I finally bought a drive enclosure about 6 weeks ago. It's a Smart Drive 2002 (non-copper), which I put into my WCed PC
, where it holds a WD2500KS. Adding the Smart Drive to a very quiet computer made a substantial difference. The PC gets ridiculously loud if I turn the YL case fan up to 7V, if that gives a decent reference. Drive noise is just barely audible at night with the YL at <5V, and the system has reached a point that makes trying to reduce noise further seem completely obsessive. Perhaps insane...
And you can tell I like it, because I got another Smart Drive for my second computer! Both of my enclosures were used, which means about half-price, but I now believe that these boxes justify their prices, even at $65-70 each. Here's why.
Today's heatsinks, fans, and power supplies enable us to build very quiet computers with ease and reasonable expense. Once the hard drive is your PC's loudest component, there are only a few potential solutions:
- 2.5" drives
- solid-state drives
- remote drives
Suddenly, spending $70 for an aluminum box doesn't look so bad! The smart part about the Smart Drive is that it allows cheap, fast, big drives to compete acoustically with expensive, small, slow drives. For $150, you can buy a Smart Drive 2002C and a 250GB/16MB/7200rpm 3.5" drive. Or you can find a 100GB/8MB/7200rpm notebook drive. And when it comes time to upgrade, the enclosure is paid for already.
I certainly don't think that an enclosure is appropriate in every circumstance, and $70 is A LOT of money for a little aluminum and foam. But I do believe that too many people quickly dismiss such enclosures without realizing that they may offer a reasonable long-term investment in silence. If you object to the price, try a $35 Scythe or go DIY. But listen up, SPCR! Not enough of us use these things.