[Ukfreebsd] "green" HDDs

Mark Blackman mark at exonetric.com
Tue Jan 11 15:03:22 GMT 2011

On Tue, 11 Jan 2011 00:04:35 -0000, Étienne <ml at magickarpet.org> wrote:

> On Sun, Jan 09, 2011 at 05:09:51PM +0000, dgmm wrote:
>> Has anyone used any of the so called "green" or "eco" HDDs?
> I don't know if you're after saving energy or being really green, but
> I'd just like to mention that most of the computers or parts that we're
> using need between 50 to a hundred times more energy to be produced and
> sent to you than the sum of what they will consume during their whole
> life. So if you get good reviews of these disks and just want to save a
> bit of energy, go for them. If you want to be really green and cut the
> energy cost of your installation, just make your hardware last as much
> as you can, whatever it consumes.

I don't question the general point, but I wonder if you have
particularly concise or well-referenced articles on this point?

In particular, I'm curious about the amount of power required in
production and where it comes in, in general. In principle, that power cost
should be reflected in the cost of the drive (although perhaps power is
cheaper at the power of production) and it's simple enough
to compare the drive cost to the cost of the power consumed
in usage.


A. the power-related cost of building the drive is 50% of the retail price,
but obviously that's going to erring on the high side by a lot.

B. the drive is on continously pulling it's idle power usage of 3Watts.

C. Power costs 7 pence per kWh.

Given we typically pay 25-75 quid for a drive, I can imagine
using something like 10 quid worth of power for a drive that's
on continuously for five years. I think drives tend be around
3-6 watts per drive for "Green" drives.

3 watts per drive * 8760 hours per year = 26.3 kWh/year

87.6kWh/year * 0.07 GBP/kWh = 1.98 GBP/year (for power costs attributable  
to that drive)

So, while any of my assumption might be slightly wrong, in particular
the cost of production-related power, I'm not sure it's not likely more  
than a factor of
10 (which is a lot) between production and usage in terms of energy cost.

Five years power cost of drive is: 10 GBP
50% of Retail Cost is: 12.50-37.50 GBP

Seem like a reasonable analysis?


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