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 Post subject: With helium drives, anything above 6TB = noisy?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:00 am 
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Despite using WD Reds for basic storage for years I'd never put together a NAS setup.

With 2018 nearly upon us I thought I'd get round to it. So with the Asustor enclosure on the way, I received a WD Red 8TB (WD80EFZX) today. Switching on my test enclosure first thing I noticed was, in comparison to small capacities, ramped up vibration. Higher seeks I'd expected but the vibration is beyond my tolerance level.

From a quick search around all these 'helium' drives seem to have characteristics of quiet idle but noisy seeks and high vibration. So I'm wondering if anything 8TB+ will be unavoidably noisy.

I've been happy with a couple of 6TB Reds I use externally, so I might have to abandon my idea of 2x 8TB NAS and look at 3x 6TB.

Thoughts and experiences?


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 Post subject: Re: With helium drives, anything above 6TB = noisy?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:34 pm 
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Im using 6x WD 8TB My Book on my server atm, they are not quiet but to me they are not loud as WD Black, i simply needed the storage and didnt want to overspend, this have worked good for 6 months now, they seems to be like WD Reds (although i havent bought a single helium retail red).

We are not getting standard 8tb none helium Reds, there are some none helium but are 7200rpm. I recently had a brief experience on a friends build with a couple of Seagate Ironwolf 8tb didnt seem that bad either. I believe mike had some and said weren't that bad either for being a 7200rpm, personally im not a brand centric kinda guy, i simply buy whatever is cheap on storage.

But there are mix opinions on both, some say they are too loud other say they are very quiet, to me its neither, just a normal drive, not as quiet as WD 3tb red i have on my main pc, but i expected higher noise with the 6 or more platter design on the helium drives.

Also you will have a very tough time trying to find a prebuilt 3 slot nas, above 2 slot the next common amount is 4 slot NAS, if you can Synology would be my pick for a premade, simply their OS is simple and you get their hybrid raid that you can grow your server as your need increases, and you can mix match hdd sizes. Here some options,
Synology DS418j 4bay NAS DiskStation
Synology DS418 NAS Disk station, 4-Bay, 2GB DDR4 (Diskless)
Synology DS418play NAS Disk Station, 4-bay, 2GB DDR3L (Diskless)
Synology DS918+ NAS Disk Station, Diskless, 4-bay; 4GB DDR3L

Last recommendation, try to place you NAS away from you, the beauty of a NAS is that you can place it almost anywhere where you can get a your network cable.

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 Post subject: Re: With helium drives, anything above 6TB = noisy?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:36 pm 
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Thanks for that.

Yeah I should have said 3x in a 4 bay. No RAID requirement as nearly everything is both already drive and cloud backed up. Went for Asustor as I don't need anything fancy, pricing is keen and people seem pretty happy with them.

Plumped for the WD80EFZX mainly because I could get a decent discount using a coupon on eBay (UK) coupon. TBH I haven't encountered that level of drive vibration for some years. Probably every drive I've bought in the last 5 years has been a Red.

I was aware from the Reddit datahoarder sub people have been taking the drives out of MyBooks for many years. Do you know if they've kept that same 8TB drive in the latest MyBook incarnation? Probably where I'll go next before looking at a smaller size since it's an easy return with Amazon if I'm not happy.


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 Post subject: Re: With helium drives, anything above 6TB = noisy?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:20 pm 
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IdontexistM8 wrote:
I was aware from the Reddit datahoarder sub people have been taking the drives out of MyBooks for many years. Do you know if they've kept that same 8TB drive in the latest MyBook incarnation? Probably where I'll go next before looking at a smaller size since it's an easy return with Amazon if I'm not happy.
I bought my 6 drives on 2016, all work well no issues whatsoever, but i heard lately that WD changed something on the drives to use 3.3V for something, some reported using converters from MOLEX to SATA Power made them work fine. I ordered 10x 8tb my books mid of December, but they are coming by boat.... so earliest ill see them is ends of February, so for now i cant tell you for sure if what i read is true.

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 Post subject: Re: With helium drives, anything above 6TB = noisy?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:20 am 
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I have a WD80EFAX (8TB "Red" helium 5400rpm) pulled from an external. The idle noise is unpleasant (high pitched whine), but not loud. Installed in my PC case, it's fine.

