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Hitachi Releases World's Most Energy-Efficient HDD

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the fewer-hamsters-required dept.

Data Storage 118

An anonymous reader writes "Today Hitachi released what they are calling the 'world's most energy efficient desktop hard drive' capable of reducing the active and idle power consumption by up to 40 percent over the previous generation." The drive will come in a range of flavors starting at 250GB and ranging to 500GB. Hitachi is promising these drives in high volume later this year.

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Okay, Less Power (4, Interesting)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074683)

Okay, less power. But what have you given up in the trade-off?

your wallet (5, Insightful)

reaktor (949798) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074709)

You can bet these will be more pricey.

Flamebait?! (1, Insightful)

luder (923306) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075491)

The parent is at least a tiny bit funny and insightful, but flamebait? Lot's of stress around, I see... Maybe because it is monday.

god shut up (-1, Troll)

R00BYtheN00BY (1118945) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074747)

fuck off troll

Three obvious things (2, Interesting)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074903)

A) These drives were basically designed for datacenters, so you can look at paying out the teeth for them.
B) Latency. Nowhere did they mention the "wake-up" time from the Low RPM mode, but you can guarantee it's horrendous. "Average Latency" as the specs say, only tell you what happened during test conditions, conditions very unlikely to put it into Low RPM mode.
C) Density. Cutting edge drives are more dense.


If I were Google, these might sound like attractive trade offs.

Re:Three obvious things (4, Interesting)

More_Cowbell (957742) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075173)

A) These drives were basically designed for datacenters, so you can look at paying out the teeth for them.
Actually I doubt that. From TFA, they are 7200rpm SATA drives. In data centers this is really not what you will find.
All servers in data centers are running 15000rpm these days. Mostly SCSI until recently, in my experience.

Re:Three obvious things (2, Insightful)

Shadow-isoHunt (1014539) | more than 6 years ago | (#21076319)

Perhaps in prebuilt systems and database servers, but it's more common than you'd think to just slap a bunch of SATA drivevs in raid 10 or raid 5 with a decent 3ware card managing the array. A decent sized(say, 300gb, because that's what's on newegg right now) 15k RPM SCSI drive from seagate will cost you $700. Why spend $1400 on 300gb of storage(you do need rendundancy if you need a 15k RPM drive), when you can spend the same money on a larger, faster array?

Re:Three obvious things (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 6 years ago | (#21076743)

Because it's only faster in raw throughput, not random reads, and if it's RAID-5 not writes either. While everything has its place most midsized and larger shops are going to have a lot of $ wisely invested in 10&15k drives. We use SATA for DR, archival storage, and disk to disk to tape, and that's about it. Not everyone is Google where you can design your app to run in ram with disk as a backup or a startup that builds their own file servers.

Re:Three obvious things (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 6 years ago | (#21078437)

Actually 3ware isn't a very good SATA-RAID-card brand.

Re:Three obvious things (1)

Agripa (139780) | more than 6 years ago | (#21079937)

Actually 3ware isn't a very good SATA-RAID-card brand.

Which ones are then? I have actually had very good results with my old 7500 series 3ware (PATA, not SATA) cards although I would purchase differently today or maybe go with Linux or BSD based NAS.

Re:Three obvious things (1)

dosguru (218210) | more than 6 years ago | (#21079299)

SCSI? What sort of backwards datacenter are you in? We (and our peer companies) use 95%+ FC or SATA2. SCSI drives were so 1990s....

Re:Three obvious things (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075203)

That doesn't really strike me as the first application of these drives. For something like a laptop, I could see it being very useful, where power usage is extremely important, and you don't mind waiting for the disk to spin up. In a datacentre, you most likely aren't going to be running the drive under conditions where it would have time to slow down, or you wouldn't be willing to make the sacrifice in speed that slowing down the drive would bring.

