New Caviar Green hard drives are faster, more efficient

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.

Comments closed
    • mattthemuppet
    • 11 years ago

    I just bought a WD6400AACS Green Power drive by accident – didn’t even know it existed until I walked out of the shop with it 🙂 Haven’t installed it yet, but given how little power the 1TB GP drive draws, this should use very little power and make next to no noise.

    Considering how old the drive is that it’s replacing, I doubt I’d notice any difference in performance between this and a WD6400AAKS – both would be jaw dropping in comparison!

    • Voldenuit
    • 11 years ago

    $219? No thanks. Call me back when it’s $129. :p

    • Steel
    • 11 years ago

    I noticed a new Samsung 5400RPM 1TB drive on Newegg today that sells for $10 less than the current WD GP drive. Would be interesting to see how it compares performance wise with the WD drives.

    Link for those who are interested:
    §[<http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152135<]§

    • MadManOriginal
    • 11 years ago

    At least we’ll be able to clearly tell the difference based on specs with the larger cache unlike in the past when updated drives were impossible to discern on a website that only lists the basic model number.

    As for price, on WD’s website the current price for a retail kit of the 16MB cache version is also 219.99. So the price noted here will probably be meaningless as far as a street price as well and anything above $140-150 would be really hard to justify when the Seagate 1.5TB is at $190.

    • marvelous
    • 11 years ago

    In a small form factor I guess this makes sense but why?

      • cobalt
      • 11 years ago

      Do you mean why sacrifice performance for power? These are also quieter and produce less heat without sacrificing much performance. You can slap a bunch in a regular PC without worrying much about power draw.

      For me, I chose the GP because they were not only the biggest, cheapest drives, and I’m still able to stick a few in RAID5 in an HTPC case but keep the cooling silent.

        • marvelous
        • 11 years ago

        So how much power does it save? How much cooler is it compared to other drives? What about noise? Does this matter in a Desktop PC? If anything we need more performance we can get out of hard drives considering Hard drives are the biggest bottleneck in a PC. I guess price would be a factor when considering these drives aren’t really 7200rpm. More like something in between.

        Who cool hard drives? Is cooling hard drives a mandatory to keep them functioning in tip top shape? I don’t know I have xbox that has 7200rpm 200gb hard drive in a cramped xbox case and it’s been working over 3 years without a problem.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 11 years ago

          It saves a few watts per drive, not much for desktops but it adds up over time and is a big deal for data centers. Check reviews that have temperature data. They are really quiet, dead silent really, compared to all other high-capacity drives with the only thing coming close the WD6400AAKS and I’ve got some drives where the seek noise does get annoying. Whether any of this matters is up to the individual, I know I’d loke to have low power and *quiet* drives in a media server as long as they have ‘sufficient’ performance, many people feel the same for mass-storage drives on their desktop.

            • ludi
            • 11 years ago

            ‘Quiet’ is a very big thing for OEMs. The average enthusiast box with multiple fans and hard disks constantly humming and wooshing away would generate hundreds of complaints from OEM customers.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 11 years ago

            I see what you’re saying but there are lots of enthusiasts, using the term broadly, that would disagree. The SPCR type folks are one group for starters.

            • Voldenuit
            • 11 years ago

            Exactly. Chalk me down as a quiet computing enthusiast.

            Unless I’m doing something disk-I/O bound, I prefer to have my PC be as inobtrusive (and inoffensive) as possible. Which is why my system is made up of a single SE16 boot drive and mostly GP terabyte drives mounted on rubber grommets.

            I have recently bought a Seagate 1.5 TB 7200 rpm drive, and I’m impressed with its quietness. The performance seems rather lacking for its specs though.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 11 years ago

            ooo you have one of the 1.5TB drives. How would you compare the noise levels, especially seeking, to the GP drives?

            As far as the performance it might be better with large files like Seagates have been for a while rather than balanced for various load types.

      • xii
      • 11 years ago

      NAS. The drive is still faster than the NAS appliance, but runs cooler and more silent.

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