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Conclusion

New Desktop Hard Drives: Speed Or Capacity?
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Western Digital was the first vendor to release a 2 TB hard drive. The Caviar Green WD20EADS is the best solution if you need maximum capacity as well as maximum capacity per Watt. Due to its more complex structure--it is based on four rotating platters--it clearly requires more power than its 1 TB predecessor, the WD10EADS. It even requires more power than a 500-1,000 GB Barracuda 7200.12 drive from Seagate, which only runs on one or two platters. Throughput is above average, but it could have been better. However, the drive showed unusually short access times and great I/O performance. There is no alternative for this drive if you’re looking for a storage mammoth.

Samsung failed in its attempt to design its new Spinpoint F2 EcoGreen with the ambition that it would become the 3.5” hard drive with the lowest power consumption available at retail, as Western Digital’s 1 TB WD10EADS consumes less power in idle mode. However, the drive requires very little power to operate when compared to the other candidates. The platform clearly is very promising and we look forward to testing the 1.0 TB and 1.5 TB versions of this drive.

Seagate didn’t manage to win the drive performance crown, as the Barracuda 7200.12’s access time is disappointing. However, the new Seagate drives offer the highest throughput compared to the other 3.5” desktop hard drives in this review and they deliver the best application performance you can get from a mechanical hard drive today. In addition, power consumption is impressively low for a 7,200 RPM hard drive. The only downside is the capacity, which is still limited to 1.0 TB for now.

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  • -5 Hide
    magicbullet , April 21, 2009 6:29 AM
    could have said, no1 win. basically each brand has its own advantage. nice article by the way.

    ^.^ i'm first
  • 1 Hide
    Tindytim , April 21, 2009 8:07 AM
    Is it just me, or have their been quite a few comparisions of these +500GB drives as of late? There don't seem to be huge changed in the Hard Drive market from you're last big comparison.

    I would have hoped for a DDR3 or Budget i7 roundup.
  • -1 Hide
    empstar , April 21, 2009 8:58 AM
    I like my PC fast so I like my HDD to be fast enough to run app. and for storage I'm sure I will go for larges capacity. so my PC surely have 2 or more HDD (int and ext.)
  • 4 Hide
    cangelini , April 21, 2009 8:58 AM
    TindytimIs it just me, or have their been quite a few comparisions of these +500GB drives as of late? There don't seem to be huge changed in the Hard Drive market from you're last big comparison.I would have hoped for a DDR3 or Budget i7 roundup.


    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/triple-channel-ddr3-i7,2128.html
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/x58-motherboard-i7,2252.html

    We also have a sub-$200 i7 roundup in the works =)
  • 2 Hide
    montyuk , April 21, 2009 9:12 AM
    just reading the section on noise levels, 50 db sounds an awful lot for activity. what are the choices for someone who wants a silent machine?

    has the new 12 successfully avoided the disaster that was the 11 ?
  • -1 Hide
    JeanLuc , April 21, 2009 10:24 AM
    cangelinihttp://www.tomshardware.com/review [...] ,2128.htmlhttp://www.tomshardware.com/review [...] ,2252.htmlWe also have a sub-$200 i7 roundup in the works =)



    Last month you covered story about a certain SDD consuming a vast amount of power whilst you were doing testing on a SDD round up article. Can you please tell me when is that SDD round up review is going to come out? Thank you.
  • 0 Hide
    krazyderek , April 21, 2009 11:08 AM
    is the seagate missing from the comparison table on page 5 or is I am missing something??
  • 0 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , April 21, 2009 12:35 PM
    empstarI like my PC fast so I like my HDD to be fast enough to run app. and for storage I'm sure I will go for larges capacity. so my PC surely have 2 or more HDD (int and ext.)

    That's how to do it really.
    My system has 2x500gb drives in raid 0 for system, and one of the wd20eads along with 5x500gb drives for storage.


    The speed of the storage is largely irrelevant to be honest. Anything high enough to satiate a blueray playback from an image file would be enough, and the wd20eads really isn't that slow. I copied some stuff from an usb drive to the 2tb drive yesterday, and there are only 16gb left on the drive. Then I copied the newly created data from it to one of the 500gb drives I use as backup, and look - it was still copying at 60-50mb/sec - probably because the 500gb drive was getting closer to full too (40gb left). So no, it may not be as fast as a spinpoint, but you don't need that on storage. Size is everything in this case.
  • -1 Hide
    mcnuggetofdeath , April 21, 2009 12:35 PM
    montyukjust reading the section on noise levels, 50 db sounds an awful lot for activity. what are the choices for someone who wants a silent machine?has the new 12 successfully avoided the disaster that was the 11 ?