Re:Three obvious things (1)

pv2b (231846) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075919)

What kind of laptop do you have that uses 3.5" drives? :-)

Luggable computers (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21079039)

What kind of laptop do you have that uses 3.5" drives? :-)
A peni^W "desktop replacement", I'm guessing. There is still a market for luggable computers [wikipedia.org] for people who want a powerful portable PC that can be moved from desk to desk, including mobile creative people and LAN party gamers.

Re:Three obvious things (1)

ScrappyLaptop (733753) | more than 6 years ago | (#21078237)

You know, I'm not sure if I agree or not. On the one hand this may be a case of "when all you have is a hammer"; energy savings drive sales right now, at least according to those funny marketing clowns and so H has a drive aimed squarely at that market. And that market is datacenters for 3.5 in drives. Latency? MTBF? Nah, we got low average power usage bragging rights from our testing, right here! On the other hand, without a comprehensive, large scale redesign of the way datacenters are conceived and built, this piecemeal energy savings is all we've got...and (watch out for flying monkeys) I bet almost all small to medium datacenters won't be in a more energy efficient form until whole ways of thinking change. Then you get into all the funny business: Hey! I've got energy efficient drives that spin down when not in use! And I have virtualized servers so that my hardware is always 85% utilized! Oh, wait.

Now, apply that technology to laptop drives and you have...SpeedStep for drives, whoo-hoo! My whole laptop is going to be see-sawing from just above sleep to full power continuously!

My big question is: can the drives be used during spin up from low speeds? If not, I'm not interested. If they can, then this might be interesting...

Re:Three obvious things (1)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075207)

> "These drives were basically designed for datacenters, so you can look at paying out the teeth for them."

If its being used in a data center, what is the likelyhood that it will be able to "low-idle" for any length of time?

More likely these are for getting the "Energy Saver" sticker on desktop computers that have higher-consumption video, cpu, etc. Of course, just turning off the computer before going home will save more energy than leaving everything on during "down time", but too many people like to come in and see their pretty screen savers first thing in the morning.

Also, in the winter months, if you're heating with electricity, might as well get some "work" out of it - leave the computer on 24/7. Just install a few extra case fans.

Re:Three obvious things (2, Insightful)

graphicsguy (710710) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075365)

If its being used in a data center, what is the likelyhood that it will be able to "low-idle" for any length of time?

What percentage of Google's data do you think is actually being accessed at any given time? I'll bet most of the queries are for a small percentage of the data, plus most accesses are to the indexes and not to the actual data caches.

People don't even read the SUMMARIES any more ... (3, Informative)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075595)

Lets go back to what I originally stated - that these drives are probably NOT for data centers.

From the summary of TFA:

> "Today Hitachi released what they are calling the 'world's most energy efficient desktop hard drive'

These are probably NEVER going to go into data centers, at least not under any sort of warranty.

Re:People don't even read the SUMMARIES any more . (1)

dosguru (218210) | more than 6 years ago | (#21079385)

Drives are cheap, it's the SAN hookups that are expensive. Our 80TB Sun array (Tier II Storage) is full of the same Hitachi disks that I have in my desktop. However, Sun provides the advanced controlers and software to make sure we have zero downtime.

Paying out the teeth? (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075397)

I've heard "paying through the nose" but not "paying out the teeth".

 

Re:Paying out the teeth? (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075519)

Exploding teeth hurt more than exploding noses, or so I would guess (just ask anyone who has had major dental work... ugh)

Re:Paying out the teeth? (1)

droopycom (470921) | more than 6 years ago | (#21076167)

Thats just a liquidity issue....

Sniff a cock (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21074957)

If the smell is agreeable to you, then you can suck it.

--Tip of the day!

Re:Okay, Less Power (1)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075951)

Guessing higher seek times, if it isn't spinning at full speed during idle.

Re:Okay, Less Power (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075965)

Okay, less power. But what have you given up in the trade-off?
You buy Deathstar (now Hitachi Global Storage Satan Dataeater DeathStar [wikipedia.org] ). It works really well for about a year, to trick you into storing vital data on it and then goes from making funny noises to total failure in a matter of hours.

