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 Post subject: Is a quiet case (Sonata or Lian-Li 6070) enough for 4 drives
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2003 8:37 am 
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Is a quiet case such as the Sonata or Lian-Li PC-6070 enough to muffle the continuous
noise from 4 disks, or would I be better off with a conventional case and 4 SmartDrive 2000?
(Assume a SilenX power supply and good, properly undervolted fans in any case.)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2003 9:33 am 
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Location: S. Illinois
As a former owner of an Antec Sonata that had it's p/s go nuts and fry a mobo, I feel like I'm qualified to comment...

1. This case has the word "Antec" drilled in the sides of the left and right covers, and yes a significant amount of noise escapes from these holes.

2. You would be mounting the hard discs on the standard 3.5" mounting bays, which have isolators. Now it is true that the isolators remove MUCH but not all of the seeking noise, it will do virtually nothing for the idle noise, if present. Be prepared for the drive temps to rise somewhere in the neighborhood of at least 10 degrees f/c, and possibly as high as 15 degrees c/f. In my opinion if you install 4 drives in this case, be prepared to install the optional 120mm fan, no exception.

One other consideration, is that the isolators cause an increase in seek / access times of about 6-10ms, this may or may not be important to you.


That's what I will comment about this case which formerly housed my quiet system. In my opinion it's a VERY nice looking case, but tends to run rather warm and is not as quiet as it could be; ironic since it's sold as such.

The system I had in it,

asus p4pe, 2.0aghz p4. 512mb ddr2700, 120gb maxtor FDB, 8mb cache, audigy card, radeon 9700 w/ zalman zm80hp-a, standard antec truepower, zalman cnps 5700 cpu cooler, dvd-r/dvd-rw/cd-r drive and 16x dvd-rom.

CPU temp hovered around 50c, mobo around 30c, video card heatsink about 60c. Drive temp was about 50c as well.

It's an admittedly warm system, but check out the temps BEFORE i moved the system from the Antec660AMG plus:

cpu=35c
mobo 30c
video card h/s=40c
drive temp29c

Warm case, not as quiet as it could be.

I'd recommend not purchasing it, based on my experience with temps alone, much less the problem I had.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2003 11:38 am 
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Hellspawn wrote:
One other consideration, is that the isolators cause an increase in seek / access times of about 6-10ms, this may or may not be important to you.

Whoa! Never heard of this before! Why would this be? Is it that since the isolators are absorbing vibration, the drive is actually moving (more than it would without isolators), and this can cause the drive heads to "misread" on first attempts?

This sounds like it might actually be a noticable impact. If you were doing hard disk audio, for example, would this be enough to make one reconsider?

Guess I'll have to do some searching on this site to find out more!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2003 11:58 am 
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Yes, this is a very true fact. You don't have the drive anchored down as hard as you would with screw to metal contact, so the drive does do a little movement on it's own. My maxtor 120gb 8mb 7200rpm does 12ms seek / access with hdtach with hard screw mounting, and in this case it does right at 20ms. I've never seen anything to indicate it causes misreads. I first saw it after trying out a SMART utility and it kept measuring seeks being over the 'threshold'. Then I went in and checked with hard mounting and soft mounting and the smart util never threw the high seek warning when it was hard mounted with 3.5" adapters in a 5.25 bay. Isolators also make the drive run 10-15c higher than normal as well. This could be a problem if you run more than 1 or two drives in this case..

Do I notice the seek difference outside of the benchmarks? No. But there is a price sometimes for quiet/silence..


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2003 12:08 pm 
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whoa ive never heard of that either. Hmm there is always something new to worry about.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2003 12:33 pm 
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Whoa easy on those figures Hellspawn,

According to this Seagate whitepaper, it's more like 1ms - 5ms - and only for seeks across >10% of the platter. In addition, isolators only had a 1 - 2% impact on business benchmark scores and 0% on high-end benchmark scores. No integrity problems either.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2003 2:34 pm 
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I use the HDTACH benchmark to gauge the seek time loss in MS. Before mounting with isolators, about 12, afterwards about 20 on average (sometimes as high as 22 or so) .

