Hi -- I just bought two WD3000GLFS's to use in RAID0, and figured I'd outline my experience and mini-review.
I was more than a bit worried about noise, and was apprehensive at first -- I only installed one of the two drives, thinking that if I needed to return them, at least I'll only pay the restocking fee on one of the two drives.
I plugged it in, booted the computer with the case's side panel off, and... well at first I thought the drive wasn't being powered. I couldn't hear it at all over my other components (I'll list them below, for whoever might care).
I booted into Vista (on my other drives, two 7500AAKS), then formatted the Velociraptor and copied a big file onto it. I can hear the seek noise but it's really not loud at all. It's on the same level as the WD7500AAKS, just a bit of a different tone ("sharper", if that makes any sense). I definitely wouldn't say the WD3000GLFS is louder by any means.
So I installed the 2nd Velociraptor, changed my BIOS settings to enable RAID, created a RAID0 array on the new drives (16k stripes), and installed Vista on the array. I then installed a bunch of Vista updates (including SP1, which took 14 minutes to install, including the reboot), and installed some drivers (motherboard stuff, nVidia drivers).
I guess I'm writing this in case someone is on the fence about getting the WD3000GLFS from a noise point of view, and is soaking up people's reviews and opinions (as I was) before making a decision. So for what it's worth, I'm extremely satisfied with mine, and find them to be very quiet drive. It's not like "the noise is okay, the performance makes up for it" -- they're quiet drives.
Regarding the RAID0 setup, I haven't done real-world tests yet aside from installing Vista and its patches + SP1, but my subjective impression of that was very positive. A synthetic benchmark (HD Tach) gave me results with 2x WD3000GLFS that are slightly above the results I was getting with 3x WD7500AAKS in RAID0. I don't have the numbers with me, but I believe I'm getting 7ms seek, 240MB/s average and 370MB/s peek. I can double-check when I get home if anyone is interested.
For the record, the case I'm using is the Silverstone Temjin TJ10, which has two drive cages that have rubber lining where the drive touches them, but the cages themselves aren't insulated against noise or vibration. There is a vent on both sides of the HD cages, but again the noise levels coming from the Velociraptors are very, very acceptable.
Finally, here's the list of the noise-generating components I'm using on that computer -- might help some people evaluate what I mean by "my drives are silent", which of course is subjective and relative to my environment and other components:
- PSU: Ultra X3 1000W
- Motherboard: Asus Maximus Formula (didn't install the optional chipset fan)
- Video: 8800GT
- Fans: 6x 120mm (1x on CPU, 1x on rear, 2x on top, 1x between HD cages, 1x in middle of case (feature of the Temjin TJ10 case))
- Drives: 3x WD7500AAKS, 2xWD3000GLFS
I'll answer any questions you guys might have in regards to noise and/or performance. Just remember that my Velociraptors are in RAID0 so I might not be able to give you discrete performance results for a single drive.