Logo   Banner   TopRight
Western Digital 2TB Caviar Green Power Hard Drive
Date: Apr 08, 2009
Author: HH Editor
Introduction and Specifications

The green technology movement is obviously in full swing now. Better efficiency through technological innovation has a trickle down effect to many facets of life style, technology and the environment. Whether motivated by cost or environmental reasons the benefits of eco-minded innovation will eventually be felt by all. When products can be produced cheaper through the use of green technologies due to cost savings to the manufacturer, consumers and the planet will eventually reap the benefits. Widespread adoption of green technology products, like Western Digital's Green Power Hard Drive for example, adds to the overall effectiveness of the green technology movement and increases aggregate resource savings in the enterprise and data center, as well as the end user markets.

Western Digital is the first to market with a 2TB hard drive and it just so happens that it's a Caviar Green Power version drive. Not only is it flush with a much larger capacity but it also features "Green Power" technology that includes a host of features which make this a very consumer and environmentally friendly drive. Advertising lower temperatures, quieter operation, and the performance advantages of increased platter density, this drive is suited for a variety of storage usage models, especially those with tighter power consumption constraints.  

We covered Western Digital's foray into green technology in an earlier article testing both the consumer and enterprise versions of their 1TB Green Power hard drive . Since then there have been additional improvements in the drive and its firmware. Although an enterprise version is not offered at this time, it is sure to be in the works to generate vastly more cumulative power savings across the data center based on the sheer number of drives deployed.

Western Digital 2TB Caviar Green Power Hard Drive

Specifications & Features

Performance Specifications
Transfer Rates
    Buffer To Host (Serial ATA)     3 Gb/s (Max)
Physical Specifications
    Formatted Capacity     2,000,398 MB
    Capacity     2 TB
    Interface     SATA 3 Gb/s
    User Sectors Per Drive     3,907,029,168
Physical Dimensions
    Height     26.1 mm
    Length     147 mm
    Width     101.6 mm
    Weight     0.73 kg

Environmental Specifications

    Operating Shock (Read)     65G, 2 ms
    Non-operating Shock     300G, 2 ms
    Idle Mode     25 dBA (average)
    Seek Mode 0     29 dBA (average)
    Seek Mode 3     26 dBA (average)
    Linear     20-300 Hz, .75G (0 to peak)
    Random     10-300 Hz, 0.008 g² / Hz
    Low Frequency     5-20 Hz, 0.195 inches (double amplitude)
    High Frequency     20-500 Hz, 4.0G (0 to peak)

Electrical Specifications

Current Requirements
Power Dissipation
    Read/Write     6.00 Watts
    Idle     3.7 Watts
    Standby     0.80 Watts
    Sleep     0.80 Watts 

Reduced power consumption
WD has reduced power consumption by up to 40 percent compared to standard desktop drives with the combination of WD's IntelliSeek™, NoTouch™, and IntelliPower™ technologies. 

Cool and quiet
GreenPower™ technology yields lower operating temperatures for increased reliability and low acoustics for ultra-quiet PCs and external drives.
NoTouch™, and IntelliPower™ technologies.
WD Caviar Green drives yield an average drive power savings of 4-5 watts over standard desktop drives making it possible for our energy-conscious customers to build systems with higher capacities and the right balance of system performance, ensured reliability, and energy conservation.

Massive capacity
Capacities up to 2 TB offer the most available capacity for storage-intensive programs and space-hungry operating systems, like Window Vista®, with plenty of room left over for photos, music, and video.

Perfect for external drives
External drive manufacturers can eliminate the need for a fan in a high-capacity product with a WD Caviar Green drive, the coolest and quietest in its class. 

A fine-tuned balance of spin speed, transfer rate andcaching algorithms designed to deliver both significant power savingsand solid performance.

Calculates optimum seek speeds to lower power consumption, noise, and vibration.

