Western Digital Caviar Green (WD20EARX) 2 TB Hard Disk Drive Review

Discussion in 'Reviews & Articles' started by Adrian Wong, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Western Digital divides their internal hard drives into three distinct families - the WD Caviar Blue for their basic hard drives, the WD Caviar Green for their quieter, cooler hard drives and the WD Caviar Black for their performance-grade hard drives.

    According to Western Digital, Caviar Green hard disk drives offer an average power saving of 4-5 watts over their competitors, a feat that they claim is equivalent to reducing CO2 emissions by 13.8 kg per year. Of course, that's a mere drop in the ocean but if you can help save the environment while you work or play on your computer, why not?

    Today, we will look at the improved Western Digital Caviar Green 2 TB hard disk drive - the new Western Digital WD20EARX with Advanced Format Technology and SATA 6 Gbps interface. Let's find out how well this drive performs!


    Link : Western Digital Caviar Green (WD20EARX) 2 TB Hard Disk Drive Review
  2. Thanks very much for the review! It was a fantastic read, and I ordered this HD from amazon just moments after reading it. Very cheap for 2TB! Thanks!!
  3. spock

    spock Newbie

    techarp Review Conclusion is illogical

    You conclude that the WD20EARS is better than the WD20EARX because of the speed. If you want speed you should buy neither of these LOW POWER usage drives.

    WD20EARX Power Dissipation
    Read/Write 4.50 Watts
    Idle 2.50 Watts
    Standby 0.70 Watts
    Sleep 0.70 Watts

    WD20EARS Power Dissipation
    Read/Write 6.00 Watts
    Idle 3.7 Watts
    Standby 0.80 Watts
    Sleep 0.80 Watts

    Now, which is superior for low power and therefore low thermal output?
  4. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    I'm personally using WD20EARX. If the spec sheet about is true, then I would prefer the WD20EARX over WD20EARS too.
  5. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Not sure if WD improved on the WD20EARX recently, but when we received our review sample, it had the following power consumption figures, as stated in the review :

    Read/Write 5.30 Watts
    Idle 3.30 Watts
    Standby 0.70 Watts
    Sleep 0.70 Watts

    The slightly lower power consumption is likely due to the slower spindle speed. The conclusion also mentioned "it has the indirect benefit of a lower thermal output", so yes, we acknowledged that it had a lower power consumption and thermal output.

    If we are only interested in lower power consumption, then it would make sense to buy ever slower hard disk drives. But is that what we want? Frankly speaking - we want our cake and eat it too. :D

    That means we want lower power consumption and thermal dissipation, but we also want better performance. Greedy, I know... ;)

    I'm not saying that the WD20EARX is a bad drive. It's not. But it's not as good a buy as the WD20EARS, especially if the WD20EARS is faster and cheaper. The SATA 6 Gbps interface does not matter since neither drives will come close to saturating the SATA 3 Gbps interface.
  6. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    Honestly, these Green drives are only used for storage purposes, especially large files, so seek time is not going to matter much.

    I would personally want a drive with lower power consumption rather than faster. Given a choice, I would still pick WD20EARX over WD20EARS knowing that fact that EARS is faster. Give me lower power consumption any day, in fact, I don't mind it being slower and cooler than the EARX!

    But the drive runs so cool that I can barely feel it is working, so I'm more than happy now.
  7. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    I agree, but it's not the seek time that I'm interested in per se, but the raw transfer rate. We either copy files into or out of these drives. So the faster I can copy things into or out of these drives, the better.

    Plus, the rest of the time, they are just idling there. So the idle power consumption matters more than the active power consumption. In this case, the difference in idle power consumption is just 0.4 W. Probably won't make much of a difference.

    Quick calc :

    0.4 W x 24 hours a day x 30.5 days a month = 0.29 kWhr (units)
    Say each unit costs RM 0.40 (USD 0.13), that's extra 12 sen (USD 0.04) worth of power per month.

    Hopefully, I didn't get the calculations wrong! LOL!
  8. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    Additional power consumption translate into power and heat, which is what matter to me most. That additional heat may mean additional cooling is required or not, so noise is also impacted.

    If you are so concerned about speed, there's always SSD which I already have. They are far superior to any HDD, definitely more differences than the negligible speed difference on the Green drives.
  9. bruisah

    bruisah Newbie

    Article Correction

    Hi Adrian,

    I happened upon your article (rather late, I know!), as I have just bought a pair of these drives and I wanted confirmation on jumper settings.

    It looks like you have fallen foul of the dreadful support pages on the WDC website. In searching for the jumper settings for this drive, there are two main diagrams.

    The first diagram (that you have used in your article) shows a jumper across pins five and six for enabling "OPT1" (activate1.5 Gb/s speed).

    Unfortunately, this diagram only applies to SATA 3.0 Gb/s drives, and the WD1002FAEX-00Y9A0 SATA 6.0 Gb/s drive.

    The drive under review (WD20EAXR) should have its jumpers set as per the second main diagram. This is where the drive, by default, will run in 1.5 Gb/s mode *unless* you apply a jumper across pins five and six. Adding the jumper enables PHY (3.0 Gb/s transfer speed).

    Having tried this drive with both settings, I can confirm that, *with* pins five and six jumpered, the drive speed increases significantly:

    No Jumper: ~20MB/s sustained
    Jumper: ~78MB/s sustained

    [Note that I'm transferring data from older disks, and both sets of disks are paired as RAID-1, so this data is only indicative of the effect of the jumper settings, and not an overall speed test]
  10. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Hmm.. They changed it? That's odd. My drive doesn't have a jumper at all.

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