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It is the Western Digital RE4-GP that has showed the most memorable performance in this test session. The combination of fast heads, huge 64MB buffer (which is made a very good use of) and optimized firmware make it a leader under server loads. It is in RAID arrays that it is going to perform best. When single, it will suffer through the lack of NCQ support.

The Seagate Barracuda LP is a good product, too. Seagate has made a good debut on the market of power efficient hard disk drives. There is nothing extraordinary about this HDD but it represents a lucky compromise of performance, noisiness and power consumption.

Samsung’s EcoGreen2 is no record-breaker as the main disk of a workstation and is far from brilliant under server loads, but it was confident and occasionally better than the others at processing files. Thus, we can recommend it as a hard disk for storing large amounts of data on a home PC.

The Western Digital AV-GP is an odd product. This model is meant for home electronic appliances but does not have any distinguishing features save for somewhat slowed-down heads.

As for the two Green series models from Western Digital, the 1.5TB one is somewhat sluggish. On the other hand, the 2TB model also looks slow in comparison with its server cousin that has a larger cache and faster heads.

So, we have got a general picture of today’s power-efficient HDDs. They have not become as much faster after the transition to denser platters as the most optimistic buyers might wish. These are just HDDs of high storage capacity with a very good combination of low power consumption and high enough speed. Now we are waiting for the next generation of HDDs to see if they can surprise us in any other way, besides larger capacity.

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