5900rpm Seagate Hard Drives: Barracuda LP, Pipeline HD .2

Storage
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TESTING

Our samples were tested according to our standard hard drive testing methodology. A significant change in our testing procedure is that as of mid-2008, we're conducting most acoustics tests in our own 10~11 dBA anechoic chamber, which results in more accurate, lower SPL readings than before, especially as the SPL approaches 20 dBA and below, which is the territory of laptop drives. Our methodology focuses specifically on noise, and great effort is taken to ensure it is comprehensively measured and described. Performance is covered only lightly, for reasons discussed in detail in the methodology article.

Two forms of hard drive noise are measured:

  1. Airborne acoustics
  2. Vibration-induced noise.

These two types of noise impact the subjective perception of hard drive noise differently depending on how and where the drive is mounted.

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.

Summary of primary HDD testing tools:

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 telling everyone.


Our 2TB Barracuda LP sample was made in June 2009.


Our Pipeline HD .2 1TB sample was made in April 2009.


Our 500GB Pipeline HD .2 sample was made in March 2009.

Ambient conditions at time of testing were 10.5 dBA and 23°C.



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