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Hello,

I am in the market for a 1 TB SATA2 HDD for my D-link DNS-323 NAS enclosure. Western Digital drives look appealing with the price, warranty, and brand name. However, I am confused between the various different models they offer.

I read somewhere that the Black is more performant than the Green, but in what sense? They both have 32MB buffer, both are 7200 rpm.. then why would the black be more performant?

And how do the blue compare to the black and the green drives?

I mainly want this to go in the NAS enclosure for storing video, pictures, and audio. I will be accessing the files on an almost daily basis. I also plan to add an XBOX 360 in the future and use the upnp AV feature to stream movies to it from the NAS enclosure. What would be my best option?

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Oh no, a Deathstar! Back up all your data!

Kingnog (Aug. 13, 2009 @ 3:10p) |

I know this thread is pretty well dead but thought I would chime in to answer the title question more simply.

Green = Low... (more)

Casper42 (Aug. 25, 2009 @ 3:01p) |

Great info. Thanks for the follow-up.

telstar (Aug. 25, 2009 @ 3:11p) |

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walletLess said: Hello,

I am in the market for a 1 TB SATA2 HDD for my D-link DNS-323 NAS enclosure. Western Digital drives look appealing with the price, warranty, and brand name. However, I am confused between the various different models they offer.

I read somewhere that the Black is more performant than the Green, but in what sense? They both have 32MB buffer, both are 7200 rpm.. then why would the black be more performant?

And how do the blue compare to the black and the green drives?

I mainly want this to go in the NAS enclosure for storing video, pictures, and audio. I will be accessing the files on an almost daily basis. I also plan to add an XBOX 360 in the future and use the upnp AV feature to stream movies to it from the NAS enclosure. What would be my best option?

How many HD streams would you have at any given time? All of the drives may be powerful enough to meet your needs.

I have to ask... did you actually look at any reviews anywhere?

tomshardware.com is a good start.

In general, Black is about the same as Blue and both have better sustained transfer rates than Green due to Green's lower spin speeds.

riznick - I don't think I will have ANY HD streams - most of the video's I have are DIV-X encoded DVD-RIP quality. Even otherwise, I don't think I will stream more than one video at a time at any given point of time.

RushnRockt - I did read some reviews of both, Green and Black. There were no direct comparisions, and most all reviews seem to like both the drives. The blue seems to have 16MB buffer compared to ther 32MB in Black and Green, but that seems to make very little difference overall.

I google the differences between black and green, and most all places commented the fact that black > blue > green, but did not offer much reasoning.

Honestly you are putting it in a NAS? check transfer speeds, I would think all 3 HDs will outdo the Network unless it is Gigabit.

walletLess said: riznick - I don't think I will have ANY HD streams - most of the video's I have are DIV-X encoded DVD-RIP quality. Even otherwise, I don't think I will stream more than one video at a time at any given point of time.

RushnRockt - I did read some reviews of both, Green and Black. There were no direct comparisions, and most all reviews seem to like both the drives. The blue seems to have 16MB buffer compared to ther 32MB in Black and Green, but that seems to make very little difference overall.

I google the differences between black and green, and most all places commented the fact that black > blue > green, but did not offer much reasoning.


Read tomshardware, plenty of reasons given. Black being about the same as blue is also there, in direct comparison.

walletLess said: riznick - I don't think I will have ANY HD streams - most of the video's I have are DIV-X encoded DVD-RIP quality. Even otherwise, I don't think I will stream more than one video at a time at any given point of time.

RushnRockt - I did read some reviews of both, Green and Black. There were no direct comparisions, and most all reviews seem to like both the drives. The blue seems to have 16MB buffer compared to ther 32MB in Black and Green, but that seems to make very little difference overall.

I google the differences between black and green, and most all places commented the fact that black > blue > green, but did not offer much reasoning.


I meant Hard Drive when I said HD. I should have been more specific. You answered my question, however.

