Seagate have announced the launch of their eco-friendly series of hard drives, the Barracuda Greens. Successor to the Seagate LP (Low Power) range, the Barracuda Greens consume less power than non-green solutions, run at a much cooler temperature and generate less noise. Oh and nearly 70 percent of the drive can be recycled.
People normally associate low power hard drives with lower performance, but Seagate's trying to change that. The SmartAlign technology built-in to the drives' firmware ensures a lot of time-saving and performance boosts over its competitors. Allow me to explain – most of the hard drive manufacturers today are looking to phase in the 4K sector standard, which eliminates the 512 byte clusters and merges eight of them into one. What this does is it saves a lot of power over a period of time, but the new system isn't exactly compatible with all Operating Systems.
In order to get such drives working with these incompatible Operating Systems, users have had to use drive utilities and the entire process has used up a lot of time of a lot of people. The Barracuda Greens, however, have this function in-built which means these drives will be compatible from the get-go, and will remain so even when loaded with large amounts of data. To add to that, these drives will sport a spin-speed of 5900RPM as compared to most eco-friendly drives' spin speeds of 5400RPM.
In my opinion, Seagate have pulled off a very smart move. While those really concerned with performance will go for the 7200RPM drives anyway, the ones who go for the power-saving drives will now have an option of sacrificing a little of their power consumption savings for a pretty decent improvement in performance.