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Power Consumption

WD Caviar GP: The "Green" 1 TB Drive

We did not have all the drives handy when we received the WD10EACS for review, so we only compared it to its direct competitor : the Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000. The difference is tremendous, as the 4-platter WD Caviar GP requires less than 50% of the Deskstar 7K1000’s idle power, and around 67% of its power at high activity. Combined with the considerably lower heat dissipation, the WD clearly is the better choice for anyone who is looking for a storage monster that is reasonable in terms of power and heat.


The first green 3.5" hard drive with a focus on power savings comes from Western Digital, and it comes with a little bang, as it quietly beats Samsung and Seagate to market. It spins at 5,400 RPM to save energy whenever high performance isn’t needed.

The main feature in WD’s GreenPower portfolio is the dynamic adjustment of the drive’s spindle speed. It can run at speeds between 5,400 RPM and 7,200 RPM to save energy whenever high performance isn’t needed. This feature is also the reason why the performance isn’t at the very top. The second benefit aside from reduced power consumption is low heat dissipation, which is at the level of a single-platter hard drive. Compared to the improvement in power consumption and surface temperature, the performance impact is almost negligible Compare Prices on Caviar 1 TB Drive.

At $330 and up, the terabyte hard drives from Hitachi and Western Digital are fighting at the same price point. Since the performance difference is little and will mainly be noticeable in I/O-intensive applications, we tend towards the more efficient Western Digital Caviar GP at this point.

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