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 Post subject: silencing hard drives
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:06 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:46 am
Posts: 23
I've recently been wanting to silence my HDDs as they're currently the most audible component when my computer is idling. I've been going through this article and I've had an interesting thought.

Would it be possible to make an enclosure with sides that are effectively heatsinks, and top, bottom, back, and front just plain MDF? My thinking is that the MDF would stop any air-transmitted sound, yet temperatures would be kept low because of the exposed heatsink surface. Could this be an effective method of HDD silencing? Just in case I've not explained it very well, here's a quick diagram of what I mean:

Image


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 Post subject: Re: silencing hard drives
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:17 am 
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Location: ITALY
MattP wrote:
My thinking is that the MDF would stop any air-transmitted sound

AFAIK sound doesn't need air in order to propagate (even MDF should do enough well).

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 Post subject: Re: silencing hard drives
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:33 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:46 am
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I was actually trying to describe the sound that would be emitted from a HDD if it was suspended by elastic, rather than the air actually absorbing any of it. The air would, I presume, help a tiny bit with heat, but I'm not sure on that. Anyway, what are your thoughts? Could it be effective?


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 Post subject: Re: silencing hard drives
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:30 am 
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Location: ITALY
MattP wrote:
I was actually trying to describe the sound that would be emitted from a HDD if it was suspended by elastic, rather than the air actually absorbing any of it. The air would, I presume, help a tiny bit with heat, but I'm not sure on that. Anyway, what are your thoughts? Could it be effective?


AFAIK all matter propagates vibrations (which we perceive as sound), period: any material is to some degree "transparent", with reference to energy waves.

If I'm not wrong, ideally, a system consisting of an hard drive suspended with an elastic suspension having a very low own resonance frequency (and at any rate, lower than the lowest frequency emitted by the hard drive) should work as an elastic pendulum, "dissipating" the vibrating energy in movement.

As far as I may recall, adding mass to the hard drive (this is what MDF and heatsinks does, for what I understand) changes the vibrational modes of such a composite system, but it does not actually "absorbe" the vibrations.

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 Post subject: Re: silencing hard drives
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:03 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:37 am
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Location: Youngstown, OH
the only way to silence a hard drive is to either connect it to a USB port on your router that is in another room or use a nas that is in another room. Thats why I gave up putting a HDD inside my system and went with a SSD only inside.


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 Post subject: Re: silencing hard drives
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:04 am 
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Location: Scandinavia
laststop wrote:
the only way to silence a hard drive is to either connect it to a USB port on your router that is in another room or use a nas that is in another room. Thats why I gave up putting a HDD inside my system and went with a SSD only inside.


I concur with you. It is almost pointless even to try to silence HDDs. Several suspension methods only alleviate vibration problem, not the airborne sound itself. After trying many HDDs from different vendors, I gather that the only HDD that was quiet enough to my standard was Western Digital Blue 2.5-inch HDDs (NOT 3.5 series).

If I must buy HDDs, I would take chances on WD5000LPVT, WD5000LPVX, WD3200LPVX, WD3200LPVT.

http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/library/SpecSheet/ENG/2879-771437.pdf

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 Post subject: Re: silencing hard drives
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:15 am 
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Hi, I suggest that if you want the lowest noise level and need to have local spinning disk then a Scythe Quiet Drive is great. I have a WD 2TB green in one, soft mounted, and it's more-or-less inaudible.
SPCR reviewed the 2.5" version here.

They found it cut 3-4dBA off the drive noise, for already quiet drives this takes them to near inaudible levels. There was also a suggestion to use a 2.5" drive in the 2.5" SQD and put that in 3.5" SQD, no doubt this would have rendered said drive quiet enough for just about anyone but would have been a pretty expensive solution with the SQD, IIRC, ~£25~£30 + cost of large capacity drive.

The real problem is the SQD is I'm not sure it's still available :(
There is the Himuro, discussed here but the user experience is it wasn't as good as the SQD. There maybe other HDD enclosures out there that are good but I've not been keeping up on it.
Back in the day one option was to buy an aluminium box (hint loads all sizes on eBay) and pack the HDD(s) into it using 'Gel packs.' There should be threads on it still around, the theory was the gel packs/ aluminium would conduct the heat away from the drive so it didn't overheat while cutting down the sound noticeably.

Regards, Seb

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