New 500GB drive promises to save power
By Peter Cohen
Western Digital (WD) on Monday announced that it’s shipping in volume its WD Caviar GreenPower (or GP) 500GB hard disk drive mechanism. The drive costs $149.99.
The WD Caviar GP is a 3.5-inch hard disk drive bound for external enclosures or internal chassis inside computers that use Serial ATA (SATA) interfaces. The “GreenPower” moniker indicates that this unit is especially designed to be power-efficient. WD claims the drive is the industry’s coolest and quietest running eco-friendly 500GB drive.
The GP 500GB model uses the same technology as its 1GB counterpart. It yields and average drive power savings of four to five watts over other drives in its class; WD claims that results in an annual CO2 emission reduction of up to 13.8 kilograms per drive per year, or the equivalent of taking a car off the road for about three days per year.
The drive utilizes special technology that reduces power load during startup, and optimizes spin speed, transfer rate and caching algorithms. It will automatically unload its recording heads during idle periods, for example, which reduces aerodynamic drag. It also reduces less noise and lower vibration rates accordingly.
The drive sports a 16MB data buffer and an average read seek time of 8.9 milliseconds (ms). Transfer rate is 3 Gb/s for the buffer-to-host (SATA) speed, and 1,160 Mb/s for the buffer-to-disk transfer rate.