Actually when Deathstars decide to destroy your data they actually do a much more thorough job than DOD 5220.22-M [microsoft.com] :

http://www.astro.ufl.edu/~ken/crash/index.html [ufl.edu]

Note that the drive has scraped all the magnetic oxide off the glass platter and deposited it the bottom of the drive.

I can imagine situations where this would be useful, like when Iranian students stormed the US embassy in 1979. Imagine if the embassy PCs had had a self destruct button which would trigger this "scrape all the oxide off the platter" behaviour.

Of course the current Deathstar behaviour of destroying your data to the point where not even the NSA could get it back after a long but unpredictable period of working very well is somewhat less useful.

Re:Okay, Less Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21076173)

If a disk failure costs you more than some money and a little time, then your backup strategy is broken.

Re:Okay, Less Power (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 6 years ago | (#21077429)

The drives you're satirizing were fixed with a firmware update and haven't been manufactured in years. I'll bet you still make exploding Pinto jokes.

Re:Okay, Less Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21080557)

Boo. Still funny. And it doesn't matter how many years it has been since they stopped making them, but exploding Pinto jokes are still valid. Same way you can still rip on the Edsel.

Comparing (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074737)

claims that it's the world's most energy efficient desktop hard drive and reduces the active and idle power consumption by up to 40 percent over the previous generation.
But comparing which hard drive / manufacturer to who, yourself to yourself?

Power consumption of a hard drive == ??? (1)

Lookin4Trouble (1112649) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074851)

And how does it compare to say, solid state hard disks?

This post not meant to be insightful or funny, I really want to know.

Re:Power consumption of a hard drive == ??? (3, Informative)

soldack (48581) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075383)

My bet is that solid state drives do much better. Moving parts consume a lot of power.
http://news.digitaltrends.com/news/story/12556/samsung_announces_64_gb_solid_state_drive [digitaltrends.com]
"...consumes just half a Watt when operating (one tenth of a Watt when idle)"

vs. from the article:

"Through a 40-percent power reduction, Hitachi GST has delivered unmatched idle power utilization of 3.6 watts on the 250GB capacity model and 4.8 watts on models with capacities of 320GB or greater. Similarly, the P7K500 has reduced its active power requirements to 6.4 watts and 8.2 watts for its one- and two-disk models, respectively. By utilizing roughly half the 7 watts of idle power typically allocated for hard drives..."

Re:Power consumption of a hard drive == ??? (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#21081679)

My bet is that solid state drives do much better.

They do better, but not by a lot.

Moving parts consume a lot of power.

Chips consume a lot of power.

"...consumes just half a Watt when operating (one tenth of a Watt when idle)"

It's really pretty easy to cut power consumption if you're willing to drastically cut performance as well.

Most Energy Efficient (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21074863)

Compared to what?
Watts per Gigabyte, i doubt it.

okay. (2, Funny)

ritalinvillain (780156) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074893)

but can they get rid of that horrible grinding noise?

Re:okay. (2, Funny)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075249)

> "but can they get rid of that horrible grinding noise?"

... its right after it stops making that grinding noise that it becomes super-energy-efficient!!! 0 watts!!!

But it's got to make that noice.... (1)

hasbeard (982620) | more than 6 years ago | (#21076423)

so that you'll know that it's working. :)

Re:okay. (1)

Divide By Zero (70303) | more than 6 years ago | (#21076509)

I barely hear my Samsung Spinpoint.

You can buy a lot of quiet computing hardware, including hard drives [endpcnoise.com] . It can get pricey if you get really fanatical about it, but I wouldn't buy another PC again that wasn't designed to be quiet. A quiet office is just too nice.

Re:okay. (1)

El_Oscuro (1022477) | more than 6 years ago | (#21079373)

That grinding noise is just the sound of bits flying off the spindle and hitting the side of the computer case.

This might be interesting for large arrays... (5, Informative)

Gordo_1 (256312) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074907)

but for most desktops and servers, at 6-8 watts idle and 10-12 watts when actively seeking, HDD power consumption typically represents 5% or less of the overall power consumption of a modern system. Good PR for Hitachi though.

