GreenPower hard drives said to use less power

Western Digital Corp. is reducing the spin speed and aerodynamic drag of its hard drives, in an effort to reduce power consumption.

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The Lake Forest, Calif.-based manufacturer has announced its GreenPower brand of serial ATA drives, with 500GB, 750GB and 1TB capacities. The vendor claims the drives eat up 40 per cent less power than those of its competitors, using on average 4 to 5 watts less than similar-size and format drives from Hitachi GST, Fujitsu, Seagate and other suppliers.

Four technologies provide the new drives’ power efficiency. IntelliPower balances spin speed, transfer rate, and caching algorithms to avoid always spinning at top speed. Also less current is used during start up allowing more drives to spin up simultaneously resulting in faster system readiness.

IntelliSeek optimizes seek speeds to lower power consumption, noise and vibration.

IntelliPark automatically unloads the recording heads during idle to reduce aerodynamic drag and disables read/write channel electronics.

Active Power Management monitors a drive’s workload and automatically invokes idle mode whenever possible to reduce unnecessary power consumption. Drive recovery time from idle mode is less than one second. Western Digital believes that large data centers could save up to US$100,000 annually if they used 10,000 of these new drives rather than ones from other suppliers. At a PC level users might save $10 a year per drive.

Tom McDorman, VP and General Manager of the company’s enterprise business unit, said: “WD’s RE2-GP enterprise line of hard drives allows customers to expand their storage needs, reduce their total cost of ownership, and improve the environment all at the same time.”

Data center suppliers already selling more power-efficient products were quick to endorse Western Digital’s new line.

Tony Gaughan, Rackable Systems’ chief products officer, said: “Western Digital’s new RE2-GP hard drives are an excellent choice for customers deploying Rackable Systems’ newest generation of Eco-Logical storage systems – enabling even greater efficiency and performance.”

David Driggers, Verari Systems’ CTO, said: “By utilizing WD’s latest GreenPower technology, Verari is able to provide enterprise customers with a solution that delivers one of the most energy-efficient systems available today.”

The new drives are available from Western Digital’s online store with MSRPs of $149.99, $249.99 and $349.99 for the 500GB, 750GB and 1TB drives, respectively.