Western Digital AV-GP 2 TB Hard Disk Drive Review

Discussion in 'Reviews & Articles' started by Adrian Wong, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Once upon a time, a 40 MB hard disk drive was considered state-of-the-art. Now, Western Digital gives us a hard disk drive of the same physical size, but with 50,000 times the capacity! We present - the 2 TB Western Digital AV-GP hard disk drive!

    The 2 TB AV-GP is an audio-video version of the the WD Caviar Green hard disk drive. Like its Green Power compatriots, it features a slower spindle speed of between 5400 RPM and 7200 RPM, which greatly reduces its power consumption. However, in addition to common Green Power features, it also boasts several AV-specific features. Let's find out just how well this hard disk drive performs!


    Link : Western Digital AV-GP 2 TB Hard Disk Drive Review
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2010
  2. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    All these GP drives are actually running at 5400rpm.
  3. peaz

    peaz ARP Webmaster Staff Member

    5400rpm should still be ok if the drive is used for Storage purposes. Should be good for the NAS :)
  4. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    No, the GP drives run at a fixed spindle speed between 5400 RPM and 7200 RPM. Every model is supposed to have a different spindle speed, designed to reduce power consumption, noise, etc.

    That's the official word from WD... but from what I understand, they are really spinning at just above 5405 RPM.

    The seek time for this drive is 8.9 ms. I believe we can calculate the spindle speed from it. I just can't remember how...
  5. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Actually, it's really fast enough for pure throughput purposes as it has a very high areal density. It can hit 103 MB/s at the outer tracks... definitely faster than older 7200 RPM drives.
  6. zy

    zy zynine.com Staff Member

    I have a 1TB Green, definitely faster than my 250gb SE16. lol
  7. mikegas

    mikegas Newbie

    Didnt know you manage to steal an AV drive to review .. :)
  8. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    Yes, it is definitely more than sufficient. I have a 1TB GP myself, it is quiet and cool.

    But to stay that it spins between 5400rpm and 7200rpm is wrong. I've read somewhere which records the sound frequency of the GP drives, and they are exactly spinning at 5400rpm.
  9. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    How can that be wrong? WD specifically states that the Green drives spin at a fixed spindle speed "between 5400 RPM and 7200 RPM". They refuse to state how fast exactly, but there are sources who claim that it's 5405 RPM.
  10. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    "Wrong" is the accurate word to describe. More like misleading.

    It really sounds like spinning variably between 5400rpm to 7200rpm. Why can they just say it's spinning at 5400rpm? No one would complain given the fact it is designed to run at 5400rpm. It is quiet, low power consumption.

    Sometimes press release do not state all the real facts. They are just stating the obvious. Spinning at a fixed rate between 5400rpm and 7200rpm is basically referring to all desktop models except for Raptor series. :lol:
  11. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Oh, it's misleading alright. Heheh...

    I don't know why. Probably only the spinmeisters in WDC will know why they decided to be so mysterious. Maybe they would prefer people to assume that the drive spins closer to 7200 RPM?

    They have since summarized the spindle speed as "IntelliPower". The name suggests that the HDD will dynamically adjust the spindle speed according to workload, but IMHO, it's just a new name for spinning at a fixed speed between 5400 and 7200 RPM.

    Well, most HDDs either spin at 5400 RPM or 7200 RPM. Few spin in between those speeds. The Seagate Barracuda LP HDDs spin at 5900 RPM and they are not shy about saying so.
  12. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    Yeah, exactly. I have no idea why they have to be so mysterious about the spinning speed. All the hardcore geeks which are obsessed with noise are now either getting WD GP, or even 2.5" drives to reduce vibration and noise.

    WD GP 1TB has so many revisions with different platter size, so noise, heat, power consumption can be quite different even though model remains the same.
  13. mikegas

    mikegas Newbie

    WD do not want user normally to associate spindle speed with performance as that is not true all the time. WD are the 1st to come with with lower spindle, be it 5400rpm, that's why have to shy about the rpm speed else it would not be successful. Seagate not shy about it bcos it riding on success of WD GP drives as more and more people realize is happier to have a more cooler and low noise drive ... getit!!

    "Intellipower" means fine tune spindle speed, transfer rates and caching algorithm so is not just spindle speed.

    Let give a scenario,if you have a drive which you need occasionally for backup, for data storage, and sometimes playback movie, do you think you need 10k rpm spindle speed and 64MB cache. You know the disc transfer rate some up to 640Mbps OD and maybe 320Mbps ID, your HD movie maybe streaming at 10Mbps, why the heck do we need 64MB cache or fast spindle speed, when disc transfer rate is so much faster.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2010
  14. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    We all know what is the consequence of having a slower spindle speed. The random seek time will suffer.

    As for the transfer rate, it will keep on improving as the density gets higher.

    Tech savvy guys will know what GP drives are great at, and those not so literate people will never care what is 5400rpm or 7200rpm. That is what I think personally.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2010
  15. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Low spindle speed isn't that big of a problem for most people these days as the high areal density ensures a very high throughput. In fact, current "low-powered" drives that spin at 5400 RPM or thereabouts have higher transfer rates than older 7200 RPM hard disk drives.

    Lower speed drives will have slower seek times, of course. Areal density can't change that. But this isn't a big issue for most desktop users. As for this AV-GP drive is concerned (coming back to topic!!), seek times are irrelevant. The data transfer rate, lower power consumption and greater reliability are more important so spinning at 5400 RPM is certainly better than 7200 RPM.

    As far as IntelliPower is concerned, I think that's more of a marketing thing than an actual engineering feature. This AV-GP drive, like all GreenPower drives and low-powered drives from other manufacturers, are definitely tuned for lower noise and lower power consumption whether they call it IntelliPower or not.
  16. mikegas

    mikegas Newbie

    Yup.. Intellipower is marketing scheme that divert ppl thinking from spindle speed vs performance when it was first launch. After success, it get bashes from competitor ..
  17. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    I don't think people will really bother whether it's a 5400 RPM drive or a 7200 RPM drive. Maybe the n00bs will. Well, they may not - most people assume that 5400 RPM drives are no longer in the market.

    Personally, what matters most is the drive's performance. It just irritates me that they have to hide the spindle speed. I just have to know!!! :haha:
  18. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    Yeah, although I know the fact that it is spinning at 5400rpm, WD could have just stated the specs.

    I'm even more surprised that enterprise 5400rpm drives are just the same...
  19. ZuePhok

    ZuePhok Just Started

    my 1.5TB GP drive died last week :( sigh..
  20. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    The Caviar Green? How did it die? Any warning?

    OT = my brother's 80 GB Hitachi notebook HDD just died last month (during the Chinese New Year). I was there when it died. One minute, it was working fine. Next minute, we heard "trak! trak! trak!" and a few seconds later, Windows Vista BSODed. No warning, nothing... :(

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