500GB Caviar GP drives from Western Digital are now shipping in volume, providing a cheaper and lower-capacity alternative to the existing 1TB Caviar GP. If you're not familiar with WD's latest lineup, the "GP" in Caviar GP stands for "Green Power," with drives are touted as environmentally friendly thanks to their slower spindle speeds and lower power utilization. The 500GB model has 16MB of cache, a spindle speed operating between 5,400 and 7,200RPM, support for 300MB/s Serial ATA transfer speeds and Native Command Queuing, and power consumption ratings of 4W at idle and 9.5W under load.
We reviewed the 1TB flavor of the Caviar GP a little over a month ago, and we found that it delivered on its promise of low power consumption while still providing acceptable performance for mainstream tasks. The 1TB drive's $257+ price tag puts it out of many user's budgets, so those users will be happy to know that the 500GB Caviar GP has a suggested retail price of $149.99. Then again, considering you can now get WD's very own 750GB Caviar SE16 for the same amount of money, only the most environmentally conscious among us (and those most eager to save a few bucks on their power bill) may be tempted.