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High-Capacity Business Hard Drives: Biggest Of The Bunch

High-Capacity Business Hard Drives: Biggest Of The Bunch
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Western Digital’s Caviar Green arrived earlier this year, the first drive to hit the coveted 2 TB capacity point. The unit was recently re-validated and is now available under the RAID Edition brand (RE4) for business applications. Samsung sent us its 1 TB version of the Spinpoint F2 EcoGreen, and Seagate provided the low-power Barracuda LP, which now also hits 2 TB capacities and looks to outperform other green drives while still emphasizing efficiency. Lastly, we also included Hitachi’s Deskstar E7K1000.B, which isn’t marketed as a green drive per se. Instead designed for 24/7 operation, Hitachi’s unit competes with WD’s RE4 drive.

Shorter Warranties

Although WD’s new RE4 drives are branded and labeled as enterprise storage, the manufacturer only provides a three-year warranty, as with its other desktop hard drives. But WD isn’t alone. Seagate, which had offered five-year warranty for all retail products, quietly went back to three-year coverage several months ago. Samsung matches this warranty with its Spinpoint F2EG. The one exception is Hitachi’s Deskstar E7K1000 and its beefier five-year warranty.

We understand that competition in the hard drive market is terribly fierce, but we also believe that long warranties represent the proper way for vendors to show they have confidence in what they sell.

5,900 RPM by Seagate

Most drive makers target power savings by releasing new drives based on lower spindle speeds. WD and Samsung, for instance, re-introduced 5,400 RPM speeds on their green drives. Hitachi has been reluctant to jump on the green bandwagon, with the exception of its 7,200 RPM Deskstar P7K500. This drive offers standout speed while keeping power consumption relatively low due to a single-platter layout.

Seagate recently introduced its own spin on how a low-power desktop drive should look. The Barracuda LP does rotate platters at reduced speed, but Seagate decided to have the drives run at an unusual 5,900 RPM, which is supposed to deliver the best combination of high performance, high capacity, and low power consumption.

We’re about to find the out if Seagate’s claims hold up under heavy testing.

Display all 6 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    blarg_12 , 19 August 2009 22:44
    Comparing a 2TB drive to 1TB and 500GB drives for power consumption is a little silly.

    Power consumption per GB in that case makes the 2TB drives win out, as the 2TB drives are for storage arrays with online, available storage.
  • 1 Hide
    dcolct , 20 August 2009 11:03
    Look how little power savings there are over one of the top performing drives today, the Seagate 7200.12. Is it really worth saving 2W over these top performing drives under load even? And the 7200.12 runds quieter than any of these drives.

    Perhaps people should just switch off lights when they're not in a room and save 100's of times the amount of electricity. This power saving issue is becoming slightly crazy when we get to this level.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , 5 October 2009 19:40
    That depends on how many of these you are running. Consider a solution we recently provided with 31 x 12 drive raid 5 network attached storage. In this situation you would save 744 watts, an entire thirsty server worth!
  • 0 Hide
    stoocake , 27 October 2009 21:36
    I agree, those 1 or 2 watts certainly add up with the volume of disks we use at my organisation. I hope to see more manufacturers offering 5 year warranties though.
  • 0 Hide
    notagreenie , 8 December 2009 20:08
    2W times the tens if not hundreds of thousands of units shipped and soon we are talking about some serious greenhouse savings. To give an an analogy. Australia stopped using $1 notes due to the cost of replacing damaged currency. Once withdrawn from circulation it was discovered that there was some $46,000,000 or 46,000,000 notes still being held or tucked way in the sock drawer. How many watts would be saved worldwide at just 2 watts per drive?
  • 1 Hide
    v12v12 , 1 February 2010 15:00
    Well obviously IF and only-if you're running a vast array. For the desktop (see power-users/advanced etc.) it makes ZERO sense to waste money on under-performing drives to save a handful of MINUTE watts of power... of which you guzzle up by leaving lights, TVs/Satellite/CableBox/stereo's/PC-speakers+subs on all day/night long hmmm?

    "Green" drives are for home/small-businesses running arrays or NAS/SANs for encoding etc. Great to see the performance numbers up there though... only thing that bothers me is the lack of true speed control innovation(s). Why aren't there drives ranging from 10Krpm to 5400? The drive would control the speed based on the conditions it's facing or typically faced with.
    __We've long had cars with AI systems that can adjust the car's performance (throttle, braking, suspension etc.) according to your *typical* habits and or a slight delay once it recognizes more aggressiveness as you drive.

    There's no HD that can be set to sense when it's going to be in high-demand mode; increasing spindle speed, actuator motor speed etc? The drive's AI couldn't note a sudden and sustained data transfer, then increasing or decreasing a specific electro-mechanical function to accommodate that situation?

    Seems like more stupid, metered-technology to sell more bland "tech-updates," when really, it's nothing at all worth buying Vs full speed, performance models.
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