WD 1TB Green or Black?

By fenris
Feb 16, 2009
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  1. I'm in the market to purchase two 1TB drives to run in a RAID-1 configuration for data backup (music, videos, photos, etc.). I'm stuck between the Caviar Black WD1001FALS and the Caviar Green WD10EADS. I understand that the black is faster, runs hotter, and has a 5 year warranty. The green is a bit slower (not sure if that will make a difference in my case), cooler, but only has a 3 year warranty. Any advice?
  2. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Whatever have the best prices are the ones to get. The green ones with higher prices are merely marketing... do not let them take advantage of you so they can pretend and promote that they are doing good.
  3. fenris

    fenris Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 31

    Newegg has the green for 109 and the black for 129. The 3 year warranty isn't the greatest though. How hot will 2 blacks run?
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,004   +710

    I Think We're in the Black.........

    The WD "Black" edition drives are intended to be roughly equivalent to Seagate's ""ES" line of Barracuda Drives, "ES" meaning "enterprise service". So, they're a step up from the "green" models.

    It's probably just superstition on my part, but if I were going to set up any sort of RAID array, I wouldn't want to contend with a drive that throttles up and down on it's own internal whims, such as the WD "Green" models do. 7200 RPM and steady as she goes, that's what I would find comfort in.

    WD's drive suffix letters "SE" stand for Standard edition. There are also "RE" or "RAID Edition drives such as this; http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136313 The price on these is a bit over the top.

    At one time WD's smaller capacity "SE" drives didn't support "NCQ" or "native command queuing". Hence you had to spring for the "RE" models, but I think that at 400GB and above they all do.

    Intel's "Matrix Storage Technology" drivers require NCQ, (when last I checked), as to whether other RAID solutions do, I can't say.

    To answer your "how hot is hot" question, part of the answer resides in how much airflow your case can provide. A cramped case with no fans is not what you're looking for.

    While we're on the subject of hype, since the average HDD draws less than 20 Watts, how much energy saving do we think we're going to get out of green vs. black? That's sort of directed at WD, not you.
  5. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    You will not find one anywhere that has a warranty longer than 3 years. Seagate stopped its five year warranty on December 31, 2008
  6. fenris

    fenris Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 31

    Yeah, I'm not sold on the "less power" and "green for the environment" marketing. The greens are supposed to be really quiet and cool though but that has more to do with it ramping up to search and sitting still in idle though. The reviews that I read all point out that the black runs a bit "thermal" and I wasn't sure how warm two are going to be in my case (Antec 900).
  7. peacefulchaos

    peacefulchaos Newcomer, in training Posts: 53

    I personally have one of WD's green drives and it does run very quiet and cool, but if you are more concerned with performance I'd go with the black. (Two extra years on the warranty is quite nice as well.) The Antec 9000 has enough ventilation and fans to keep them cool (in my opinion).
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,004   +710

    Do You Feel a Draft........?

    You're not going to find a much better cooling case than the Antec 900. The hard drives are directly in the path of 2 120mm fans, and they're hard mounted to metal, which seems to help as well.

    I don't know if I'd be willing to single out any particular high capacity HDDs as being hotter than the other. All of them must carry multi-platters. They require more energy expended to spin them, and more metal confined means more heat, that's the way of the world.

    In a non RAID system, the drives can be turned off after a certain user set interval under control panel > power management options. Now, that's real energy savings. BUT, when the computer needs the drive, it has to spin up first, then initialize all the files, which is a big, big pain in the a**.

    As for myself, I'm not going to worry about "going green", I'd rather have a workable machine, and replace the drives if I have to.

    Speaking of Sci-Fi fairy tales, did you know that "1,000,000 hours MTBF" is 117 years? (365, and 24-7). Soooo, a 3 year warranty almost seems condescending doesn't it?
  9. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    PeacefulChaos, are you saying you got a five year warranty on that drive or a three year warranty...
    Remember that the OEM version sold in bulk, may have only a one year warranty unless you have it in writing.

