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Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB - Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB

By Edward Chester



  • Recommended by TR
Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB


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To get that power consumption down, Green drives use a number of incremental tweaks. To start with, the spindle speed is optimised on Green drives. A number of caching algorithms manage the way data is handled to ensure that the slower spindle speed doesn't impact on performance too much. Further algorithms optimise seek operations to try and ensure the read/write heads move only as fast as they need to, which reduces power consumption and vibration.

The other major addition is a low-power spin-up, which reduces peak power requirements when the drive is starting up. This means you can equip you computer with a lower power PSU, which in itself can further save power. All told WD claims these tweaks account for a 40 per cent reduction in power consumption compared to standard desktop drives.

As well as its power saving features, WD has also used a new retention mechanism for the motor on this 2TB version. The main spindle is now fixed at both ends, which provides a more stable platform for the platters, further reducing vibrations and the resultant heat and noise.

Of course, looking at the drive, you'd be hard pushed to tell this is any different from any other hard drive, apart from the name. As with all current desktop hard drives, it comes in a 3.5in form factor with connections for SATA power and data. It uses the new SATA-II interface standard, with its theoretical transfer rate of 3Gb/s, but it's compatible with the older 1.5Gb/s SATA standard as well.

Four platters are used to create the total storage of 2TBs. This equates to a record breaking data density of 500GB per platter, which WD was keen to point out would have performance as well as power saving benefits over five platter versions. While this is partially true, we found performance can vary depending on the sort of data you're dealing with as evidenced when we compared the Seagate and Hitachi 1TB drives. Of course, the easy way to find out is to do some testing…

We ran this disk through our usual set of hard drive benchmarks. To start, we leave the drive unformatted and add it as a spare drive to our test rig. We then run the hard drive testing utility HDTune. This performs a thorough test of the drive's performance right across the expanse of its 500GB platters. At the end it spews out an accurate access time figure as well as average, maximum, and minimum transfer rates. Both read and write tests are done so by the end of this test we have a pretty clear indication of how well this drive performs.

Following this we install an identical image of Windows onto the drive(s). We then test the boot, restart, and shut down times of the system. Following this we run the HDD portion of the PCMark Vantage test suite. This runs a whole host of simulated hard drive tests including Windows Vista booting, video editing using Windows Movie Maker, and importing music into Windows Media Player. At the end it returns an overall score but also breaks down the results into individual scores.


January 27, 2009, 8:44 pm

4 of these puppies should cover my snapping requirements for 2009....those 5D MK2 files are huge, not to mention the HD video files. Now, if I only had a PC that could process the files :)


January 27, 2009, 9:24 pm

That is a fast review, this drive was announced less than 10 hours ago. :) I wonder how do this drive compare to 2 RAID0'ed 1TB drives in terms of price and speed. And which in real world is the better choice.

Damn, i am visiting this site for more than 2 years now, and until today i thought that "price" and "as reviewed" (on top of every review) was separate informations, and isn't meant to be read together. I thought then, that price is actual value in the day of reading, and "as reviewed" was the value shown during the review. One question kept occuring to me - why the hell is one price w/o vat and the other is with vat.


January 27, 2009, 9:32 pm

Ps.: Sorry, Ed has covered the price aspect in the end of his review.


January 27, 2009, 10:42 pm

'Irregardless'? Tut.


January 27, 2009, 10:45 pm

Thanks Martin - fixed.


January 28, 2009, 2:18 am

Bah, darned colloquialisms creeping into my writing. Well spotted.


The performance of two RAID0 1TB drives will almost certainly outstrip that of a single 2TB drive. It's not something I'd consider doing, though, due to the increased risk of complete data loss, extra power output, and the fact I'd get better performance (in day to day activities) by buying a faster hard drive in the first place.


January 28, 2009, 2:31 am

Can anyone explain the anomaly in the Vista startup and shutdown graph. In even other test the WD 2TB bests the Hitachi 1TB, but in the shutdown test it's nearly twice as slow. I'm sure there must be a reason for this?


January 28, 2009, 2:19 pm

Part of the explanation is I put in the wrong number in the graph - fixed now. As for why it's still a second or so slower, it could easily be margin of error as all the figures are so close in this test.


January 28, 2009, 3:48 pm

To Ed: Your HD Tune screen grabs you have the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1TB shown twice instead of the Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.


January 28, 2009, 4:04 pm

Thanks biffzinker, fixed.

Tony Walker

January 29, 2009, 8:21 pm

Yep RAID0 is dangerous, though this got covered in the RAID0+1 version though obviously you need a PC/NAS that has four spaces for drives.

Nice to know that there will be a good future upgrade possible for me with my 2 drive ReadyNAS which I currently have populated with a pair of Samsung 1TB drives. Hope Netgear have started working on the firmware.


January 30, 2009, 5:56 pm

Have to take issue with the value score: you say 2x 1TB drives is only a 㿊 saving on this drive, but 2 of the 1TB Hitachi drives you've compared against can at the time of typing be purchased for 𧴾 each (㿯 for 1)... so you can get 3TB of Hitachi storage for an extra 㾶 or one of these WD drives.

It needs to be closer to 𧵎 before I'd consider buying or recommending one of these, even with the power consumption benefits quoted by WD.

Hans Gruber

January 27, 2010, 7:38 am

Strange coincidence with me googling for hard drives tonight, and having similar storage needs to those posting above.

I was considering 2 x 1.5TB myself as this still seems to be where the sweetspot lies (price/GB). I was going to use them within my tower PC case and was wondering whether the best option is to buy a separate RAID expansion card (so, should I change motherboard in the future and there's a different RAID controller used) I can still access the information or, whether to just use the drives as separate devices and copy exactly the same info to both manually?

Is a mirrored configuration essentially different from striped in that you can still access the info on any old PC (should anything go nipples up)? Just connect the drive/s and the info is recorded same way so you can see it in Windows explorer say? Or is it dependent still on RAID drivers/hardware to read the info (like it definitely would be as scrambled across two devices in stripe configuration)? Thanks.


June 14, 2010, 5:42 pm

Bought two of those drives Digital Caviar Green 2TB, both crashed! First after two months, second after seven months, lost about 3TB of data in total. Those drives 100% sucks... both were replaced under warranty but I lost a lot of personal data and a lot of time. So much for the WD "quality control".


June 18, 2013, 5:07 pm

Bought a total of 5 of these in the past 2 years for my business. They originally were housed in NAS enclosures. Out of 5, 3 have failed completely and 2 intermittently fail and drop out of my RAID array on my ML360 G6 server. Total and complete junk and waste of money. Spend the premium and buy a better disk. As the saying goes, pay now, or pay later.... Or foolish is the man who pays too little.

On a side note I ordered 2 2TB Caviar Black drives to replace them with. We will see how they do in my fileserver.

Werner Kaffl

March 9, 2016, 2:54 am

mirror is raid 1, you should be able to take one disk out and have all data on there, same as on the other.
Striping is raid 0, it doesn't give you any redundancy, and you most likely lose all data if you have to connect the hdd to another controller. You might have a little chance, but it has to be an identical controller, identical firmware level and the hdd's need to be connected to the same ports.
Raid 0 is designed for performance only. Using that level to save any important data is stupid, as any disk failure or controller failure can cause complete data loss.

Werner Kaffl

March 9, 2016, 3:01 am

Raid 0+1 means raid 10, you need at least 4 hdd's for that, as it is mirrored stripe sets.

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