Viewing page 1 of 7 pages. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next1.5TB Caviar Green vs. 500GB Barracuda 7200.12
December 9, 2009 by Lawrence Lee
Western Digital Caviar Green WD15EADS
1.5TB Desktop Hard Drive
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS
500GB Desktop Hard Drive
The last Caviar Green we reviewed was the 2TB
WD20EADS, and like the rest of the line, it proved to be extremely energy
efficient and quiet thanks mainly to its low rotational speed of ~5400rpm. Even
though the drive had 4 platters, it measured just 2~3 dBA above our anechoic
chamber's noise floor. However, the level of vibration was a touch higher than
we would have liked, so hopefully the 3-platter WD15EADS can improve upon that.
It also happens to be the best bang-for-your-buck drive at the moment, retailing
for only $110. The 2TB and 1TB versions are priced at $200 and $85 respectively.
The Barracuda 7200.12 is a whole different animal, a performance drive spinning
at 7200rpm, which as a rule, isn't as good for noise. The 500GB variant is of
interest as it is a single-platter drive, and the old adage that fewer platters
equates to better performance and lower noise is alive and well. All things
equal, having only one spinning disc inside a drive will generate less noise,
but how the drive is encased can ruin the advantage our examination of
the WD Caviar SE16 320GB is a perfect
example of this. Fortunately, the last two single-platter drives to come through
our labs, the 5400rpm Samsung
EcoGreen 500GB and 5900rpm Seagate
Pipeline HD .2 500GB had impressive acoustics, though their low rotational
speeds certainly didn't hurt. The 7200.12 can't hope to compete with these drives,
but it still has the potential to win a best-in-class award.
Western Digital Caviar Green 1.5TB
The WD Caviar Green 1.5TB.
| WD Caviar Green WD15EADS: Key Features & Benefits
(from Western Digital's product
| FEATURE & BRIEF
|| Our Comment
|Reduced power consumption - WD has
reduced power consumption by up to 40 percent compared to standard desktop
drives with the combination of WD's IntelliSeek, NoTouch, and IntelliPower
||Whatever the main contributor, the power
efficiency of their Green drives is undisputed.
|Helps enable eco-friendly PCs - WD
Caviar Green drives yield an average drive power savings of 4-5 watts over
standard desktop drives making it possible for our energy-conscious customers
to build systems with higher capacities and the right balance of system
performance, ensured reliability, and energy conservation.
||While 4-5 watts may sound low, in a server
farm this can certainly add up.
|Cool and quiet - GreenPower
technology yields lower operating temperatures for increased reliability
and low acoustics for ultra-quiet PCs and external drives.
||Lowering the spindle speed is a big reason
for these improvements.
|Massive capacity - Capacities up
to 2 TB offer the most available capacity for storage-intensive programs
and space-hungry operating systems, like Window Vista®, with plenty
of room left over for photos, music, and video.
||2TB is nice, but the 1.5TB model offers
a much better capacity to cost ratio.
|Perfect for external drives - External
drive manufacturers can eliminate the need for a fan in a high-capacity
product with a WD Caviar Green drive, the coolest and quietest in its class.
||Hard-mounted in a stuffy enclosure, such
a drive would be the perfect fit.
|IntelliPower - A fine-tuned balance
of spin speed, transfer rate and caching algorithms designed to deliver
both significant power savings and solid performance
||WD's literature lists the possible speed
range as 5400~7200 RPM, but all our samples have spun at or close to 5400
|IntelliSeek - Calculates optimum
seek speeds to lower power consumption, noise, and vibration.
||Just-in-time seeking that lets the seek
head move more slowly when it would otherwise have to wait for the latency
of the spindle. Should be good for reliability as well.
|NoTouch ramp load technology - The
recording head never touches the disk media ensuring significantly less
wear to the recording head and media as well as better drive protection
||Not only does this reduce wear and tear,
but it also lowers the risk of accidental damage.
|Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR)
- Employs PMR technology to achieve even greater areal density.
|StableTrac - The motor shaft
is secured at both ends to reduce system-induced vibration and stabilize
platters for accurate tracking, during read and write operations. (2 TB
||Vibrations are less of a problem for
sub 7200 RPM drives.
|Low power spin-up - WD Caviar Green
drives consume less current during startup allowing lower peak loads.
||Measuring spin-up power consumption is
very difficult to confirm.
|Advanced power technology - Electronic
components deliver best-in-class low power consumption for reduced power
requirements and increased reliability.
WD Caviar Green WD15EADS: Specifications
| Disks / Heads
||3 / 6
| Spindle Rotation Speed
|Sustained Data Rate OD
| Power Requirements:
Standby & Sleep / Idle / Read & Write
|0.80W / 3.70W / 6.00W
Idle / Quiet Seek / Performance Seek
|25 / 26 / 29 dBA
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