WD Caviar Green 2TB & Seagate Pipeline HD 500GB

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WD Caviar Green 2TB & Seagate Pipeline HD 500GB

Post by MikeC » Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:07 am


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Post by FartingBob » Thu Mar 26, 2009 4:34 am

Very impressive acoustics from the 2TB GP, especially since it has 4 platters. Really the only thing i dont like about the drive from all the reviews ive read is the very high price. Id still take 2 1TB 3 platter drives over it and save a substantial amount. Once the price drops i'll consider it.

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Post by Ch0z3n » Thu Mar 26, 2009 4:38 am

IIRC There is a Pipeline HD 500gb that is a single platter at 5900RPM and has 16mb of cache.

Their model numbers are really tricky:

ST3500321CS (the one you reviewed)
2 platter, 8mb cache

ST3500312CS
1 platter, 8mb cache

ST3500414CS
1 platter, 16mb cache

EDIT: It appears that the ST3500414CS is actually the Pipeline HD.2 500gb

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Post by Trav1s » Thu Mar 26, 2009 5:27 am

Nice review and once again I am impressed with WD

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Post by blackworx » Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:47 am

Interesting to see the 7-sec head unload continues with the 2TB drive. Wonder if WD have made changes to the max load/unload cycles "failure threshold" value in the drive's SMART data?

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Post by geforce1 » Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:01 am

The 5,756rpm spindle speeds of the Pipelines reminds me of some earlier SCSI disks that spun at 6,300rpm and the WDxxxAB drives that spun at 6,000rpm (of course the Pipeline makes 2% of those drives' noise). It seems that Seagate is taking a more performance-oriented approach with their Pipeline as opposed to the Caviar Green, even if the numbers are about equal. These would look great in a media server where a slightly lower access latency (and not capacity) could be a factor.

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Post by drees » Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:09 am

FartingBob wrote:Very impressive acoustics from the 2TB GP, especially since it has 4 platters. Really the only thing i dont like about the drive from all the reviews ive read is the very high price. Id still take 2 1TB 3 platter drives over it and save a substantial amount. Once the price drops i'll consider it.
Yeah, but now you've got double the noise, double the power and double the chance for failure leading to data loss.

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Post by MikeC » Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:43 am

drees wrote:Yeah, but now you've got double the noise....
It will not be "double" the noise. It will likely be 2-3 dBA at 1m, perhaps less, depending on environmental and installation details.

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Post by drees » Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:46 am

MikeC wrote:
drees wrote:Yeah, but now you've got double the noise....
It will not be "double" the noise. It will likely be 2-3 dBA at 1m, perhaps less, depending on environmental and installation details.
Uh, isn't 3db considered "twice" as loud? 3db certainly takes twice the energy to create, even if it doesn't always sound "twice" as loud which apparently varies.

[edit] Did some homework

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Post by PartEleven » Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:17 pm

drees wrote:Yeah, but now you've got double the noise, double the power and double the chance for failure leading to data loss.
It's also not double the chance for failure. If we assume each drive has the same probability of failing, the chance for that one 2TB failing is the same as the chance for one of the 1TB drives failing. Except in the latter case, you'd only lose half your data. If anything having two separate drives makes your data more secure.

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Post by MikeC » Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:20 pm

drees wrote:Uh, isn't 3db considered "twice" as loud? 3db certainly takes twice the energy to create, even if it doesn't always sound "twice" as loud which apparently varies.

[edit] Did some homework
Yeah, it's a bit confusing. Partly it's because the dB has multiple applications and definitions. Acoustically, +3 dB takes double the energy to produce, but acoustics add in a non-linear way, the perceived loudness increases logarithmically relative to power. So +3 dB is not much louder. +10 dB requires a 10x increase in power, but sounds only twice as loud. +20dB requires 100x increase in power and sounds only 4x louder. This is one of the reasons that unless you're pushing the volume to the max and forcing the smaller amp to clip, the power difference between a 50W/ch amp and a 100w/ch amp is not really discernible. It's really only 3 dB in stereo.

