2Tb wd green

WD Green 2TB (2012) WD20EZRX

The number of benchmark samples for this model as a percentage of all 15,249,223 HDDs tested.

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Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB Review | Trusted Reviews

It’s a sign of how fast the technology industry moves that no sooner had Hitachi broken unprecedented ground by releasing the first 1TB hard drive, people were already talking about who would be first to 2TB. Well, it actually took a little longer than some predicted but, almost 18 months later we have the answer. A round of applause please for Western Digital (WD)!

Right, that’s the fanfare out the way, now let’s get down to seeing if this new drive is any good.

For those of you still a little unsure, 2TB (terabytes) is the same as 2,000GB (gigabytes). It’s the equivalent storage of nearly 450 DVDs or 40 dual layer Blu-ray discs and could accommodate roughly 500,000 MP3s, or 700,000 digital photos. In short, it’s more storage than most of us could ever conceive of needing. Unless, that is, you’re into video editing. In which case, you can never get enough.

There are, of course, countless other uses for large hard drives if you’re in the professional sector but for most home users, video’s about all you could need such a large disk for. Regardless, whatever your reasons for wanting a 2TB hard drive, this is your only option at the moment so let’s see how it fairs.

The Caviar 2TB heads up WD’s low-power, Green, line of drives and as such it won’t be competing for any performance medals. While this may seem a little odd, it actually makes perfect sense for a few reasons.

First, all high capacity drives end up having to compromise performance to a greater or lesser extent simply because faster hard drives require more robust hardware, which generally leaves less room for the data platters themselves.

Secondly, although well tested, this is still brand new technology so it makes sense to reduce the risk of failure even further by ensuring the drive will be running in the coolest, quietest manner possible.

Thirdly, when you consider the applications such high capacity drives are likely to be used for, speed is generally not a key consideration. Corporate mass data storage, NAS appliances, secondary hard drives for storing all that home video, in nearly all these situations, the drive is only used occasionally and when it is used it’s not going to be the performance bottleneck, in which case it wants to be as low power as possible.


Western Digital 2TB Caviar Green and Black Hard Drives

Posted by Nathan Kirsch Fri, Sep 18, 2009 - 12:00 AM

WD 2TB Caviar Green Versus 2TB Caviar Black

Many consumers and enthusiasts are looking for massive storage capacities, and the perfect solution for this is a 2 TB hard drive. These massive drives offer plenty of capacity for storage-intensive programs and space-hungry operating systems, like Windows 7 x64, with plenty of room left over for photos, music, and HD video content. It also makes perfect sense to use as a storage drive on a system that uses a Solid-State Drive (SSD) as the primary drive. With many SSDs suffering from performance degradation it also makes sense to off-load some of the data to a good old fashioned hard drive as they are reliable, inexpensive and come in much larger capacities.

On September 1st, 2009, Western Digital announced two new 2 TB hard drives that belong in the Caviar Black and RE4 series, which are 3.5″ hard drives that feature four 500 GB platters. The WD Caviar Black 2 TB (model WD2001FASS) and WD RE4 2 TB (model WD2003FYYS) hard drives feature 7200 RPM spin speed, 64 MB cache, dual stage actuator technology, SATA 3 gigabits per second (GB/s) interface, and an integrated dual processor to deliver ultimate performance in a maximum-capacity drive. WD’s RE4 2 TB drive is designed for enterprise-class applications, so we won’t be looking at that one today. We will be looking at the brand new WD Caviar Black 2 TB (model WD2001FASS) hard drive and will be comparing it to the WD Caviar Green 2 TB (model WD20EADS) hard drive. Here is a quick chart showing some of the differences between WD’s four 2 TB hard drive offerings.

 WD 2 TB Drive Models Idle Noise Cache Read/Write Power Warranty Cost
Caviar Green – WD20EADS 25 dBA 32 MB 6.00 W 3-year $209.99
Caviar Black – WD2001FASS 29 dBA 64 MB 10.70 W 5-year $325.99
RE4-GP – WD2002FYPS 25 dBA 64 MB 6.80 W 5-year $299.99
RE4 – WD2003FYYS 29 dBA 64 MB 10.70 W 5-year ??

The WD Caviar Green and Black hard drives might look identical on the outside other than the label, but internally the drives are actually very different. Western Digital has added some new technology inside the 2TB Caviar Black hard drive to increase the drive’s performance.  One of the main additions is a dual state actuation (DSA). This is a head positioning system with two actuators that improves positional accuracy over the data track(s). The primary actuator provides coarse displacement using conventional electromagnetic actuator principles. The secondary actuator uses piezoelectric motion to fine tune the head positioning to a higher degree of accuracy and speed as it decreases the short seek times by ~0.4 ms. This is only available on the 2 TB Caviar Black and 2TB RE4 hard drives.

