New Caviar Green hard drives are faster, more efficient

— 11:20 AM on October 1, 2008

Everybody loves fast hard drives, but some folks don't mind sacrificing a little speed for greater power efficiency and lower noise levels. Western Digital has been catering to those users with its GreenPower Caviar hard drives since last year, and it's now updated that series with higher-density platters and larger caches.

WD says its new Caviar Green 1TB hard drive has 333GB platters and 32MB of cache, compared to a respective 250GB and 16MB for the old model. Those tweaks reportedly reduce power draw by up to 20% and increase performance by up to 10%. Considering the original remains the most power-efficient 3.5" terabyte hard drive, a 20% drop in power consumption sounds like a big achievement.

With that said, we should point out several caveats. The Caviar Green series uses lower spindle speeds than typical 7,200-RPM drives, which reduces performance. Also, the company's 300GB, 10,000-RPM VelociRaptor actually draws significantly less power than the current terabyte Caviar Green, probably because it's a 2.5" drive in a 3.5" sled. Finally, Western Digital quotes a $219 suggested retail price for the new 1TB Caviar Green—much more expensive than the previous model, which Newegg sells for $130 shipped. Western Digital does have cheaper 750GB, 640GB, and 500GB second-gen Caviar Green drives lined up, though.

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