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WD's 2nd Gen GP: More Speed, Less Power

WD's 2nd Gen GP: More Speed, Less Power
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Enthusiasts—even the ones who love powerful graphics cards and multi-core processors—are increasingly aware of the fact that energy conservation is in vogue. More and more new products are being given catchy labels with “green,” “energy efficient,” and “environmentally friendly” in them, as popular vendors capitalize on this market. However, only some of the claimed power-saving components really are power-efficient—others use less power, but underperform in the process, which means they take longer to complete the same task, negating some of the savings. Western Digital’s new WD10EADS Green Power drive aims to reduce drive power consumption while increasing performance, and it gets very close to accomplishing just that.

Green IT Does Not Exist, Really

To many manufacturers, “green” is synonymous with “low power.” This may be a reasonable assumption in many cases, but not always. A low-power part may actually require more power than a mainstream part when there is a certain workload to take care of. Efficiency is what counts most, but that still doesn’t turn a green component into an environmentally-friendly part.

The truth is that no hardware component can really be considered “green” from an ecological standpoint, as lots of natural resources—energy, water, minerals, and waste byproduct—go into producing them. Start with all the raw materials, such as oil, copper, or silicon. Turn them into components such as circuit boards, controllers and platters. And voila, several assembly lines later, you have the drive itself.

Do The New Caviar Green Drives Make A Difference?

With that said, every little bit helps. Since hard drives are really the only choice when it comes to sufficiently fast, high-capacity storage, users should focus on efficient products that deliver the best performance with low power consumption.

The first generation of green drives by Western Digital was called the Caviar GP, where GP stood for “Green Power.” This series launched exactly one year ago, and included WD’s first terabyte hard drive. We followed up in June when we compared Hitachi and WD drives that are power-optimized, and it turned out that Hitachi’s 7,200 RPM drive could beat the 5,400 RPM Caviar GP. Let’s see what the new WD Green Power drives can do.

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  • 1 Hide
    zodiacfml , December 3, 2008 10:51 AM
    that's nice for server or a drive to save media files
    but won't be enough to steer loyal buyers from different brands for the same capacity.
  • 0 Hide
    jeffunit , December 3, 2008 12:07 PM
    How do I get a copy of c't h2benchw 3.6? I looked on the c't site,
    and I could only find a much older copy.
  • 8 Hide
    joebob2000 , December 3, 2008 12:33 PM
    kwik_ukDo people not realise that most of us just DO NOT CARE about all this eco-hype?Long live the big block V8!!


    Rick Wagoner, CEO of failed car manufacturer General Motors, is that you?
  • 5 Hide
    zak_mckraken , December 3, 2008 12:33 PM
    Quote:
    Green IT Does Not Exist, Really


    While it's true that a computer part (or a car, or a factory, etc.) can't be considered "green" by itself, it can be "greener" by the way we produce and use those parts. Every little bit count and if we can reduce energy consumption without sacrificing power, it's a win-win situation!

    BTW, kwik_uk, you're a douche.
  • 1 Hide
    kenyee , December 3, 2008 12:38 PM
    Does this drive still have the "pause" issue of the previous one where it takes some time to "wake up" from some sort of power sleep mode?
  • 2 Hide
    dmbinbc , December 3, 2008 1:18 PM
    I power my house with batteries. I get very specific about power usage. These drives are saving me a lot of power. My segate drives use around 8 to 10 watts. I have since replaced 2 of them with the wd eacs drives. * drives X 8 watts = 64 watts. When I do the estimate wit wd eacs drives, 8 X 5 watts = 40 watts, ther is a savings. What I want to know is, when does this drive go into sleep state? Do I need the whole system, Windows, to sleep, or does the drive go into a sleep state when it is not being used. Out of the 8 drives I am only using 1 at anytime. Therfore I am wasting an additional 35 watts. Do these drives sleep, (Power < 1 watt), while windows is running or when windows goes to sleep???
  • 0 Hide
    dmbinbc , December 3, 2008 1:22 PM
    I power my house with batteries. I get very specific about power usage when one considers the number of hours that the computer is running, which for me is more then 12 hours! These drives are saving me a lot of power. My segate drives use around 8 to 10 watts. I have since replaced 2 of them with the wd eacs drives. * drives X 8 watts = 64 watts. When I do the estimate wit wd eacs drives, 8 X 5 watts = 40 watts, ther is a savings. What I want to know is, when does this drive go into sleep state? Do I need the whole system, Windows, to sleep, or does the drive go into a sleep state when it is not being used. Out of the 8 drives I am only using 1 at anytime. Therfore I am wasting an additional 35 watts. Do these drives sleep, (Power < 1 watt), while windows is running or when windows goes to sleep???
  • 2 Hide
    puddleglum , December 3, 2008 1:25 PM
    Thank-you for this green drive coverage and the other energy efficient power supply coverage. How about doing a green office/home system build in contrast to your gaming system builds. I'd be interested in seeing the savings possibilities of an average system.
  • 1 Hide
    malveaux , December 3, 2008 1:58 PM
    Heya,

    I appreciate the effort on their parts to get things more efficient. I don't care if it's great for the environment, so to speak, because frankly, none of this stuff is friendly--ever (manufacturing, forget it being friendly to the planet, it sucks, and always will). However, efficiency is a real good selling point. Less power means less money I spend to opperate. More performance on less power means efficiency. I'm all for that.

