Tiché PC HDD Vibration Killer

Audio|Video|Misc | Cases|Damping | Storage
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TESTING

System Configuration:

Measurement and Analysis Tools

  • CPUBurn processor stress software.
  • HD Tune Pro HD stressing/diagnostic/benchmark tool for storage devices.
  • SpeedFan to monitor system temperatures.
  • Custom-built, four-channel variable DC power supply, used to regulate fan speeds during the test.
  • PC-based spectrum analyzer: SpectraPlus with ACO Pacific mic and M-Audio digital audio interfaces.
  • Anechoic chamber with ambient level of 11 dBA or lower

Testing Procedures

We assembled the Vibration Killer with three of the louder drives we had on hand and installed it inside a Cooler Master Silencio 450 housing our ATX case IGP testing configuration. This was done immediately following the testing of the Silencio 450 case. The CPU fan was run at 9V and the stock fans at 7V to create a fairly low airflow environment. The CPU was put under half load (two cores running CPUBurn) to create some extra heat, and error scanning tests were run on all three drives simultaneously using HD Tune Once the drive temperatures stabilized (stayed constant for 10~15 minutes), we recorded the results and made noise measurements from one meter's distance from the center of the case's side panel with the case tilted at a 45 degree angle.


Hard drives installed in the "proper" way in the Silencio 450.

The Vibration Killer was compared to the stock mounting system in the Silencio 450. The drives were installed with screws in the upper hard drive chamber which is very secure and sits directly in front of a 120mm intake fan blowing over them. The Silencio 450 has rather loose side panels which can amplify hard drive vibration, but it was modified with some closed-cell foam padding to reduce this effect.

Test Results

System Measurements
HDD Mounting Method
Stock
HDD Vibration Killer
HDD #1 Temp
38°C
48°C
HDD #2 Temp
42°C
51°C
HDD #3 Temp
41°C
49°C
SPL@1m
22 dBA
20~21 dBA
Ambient temperature: 22°C.

Though the Vibration Killer acts as a makeshift heatsink for the drives, without any direct airflow, drive temperatures went up. Mounted in the stock drive cage, the temperatures settled at about 40°C while the Vibration Killer generated results 8~10°C higher. It's an unavoidable consequence unless modifications are made to ensure airflow through the 5.25" bays. The drives ran fairly toasty, close to the threshold of concern, as manufacturers generally cite 55~60°C for maximum safe operating temperature.

The Vibration Killer produced a measurable 1~2 dB improvement in noise. This might not sound like much but for comparison, disabling the loudest of the three drives, the WD Caviar Black 2TB, resulted in only a 1 dB improvement when mounted in the stock drive cage. In our test, the Vibration Killer essentially made three drives sound quieter than two (but not quite as good as one). When the drives were in the stock drive cage, the case emitted an audible humming noise and noticeable vibrations could be felt on the outside of the chassis — both disappeared when the Vibration Killer was used.



System noise level, with and without the Vibration Killer.



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