The Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD203WI is what it is, a bulky and huge storage unit. As such the performance was as expected. Quite honestly for a 2000 GB unit at 5400 RPM the performance really is quite okay. At the beginning of the magnetic platters you'll see read speeds of over 100 MB/sec fired at you, and when data is stored at the end of the platter .. you are still seeing 50'ish MB/sec performance at worst.
That makes a drive like this extremely suited for mass storage of large files like your music, photo's documents and media content. Are there downsides ? Well sure there are. At 6 cents a GB you can betcha there are some quirks, first off, when you tasted SSDs for a while you completely forget how fast they really are. There's literally no access time with an SSD. Your average fast HDD like a VelociRaptor will have a 0,7ms access time and the Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD203WI tops it off with 0,14ms sometimes even ,016ms .... and that's just slow. So the minute your HDD needs to write on several locations of it's respective platters, that's where it's going to hurt the most.
Say if you'd put an OS on this HDD you can be sure it will be slow at accessing data. But hey, this is a 5400 RPM drive and it needs to sift through the 2000 GB of data stored on it. It shows really well with the PCMark Vantage HDD test, which crushes a traditional HDD yet makes the SSDs shine, and that's a good representation of OS and work desktop behavior.
We feel as a secondary storage unit this 2TB monster HDD makes the most sense. Another quirk, though the drive itself is not at all noisy, we did stumble into the fact that the HDD resonates a lot. If you pick it up while it's active, you can feel the vibrations in your hand. So if you insert it into a PC, make sure you have it tucked away in some sort of rubber mount as resonation and vibration can be an issue for some of you, it can create noise when the PC chassis starts to pick up that vibration.
Other than that, this really is a terrific drive for the money. We can't believe we picked up a 2000 GB drive at just 117 EUR and in the USA less than 150 USD. So our recommendation, pick up a drive like this as secondary storage unit for mass file storage. Pop in a fast HDD/SSD for your OS and primary application and rest assured as then you'll gain the most from your PC. With our tips spread out, we can recommend the Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD203WI, it's not the fastest kid on the block but comes at a great price for a very capable high volume drive.
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