Western Digital Caviar GP
According to the Western Digital website, the Caviar GP consumes 40 percent less power than competitor products. Why? Because the Caviar GP features three smart technologies: IntelliPower, IntelliSeek and IntelliPark.
According to the description, IntelliPower technology is busy finding a balance between the spindle rotation speed, the data-transfer speed, and the caching algorithms. Being wary of such technologies, I would suppose the HDD has a lower spindle speed than the competitor HDDs and this difference is made up for by high recording density and good caching algorithms. I don’t think the HDD is trying to find an optimal rotation speed (this is possible technically, but would make it much more difficult for the HDD’s electronics). Perhaps there are a few fixed spindle rotation speeds for which the HDD has predefined latency tables. This may also mean that there will appear new models in this series that will have different spindle rotation speeds.
IntelliSeek seems to resemble Seagate’s JIT technology (Just in Time). The reading head does not move to the track with the required sector at full speed and then waits for the sector to come up. Instead, the head comes to the necessary track right at the moment the necessary sector arrives. As a result, moving the heads requires less power and the hard drive becomes less noisy overall.
That’s a superb idea but Western Digital is not the inventor of it. :)
The point of IntelliPark technology is to park the heads when the HDD is in idle mode. Yes, if the heads are parked, the aerodynamic resistance inside the case lowers, which should make it easier for the HDD’s motor. The power consumption is reduced as the consequence.
There is another aspect of this technology that will be discussed in the section about the power consumption tests.
The following table lists the firmware versions of the tested HDDs:
The test data in this review were collected using HDDs with the listed firmware. HDDs with other firmware may show different performance.