Seeks are a loud, dull "thud". In addition, the drive does something in the background, which means you will hear seek noises even when the drive is idle.


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 Post subject: Re: With helium drives, anything above 6TB = noisy?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:29 am 
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Luke M wrote:
I have a WD80EFAX (8TB "Red" helium 5400rpm) pulled from an external. The idle noise is unpleasant (high pitched whine), but not loud. Installed in my PC case, it's fine.

Seeks are a loud, dull "thud". In addition, the drive does something in the background, which means you will hear seek noises even when the drive is idle.


How is the vibration?


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 Post subject: Re: With helium drives, anything above 6TB = noisy?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:22 am 
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IdontexistM8 wrote:
Luke M wrote:
I have a WD80EFAX (8TB "Red" helium 5400rpm) pulled from an external. The idle noise is unpleasant (high pitched whine), but not loud. Installed in my PC case, it's fine.

Seeks are a loud, dull "thud". In addition, the drive does something in the background, which means you will hear seek noises even when the drive is idle.


How is the vibration?


I didn't pay much attention to that, sorry.

Overall the drive is quite ordinary except for the idle seek noise. That's new to me.


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 Post subject: Re: With helium drives, anything above 6TB = noisy?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:54 am 
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Nearly a year on. . . has anything improved?

I could just about live with noisier drives for semi-cold storage but not for day to day use. Especially if the majority of the noise is caused by vibration like my first foray into 8TB was.

May be forced to go the NAS route and load up on the 6TB Reds.


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 Post subject: Re: With helium drives, anything above 6TB = noisy?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 5:13 pm 
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I'm running 20x WD 8tb drives, not really reds but whites, shuck them from Mybook, IIRC these are equivalent to reds, to me they are not noisy drives, not quiet as WD Greens were, no where near the noise of a Black, to me they are acceptable specially considering there there aren't much options and i need the storage. Even though they are all the same drive, bought on different dates, there is a huge variation on vibrations.

Be careful though, the new mybook drives you need to do 3.3V mod, as the drives wont start up on standard sata power, its really easy though, you either tape one of the pins or use a molex power to a sata converter.

I do think your best bet its to go with NAS/server, specially today there are such a small enclosures from synology that are very nice and easy to place outside the hearing environment. Im about to invest on one, since my DS111j was borrowed by a family member that probably will never give it back, i like to test the upgrades on the DSM and the surveillance station.

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 Post subject: Re: With helium drives, anything above 6TB = noisy?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:53 am 
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Regarding the use of these drives in a NAS, are there air circulation/cooling levels I should be paying attention to?
I've got sort of a pantry in my flat that I'd like to use to put a future NAS in, but since it's in a room with no windows and since it would be enclosed in a closet, I'm afraid that it would start overheat due to insufficient air circulation. I know that computers don't breath and don't need as much fresh air as we do, but I still worry about fire related issues, or at least about one of the components overheating and provoking a general shutdown.
I thought about putting the NAS there because the configuration of the pantry and room would muffle the already low sound of the thing so that everyone can sleep soundly (plus, my cat tends to be annoyed by loud computer sounds, and you don't want to deal with a cat who hasn't slept enough in the morning), but if it's a bad idea, then I'll figure something else.


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 Post subject: Re: With helium drives, anything above 6TB = noisy?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:50 am 
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Welcome to SPCR.

General answer: should be fine.

More specific answer: Depends on the NAS specs/number of drives/how you are using it and the size of the pantry. If it's just, say, a 4 bay NAS with high capacity drives used for backup and streaming for your home, it won't generate enough heat to cause any issues (unless it's in a really tiny space like a desk or cabinet drawer). If it's a PC being used as a NAS as well as spending 24/7 transcoding 4k video, then the power consumption may generate some noticeable temperature rise...again depends on the volume of the pantry space.

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 Post subject: Re: With helium drives, anything above 6TB = noisy?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:21 am 
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Roger, thanks!
I was intending to put quite a heavy workload on the NAS (not always, but at peak times when my son, my wife and I will all use it at the same time) so I'd rather find a place that's less enclosed. Hell, I'm fairly sure I can come up with something that will allow air from outside of the flat to flow and cool the NAS... Sure, it will be more demanding in terms of workload, but if I can have a silent and performant NAS AND not set my apartment on fire, it's worth it.