Re:This might be interesting for large arrays... (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075675)

My laptop uses on 20 watts while operating, so cutting out 6 watts would be quite beneficial.

Re:This might be interesting for large arrays... (1)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075779)

> "My laptop uses on 20 watts while operating, so cutting out 6 watts would be quite beneficial."

I know its not usual to read the articles, but could you (and everyone else) at least read the summary?

The summary makes it clear these are for desktops, not laptops, data centers, or anything else.

FTFS: "Today Hitachi released what they are calling the 'world's most energy efficient desktop hard drive"

Re:This might be interesting for large arrays... (1)

Per Bothner (19354) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075889)

The summary makes it clear these are for desktops, not laptops, data centers, or anything else.

And to clarify (since the Original Article's title is wrong): these are announced as the most efficient desktop hard drives, because laptop hard drives are already much more efficient than desktop hard drives. In fact, if you want to build an energy efficient desktop, a good way is to use a laptop hard drive with an adapter.

Re:This might be interesting for large arrays... (1)

gmack (197796) | more than 6 years ago | (#21076903)

In fact, if you want to build an energy efficient desktop, a good way is to use a laptop hard drive with an adapter.

Actually thanks to SATA the adaptor is no longer needed. They have the same plug now.

Re:This might be interesting for large arrays... (1)

Per Bothner (19354) | more than 6 years ago | (#21077187)

The power connectors seem to be still different. Also you probably
need some kind of mounting bracket to keep the drive physically in place,
unless you have a case designed for the smaller laptop drives.

Re:This might be interesting for large arrays... (1)

gmack (197796) | more than 6 years ago | (#21077433)

Your right about the mounting bracket although my power connector seems to work fine but then I use the SATA power connector.

Re:This might be interesting for large arrays... (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#21081277)

My laptop uses on 20 watts while operating, so cutting out 6 watts would be quite beneficial.

Your laptop hard drive is far more efficient than desktop hard drives. There probably isn't even 6 watts to be cut from your notebook's hard drive power consumption to begin with.

Re:This might be interesting for large arrays... (2, Interesting)

Skapare (16644) | more than 6 years ago | (#21076327)

Portable drives powered via the USB connection can take more power than USB permits. Get the drive well under that level and you wan't need to use those double-USB cables.

Re:This might be interesting for large arrays... (1)

Michael Woodhams (112247) | more than 6 years ago | (#21077241)

A typical desktop would idle at around 60W and peak at around 150W, so it is more like 10% of overall power consumption. A single-GPU gaming system (high-end CPU, GPU, mild overclocking) might consume about twice that.

Those >600W PSUs are just for people who need to psychologically compensate for something.

but will it run Linux? (3, Interesting)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074909)

OK, I've read the article, but he important question was not addresses: Will it run Linux, or XP for that matter, or does it get some of it's power savings by the same technique some new notebook drive do, embedded flash memory that is only supported in that awful Vista and not XP?

Re:but will it run Linux? (1)

tsbiscaro (888711) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075005)

Damn man, you turn the most funny joke ever into a serious question.

Re:but will it run Linux? (1)

Rolgar (556636) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075159)

Nah, the real question is if these are affected by the same patent as all the other drives that we won't be buying soon because of patent infringement [slashdot.org] .

Re:but will it run Linux? (2, Funny)

pclminion (145572) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075251)

Will a hard drive run Linux... I quote Babbage: I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.

Re:but will it run Linux? (2, Insightful)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075379)

Maybe you are new here. The question is a classic one, and the meaning should be well understood by most readers. It is less clear but far more relevant to this group than the more wordy "but will Linux or XP be able to use this drive". And I explained the issue in the text body. Can you ever forgive me for the confusion that I have caused you?

Re:but will it run Linux? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21077875)

From the article:

"The 7200rpm SATA hard drive"

That pretty much means that any computer with a SATA port can use it, and SATA pretty much means that any modern OS can run on it/make use of it.

