Jan Kivar wrote:
Wow. So Raptor really is as quiet as the reference drives when idle?
I'd say so. Based on SPCR reviews, I've got a Samsung P80 in my main computer, along with a 72GB Raptor (I bought it back when they were still about $200). I'd say at idle they are approximately equally quiet. And the P80 is the quietest HDD I have ever seen (and not heard). The Raptor really IS quiet at idle. (I used to have two WD "screamers" in my last system, so I know just how loud the older WD IDE drivers were. The platter whine nearly drove me crazy after a while.)
However, when seeking it's a totally different story. The Samsung is darn near silent, while I can clearly hear every seek of the Raptor (which is my system drive). I don't mind the sound too much, though, because it reminds me of the sound of the really old HDDs (think Micropolis RLL drives!), but maybe a little deeper in pitch. When pushed harder the drive makes a very SCSI-like chatter. For me, the noise of the drive is outweighed by the speed (it really does seem snappy).
Actually, I think it's still pretty quiet when seeking if you have the noise dampened somehow. I believe it was a little quieter sitting open on my desk when I was first assembling the system. I have mine mounted now in an Antec 3700AMB (purchased after Ralf's excellent review!) using the rubber grommets in the drive cage. However, the case sits in a CPU tower cabinet build into my desk which seems to have bad acoutic properties (amplifies the noise a bit).
I wholly agree with MikeC's synopsis: the Raptor is fine if you don't care about the seek noise (which might be somewhat tameable), but it's not silent by any stretch of the imagination.
Based on power consumption, Raptor shouldn't be that much hotter than other drives.
It does get hot faster than drives like the Samsung (just finger testing when I was assembling the system originally), but I don't think it should be too hard to keep cool with good airflow and/or conductive material in contact with the case.