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 Post subject: Western Digital Scorpio: Another Quiet Notebook Drive
PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 4:54 pm 
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Western Digital Scorpio: Another Quiet Notebook Drive


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 12:30 am 
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Quote:
There is little in Western Digital's marketing or specifications to distinguish the Scorpio from other drives on the market. It's not the biggest, the fastest or even the cheapest


Actually they claim it is the quietest 2.5" drive:

http://www.westerndigital.com/en/produc ... riveID=164

Quote:
Quiet - WD's exclusive WhisperDriveâ„¢ technology with SoftSeekâ„¢ algorithms make this the quietest 2.5-inch hard drive, regardless of spin speed.


As we have seen in the review, this claim is not altogether borne out, but it's another good silent-ish option for a desktop system, depending on mounting.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 12:20 pm 
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jaganath wrote:
As we have seen in the review, this claim is not altogether borne out, but it's another good silent-ish option for a desktop system, depending on mounting.


The Samsung MP0402H is a single platter drive. The Western Digital 120GB Scorpio is dual platter drive. Unless SPCR reviews a single platter version of the Scorpio (40GB), I do not think it is fair to compare SPCR's results from the Western Digital Scorpio with SPCR's results from the Samsung MP0402H, as there is twice the surface area generating noise in a dual platter drive than there is in a single platter drive.

Theoretically, the single platter version should make 3 dB less noise than the dual platter version, which would validate Western Digital's claims. I would like SPCR to verify whether or not this is the case though.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 3:12 am 
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Shining Arcanine wrote:
Theoretically, the single platter version should make 3 dB less noise than the dual platter version,

Only if all the noise came from the platters. The motor, actuator* and elements of the noise due to vibration of the chassis would remain the same. *The actuator noise and vibration might be slightly lower due to the lighter head assembly.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 3:46 am 
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Shining Arcanine wrote:
The Samsung MP0402H is a single platter drive. The Western Digital 120GB Scorpio is dual platter drive. Unless SPCR reviews a single platter version of the Scorpio (40GB), I do not think it is fair to compare SPCR's results from the Western Digital Scorpio with SPCR's results from the Samsung MP0402H, as there is twice the surface area generating noise in a dual platter drive than there is in a single platter drive.


"Fairness" isn't the issue here. Silence is. As far as the user is concerned, these drives are black boxes: we don't care how it's implemented -- we only care about capacity, performance, and noise. They could have ants storing rice in slots inside that casing for all I care. If it's quieter or noisier than its competition, "fair" or not, that's all that's important.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 3:52 am 
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Quote:
"Fairness" isn't the issue here. Silence is. As far as the user is concerned, these drives are black boxes: we don't care how it's implemented -- we only care about capacity, performance, and noise. They could have ants storing rice in slots inside that casing for all I care. If it's quieter or noisier than its competition, "fair" or not, that's all that's important.


Yes, quite, which is why it's important to compare apples with apples; the WD Scorpio 40GB most likely IS the quietest 2.5" hard drive, I have one and several other laptop drives (not the Samsung however), it's barely audible from anything more than 30cm away and even with your ear right up to it it's not loud by any stretch of the imagination. To make anything quieter than that with magnetic media spinning at X thousand RPM would be quite a feat.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 2:16 pm 
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Spod wrote:
Shining Arcanine wrote:
Theoretically, the single platter version should make 3 dB less noise than the dual platter version,

Only if all the noise came from the platters. The motor, actuator* and elements of the noise due to vibration of the chassis would remain the same. *The actuator noise and vibration might be slightly lower due to the lighter head assembly.


If you suspend your drives, vibration is a non-issue; and that is not to say that the extremely low vibration of the Scorpio ever was an issue, as I sincerely doubt that a little extra vibration will generate more noise than a reduction in the decibel count will eliminate, even in a notebook form factor. I currently have a Western Digital 40GB Scorpio in my notebook and it generates very little noise.

DaveLessnau wrote:
Shining Arcanine wrote:
The Samsung MP0402H is a single platter drive. The Western Digital 120GB Scorpio is dual platter drive. Unless SPCR reviews a single platter version of the Scorpio (40GB), I do not think it is fair to compare SPCR's results from the Western Digital Scorpio with SPCR's results from the Samsung MP0402H, as there is twice the surface area generating noise in a dual platter drive than there is in a single platter drive.


"Fairness" isn't the issue here. Silence is. As far as the user is concerned, these drives are black boxes: we don't care how it's implemented -- we only care about capacity, performance, and noise. They could have ants storing rice in slots inside that casing for all I care. If it's quieter or noisier than its competition, "fair" or not, that's all that's important.


It does not matter what noise the high end model generates when the low end model generates less and that is all that is important, which is exactly why SPCR should review the 40GB Scorpio.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 2:54 pm 
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Shining Arcanine wrote:
It does not matter what noise the high end model generates when the low end model generates less and that is all that is important, which is exactly why SPCR should review the 40GB Scorpio.


I'll agree with you that SPCR should review the 40GB model. But, this happened to be a review of the 120GB model. It's not a shoot-out between all hard drives. Just a review of one model with some references to the quietest drives SPCR has in it's Hard Drive FAQ.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 12:44 pm 
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maybe I'm crazy, but my dell 6400 has this drive, and I don't find it particularly quiet. Although I don't have much experiance with laptops (it's essentially my first one, ) it seems a little loud for my tastes.

What software was used to enable AAM?

Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:30 am 
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it's been saying "unit under review" for some time now in the article. What's up with that?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 6:22 pm 
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I can't tell what you're talking about. Perhaps you could quote a larger portion of the review? Are you saying there's a problem with the article, or are you asking for a clarification within it?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 10:01 am 
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on page 3 of the review, it says "UNIT UNDER REVIEW:
Western Digital Scorpio WD1200BEVS"

I'm just wondering why it says that, isn't the review complete?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 3:03 pm 
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cloneman wrote:
on page 3 of the review, it says "UNIT UNDER REVIEW:
Western Digital Scorpio WD1200BEVS"

I'm just wondering why it says that, isn't the review complete?

It's calling attention that that's the drive data for the Scorpio, in case you have a brainfart and forget that the Scorpio is the name of the drive under review.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 12:18 pm 
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Ah. What he said: The tag is just to distinguish that drive from the rest of the drives in the data table. For the record, the review isn't complete at that point; there's mp3 recordings and the conclusion below the table at the bottom of the page.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 7:31 am 
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Oh, OK. I get it.

Regarding my noise grievance:
I'm getting a replacement for my dell laptop due to an unrelated issue; maybe I just have a bad sample, we'll see with the new drive.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2006 7:39 pm 
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Well I just got my replacement Dell notebook. Same sound levels. Maybe its the fact that the drive is not soft mounted, or the fact that I'm really picky, but I don't find this drive particularly quiet in my laptop. The noise isn't bothersome, but it's there. I'm sure this would make a fantastic drive soft mounted in a desktop, but I'm not impressed overall with the noise levels in my notebook. I can definitely tell that its there, even with some ambient noise. The drive can still be heard a little when the laptop fan is on low.

Then again, its quite possible I'm just too picky. Also, it's worthy of mention that I've never had a laptop in my possesion in quiet room before this one. Maybe this is normal?

It's certainly much quieter than a desktop drive; but the fact that I'm 1ft away from it must be the reason why I don't consider it quiet.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 10:42 am 
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Quite likely. I suspect that for notebook use, you'd have better luck with a 4,200 RPM drive. I'll try and keep notebook users in mind for my next review...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 7:01 am 
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Am I the only one thinking that the numbers are cooked?

If you listen to the mp3 files of the harddrives, WD1200BEVS is obviously Twice as Loud as the WD800VE, and yet the numbers show otherwise. Even WD's own website claims the 1200BEVS is 4 dbs louder.

And the description says seagate 5400.2 is "Too close to Samsung MP0402H". Ya, only to a deaf person.

I don't see how you build people's confidence with this kind of reporting.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 7:25 am 
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Quote:
If you listen to the mp3 files of the harddrives, WD1200BEVS is obviously Twice as Loud as the WD800VE, and yet the numbers show otherwise. Even WD's own website claims the 1200BEVS is 4 dbs louder.


4dB is a barely perceptible increase in noise if it is not a pure tone; for it to double in perceived loudess the 1200BEVS would have to be 10dB louder. Also, your (or my) ears are not accurate enough to say that the sound loudness is precisely double.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:54 am 
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Crippy:

Your insinuations make me wonder whether I want to keep you as a reader, but I will respond on behalf of other readers who look at this and wonder.

Our noise measurements are done from a distance of one meter for a reason: This is roughly the distance that a user sits from a desktop tower. We use this standard of measurement for every piece of hardware we test to avoid confusion, although I admit that it is less than ideal for a notebook drive that is actually used in a notebook (you'll notice that our notebook reviews tend to talk about use in a desktop system).

Still, one meter is much better than three inches, which is the distance at which the Scorpio drives were recorded. In fact, it's so much better that, since the Scorpio article was published, we have changed the way we make recordings to match our measurements and what we hear more closely. Recordings are now done from one meter, as well as one foot.

Why do I mention measurement distance? Because I strongly suspect that you have not heard both drives in person, and are basing your conclusions and accuasations solely on the mp3 files that we provided. I do not dispute that the mp3 of the WD1200BEVS is louder than the mp3 of the WD800VE. And, speaking from personal experience, I can say that that difference is indeed audible ... if you listen from 3 inches.

But that doesn't paint a complete picture. Nobody routinely uses notebook drives that are 3 inches from their ears. The distance is typically more like half a meter (in a notebook) or a full meter (in a desktop). And from this distance, the difference quickly disappears. For the same reason, the difference that is so obvious in the 3" mp3 files doesn't even show up in the measurement from one meter. Rest assured that we are not lying, even if our conclusions are presented in a somewhat confusing way.

I should also take this time to reiterate a couple of things that needs to be said repeatedly.

1) dBA@1m measurements are approximations of what we hear. They do not always accurately represent what we hear in person. An irregular or high pitched sound that measures 20 dBA@1m is much more audible than a broadband whoosh that measures 20 dBA@1m. Our subjective descriptions take this into account; our measurements do not. I call the WD drives quiet by virtue their good noise character as much as by virtue of their relatively low measurements.

2) dBA@1m measurements are inherently unreliable, especially at low levels. I doubt that our measurements are accurate to closer than ~±2dBA@1m. There are too many variables outside of our control to do much better. Meter placement, ambient noise, the surroundings of the subject and the variability of the noise all play a part in affecting noise measurements. Measuring noise is not like measuring length or volume because it is constantly fluctating and is affected by its environment. The measurements we make should be read as averages over time (like vRMS) rather than absolute values. Quantification (and ease of understanding) requires picking a specific number, but the reality is that there is a certain amount of variation in the noise itself that makes very precise measurement an impossible illusion.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:23 am 
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Guys, I'd appreciate your help if possible (Dell technical is usless)

The muted click the WD makes at idle - does it do it all the time when idling regardless of power state ?

Is the noise relatively loud - a bit like the noise a floppy disk cover makes if you ping it - you know what I mean !

Many thanks for any replies.

Chris


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