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My server running Windows 7 is dying. I currently have a 20gb IDE drive for the OS, two ide 500gb drives striped for data, and two SATA 1tb drives striped for disk images of my other computers. The most demanding thing I use it for is streaming data to my Xbox 360 (videos on Windows Media Center), and as a PVR.

I want to upgrade it to an i3 processor, socket 1155, with 2gb of ram, then replace the IDE drives with Western Digital green drives, and put them onto a dedicated raid card. So my question is, will I see a performance hit going from IDE to a WD green drive if it's striped?

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Without looking at numbers, I am pretty sure the slowest new SATA drive today would be faster then your old 20gb IDE drive. – Troggy Jul 20 '11 at 0:49
Thanks, just wanted a second opinion. – Canadian Luke Jul 20 '11 at 0:58
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Those greens drives takes really long to spin-up on their default settings and the exact time may vary from time to time, so you may run into trouble with certain RAID setup that mistakes the delay for faulty drives.

Search "wd green raid issues" and you will get some idea.

WD does publish tools to change the automatic spin-down behaviour, but they won't be as "green".

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The power consumption by the drive (both in idle and load) is roughly half of the Caviar Black edition. Even if you disable the power saving features, you still only use half the power as a comparable Caviar Black drive. – Breakthrough Jul 20 '11 at 1:39
The spin-up time is one of the life-critical fields of a drive’s SMART data; does altering the spin-up time count against it? – Synetech Jul 20 '11 at 2:45
True. But they allow striping the drives and mirroring. I wasn't planning on doing a raid 10, so I should be fine :) thanks – Canadian Luke Jul 20 '11 at 5:42

No you won't see a performance hit, provided the drives are spinning. The green drives have firmware that spins them down when not in use, so there may be a slight delay to get them going again (in my experience, this can be as much as five seconds).

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It takes a good 30 seconds for my xbox to bootup and find my server anyways, so that should be negligible – Canadian Luke Jul 20 '11 at 1:14
> The green drives have firmware that spins them down when not in use Does every time it spins down and up count in the SMART data as a start-stop? – Synetech Jul 20 '11 at 2:45
That I can't answer, @Synetech. – user3463 Jul 20 '11 at 4:54

Many RAID controllers have issues with Green drives and they enter an error state. Check with the vendor of the RAID controller The spin down can be an issue in some cases but I believe there is a workaround to stop the spindown. The Western Digital RE series drives would be a good choice and may have better overall performance.

Info on Green drives and RAID from WD WD Help

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Thank you for the link, it helped me understandthe limitation – Canadian Luke Jul 20 '11 at 5:43

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