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 Post subject: Silent 4TB+ HDD at idle
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:14 pm 
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Hi everyone,

My current PC is already quite the silent. However, the part that is by far the louder is the HDD (4 TB Seagate Barracuda 3.5" 5400 RPM). The problem is not that the drive is particularly loud when reading or writing data. It is that even when the drive is idle, I can clearly hear the disk spinning, which makes the sound of a relatively loud fan.

So: in your experience, what is the most silent hard drive at idle? I need a hard drive of at least 4 TB (in fact, I will probably need more storage than that on the long term, but a minimum of 4 TB will suffice for now).

Also: I will soon be getting new parts for my PC (hence my question). I was considering buying a noise-insulated case (such as the BeQuiet Silent Base 801) as an additional measure to help with this hard drive noise. Do you think it could really be useful?

Thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: Silent 4TB+ HDD at idle
PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:22 pm 
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Welcome to SPCR.

The most silent HDD is the one that isn't spinning. :) Maybe you can describe how you use the HDD - is it your OS drive? is it just for archival stuff? etc...

The optimal system would use SSD(s) for OS/Apps/most used data and an HDD for archival data/backups. In Windows settings spin down the HDD after xx minutes of inactivity and you've solved 99% of the problem.

If you only needed 4-5TB of HDD space internally, consider getting a 2.5" 5400rpm drive. You won't hear it spin inside a case, and the read/write noise will be less than the 3.5" Barracuda.

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 Post subject: Re: Silent 4TB+ HDD at idle
PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:57 pm
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Hi and thank you for your detailed answer,

I should indeed say more about my usage: I am using the drive as a means to store my ever-growing collection of movies and TV shows, as well as personal files. I also have an SSD which is where my OS run, but I need the mechanical drive because SSD are still a little too expensive compared to HDD. I also use my PC as a small NAS and as a Plex server for me and my family.

I can (and do) put the disk to sleep after a time of inactivity. The problem is that it must spin when I am working on a file or watching a movie, which is precisely when I am in the room with my PC. Another problem is that I run a few services (torrent client, backup, Plex auto maintenance, etc.) that need to access the drive regularly, so it is rarely completely idle for more than a few minutes.

A 2.5" 5400 RPM does seem like a good idea. You say the read/write noise will be less important than that of my current drive. The thing is, I am more annoyed by the constant spin of the drive. It is far from being loud, but I can definitely hear it, even when the drive is in its case (a node 304 by Fractal Design) and I am standing a few metres from the PC. Will a 2.5" also help with that?

Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Silent 4TB+ HDD at idle
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:08 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
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Location: Guatemala
TheRedMandrake wrote:
So: in your experience, what is the most silent hard drive at idle?
No mechancial will be silent, WD greens 2tb were the most quiet mechanicals i used. Even the 3tb red is very quiet, but i can still hear its seek on a quiet night. Avoid all the helium drives, they are not as bad as blacks but the none helium drives like WD reds are quieter.

TheRedMandrake wrote:
I need a hard drive of at least 4 TB (in fact, I will probably need more storage than that on the long term, but a minimum of 4 TB will suffice for now).
I would suggest to avoid looking for quiet drives and move your storage to a NAS, away from your hearing range, specially since you going to need more long term. Synology makes very compact servers, the OS form them (DSM) is very easy to learn and use, their setup consume very little power, and because the size is not that big they can be placed in a lot of places, with synology hybrid raid, you can grown your storage as your needs increases by simply adding drives to the pool, i only recommend the synologies that use intel cpus, their performance is very good while i had had good but not perfect experiences with realtek/arm on their nas, they are more expensive, but to me worth the money. Synology DiskStation DS218+ is what smallest that i recommend, and if you want more storage and have more budget, then consider Synology DiskStation DS1019+, both can grown more adding a Synology DX517.

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 Post subject: Re: Silent 4TB+ HDD at idle
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:46 am 
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Thank you for sharing your experience with WD drives, Abula. I really would like to get a drive a minimum 4 TB, in order to avoid multiplying them on the long term, but I will still be looking in the direction you suggested.

As to moving my PC/NAS out of my hearing range, I have considered that solution already and come to the conclusion that there is no really good way to do it with my current apartment (which is unfortunate, because it definitely would be the best way to avoid any further problems with that).


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 Post subject: Re: Silent 4TB+ HDD at idle
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:37 am 
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Actually, I said:
Quote:
You won't hear it spin inside a case, and the read/write noise will be less than the 3.5" Barracuda.


I wonder if you have vibration induced noise...the 304's mounting system is really good for dampening it..but you never know. Here's an experiment you can try:
- remove the HDD from the mount. Set it on a thick piece of foam or a soft sponge on the floor/desk next to the case. If the spin noise is reduced, then it's a case/mount issue. If so, you could try removing the mounts and just suspend the drive from the top using elastic bands. Here's a method (but yours would be vertical).

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 Post subject: Re: Silent 4TB+ HDD at idle
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:47 am 
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I tried the experiment you suggested and putting the drive on a sponge definitely helped. When I have a bit more time, I'll see what I can do to reduce the vibrations.

Thanks again.


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 Post subject: Re: Silent 4TB+ HDD at idle
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:56 pm 
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Have fun!

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 Post subject: Re: Silent 4TB+ HDD at idle
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:45 am 
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I never liked suspending drives, personally. What I have done for many years is put the bare drive on two .5" thick strips of sorbothane, one running along each side on the bottom. The sorbothane then rests on a layer of foam, at least .5" thick. The sorbo absorbs vibes and raises the drive off the foam so there is still airflow underneath. The combo of sorbo + foam really eats any vibration, and is more secure than suspension. YMMV.

Anecdotally, 3TB WD Reds (not the Pro line) are very quiet. I believe the 6TB is close but not quite as good, so one could assume the 4TB would be decent. Or if you wanna go crazy, a 4TB SSD can be had for $400-600 :p

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