Western Digital Announces 2TB “Green” Hard Drives

I didn't really notice when the first 2TB (TeraByte, or 1,000 GigaByte) drives started shipping In January this year. I knew they were coming because I had seen 1.5TB drives, but I just missed the hoopla, if there was any.

So imagine my surprise when I see Western Digital announced their second generation 2TB drives today. Check out the WD RE4-GP and remember back, if you're old enough, to when the IBM XT finally shipped with that huge 10MB (MegaByte) drive. Doesn't that just make your gray hair fall out even faster?

Here's the real stunner: suggested retail price is only $329. That means some outlets will have these 2TB drives marked down under $200 before long. It's come to this, where a TB of data storage only costs $100 or less. Wonderful. Really, that wasn't ironic, I promise.

How much can this hold, to give a nice example? Over 500,000 songs compressed with MP3, meaning over 33,000 CDs worth of music. If you prefer your music completely uncompressed, you'll only store the equivalent of about 3,000 songs on the disk, assuming 15 tracks per CD as a rough estimate.

The “green” label comes by way of Western Digital's claims of lower power consumption compared to comparable drives. They claim you can save $10 per year per drive, which sounds a bit like marketing mess. However, if you upgrade and replace 20 200GB drives with two of these babies, you'll certainly save some juice.

Remember to never, ever, install hard disk storage without buying an accompanying amount of data backup storage. The flip slide of huge disk storage is huge data loss if the drive fails. Western Digital says MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) for these drives are 1.2 million hours. If my calculator is right, that's over 136 years. But still, increase your backup capabilities as well. You'll thank me one day, I promise.

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