Best 2TB choice out there9/18/2010 11:56:34 PM

Pros: Very very fast for a 5400rpm drive, quiet, runs cool, Samsung reliability, inexpensive out of the gate ($129) and became even more affordable within just two weeks ($109), great upgrade to the F3EG predecessor, 667GB platter design results in 3 platters instead of 4, higher density translates to faster seek times.

Cons: None.

Overall Review: Had been waiting for almost half a year to purchase a pair of 2TB drives for the new media server. Had owned Samsung F1 7200rpm drives and ran out of space -- the WD20EARS had issues with too-frequent head parking and the Hitachi used 5 platters. Samsung F3EG was possibility, but was holding out for a 7200rpm Samsung 2TB model. That didn't happen, but instead they released this 5400rpm F4 -- cooler temps, energy efficiency, and speed from increased platter density was the winning combo. Shellshocker deal was $109 for the HD204UI plus a Rosewill USB/SATA dock -- unbeatable. Notes for Linux users. Lots of info on web on how to handle the 4K sectors, but no real straightforward "How To." Well here it is: Run fdisk with the -u parameter to partition the drive and select 64 as the starting block (instead of default 63). Then, use the -b parameter in mkfs to specify 4096 block sizes: mkfs -t ext3 -b 4096 /dev/sda1 Results are impressive: hdparm -t /dev/sda1 = 132MB/sec

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