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Western Digital Green review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £118
inc VAT (4TB)

Great performance for a budget price makes the Western Digital Green hard disk range a Best Buy


Capacity: 500GB/1TB/1.5TB/2TB/3TB/4TB, Cost per gigabyte: £0.08 (500GB), £0.04 (1TB), £0.06 (2TB), £0.03 (4TB)
£0.04 (1TB), £0.06 (2TB), £0.03 (4TB), Interface: SATA3


Western Digital’s Green series of desktop 3.5in hard disks has a great combination of low price and impressive performance. It’s difficult to judge exactly what makes the drives perform so well, as Western Digital is secretive about some of the disks’ specifications. Rather than list a spindle speed in RPM (revolutions per minute), Western Digital describes its Green disks as using “Intellipower”. According to the company, this is a set of algorithms designed to manage spin speed, transfer rate and caching, in order to deliver power savings and improved performance.

Similarly, there’s no official seek speed rating. Instead the Green range uses Western Digital’s “IntelliSeek” technology. The company claims this provides more accurate control of the hard disk actuator’s movement so that the head reaches the correct hard disk sector just in it time to read or write the next piece of information, reducing power use and vibration.

The Western Digital Green range is available in 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 3TB and 4TB capacities, so there are plenty of options. The cost per GB for the larger capacities is a very reasonable 3p per GB for 4TB and 2TB and 4p per GB for 1TB, making them a close rival to the Seagate Desktop range in terms of price. The 500GB drive is only £3 less than the 1TB model, so isn’t really worth buying.  

All the drives have 64MB of cache and a standard SATA3 connection. Like its predecessor, the Caviar Green range, the Green uses Western Digital’s Advanced Format technology, which apparently uses smaller disk sectors to increase the available amount of storage space.

We tested the 4TB and 1TB models and both performed remarkably well considering their low price. The 4TB managed a read speed of 256.9MB/s and a write speed of 195.6MB/s in our large-file test. The 1TB model performed similarly, managing 255MB/s and 201.1MB/s respectively. These large file scores are above average for mechanical hard disks.

In the small files test the 1TB model wrote files at a strong 85MB/s, but the 4TB drive managed a huge 92MB/s, which is the best speed we’ve seen in this test from such a large drive. The 4TB drive could read small files at 73.2MB/s, which again was quicker than the 1TB disk’s 65.3MB/s. Considering the drives’ low prices, we’re seriously impressed with their performance.

The Western Digital Green range contains some very impressive hard disks. If you’re looking for a secondary drive for your media, the higher-capacity drives provide a great price per GB, and the disks are quick enough to use as a large system disk, too. If you’re going to be working with lots of large files, such as when editing video, you should consider the Western Digital Black range with its superb large-file performance, but for most people the Western Digital Green series is the Best Buy. If you’re looking for something for a laptop, or want a hybrid drive, then check out our Best hard drive 2015 buying guide.

Formatted capacity (NTFS)931.5GB / 3725.9GB
Cost per gigabyte£0.08 (500GB), £0.04 (1TB), £0.06 (2TB), £0.03 (4TB)
£0.04 (1TB), £0.06 (2TB), £0.03 (4TB)
Power connectorN/A
Spindle speedIntelliPower
Quoted seek timeIntelliSeek
Buying Information
WarrantyTwo-year RTB
Prices£40 (500GB), £43 (1TB), £64 (2TB), £82 (3TB), £118 (4TB)

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