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Western Digital introduces new GreenPower HDDs

Western Digital introduces new GreenPower HDDs

Now, storing all of your important data won't use as much energy.

On Monday, Western Digital introduced its new family of hard drives that will use up to 40 percent less energy then comparable products.

The new GreenPower line will ship in capacities available from 320GB up to 1TB with a desktop version of the Caviar scheduled for an August release. Enterprise and consumer electronic versions of GreenPower SATA drives are expected to ship later this quarter. Estimates from Western Digital show that the new line of drives could save £5 per drive, per year in electricity and help reduce CO2 emissions by up to 600 metric tons per 100,000 drives.

With some data centres having thousands of hard drives, potential savings could be up in the hundreds of thousands of pounds a year range if the entire centre ran GreenPower drives. Home users could shave a couple of pounds a month off their home energy bills by migrating over to the less power hungry drives.

The new technologies behind the power savings are IntelliPower, IntelliPark, and IntelliSeek. These named features fine-tune the balance of spin speed, transfer rate and cache size, automatically unload the heads during idle to reduce the aerodynamic drag, and calculate the optimum seek speeds to help lower noise, vibration, and power usage.

With lower CO2 emissions due to less energy requirements, would you be willing to switch over to the new GreenPower drives to reduce your carbon footprint? Discuss in our forums.

20 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Jamie 24th July 2007, 09:52 Quote
Marketing BS.

If you want to use less power, get solid state!
Glider 24th July 2007, 09:56 Quote
..Or turn of your PC when you don't need it...
Bindibadgi 24th July 2007, 09:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie
Marketing BS.

If you want to use less power, get solid state!

But where does it get to the point where we're not allowed to fart without planting a tree?
RTT 24th July 2007, 10:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie
Marketing BS.

If you want to use less power, get solid state!

Good luck getting big capacities then.. for the time being :D
C-Sniper 24th July 2007, 10:18 Quote
sure we could go solid state. nothing like paying $8k for 512gigs of space
Jamie 24th July 2007, 10:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by C-Sniper
sure we could go solid state. nothing like paying $8k for 512gigs of space

You know it will come down in price, look how cheap USB/stick memory is.
bilbothebaggins 24th July 2007, 10:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
Home users could shave a couple of dollars a month off their home energy bills by migrating over to the less power hungry drives.
Of course, the PSU will have to actually translate that power saving over to the plug ...
TheVoice 24th July 2007, 11:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie
You know it will come down in price, look how cheap USB/stick memory is.

True, speeds need to increase too though. Bit-tech's own review of that SSD drive the other day didn't impress me much.
RTT 24th July 2007, 11:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bilbothebaggins
Of course, the PSU will have to actually translate that power saving over to the plug ...

Uh, well, unless i'm missing something, that's exactly what'll happen. Efficiency aside, it isn't like the PSU is constantly sucking 500W (or whatever) and burning off anything you aren't using in heat/noise etc.

More than happy to be corrected/proven wrong though :)
Glider 24th July 2007, 11:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by RTT
Uh, well, unless i'm missing something, that's exactly what'll happen. Efficiency aside, it isn't like the PSU is constantly sucking 500W (or whatever) and burning off anything you aren't using in heat/noise etc.

More than happy to be corrected/proven wrong though :)
You are correct, but efficiency drops quite a lot when the PSU isn't under plenty of load.
Delphium 24th July 2007, 11:42 Quote
I would have thought that the PSU would be more efficient under less load, as the unit runs cooler etc, so thus less heat given off and well more energy efficient
Nexxo 24th July 2007, 12:33 Quote
^^^ Correctemundo.

Moreover, people are forgetting another benefit (besides laptop applications) of a 40% drop in power requirements: a 40% drop in heat generated. Think about it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie
You know it will come down in price, look how cheap USB/stick memory is.
Not quite as simple as that. We need more robust flash memory that can stand a lot more re-writes. We also need it to work faster. We need FRAM.

FRAM memory chips have memory cells that contain a specific ferroelectric material such as a crystal of zirconium or titanium, or oxygen and lead. FRAM is much faster than Flash, and has a near-unlimited number of write-erase cycles. Unfortunately chips produced are still at the Mbit, rather than Gbit stage...
DXR_13KE 24th July 2007, 15:47 Quote
i like more efficient hard drives, i am thinking of buying one.
Amon 24th July 2007, 15:56 Quote
Definitely useful for the datacenters while still moderately useful for home use. It would be great if entire neighbourhoods just used these drives for mass storage.
Bladestorm 24th July 2007, 17:42 Quote
When I built my current rig I went with a WD hard drive for the main one and after a while discovered that some intermittent stability problems I was having likely came down to the hard drive overheating, I have since rearranged the components a bit to provide it with better airflow and switched the primary hdd over to a similar samsung spinpoint.

Now given my experience, where heat (and maybe a touch of noise) were the only complaints I had about the WD hdd, I'm not too surprised that they seem to have put some effort into getting the heat down :)
hitman012 24th July 2007, 18:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delphium
I would have thought that the PSU would be more efficient under less load, as the unit runs cooler etc, so thus less heat given off and well more energy efficient
The unit running cooler has little to do with it, as efficiency is simply the ratio of input energy to useful output. It gives off less heat in absolute terms, but what you should be looking at is the heat output as a proportion of the input power.

Compared to linear regulators, the switch-mode power supplies in computers do not have a linear relationship between power and efficiency. It looks something like this (image stolen from Coding Horror):

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c3/hitman012/psu.png

You can see that at lower output levels the efficiency drops quite significantly, whereas the peak efficiency sits at around 50-60% of the rated output.
Da Dego 24th July 2007, 20:08 Quote
Efficiency of pretty much any PSU not in the 80+ club is near abysmal at lower outputs. The closer you get to its theoretical max, the less energy is being wasted in the constant discharging. That's the beauty of 80+ PSUs, though....they have to be at least 80% efficiency across their load spectrum.
completemadness 25th July 2007, 04:09 Quote
yeah as said above, 50-60% is about the sweet spot (people usually say about 2/3 - it depends on the PSU)
mattthegamer463 25th July 2007, 05:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
We need FRAM.

FRAM memory chips have memory cells that contain a specific ferroelectric material such as a crystal of zirconium or titanium, or oxygen and lead. FRAM is much faster than Flash, and has a near-unlimited number of write-erase cycles. Unfortunately chips produced are still at the Mbit, rather than Gbit stage...

Nerd. :)

I agree with Jamie, its BS. If we focused on developing renewable sources of energy quicker we wouldn't be making a carbon footprint. If we had 10 trillion wind turbines and had 1000 times more power than we could ever need, wouldn't we all be leaving our computers and lights on constantly?

Electricity is not bad, the way we make it is. People need to keep that in mind to avoid marketing gimmicks.
wharrad 26th July 2007, 19:51 Quote
There's clearly alot of marketing involved in this - green is the thing right now (until bird flu comes back anyway). I'm sure plenty of people will be sold on that.

The most important thing here is that these drives may go somewhere to reducing the time I spend screaming when reading my electricity bill every quarter. Although I don't deny the environment issue needs to be addressed - who can argue about reduced energy bills? Mass storage afterall doesn't need to be placed in a Raptor RAID array.
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