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Western Digital's "Green" Hard Drives

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the not-as-vain-as-driving-a-prius dept.

Data Storage 187

MojoKid writes "Eco-friendly or 'green' products are becoming much more fashionable these days, especially in things like high-end electronics, where the impact on the environment and the disposal of these products is being regulated now by such things as the RoHS compliance standard. In addition, power consumption is also being looked at more closely for all the obvious reasons. Hard Drive manufacturer Western Digital recently took the initiative by being the first drive manufacture to produce and market a lower power version of their Caviar line of hard drives. The numbers here show that a green hard drive will probably only save an average end user about 10 watts in total system power consumption. However, from a data center perspective, where demand for storage is growing by the petabyte at an alarming rate, 10 watts per drive can certainly add up quickly."

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SSD power consumption ? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22868156)

how much power does a SSD take in comparison to a HD ?

Re:SSD power consumption ? (1, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868306)

Which is more expensive, the power to run a magnetic hard drive and a tree to absorb the pollution or whatever, or a SSD?

Re:SSD power consumption ? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22868326)

From the ones that I've seen they typically use less than 1 W during operation and less than 0.1 W during standby. They certainly aren't high power devices nor do they need cooling.

Re:SSD power consumption ? (1)

English French Man (1220122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868428)

There aren't any moving parts in an SSD (obviously) so the power consumption might be lower.

Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] seems to think that this is true only for small capacity SSDs...

Even older technologies are eating less power... (2, Informative)

electrictroy (912290) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869884)

GE has developed an incandescent "60 watt" bulb that only uses 30 watts. They are trying to create one that only uses 15 watts.

Such a bulb would have the same efficiency as a compact flourescent light, but with the "instant on" advantages of incandescents and no poisonous mercury to clean up if the bulb accidently breaks.

Reduce power consumption can also... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22868174)

be transferred to the laptop tablet market. A Win-Win situation. It's greener and it'll last longer in a laptop.

...mean Much Lower Noise! (5, Informative)

StCredZero (169093) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868412)

The Green Power drives are also impressively quiet! [avsforum.com] I've been looking for drives like this for years! This is perfect for those who want to build recording studio PCs, do lots of music production work, people building multimedia PCs, or those who just plain like quiet drives. You can even use a smaller SSD drive to get blazing random access performance just for games while using the Green Power for other purposes, and get the best of both worlds. (The Gigabyte iRam is spec'd perfectly for this, but it's a bit pricey.)

Re:...mean Much Lower Noise! (2, Funny)

CompMD (522020) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869744)

Agreed, I purchased a pair of 1TB "green" drives from WD, and they are unbelievably silent when running. Which is good, because I knew that I had a bad drive when I suddenly heard horrendous noises emanate from one of them. :)

Yoda (-1, Offtopic)

RancidMilk (872628) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868216)

Will they last 900 years? If so, I want to call mine Yoda.

"When 900 years you reach, look so good, you will not" -Yoda

Re:Yoda (2, Interesting)

etymxris (121288) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868660)

No, they have a pretty average failure rate actually. Check the newegg reviews for the 750GB model. I just got burned on mine. It lasted four days and then went kaput. Time to RMA.

Mar 26 09:36:31 opteron kernel: Buffer I/O error on device sdg1, logical block 5912
Mar 26 09:36:36 opteron kernel: printk: 1579 messages suppressed.
Not sure how true it is, but some people are saying these drives are just binned 7200rpms that didn't make the cut. In any case, it seems clear that these drives are actually 5400rpm, not some variable speed between 7200rpm and 5400rpm.

How are the savings made? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22868218)

What the summary really should be telling us the lazy people is how are the savings made?

On the summary page both drivers get smacked over "lower performance than other 1TB drives", and if there's only a 10 W difference I'd assume that savings are made through more aggressive power savings.

Please someone correct me, if you manage to read that ad-filled page.

Re:How are the savings made? (0, Offtopic)

nautsch (1186995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869210)

I don't know how they do it, but i see *count* 2 ads on the page. Thanks AdBlock Plus

Re:How are the savings made? (1)

pixelite (20946) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869278)

I remember seeing one of these drives while browsing in a Best Buy. If I remember correctly they save power by running at something like 1300RPM, rather than the usual 5400 or 7200. At least thats what it said on retail packages specs. I saw that and thought, "must have horrible performance, " then I immediately put it back on the shelf.

Whenever you hear the word "green" ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22868220)

...then it's time to hold onto your "green." I certainly think it's beneficial to reduce power where the benefit outweighs the cost, and to reduce our oil purchases from the sand niggers, but nothing is more anti-human than the hoax that is global warming. What a great cover for a massive global tax. The UN has has been wracking their collective brains for years to try to figure out how to tap into the wealth of Americans, thereby spreading the misery of poverty around more "fairly," and it appears that they've struck gold! They've allied themselves with the kind of folks who burn down ski resorts as a form of environmental protest, and no one sems to have noticed. But hell, as long as American Idol is still getting good ratings...