The question is questionably classic, but it definitely isn't classic when it is asked stupidly.

Oh Really? (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 6 years ago | (#21078743)

Are you sure the question was asked stupidly? Or was it perhaps answered rudely (and maybe incorrectly)? For example the Seagate Momentus 5400 PSD Laptop Hybrid drive is one of the drives that contains 256MB of flash memory and is said to be only usable under Vista, and yet it's specs claim it has a SATA 1.5GB/s interface (note that this is a notebook drive and not a 3GB/s desktop drive). So if I was so stupid in asking this question, how do you explain the specs of the Seagate Momentus? And let me ask another stupid question: If hybrid drive techniques really do save power, why would a drive maker who was trying to position it's drives as power saving not use them (aside from the nasty Vista only issue)?

Re:Oh Really? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21079055)

What the hell? The seagate/hybrid/readyboost stuff is a complete non sequitur. I imagine Hitachi(I am presuming that you are talking about Hitachi when you talk about a drive maker positioning themselves, I don't know) isn't making hybrids because the pieces of that particular puzzle aren't really anywhere near being in place, and they don't think they will make money by supporting it now. I guess you could be reaching for 'does linux take advantage of the hybrid features?', but I don't know in what world people would connect that with 'does it run linux'. I'm sure that you could install and use linux on the Seagate drive you are talking about, it just wouldn't take advantage of the additional hardware(until someone writes some support for it, perhaps this is already underway, I don't use Linux and have no idea). So it would run Linux, but it wouldn't be 'Turbo'.

Anyway, back to the Hitachi drive in the article, there is no mention anywhere of it being non standard in any way, just that they made improvements to the hardware that they happen to use to make the drive work under the standard, so it really doesn't make any sense at all to be asking about whether standard systems will be able to use a standard drive. The initial response you got was appropriate, and hilarious.

Re:Oh Really? (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 6 years ago | (#21079081)

Are you sure the question was asked stupidly? Or was it perhaps answered rudely (and maybe incorrectly)?

I don't see how the answer was rude, given that I didn't SUPPLY an answer. It just seemed a good opportunity to bust out one of my favorite quotes. A hard drive that actually "runs Linux" would be awesome, though.

Back to the point, if it doesn't work in Linux, it soon will. That's just the way of it.

That's nothing (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21074925)

We have a closet full of hard drives, some of which have consumed zero Watts for about a decade.

How's that for energy efficient?

Re:That's nothing (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21076389)

When I was working for the government during one of my co-op terms, they what was basically a fridge full of hard drives. They had this giant SAN, that took up an entire rack cabinet. I asked about it, they said it wasn't even turned on. Great use of tax payer dollars right there. Buy a giant SAN, just to use up the budget, but they don't even have any use for it. That machine was using about 0 watts, as it wasn't even plugged in.

Later this year? (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074947)

Maybe it will be on the Christmas wish-list of all environmentally-conscious or budget-strapped geeks everywhere. Because they don't have time to release it for anything else.

Would it make a difference in desktop machines? (1)

ZipR (584654) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074977)

My understanding of how computers are powered is limited, but if the drive requires less power will the power supply draw less power from the outlet? I would have thought that PSUs draw a constant amount.

Re:Would it make a difference in desktop machines? (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075049)

Yes. No. If you leave it on of course, and if the drives won't spin down completely (which they normally won't, too many services etc.). This is why I'm going for a flash/hdd combination, so the HDD can spin down.

Re:Would it make a difference in desktop machines? (3, Informative)

Quadraginta (902985) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075099)

I would have thought that PSUs draw a constant amount.

Goodness, no. The current the power supply draws from the wall varies with the amount of power it's being asked to supply. You can easily verify this yourself by noticing how much hotter your laptop gets when you're making it do a lot of work. The heat it puts out is the final form of the energy the power supply draws from the wall (or the battery).

