Seagate Launches Eco-Friendly, Low-Power 2TB HDD

Seagate followed up on Constellation.2 with a high-performance eco-friendly desktop drive for green computers and storage.

Seagate Technologies on Dec. 14 officially launched the Barracuda Green, a high-performance eco-friendly 3.5-inch desktop drive.

Formerly known as Barracuda LP (low power), the new drive is designed and built to the "highest" environmental standards, said Seagate. The new drives use fewer halogen components to reduce the negative impact on the environment. More than 70 percent of the materials used in the device are recyclable, the company said.

There are two versions available, one with a 32MB cache and 3G bps SATA (serial ATA) interface and another with a 64MB cache and 6G bps SATA interface. The lower 3G bps SATA drives are available in 1TB, 1.5TB, and 2TB capacities, but the higher 6G bps SATA drives come in 1.5TB and 2TB, Seagate said.

Although Seagate declined to disclose pricing, there is a listing for a 2TB Barracuda Green for $128 (although it's noted as out of stock) and 1.5TB drive for $99 on

Seagate is touting the SATA drive as the fastest eco-friendly drive because of its low-power requirements and 5,900 rpm spin speed. Its low power requirements make these drives suitable for low-power PCs, multi-drive home networking systems and PC storage backup devices, Seagate said.

While similar to the Western Digital Caviar Green, Seagate's Barracuda Green has a slightly faster spin speed. However, the WD Caviar Green has a 3TB unit. Seagate currently has an external 3TB model, the FreeAgent GoFlex as well as a number of internal and external 1TB drives.

The 3G bps SATA drives have an average operation power use of 6.8 watts, but the 6G bps drives have even lower power draw, operating with 3.8 watts. When idling, the 3G pbs drives draw 5.5 watts, and the 6G bps drives draw 4.5 watts. The 3G bps drive's power draw is very similar to Seagate's Constellation.2 2.5-inch drive released a day before on Dec. 13.

According to the drives' spec sheets, the devices have six heads and three platters, which works out to about 667GB storage capacity per platter.

Barracuda Green features Seagate's SmartAlign technology for fast performance. The SmartAlign technology enables the 4K sector standard for high performance, but simplifies drive installation because additional drive optimization utilities are not required, said Seagate. Advanced Format is the new 4K sector-formatting standard that improves storage capacities and maintains strong error-correction on disk drives, according to Seagate.

Transitioning to Advanced Format can be "complex" and can require additional software utilities to ensure there is no performance degradation, said Mosley. With SmartAlign, there is no need for extra utilities, and the transition is "virtually invisible," he said.

Barracuda Green is one of the first Seagate hard disk drives with SmartAlign, according to Dave Mosley, Seagate's executive vice president of sales.