Re:Whenever you hear the word "green" ... (0)

Pavan_Gupta (624567) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869244)

False.

I have a ... question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22868224)

So what color these Western Digital's "Green" hard drives have?

They're also very quiet (5, Informative)

A Friendly Troll (1017492) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868228)

In fact, WD GP drives are the quietest on the market. Found this gem just the other day:

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article804-page2.html [silentpcreview.com]

Idle and seek noise are extremely low, and vibrations almost negligible (this is also a very important thing when you have two same drives, for example in a redundant RAID array *cough*).

The power savings aren't 10W, though.

Re:They're also very quiet (4, Interesting)

myxiplx (906307) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868708)

And I can confirm that. We used six of them in a home NAS server based on that review. Six drives in an Antec P182 case and you can't even hear the thing when it turns on.

It was so quiet we took it to an empty office because we couldn't believe what we were hearing, and that's when we found the ticking of my watch is far louder than the noise this computer makes when booting. Awesome drives, and an awesome case. Would highly recommend them both.

Re:They're also very quiet (1)

NevermindPhreak (568683) | more than 6 years ago | (#22870164)

What power supply and fans did you use? The PSU is typically the loudest thing in my system, but I admin I usually don't buy a very good PSU. You'd think I would know better. ^_^

Re:They're also very quiet (1)

shdwtek (898320) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868726)

They run very quiet indeed. I was very impressed with the WD1000FYPS RE2 drive that we got in at work. I couldn't even tell it was running. Even when touching the drive, it's hard to tell. According to the website, that drive in particular uses technology to reduce problems caused by system vibration. Not to mention it long-formatted 1T in a 1-2 minutes or so.

Re:They're also very quiet (2, Informative)

MrLogic17 (233498) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868772)

for example in a redundant RAID array


Redundant RAID? Redundant.

Re:They're also very quiet (1)

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D (1160707) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869528)

I think that was the (deliberate) joke, hence the *cough* at the end.

Re:They're also very quiet (1)

viper66 (412839) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869872)

I have the 1TB GP model and I have a hard time believing that it uses significantly less power than my 250GB Hitachi drive. It consistently runs hotter than the Hitachi. I thought maybe the sensor was wrong but it feels hotter to the touch too. As of right now my Hitachi is at 42 C, WD is at 44 C. It has hit 50 C before, while the Hitachi peaks around 46 C.

Ads up (4, Insightful)

downix (84795) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868230)

You get a HD with 10W less power need, a northbridge with 5W less power need, a CPU with 5W less power need, a video card with 15W less power need, a soundcard with 5W less power need, you've saved 40W already with minimal change in performance.

Advertisements up (0, Troll)

nacturation (646836) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868288)

Excellent news, my friend. Your advertisement of the power of summation are awe-inspiring! If I may be so bold as to continue your brazen line of reasoning, were you to find an additional 20W of power savings on top of your claimed 40W savings, you will have saved a grand total of 60W. Furthermore, though this is a difficult concept for the layman, if you introduce an additional 10W of savings, your total will now have reached 70W.
 

Re:Ads up (1)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868346)

You get a HD with 10W less power need, a northbridge with 5W less power need, a CPU with 5W less power need, a video card with 15W less power need, a soundcard with 5W less power need, you've saved 40W already with minimal change in performance.
I gotta agree whole-heartedly here. For most people, really high super performance numbers are not that big of an issue. Few of us non-Vista people will every stress the max transfer numbers to really notice the small overall drop. For a brand new system, this would seem like a Good Thing (tm) to add to the shopping list. I am just trying to ponder what *I* would need 1 Tb of disk space for, when my 40Gb drive is barely used.

Re:Ads up (2, Interesting)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868494)

I am just trying to ponder what *I* would need 1 Tb of disk space for, when my 40Gb drive is barely used.

I was tearing up my 350 GB drive a year ago just with digital pictures. My wife and I have a 6 megapixel camera and we regularly take pictures of the kids to share with the grandparents and relatives who are all a thousand miles away. We have about 20 Mini-DV's worth of video (10GB apiece) of random stuff which I **don't** have uploaded to the computer. Buying a new hard drive and backing that media up, like I should, will instantly consume 200GB of data.

The other night I was running a computer simulation I wrote (a CFD code) and the output files and intermediate data was consuming over a gigabyte an hour of hard disk space. Now you can throw a lot of that away but for reference cases, for validation, you need to save that stuff to prove your code can replicate good results.

A terabyte of drive space? Give me 5 years and it'll be gone, easy, just in newly created data, not to mention purchased computer software and media.

Re:Ads up (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868634)

Not to mention if you use your home computer to stream media through the house. mp3/ogg files don't typically take up too much space (I can't imagine the vast majority of people using up more than a couple hundred GB), but what about TIVO-type DVRs. They can eat through a terabyte if you're not careful.