The dual state actuation and constant 7200 RPM spindle speed make the 2TB Caviar Black louder than the 2TB Caviar Green. Western Digital does not disclose the spindle speed (RPM) on any of their Green series of drives as they are variable speed.  WD uses an IntelliPower (a fancy name for an algorithm), which is based on things like power and cache usage, to determine what speed the drive should be spinning at. The WD website states that it could be anywhere from 5400 RPM to 7200 RPM depending on what state the drive is in.  As you can see from the table below, the 2TB Caviar Green this does impact noise levels.

 Acoustics  2TB Caviar Green  2TB Caviar Black
 Idle Mode  25 dBA  29 dBA
 Seek Mode 0  29 dBA 34 dBA
 Seek Mode 3  26 dBA  30 dBA

The Caviar Black is 4 dBA louder at idle and 4-5 dBA louder during certain seek tests, so you have to take this into account when purchasing a hard drive.  If you are building a silent system that has no fans the Caviar Black is going to stick out like a sore thumb, but in a gaming system you won’t be able to hear it over many fans used on CPU coolers and video cards. 

Flipping the drives over you can see that the PCB revisions are close to being identical, but there are some small differences that can be seen just above the bar code.  The WD 2 TB Caviar Black uses dual processors to maximize performance versus just one on the 2 TB Caviar Green. Let’s take a quick look at the test system and move on to the benchmarks to see how big of a difference features like this mean.


Western Digital Red 2TB

Western Digital has had a bit of a rethink about how it brands its drives, and has shown the Scorpio (mobile) and Caviar (desktop) names the door. Instead, the company is now relying on just colours, which previously only indicated which market segment each product was aimed at.

For example, the Scorpio Black and Scorpio Blue ranges are now Black (performance/enthusiast) and Blue (mainstream/everyday), while the Caviar Green range of eco-friendly drives is now badged as just Green.

Into this kaleidoscope of colours comes WD's new range of drives aimed at small office and home (SOHO) NAS users - the Reds.

The Red range is currently made up of three drives in 1TB (WD10EFRX), 2TB (WD20EFRX) and 3TB (WD30ERFX) capacities. The idea of the Red range is to provide low cost drives for use in NAS environments as an alternative to standard desktop drives in RAID arrays.

Those setups can be a source of frustration and lost data, as desktop HDDs often struggle to cope with the demands of such environments.


This range takes the power-saving Intellipower spindle technology of the Green series and marries it with some of the 24/7 robustness of the RE-4 enterprise drives. WD has also added 3D Active Balancing, and a new technology called NASware in the firmware.

3D Active Balancing eliminates vibration by tuning the drive, which in turn boosts its reliability and performance. NASware comprises a bunch of technologies aimed at keeping the drive(s) from dropping off a RAID array through extended error recovery, while also offering improved power management.


WD sent us a pair of 2TB drives, so after testing one on its own we built them into RAID 0 (striped) and RAID 1 (mirrored) arrays and timed how long to transfer a 4GB photo file. Strangely, the single drive performance was actually a little better.

Sequential read performanceATTO: Megabytes per second: Faster is betterWD Red 2TB: 127WD RE-4 2TB: 130

WD Green 2TB: 93

Sequential write performanceATTO: Megabytes per second: Faster is betterWD Red 2TB: 111WD RE-4 2TB: 96

WD Green 2TB: 85

Application performance4GB Photo copy: Seconds: Lower is betterWD Red 2TB Single drive: 862x WD Red 2TB RAID 0 (Striped): 87

2x WD Red 2TB RAID 1 (Mirror): 88

Internally the Red range of drives use 1TB platters, Marvell controllers and uprated 64MB DDR2 caches. Before the Red range appeared, if you were building your own one- to six-bay NAS device, your only choices were either standard desktop drives or much more expensive (but robust) enterprise drives.

While the Reds don't offer the same range of protection as WD's enterprise-focused RE drives, they are more resilient than a standard desktop HDD, and are competitively priced. Our review model, the 2TB version, costs around £100. The equivalent Green desktop drive costs around £90, while a 2TB RE4 model will cost some £70 more than the Red version.

WD has also set up a dedicated 24/7 support line exclusively for Red users, and is backing the drive with a three-year warranty. The problem with using standard desktop drives in a RAID environment is that they often drop out of the array.

Until the arrival of the Red series, the only real way to ensure your drives were up to the job was to buy expensive server drives. WD gets the thumbs up for working with QNAP, Synology and other NAS providers to make sure the range is compatible with as many products as possible.

As it says on the drive, this is perfect for the nascent home NAS generation, and as SSD prices drop, the future of the humble hard disk is large scale storage alone.


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