I never said there was an integrity problem with the seeks, or possible errors.

I never said there was a noticeable effect on system performance? No, in fact I stated I could not tell a difference.

It's not reckless number quoting, it's fact on my system, and I bet that ANY system using isolators will see seek time loss which would be similar.

I'm using real world seek time measurement (to the accuracy of HDTACH), and I'm seeing the same average seek reported in non-isolated and isolated cases, and I'm not referring to a whitepaper.

I remain on the findings using HDTACH on it, I'd be interested to see the real-world findings from using this program on your isolated/non-isolated drives and measure the difference..


Last edited by Hellspawn on Mon Mar 03, 2003 2:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2003 2:38 pm 
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So suspending a drive with bungy cord would cause about the same or more of seek slowdown?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2003 2:42 pm 
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It will cause a loss in seek time, yes. Depending on the rigidity of the mounting, maybe a little more or less, but a loss. As I was saying in a previous post, your drive temps will rise, since you are not using metal to metal contact , which acts as a heatsink to transfer the heat away from the drive as it normally would. As I stated earlier, the only place you will most likely see the difference is in a benchmark, I surely can't tell a difference in everyday use of the system at 20ms seek instead of about 12ms..

I see about 10-15c temp difference using isolators on the drive. I was running in the middle 30's before using isolators, now I'm running about 48-50c on average. I've seen no integrity problems with the drive while using isolators, so I wouldn't worry about that part tho..


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2003 2:47 pm 
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I was gonna side sink the drive, and it will have airflow over it too, so hopefully heat wont be a problem.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2003 3:03 pm 
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That's a good idea, never thought of that.. I could see taking some ram heatsinks maybe, nice passive solution :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2003 6:53 pm 
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Damn I just realized in this old pentium 333 I was trying to quiet down that it wasnt the power supply fan that was making the noise. It was the 4gig maxtor harddrive, and it is LOUD, It makes a high pitch steady sound, and I dont think its dying its always been that way, I always just assume that it was the power supply fan. I think ill take my quantum bigfoot from one of my broken computers and try putting it in the 333.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2003 3:17 pm 
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Hellspawn wrote:
I never said there was an integrity problem with the seeks, or possible errors.

I never said there was a noticeable effect on system performance? No, in fact I stated I could not tell a difference.

It's not reckless number quoting, it's fact on my system, and I bet that ANY system using isolators will see seek time loss which would be similar.

I'm using real world seek time measurement (to the accuracy of HDTACH), and I'm seeing the same average seek reported in non-isolated and isolated cases, and I'm not referring to a whitepaper.

I remain on the findings using HDTACH on it, I'd be interested to see the real-world findings from using this program on your isolated/non-isolated drives and measure the difference..


My mistake, you never mentioned anything about data integrity. And you also were quoting the numbers directly from HDTach. But hey, who know your test conditions were different than seagate's? At least you both agree that there's no significant real-world application difference in performance.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2003 3:30 pm 
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power: very true, I can't tell a difference, other than the seek noise... I could have sworn I commented that I'd never had any integrity problems, looks like I didn't :oops:

I think also that the type of isolator (softness/hardness) also would make a difference in the seek difference too (as well as the amount of seek noise that is present). They could have tested with rather firm rubber ones, and the ones I have might be more silicone, who knows... Of course the softer they are, any reasonable person would figure the more loss to be measured..


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 5:26 pm 
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GamingGod wrote:
I was gonna side sink the drive, and it will have airflow over it too, so hopefully heat wont be a problem.

:?: Could you describe what you mean by this? Have you tried this already? Do you have links to any heatsinks that will fasten to a hard drive in a 3.5" bay? (Most I see are for installing in a 5.25" bay)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 6:28 pm 
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im going to attach these metal things used normally to put a 3.5drive in a 5.25. But in this case it will serve only as sidesinks. Then im going to get some sheet metal and enclose the drive and sinks and cut a hole in the bottom of the case with a fan on top of the enclosure so air is pulled from outside the case over the drive and then into the case.


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