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 Post subject: Looking for quiet drive that will spindown when unused
PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 7:01 pm 
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My Samsung HD204UI is giving up the ghost, so I'm looking for a 2TB or 3TB replacement. 3TB seems to be the best price point at the moment but if they're a lot noisier or less reliable than the 2TB drives, I'd probably go for the latter.

I've currently got a 2TB WD Green and a Samsung Evo 256GB SSD. The SSD holds my OS and the main games I play that need to stream a lot of data. The WD Green is a bit full at the moment, holding both my movies and music and my games that don't really need the speed of the SSD (not that there's any room left for them on that anyway).

What I intend to do is have my data, My Documents, etc that is regularly accessed on one drive, so that the other one, holding only infrequently accessed stuff can stay spundown most of the time to reduce the noise floor. I do plan to get another SSD sometime though, and I'll probably move my regularly used data to that then, so I'll want both HDDs to be spundown most of the time.

I was looking at the WD Red range but then I read that they're constantly spinning and can't be spundown, so whilst that might be OK at the moment for my regularly used drive, once I get the second SSD that will be a pain if true. So perhaps I should get another WD Green? However, I know they have an overly aggressive idle timeout and I used to have wdidle run at every boot to change this but that's not working for me now with Win8.1/my new Intel board, so unless I can get it to work from a DOS boot, that could be a problem.

These is my current shortlist (I'll obviously shop around for the best price once I've chosen one, these prices are just for rough comparison purposes):

Western Digital 3Tb WD30EZRX SATA 3 Caviar Green Hard Drive £78.36
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/3tb-wd-wd30ezrx-caviar-green-sata-6gb-s-intellipower-64mb-cache-8ms-ncq

Samsung/Seagate ST2000LM003 2TB Spinpoint M9T 2.5" SATA III £83.04 (whilst there's a price premium for 2.5" compared to 3.5" drives, they do tend to be a lot quieter)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/2tb-samsung-st2000lm003-spinpoint-m9t-25-hard-drive-sata-6gb-s-5400rpm-12ms-oem-ps3-4-pc-mac-ready

Western Digital 3TB Red WD30EFRX Hard Drive for 24x7 for 1 to 8 Bay NAS Boxes £91.57
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/3tb-wd-red-wd30efrx-24x7-sata-6gb-sec-64mb-cache-intellipower-8ms-ncq-oem-24x7-with-nasware-20

HGST H3IKNAS30003272SE 3TB Deskstar NAS 24x7 Use HDD 3.5" 7200rpm £99.22
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/3tb-hgst-0s03661-deskstar-nas-24x7-use-35-hdd-sata-iii-6gb-s-7200rpm-64mb-cache-8ms-ncq

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for quiet drive that will spindown when unused
PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:55 pm 
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All drives can be spun down. Some 2.5" HDDs do it on their own apparently but most spin until the OS says otherwise. The WD Greens do the head park thing which some think are annoying but the WD Red don't do that. Both models can be told by the OS to spin down though. In my server I have four Reds, three of them are sleeping most of the time.
So my recommendation would be the WD Red. Or the WD Green if you are looking for a slightly cheaper drive and don't plan to use it in a NAS environment, spinning 24/7.
In any case, don't get a 7200RPM HDD unless you need that little extra speed for some important reason. 5400RPM is cooler and less noisy.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for quiet drive that will spindown when unused
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 4:27 am 
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Location: London
Vicotnik wrote:
All drives can be spun down. Some 2.5" HDDs do it on their own apparently but most spin until the OS says otherwise. The WD Greens do the head park thing which some think are annoying but the WD Red don't do that. Both models can be told by the OS to spin down though. In my server I have four Reds, three of them are sleeping most of the time.
So my recommendation would be the WD Red. Or the WD Green if you are looking for a slightly cheaper drive and don't plan to use it in a NAS environment, spinning 24/7.
In any case, don't get a 7200RPM HDD unless you need that little extra speed for some important reason. 5400RPM is cooler and less noisy.


OK, thanks. If the WD Red can spin down just as easily as the Green, I'll probably get the Red then as head parking isn't going to make any difference to noise or heat. I can use the Red as my main data drive, which will be accessed often and so will only really spin down when I'm away from the PC and the Green as my secondary drive, holding stuff that isn't touched much and so it can stay spun down most of the time.

I actually thought the Red was meant to be a performance 7200RPM drive, so I was surprised to see it's only 5400RPM but I really don't need anything faster, as I'll use SSDs for any games that need the speed. I guess there could possibly be occasions when doing video editing or multi-track audio creation/editing that 7200RPM might be useful but I can't really afford the price premium, especially considering that I'm not likely to be doing either often.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for quiet drive that will spindown when unused
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:55 am 
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i personally dont use more than 1 mechanical on my PCs (except the server), unless to do backups, so i would recommend a single WD red that covers all your storage needs, there are 4tb and 6tb versions now, and as big of an SSD as you can, Crucial MX100 is a very good drive, specially for the price/performance of the 512gb.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for quiet drive that will spindown when unused
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 6:39 am 
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Abula wrote:
i personally dont use more than 1 mechanical on my PCs (except the server), unless to do backups, so i would recommend a single WD red that covers all your storage needs, there are 4tb and 6tb versions now, and as big of an SSD as you can, Crucial MX100 is a very good drive, specially for the price/performance of the 512gb.


It's probably preferable from the noise point of view but I prefer to have two drives, so that if one fails at least I've got one to keep working with whilst I send the other one back for replacement (if it's still in warranty) or buy a new one. As the second drive won't be used much of the time, it will hopefully make it last longer as well. It's also useful if I'm compressing stuff or editing video files, as it's a lot quicker having the source and destination files on different drives. Sure, if I could afford a big enough SSD I could use that for the destination files and then copy them back to the HDD after I've finished but I'm only looking at getting another 256GB SSD (I'm actually probably going to get the MX100) and that will probably be quite full with a backup Windows installation and a few games, so there won't really be the space for that.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for quiet drive that will spindown when unused
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 6:54 am 
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fyi, in Windows 7: Control Panel/Power Options/create a custom plan/change advanced power settings/turn off hard disk after xx minutes. This will turn off an inactive drive. Now my WD Red only spins up at boot and during the daily am backup...and whenever I need to look at some media stored there.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for quiet drive that will spindown when unused
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:12 pm 
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I came across this which suggests that even the Reds still park the heads, although maybe not as aggressively as the Greens, so their blurb that says they stay spinning constantly seems to be somewhat misleading and maybe there's not that much difference between them. http://support.wdc.com/product/download ... 01&lang=en

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for quiet drive that will spindown when unused
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 6:28 pm 
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why are so concerned with head parking? its not like its a bad thing. if the head is not being used, park it.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for quiet drive that will spindown when unused
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 6:38 pm 
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xan_user wrote:
why are so concerned with head parking? its not like its a bad thing. if the head is not being used, park it.


I'm not really, it's just the WD website seemed to say the Reds constantly spin and as far as I could tell, that was the main difference between them and the Greens, which had the problem with parking the heads after only 8s, which led to excessive load cycles, although it can be fixed to 300s with wdidle3.

Anyway, I've ordered a 3TB Red with Extended warranty (so a total of four years) through flubit for £87 now, which seems like a pretty good deal.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for quiet drive that will spindown when unused
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 6:48 pm 
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red's are designed to spin constantly, like in a nas or server. green's, park their heads to save energy (and possibly wear).

Q: has head frequent head parking ever been shown to be a a negative? ( imo head parking is only an issue if the sound of the head parking bugs you)

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