Western Digital Caviar 2TB 'Green' hard disc

A huge leap forward in every sense

At the beginning of the year we saw the introduction of the power and energy efficiency behind the Western Digital 1TB Green Disc. This really amazed us all as it romped on home against its main rival the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11, knocking it well into the sidelines. To date the secret behind the true spindle speeds of the Western Digital GP 1TB disc are only known to the few. A good set of guesses have been made, though just not right.

In July 2008, along came Seagate not wanting to stand still with its 1.5TB Hard disc which then caught the community truly on the hop. Drive claims of 120 MB/s sustained data rate and a 32MB Cache. Today we see Western Digital coming back with a bang introducing the first new ground breaking 2TB Green Hard Disc.

The design of a disc of this size is aimed squarely at the end user who stores massive amounts of games and fixes. And the mega gamer whose hard discs fill with all those patches and games galore that require excessive disc space. These discs will most certainly satisfy all those requirements. Some files used within the professional graphics arena can be as large as 2GB and Photoshop files in excess of 750MB.

When the 1TB drives became available last year we forecast that the standard system of workstation and SoHo users would have a slave disc of 1TB. This fact has been well borne out as many good OEM's and system builders have followed this route. Taking into consideration the actual cost per MB of a 1TB hard disc has dropped so greatly it makes sound logical sense. Will this see the advent of the 2TB disc being a slave disc by the year end?

Before we go on any further, let's have a picture of this powerful beast.

The next question is what system do we use to test this on? To get the ultimate performance we dug out our supersonic Supermicro i7 system with its notorious 965 3.2GHz Extreme CPU. Therefore, in theory a system that should fully stretch the hard disc with various tests, from file transfers to and from backup devices, drive to drive file copies and so on.

Test System
Mainboard: Supermicro X8SAX Workstation Mainboard
CPU: 1 X 3.2GHz Intel® Core™i7 Socket 1366 965 Extreme Processor
CPU Cooling: Intel Socket 1366 Stock Cooler
Memory: 3 X 2GB Crucial DDR3 1333MHz (PC3-12800) Non-ECC Memory Modules
Hard Drive (Boot): 2 X 300GB Western Digital VelociRaptor Hard Disc, 10,000RPM, 16MB Cache, SATA 3.0GB/s, Configured to Raid 0 via ICH 10 Chipset
Hard Drive (Slave): 2TB Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EADS
Video Card: AMD FirePro V8700
Intake Cooling: Akasa 120mm Amber Fans
Exhaust Cooling: Akasa 120mm Amber Fans
Chassis: Akasa Infiniti ZOR eATX Chassis

Benchmarks and Software
Microsoft Windows XP Professional
PC MARK 2005 Advanced
HD Tach 3.0.4.0
HD Tune Pro Ver 3
SiSoftware Sandra 2009 with SP1

Each set of tests has been applied on the clean system hard drives shown above to ensure that no residual drivers were left installed with all updates/patches applied. A test has been completed many times over different periods of the system uptime to ensure there were no anomalies. Tests have been conducted at 1280 X 1024 @ 60Hz in 32 bit colour. Results that have been shown within this review are from the benchmarks first run; not an average of 3 runs.

The results speak for themselves:







Process

Time to Complete
Windows Volume Shadow Copy 33.3GBs - Operating System (Drive C) to Data Disc (Drive F)
53 minutes 42 Seconds
6.17GB Data File from Drive C to Data Disc (Drive F)

1 minute 12 Seconds
6.17GB Data File from Data Disc (Drive F) to Drive C

1 minute 07 Seconds
6.17GB Data File Copy within Drive F

1 minute 3 Seconds
10.5GB Data Files Transfer from Data Disc (Drive F) to Operating System (Drive C)

1 minute 53 Seconds
8GB Data File Transfer by from Data Disc (Drive F) to Western Digital My Book Mirror

2 minutes 29 Seconds


Conclusions
The Caviar Green has most certainly lived up to its claims and Western Digital must be extremely pleased that a hard disc as versatile as this has produced such good results. It most certainly caught us on the hop here with its raw performance and a huge leap forward from last year's 1TB outing. This in turn means that many end users from all walks of life can utilise this disc in just about any scenario that springs to mind. Video on demand servers and video surveillance end users will be jumping around at the endless possibilities that this 2TB drive will bring - on mass storage space savings alone.

What of the Tier Ones and OEM’s? Well, for those trying to move forward the ultimate system this has to be the slave hard disc of choice for performance systems. For the ones who feel the need for bigger is better; then the 2TB Caviar Green does it exceedingly well.

Mass storage of this magnitude needs good cooling and easy access install a drive whenever the need arises. The Akasa Infiniti Zor fits the bill very readily here with its seven 3.5 inch drive bays. It takes seconds to get a drive into place or removed if the need arises. As a point of note there is no shortage either on the cooling front and bang for buck it gives many a chassis out there a run for its money.

Management of the file system on a drive of this magnitude will require good house-keeping especially when we reach around 500GB of data. We have consistently seen read/write speeds just below 90 MB/s. A remarkable set of figures. Hard discs of this nature normally struggle to reach 75 - 80MB/s. Western Digital has done its homework well within the logic of the disc in all sectors. What we did find was that utilising the Caviar Green at performance level had hardly any hit on the CPU usage which is good news for those intensive I/O operations. Therefore, we have no worries on that department as the 500GB platters will make short work of this.

Temperatures of the disc are respectable for a unit of this nature surrounded by a very tight condensed area of the test system. Test systems here are fully enclosed within the chassis to get the true ambient system temperatures, not that of a system lying on an open workbench. What must be dually noted and taken into consideration is that the temperatures seen within the HD Tune Pro benchmark were recorded at the end of the working set of benchmarks and results. So these are very respectable temperatures from a working system of this calibre. As a point of note ambient average room temps were approximately 22.5C. As a point of interest and to gauge the true localised heat of the hard disc at the bottom of the chassis, the lower fan of the chassis was disengaged fully.

Another important factor is the price of this beastie romping home at today’s rate of €299.00 Euros and this is a reasonable price for a hard disc of this capacity. Drives should be available with OEM's S.I.s and E-Tailers very soon, so watch your resellers sites very closely.

Although this is a short review, it has proven unequivocally that Western Digital has done its sums right with this magnificent monolithic muscular disc.