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Our samples were tested according to our standard
hard drive testing methodology. As of mid-2008, we have been conducting
most acoustics tests in our
own 10~11 dBA anechoic chamber, which results in more accurate, lower SPL
readings than before, especially with sub-20 dBA@1m devices.
Two forms of hard drive noise are measured:
- Airborne acoustics
- Vibration-induced noise.
These two types of noise impact the subjective
perception of hard drive noise differently depending on how and where the drive
Both forms of noise are evaluated objectively and
subjectively. Airborne acoustics are measured in our anechoic chamber using a lab reference
microphone and computer audio measurement system. Measurements are taken at a distance of one meter from the top
of the drive using an A-weighted filter. Vibration noise is rated on a scale
of 1-10 by comparing against our standard reference drives.
As of late-2011, we have been conducting performance testing. A combination of timed real-world tests is used to represent a workload of common activities for a boot drive including loading games, running disk-intensive applications, copying files, and installing programs. Synthetic tests are also run to better judge the performance across the entire span of the drive.
Summary of primary HDD testing tools:
Key Components in LGA1155 Heatsink Test Platform:
Real World Performance Test Tools:
Real World Benchmark Details:
- Boot: Time elapsed between pressing the power button to the desktop and the Windows start sound playing (minus the time for an average SSD to get to the "loading Windows" screen, 12 seconds on our test system)
- COD5: Combined load time for the "Breaking Point" and "Black Cats" levels.
- Far Cry 2: Load time for one level.
- ExactFile: Creating a MD5 check file of our entire test suite folder.
- TrueCrypt: Creating a 10GB encrypted file container.
- 3DMark Vantage: Install time, longest interval between prompts.
- PowerDVD 10: Install time, longest interval between prompts.
- Small File Copy: Copy time for a variety of small HTML, JPEG, MP3, ZIP, and EXE files.
- Large File Copy: Copy time for 4 AVI files, 2 x 700MB and 2 x 1400MB
A final caveat: As with most reviews, our comments
are relevant to the samples we tested. Your sample may not be identical. There
are always some sample variances, and manufacturers also make changes without
Ambient conditions at time of testing were 10.5 dBA and 20~23°C.
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