While the rest of us are still playing catch up, Western Digital is already taking their hard drive game into overdrive with their third-generation GreenPower drives, offering a whopping 2 terabytes of space for anything and everything you'll possibly need in the next few years (or months, if they keep releasing new drives as this rate). Still, while the extra-large capacity sounds great on paper, you're probably wondering how they perform. Or maybe you're wondering if you should stick with a smaller drive instead. All of these questions answered, after the jump.
- Are these newer drives reliable? Aside from the Seagate firmware fiasco a few months back with their 1.5TB hard drives, we have found almost all of the newer, large capacity drives to perform just as well, if not better and quieter, than older drives 2-3 years ago.
- Should I go with GreenPower? We have found the older GP drives from Western Digital to underperformed quite a bit as a sacrifice for their "green" treatment. By varying spinning speeds, you end up getting an average performance of 5400RPM instead of the normal 7200RPM drives that come standard with almost every hard drive released today.
However, the 3rd-generation GP drives boast a sweet 32MB cache, which will definitely help in the performance category. It's also important to note that these hard drives run much cooler, which makes them great for storing away in a media cabinet without having to worry about overheating issues (though that doesn't mean you should not have any ventilation at all - that'll just be detrimental to your computer).
- What are some ways to best make use of these new drives? While the space on laptops are beginning to get larger and larger, perfect for bringing those tunes and movies to go, we always suggest keeping a spare backup somewhere in case the unexpected happens. A 2TB hard drive would be perfect in this case.
Using the HP Media Server, you can actually create your own personal home server for everyone in your household to share and store personal files on.
Or, if you're still a hardcore desktop user looking to keep it legit - consider a smaller 250-320GB hard drive to hold your operating system while pairing it up with a set of larger drives as media storage (with RAID, even better). This way, the performance sacrifice won't be so noticeable and be able to easily access your media without having to worry about accidentally formatting everything when installing a new operating system.
- What's the future going to be like? It's pretty hard to say, but we're guessing Solid State Drives will probably take over the market by the end of the year, just because they're completely silent (and people like their sleep). The 2TB mark should stay pretty steady until the end of the year and we might even see our first 1TB laptop hard drive! All in all, keeping your photos safe won't cost more than an arm this time so you can rest easy while you enjoy your legs. Hey, why not go "green" and use them to bike to work?