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 Post subject: Re: With helium drives, anything above 6TB = noisy?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:09 pm 
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IdontexistM8 wrote:
Nearly a year on. . . has anything improved?

I can't hear any difference between the Ironwolf 10Tb I bought recently and the 8TBs I bought a year(?) ago.

Only difference I've noticed doesn't affect noise, and mainly of interest to people running RAID 5, Seagate seems to have upped the URE spec for their consumer drives to 10^15 (when the WD Red *Pro* is still 10^14).


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 Post subject: Re: With helium drives, anything above 6TB = noisy?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 6:05 pm 
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mingv7v wrote:
IdontexistM8 wrote:
Nearly a year on. . . has anything improved?

I can't hear any difference between the Ironwolf 10Tb I bought recently and the 8TBs I bought a year(?) ago.
I got scared about Ironwolf 10GB upon hearing this video today, Huge Workflow Upgrade - 40TB RAID NAS!, not sure if a drive was defective but its noisy.

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 Post subject: Re: With helium drives, anything above 6TB = noisy?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:59 am 
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Abula wrote:
I got scared about Ironwolf 10GB upon hearing this video today, Huge Workflow Upgrade - 40TB RAID NAS!, not sure if a drive was defective but its noisy.

I saw that yesterday too... though I wonder if any 3.5" drive would be quiet if there are four of them in a small case, and all hard-mounted as well. Be cool if that reviewer took those same 4 drives and put them in a larger normal PC case with decent soft mounting to see if it becomes acceptable (and try it with different quantities of drives).

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 Post subject: Re: With helium drives, anything above 6TB = noisy?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:08 pm 
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Abula wrote:
I'm running 20x WD 8tb drives, not really reds but whites, shuck them from Mybook, IIRC these are equivalent to reds, to me they are not noisy drives, not quiet as WD Greens were, no where near the noise of a Black, to me they are acceptable specially considering there there aren't much options and i need the storage. Even though they are all the same drive, bought on different dates, there is a huge variation on vibrations.

Be careful though, the new mybook drives you need to do 3.3V mod, as the drives wont start up on standard sata power, its really easy though, you either tape one of the pins or use a molex power to a sata converter.

I do think your best bet its to go with NAS/server, specially today there are such a small enclosures from synology that are very nice and easy to place outside the hearing environment. Im about to invest on one, since my DS111j was borrowed by a family member that probably will never give it back, i like to test the upgrades on the DSM and the surveillance station.


I bought 4x MyBook 8TB in the sales last week from 2 different sources.

They are all, as you say, whites (WD80EZAZ). Shucking was pretty easy once you've managed one. The guitar picks method is superb!

Based on initial checks I'd say they are all pretty similar tonally. Vibration on one seems marginally better than the others but I'll have to check it in my table top dock. Overall, similar to the WD80EFZX I previously returned? Sadly, most likely.

I'll stick with the 6TBs for day to day usage and I will get round to a NAS, though I still can't see me using an 8TB in one. However, they are fine for their intended datahoarding purpose. I guess there has to be a trade off. If I'm using them in a dock or enclosure then I'll stick a wedge of foam underneath. I'm sure I've got some sorbothane knocking around too.

With the cheap prices I was tempted to get a 10TB to see if that was 'better'. However, I've got a half built mini-itx Ryzen rig to finish before Xmas.


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 Post subject: Re: With helium drives, anything above 6TB = noisy?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:53 pm 
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Im almost finish with my server, has take a lot of time doing all the 20x 8tb, but ill have some to spare, so im planning on doing some reserach on synology, liking a lot the DS918+, could be a good option for you use the WD whites and place it far away where you cant hear them, and connect it to the network.

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 Post subject: Re: With helium drives, anything above 6TB = noisy?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:36 pm 
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Abula wrote:
not sure if a drive was defective but its noisy.

I think it's the chassis. I have a 2 bay cousin of that QNAP with the same caddy system. I can hear the 6TB Ironwolfs I have there too -- the caddy is attached to the chassis by plastic latches, no damping anywhere. The 10TB Ironwolf is in a Antec 182, there, I don't think there's significant difference in noise level with any recent high capacity WD/Seagate drives.

With a NAS you can always put it where noise doesn't matter, stick it next to a Cisco switch with Delta fans and you won't hear it at all! :D


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