Re:Ads up (1)

stokessd (89903) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869410)

Sure if you stream lossy compressed files they don't take up too much space. But if you stream lossless files, you eat up a lot of drive space. I've got about 800 CD's ripped to my media server and in lossless format (FLAC) they are taking up about 400 gig. Now if you want to keep a backup of them so you don't have to feed your CD's through the ripping process again, there's another 400 gig.

When I add all my digital photos, and scans of negatives, and 20 years of files in my home directory plus research data etc, a TB is gone in a hurry. Not all of it needs to be spinning, but when you add in backups of a couple computers, and the desire to have certain critical things backed up a couple times, storage is never enough.

I've got about 4.5 Tb worth of drives when I add them all up (externals, server Raid, internal drives in various machines, etc), and I don't feel like I'm swimming in space. I don't have video ripped either, lord help me if I ever decide to do that.

Sheldon

Re:Ads up (1)

electrictroy (912290) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869952)

Last year I was living in a hotel room with a big fat internet pipe. I was downloading stuff faster than I could watch it, so I purchased an external 300 gig drive. It was full in about 3 months time.

Now I am home again, with a slow connect, and slowly but surely watching all the TV shows and movies I acquired. In retrospect, I probably should have bought a 1000 gig drive.

Re:Ads up (3, Insightful)

lazy-ninja (1061312) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868360)

I did this on my most recent system.

During general use (web browsing, chatting, online java games like settlers of catan, etc) it uses around 40-45Watts.

This is switching from a PC that used between 110-120watts for the same thing.

You can save a lot if you shop smart.

The best part is I spent under $500 on the whole machine.
The other best part is machines that efficient are also completely silent without spending big money on super silent fans. I am using stock cooling on it.

Re:Ads up (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868366)

It does add up. The problem is that unless OEMs start including these drives in computers, they probably won't sell very well. Or more likely, the geek who does buy one will end up offsetting the savings by throwing it in his machine with a 750W power supply and monster graphics card(s).

Re:Ads up (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868486)

The problem is that unless OEMs start including these drives in computers, they probably won't sell very well.
If someone is looking at an OEM machine, they probably don't know what performance parameters a hard drive could possibly have other than space. They do know "green" so it might make the consumer feel better that it's got a nice eco-friendly label and a picture of a rainforest or something on the box.

. . . the geek who does buy one will end up offsetting the savings by throwing it in his machine with a 750W power supply and monster graphics card(s).
If they're that serious about gaming, they probably would be solely focused on the performance of the drive and what the benchmarks say, skipping version emblazoned with the aforementioned logos and nature pictures.

Re:Ads up (1)

petehead (1041740) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869988)

Exactly. The article saying that it "will only save you 10 watts" mirrors the selfish opinion of many. There will not be some magical devices that perform well and run on bird feces and spit. Sure it will only save one person with one drive 10 watts, but it can save a lot of watts if a lot of people do it. And like the parent said, there are other components just in your computer where you can reduce power consumption. We are only going to work out this energy crisis by chipping away at it.

watts != Green (0)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868236)

Just because something consumes less watts does not mean it is necessarily green. It depends one what is producing the power! If a nuclear Power plant is providing power to a 20 watt HDD, while a coal power plant provides power to a 10 watt HDD, which is more green? We need a better standard of measuring green-... uh -ness. I suggest we measure it differently, based on a device's output of cubic smug per meter.

Re:watts != Green (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22868356)

Just because something consumes less watts does not mean it is necessarily green. It depends one what is producing the power! If a nuclear Power plant is providing power to a 20 watt HDD, while a coal power plant provides power to a 10 watt HDD, which is more green? We need a better standard of measuring green-... uh -ness. I suggest we measure it differently, based on a device's output of cubic smug per meter.
Cubic smog per meter? This is somehow related to the Time Cube, isn't it? Unless you're suggesting that these devices will only function when plugged into a coal-powered electrical source, I'm afraid you fail third grade reading comprehension.

Re:watts != Green (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22869580)

smug, not smog [wikipedia.org] . He was trying to be funny by using an absurd measurement.

Re:watts != Green (3, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868388)

Exactly. What we need is computers that are powered by the users self-satisfaction.

Come to think of it, this will probably be more practical for mac users, and not because they use less energy.

Re:watts != Green (1)

WhoBeDaPlaya (984958) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869142)

No thanks. What happens when you see the exclusive preview benchies of the latest OMGWTFBBQ-edition graphics cards and CPUs? ;)

Re:watts != Green (0)

PenguSven (988769) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868390)

right, i'm sure the chernobyl victims consider nuclear power green? anything that can achieve the same result, while consuming less energy has the potential to be greener. imagine lower-power parts throughout the house. imagine you can cut your power needs by 30% overall. now imagine you use things like solar or wind power, that do not consume resources. they are typically "low" sources of power, so a requirement for less power automatically makes them more feasible. also, imagine the second and third level effects. a device using a lot of electrical energy will put off a lot of heat, which may require a lot of cooling to counteract (imagine a server room for instance, or even the fans in a PC) - these also draw electricity.

