High-Capacity Business Hard Drives: Biggest Of The Bunch

Benchmark Results: Power Consumption

The RE4 by Western Digital requires amazingly little power when it idles. A scant 3.5 W is a great result when you consider that four platters are spinning. Seagate’s four-platter 2 TB Barracuda LP requires 4.2 W in idle, and WD’s Caviar Green contender came in at 5.2 W. Still, no one can beat Samsung’s Spinpoint F2 EcoGreen when it comes to idle power when compared with the same amount of platters or capacity.

Power required at peak throughput doesn’t differ too much. The single-platter Samsung F2EG stays at only 5.1 W while two-platter drives require between 5.4 and 5.8 W. The three-platter drives require 5.9 to 6.6 W, and four–platter units are at 6.7 W if you read data at maximum speed. These statements apply to 5,400 and 5,900 RPM drives. The 7,200 RPM faction requires a bit more power.

Our FullHD video playback test tracks power consumption at this particular workload. The Samsung Spinpoint F2 EcoGreen drives are most efficient here, followed by Seagate’s new Barracuda LP.

Finally, the power consumption at maximum I/O is interesting, too. WD seems to be working with high acceleration, which also explains the short access times, but this requires more power. Again, Samsung dominates by requiring the least power (and the least I/O performance, by the way) followed by the new Barracuda LPs.