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 Post subject: AAM?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2003 12:13 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2002 3:55 pm
Posts: 137
Was browsing the Storage Review forums and saw some discussion on "AAM" technology which apparently makes some drives (just IBM?) run quieter at the expense of speed.

Anyone got the scoop on this?

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2003 12:37 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 319
Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA
I'm sure if you google you'll find lots of stuff on it.

The summary is that AAM is an "acoustic management" setting that (I believe) is part of the S.M.A.R.T. specifications for hard drives. Each hard drive manufacturer makes a tool that lets you adjust this (and frequently other) settings of the drive. These DOS-based tools are available from the websites of the hard drive manufacturers, or through their customer support. While the acoustic setting for hard drives nominally has something like 256 levels, most drives only have two actual settings. The only thing that is affected by this setting is the head seek noise. Some drives come shipped with AAM "on" or at a low-number setting (Seagates), and some come with it set to "off" or at a high number setting (everyone else). The performance hit your drive takes for having AAM "on" is generally negligible. (For example, it is not enough to close the performance gap between Seagate drives and the rest of the field when it is disabled on Seagate drives, or enabled on other drives.)

The IBM Feature Tool (now available from Hitachi) can set the AAM setting on most manufacturer's drives, and includes a handy "random seek test" feature that lets you hear the difference right away.

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