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 Post subject: Noisy half-baked "green" hard drives?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:22 am 
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I have 2 new drives, they're very fast but they both make clicking/beeping sounds.

Seagate Momentus 7200.3 ST9320421AS 320GB 7200rpm SATA 3.0GB/s
Western Digital Scorpio Black WD3200BEKT 320GB 7200rpm SATA 3.0GB/s

The WD randomly clicks every few seconds, it's a loud scissors-like sound. Its normal read/write/seek sound is inaudible, but this clicking is different. The Seagate beeps every time it suspends (sleep mode) which is many times/day. The beep sounds like a mobo error code. Is this the new G-force protection?

My guess is that they're constantly parking, spinning down or whatever, but they're in a desktop PC with a 600 Watt PSU so I'm not interested in saving a few milliamps. I should have googled before ordering, it looks like many people are looking for ways to turn off the APM & AAM features. If I can't disable these "power saving" features I'm gonna return them both. Any ideas what is going on with this new technology? Next I'm gonna try the Hitachi, Fujitsu and Toshiba 7200rpm 320s.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:10 am 
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I'm also concerned about this. I always read people having issues with random clicking sounds. If it indeed is the G-Force Protection, Seagate has released information on how it can be disabled, though for that one needs a program which can communicate with the HDD directly and transmit custom ATA commands, as far as I know that is. I have no idea about the Western Digital.

If you are going to return both of them and you in fact need to have HDDs for a desktop system, why not simply go for Western Digital Green Power? I know they are 5400RPM, but look at this information reported by Ramses: http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... hp?t=52617

As you can see, the ultra-speedy Scorpio Black isn't that speedy. The Green Power is just a single Megabyte per second shy of the Scorpio Black, which should not be significant. Of course areal density plays a big role here, so ditch those tiny 320GB drives and put in a 1TB Green Power. Same performance, less noise. EDIT: The WD10EADS costs around 105€ here, while the WD3200BEKT alone costs around 85€, you save money in the process as well!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:49 am 
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Do a search of this forum. I've seen this come up in the past. There is a way to disable the auto parking of heads on the WD drives.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:50 am 
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Thanks, the WD3200BEKT is FAST. Both of these 2.5" are faster than my 3.5" Seagate SATA 3, very impressive, I'm gonna try post benchmarks soon. I just want to get rid of the clicking/parking noises.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:25 am 
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Rebellious wrote:
Thanks, the WD3200BEKT is FAST. Both of these 2.5" are faster than my 3.5" Seagate SATA 3, very impressive, I'm gonna try post benchmarks soon. I just want to get rid of the clicking/parking noises.
Age-old question: *which* Seagate??


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:42 pm 
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LodeHacker wrote:
Rebellious wrote:
Thanks, the WD3200BEKT is FAST. Both of these 2.5" are faster than my 3.5" Seagate SATA 3, very impressive, I'm gonna try post benchmarks soon. I just want to get rid of the clicking/parking noises.
Age-old question: *which* Seagate??



ST3320820AS and ST3320620AS

Fair comparison? They're all 320gb SATA 3 running on the same NVIDIA controller. The 2.5" are miniature versions of the 3.5", no reason why they shouldn't be just as fast.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:25 pm 
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>> "no reason why they shouldn't be just as fast"
Ouch my head hurts! Better leave this one uncommented. Seems like you did your homework too well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:01 am 
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ok I googled and found WD unofficial utility wdidle3.exe, I copied it to a bootable USB flash drive and run

WDIDLE3 /D

That disables the "idle3" timer, and it worked, the scissors-like clicking is gone!

So what is idle3? It seems to be the HD equivalent of S1, S2, S3, etc. If you google "Extended Power Conditions (EPC)" you'll find a technical PDF doc that explains a little bit. I also found some references that imply that "green" drives can slow down the spindle from 7200 RPM down to 5400?? If anybody knows more please post.



I have no solution from Seagate, I called them twice, waited on-hold for 30+ minutes each time and no response, so I'm returning it, no beeping drives allowed.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:30 am 
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LodeHacker wrote:
If you are going to return both of them and you in fact need to have HDDs for a desktop system, why not simply go for Western Digital Green Power? I know they are 5400RPM, but look at this information reported by Ramses:

As you can see, the ultra-speedy Scorpio Black isn't that speedy. The Green Power is just a single Megabyte per second shy of the Scorpio Black, which should not be significant.

