Hard Drives on a Diet!

Recently I bought a new Hard Disk Drive (HDD) to replace my old one, which had started making suspicious noises. I have always followed a simple rule – if you hear funky noises, replace it as it may be a sign of impending failure. Luckily, I don’t have personal experience with this, but I hear that recovering data from a failed drive is not a great pastime.

I have to say that I’m impressed by the improvements in HDD technology in the few years that have passed. My old one was a Western Digital (WD) Black 1.0 TB SATA drive with 32 MB cache, with manufacturing date of 11/21/2009. The new one is a WD Green 1.0 TB SATA drive with 64 MB cache, made on 3/26/2013. The fact that it was made in Thailand and then sitting on my desk two weeks later was amazing.

Before comparing the two, I have to mention that the Caviar Black series is supposed to be more on the “performance” side, while the “Caviar Green” series is more on the quiet and energy efficient side – so not exactly apples to apples.  Nevertheless, the new Green drive is performing just as well if not better, while maintaining low, almost non-audible, noise levels. I couldn’t be happier with it.

The part that really hit me was the drastic difference in weight! While they have the same storage capacity, the new drive is almost half the weight! The old drive weighs 1lb 9oz (0.71kg), while the new one is only 1lb 0.2oz (0.46kg) – that’s about a third less!

This is great on many levels. First, as a consumer, you have a lighter product, which is nice even for a desktop. As a manufacturer, there are savings in prime materials used as well as shipping and handling costs. This results in the society as a whole benefiting as fewer resources (including fuel) are used, reducing pollution and overall environmental impact.

Good work WD!

HDD Comparison