WD Blue vs WD Green

Rikard

Senior member
Apr 25, 2012
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Following a minor disaster long ago I have my OS on a WD Green 2 TB that was supposed to be my data storage drive. I just found a WD Blue 500 GB. (It is funny what people throw away just because it is like three years old...) The WD Blue works just fine, and I was thinking of moving my OS partitions to it. I cloned said partitions, but I was looking into what speed I get and the results are disappointing:

while for the WD Green I have this:

So should I interpret this as that it is no benefit in moving to the WD Blue? If that is the case I just keep it for automatic backups instead.
 

Cerb

Elite Member
Aug 26, 2000
17,484
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Pretty much. You are comparing an old HDD with a new HDD. A new 1TB or larger Blue would be substantially faster than the Green (same as if you compared it to a Green of the time when it was made), but no so when the Blue is a few years old. The Blue is still technically faster, where it counts, but not by enough to care.
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
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This surprises me a bit though, I thought the Green ran at a lower RPM and powered down aggressively?
 

Soulkeeper

Diamond Member
Nov 23, 2001
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The blue drives have a smaller cache and that one is likely 500GB/platter. That green might have 3x 667GB platters (you'd have to check), the 7200rpm vs. 5400rpm can't overcome those two factors.
Considering this quickly: If the green has 25% higher density at 25% lower spin rate performance could be similar. Add the smaller cache of the blue and you notice the green competing well.

Another thing i've noticed when I put a 500GB blue in someone's computer was it being louder than the blacks i've used (your mileage may vary).
I'd personally stick with the green if I had to choose between those two.
 
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dma0991

Platinum Member
Mar 17, 2011
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The speed isn't what's stopping people from using WD Green as OS drives, its because it has greater tendency to go to sleep. There's a way to disable it but I've never done that as my WD Greens are used as data drives. Even as data drives, they go to sleep quite often and if I click a folder link that happens to be in the WD Green drive, it will take 3-5 seconds to respond as it spins up.
 

coffeejunkee

Golden Member
Jul 31, 2010
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The speed isn't what's stopping people from using WD Green as OS drives, its because it has greater tendency to go to sleep. There's a way to disable it but I've never done that as my WD Greens are used as data drives. Even as data drives, they go to sleep quite often and if I click a folder link that happens to be in the WD Green drive, it will take 3-5 seconds to respond as it spins up.
Drives don't go to sleep unless you specify them to do so under Windows power options. You're probably talking about head parking but 3-5 seconds sounds like a much too long delay for that.

Personally I would use the Blue for Windows + apps. What those benches don't show is access time and what happens when you access data and Windows does stuff in the background at the same time. Then again, if the green's speed (or lack thereof) isn't bothering you, why bother?
 

Cerb

Elite Member
Aug 26, 2000
17,484
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Drives don't go to sleep unless you specify them to do so under Windows power options. You're probably talking about head parking but 3-5 seconds sounds like a much too long delay for that.
Depends (though yes, it's not spinning down). If it's not cached, Windows may go reading metadata, and it can take that long. If you don't rely on search much, turning off indexing for most locations helps speed up directory listing quite a bit, along with copying small files, but of course it does so at the cost of search performance (also, you have to change from default search options, to make non-indexed searches return identical results).

Personally I would use the Blue for Windows + apps. What those benches don't show is access time and what happens when you access data and Windows does stuff in the background at the same time. Then again, if the green's speed (or lack thereof) isn't bothering you, why bother?
Actually, those benches do kind of show that. The 4KQD32 scores, relative to QD1, are highly indicative of differences in just that kind of scenario.

1TB Blue, from some guy's blog: http://www.yinfor.com/blog/archives/assets_c/2013/01/crystaldiskmark-1tb-763.html
OP's Green 2TB: http://i39.tinypic.com/ngy3br.png

The OP's Green is being all slow and power-saving. This is what happens when you skip a generation or two (or three?).
 

Rikard

Senior member
Apr 25, 2012
428
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The blue drives have a smaller cache and that one is likely 500GB/platter. That green might have 3x 667GB platters (you'd have to check), the 7200rpm vs. 5400rpm can't overcome those two factors.
Considering this quickly: If the green has 25% higher density at 25% lower spin rate performance could be similar. Add the smaller cache of the blue and you notice the green competing well.

Another thing i've noticed when I put a 500GB blue in someone's computer was it being louder than the blacks i've used (your mileage may vary).
I'd personally stick with the green if I had to choose between those two.
Thank you for that link, that is certainly interesting. The WD Blue was not listed (it is an AAKS) and it was made 30 Oct 2009 according to the sticker. The WD Green is no spring chicken either, it is from 4 Oct 2010, but it is indeed a 667 GB platter with 64 MB cache.