EDIT -- typo
Last edited by MikeC on Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Metaluna » Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:53 pm

PartEleven wrote:
drees wrote:Yeah, but now you've got double the noise, double the power and double the chance for failure leading to data loss.
It's also not double the chance for failure. If we assume each drive has the same probability of failing, the chance for that one 2TB failing is the same as the chance for one of the 1TB drives failing. Except in the latter case, you'd only lose half your data. If anything having two separate drives makes your data more secure.
I was never great at this kind of analysis, but if the probability of any given drive failing at any given instant of time is, say, one chance in a million, then isn't the probability of one of your two drives failing two chances in a million? So you have a higher probability of losing half your data, but, I think, a lower probability of losing all your data.

That's assuming you don't RAID0 the 1TB drives. Then you are twice as likely to lose all your data.

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Post by drees » Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:53 pm

PartEleven wrote:
drees wrote:Yeah, but now you've got double the noise, double the power and double the chance for failure leading to data loss.
It's also not double the chance for failure. If we assume each drive has the same probability of failing, the chance for that one 2TB failing is the same as the chance for one of the 1TB drives failing. Except in the latter case, you'd only lose half your data. If anything having two separate drives makes your data more secure.
Only if you're lucky! By adding another disk, you are now twice as likely to experience a drive failure and lose half your data - assuming that you are operating the drives independently! No striping or appending of the drives!

The probability of a failure of each drive can be assumed to be independent from one another.
For example, let's say there is a 50% probability of one drive dying after a year.

With one drive, after two years, on average you will experience 1 failure losing 100% of your data.

With two drives after two years, on average you will experience 2 failures and half the time, each drive fails once. The other half of the time, the same drive dies once.

So I guess you're right - you do reduce the chance of losing all your data by 50%, but you increase the chance of losing half your 100%.

Personally, I'd prefer to deal with data loss half as often and typically use RAID1 and/or back up anything I'd prefer not to lose.
MikeC wrote:Yeah, it's a bit confusing.
Thanks for clarifying in a succinct way.

Back on topic - The 2TB WD looks like a great drive. I have a couple of the 500GB Green drives - they're very quiet and use little power. Glad to see that Seagate has stepped in with some competition.

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Post by kittle » Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:43 pm

Nice looking review.

I particularly like the table that compares these new drives with the existing drives in the industry so we can see differences in acustics.

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Post by ~El~Jefe~ » Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:50 pm

great review and great drive !

This is my next purchase!

I really dont know what hd speeds are used for anymore. I disabled my swap in xp pro 2 months ago. Once a game is loaded, not much else is needed.

4 gigs ram killed my need for fast drive.

Only issue i have is the vibration. According to your listing, the unhooked 300gb Raptor still is vibration king. For me, the vibrations matter most, they echo throughout the room, lots of wood.

How far apart vibrationally is the 2TB drive from Raptor?

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Post by MikeC » Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:05 pm

~El~Jefe~ wrote:How far apart vibrationally is the 2TB drive from Raptor?
Really hard to say, it depends a lot on the case and other particulars, But I have to say this: If you suspend them properly, most drives w/ vibration rating better than... say 6... will be completely vibration free.

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Post by Edirol » Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:18 pm

So which is quieter? The 1TB/750GB/500GB "first gen" Green Power drives, or this new 2TB Green power drive? I noticed the SPCR doesn't have the first gen models available in the lab anymore.

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Post by MikeC » Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:38 pm

Edirol wrote:So which is quieter? The 1TB/750GB/500GB "first gen" Green Power drives, or this new 2TB Green power drive? I noticed the SPCR doesn't have the first gen models available in the lab anymore.
It was mentioned in the review -- we don't think there's any significant difference. The first gens would have measured about the same. At some point in the future, we'll corner another one in the anechoic chamber. :wink:

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Post by Edirol » Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:18 pm

Ah OK thanks. I guess I missed that part since I was only looking at the DB #s :)
MikeC wrote:
Edirol wrote:So which is quieter? The 1TB/750GB/500GB "first gen" Green Power drives, or this new 2TB Green power drive? I noticed the SPCR doesn't have the first gen models available in the lab anymore.
It was mentioned in the review -- we don't think there's any significant difference. The first gens would have measured about the same. At some point in the future, we'll corner another one in the anechoic chamber. :wink:

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Post by LodeHacker » Fri Mar 27, 2009 2:04 am

Yuck all new WD drives look gross with big black pimples. Thank God the Seagate looks sexy to my taste. On the acoustic side of the issue, WHOA!

