Background on Hard Disk Drives
Traditional hard drives operate by storing data on one or more spinning metal disks, called platters. The more platters there are in a drive, and the more data that can be crammed onto each platter, is what determines the overall storage capacity of a given hard drive. Having more platters also tends to mean louder drives, though rotational speed affects that as well. Rotational speed also impacts the drive’s performance: if platters spin faster the drive can reach data in different areas more quickly and read or write more information per second.
The alternative to hard drives is solid state drives, which are many times faster but much more expensive for the same amount of capacity. The price gap is dropping over time, so SSDs are becoming more and more preferred for us. For performance, reliability, and noise reduction, SSDs are really the way to go.
The magnetic platter hard drives are great it you need storage as their price per GB is MUCH better than an SSD. For a primary drive however, I recommend an SSD as typically platter drives have Random Read 4KB performance of less than 300 IOPS while most standard SSDs have better than 94,000 IOPS, What this means is that with an SSD, you will have much, much faster boot times and program loads if you use an SSD as your primary drive.
We have an article where you can read about the differences between the Red and Green series in more depth here.
This is an excellent drive if you are looking for a cool and quiet operating drive along with higher capacity. This drive does run around 5400RPM, where traditional drives run around 7200RPM, so there will be a certain performance hit when accessing data on these drives. It's worth mentioning that these drives use 4KB sectors instead of 512B sectors, so if you intend to install Windows XP on your own with these drives, make sure to run the WD Align utility to allow you to properly install on this drive.
I like the Red series drives from Western Digital. I use two of these 2TB drives in a RAID1 at home with a simple NAS box that sits on top of my desk and another in my day to day system for storage. The Red series drives are quieter under use since they only spin at 5400RPM and have respectable performance as well. I would recommend Red drives for someone who just needs large amounts of space to store their media or projects.
|Rotation Speed||5400 rpm|
|Interface||SATA 6 Gb/s|
|Cache Size||64 MB|
|Form Factor||3.5 Inch|
|Idle Noise||23 dB|
|Seek Noise||24 dB|
|Peak Power Draw||4.1 Watts|
|Sequential Read||147 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||147 MB/s|
Configure a quiet custom PC with the Western Digital Red 2TB SATA 6Gb/s.