The Tale of the Tape

Hard Drive Specifications
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1TB Western Digital Caviar GP 1TB
Manufacturer's Stated Capacity 1000.2GB (1 Terabyte) 1000.2GB (1 Terabyte)
Operating System Stated Capacity 931.5 GB 931.5 GB
Interface SATA 3Gb/s SATA 3Gb/s
Rotational Speed 7,200 RPM 5400-7200 RPM (variable)
Cache Size 32 MB 16 MB
Average Latency 4.16ms (nominal) 5.6ms (nominal)
Read Seek Time 8.9ms 8.9ms
Number of Heads 8 8
Number of Platters 4 4
Power Draw (Idle/Load) 8W/12.0W 4W/7.4 W
Command Queuing Native Command Queuing Native Command Queuing
Warranty 5 Years 3 Years

The specifications chart spells out the extent of the differences between the two drives. The Seagate drive runs at 7200RPM with a 32MB buffer. The Western Digital drive's IntelliPower algorithm, which varies the rotational speed between 5400RPM and 7200RPM, dictates the Western Digital's rotational speed. Despite this variable rotational speed, Western Digital specifies the same average seek time as Seagate. Western Digital lists this product as a desktop-class drive; it carries a three-year warranty, which falls short of the Seagate's five-year warranty. Western Digital's enterprise drive (RE2-GP) carries a five-year warranty and offers similar performance.

Index Test Setup


View All Comments

  • retrospooty - Monday, November 26, 2007 - link

    I for one found the article helpful. It isn't about showing performance and choosing a winner based on speed, it is about showing all aspects of each and letting the buyer decide. Some people might want pure speed, and some might want a low power, quieter option.

    I think logic is lost on some people.
  • gmyx - Monday, November 26, 2007 - link

    While 4w may not seem like much to a power user, it is a big deal to someone who is building a low power system such as a VIA based system. It's obviously not going to be used for playing games but can certainly work as a file server / internet proxy. When you can get a power supply with a total output of 60w (pico 60w power supply) every watt saved brings your total lower. A lower total mean less cost for your file server / internet proxy. Reply
  • Lonyo - Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - link

    I would imagine it would also be nice for a low power home file server.
    1 of these 1TB drives would use probably <1/3rd of the power of 2x500GB drives, or ~1/2 the power of another 1TB drive.
    If you have say a RAID-5 array with 5 or 6 of these drives, you're looking at a decent reduction in power which is always nice for a 24/7 machine.
  • Googer - Monday, November 26, 2007 - link

    Those who have wanted to use low power hard drives on a desktop motherboard have always had the option of using 2.5" laptop drives. Reply
  • Dave Robinet - Monday, November 26, 2007 - link

    Well put, Jarred.

    The Hitachi was reviewed some time ago, now, and (as you mention) its results are included in the charts. It gets mention in the conclusion as being the preferred option over the Seagate, as well.

    The Green drive does have a place as a quiet drive (the quietest of the 1TB drives tested), and it comes at a low price point. That's considerable - particularly for HTPC users, who may not appreciate the Hitachi's noise.

    For performance-oriented applications, though, it's a tough sell.
  • DigitalFreak - Monday, November 26, 2007 - link

    Me thinks that this whole "green" thing from WD is because they were having issues producing a performance drive. Maybe the lower power consumption would make sense in a laptop drive, but I'd much rather have performance on the desktop.

    Seagate's ATA drives have always been so-so performers, so I'm not surprised with the outcome. However, they 5 year warranty more than makes up for it in a home server environment.
  • jojo4u - Monday, November 26, 2007 - link

    Other drives are performing well. It's nice to have the choice. And there are uses for low-power high-capacity drives. Reply
  • jojo4u - Monday, November 26, 2007 - link

    See page 2 and page 3">

    Your low-level results also back this up.
  • DigitalFreak - Monday, November 26, 2007 - link

    There was a discussion on their forums about how it would be prohibitively expensive to produce a drive that could vary it's spindle speed due to the extra stress on the mechanism. Reply
  • Interlink - Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - link

    Anybody with a mic e.g. in his headset and a PC with microphon input is able to measure the fixed spindle speed of a WD10EACS: [url=">]5400 rpm[/url]. Reply

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