    Unfortunately, in the HDD world, these efficiency numbers are POINTLESS for the common consumer who typically has one or two drives. They save so FEW watts on their HDD on something that already was drawing VERY LITTLE POWER to begin with. Especially considering their machines are NOT always one. These new efficiency lower power HDD sollutions are more important to FARMS of HDD's like servers that are ALWAYS ON. This does not apply to 99% of the users of computers; and especially not those that visit this website.

    I really wish they'd stop trying to advertise to EVERYONE like they're the FEW big server businesses that look into cutting power, where thousands of drives drawing thousands of watts makes a huge difference in money. For the end user here at home? You may just save $2.50 this year, power wise, due to this green drive. WAKE UP. The writers of these articles should be FRANK about it instead of trying to sell this stuff under the guise of it actually making a difference for anyone BUT those who have hundreds and thousands of drives running `always.'

    Now, if only the CPU/GPU folks would get on board and start looking into producing units that have killer performance but don't spike 300watts during load.

    Cheers, :) 
  • 0 Hide
    malveaux , December 3, 2008 2:03 PM
    Puddleglum,

    A gaming machine will never be efficient because it requires a beefy GPU that draws more power than the entire computer can at load with several drives and a big CPU. Our GPU's are the new `V8' of the computer world, and nothing is changing about it currently other than to get even more powerful for even more power costs. This is stupid, but they're making money so don't care, and are not turning out products right now that are powerful on low energy, because they don't `have to.'

    Now, an office machine IS very efficient, quiet and draws little power. Even in an `always on' state. In corps and businesses, we use them. You can use them at home too. The only difference is using a CPU that is low power that can survive on passive cooling (heatsink) and no fan (less energy use); celerons, semprons, come to mind. No GPU that is big is used; just an onboard chipset that draws little power, enough to display an OS, nothing powerful enough to render. Then simply plop in a low wattage, but highly efficient PSU to power it and you'll see it gets by on very little power. The HDD takes up so little, that it doesn't matter much on our user level.

    Cheers,
  • -6 Hide
    computerninja7823 , December 3, 2008 2:12 PM
    kwik_ukI'm sick to death of all the "eco" items coming out now. Do people not realise that most of us just DO NOT CARE about all this eco-hype?Long live the big block V8!!

    i agree thats what i got in my truck!
  • 0 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , December 3, 2008 2:13 PM
    puddleglumThank-you for this green drive coverage and the other energy efficient power supply coverage. How about doing a green office/home system build in contrast to your gaming system builds. I'd be interested in seeing the savings possibilities of an average system.

    Perhaps an update to the Solar Powered Desktop build?
  • 4 Hide
    gwellin , December 3, 2008 2:24 PM
    kwik_ukI'm sick to death of all the "eco" items coming out now. Do people not realise that most of us just DO NOT CARE about all this eco-hype?Long live the big block V8!!


    Don't Be stupid. There is always going to be a different product for different situations. Let me ask you a simple question. If you wanted to build a 3TB HTPC would you build it with three 1TB green drives or ten 300GB Raptor drives? I have a supercharged 502 in my '77 pickup but I don't drive it everyday to work. Don't post stupid comments next time.
  • 4 Hide
    ifko_pifko , December 3, 2008 2:54 PM
    Hmmmm. I would like to know the Power Requirement at load. Why is it not in this review?
  • -2 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , December 3, 2008 2:57 PM
    ifko_pifkoHmmmm. I would like to know the Power Requirement at load. Why is it not in this review?

    What, you mean of the entire system?
  • 0 Hide
    sox7000 , December 3, 2008 3:28 PM
    I know that the Q1 Q2 Q4........Q64 refers to the command queue depth Am i right? but how the heck when @Q64 the I/O is more than when it's @Q1
  • 1 Hide
    joebob2000 , December 3, 2008 3:36 PM
    sox7000I know that the Q1 Q2 Q4........Q64 refers to the command queue depth Am i right? but how the heck when @Q64 the I/O is more than when it's @Q1


    The more requests are in queue, the more likely the drive is going to optimize them and complete them all faster. This was the point of introducing NCQ on SATA disks, the more stuff in the queue the better the odds are that sequential activity can take place. With no queue (a depth of 1 basically) all the disk can do is fill one request and then sit and wait for another.
  • 3 Hide
    knickle , December 3, 2008 3:45 PM
    ifko_pifkoHmmmm. I would like to know the Power Requirement at load. Why is it not in this review?


    Did you read the article or just look at the first chart with the drive specs?

    The power changes depending on the task as shown in the charts.

    Page 6 - Workstation - Type I/O Avg power: 5.5 watts
    Page 7 - Streaming Read Operations Type I/O Avg power: 5.3 watts

    What the article was trying to demonstrate is the relationship between power vs performance. What's the point of lowering the power consumption if it's only going to take you longer to complete the same task? You end up eating the same amount, or sometimes more, energy to get the job done. Performance per watt is what you want to look at more closely.
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