Re:Would it make a difference in desktop machines? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21075157)

For any component (PSU included) power in == power out, always. Now, that includes things like waste heat as a path for power to go out, but you'd have to contrive a circuit very carefully to make it increase waste heat output by 1W for every 1W decrease in draw from downstream devices.

It may seem counterintuitive -- it did to me at one time -- but decreasing the draw on the PSU would indeed decrease its draw from the line.

Re:Would it make a difference in desktop machines? (1)

ZipR (584654) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075841)

So in theory, if I upgraded my PSU from the 400 Watt one I have now to a 1000 Watt PSU without upgrading any other PC components, it would use about the same amount of power?

Re:Would it make a difference in desktop machines? (1)

pv2b (231846) | more than 6 years ago | (#21076025)

Yes, in theory. But why does any reasonable user need that much power?

I'm genuinely curious. What *is* it that drives the demand for power supplies that can source that much power? I run a home file server (a crappy Pentium II -- 266 MHz, yay) with 7 hard drives stuck in it off a rather wimpy power supply -- almost certainly no more than 350 W -- probably closer to 250 W. (Not sure what it is, and I can't be arsed to go check.)

Re:Would it make a difference in desktop machines? (1)

viper66 (412839) | more than 6 years ago | (#21076939)

I don't think anyone really needs 1000W in a desktop, but with quad core CPUs, SLI video cards and multiple hard drives 500/600W isn't unreasonable.

And to answer the grandparent, a higher capacity power supply could use more power if the efficiency at low loads is worse than the lower capacity power supply (and it usually is). A typical modern desktop system at idle will only use around 75W of power. Let's say the 400W is 75% efficient at 75W load and the 1000W is 70% at the same load. The 400W will pull 100W from the wall and the 1000W will pull 107W, so 7W of power will be wasted.

Re:Would it make a difference in desktop machines? (1)

Trinn (523103) | more than 6 years ago | (#21077007)

high-end CPUs and GPUs, as well as massive drive arrays (if its all in the same box, add a few watts at least of cooling too, possibly tens of watts)

Re:Would it make a difference in desktop machines? (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 6 years ago | (#21077049)

The amount of power the PSU draws from the wall is equal to the power it outputs divided by the efficiency. However, not all PSUs are equally efficient, and the efficiency of a given PSU varies depending on the load.

Most PSUs have a "sweet spot" for efficiency somewhere in the middle of their output range, so - all else being equal - small PSUs will be more efficient with light loads but large PSUs will be more efficient for heavy loads.

For example: A Core 2 Duo system with 2 GB of ram and a high-end video card may only draw 100 watts at idle. This load is much better suited to a small power supply; a good 400W PSU may be able to supply 100 watts at 80% efficiency, which would mean 100/.8 = 125 watts from the wall. A 1000W PSU may only provide 65% efficiency for the same load, and draw over 150 watts from the wall. On the other hand, if you start playing a game and the load spikes to 300 watts, that 400W PSU might drop to 75% efficiency while the 1000W could climb to 80%. The 1000W PSU would now be using 25W less power than the 400W!

Of course, not all PSUs are created equal. Some models are dismally inefficient and never exceed 65% at any wattage. Others maintain a high efficiency all the way to their rated maximum output. But nearly all power supplies are inefficient at supplying loads less than 20% of their rated maximum, so it's best not to get a higher wattage PSU than necessary unless your computer spends most of its time at high load.

If you want more information on PSU efficiency, check out SilentPCReview's Power section [silentpcreview.com] . They have extremely thorough reviews of various PSUs and test their efficiency over a wide range of loads.

Re:Would it make a difference in desktop machines? (1)

KiwiCanuck (1075767) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075189)

The output of a 450W psu (power supply unit) can vary from zero (in theory) up to 450W. The psu will provide whatever power is demanded by the internal components.

Re:Would it make a difference in desktop machines? (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#21076641)

My understanding of how computers are powered is limited, but if the drive requires less power will the power supply draw less power from the outlet? I would have thought that PSUs draw a constant amount.
That can't be true because it violates the principle of conservation of energy [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Would it make a difference in desktop machines? (1)

d12v10 (1046686) | more than 6 years ago | (#21078823)

Not if it output the excess amount of power in the form of heat, which seems like what they're doing now.

