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We measured power consumption in idle mode, and there was one obvious winner: the Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.B. It is the newest drive of these four, and requires almost half the idle power than the oldest one. It makes sense to look for a low power hard drive, but only if you already have an eye on power consumption of the other system components. Power supply efficiency and power consumption of the processor, the graphics card and the platform are more significant than the hard drive power requirements.
Hitachi offers the lowest average power requirement during our workstation I/O test. The others follow, while Samsung is last.
The power requirements during our streaming reads test were rather comparable; Hitachi again did best.
Drive Surface Temperature
Drive surface temperatures are often directly related to the power requirements of a hard drive, and that is the case in this comparison: Hitachi’s Deskstar 7K1000.B exhibited the lowest surface temperature. Note that all four drives spin at 7,200 RPM and are based on a two-platter design to store the 500 GB; there still is a 10% difference between Hitachi and Samsung in this particular test.