NoTouch ramp load technology
The recording head never touches the disk media ensuringsignificantly less wear to the recording head and media as well asbetter drive protection in transit.

Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR)
Employs PMR technology to achieve even greater areal density.

The motor shaft is secured at both ends to reducesystem-induced vibration and stabilize platters for accurate tracking,during read and write operations.

Low power spin-up
WD Caviar Green drives consume less current during startup allowing lower peak loads.

Advanced power technology
Electronic components deliver best-in-class low power consumption for reduced power requirements and increased reliability.

The Western Digital Green Power Caviar 2TB drive features 4 - 500GB platters, but Western Digital has not published any rotational speed specifics. Through the combination of Western Digital's
IntelliSeek™, NoTouch™, and IntelliPower™ technologies WD claims their Green Power 2TB drive can offer power savings of "up to 40 percent" in comparison to other desktop drives. (Updated for technical accuracy)
Test System and HD Tach results

Hot Hardware Test System
 Test System Specifications - Intel E8400

Intel Core 2 Duo 45nm E8400 3.0gHz
Asus P5Q-E LGA 775 P45
8 GB Corsair Dominator PC2 8500
ASUS EAH3450 512M Radeon
Antec TPQ-850 850W 80 plus Bronze
KINGWIN KF-1000 Hot Swap Rack
Antec Nine Hundred
Windows XP 64-Bit SP2

Drives Tested
Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB WD20EADS
Hitachi Deskstar 1TB HDS721010KLA330
Seagate 1TB 7200.11 ST31000333AS
Seagate 500GB 7200.10 ST3500630AS
Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS 300GB
Benchmarks Used
HD Tach, HD Tune 2.55,
Si-Soft Sandra 2009 SP2, ATTO 2.02

While testing the drives we used a KINGWIN KF-1000-BK 3.5" Internal hot swap rack attached to one of the six ASUS P5Q-E onboard 3Gb/s SATA II ports. A hot swap utility was used that allowed us to spin down each drive and swap it out without rebooting.

HD Tach
 HD Tach v3.0.1.0

We began our testing with Simpli Software's HD Tach, which is described on the company's web site as such: "HD Tach is a low level hardware benchmark for random access read/write storage devices such as hard drives, removable drives (ZIP/JAZZ), flash devices, and RAID arrays. HD Tach uses custom device drivers and other low level Windows interfaces to bypass as many layers of software as possible and get as close to the physical performance of the device possible."

The Western Digital Green Power 2 TB delivers impressive results in HD Tach. The read/write, random access, and burst speeds are all great for a consumer hard drive, especially one that employs "Green Technology". It even turns in the best write results among all the drives except for the high performance WD Velociraptor.
HD Tune Benchmarking

HD Tune
 HD Tune 2.55

Next up we used HD Tune 2.55 to test the drives.  HD Tune is somewhat similar to HD Tach in the tests it runs but uses its own methods and workload to arrive at performance results.

The HD Tune results show the WD Green Power 2TB only being bested by the Seagate 7200.11 in the transfer rates benchmark among the standard retail desktop drives. In the Random Access Time test, the WD GP 2TB turned in an impressive 12.8ms which was confirmed by multiple test runs. The Green Power 2TB drive performs especially well here and even under a full load uses less power than other retail drives, as you'll see later.
SiSoftware Sandra 2009 SP2

SiSoft Sandra
 2009 SP2

SiSoftware Sandra (the System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is a suite of informational and benchmarking tools and utilities. We are using the Physical Disk benchmarks to arrive at additional performance results for comparison.

SiSoft Sandra's physical disk test results for the Western Digital Green Power 2TB were equally impressive with it coming in just under the Seagate 7200.11 in the read/write index tests. Random access tests provided slightly better results than the 1TB Seagate at 4ms write access and 15ms read access times.
ATTO Disk Benchmark

ATTO Disk Benchmark - Read/Write Performance
Version 2.02

ATTO is a benchmark that measures read and write transfer rates across a specific volume, displaying the results in bar graphs. For our drives we chose 8kB through 8192kB transfer sizes up to a max volume length of 32MB. We used blank, formatted drives with NTFS partitions to run our tests.

