Re: HOWTO: Build an energy-efficient Ubuntu computer
If looking at a new drive, think carefully about whether your primary reason is performance or energy efficiency.
If you need a better drive for performance reasons, go for it.
But if you're chasing energy efficiency, you'll find that the cost of any item is roughly proportional to the resources used to create that item. Therefore although a new drive might use less electricity while running, it will have used more energy to build it (than if you just kept using your old one that has already been built). You are unlikely to ever recoup the purchase price in saved electricity, and likewise are unlikely to ever offset the higher energy usage during production through saved electricity.
Short version - a new drive, even a more "energy efficient" one, might give better performance, but will be both worse for the environment and worse for your bank balance, however much electricity you save.
IBM ThinkCentre 8142 - Ubuntu 10.04
Acer emachines D620 - Ubuntu 9.04