Re:watts != Green (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868436)

Yes but one could argue that more power consumption leads us to such power needs. How can you move to alternate energy production if everyone is consuming power at an exponential rate?

Also, using less power means less power produced. And since virtually 100% of all power produced impacts the environment..

It's a good thing because it's practical to save energy where we can. That's good engineering. Pay no attention to the bullshit marketing, which I'm sure we'll see a lot more of in the coming years.

Re:watts != Green (1)

bkr1_2k (237627) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868462)

Of course it matters! No matter what the supply source is, less consumption means less production requirement, which means less pollution (no matter nuclear or coal) in the final numbers. Do we need a better standard for measurement? Sure, but that doesn't mean that this isn't a valid improvement.

Re:watts != Green (2, Insightful)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868474)

Reduced wattage is reduced wattage.... it's better to use only 10 watts, rather than 20, regardless of the source of your electricity. It's 10 versus 20 coal, but even 10 versus 20 nuclear can reduce demand on coal by another 10 watts.

You're being too cynical. Any reduction is beneficial and can result in less use of "dirtier" sources, even if you're not directly powered by them.

Re:watts != Green (2)

CheeseTroll (696413) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868480)

However, Western Digital has zero control over how you generate electricity in your region. 10 watts saved is 10 watts saved, and the most efficient way to reduce the impact of power plants on the environment is to have fewer of them.

Re:watts != Green (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868482)

Since you don't get to choose how your power is generated, that's largely irrelevant. You do get to choose your hard drive though. If you choose one which uses 10W less power, whether your power is nuclear or coal, the environment (and your wallet) is that much better off.

Re:watts != Green (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22869552)

Actually, if you are serviced by Oklahoma Gas & Electric you can elect to pay extra for units of 100kWh blocks of wind power. See http://www.oge.com/es/wp/ [oge.com] . It's nice that they offer, at least.

Re:watts != Green (1)

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D (1160707) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869558)

I agree with your sentiment, but it's not entirely accurate to say you don't get to choose how your power is generated. A lot of jurisdictions will allow you to pay a higher rate for power and the guarantee that the money goes to, for example, wind farms.

Re:watts != Green (0)

stormy_petral (978505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868498)

The "but my electricity does not come from a coal plant" argument is moot. Every power plant's output gets pooled into the electric grid, http://www.eere.energy.gov/de/grid_architecture.html [energy.gov] , so there's no real way to precisely account for where "my" electricity comes from.

Re:watts != Green (1)

edremy (36408) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868504)

I know you're beiung funny, but in reality this doesn't matter. I built a PC back when I was in VA- my power provider was AEP, which is probably the worst polluter in the country- lots of old, dirty coal plants. I moved up to PA a month later- I'm in a electric co-op now, with 60% of the power being nuclear and 20% hydro, very little from coal.

Did the computer suddenly get more green just beacause I moved it north 200 miles?

Re:watts != Green (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868520)

The device doesn't determine whether the power provided to it comes from coal or nuclear plants. Your local energy market does. There is no correlation between a choice of hard drive and power production methods. Accordingly, the power producer shouldn't be considered in this discussion.

Re:watts != Green (1)

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D (1160707) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868538)

First of all, Apple's devices are the only ones out there that produce smug. Measuring greenness based on smug output is unfair to Apple.

Secondly, what? The amount of power a device consumes and the source of the power are completely independent things. There's no reason for them to be considered in the same breath.

Re:watts != Green (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22868752)

>"Eco-friendly or "green" products are becoming much more fashionable these days

In other words marketers have started using "eco" related bullshit and lies on the same old crap they've been selling for years.

Every time I see something marketed as "green" or "eco friendly" I want to shoot the bastards responsible.

Re:watts != Green (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868852)

I don't really agree with that thinking.

Most folks can't control how the power that comes to home or business is generated but they can at least reduce what they consume.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Re:watts != Green (1)

Tangamandapiano (1087091) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869182)

Just keep in mind that the power sources in your country may be interconnected. For example, in the country where I live, most electricity comes from hydropower; however, if the demand grows too high at some period, the thermal power stations start working - and polluting.

Before consumption, there is production (-1, Offtopic)

dascritch (808772) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868242)

What is the impact on the environment to produce SSD ?

vane? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22868244)

Maybe "not-as-vane-as-driving-a-1963-chrysler-turbine-car" would make more sense.

Re:vane? (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868402)

Maybe "not-as-vane-as-driving-a-1963-chrysler-turbine-car" would make more sense.

Yeah, the tails on those Chryslers from the 60s were pretty insane. Oh, did you guys mean vain?

86400 Watts*Hours (1)

gmthor (1150907) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868254)

So if i keep my HD on 24/7 then its saves me 86400 Watt*Hours. That's about 20 a Year. Not worth it for me.

