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 Post subject: Quiet, cool & non-vibrating >300GB 3,5" for a PV
PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 6:38 am 
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I need a bigger parallel ATA (IDE) connector 3,5" HD for my PVR box.

The current is a CE OEM Samsung 200GB and it's fairly quiet and most of all NON-vibrating.

I have already tried Samsung T133 400GB series in this enclosure and the results were quite bad (strong vibration, causing the whole PVR to rattle and vibrate very audibly).

I know Samsung is supposed to come out with a bigger 3,5" PATA HD in their CE series, called the V120CE. However, this is only a 250Gt drive.
http://www.samsung.com/sg/products/hddo ... ifications

Also, Hitachi has pre-announced their Cinemastar 7K500 (7500rpm, 500GB) drive, but it's yet to hit retail.

Are there any other silent/cool/non-vibrating options?

The drive can be 5400rpm model, but it needs to be at least 300GB (pref, 400GB) in size.

Any recommendations?

cheers,
halcyon

PS Suspension is not a solution. I have absolutely no room inside the PVR for full suspension unless I perform major surgery to various inner parts and the casing. Some rubber grommeting is doable, but it did not kill the vibration on Samsung T133/400GB.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 9:32 am 
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I'm also very interested in the answer to this question. I'm looking for a drive to use in my bedroom HD TiVo, and came here to read what you guys had to say about the Samsung T133 400GB drives. Maybe that's not such a good choice. :oops:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2006 1:45 pm 
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I willing/hoping to be corrected..but haven't all the major players stopped making 3.5" 5400 rpm drives?

Tis a shame. :(


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet, cool & non-vibrating >300GB 3,5" for
PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2006 2:10 pm 
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halcyon wrote:
I need a bigger parallel ATA (IDE) connector 3,5" HD for my PVR box. Hitachi has pre-announced their Cinemastar 7K500 (7500rpm, 500GB) drive, but it's yet to hit retail.

The Hitachi Deskstar 7K500 is widely available. Same HDD without AAM (slowed seeks). Search "Hitachi 7K500".


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet, cool & non-vibrating >300GB 3,5" for
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 8:17 am 
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Felger Carbon wrote:
The Hitachi Deskstar 7K500 is widely available. Same HDD without AAM (slowed seeks). Search "Hitachi 7K500".

I've had horrible experiences with the deathstars and I've sworn to myself I'd never buy one again.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 1:58 pm 
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Quote:
I willing/hoping to be corrected..but haven't all the major players stopped making 3.5" 5400 rpm drives?


The Samsung V120CE (link above) spins at 5760rpm. Close, but no cigar as they say.

Quote:
I've had horrible experiences with the deathstars and I've sworn to myself I'd never buy one again


Hitachi have improved a lot since the IBM Deathstar days. Get one from a place with a good returns policy, and you can always take it back if it's too noisy.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 4:45 am 
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halcyon: "I need a bigger parallel ATA (IDE) connector 3,5" HD for my PVR box. Hitachi has pre-announced their Cinemastar 7K500 (7500rpm, 500GB) drive, but it's yet to hit retail."

Felger Carbon: "The Hitachi Deskstar 7K500 is widely available. Same HDD without AAM (slowed seeks). Search "Hitachi 7K500"."

There's a big difference between Deskstar 7K500 and Cinemastar 7K500. The difference is "2 platters": Deskstar 7K500 has 5, Cinemastar 7K500 has 3.

There is Deskstar T7K500, though, and that has 3 platters and is identical to Cinemastar 7K500 (except Cinemastar comes with AAM enabled, streaming feature set, etc.). Properly configured (use HDDScan or Hitachi FTOOL to set AAM and APM (Advanced Power Management)) T7K500 should be as quiet as Cinemastar 7K500.

There was recently another change into Hitachi's product line: Deskstar 7K500 SATA doesn't exist anymore. It has been renamed to Deskstar E7K500 (E for Enterprice) and is claimed to be intended for nearline and low IO server applications.

So stay away from Deskstar 7K500 (PATA) and Deskstar E7K500 (SATA). They are not bad drives but they certainly aren't the quietest and not likely the least vibrating. (I was lucky as I got a 7K400 that doesn't vibrate much.)

Hitachi's product families (by factory names):
"P" (1 platter): 7K80 (P I), 7K160 (P II), Cinemastar 7K160 (P II)
"V" = Vancouver (2 to 3 platters): 7K250 (V III), T7K250 (V IV), T7K500 (Van V), Cinemastar 7K500 (Van V)
"K" = Kurofune (5 platters): 7K400 (K I), 7K500 (K II), E7K500 (K II)

The letter is usually present in model id (for example: HDS722525VLAT), firmware revision id (for example: V36OA6MA) and it is also written in the base casting... but on the inside so that it's not visible without removing the top cover.

