Well, I wanted to upgrade my Acer TravelMate 803Lci so I bought a new hard drive. The product of choice was Seagate Momentus 5400.2 ST9100824A 5400 rpm PATA drive. I’ve read many reviews of the disk family where that one belongs to and I thought it would be a very quiet notebook drive…
Currently I’m using IBM/Hitachi HDD 40GB 4200 rpm drive ( IC25N040ATCS04) in (mostly) fanless notebook (fan turns on very rarely).
That drive in idle is inaudible in all but quietest rooms. Well, late in nigh, in complete silence, you can hear the drive as a very soft, silent, “wind” hum. In my opinion it is ideal characteristic of noise. Not disturbing at all. According to Hitachi website it has 24dB.
During read/write is much worse. Drive is simply noisy. According to Hitachi it has 31dB. Because I’m mostly reading some ebooks and surfing the Internet on my notebook, drive is rarely doing some reading/writing. I can stand it and I get accustomed to it.
When I swapped it to Seagate… The full spectrum of noises came out from my notebook
. Wind hum is quite loud – much louder than Hitachi. You can hear it in your room during a day (Hitachi can’t be heard).
Well, I discovered, when I slightly press the upper part of housing, this hum disappears. It is enough to put something on the top of HDD, in the place where the center of platters can be. It is enough to put something of weigh 50 –100 grams. Well, hum was eliminated. Of course, in the notebook I glued something to the HDD bay which was slightly “pressing” on HDD when it was inside.
Another thing is that a HDD in my notebook is placed upside down, I mean printed board is on top. In this situation the noise of motor is more audible than it is on the bottom. In the notebook bay I've heard sharp brrrrr… like all Seagate drives I’ve heard… quite unpleasant. It’s louder than wind hum of Hitachi drive – well, price of changing to 5400 rpm drive.
The most unpleasant thing was high pitched whine coming out from drive. It is not audible under all angles, but under that one I’m working at (45-60 deg.) is clear and loud! Just over the drive (~90 deg.) it’s not audible. This sound made me sick! After two hours of working at the computer I had a headache.
You cannot hear that high pitched whine in mp3
from Momentus 5400.2 review on Silentpcreview, although all other constituents of noise are the same like in this mp3 file.
Noise of Momentus during idle is 24 dB according to Seagate website (but it think it is not that exact – i.e. Seagate do not distinguish the noise level of 1 platter and 2 platters drives)
Reading/writing (29 dB) is very nice – soft and not that loud like Hitachi – I like it. During r/w, the high pitched whine was not that bothersome. Maybe it was even disappearing.
Maybe it was just a case of my sample. Hard to say… I’ve send back the drive to shop and I hope that they are going to refund it.