Re:86400 Watts*Hours (4, Insightful)

lazy-ninja (1061312) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868446)

Actually seeing as the drive only costs about $5 more than the previous/similar models, I would say it IS worth it. It is not worth it to run out and replace your drives, but if you are buying a new 500-1000gb drive I would say the savings is nice. Honestly, to me the specs on how bloody quiet these things are is the real selling point.

The earth is worth it! (4, Interesting)

flithm (756019) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868766)

It's also important to point out that just because it only saves a single user 10 watts, that doesn't mean it's not a worthwhile endeavor. The post text suggests that this could add up for datacenters, but datacenters are nothing compared to the number of home computers our there, just imagine the impact on our global electricity infrastructure if every single computer's power consumption dropped by 10 watts. That's huge! Then think about the impact that would have on the environment (ie using less non-renewable resources). I think it would surely be noticed.

So yeah it's unrealistic to believe that every person is going to swap out their drives to use these, but when thinking about environmental issues it's important to put yourself in that frame of mind. I try do what I wish everyone would do. If everyone thought that way we'd get there eventually.

That being said I'm not going to swap out all my drives for these babies, but next time I need to buy or replace a drive, yeah for sure I'll cough up a little extra cash. As long as it's not just a marketing gimmick, and the price increase isn't too much, I'd be willing to take a slight loss on the principal alone. It's not just our pocket books that needs protecting.

But, as someone pointed out already, these drives are only a few bucks more than their non-green counterparts, so not only will they eventually save some cash, but they have the ability to make a difference too.

As a final thought, another thing that's important is make a point with manufacturers (through your wallet) that environmental issues matter. The more we think about it, and the more we get in the habit of making the small choices that all add up to a larger statement, the better off we all are.

Just bought one (3, Informative)

robably (1044462) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868320)

Mine just arrived this morning (the 1TB Caviar model) and it is extremely quiet (I bought it for a Home Theatre PC). It brings home the point, though, that they may have made great strides in power savings and noise reduction, but the real hurdle with a 1TB drive is the time it takes to copy 1TB of data. I'm transferring everything across from my old 500GB drive via Firewire 400 and it's going to take a total of 7 hours. That's just to half-fill the drive.

Anyway, the article the summary seems to be slashdotted, so here's the review at TechReport [techreport.com] I read before I ordered it, with lots of graphs and comparisons.

Re:Just bought one (2, Interesting)

SIGBUS (8236) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868452)

...the real hurdle with a 1TB drive is the time it takes to copy 1TB of data. I'm transferring everything across from my old 500GB drive via Firewire 400 and it's going to take a total of 7 hours. That's just to half-fill the drive.

It's coming to the point where eSATA is the only realistic solution for external drives. USB2 and FireWire 400 just don't cut it any more, and I haven't seen many systems supporting FireWire 800.

Apple smugnessitude (1)

chaim79 (898507) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868684)

Of the six computers in Apple's lineup 3 have Firewire 800 ports (Macbook Pro, iMac, and Mac Pro's even have 2), I already have a couple external drives that use Firewire 800 (500gb and 320gb). I haven't looked at other manufacturers (for the simple reason that I don't care) but Apple seems to be pushing it forward. And those FW800 drives are nice, the gb's just fly by. :)

Re:Just bought one (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869028)

It's coming to the point where eSATA is the only realistic solution for external drives. USB2 and FireWire 400 just don't cut it any more, and I haven't seen many systems supporting FireWire 800.


This won't necessarily help much. The transfer rates quoted for SATA are either burst rates (ie. how quickly it can shift data off the cache) or they assume you'll be doing practically zero seeking - which is true if you've got one large contiguous file but on a filesystem, the order you request files in could be all over the disk. NCQ helps here but at the end of the day, spending a lot of time seeking is the quickest, most efficient way to kill performance.

Re:Just bought one (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869790)

You say that as if it's specific to any one interface. Even the fastest hard drives out there couldn't sustain the potential throughput of SATA150 (let alone SATA-II/300), but if the filesystem or manual intervention keeps the disk relatively free of fragmentation (ideally at a folder/program level, not just file contiguity), it'll read quickly. And in that case, you'll be easily saturating a FW400/USB2.0 interface; at least for large files, as small files tend to read/write a lot more slowly simply from the system overhead.

Re:Just bought one (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868528)

So start rsync before you go to bed and let it do its job. You've only got to fill it once.

From a datacenter perspective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22868352)

... we're all going to convert to the Caviar line of drives and drop SCSI. And we'll replace the 8800GTX video cards running on each of our blades with more efficient 8600GTS cards. Global warming will slow down.

performance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22868398)

does this have any impact on the drive's performace? if so, how much?

