG - uses three 667GB platters to decrease power usage.

Samsung has announced a new 2TB desktop hard disk with what it claims is the world's highest areal density - the EcoGreen F4EG.

The drive - designed to offer high capacity while drawing a minimum of power - stores a whopping 667GB on each of its three platters, which the company claims not only allows the power consumption to be kept to a minimum but also improves performance over four-platter rivals.

Despite Samsung's claims of ultra-high density, it's not the first company to release a 2TB disk with three platters: rival Western Digital beat the company to the punch nearly a month ago with the launch of the three-platter Caviar Green WD20EARS featuring the same 667GB-per-platter density.

Going back to Samsung's offering, however: the company claims that the reduction in platter numbers from four to three helps the new EcoGreen drive draw 23 percent less power in standby mode than the F3EG drive it replaces. However, the company hasn't proffered energy usage statistics for when the drive is in use, so it may be an innovation better suited to occasional-use data drives rather than an add-on for a constantly streaming system.

While benchmarks haven't been released by the company yet, Samsung claims that the increase in density improves performance over the drive's predecessor with seek times getting a small boost. Read and write speeds are likely unchanged, however.

The F4EG features a 32MB cache, a 3.0Gb/s SATA interface with Native Command Queuing support, and will be hitting shelves in 1.5TB and 2TB capacities some time in September. Sadly, Samsung has yet to suggest pricing - although with the older F3EG still retailing at about £90, you can expect to pay a slight premium for the increase in performance and power drain.

Are you pleased to see Samsung adding higher density drives to its line-up, or will it take a two-platter F1 before you consider upgrading your storage? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

31 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Almightyrastus 3rd August 2010, 09:13 Quote
My next big bilding project will be having 5 x 2TB drives in it (provided I can find a decently priced PCI 5 drive controller card that will work with freenas that is) so a lowering of the power usage is definitely a big plus point for me as long as the price premium is not too great
mclean007 3rd August 2010, 10:00 Quote
So the EcoGreen F4EG has 3 platters and the F3EG had 4? Way to go with that simple numbering, Samsung.
mclean007 3rd August 2010, 10:04 Quote
Seems the sweet spot for large capacity drives is still on 1.5TB, which can be had for around £55, whereas the cheapest 2TB drives I've seen are around £80. That's an oversimplification though, I guess, as you need more spindles to hit the same aggregate capacity, so a smaller number of 2TB drives might be a better choice.
Jezcentral 3rd August 2010, 10:40 Quote
When will we see this in Caviar Black and Spinpoint-proper flavours?
Farting Bob 3rd August 2010, 12:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
So the EcoGreen F4EG has 3 platters and the F3EG had 4? Way to go with that simple numbering, Samsung.

Because its the 4th generation. And customers buy whatever product has the highest number on it.

I am likely to be picking up a couple of 2TB drives soon, its either going to be Samsung or WD, whichever is on sale at the time, but if these 3 platter designs dont carry a price premium i may just sway samsung's way.
Mraedis 3rd August 2010, 12:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
So the EcoGreen F4EG has 3 platters and the F3EG had 4? Way to go with that simple numbering, Samsung.

This is the most retarded remark I have seen anyone make regarding HDD's on Bit-tech.
Pandora92 3rd August 2010, 12:33 Quote
Personaly I would be much more interested to see a 1TB drive that uses only 1 platter (particularly a spinpoint F3), but obviously that wont happen until some time after we move onto 4KB sector drives, but still, I can dream.
bogie170 3rd August 2010, 12:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
Seems the sweet spot for large capacity drives is still on 1.5TB, which can be had for around £55, whereas the cheapest 2TB drives I've seen are around £80. That's an oversimplification though, I guess, as you need more spindles to hit the same aggregate capacity, so a smaller number of 2TB drives might be a better choice.

2tb is better as I have run out of sata connectors to my motherboard!
bogie170 3rd August 2010, 12:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mraedis
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
So the EcoGreen F4EG has 3 platters and the F3EG had 4? Way to go with that simple numbering, Samsung.

This is the most retarded remark I have seen anyone make regarding HDD's on Bit-tech.

