New Desktop Hard Drives: Speed Or Capacity?


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.