Based on the anticipated workload, you should be fine with any of the drives.

walletLess said: I read somewhere that the Black is more performance than the Green, but in what sense? They both have 32MB buffer, both are 7200 rpm.No, they don't. The Blue and Black spin at 7200 RPM, but the Green spins at 5400 RPM. The Black has a 5-year warranty, compared to 3 years for the other models, and I believe the Black also contains a shock sensor that will retract the heads and shut down if the drive is bumped or dropped.

walletLess said: I mainly want this to go in the NAS enclosure for storing video, pictures, and audio.Then if the price is the same, I'd go for the Green because it will run much cooler, especially in a poorly ventilated enclosure, and the actual performance difference will be nil because of the slow speed of the interface, and even if you connected the drive directly to the computer's internal SATA port, the difference in performance would be much less than implied by the 1/3 difference in RPM.

Thanks everyone for the replies.. I seem to be getting a better idea now. To close the loop and answer the questions posed:
1) One HDD at a time for streaming
2) I read somewhere that the green has a variable speed (spec said "5400-7200rpm"). I interpreted this as saying that it will spin slower when idle and faster when there is activity. However, most reviews online, including the tomshardware site pointed above seems to indicate that this is not a "true" RPM. WD seems to have coined a marketing buzzward "intellispeed" or something like that to indicate that this is variable speed.. however some tests indicate that even when there is activity, the drive spins at 5400rpm
3) The price difference between green and black is rougly $10 (black being more expensive). For a 5 year warranty, I think black seems like a better choice. I don't care much about the electricity cost saved with the green drives.
4) I have a 10/100 wireless-G router (both machines at home are wireless.. if I get an XBOX, it will likely be wired) right now, but I have budget for a gigabit ethernet and wireless-N capable router early next year. I am waiting for the draft-N to get finalized and the prices to drop somewhat, as well as more DD-WRT capable options before I jump on that one.

Toms Hardware seems to indicate that WD Caviar black, Caviar Blue, and the Hitachi Deskstar drives are the most performant in the economical drives category.

Yay, you got all the information. Now to find the deal that's cheapest...

EDIT: smiley faces here look weird

Just an update. I have pretty much ruled out the Caviar Green at this point. Some reviews indicate that certain programs crash with the Caviar Green since it takes a very long time to "wake up" after inactivity, and the "not so well tested" software crashes when that happens.

I have boiled down my choices to three HDD, and will chose whatever comes with a hot deal first
1) WD Caviar Black (5 years warranty)
2) Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.B (3 years warranty, 16MB Cache but benchmarks look very good compared to the caviar black)
3) Samsung Spinpoint F1 (3 years warranty, benchmarks comparable to Caviar black)

As most people pointed out, with a NAS setup, the bandwith is the bottleneck, so the faster caviar black will make no difference over the Hitachi and Samsung models. I will pickup whatever comes first with a price of under $70

The Deskstar model is already on sale for under $70 at zzf, but involves a mail-in-rebate.

IMO, there isn't much difference between a 3 year and 5 year warranty. If your drive fails after 3 years, you probably want something newer and bigger anyways. (I don't know what to do with all my smaller drives...)

walletLess said: Just an update. I have pretty much ruled out the Caviar Green at this point. Some reviews indicate that certain programs crash with the Caviar Green since it takes a very long time to "wake up" after inactivity, and the "not so well tested" software crashes when that happens.



I figured that might be the case with such a drive. I am new and ignorant to the real performance of the "green" drives.

riznick said: walletLess said: Just an update. I have pretty much ruled out the Caviar Green at this point. Some reviews indicate that certain programs crash with the Caviar Green since it takes a very long time to "wake up" after inactivity, and the "not so well tested" software crashes when that happens.I figured that might be the case with such a drive. I am new and ignorant to the real performance of the "green" drives.Apparently there are a couple of solutions that change the timeout from a matter of seconds to about five minutes. One is a firmware upgrade (WD's website is down), the other is this: link

thanks larry for the tip.. but given that the prices are about the same for the drives.. it is easy to avoid green and not device workarounds to get it to work like a regular drive.. as I said, I don't worry about the difference in energy costs between these drives, given that my torrent download activity is high, and the drive will remain active most nights anyways..

riznick said: IMO, there isn't much difference between a 3 year and 5 year warranty. If your drive fails after 3 years, you probably want something newer and bigger anyways. (I don't know what to do with all my smaller drives...)

