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Our sample was tested according to our standard
hard drive testing methodology. Our methodology focuses specifically on
HDD noise, and great effort is taken to ensure it is comprehensively measured
and described. Performance is not tested, for reasons discussed in detail in
the methodology article. For comprehensive HDD performance testing results,
we recommend Storage
Review, who have established a long reputation as the specialist in
this field. Their review of the Western Digital Green Power can be found in
a roundup of
several terabyte drives.
Our test drive was compared against our reference drives, the Seagate Barracuda
IV and Samsung Spinpoint P80, which are profiled in our methodology article.
To get a good idea of where the drives in this review stand, it is important
to read the methodology article thoroughly. It was also compared against our
current low-noise champ: A 500
GB Western Digital WD5000KS. A
250 GB Spinpoint P120 was also included in the comparison.
Two forms of hard drive noise are measured:
- Airborne acoustics
- Vibration-induced noise.
These two types of noise impact the subjective
perception of hard drive noise differently depending on how and where the drive
Both forms of noise are evaluated objectively and
subjectively. Both the subjective and objective analyses are essential to understanding
the acoustics of the drives. Airborne acoustics are measured using a professional
caliber SLM. Measurements are taken at a distance of one meter above the top
of the drive using an A-weighted filter. Vibration noise is rated on a scale
of 1-10 by comparing against our standard reference drives.
A final caveat: As with most reviews, our comments
are relevant to the sample we tested. Your sample may not be identical. There
are always some sample variances, and manufacturers also make changes without
Ambient conditions at the time of testing were 18 dBA and 20°C.
No noise difference between the two WD Green Power drives could be measured and none
could be heard either. A few minor differences showed up after thorough examination,
but these are unlikely ever to be noticed outside of our lab. For example, the
terabyte drive vibrated slightly less, but with the 750GB model's already minuscule
amount of vibration, the difference wasn't enough to be audible. In any case,
the cause of the difference is most likely to be sample variance than any fundamental
difference between the two capacity points.
Seek noise in the terabyte drive was slightly sharper, with less underlying
rumble. This difference was clearly audible on our test bench, but considering
how quiet the seek noise is on both models, it's probably meaningless
in a real system.
Some small differences in power consumption were also evident. Predictably,
the terabyte drive consumed more power about a watt during seeking. Both
drives consumed 3.7W in idle, but our terabyte sample did not exhibit the odd
fluctuations in idle power that made measuring the 750 GB model so difficult.
All in all, we are pleased (and relieved) to find that the terabyte drive is
so similar to the 750 GB model. This may be the first time we've ever been able
to say that the quietest drive on the market is also one of the largest. The
terabyte Green Power will find a permanent home in SPCR's home theater test
Many thanks to Western
Digital for the Caviar Green Power sample.
SPCR Articles of Related Interest:
SPCR's Hard Drive Testing Methodology
SPCR's Recommended Hard Drives
Western Digital 750 GB Green Power
Western Digital Caviar SE16 500 GB: Big,
Low Noise Champ?
Samsung Spinpoint T Series: Successor to
a Quiet Legacy
* * *
this article in the SPCR Forums.
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