He has got a point though!
mclean007 3rd August 2010, 14:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mraedis
This is the most retarded remark I have seen anyone make regarding HDD's on Bit-tech.
Thanks, genius. It was a simple observation and there's no need to be a bitchy little scrote about it. Put your claws away and get back in your box until you've got something constructive and/or amusing to say.
mclean007 3rd August 2010, 14:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mraedis
This is the most retarded remark I have seen anyone make regarding HDD's on Bit-tech.
Oh, and by the way, there's no apostrophe in the plural form "HDDs".
Faulk_Wulf 3rd August 2010, 19:39 Quote
What are the reliability / failure rates of 1TB+ drives these days. I haven't looked into them for a long time, honestly, but Tiger Direct keeps having them on sale for $55. Since I use a laptop, I can't really just plug a new drive in, but I'm thinking about an external set-up for all my music, video, etc...

Thoughts, advice?
Gareth Halfacree 3rd August 2010, 20:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Faulk_Wulf
What are the reliability / failure rates of 1TB+ drives these days?
Thoughts, advice?
Regardless of supposed failure rates - including the *incredibly* misleading "MTBF" figures - I have only one piece of advice: buy two drives. Buy two drives, from two different manufacturers. Keep your precious data on both.

Seriously. You'll thank me for it one day.
Ross1 3rd August 2010, 23:14 Quote
2TB with 3 platters is definitely more impressive than 3TB with 5 platters. Certainly be interesting to see the initial price for it.
ZERO <ibis> 4th August 2010, 08:12 Quote
Personally I would rather see higher capacity drives... let me squeeze more space out of raid 6!
The_Beast 4th August 2010, 08:47 Quote
I still think they should start making 5.25" drives :)
jedh 4th August 2010, 11:27 Quote
I wonder how this will compare with the WD20EARS-00MVWB0?
Mraedis 4th August 2010, 12:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
Thanks, genius. It was a simple observation and there's no need to be a bitchy little scrote about it. Put your claws away and get back in your box until you've got something constructive and/or amusing to say.

You're welcome.

I, for one, find it very logical that the F4 is faster than the F3, and if you used that brain of yours to do something other than make irrelevant remarks, you'd realise that the average consumer doesn't give half a rat's ass about how many platters there are in there.

And thanks for your correction of my previous spelling error, always nice to improve my English!
mclean007 4th August 2010, 14:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mraedis
You're welcome.

I, for one, find it very logical that the F4 is faster than the F3, and if you used that brain of yours to do something other than make irrelevant remarks, you'd realise that the average consumer doesn't give half a rat's ass about how many platters there are in there.

And thanks for your correction of my previous spelling error, always nice to improve my English!
Irrelevant remarks? I commented on the article. It was a simple observation, and I'm fully aware that the average consumer doesn't care about the technical details. My comment directly addressed the content of the article, and is therefore relevant by definition.

Your response, on the other hand, was a rude and unnecessary personal attack, contributing nothing of substance related to the article. Believe it or not, you don't get to walk in here with your 67 posts and proclaim yourself the arbiter of what constitutes 'permitted' debate, insulting other members or ridiculing their comments. These forums have been here for a long time, and - if you're permitted to stick around for long enough to find out before your attitude earns you a ban - you'll find a large number of members who will passionately defend the open, friendly, welcoming culture that has made the Bit-Tech community so strong. You might want to consider reading the forum rules before you post any more inflammatory comments. Grow up.
Bakes 4th August 2010, 15:17 Quote
mclean, the problem is that whilst fewer platters is advantageous, Samsung started with the F1 a year or two ago, followed by the F2. As the number of platters goes down, the product number goes up - this is for branding purposes.

For all intents and purposes, the number of platters is irrelevant, because all that really matters is the final performance.
mclean007 4th August 2010, 15:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakes
mclean, the problem is that whilst fewer platters is advantageous, Samsung started with the F1 a year or two ago, followed by the F2. As the number of platters goes down, the product number goes up - this is for branding purposes.