    The 7200.12 is built alot better. Dont know about the other, but half the reason i bought the 500Gb version is that its got a single platter. Fewer moving parts means alot lower rate of failure. That and it seriously does hit the speeds in the bench, and i love it :) 
  • 0 Hide
    chrone , April 21, 2009 1:51 PM
    i love western digital. :)  the 2tb is not really worth considered the price is almos trice the 1tb.
  • -1 Hide
    sublifer , April 21, 2009 2:09 PM
    Quote:
    It’s interesting to see that a single-platter Barracuda 7200.12 at 7,200 RPM consumes about the same amount of power at idle that the 5,400 RPM two-platter Samsung Spinpoint F2 EcoGreen does.

    Should that say F1? Although that F1 has more platters so it would make sense.
  • -1 Hide
    andyviant , April 21, 2009 2:47 PM
    Good writeup...may need to order up some caviar to reduce 3 of my internal HD's to one low power one. I'm sure that'd make a power difference.

    I have an issue with your bar graphs though -- it'd help chart comparisons if you kept the sequence of the drives ordered by name, instead of ordered by performance on the benchmark. That's the point of bar graphs: even if two things aren't close to each other, you can tell which one is better regardless of order because of the size of the bar.

    And while I'm stating grievances -- the comment browser is terribly broken. First "page" displays fine but if I go to a subsequent one, they get all jumbled and overlay one another or disappear into an unreadable mess. Using WinXP SP2, and IE6 (work won't let me use anything else)
  • 0 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , April 21, 2009 2:54 PM
    chronei love western digital. the 2tb is not really worth considered the price is almos trice the 1tb.

    it is if you need a lot of storage in an oem system. Many oem supplied systems only have room for 1 or two drives without 5,25" adapters - so having a single 2tb drive is favorable to having two or three 1tb drives.
  • -8 Hide
    Anonymous , April 21, 2009 3:02 PM
    @chrone "i love western digital. :)  the 2tb is not really worth considered the price is almos trice the 1tb."

    Are you retarded or are you just math-challenged? If the 2 TB is ALMOST twice the price of the 1 TB, that means its cost per GB is LOWER. So the 1 TB is more expensive per GB. Therefore, the 2 TB is a better value.
  • 0 Hide
    theJ , April 21, 2009 3:07 PM
    andyviantGood writeup...may need to order up some caviar to reduce 3 of my internal HD's to one low power one. I'm sure that'd make a power difference.


    Depends. If your current HDD's are running at 50W, then it would be worth it. But switching HDD's to save 5 W's isn't a smart money saving move. 5 W's at 24/7 for a whole year is about $2.50 (maybe up to $5 depending on your cost of energy).

    So you spend $100 to save $5. Not really worth it.

    For power savings, look at the graphics cards and processors to save money. Those consume 10x to 40x the power of a HDD.

    Good article. If i'd ever buy one of these drives, it'd just be for storage. Don't know that i'd ever put an operating system on it. But who knows.
  • 1 Hide
    snarfies , April 21, 2009 3:46 PM
    mcnuggetofdeathThe 7200.12 is built alot better.


    I'm a little skittish about Seagate these days. The 7200.11 is known for a high rate of failure - and then there was the fiasco with the SD1A firmware update that bricked the drives it was meant to fix. Does the 7200.12 correct the 7200.11's flaws? Maybe in a year from now we'll know, but for today I'm buying WD for my new drives.
  • 3 Hide
    Schip , April 21, 2009 3:56 PM
    Hey Wotan31, I think Chrone meant "Thrice" not "Twice" (ie. The WD 2TB drive costs $299.99 on newegg vs 99.99 for the 1TB) http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010150014%20103530090&bop=And&Order=PRICE

    But neiroatopelcc is right. Sometimes you just need the higher capacity in a single drive.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , April 21, 2009 4:14 PM
    I agree with snarfies. Reliability comes before everything else in a hard drive. Seagate have typically been the most reliable manufacturer for many years now (I get to see hundreds of drives and Seagate reliability has been fantastic for many years now). However, the firmware issue with their 7200.11 drives has been handled in disgraceful fashion by Seagate. Fortunately, I became aware of this problem during the early stages of its knowledge and managed to avoid ever buying one of these "Boat Anchors".

    I would be very interested to know if Seagate has done anything to earn our future trust in their products....
  • -1 Hide
    shushikiary , April 21, 2009 4:59 PM
    I can tell you that the 7200.12 does not have the same issues that the 7200.11 does, they are totally updated code bases and have different SOC's that mitigate many of the problems seen in the 7200.11 series. MANY MANY bugs that were in the 7200.11 series have also been stomped out in the 7200.12 series, and the next series after it will be even better. The 7200.11 drives were the first ones released with a new code base, and as usual, have the most bugs (not all of them, the smaller capacity ones are based on an older very robust code base, however the new code base has the potential to significantly improve performance as you're starting to see with the 7200.12's).

    But I've already said too much....
  • 0 Hide
    salsoolo , April 21, 2009 5:20 PM
    so what drive should i get for system/boot?
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