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 Post subject: Western Digital WD5000LPVT Hard Drive is Super Quiet
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 6:32 pm 
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Location: Richmond, TX
Just got a Western Digital WD5000LPVT, it is a 500GB single platter 2.5" mobile drive for ultrabooks. I first heard about it about a month ago when Western Digital put out a press release talking about its size (7mm tall) and the fact that it uses mounting holes in the same place as normal laptop hard drives so that it can fit in standard mounts/enclosures.

What got me really interested in this drive is its audio spec:

http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/library/S ... 701278.pdf

which rates it at 17dBA idle and 22dBA active I had a pair of WD7500BPVTs (in Western Digital Passport SE enclosures) which are listed a couple of columns over in the same spec sheet which were very quiet but for sure not silent and they are rated at 22dBA idle and 25dBA active. The difference between 17dBA and 22dBA is huge.

The drive came this afternoon (ordered it from Buy.com last week for $76 but it is a little higher now) and it is formatting as I type. It is about 18 inches from my head in open air and I honestly can't hear it. After all these years of buying the latest quiet drive just to be disappointed when I finally plugged it in, the WD5000LPVT is even better than I expected. I still can't believe it.

There is a review of the drive at StorageReview:

http://www.storagereview.com/western_di ... wd5000lpvt

but it only covers performance. This drive is begging for a review at SPCR.

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 Post subject: Re: Western Digital WD5000LPVT Hard Drive is Super Quiet
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 6:43 pm 
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Very nice. This drive plus a caching SSD would be a great combo .

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 Post subject: Re: Western Digital WD5000LPVT Hard Drive is Super Quiet
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 7:15 pm 
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I can't hear any of the WD 3.5" Green drives I have in two separate systems (one 500 GB, the other 1.5 TB) which are mounted on silicone groments using standard Antec drive trays.


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 Post subject: Re: Western Digital WD5000LPVT Hard Drive is Super Quiet
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 9:10 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:44 am
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Location: Richmond, TX
I agree about the Western Digital Green drives. Over time I've built my larger desktop stations using Lian-Li mid-tower cases that have internal rubber grommet mounts populated with either Western Digital Green or Samsung F4EG 5400 RPM drives that I also can't hear. Those systems sit under desks on padded carpet which really helps to keep the noise down.

But when I put the green drives in a Vantec drive dock on a desktop I can easily hear them. And that's what's so interesting about the WD5000LPVT... compared to any of the green drives I have (WD10EADS, WD20EADS, WD20EARS, Samsung F4EG, Seagate 5900 RPM drives) it is in a completely different league.

I just tried running my first tests on the drive. It is faster than any of the notebook drives I have, but I kindof already expected that from the StorageReview article. Seeks are quiet, kindof like a clock ticking. I must not be hearing most of the shorter seeks at all because I can copy a directory with 25000 files in it and only hear a few ticks.

The only negative I'm seeing with the drive is that is seems to be really aggressive at parking its heads and spinning down. I can't actually hear it spin down and I'm thinking that some of the reason why it seems so quiet to me is that sometimes when I'm listening to it, it isn't spinning at all. The head parking (or what I think is head parking) is a pattern of clicks louder than the quiet ticks I hear during file activity. The sound isn't bad because of its amplitude, it's more that there is a little pattern of clicks that together are a little distracting.

My current usage of the drive is as secondary storage for a machine whose main drive is a 64GB Samsung 470 SSD. This machine happens to be in a small case in a very quiet room that echoes a lot, I have to aim at silence as much as possible because just about any noise sticks out. I think the WD5000LPVT is going to work out really well for me here.

If you're planning on using a WD5000LPVT as the primary drive in a desktop system though, its aggressive power management might annoy you. Maybe one of the Western Digital utilities can tune those parameters.

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 Post subject: Re: Western Digital WD5000LPVT Hard Drive is Super Quiet
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 5:11 am 
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After a day of solid use I'm even more impressed with this drive. The sound that was bothering me must not have been head parking (maybe some sort of calibration). It went away after the first few hours. The WD5000LPVT is a perfect complement to my SSD... whatever Western Digital did with this drive is really good.

I would totally be ok buying an Ultrabook with this drive in it instead of a SSD and this comes from a guy who REALLY likes SSDs.

Inside my enclosure the drive varied from 31C (extended idle time) to 37C (extended activity). SMART reported an average spinup time of just 1.233 seconds which matches my real life observation. It spins up so fast that you don't really notice that it wasn't spun up in the first place.

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 Post subject: Re: Western Digital WD5000LPVT Hard Drive is Super Quiet
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 6:39 am 
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I think the smart move from the laptop mfgrs would be this drive plus a cache SSD. Then you get the best of both.

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 Post subject: Re: Western Digital WD5000LPVT Hard Drive is Super Quiet
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 1:53 pm 
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Except for the intellipark noise (the clicking you referred to) , can be disabled. See http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=51401.

Do you or anybody have a comparison between sounds of this, and lets say a wd10jpvt or a wd5000bpvt ?

Have a silent PC, need to know if i have to go for the LPVT for silence. or if the 1TB JPVT would be fine?


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 Post subject: Re: Western Digital WD5000LPVT Hard Drive is Super Quiet
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 7:08 pm 
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I can't compare directly with the WD10JPVT or WD5000BPVT, but compared with the WD7500BPVT I have the WD5000LPVT is definitely quieter at idle. There is a definite difference in vibration as well, the LPVT doesn't have any noticeable vibration while you can easily feel the BPVT with your finger.

In my personal experience the WD5000LPVT is by far the quietest drive I've ever heard. The WD7500BPVT is really quiet, I can hear it but it is quiet enough that my brian kindof tunes it out. But as jockeleu pointed out, the 3.5" Western Digital Green drives kindof end up being the best solution. They are "normal" and when mounted properly in an enclosure are quieter than any of the 2.5" drives I've ever heard (including the WD7500BPVT).

The aggressive spin-down is the only thing that prevents me from doing a blanket recommendation of the WD5000LPVT as the ultimate drive for every purpose. You for sure wouldn't want that on something you were using for something like video capture. So without knowing how you use your drive, my recommendation is a WD10EZRX (single platter, 1Tb, 5400RPM green). Except that I don't actually have one. So if anyone gets a WD10EZRX, please post your impressions!

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 Post subject: Re: Western Digital WD5000LPVT Hard Drive is Super Quiet
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 5:04 am 
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After a little more than a week of use the WD5000LPVT (190 hours) the drive's SMART counts read 117 starts/stops and 382 load/unload cycles. Both perfectly reasonable.

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