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These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording
system inside SPCR's own 11
dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s.
We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from
the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what
we heard during the review.
These recordings are intended to give you an idea of how the product sounds
in actual use one meter is a reasonable typical distance between a computer
or computer component and your ear. The recording contains stretches of ambient
noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness of the subject. Be aware
that very quiet subjects may not be audible if we couldn't hear it from
one meter, chances are we couldn't record it either!
The recording starts with 5 to 10 seconds of ambient noise, then 10 second
segments of the drive in the following states: idle, seek with AAM enabled (if
applicable), and seek with AAM disabled (if applicable).
- Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EADS Idle: 13 / Seek (AAM):
13 / Seek (Normal): 13~14 dBA@1m One
- Seagate Pipeline HD ST3500321CS Idle: 14 / Seek: 15
- Seagate Pipeline HD Pro 1TB ST31000533CS Idle: 15 / Seek:
16 dBA@1m One
- Western Digital Caviar Blue 640GB WD6400AAKS Idle: 16 /
Seek (AAM): 16~17 / Seek (Normal): 18~19 dBA@1m One
- Samsung F1 750GB HD753LJ Idle: 16 / Seek (AAM):
18~19 / Seek (Normal): 20~21 dBA@1m One
- Seagate 7200.11 1.5TB ST31500341AS Idle: 17 / Seek: 19
- Seagate 7200.11 1TB ST31000340AS Idle: 18 / Seek: 19 dBA@1m
- Western Digital Caviar SE16 500GB WD5000KS Idle: 19 / Seek
(AAM): 19 / Seek (Normal): 22 dBA@1m One
- Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB WD1001FALS Idle: 21 /
Seek (AAM): 21 / Seek (Normal): 25 dBA@1m One
- Western Digital Raptor 150GB WD1500ADFD Idle: 16 / Seek
(AAM): 26~27 / Seek (Normal): 26~27 dBA@1m One
The slower rotational speed of the smaller Seagate Pipelines
make them competitive with similar capacity Western Digital Green Power drives in the green/quiet market. It's curious that the larger 1TB
drive does not also employ 5900RPM speed. Both the Caviar Green 2TB and the Pipeline 500GB
turned out to be quiet, power efficient drives, welcome components for silent PCs.
Neither are ideal for those seeking the fastest performance, but they are good
enough for typical day-to-day use, they won't make a dent in your
electric bill, and they are the quietest 3.5" drives we've tested in our
With such a large gap in capacities, the two drives
we tested here are not in direct competition with one another. However, it
is difficult for us to ignore that the 2TB Caviar Green bested the 500GB Pipeline
in terms of noise, vibration, performance and power consumption (once the heads
are unloaded) even though the win is by just a nose. Its massive capacity makes its achievement that much sweeter.
In years past, the largest drive was also the always the loudest and most energy
guzzling model on the market. The 2TB Green commands a hefty price premium, however $300
is enough to acquire 3TB of storage using smaller drives... although it'd be a
louder and less power efficient solution.
Many thanks to Western
Digital and Seagate
for the review samples.
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SPCR Articles of Related Interest:
SPCR's Hard Drive Testing
SPCR's Recommended Hard Drives
Momentus 5400.6 & Scorpio
Blue: Seagate & WD 2.5" HDDs at 500GB
Seagate Pipeline HD Pro 1TB
7200.11 1.5TB: The Perfect Balance?
WD and Seagate take steps to fix
Black: WD's Performance 1TB HDD
Samsung F1 750GB & 1TB Drives: Fast... and Silent?
SE16 Caviar 640GB is now Blue
WD VelociRaptor: A Triple Crown
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