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Western Digital debuts 2TB power sipping drive

New GreenPower unit for video and surveillance storage

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Western Digital has introduced a high-capacity drive to provide near-silent green storage for the video recorder and surveillance markets.

Its WD AV-GP is a 2TB capacity GreenPower drive. WD says it consumes up to 40 per cent less power than the drives of its competitors. It is targeted towards digital video recorders, media centres, media servers and video surveillance applications

It operates around the threshold of human hearing and has a variety of technology enhancements to reduce its power consumption. For example, the IntelliPark feature, which parks the heads off the drive, is described as reducing aerodynamic drag. IntelliPower is a mix of spin speed, caching algorithms and transfer rate.

Seagate's 2TB SATA green Barracuda needs 3 watts when idling and 5.6 watts when reading and writing. Western Digital's GreenPower 2TB SATA drive needs 3.7 watts when idle and 6.8 watts when operating. The AV-GP product draws more power than this drive when idling - 4.9 watts - but less when operating - 5.91 watts - ceding the power consumption prize to Seagate.

The Seagate spins at 5,900rpm, giving it, Seagate says, an access speed edge compared to the maximum of 5,400rpm generally used for such drives. A maximum spin speed number for the new AV-GP product isn't available.

WD has introduced pre-emptive wear levelling, with the AV-GP's head frequently sweeping across the disk to reduce uneven wear on the disk surface. This it says, is common to audio-video streaming applications.

The drive comes in either 1TB or 2TB versions, with 8MB or 32MB cache memory, and a 3Gbit/s SATA connection. It can smoothly play back up to 12 simultaneous high-definition video streams and is a claimed to be a very reliable and long-life product, although no MTBF figures are supplied. It's available now and costs around $299. More information here. ®

High performance access to file storage

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