Hitachi Deskstar 1TB HDS721010KLA330

Seagate 1 TB 7200.11 ST31000333AS

Seagate 500 GB 7200.10 ST3500630AS

Western Digital VelociRaptor 300GB WD3000GLFS

Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB WD20EADS

Here we see that the Western Digital Green Power 2TB ramps up quickly to speed and turns in impressive results from the beginning of the test. The WD GP 2TB has consistently turned in great write speeds and continues the trend when benchmarking with  ATTO.
Power Usage - Drive Temperatures

Since we are reviewing a Green technology product in the Western Digital Green Power 2TB drive, we considered factors such as power consumption and drive temperature essential measurements in the evaluation.

System Power Consumption
Measured with a P3 Kill-A-Watt

To determine power consumption, we used a P3 Kill-A-Watt meter. The test system was plugged into the meter which was then attached to the power source. Wattage readings were taken from the meter under idle and load conditions. The load state was arrived at by running a battery of intensive benchmarks on the target drive. The test system ran at 124 watts without any of the test drives loaded.

The Western Digital Green Power 2TB delivers as promised with around 6 watts of power usage at idle and 10 watts under load. The closest competitor (counting out the 2.5" Velociraptor) was the Seagate 7200.11 1TB that used 8 watts at idle and 12 watts under load. Although this may not seem very significant it represents power savings of 25 and 17 percent respectively.

Drive Temperature Readings - Idle/Load
Measured with a Fluke Temperature Sensor

Our drive temperatures were arrived at by placing the drives in a Thermaltake BlacX external eSATA drive housing. The drive housing exposed the drive and allowed us to take temperature readings using a Fluke thermal meter probing the back of the drive. We used the highest temperature reading at idle and then under a heavy benchmark load for comparison. Although this is not extremely precise it does give you a good idea of the differences in temperature between the drives tested. The ambient room temperature during testing was 71 degrees Fahrenheit.

Here we see a noticeable difference in the heat generated by the WD Green Power 2 TB. Tests show 4 degrees Fahrenheit below the closest comparison drive during idle and almost 7 degrees Fahrenheit during load.
Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: Western Digital's Green Power 2TB drive performed above average in our tests and did so while running very cool and quiet. It excelled at disk writes and delivered results at or near the top in all benchmarks when compared to the other consumer drives. The WDGP 2TB also ramped up quickly and performed well in the ATTO benchmark. This is impressive from a drive that also provides the added benefits of using "Green Technology" and consuming less power.

The Western Digital Green Power 2TB performs as promised and is part of a larger movement towards energy efficiency in technology. We like products that are good for the environment and perform as expected, whether you're simply a cool and quiet computing type or more concerned about your carbon footprint.  It's our belief that "green" technology should be applied whenever possible in computing architectures. Western Digital is at the forefront with their Green Power drives for now but expect offerings from other drive vendors to follow soon.

The WDGP 2TB will fit certain applications very well. Home Theater PC's for example, with only one drive slot, can use it to provide 2TB of quiet, cool, energy efficient storage. When you consider the fact that you traditionally would have to pair up at least two drives to equal the 2TB storage space, the energy efficiency features of the Western Digital Green Power 2TB drive become even more of a factor. 

With a street price of $299 it may be a little more costly considering you could get two Western Digital 1.5TB Green Power drives at almost the same price. But as expected there is always bit of a premium (at least temporarily) for the largest capacity hard drive available on the market. We're willing to bet the masses will ante up however and feel that price premium isn't completely unjustified.


  • Largest capacity drive currently available
  • Energy efficient
  • Runs cooler / quieter
  • Solid mid-range performance


  • A little pricey

Content Property of HotHardware.com