If you want silence and have the possibility to choose between a "V" and a "K" both having the same capacity, choose "V". "K" may be chosen if one needs proven reliability (current 7K500 and E7K500) or if more capacity is needed than "V" can offer. Currently there's no higher capacities on "K" than "V". Hitachi has implied it's going to announce a new 1 TB drive (obviously "K" family) later this year.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 6:14 am 
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Since there isn't many 5400rpm (or 5760rpm or whatever) drives available and those who are don't have the top capacities, one might have to go for a 7200rpm drive.

There is 300GB Maxtor MaXLine II and 300GB Maxtor DiamondMax 16 which are both 5400rpm. MaXLine II is with ball-bearings and while my 1-year-old doesn't whine (much) yet, some other sample might whine (even this sample might whine after another year of operation). DiamondMax 16 should be FDB but I wouldn't bet on it. (Like MaXLine +II and DiamondMax +9 are identical, I though so might be MaXLine II and DiamondMax 16... or at least early drives of that series.

...I just checked the DM16 datasheet. It's like I was afraid of.
With BB: 4R060J0 4R080J0 4A160J0 4A250J0 4A300J0
With FDB: 4R040L0 4R060L0 4R080L0 4R120L0 4R160L0
J-BB motors, L-FDB motor

FDBs are only available with capacities up to 160GB. BBs are available up with 250GB and 300GB capacities as well as low capacities. (MaXLine II is available only as 250GB and 300GB and with BB. There's no doubt they are identical to DM16.)

So, if the drive is a long-term investment, I'd probably stay away from MLII/DM16 as they might develop a nasty whine over time. These drives have 4 platters but they don't vibrate much.

____


Going for a Hitachi 7200rpm drive might not be a bad idea as they do support APM which allows reducing rpm while idling. Some quotes from SPCR's 3-platter 7K250 (& DM10) review: "The noise characteristics of this drive in Low RPM Standby are comparable to many notebook drives. At 60% of full speed, the spindle speed is approximately 4,200 RPM and its first harmonic occurs at ~70 Hz; most people are less sensitive to this frequency than the 120 Hz that the drive produces at full speed. Power draw also drops dramatically, down to notebook drive levels.
[clip]
Vibration was comparable or slightly better than the lowest vibration 3.5" drive in our lab — almost notebook level. The lower frequency of resonance at this level made it difficult to hear even on our resonance-amplifying test box. Only the pickiest silencers need worry about vibration at this level."

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article244-page1.html

5-platter 7K500 review here at SPCR:
"Perhaps because the 7K500 has so many platters, the reduction of noise wasn't as complete as it was in the other models (the 7K250 and the 7K80). The whoosh of airflow didn't disappear to the same extent, although it did sink to about the level of our reference Barracuda IV."
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article304-page1.html

Since Deskstar T7K500 (or Cinemastar 7K500) are Vancouvers, they are likely closer to 7K250 than 7K500. This is not guaranteed but likely.

Especially if the HDD is on always when the PVR is powered on, APM will be handy as it doesn't depend on PVR to offer spindown support.

EDIT: just fixed typos.


Last edited by whiic on Sun Oct 01, 2006 1:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 8:38 am 
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What about the Seagate DB35 series? These are 7200 rpm drives but they are being marketed specifically for DVRs.

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=4314

http://www.seagate.com/products/consume ... eries.html

There are some sound and vibration specs in this datasheet, but I don't have enough knowledge to know if they are good:

http://www.seagate.com/docs/pdf/datashe ... s_db35.pdf


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:59 pm 
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Location: Finland
"What about the Seagate DB35 series? These are 7200 rpm drives but they are being marketed specifically for DVRs."

And since they lack load/unload technology, they most certainly lack low rpm idling.

"Key advantages" from DB35 datasheet:
• DynaPlay Technology delivers the storage industry's most comprehensive set of features for the demanding DVR environment, including video streaming
performance, power optimization and content security.
• DriveTrust Technology improves content security as part of a system digital rights management program.

I don't know what sub-features "power optimization" includes, but it sure don't include low-rpm. Possibly features like interface power management, etc. So I don't think that'll reduce vibration during idling, nor be as effective to reduce power consumption as with using APM on Hitachis. (APM does have it's downside: it takes a few seconds to increase rpm when leaving idle state. That shouldn't be a problem.)