Re:performance? (3, Informative)

aquarajustin (1070708) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868758)

I have a friend with a 500GB WD GP drive. He uses the rig mostly for gaming, and is now sorry that he bought the WD drive. When he's playing FPSs, the drive spins down until it needs to access a certain texture or sound file. When the time comes to access that file from the drive, the game freezes for 1-3 seconds while the drive spins back up for access. It's painful. I don't play games on my computer, so having a GP drive wouldn't bother me.

Re:performance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22870068)

the game freezes for 1-3 seconds while the drive spins back up for access...

In Linux the 'hdparm -S value' command could tweak the drive settings to either increase the spin-down timeout or turn it off completely. (Google 'man hdparm' for details).
I'm sure there must be an equivalent utility for Windows (assuming that's what he's running).

just keep on dumping it in China (3, Interesting)

tero (39203) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868400)

It's great to see new technologies that are easier to recycle.

Now if U.S could just stop pretending and sign the Basel Convention [wikipedia.org] deal which restricts the export of e-waste so the children of Guiyu [wikipedia.org] wouldn't have to waste away their lives [nwsource.com] in toxic pits melting our "green" and ecologically "safe" drives.

Recycling is great, recycling it near the consumpition is also great. Dumping it to China is not great, out of sight out of mind mentality comes and bites you in the ass sooner or later.

Hey dumbass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22868586)

No one "dumps" anything there you fucking twat, THEY BUY THE WASTE EXPRESSLY FOR THE PURPOSES OF RECYCLING IT.

It's pretty fucking retarded to blame me because someone else CHOSE to buy my leftovers to make a buck.

You're a moron.

Re:Hey dumbass (2, Insightful)

tero (39203) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868790)

Great attitude buddy. So as long as someone takes it off your hands (and you can make a buck!) you don't need to know where the waste goes? Makes me really believe in future of mankind. Good stuff.

Now open your eyes and start acting responsibly, recycle your own waste in U.S and stop dumping/selling it around the world.

Re:just keep on dumping it in China (1)

mh1997 (1065630) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868818)

[Guyiu] City officials are proud of the e-waste industry but sensitive about its reputation as a dirty business that feeds off smuggled waste and abuses workers. Journalists who probe quickly find themselves detained by local thugs or police, and their digital photographs or video footage erased.

Local bosses pay little regard to workers' health or to regulations that prohibit dumping acid baths into rivers and venting toxic fumes...

...E-waste recyclers in the United States can't cover their costs with such low yields, especially while respecting environmental regulations...

It's the fault of the EPA, without environmental regulations, the USA could recycle the parts locally. Or maybe it's the fault of the Chineses government for not having environmental regulations.

Recycling e-waste is good except that it kills the workers, so throw the stuff in a landfill and waste resources and pollute the environment with materials that should be recycled.

saving 10 watts! (4, Insightful)

John Sokol (109591) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868466)

I have found most drives run at around 12 watts, so saving 10 is really significant.
Also with less power the drives should run cooler, this would really increase drive reliability.

I found most CoLo servers don't properly cool their drives especially 1U servers, where it seems I loose a few every year, but at home I can run those same drives for 5 years or more. Even the desktop servers I run in a dusty shed that freeze in the winter and bakes in the summer the drives are more reliable then the ones running in a CoLo with constant 50 degree super clean air, just because drives in 1U's run hotter constantly and under a heaver load.

RoHS is another story, it's been a somewhat difficult transition, unexpectedly is make passing FCC compliance more difficult because for the exact same board layout it had higher RF emissions. Don't know why, wonder if others have also seen that.

I don't see how RoHS is going to be any more "green", the largest change is moving away from tin/lead to Lead-free solders that contain some mix of tin, copper, silver, bismuth, indium, zinc, and antimony.
It's more expensive, and brittle which could decrease reliablity.
If the circuit boards are actually getting recycled instead of landfilled, it wouldn't make much difference anyhow.

Re:saving 10 watts! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22868656)

Precisely. Everyone's focusing on how 10 watts isn't a lot, but if you look at how much hard drives consume then it becomes somewhat of an accomplishment to save those 10 watts.

Re:saving 10 watts! (1)

MarkEst1973 (769601) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868702)

According to the Energy Infomration Administration [doe.gov] , there are 107 million households in the US. The end-use consumption of electricity by household [doe.gov] shows 318 kWh (kilowatt hours) used for a dekstop PC on average per household. There is, unfortunately, no breakdown of the electricity consumption per component in the PC, so I'm left to wonder how much is used by the hard drive specifically.

Profiling your code proves the 80/20 rule is correct. Your program spends 80% of its CPU time in 20% of the code. You would use a profiler to find the real meaty bottlenecks, right? As opposed to guessing where the bottlenecks are. Likewise, if we want to reduce electricity consumption, we're better off using data to guide us. Air conditioning, heating, and major appliances use by far the largest amount of electricity in your average household.