    Anybody who works on computers as a professional knows that the MTBF is a ludicrous statistics... Huge numbers fail after one year, two years, and three years... and not many last more than five to seven years... I will be that none will last 15 years under use... so 117 years? Hah!
    Then there are Hitachi and TriGem which last hardly more than a year in two many cases.
  10. peacefulchaos

    peacefulchaos Newcomer, in training Posts: 53

    I have a 3 year warranty on my green drive. The black ones come with a 5 year.
  11. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    None of our black ones in stock have a five year warranty. None. All three year. The boxed ones have five year warranty, but that is a short term promotion, now that Seagate has dropped its five year warranty.
  12. peacefulchaos

    peacefulchaos Newcomer, in training Posts: 53

    WD's site states 5 Year Limited Warranty. I'm only going off of that as I have not purchased one myself. I'm not sure on that for bulk purchases though. I also didn't know that it was for a promotional period only. It was 5 years a few months back when I was getting mine and considering the thread starter seems to be purchasing one soon that's why I was saying the 5 year was an added bonus in the decision.
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,004   +710

    Warranties, Such as They Are.......

    Western Digital HDDs in the not too distant past, came with a ONE year warranty on their RETAIL boxed drives. However, their OEM drives came with a THREE year warranty. Wowee, nobody could figure that one out. That changed when Seagate went to FIVE year warranty. Now, if they work out of the box, and don't "brick", I guess we should consider ourselves very lucky.

    @raybay; I only quote that 1,000,000 MTBF statistic to highlight it's absurdity. In the next breath the manufacturers are talking about 3% of drives failing in the first year! The only thing this highlights is exactly how impotent the FTC has become at regulating false advertising claims.
     
  14. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,267   +215

    They may be calculating MTBF cumulatively...

    Lets say you have 40 drives, they all run for 3 years with no prob, then one fails at the 3 year mark. Thats a lot of hours if you add them between the drives.

    Its kind of like a law firm or some other business where experience counts and they say "over 60 years of experience" when maybe they have 12 employees and average 5 years between them.
  15. fenris

    fenris Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 31

    Newegg has the black listed with a 5 year warranty here http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136284. It's an OEM drive and I can only assume that Newegg's information is correct and up to date. Have you guys found that incorrect? If so, where did you find that information?

    The green is on sale with a promo code for $99.99 with free shipping right now. The black is going for $129.99 (both from Newegg).

    Decisions ... decisions.
  16. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,277   +22

    The Green drive is much slower than other 1TB drives such as the Samsung SpinPoint F1. The Caviar Black comes with features such as StableTrac, which significantly increase the operational life of the drive, hence the larger 5-year warranty period, which is correct BTW.

    However, if you want, you can pick up two WD6400AAKS drives for the price of the WD1001FALS drive. Sure, features like anti-shock protection and StableTrac are not present, but the drives perform exactly the same and if you regularly back up your data, you should not have problems with one (or even both) of them failing, which will not be very soon anyways.

    Alternatively, you can go for the SpinPoint F1 HD103UJ instead, at ~$30 lesser than the Caviar Black equivalent. 3-year warranty coverage and excellent performance to boot.
  17. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,004   +710

    Wow, that's so sleazy that it's quite fitting to compare it to a law firm. I suppose that if you bought 117 drives, that'd guarantee that you'd get your million hours worth of service.

    Back on track, spring for the WD "Blacks".
  18. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,067   +13

    I can't see really where speed is going to make much of a difference when playing back movies etc... if you're doing a lot of data xfrer then yes....

    If you're concerned about heat, then get a HD cooler....
  19. fenris

    fenris Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 31

    Thanks for the advice. The caviar black model has a pretty solid user review history and seems like the best choice for what I need. If I were to build a HTPC, I'd probably go with the greens for the lower noise. Again, thanks for the input.
  20. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    We find the noise of Green is not always any better than the black... just at startup. Otherwise, neither is noisy, nor is the excellent Seagate.
    So far, we have had three failures with the Green... WD replaces, but only after they see the bad drive. Seagate sends the replacement immediately.
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