Western Digital's Caviar GP WD10EACS promises to reduce power consumption; but loses little on performance.

What do you have to give up to embrace green computing? The answer, based on our test results: not much. Western Digital's Caviar GP WD10EACS is touted as an eco-friendly drive.

The Caviar GP (for "Green Power") is the first 1TB hard drive to have variable rotational speed, ranging from 5400rpm to 7200rpm; Western Digital credits that technological change with helping the hard drive reduce its power consumption.

Though the Caviar GP isn't the fastest drive we've seen, it ranked fifth in performance, landing in the top third of drives we've tested.

The Caviar GP performed poorly on our file-seek tests, scoring in the bottom third of our field. On the other hand, it excelled on some of our read tests, posting the second-fastest time on our ACDSee test of performance on imaging tasks. And its performance on our WinZip file-compression test was better than average. "Better than average" describes the Caviar GP's results on our write tests as well.

Power savings, too

We also ran the Western Digital Caviar GP WD10EACS through system power tests. With the Caviar GP installed, we measured the watts that our test system consumed in its off, sleep and idle states.

During the off state and the sleep state, our system drew the exact same amount of power whether the Western Digital Caviar GP was installed. Where we saw a difference, albeit a slight one, was when the system was idle. In that case, we observed a 3.2 percent drop in the power draw when we used the Western Digital drive instead of the Seagate.

Note that our tests show only the overall power draw, not the individual power draw of components such as the hard drive. Western Digital claims that the Caviar GP drops its operational draw to 8W, down from the 13W consumed by a previous-generation model. The company also says the power-consumption savings can reach up to 38 percent over a previous-generation drive. We were not able to test these claims.

Western Digital Caviar GP WD10EACS: Specs

  • 1TB hard drive
  • 3.5in x 1/3H
  • Serial ATA-300
  • 102x147x26mm
  • 300MBps
  • 0.73 kg
  • 16MB buffer
  • 7200rpm
  • average seek time: 8.9ms
  • 1TB hard drive
  • 3.5in x 1/3H
  • Serial ATA-300
  • 102x147x26mm
  • 300MBps
  • 0.73 kg
  • 16MB buffer
  • 7200rpm
  • average seek time: 8.9ms

OUR VERDICT

You can conserve a little power with the Western Digital Caviar GP - proving that going green can save a bit of green too.

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