New levels of power saving: Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB review

With exponentially increasing electricity bills continuing to cause depression among IT managers and SOHO owners across the land the rush for power-saving computing is well and truly on. Hard drive manufacturers are getting in on the act with a focus on low power drives particularly in the last few months. Seagate’s answer to this segment is the new Barracuda Green (formerly known as the LP).

Unique among all drives is its 5900rpm spin speed – not quite up there with the 7200rpm gas guzzlers but substantially quicker than the 5400rpm economy models that are dominating the market. It’s also one of Seagate’s not to mention the industry’s first drives to employ the new 4K sector standard.

When the Barracuda Green line eventually breaks through the 2.19TB limit imposed by the older 512-byte sector drives it won’t need any fancy additional hardware to operate unlike WD’s recent 3TB Caviar Green. A standard 3.0Gb/s SATA connection is included along with 32MB of cache. A three-year warranty provides plenty of peace of mind; by 2014 we’ll probably be moving to holographic cubes for storage anyway.

Seagate claims an average power draw of just 5.8W under typical operating circumstances just under WD’s 6W average. However the Barracuda Green’s standby power draw of just 4.5W is a full watt below the WD drive.

With the faster spindle speed we expected substantially improved performance over the other green drives. However Crystal Mark showed that this drive was neck and neck with the WD drive with the exception of the lengthier Sequential read/write tests where the Seagate was around 20% slower measuring 107MB/sec and 123MB/sec respectively. This difference is possibly due to the WD drive’s proprietary PCI Express controller.

Despite the slightly slower than expected performance the Barracuda Green is still fast enough for most desktop users and also reaches new levels of power saving.

Available from Seagate retailing for $170.
APC rating: 8/10 (Highly Recommended)