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Western Digital 500 GB Caviar GP Hard Drive Review
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Caviar GP

This Western Digital Caviar hard drive is part of their GreenPower series, hence the GP label. According to Western Digital, the Caviar GP hard drives offer an average power saving of 4-5 watts over their competitors, a feat that they claim is equivalent to reducing CO2 emissions by 13.8 kg per year. Of course, that's a mere drop in the ocean but if you can help save the environment while you work or play on your computer, why not?

At press time, Western Digital has three different Caviar GP models with capacities of 500 GB, 750 GB and 1 TB. The model we are reviewing here is the 500 GB model which uses two platters. The other two larger drives use 3 and 4 platters respectively.

All Caviar GP hard drives support the following features :

IntelliPower™ - A fine-tuned balance of spin speed, transfer rate, and caching algorithms designed to deliver both significant power savings and solid performance. For each GreenPower™ drive model, WD may use a different, invariable RPM.

IntelliSeek™ - Calculates optimum seek speeds to lower power consumption, noise, and vibration.

IntelliPark™ - Delivers lower power consumption by automatically unloading the heads during idle to reduce aerodynamic drag.

Preemptive Wear Leveling (PWL) - Proactively monitors and prevents magnetic wear during high read/write duty cycle applications.

There is one difference though. The larger 750 GB and 1 TB models support this additional feature :

StableTrac™ - Secures the motor shaft at both ends to reduce system-induced vibration and stabilize platters for accurate tracking, during read and write operations



The Caviar GP hard drive we obtained for this review was an OEM unit. Like most OEM hard drives, it came in just a sealed anti-static plastic packet with nothing more than a sachet of dessicants to keep it dry. Other than the sparse packaging (and the lack of any documentation), this drive is no different from the retail version, right down to the 3-year warranty.

All you need to do is just cut open the plastic packet and slide out the drive. Be sure to ground yourself before handling the drive as static can damage it. In particular, you should try to avoid touching the exposed PCB located at the base of the drive.

If you like your packaging or need to deliver this hard drive by mail, you can always opt for the retail version of the drive. It comes with its own box and proper padding to ensure the drive survives a mail delivery. Of course, the retail package comes with a price premium.

<<< Overview : Previous Page   |   Next Page : The Hard Drive, Specifications >>>


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