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 Post subject: Quiet harddrive for gaming and storage
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:04 pm
Posts: 101
Location: Denmark
My good old WD 640AAKS seems to be entering its dying state.
Last two days it has sometimes disappeared in Windows, and when scanning for errors with WDs diagnostic tools it find bad sectors, but then gets an error when it tries to fix them.

So I'm now looking for a new drive with the following criteria:
1) Reasonably fast. I use it for both games and storage. I have a 128GB SSD for windows, apps and a few games, but it cant keep everything. The HDD doesn't have to be top speed though, just fast enough that games won't suffer from it.

2) QUIET! I was happy with the 640AAKS, so anything on the same level as that is acceptable! I'll suspend it with NoVibes. Since the drive is not only for storage, the seek noise of course matter a great deal.

3) Reliability. Obviously important. I'm a bit scared away from Seagate due to it formerly having a bad reputation here. But I guess all drives can fail. And my own WD is of course an example of that, even if it is nice enough to be failing so slowly that I can back it up :)

Size is not very important. 1TB is perfectly fine. More is fine too of course, but the above 3 areas are each much more important.
Reliability > Acoustics > Speed >>> Size

I have been reading the more recent reviews on SPCR, reading the forums and reading up on hard drives elsewhere. Everyone are understandably so focused on SSD these days that it feels much harder to find reliable information about HDDs though.
Which is why I'm going to ask for some feedback here.

I have been looking at
Hitachi 7k1000 - Seems pretty good. SPCR notes that it got high vibration (although NoVibe should be able to take care about that part). The review is of the older C revision, newer one is D, so not sure if the conclusions are still true for the new one. Reading on other sites it seems like the Hitachi drives in general can have pretty slow seek times though, which can easily have more influence on speed than the RPM and platter size.
Hitachi 7k3000 - Seems a bit more noisy, and lots of vibrations again of course.
Hitachi 5k3000 - Maybe not speedy enough as a gaming HDD.
WD Caviar Black - various sizes and revisions - They seem pretty noisy in general (being some of the fastest HDDs after all).
Seagate Barracuda 3TB - Got a glowing review here, but it is Seagate. Which makes me skeptical.
WD Green&Blue - Good acoustics I believe, but green still got the "head parking issue"? And also a tad slower than the others of course.

All in all any feedback, advices etc. would be very appreciated, so I can find myself a backup drive as fast as possible.


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet harddrive for gaming and storage
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 2:21 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:50 pm
Posts: 108
Shadout wrote:
My good old WD 640AAKS seems to be entering its dying state.
Last two days it has sometimes disappeared in Windows, and when scanning for errors with WDs diagnostic tools it find bad sectors, but then gets an error when it tries to fix them.

So I'm now looking for a new drive with the following criteria:
1) Reasonably fast. I use it for both games and storage. I have a 128GB SSD for windows, apps and a few games, but it cant keep everything. The HDD doesn't have to be top speed though, just fast enough that games won't suffer from it.

2) QUIET! I was happy with the 640AAKS, so anything on the same level as that is acceptable! I'll suspend it with NoVibes. Since the drive is not only for storage, the seek noise of course matter a great deal.

3) Reliability. Obviously important. I'm a bit scared away from Seagate due to it formerly having a bad reputation here. But I guess all drives can fail. And my own WD is of course an example of that, even if it is nice enough to be failing so slowly that I can back it up :)

Size is not very important. 1TB is perfectly fine. More is fine too of course, but the above 3 areas are each much more important.
Reliability > Acoustics > Speed >>> Size

I have been reading the more recent reviews on SPCR, reading the forums and reading up on hard drives elsewhere. Everyone are understandably so focused on SSD these days that it feels much harder to find reliable information about HDDs though.
Which is why I'm going to ask for some feedback here.

I have been looking at
Hitachi 7k1000 - Seems pretty good. SPCR notes that it got high vibration (although NoVibe should be able to take care about that part). The review is of the older C revision, newer one is D, so not sure if the conclusions are still true for the new one. Reading on other sites it seems like the Hitachi drives in general can have pretty slow seek times though, which can easily have more influence on speed than the RPM and platter size.
Hitachi 7k3000 - Seems a bit more noisy, and lots of vibrations again of course.
Hitachi 5k3000 - Maybe not speedy enough as a gaming HDD.
WD Caviar Black - various sizes and revisions - They seem pretty noisy in general (being some of the fastest HDDs after all).
Seagate Barracuda 3TB - Got a glowing review here, but it is Seagate. Which makes me skeptical.
WD Green&Blue - Good acoustics I believe, but green still got the "head parking issue"? And also a tad slower than the others of course.

All in all any feedback, advices etc. would be very appreciated, so I can find myself a backup drive as fast as possible.


If you can get the money together go with an SSD. Even a 128gb is around $100 on sale, Crucial M4 for instance. You can shove all your games on it for super speed and silence.

The Blue drives are fine, I actually use WD Green drives in my rig for games and storage and don't mind loading a bit slower.

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 Post subject: Re: Quiet harddrive for gaming and storage
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 3:31 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2004 1:59 am
Posts: 1628
Location: Portugal
If you want quiet steer clear of Western Digital. All their new "X" revision drives (SATA 6Gbps) DO NOT support AAM. So even the Blue drives will be noisier than your old one (I speak from experience, even though my WD10EALX is suspended its seeks are very noticeable).

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 Post subject: Re: Quiet harddrive for gaming and storage
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 7:31 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:42 am
Posts: 2
Location: UK
From my experience (and looking at spcr reviews, they have data to back this up), WD Greens are the quietest of all drives. Not all of them, mind you, but the right ones are indeed the best for silence.

Here's a list of WD Greens that are known to have 1 platter (and mind you, they all have a 1tb platter, so they should all be pretty speedy):

WD3200AZDX-00SC2B0 320GB
WD5000AZDX-00SC2B0 500GB
WD5000AZRX-00A8LB0 500GB
WD7500AZRX-00A8LB0 750GB
WD10EZRX-00A8LB0 1TB

It's important to note that the part after the dash (eg 00SC2B0) denotes that the drive is indeed single platter. There may very well be other versions of the same drive (eg WD3200AZDX) that use more than a platter. The only way of finding out which is which is to look at what's printed on the drive itself. So if you can, have the retailer confirm their stock or play the returns game if there's a no hassle policy.

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