For all intents and purposes, the number of platters is irrelevant, because all that really matters is the final performance.
I know - I'm familiar with their product numbering. It was just an off the cuff observation that the model numbers and platter count are opposite on these two models. Thank you for replying with a polite, reasoned response, however. Some other members might do well to follow your example.

Sticking to the topic in hand, while I understand your point that raw performance is the key metric by which drives are (and in most cases should) be judged, I disagree that the platter count is irrelevant - all things being equal, fewer platters means less noise, reduced power consumption, less heat, higher areal density (which can mean higher performance) and fewer points of mechanical failure (so potentially improved reliability).
jedh 4th August 2010, 15:45 Quote
I don't think anyone interested in knowing things like platter count would take any product name at face value.
They'd find out exactly how it's constructed, irrespective of it's branding...
But I do agree the reaction to your seemingly casual/innocuous remark was a bit over-the-top.

Can we get back to relevant discussion now please folks, pretty please?! :)
How do ya'll reckon this will compare to the WD20EARS-00MVWB0, any thoughts/opinions?
I'm also a relative forum n00b, signed-up for many years, lurked for many years before that :)
Dragunover 5th August 2010, 04:16 Quote
Nb4 the immature strikes back Ep. 4
I'd like to see 2TB/2.5TB in 7200RPM + 32/64MB cache rather than this deal of going slower and slower...
The_Beast 5th August 2010, 04:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragunover
Nb4 the immature strikes back Ep. 4
I'd like to see 2TB/2.5TB in 7200RPM + 32/64MB cache rather than this deal of going slower and slower...

Why would you want a 7200 RPM data drive? I don't see too many people using 2Tb HDDs for boot drives so what's the point
jedh 5th August 2010, 04:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragunover
Nb4 the immature strikes back Ep. 4
I'd like to see 2TB/2.5TB in 7200RPM + 32/64MB cache rather than this deal of going slower and slower...

You may see that eventually...
But the LT trend is definitely for HDD's be used for storage purposes, & SSD's to be used for OS/Apps etc.
As they're being used for storage/bu more & more, power draw becomes more important than optimal speed.
Xir 5th August 2010, 09:44 Quote
I lost count.
I'd like to buy a samsung F type harddisk, 1 GB would be big enough, but I like higher density platters (as litte platters as possible)

The F3 exists as 1 and 1.5 and 2 TB variants...how many platters do they have?

With this new density, a 1.5TB variant with only two platters would be possible. Does that exist?
Mraedis 5th August 2010, 20:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
... Grow up.

I'm sorry, but that last remark invalidated your entire point. I will keep quiet for the sake of the topic though. ^^
TimB 11th August 2010, 09:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Beast
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragunover
Nb4 the immature strikes back Ep. 4
I'd like to see 2TB/2.5TB in 7200RPM + 32/64MB cache rather than this deal of going slower and slower...

Why would you want a 7200 RPM data drive? I don't see too many people using 2Tb HDDs for boot drives so what's the point

Media streaming.

I want a really fast 2TB drive for my media server because it needs to be able to do multiple uncompressed 1080P HD streams throughout the house. For now I am stuck using 1.5TB drives.
radaklija 11th August 2010, 15:18 Quote
Me too...
drf 9th November 2010, 00:12 Quote
Correct me if I am wrong, but after reading this article on 4k sectors:
http://seagate.com/docs/pdf/whitepaper/tp613_transition_to_4k_sectors.pdf
I assume that it is possible to align Advanced Format drives (those ones, which are not provided with a special aligning software by HD manufacturer) for Windows XP usage with 3rd party 4k-aware partitioning utility:
"The most critical aspect of a smooth and successful transition to 4K sectors used in Advanced Format is to promote the use of 4K-aware hard drive partitioning tools."
"When using third-party software or utilities to create hard drive partitions, check with your vendor to make sure they are updated and confirmed to be 4K aware."
http://seagate.com/docs/pdf/whitepaper/tp613_transition_to_4k_sectors.pdf

So to align properly for Win XP usage for example Samsung 2TB F4EG HD204UI one has to find a 3rd party software tool for partitioning, which is 4k-aware, and use that software to partition such disk instead of Windows XP Disk Manager.

