New high areal density 2-and-3 TB Greens from WD

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ACOUSTICS, VIBRATION & POWER

3 TB Model: WD Greens have been quiet leaders among hard drives for some time. Our sample of the new 3 TB Green was very quiet, but it did not set records. It was about a decibel louder than previous 4-platter WD Green models, and vibrated a bit more, ranked at level 8 of our vibration test. Whether this is sample vairance or typical of the model is not possible to say without many more samples. We do have six samples of the WD20EVDS, an AV version of the 2 TB 4-platter model, and they are split evenly between level 8 and level 9 vibration , so it's not unreasonable to conjecture that some of the new 3 TB samples will also exhibit even less vibration.

Seek noise was extremely muted, with peaks just barely over the idle SPL. HD Tune 4.6 showed Automatic Acoustic Management (AAM) to be set at default to minimum noise (128 vs 256), like all the recent WD Greens we've encountered, including the other two samples closely examined here.

The 3 TB sample drew one watt higher peaks in seek than previous 4-platter samples, but its idle power was similarly low at around 4W. The 90 Hz fundamental peak confirms that it runs at same 5400 RPM speed as all the WD Greens we have tested over the years.

WD GREEN 3 & 2 TB MODEL COMPARISON
HDD
Mfg date
firmware version
Vibration
1-10
(10 = no vibration)
Activity State
Airborne Acoustics
(dBA@1m)
Measured
Power
WD Caviar Green 3TB WD30EZRS
18 Sept 2010
firmware 01.00A01
(750 GB/disc)
8
Idle
14.6
4.1 W (3.7 W heads parked)
Seek
14~15
7.5 W
WD Caviar Green 2TB WD20EARS
3 Aug 2010
firmware 01.00A01
(667 GB/disc)
9
Idle
12.8
2.8 W (2.4 W heads parked)
Seek
12~13
6.5 W
WD Caviar Green 2TB WD20EVDS
Nov 2009
firmware 01.00A01
(500 GB/disc)
8~9
Idle
13.6
3.9 W
(no head park)
Seek
13~14
6.5 W

2 TB (3-platter) Model: This sample was the record-setter. It is our quietest WD Green sample by a hair, just about the quietest hard drive we've tested when both idle and seek noise are considered, its vibration level is extremely low, and its idle power of 2.4W almost approaches notebook drive lows. The surprise is that this sample was made in August 2010, which suggests that it may have been selling in the marketplace for many months. There may be many lucky consumers who simply bought a "2 TB WD Green", and instead of receiving one of the older 4-platter variants, got this slightly quieter newer version 3-platter drive instead.

2 TB (4-platter) AV Model: The AV variant should be identical to the standard 2 TB 4-platter WD Green, as the only difference is the absence of the head park feature standard to WD green drives. Head park kicks in when the drive is idle for more than a few seconds. It is intended mostly to reduce energy consumption. For audio-video (including surveillance) applications where the drives are active 24/7, it could become a point of failure from over use, so the feature is left off. As mentioned, we have six samples, and the SPL variance among them is less than 1 dBA@1m; we picked one of the quieter ones. The vibration, as mentioned, varied a bit from sample to sample. The power consumption was very consistent, within a couple percent. Peak power of 6.5W is very modest, and the idle of ~4W is excellent and about par for WD Green 4-platter models.


The rotation of the platters causes a low frequency spike between 80 and 100 Hz, suggesting that the EcoGreen F4 spins at close to 5400 RPM.


Note near absence of any peaks in the midband for the 3-platter 2 TB WD Green.


The 2 TB AV 4-platter WD Green is <1 dBA@1m louder than the 3-platter model. (Narrow band peak at ~18kHz is a tone from the test platform power supply. Inaudible to most people: Too high in frequency, too low in level, at -15 dBA@1m.)



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