Tiché PC HDD Vibration Killer

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Tiché PC HDD Vibration Killer

February 5, 2012 by Lawrence Lee

Product
Tiché PC HDD Vibration Killer
Manufacturer
ZoranICS
Sample Supplier
Street Price
23 € (including VAT)

We recently received an interesting silencing product for evaluation manufactured by ZoranICS, a small startup company based in Europe, provided by one of their partners, Tiché PC, a Slovak retailer selling PCs, components, and accessories. The HDD Vibration Killer is a simple contraption designed to kill hard drive vibration and thus reduce noise. The PC silencing landscape is fairly mature at this point, with countless numbers of quiet power supplies, extraordinarily efficient third party heatsinks and fans, but when it comes to muffling the whirl of the still ubiquitous 7200 RPM hard drive, few aftermarket products have proven effective without significant cost.

Hard drives have actually become a lot quieter over the years. The problem with most models is not direct acoustic noise, but the drive's vibrations transmitted through and sometimes amplified by the case in which they are used. One solution SPCR popularized is DIY hard drive suspension using an elastic material to decouple drives from the case. The original idea of HDD decoupling suspension stemmed from a German aftermarket product called NoVibes (the subject of one of the first SPCR reviews). The HDD Vibration Killer takes this approach rather than following the Scythe Quiet Drive and other similar products that encapsulate the drive inside a bulky rubber-lined metal enclosure.


Review sample package.

The hardware itself is very simple and familiar if you've encountered metal 3.5" to 5.25" drive bay adapters. Rather than being constructed as one bracket, the aluminum pieces are split in two with a thick piece of rubber (of half synthetic origin according to ZoranICS) acting as a bridge to provide the decoupling effect. It is a clever idea, assuming the rubbery-foamy material is up to the task. One pair of adapters is provided for the single drive model, but they also have three and four drive models using two sets of adapters and metal sheets to join them together; our sample is the three drive version.


Adapters.

A few broad fins have been cut into the adapters making them crude heatsinks. Most cases don't support direct cooling for the 5.25" bays which are also typically higher up in the chassis, subjecting suspended drives to more heat than a typical bottom-mounted drive cage with an intake fan.


Vibration Killer attached to a single drive.

Rather than using adhesive or clips to hold the foam in place, a screw inserted on each side of both pieces of rubber keep them from slipping off. This is undoubtedly more secure but introduces the possibility of the drives stretching the rubber to the point where the holes made by the screws begin to rip. The same thickness of rubber is used on the 4-drive version of the HDD Vibration Killer, so strength shouldn't be an issue for the 3-pack. Even so, we think it would be prudent for the manufacturer to offer replacement rubber parts.


Assembled with three drives.

Assembly is simple. Use the standard hard drive screws provided to attach the drives to the metal plate and adapters. With three drives, the kit takes up just two 5.25" bays. Cooling may be more effective when used with single drives; in the three-drive assembly a large metal sheet is placed between the drives and the individual heatsink-like adapters.


Installed inside a Cooler Master Silencio 450 case. (Note: the third drive in the picture is actually suspended and not touching the bottom).

Cobbling the Vibration Killer together is child's play, but installing it inside a case is much more difficult. The mounting points not fixed, and the weight of three hard drives can be substantial, so it takes considerable effort to line the holes up and keep them in place to install the outer screws. As you can see from the photo, the rubber attached to the bottom drive is stretched/stressed substantially further than the top. If drives are ever replaced it would be prudent to rotate the adapters to improve durability.



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