Silent (2, Informative)

owlstead (636356) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074981)

It's not very noisy either, although it won't match silent 2,5 " drives by a long shot. So it's not that great for fan-less systems and all that.

This range of drives:

2.6/2.8 dB typical idle acoustics

WD Scorpio (pretty silent 2,5 " HDD @ 5400 rpm):

2.0 typical idle acoustics

Re:Silent (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 6 years ago | (#21077505)

Nitpick: you probably mean 2.6/2.8 and 2.0 B, or 26/28 and 20 dB.

Greenness (1)

MM_LONEWOLF (994599) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075147)

Okay, so it's evergy efficent. That'll make al gore happy. anything for the rest of us?

Re:Greenness (1)

ianare (1132971) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075291)

If the price is low enough, most definitely. We use SATA RAIDs for our 'medium grade' file servers, a 40% reduction in power (and corresponding reduction in electric bills) is a huge deal. Each server is hooked up to 16 drives total, so the biggest power draw by far is from the drives, not the mobo/processors - it's not like file servers need a huge amount of processing power.

The price is what makes or breaks how good this will be, but we are certainly looking forward to testing these.

Re:Greenness (1)

MM_LONEWOLF (994599) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075837)

okay, let me clarify: What makes it so appealing to a 15-year old high schooler or hardcore gamer not using a server or mainframe of any sort. What makes it appealing to the common geek?

Re:Greenness (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075987)

(slightly) lower power bill, the whole "i'm doing good for the planet" feeling, computer runs cooler (requires fewer fans and makes for a quieter computer) but other than those, i don't really see a whole lot of benefit to J. Random geek.

Re:Greenness (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#21076221)

Nothing at the moment. But with a bit of work they could make a hard drive that kills your wares collection between the time that copyright police start to break down your door to the point where they actually beat your ass down and seize the PC.

http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=335643&cid=21075965 [slashdot.org]

Re:Greenness (1)

ianare (1132971) | more than 6 years ago | (#21076959)

For a high-end gaming platform, probably not much of an advantage, as this type of setup typically uses obnoxious amounts of power for basically everything except the hard drive. For a media sharing PC or other type of home server which is always on, it would be a better fit.

Re:Greenness (1)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#21076757)

Cooler computers? Computers that last longer on UPS?

I can't play computer games in the summer because my "Wintendo" generates too much heat for my AC unit. This isn't much of a problem for me, I'm not much of a gamer, but anything that can reduce AC power per unit of computer power is all to the good.

Less power is great, and all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21075151)

But how about improving seek times and failure rates, boys?

WD's got one too. (2, Informative)

eddy (18759) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075205)

WD's got one in their series named for german scheisse-pr0n: Caviar GP [techreport.com] . 4W idle, capacities up to 1TB.

SSD? (1)

yakumo.unr (833476) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075269)

More efficient than SSD'?

(yes I know you can't get SSD's of this size yet, but size isn't the focal point here)

Re:SSD? (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075529)

SSD based storage probably is more efficient because they require no power to spin up and keep running a mechanical spindle and platters or move a read/write head.

Something tells me perhaps the best of both worlds would be a drive that (I think IBM) was working on that had a large array of small read/write heads, and read data by shifting the platter on a x-y plane, where the whole array of heads could pick up bits at the same time as opposed to the 4-8 of a normal spinning HDD.

Re:SSD? (1)

pv2b (231846) | more than 6 years ago | (#21076069)

Something tells me perhaps the best of both worlds would be a drive that (I think IBM) was working on that had a large array of small read/write heads, and read data by shifting the platter on a x-y plane, where the whole array of heads could pick up bits at the same time as opposed to the 4-8 of a normal spinning HDD.
I always wondered why they don't do that for optical drives. That could certainly improve performance. Even with two read heads you could stamp your CD-ROM reader with 104 X max. :-)

The reason faster drives aren't made now, from what I've heard, is that the actual discs can't handle the centrifugal stresses and shatter as such high speeds.