I think it does matter somewhat.. I had bought a 160gb Seagate drive long time ago which failed after 4.5 years of usage (developed a lot of bad sectors). I called their support, ran the tests that they asked me to run, and since the 160gb models were no longer produced at the time, they sent me a 320gb one! That was more than adequate for my needs at the time.

edit: too bad seagate's only give 3 yrs warranty now...

If you are running torrents on it, then there are going to be constant multiple read and write streams and much heavier Hard Drive workload.

I have a DNS-323 with two 1TB WD Green drives. Can stream 2 HD feeds at the same time with no issue (over gigabit network, of course).

I looked at the black, but since I don't run any programs off of this drive and you don't stream anywhere near the speed provided by a 5400RPM drive, I went the cheaper route (both up front and power usage).

They have been in use about 4 months and working great.

walletLess said: thanks larry for the tip.. but given that the prices are about the same for the drives.. it is easy to avoid green and not device workarounds to get it to work like a regular drive.. as I said, I don't worry about the difference in energy costs between these drives, given that my torrent download activity is high, and the drive will remain active most nights anyways..I wouldn't worry about the power difference, but the difference in heat may matter for a drive that will be running almost continuously in an external enclosure. I tried the WDidle3 utility, and it was easy to use.

I went ahead and ordered the Deskstar model. The only advantage with the Caviar black for me was the torrent, since the torrent client would run directly from the NAS box and there was no additional layer of network involved.. However, looking at the tomshardware benchmark, there is a bearable difference in I/O speeds. In fact, the Deskstar seems to beat the black in sequential I/O..
Given all this factor, and the fact that $65 is an excellent price for a terabyte drive at this time, I went ahead and ordered it from zipzoomfly.

Thanks again to Riznick, RushnRockt, and the others who have chimed in to this thread for all the help.

walletLess said: I went ahead and ordered the Deskstar model. The only advantage with the Caviar black for me was the torrent, since the torrent client would run directly from the NAS box and there was no additional layer of network involved.. However, looking at the tomshardware benchmark, there is a bearable difference in I/O speeds. In fact, the Deskstar seems to beat the black in sequential I/O..
Given all this factor, and the fact that $65 is an excellent price for a terabyte drive at this time, I went ahead and ordered it from zipzoomfly.

Thanks again to Riznick, RushnRockt, and the others who have chimed in to this thread for all the help.


Oh no, a Deathstar! Back up all your data!

I know this thread is pretty well dead but thought I would chime in to answer the title question more simply.

Green = Low Power (and usually slower RPM) model. Fine for streaming reads/writes in most scenarios but not so great at random I/O

Blue = Mainstream - Basic 7200 RPM drive - smaller sizes usually found in Brand Name PCs as the boot drive. 160GB/320GB/640GB etc

Black = Performance - Fast 7200 RPM drive - usually faster seek times and sometimes more onboard Cache. These are 1 step away from the RE drives.

RE2/RE3/RE4 = RAID Edition - Overall same as Black but with firmware optimized for 24x7 use in a DataCenter type environment. These are often the drives found inside the 2nd tier storage offered by EMC, NetApp, etc.



For me, the Green drives are fine for storing DVD Rips, MP3s, Pictures, etc.
My Home desktop has a 300GB Velociraptor for my Boot/Apps/Games and then I have 2 x 2TB WD Green for storage of files. (No RAID, just single drives)
My Home media server is about to get rebuilt with Win7 and will have either a RAID 0 stripe for the boot or a 64GB SSD (Haven't decided yet) and then will have 4 x 1.5TB WD Green in a RAID 5.
Then I'm going to use Robocopy or SyncToy2 to keep the data in synch between my desktop and the server so on top of the R5 on the Server, I also have a 2nd copy of everything that will go with me to LAN Parties, Friend's house, etc. My Home Desktop is a MicroATX Mini tower so its fairly portable.


I would definitely recommend going Gigabit though for your home network. Even my older 500GB drives in my Media Server let me get around 400Mbps write speed from my Desktop pushing to the Media Server. I am hopeful that once I finish my rebuild mentioned above, the newer drives and the RAID5 will let me drive this even higher. If you dont want to replace the entire router, just get a $40 8 port Gig Switch from DLink/NetGear/Linksys and hang all your wired machines off that, with a single uplink to your router for Internet access.

Great info. Thanks for the follow-up.



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