High-Capacity Business Hard Drives: Biggest Of The Bunch

New HDDs: High Efficiency, High Reliability, High Capacity

Western Digital’s Caviar Green arrived earlier this year, the first drive to hit the coveted 2 TB capacity point. The unit was recently re-validated and is now available under the RAID Edition brand (RE4) for business applications. Samsung sent us its 1 TB version of the Spinpoint F2 EcoGreen, and Seagate provided the low-power Barracuda LP, which now also hits 2 TB capacities and looks to outperform other green drives while still emphasizing efficiency. Lastly, we also included Hitachi’s Deskstar E7K1000, which isn’t marketed as a green drive per se. Instead designed for 24/7 operation, Hitachi’s unit competes with WD’s RE4 drive.

Shorter Warranties

Although WD’s new RE4 drives are branded and labeled as enterprise storage, the manufacturer only provides a three-year warranty, as with its other desktop hard drives. But WD isn’t alone. Seagate, which had offered five-year warranty for all retail products, quietly went back to three-year coverage several months ago. Samsung matches this warranty with its Spinpoint F2 EcoGreen. The one exception is Hitachi’s Deskstar E7K1000 and its beefier five-year warranty.

We understand that competition in the hard drive market is terribly fierce, but we also believe that long warranties represent the proper way for vendors to show they have confidence in what they sell.

5,900 RPM by Seagate

Most drive makers target power savings by releasing new drives based on lower spindle speeds. WD and Samsung, for instance, re-introduced 5,400 RPM speeds on their green drives. Hitachi has been reluctant to jump on the green bandwagon, with the exception of its 7,200 RPM Deskstar P7K500. This drive offers standout speed while keeping power consumption relatively low due to a single-platter layout.

Seagate recently introduced its own spin on how a low-power desktop drive should look. The Barracuda LP does rotate platters at reduced speed, but Seagate decided to have the drives run at an unusual 5,900 RPM, which is supposed to deliver the best combination of high performance, high capacity, and low power consumption.

We’re about to find the out if Seagate’s claims hold up under heavy testing.