WD Green: 2TB HDD – Review

WD Green 2TB HDD - Header

  • Value for Money: 4/5
  • Performance: 4/5

Over the past few months, FoS has featured many HDD options from Western Digital. But despite completing reviews on a number of portable drives, a few cloud storage options, as well as a media storage option, we’ve yet to feature the likes of any internal drives, often forgotten amongst the glitz and glam of their portable counterparts. WD were kind enough to provide us their 2TB Green Drive (WD20EZRX). It may seem almost trivial now, but back in 2010, WD were the first to launch a 2TB HDD, the original Green Drive in the form of the WD Caviar Green 2TB.

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What is WD Green?

Before starting, know that WD have a range of internal desktop drives, each group depicted by means of a specific colour, that being blue, green, black, red, and purple. Each of these categories are designed specifically to perform adequately for different types of tasks. For example, the blue is meant for everyday usage, green for capacity, black for performance, red for NAS (network attached storage), and purple for surveillance. So, depending on whether you’re using your desktop for normal office-type functions, or even if you’re a gamer, you’re more than likely to find the option that best suits your need.

To elaborate more on WD Green, it is more than just a drive built for capacity. Instead, it also aligns itself to cool and quiet performance. Before using the drive, I had some preconceptions no how quiet the drive would be, given that there are moving, mechanical parts that couldn’t possibly be deemed quiet. So when switching out my main drive for the likes of the WD Green, the difference was immediately noticeable. Having three separate internal HDDs, each have their (almost) unique sounds, from the spinning heads to the deep clicking sounds when the device is being read. The WD Green drive, however, had none of the above. In fact, even after having disconnected all the fans from my rig, the drive was still almost inaudible up to the point where I’d lay my ear against the drive to listen to any of its internals spinning. Now all I hear are the fans spinning away when switching to a more conventional setup.

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Given that the WD Green Drive is geared toward offering cool and quiet performance, and delivering even under heavy usage, it wouldn’t be much of a train smash had the drive not performed equally well in terms of its read and write speeds. But, that’s where the WD Green Drive provides even more support being the drive of choice for those not requiring outright performance provided by the likes of WD Black Drives. Read speeds in the large-file test yielded an average of around 255MBps and write speeds of around 200MBps. Switching to the small-file tests produced results of 90MBps and 72MBps, for read and write respectively.

Earlier I touched on the noise levels of the Green Drive, so I decided to take a closer look at these stats. The drive has a noise level of roughly 27dB under load, and closer to 20dB when idle. If this fact doesn’t assist in you gauging the performance, 20dB is equivalent to that of a mosquito’s wings fluttering, most often only heard in complete silence and when in close proximity to your ears.

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When WD originally launched the 2TB Green Drive in 2010, they introduced a new concept in Advanced Format. What this means is that the drives offered much larger sectors, 4096 bytes instead of the standard 512 bytes at the time. The advantage of this is that the larger sectors have a spin-off in using less lead-ins and inter-sector gaps, saving a bit on indexing. The result also means a higher format range that, in turn, increases the amount of usable capacity on the drive. Although the concept remains the same, newer operating systems catered better for these larger sectors, which has since been adapted over the years allowing for even larger capacity drives to be used.

What’s interesting about the WD Green Drive is its difference in consumption when used, versus when it isn’t. The 2TB Green Drive consumes more power when reading and writing, using 4.1W. While under load, the consumption levels are quite high, the idle usage drops to 3W, and even further to 0.4W when on standby or sleeping. With the addition of the intelligent power management, the drives spinning comes to a complete halt when there are no read or write functions detected.

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Overall, the WD Green Drive is somewhere in between the cost-effective Blue Drive, and the performance-ready Black Drive. While the RPM and, thus, overall read/write speeds are down on the two in comparison, they do offer the best GB per Rand ratio. You can find the pricing options for the Green Drive for the respective capacities as follows (note that these prices are subject to the Rand-Dollar exchange rate):

  • Product, Capacity, Price
  • WD60EZRX, 6TB, R3,399.00
  • WD50EZRX, 5TB, R2,699.00
  • WD40EZRX, 4TB, R2,199.00
  • WD30EZRX, 3TB, R1,499.00
  • WD20EZRX, 2TB, R1,199.00
  • WD10EZRX, 1TB, R899.00
  • WD5000AZRX, 500MB, R749.00

As a standalone drive on a budget gaming rig, the WD Blue Drive would be a better bet, saving on costs and with a better read/write speeds. Using the drive as a backup storage for documents and photos is a lot more practical for the Green Drive. While WD themselves don’t recommend using the Greed Drive in a NAS, but, that said, the performance isn’t bad, and there were no issues during such tests.

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