Compared to the first generation “green” drives, both contenders represent a significant step forward. The first Samsung EcoGreen F1 reached 86 MB/s and had a 4.0 W idle power. WD’s 1,500 GB WD15EADS and Samsung’s EcoGreen F2 require less than 4 W in idle, and still deliver more than 100 MB/s in transfer throughput. Both were designed to deliver an ideal balance between performance and power consumption for storage-only applications, and it doesn’t come as a surprise to see that they cannot compete with performance-oriented 7,200 RPM drives.
Still, the characteristics of these two hard drives are significantly different. Both are low at idle power and stay really cool, but performance and efficiency varies. WD adjusted its 1.5 TB Caviar Green to deliver quick access time and high I/O performance, which results in a respectable performance per watt result for intensive I/O workloads. Samsung’s Spinpoint F2 EcoGreen is different. It delivers higher maximum transfer rates and lower power consumption in all application scenarios except when idle. As a result, Samsung does better in performance per watt for sequential streaming.
However, the differences will only be slightly noticeable, and they will only be noticeable if you actually use these units as system drives or for applications that require high performance. If you intend to use the drives for plain storage, backup, and archiving, you will probably not be able to see many differences between them in everyday operation. Both drives rest at a nice performance level considering their low spindle rotation speed, and it will be hard to further decrease power consumption without making fundamental design changes.