Still, it looks like this site will have to add hard drives to their saved watts: http://www.whosavedwatt.com/ [whosavedwatt.com]

Re:saving 10 watts! (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869044)

Well, i would suggest you buy better quality servers to colo...
I have seen the cheap nasty garbage some people put into datacenters, poor cooling, poor airflow design (like a 1u case where the fan on the cpu can blow to either side (heating the northbridge or the psu), but not backwards (out through the vents).
If you stick with high quality servers, there's usually much less of a problem. I have some HP DL145 systems for instance, and the drives in them run quite cool and have a steady flow of air over them.

Be wary of colo centers where you rent a server, they will typically use the cheapest crap they can find since you'll never see it. Best to supply your own hardware, or find out exactly what the colo company is supplying.

Re:saving 10 watts! (1)

trainderailment (1256470) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869304)

Do you have any references to the FCC problems with RoHS? I've never heard of this. Millions of products are now compliant, so I'm curious where you get your information on a difficult transition. Manufacturers like Motorola are now reporting that with the new solder formulations, they've gone to higher densities allowing smaller wireless phones, for example, with *increased* reliability - see the Wikipedia article. As for heavy metals, I'll take the most popular formulations -- tin, silver, bismuth over lead in our landfills any day. :)

Re:saving 10 watts! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22869702)

I think, more to the point, is that the vendors are actively attempting,
on a serious level, to go green. Apparently, to some of the Slashdotters
in here, it's not a significant difference. 10W is 11% of the output of
my laptop's power supply. Whatever...

Point is, it's a START. Maybe next year, they'll come up with a drive
that uses 20% less power, and so on and so on. If we all bitch and complain
about today's 10% reduction, the manufacturers won't feel they have an
incentive to pour more money and time developing "greener" drives.

And, furthermore, the manufacturers will be able to get firmer data on what
greening techniques work (in terms of maintaining long-term reliability)
and what might not, and refine their manufacturing techniques for the new
technologies involved. Large customers will probably be looking to replace
some number of drives next year anyway as capacities and speed increase and
as older, slower drives become obsolete (and their reliability starts to
approach the far end of the bathtub curve). So, hopefully, those customers
will be able to actually reduce the power consumed by their drives AND
eventually by their HVAC systems as well. It will be a slow, iterative process,
but it appears we're off to a good start.

Patience, grasshoppers...

Re:saving 10 watts! (1)

tji (74570) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869830)

To me, 10 Watts seems like a huge savings for a hard drive.

But, if you look at the article, the savings they claimed were more like 5-6 Watts. That is still quite a large savings from a hard drive, but it's not 10W. Maybe compared to the highest power usage drive, like a 15K RPM drive the savings may be 10 Watts.

The article in silentpcreview.com put these green WD drives at about 7.5 Watts, and the highest of the other quiet drives was 11.6 Watts. Quite a huge improvement.

As a long time HTPC user, these drives are perfect for my uses. HUGE capacity, whisper quiet operation, and low power/heat -- leading to easier cooling of the system and fewer fans. The performance of these drives may be a bit lower than other drives, but I have been using a USB 2.0 connected 320GB laptop hard drive as the primary storage for my MythTV DVR, and that keeps up fine recording 2 HD streams while playing a third. So, the performance of this drive should be a non-issue.

Re:saving 10 watts! (1)

mrand (147739) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869890)

Not to mention Pb-free seems to greatly increase tin whisker problems. We need new materials quickly, because a meaningful percentage of the boards being produced right now are going to be dead in a few years.

For more info:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21151552/ [msn.com]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whisker_(metallurgy) [wikipedia.org]
and of course, just to save someone a bit of typing or extra mouse click:
http://www.google.com/search?q=tin+whiskers [google.com]

      Marc

Whenever you hear the term "green"... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22868476)

...then you should hold onto your "green." I'm all about increasing the efficiency of electronics, or turning out the lights when I'm not in the room, but I'm alarmed that so many people seem to be overlooking the anti-human sentiments of the radical environmental crowd. These are the same people that burn down ski resorts to protest development. These are the same people that want to slap restrictions or taxes on childbearing. These are the same people who rail against crops that have been genetically modified to resist certain environmental stresses like drought and disease. Damn the cost in human lives - as long as Gaia is appeased! To the radical environmentalist, humans are a cancer rather than precious lives worth preserving.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised, though. The UN has been looking for a way to blunt the power of the US for years, and it appears that they've finally struck gold. They, along with Al Gore and countless other celebrity sheep, have convinced enough people to trade in their wealth and sovereignty for the purchase of environmental indulgences. Al Gore's wallet will get even fatter as you fools struggle under your increased tax burden and are forced to purchase carbon offsets from him and his friends. What a nice racket it must be!

Wrong Standard? (2, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868546)

...disposal of these products is being regulated now by such things as the RoHS compliance standard

RoHS says which materials can be used in construction, WEEE covers disposal. (In the EU at least)

Re:Wrong Standard? (1)

AioKits (1235070) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868922)

WEEE would like to play!

