Western Digital Green 1.5TB vs. Seagate 7200.12 500GB

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POWER CONSUMPTION & VIBRATION

DRIVE NOISE TEST SUMMARY
Drive
Manufacture date
firmware version
Vibration
1-10
(10 = no vibration)
Activity State
Airborne Acoustics
(dBA@1m)
Measured
Power
WD Caviar Green 1.5TB WD15EADS
November 2009
firmware 01.00A01
9
Idle
13
4.5 W
(2.8 W heads unloaded)
Seek (AAM)
14
5.8 W
Seek
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB ST3500418AS
September 2009
firmware CC37
8
Idle
18
(16 muffled)
4.7 W
Seek
19~20
(18 muffled)
7.9W

The Caviar Green impressed us even more with its incredibly low level of vibration, the best we've seen in a desktop drive. Only slight tremors could be detected when the drive was held. The 7200.12 was also very good in this regard, which is rare for a 7200rpm drive; however, it's not quite up to the WD's level. Neither drive would generate much extra noise if hard-mounted.

The 7200.12 used about 5W idle and 8W during seek which is at least 2W better than most 640GB~1TB sized 3.5" drives. The Caviar Green was tremendously efficient, using about 6W during seek, and 4.5W when idle. The Green has a head parking feature which locks the drive head in place when it been idle 7~8 seconds. In this state, the power consumption dropped to less than 3W, which is simply phenomenal.

COMPETITIVE COMPARISON

The 1.5TB Caviar Green's airborne acoustics are among the lowest we've measured and its level of vibration is superior to any 3.5" drive we've tested previously. Power consumption was also amazingly low. If you count the 2.8W figure we recorded with its drive heads parked as its idle power, then it tops the charts, besting even single platter 5400/5900rpm drives from other manufacturers.

In contrast, the 500GB 7200.12 sounded terrible out of the box. Despite a notable lack of vibration, pressing a bit on the top casing improved its acoustics dramatically. After applying this tweak, it sounded much quieter, but still only average by today's standards — about on par with the 2-platter WD Caviar Blue 640GB, and slightly better than the 1TB and 1.5TB Barracuda 7200.11's. The amount of energy it used wasn't noteworthy; 5W in idle and 8W in seek is typical for a single-platter 7200rpm hard disk.

DRIVE NOISE TEST SUMMARY
Drive
Manufacture date
firmware version
Vibration
1-10
(10 = no vibration)
Activity State
Airborne Acoustics
(dBA@1m)
Measured
Power
WD Caviar Green
1.5TB WD15EADS
November 2009
firmware 01.00A01
9
Idle
13
4.5 W
(2.8 W heads unloaded)
Seek (AAM)
14
5.8 W
Seek
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB ST3500418AS
September 2009
firmware CC37
8
Idle
18
(16 muffled)
4.7 W
Seek
19~20
(18 muffled)
7.9W
PREVIOUSLY TESTED DESKTOP DRIVES
Samsung F2 EcoGreen 500GB HD502HL
February 2009
firmware 1AG01114
8
Idle
12
3.2 W
Seek (AAM)
15
5.3 W
Seek (Normal)
16
6.1 W
Seagate Pipeline HD .2 1TB ST31000424CS
April 2009
firmware SC13
7
Idle
12
3.4W
Seek
16
8.0W
Seagate Pipeline HD .2 500GB ST3500414CS
March 2009
firmware SC13
8
Idle
13
3.0 W
Seek
13~14
7.0 W
WD Caviar Green
2TB WD20EADS

February 2009
firmware 01.00A01
7
Idle
13
6.4 W
(4.0 W heads unloaded)
Seek (AAM)
6.5 W
Seek (Normal)
13~14
Seagate Pipeline HD
500GB ST3500321CS

July 2008
firmware SC14
6
Idle
14
4.8 W
Seek
15
6.9 W
Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB ST32000542AS
June 2009
firmware CC32
6
Idle
14
4.4W
Seek
17
8.6W
Seagate Pipeline HD Pro
1TB ST31000533CS

September 2008
firmware SC15
4
Idle
15
7.1 W
Seek
16
10.1 W
WD VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS
300GB, 10K RPM
15 May 2008
firmware 03.03V01
8
[w/o frame]
Idle
15
8.2 W
Seek (AAM)
20
12.2 W
Seek (Normal)
22
12.2 W
WD Caviar SE16
640GB WD6400AAKS
February 2008
firmware 01.03B01
7
Idle
16
6.8 W
Seek (AAM)
16~17
8.1 W
Seek (Normal)
18~19
9.3 W
Samsung F1
750GB HD753LJ

February 2008
firmware 1AA01109
6
Idle
16
6.9 W
Seek (AAM)
18~19
8.9 W
Seek (Normal)
20~21
10.2 W
Seagate 7200.11
1.5TB ST31500341AS

October 2008
firmware SD17
4
Idle
17
8.8 W
Seek
19
10.7 W
WD Caviar Black
1TB WD1001FALS

July 2008
firmware 05.00K05
4
Idle
21
8.5 W
Seek (AAM)
10.9 W
Seek (Normal)
25
11.0 W


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