Re:SSD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21076119)

size is never the focal point on slashdot

This is just OK (1)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075395)

I think that while a power-cutting hard drive for desktops, workstations, and servers is a great idea, I think that would be much more critical for a laptop, since power is its biggest limiting factor (i.e. the obvious). Why don't companies focus on maximizing flash storage for higher performance in these settings? That way, servers can not only get completely awesome read speeds, but hopefully boosted write speeds at rates comparable to platter-based hard drives. Or, at least until that idea substantiates, much faster hard drives than what we are limited at now (15K RPM)?

High volume (5, Funny)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075645)

Hitachi is promising these drives in high volume later this year.
Damn, I was hoping that the drives would be quieter too.

Energy saving? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21075741)

As someone who's lost two hard drives in the last year, I don't give a damn about energy efficiency. I want reliability. Thank $DEITY that solid-state drives are finally coming. Just a few more years...

You think so, huh (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 6 years ago | (#21078941)

As someone who's lost two hard drives in the last year, I don't give a damn about energy efficiency. I want reliability. Thank $DEITY that solid-state drives are finally coming. Just a few more years...
Flash memory (un)reliability and (terrible) lifespan will make you pine for the good old days of super reliable mechanical hard disks.

Re:You think so, huh (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21079355)

Flash memory (un)reliability and (terrible) lifespan will make you pine for the good old days of super reliable mechanical hard disks.
Citation needed that the wear leveling [wikipedia.org] in modern brand name NAND flash memory does not improve solid-state disk reliability to near hard disk levels.

Re:Energy saving? (1)

Phroggy (441) | more than 6 years ago | (#21079201)

I've heard it said that any hard drive is in one of two states:

1) just about to die
2) already dead

I suggest setting up a RAID-1 on two hard drives. Software RAID is very easy to do on Linux (instructions for Slackware [userlocal.com] ; most other distros have a point-and-click GUI that will set it up for you). For Mac OS X, I think you just have to run Disk Utility while booted from the DVD, create the RAID, then quit and proceed with the installer. I'm not sure if you can set up a software RAID in Windows Vista or not, but hardware RAID works fine (and without the F6 floppy retardedness of XP).

fuck HDDs (1)

sound+vision (884283) | more than 6 years ago | (#21075877)

How about energy efficient clockless CPUs? Or even GPUs? These new Geforce 8800s will eat up 100 watts idling. Versus, what, five on a hard disk?

Re:fuck HDDs (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 6 years ago | (#21078979)

How about energy efficient clockless CPUs? Or even GPUs? These new Geforce 8800s will eat up 100 watts idling. Versus, what, five on a hard disk?
Speak for yourself, Mr. Carbon. My video chip is more like 1 watt but I've got sixteen 750 GB drives burning up over 100 watts idling.

As usual... (1)

grumpyman (849537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21078263)

Speed, Efficiency, Cost: pick two.

Re:As usual... (1)

phil4 (666912) | more than 6 years ago | (#21080007)

No, I am sure they can manage all three: high speed, high efficiency, high cost. No problem.

Re:As usual... (1)

cecil_turtle (820519) | more than 6 years ago | (#21080439)

Exactly, I'm not impressed anymore when a company focuses on a single problem like efficiency and makes a whole series of products around it, ignoring other attributes. I'd be all for Hitachi if they took this capability/technology and just incorporated it into every drive they sold from here on out. That would be impressive and a significant step forward, rather than trying to exploit one specific group of people with a specialty product.

Ok (1)

Godji (957148) | more than 6 years ago | (#21078379)

But how does it compare against Western Digital's 1TB Green Power drive?

Hot Drives (1)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 6 years ago | (#21079383)

Can they use this to make an external USB drive that doesn't get hot enough to fry bacon, even when no data has been transferred to/from it for hours?

Cause that drives me nuts.
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