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Post by HammerSandwich » Fri Mar 27, 2009 5:14 am

MikeC wrote:+10 dB requires a 10x increase in power, but sounds only twice as loud. <snip>...the power difference between in 10W/ch amp and a 100w/ch amp is not really discernible. It's really only 3 db -- 6 dB in stereo.
Huh? Isn't +10x power the same as +10dB?

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Post by blackworx » Fri Mar 27, 2009 5:24 am

LodeHacker wrote:Yuck all new WD drives look gross with big black pimples.
Funny you should say that, as I was considering a build using the WD and setting it up in an acrylic display box on a marble plinth attached to the top of my case, moodily lit with some halogen spots, but now I'm not so sure... ;)

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Post by MikeC » Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:04 am

HammerSandwich wrote:
MikeC wrote:+10 dB requires a 10x increase in power, but sounds only twice as loud. <snip>...the power difference between in 10W/ch amp and a 100w/ch amp is not really discernible. It's really only 3 db -- 6 dB in stereo.
Huh? Isn't +10x power the same as +10dB?
You're right, my bad. I meant 50w... correcting now.

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Post by whispercat » Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:05 am

Hey, thanks for that review, Mike. Who knew the big boys with their big platters could be quieter!

Things are really advancing in the world of hard drives it seems. SSDs, quiet terabyte drives, what's next?

:D

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Post by Ch0z3n » Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:32 am

I hope what's next is a stutterless SSD somewhere between 60-100GB at under $100. I really want an SSD for a bood/application HD.

MikeC, was I wrong with the model numbers? If not, wouldn't it be prudent to test at least the 'second generation' 312? Double platter density and half the platters would mean a lighter drive that uses less power and probably performs better and vibrates less. Who knows tho, I'm certainly no expert on Hard Drives.

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Post by MikeC » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:01 am

Ch0z3n wrote:I hope what's next is a stutterless SSD somewhere between 60-100GB at under $100. I really want an SSD for a bood/application HD.

MikeC, was I wrong with the model numbers? If not, wouldn't it be prudent to test at least the 'second generation' 312? Double platter density and half the platters would mean a lighter drive that uses less power and probably performs better and vibrates less. Who knows tho, I'm certainly no expert on Hard Drives.
Maybe not for $100 -- but for $150, you can find a Samsung 32gb SSD that's very good. Someone here linked a sale to them and I picked up one 32gb and a 64gb -- the latter was $200.

Your info about 2nd gen Pipeline was correct... thanks for that, btw. I took it, went immediately to the Seagate site, dug up the data, contacted my Seagate rep, and as of last morn, he's working on getting me samples of the 1-platter 500gb and the new 1tb 5900rpm models. :wink:

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Post by Ch0z3n » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:12 am

Nice, maybe they will test well, maybe well enough to be a replacement for Green Power drives for people who want to use SpeedFan and don't want to worry about the head unloading/reloading stuff.

$200 is still a bit out of my price range. I was thinking about the 30GB Vertex when newegg had it for $82 shipped, but that doesn't leave much room left over for apps since a normal Vista install is ~15GB and even with a little vLite trimming (removing languages etc.) it is still about 10GB and I don't want to cut it down a great deal more than that.

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Post by drees » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:18 am

Ch0z3n wrote:I hope what's next is a stutterless SSD somewhere between 60-100GB at under $100. I really want an SSD for a bood/application HD.
Getting close, but the OCZ Vertex 30GB is very good and can be had for about $100 right now. The 60GB can be had for about $170. Performs better than the Samsung disks. See Anandtech's article on it in case you missed it. Warning, it's quite lengthy.

The Intel SSDs are still the leader when it comes to performance, especially in small random writes, but they cost about 50% more per gigabyte.

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Post by Ch0z3n » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:29 am

yeah, I've read the whole AnandTech article, very good read, even if it is 30 pages.

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Post by Metaluna » Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:51 am

FartingBob wrote:Very impressive acoustics from the 2TB GP, especially since it has 4 platters. Really the only thing i dont like about the drive from all the reviews ive read is the very high price. Id still take 2 1TB 3 platter drives over it and save a substantial amount. Once the price drops i'll consider it.
It seems like the 1TB drives have been going on sale an awful lot lately (Newegg, Microcenter, etc.). Maybe it's wishful thinking, but I suspect we're going to see a significant price drop on the 2TB soon. At $229-$249 it would be worthwhile to me to pick one up (I'm willing to pay a small premium to save a few drive bays/SATA ports on my server, not to mention power).

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