Are there any free 4k-aware partitioning tools for Windows XP?

Also would re-aligning utilities provided by WD and Seagate work with other manufacturers HDs like Samsung?

From that article I learnt also that even the newer OSes like Windows 7 do not use 4k sectors directly, they still have to use 512 B sectors. Those newer systems are only capable of aligning Advanced Format hard drives properly during their partitioning, without the need to use 3rd party 4K-aware partitioning software, and that's all:
"there are many aspects of modern computing systems that continue to assume that sectors are always 512 bytes. To transition the entire industry over to the new 4K standard and expect all of these legacy assumptions to suddenly change is simply not realistic. Over time, the implementation of native 4K sectors, where both host and hard drive exchange data in 4K blocks, will take place. Until then, hard drive manufacturers will implement the 4K sector transition in conjunction with a technique called 512-byte sector emulation."
http://seagate.com/docs/pdf/whitepaper/tp613_transition_to_4k_sectors.pdf

"The sector size increase, described by Advanced Format, occurs at the hard drive media level. Host systems will continue to request and receive data from the hard drive in 512-byte sector sizes. However, the translation from 4096-byte sectors in the hard drive to the 512-byte sectors in the host will be managed in the hard drive. This process is called 512-byte emulation. It’s important that every drive partition start with an LBA offset that is aligned to the drive’s physical 4K sector. If partitions are un-aligned, then hard drive performance will be degraded."
"How can partition misalignment conditions be managed?
The first management step is to avoid misaligned conditions in the first place. This can be achieved by creating hard drive partitions with a 4K aware version of your operating system or through a hard drive imaging software product."
"The second method to managing misaligned partitions is to use partition-alignment software to identify and fix misaligned partitions. This technique should be used during the hard drive integration process."
http://seagate.com/docs/pdf/whitepaper/mb604_4k_transition_faq.pdf

"It’s not practical to make host computer systems talk in 4K native language – at least for a while. There are just too many places the 512 byte assumption is embedded. So, while hard drives will transition to 4K sectors physical sectors on the media, they will still “look and talk” like 512 byte formats to host computers. They will actually emulate 512 byte communications to hosts. This works well as long as the logical 512 byte assumptions from the host computer are aligned with the 4K sectors on the hard drive."
"It turns out that when a hard drive partition is created, the starting position can vary. A 4K drive format is set to work under the assumption that the first 512 byte sector (Logical Block Address = 0) will align perfectly with the first physical 4K sector".
"Alignment 0 ... works well for hard drives & 512 byte emulation because they can neatly map eight 512 byte logical blocks into a single sector. Sometimes hard drive partitions get created so the logical to physical alignment is off...".
"This is called Alignment 1 and it’s not so good for 4K drives when it comes to emulating 512 byte legacy sectors, especially when writing data. Essentially, this alignment can often cause a hard drive to manage a write with extra disc rotations, which slows things down. The results can be sort of dramatic as shown by these test results at HOTHARDWARE.com:
http://hothardware.com/Articles/WDs-1TB-Caviar-Green-w-Advanced-Format-Windows-XP-Users-Pay-Attention/?page=2 "
"The Windows XP situation seems fairly well understood in the marketplace. What is much less understood is the situation with cloning and imaging software. System builders, integrators and IT organizations frequently rely on these tools to configure systems for sale or deployment in their organization. Even if you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, if your hard drive was partitioned with one of these utilities, you’re likely to end up with an un-aligned partition with the potential for poor performance."
http://consumer.media.seagate.com/2010/03/the-digital-den/4k-sector-hard-drive-primer/

Video on 4K sectors:
http://www.techinsight.tv/seagate-on-4k-technology.html
http://usingwindowshomeserver.com/2010/07/27/4k-sectors-and-the-future-of-hard-drives/
Seagate manages aligment problems in the background without any interaction or knowledge of user.

BTW, a warning against 2TB hard drives:
http://www.clearfoundation.com/component/option,com_kunena/Itemid,232/catid,24/func,view/id,15489/#15489
drf 9th November 2010, 03:03 Quote
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