DB35: Acoustics PVR (typical/max bels) 2.71/2.88
7200.10: Acoustics idle (bels--sound power) 2.7
To me, they appear identical.

There's vibration specs for DB35. For, 7200.10 there isn't. Cannot compare. Actually, the use of words in DB35 and 7200.10 acoustics also makes direct comparison impossible... probably on purpose. And since Seagate doesn't any longer publish seek times in the specs, there's no way of telling whether DB35 has AAM enabled or not.

There's one feature that usually makes a desktop drive a PVR drive (like DB35 or Cinemastar): Seamless Streaming & Smooth Stream (Hitachi), DynaPlay (Seagate), TLER (WD), whatever marketing bullsh*t. Basically they're all ATA7 streaming feature set that allows aborting error-recovery procedure and returning partially corrupted data to the host system. (For a computer, that'd be a big no. For a PVR, that'd be some lost pixels. Alternative could mean that the picture froze for a second.)

Well, I'm not sure if WD's TLER (Time-Limited Error Recovery) goes under this. It's intended to be used in RAID and probably doesn't return any corrupted data but only report an error message, thus the system may read the data from the redundant copy and not wait for the drive that has a bad sector. (Note: "RAID" = RAID1, RAID5, whatever... but not RAID0 which is no RAID at all as it has zero redundancy.)

Basically, PVR drives try to provide a smooth stream of data and doesn't care if the data is exactly identical to the one store on the platters. (The drive may be allowed to perform certain number of retries but not many.) So the main difference between a desktop drive and a PVR drive (Cinemastar, DB35, Maxtor QuickView) comes into play when there's bad sectors (or some really slow ones). And if bad sectors start growing, freezing frames would be the least thing I'd worry about. (Cloning the contents (i.e all the movies) to another drive would be recommended at that point, if not already backed up.)

My conclusion: buy a desktop drive. PVR drives are quite hard to find and they are primarily intended for system integrators (incl. PVR manufacturers), not for retail. They might also have some price premium over desktop variants.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 2:16 pm 
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Reading some more PDFs from Seagate website. Apparently they themselves don't know the power consumption figures of DB35.

Datasheet says 12.4 watts when seeking, DynaPlay white paper says 8 watts.
Datasheet says 8 watts on idle, DynaPlay says 6.9 watts.
Datasheet says 9.2 watts on "consumer storage profile", DynaPlay says 7.2 watts.

Quite many errors on such a short document... But which one is erroneus? Heck, I don't even care. It smell like WD datasheet copy-paste. But I'd never trust Seagate datasheets anyway. Why?, you may ask. They did claim the same low seek time for PATA Seagates despite that they were permanently locked to AAM. Also wasn't U5 series specified with 8.9ms seek time? I get 20ms access time. Since it's a 5400rpm drive, the latency is a bit higher, 5.6ms, the seek time of my U5 is 14.4ms. And that's AAM disabled.

EDIT: fixed typos.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 2:39 am 
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myself: "So, if the drive is a long-term investment, I'd probably stay away from MLII/DM16 as they might develop a nasty whine over time."

Confirmed (unfortunately). I removed the 5400rpm Maxtor from it's OneTouch enclosure because it ran out of warranty. I noticed that when removed from it's enclosure, the slight whine that were present is much more audible inside a computer case. In fact, it's quite a grinder... Onetouch did quite well in absorbing this awful bearing noise this drive produces. The drive inside was, BTW, DM16 300GB and not MLII 300GB. Not that it really matters since the drives are identical. I know that MLIIs are used inside OneTouches as well. Like they use both ML+II and DM+9 inside 7200rpm OneTouches.

I'll probably cease to use that drive for media storage and use it to hold my back-up files instead. That way I don't have to listen to it grind that often. I suggest that you'd stay away from these as well. Some (few) ball-bearing drives (like U-series and Barracuda 4) might remain quiet for many many years - MLII/DM16 just doesn't appear to be amongst the very few.

So, that pretty much settles it: there's no viable 5400rpm option for silent media storage. 7200rpm it has to be: Samsung, WD or Hitachi.

- Hitachi is ideal if the I/O access is very infrequent with lots of idling. (If the PWR doesn't have spindown counter, I'd say a Hitachi is a must.)
- WD is ideal if the is lots of non-sequential I/O access. (Maybe if one reads/writes multiple streams of data simultaneously. I.e record and watch at the same time. Possibly record multiple channels.)
- Samsung is ideal if there's frequent, mostly sequential access to data.

Seagate is pretty much out of question when it comes to silence... and Maxtor is just rebranded Seagates nowadays (plus the old Maxtors which might or might not have reliability concerns).


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