Regarding the noise I have not noticed any difference, but then I have sound dampening in my case too.

Thanks for the input, all of you. I am leaning towards just keeping the OS on the WD Green, there does not seem enough benefit to jump through the hoops to move to the WD Blue.
 

Tsavo

Platinum Member
Sep 29, 2009
2,645
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The blue should have lower access times, making far better for an OS drive than a green.

Not really specifically OT, I replaced my single platter 1TB WD Red with a single platter 1TB Blue (WD10EZEX) as data drive (pix and games) behind my SSD. The Blue handily eviscerates the Red in virtually every category.
 

Rhezuss

Diamond Member
Jan 31, 2006
4,120
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For the same price and specs (64mb CACHE, SATA 6GB/s) and only for datas would you take a Blue or a Green?
 

Cerb

Elite Member
Aug 26, 2000
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For the same price and specs (64mb CACHE, SATA 6GB/s) and only for datas would you take a Blue or a Green?
Even if the price isn't the same, Blue.

The OP's case is comparing a new Green (maybe 667GB, but 120MB/s seq looks like 1TB, to me) to a Blue that's 2+ generations behind. The Green needs multiple generations of improvements to be better than the old Blue...but the new Blues have all those same improvements, and then some, and are 30% faster than the OP's Green at anything, and in some cases around 100% faster.
 

tweakboy

Diamond Member
Jan 3, 2010
9,517
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www.hammiestudios.com
Following a minor disaster long ago I have my OS on a WD Green 2 TB that was supposed to be my data storage drive. I just found a WD Blue 500 GB. (It is funny what people throw away just because it is like three years old...) The WD Blue works just fine, and I was thinking of moving my OS partitions to it. I cloned said partitions, but I was looking into what speed I get and the results are disappointing:

while for the WD Green I have this:

So should I interpret this as that it is no benefit in moving to the WD Blue? If that is the case I just keep it for automatic backups instead.
Those are right numbers. Your never gonna be on dot,, but ya 125mbps is nice as most normal HDs are 100mbps ... gl
 

BFG10K

Lifer
Aug 14, 2000
22,044
1,173
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I have the newest 1TB/platter Green and Blue drives. Here are the HD Tune scores (Green 1st, Blue 2nd):



 

Rhezuss

Diamond Member
Jan 31, 2006
4,120
34
91
Thanks for posting those graphs BFG10K.

I was just wondering is Greens were better for storage purpose only.

Great informative post btw.
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
20,736
1,376
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Great thread, came in to provide answers, but trusty AT fellows already have it covered.

Areal density is HUGELY important on hard drives, and it's not well explained, so many people are shocked when larger sub-7200RPM drives are faster or at least equal to smaller 7200RPM drives. There are some other things that improve with time on the PCB as well, cache performance/NCQ/etc, but overall the formula mostly works :

Areal density + head efficiency + spin speed + cache = performance. It's why an old 150GB 10000 RPM Raptor gets its head handed to it by any respectable 1TB+ 7200RPM drive in most respects. Access time is one area that you can't really make up for in density though, so a poor seek time (Green/etc) will make for decent sustained transfer speeds but get a bit laggy when lots of little files are being located (or worse, your drive is heavily fragmented and it comes into play loading large files that are in a bunch of chunks, a badly fragmented pagefile is the worst of the worst).

All of that said, it's pretty easy to get a cheap SSD and use that for OS duties, even if you end up not putting very many apps on it. I got a few of these for my less important systems, and they've helped a TON :

http://www.microcenter.com/product/384643/120GB_25_SATA_III_60Gbps_Solid_State_Drive_SSD_with_SandForce_SF-2281_Controller

$45 for 120GB, and while they're not nearly as crazy fast as my raid 0 500GB 840 Pros in my main system, they still are leaps and bounds better than mechanical drives for OS duties.

You can right-click on your various profile folders after a fresh install, and 'point' the mappings to automatically save to a large mechanical drive. You have to do this individually, but it's pretty easy. So for example on my media center desktop, I have the OS and apps/games on the 120SSD, then each of the profile folders mapped to 2TB Black, so D : \Profile\Downloads, D : \Profile\Documents, etc.

Then to top it off, you can merge a bunch of mechanical drives into one big storage pool (with total or granular folder duplication if you wish) using Drivebender. So behind the 120 OS + 2TB Profile/Storage folder, I have an 11.5TB 'HomeShare' using drivebender + 4 2TB + 2 2.5TB Hard Drives.
 

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