Performance (1)

gravis777 (123605) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868796)

FTA:

A very interesting feature of the GreenPower drives is IntelliPower, which is a "fine-tuned balance of spin speed, transfer rate, and caching algorithms designed to deliver both significant power savings and solid performance" according to WD. What this means to potential users is that WD isn't telling us the exact spindle speed of these drives. We know that they are likely spinning at a speed between 5400 and 7200 RPM and that each GreenPower model may use a different, invariable RPM. So, while WD made power the priority with the GreenPower platform, it did so without disregarding solid performance, a wise choice in our opinion.
That was my number one concern. If I am putting these in a data center, I would be a lot more worried about drive performance over how much power it consumes. However, if it consumes less power while offering the same performance, I am all for it.

Great Summery Grammar... (1)

aitikin (909209) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868834)

...by being the first drive manufacture to produce and market a lower power version of their Caviar line of hard drives.
It'd be a good trick for another manufacturer to produce and market a lower power version of the Caviar, seeing as that's a WD TM...

Re:Great Summery Grammar... (1)

stormguard2099 (1177733) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869382)

Summery
looks like two preview buttons are broken

Summery? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22869440)

As in "of, like, or appropriate for summer?"

Review at the register: Not so good. (2, Informative)

amcdiarmid (856796) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868880)

The Register reviewed four 1Tb drives, including this one.
http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2008/03/26/review_four_terabyte_hard_drives/ [reghardware.co.uk]

Product

Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000
Verdict

The Hitachi set a decent benchmark for performance as a standalone drive.
Rating

70%
Suggested Price

£159
Product

Samsung SpinPoint F1 HD103UJ
Verdict

It's a straight fight between the Seagate and Samsung, and on balance we favour the Sammy despite its higher price.
Rating

85%
Suggested Price

£194
Product

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31000340NS
Verdict

The Seagate delivers sterling performance with the minimum of fuss, yet it is the cheapest of the drives on test.
Rating

80%
Suggested Price

£149
Product

Western Digital WD1000FYPS RE2-GP
Verdict

We're all in favour of reducing our dependence on electricity but the RE2-GP lagged behind in every one of our tests.
Rating

60%
Suggested Price

£159

Oxidized copper? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22868986)

I just love that Statue-Of-Liberty patina on my circuit board!

Great for a Tivo (1)

Bodhammer (559311) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869056)

I put a 750GB in my TivoHD not so much for the power savings but the noise reduction. I cannot hear the drive from 1'. It is fast enough for two HD streams. the power savings is nice as it is running 24x7 in the living room. My only complaint is they are only a 3-year warranty whereas Seagate is 5-year. I put it on my AMEX so I get one extra year. Drive was inexpensive at $150 from NewEgg.

I really have no complaints.

Dead drives are the greenest. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22869112)

I've seen a way higher % of WD drives fail in the first year compared to most other brands.

(altho seagate and maxtor are a close second for failing)

Not running at all sure saves alot of power.

for datacenters? (1)

dropadrop (1057046) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869206)

Yes, these drives certainly work well in some regards. However the article talks about datacenters, and I can hardly think of lots of uses for 5400rpm drives in "my" datacenter. Already with 500GB sata drives / 300GB FC I'm running out of IOPS far before space... Well maby for SAN replication?

"Green" not "Competing with Sandisk" (1)

SlappyBastard (961143) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869258)

Repeat it... that has nothing to do with Sandisk's rise. Nothing. Ever, ever, ever, never nothing ever. OK? Got it. Like trees. Not laptops. Not data centers. Green. Dig? Got it? Sure.

Jumpers put to use (1)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869432)

That's a nice use of jumpers. Maybe I haven't messed with consumer-level HDDs in a while, but this is the first I've seen of jumpers that control something besides Master/Slave/Cable Select. Not like SATA drives ever had a use for that, but still.

FTA:

The close-up of the label above shows you the three jumper settings: jumpering pins 1 and 2 enables SSC (Spread Spectrum Clocking), jumpering pins 3 and 4 enables PUIS (Power Up In Standby), and jumpering pins 5 and 6 enables 1.5GB PHY.

Ancient news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22869762)

These drives came out something like 9 months ago, to meet Energy Star 4.0 requirements of average power consumption under 7 watts. How is this even close to news?

DiskCompare.com shows them to be a good value too (1)

barryp (31185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22870154)

DiskCompare.com [diskcompare.com] is a good place to check out how these drives rate in terms of value. The Caviar GP WD10EACS [diskcompare.com] is currently at 4.35 GB/$ (newegg prices), the sweet spot though for the Caviar GP Family [diskcompare.com] (and for most other brands too) is the 750GB size, with the WD7500AACS [diskcompare.com] coming in at 5.35 GB/$

Actually (1)

fo0bar (261207) | more than 6 years ago | (#22870160)

It's closer to 10.24W per drive, but you know the hard drive industry and their "marketing watt" definition...
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