HDTune/HDTach don't measure real world performance. You need to at least look at PCMark benches for something half reliable, and on those the old 160GB/platter Scorpio Black is considerably faster than even the latest 333GB/platter Caviar Greens. The Scorpio Black is also 2 to 3 times Greener than the Caviar Greens too.

If you really want the best the new 250GB/platter Scorpio Blue is almost as fast as Scorpio Black, and even more Green--despite the name! :P


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 7:12 am 
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Here's the rig and some benchmarks. I also have some real-life benchmarks but I forgot how to post monospaced text (to make tables that are easy to read).

The Scorpio Black WD3200BEKT writes much faster (~25%) than the Seagate 7200.3 ST9320421AS, read speed is about the same, the WD runs 2 deg C cooler, and the Seagate sounds noisier to me (but its top-mount location in my rig may have an effect on cooling and noise)

PS:
Both of these 2.5" are faster than my 3.5" Seagates ST3320820AS and ST3320620AS on my Asus/NVIDIA controller !!

Image


Image


Image


Image[/img]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 7:38 am 
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Rebellious,

HD Tune has a problem on your system. It isn't measuring any of those rates correctly--you might have a non standard FSB clock. I know on my Eee PC setting the FSB slower makes drives appear much faster in these simple drive bench marking tools. But even if HD Tune was measuring accurately it doesn't really give a realistic measure of drive performance.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:49 am 
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I've got the WD3200BEKT in my netbook, and it doesn't get read speeds anywhere NEAR that fast. Heck, my RAID0 arrays in my workstation and desktop at home barely beat thost measurements. Your access times are simply too low for a 7200RPM drive. That reading should be at least 8ms for both drives.

HDTune is doing something strange there.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:53 am 
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Real-life performance: MS ROBOCOPY copies the content of the same 3.5" drive to each of the 2.5" drives (freshly formatted), under identical conditions. ROBOCOPY transfers ~40 GB, it times the operation and divides to get the overall speed, log summaries below:

ST9320421AS
Code:
                Total    Copied   Skipped  Mismatch    FAILED    Extras
     Dirs :     10482     10478         4         0         0         0
    Files :    206349    206327         3         0        19         0
    Bytes :  43.217 g  39.323 g   3.871 g         0   22.71 m         0
    Times :   0:39:05   0:36:53                       0:00:00   0:02:11

    Speed :            19075968 Bytes/sec.
    Speed :            1091.535 MegaBytes/min.


WD3200BEKT
Code:
                Total    Copied   Skipped  Mismatch    FAILED    Extras
     Dirs :     10505     10503         2         0         0         0
    Files :    208166    208144         2         0        20         0
    Bytes :  43.309 g  39.415 g   3.871 g         0   22.77 m         0
    Times :   0:31:30   0:29:18                       0:00:00   0:02:12

    Speed :            24064910 Bytes/sec.
    Speed :            1377.005 MegaBytes/min.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:25 am 
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Nick Geraedts wrote:
I've got the WD3200BEKT in my netbook, and it doesn't get read speeds anywhere NEAR that fast. Heck, my RAID0 arrays in my workstation and desktop at home barely beat thost measurements. Your access times are simply too low for a 7200RPM drive. That reading should be at least 8ms for both drives.

HDTune is doing something strange there.


I don't believe the absolute numbers either, the relative comparisons are useful though.

Here's the NVIDIA test in the device manager. Compares each of the two 2.5" drives (on the right side) to the 3.5" ST3320820AS (on the left).

Image

Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:25 pm 
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QuietOC wrote:
Rebellious,

HD Tune has a problem on your system. It isn't measuring any of those rates correctly--you might have a non standard FSB clock. I know on my Eee PC setting the FSB slower makes drives appear much faster in these simple drive bench marking tools. But even if HD Tune was measuring accurately it doesn't really give a realistic measure of drive performance.


hmm, you're right. Turning AMD Cool & Quiet on/off changes the multiplier from 5 to 12 and the HDTune transfer rate by the same proportion. Ha, looks like a bug, somebody call these people and complain ;) The NVIDIA test in the device manager is more acurate then.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:42 pm 
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Nick Geraedts wrote:
I've got the WD3200BEKT in my netbook, and it doesn't get read speeds anywhere NEAR that fast. Heck, my RAID0 arrays in my workstation and desktop at home barely beat thost measurements. Your access times are simply too low for a 7200RPM drive. That reading should be at least 8ms for both drives.

HDTune is doing something strange there.


Are you getting the clicking noise as well? I wonder if what I turned off with "idle3" is the so-called IntelliPark.

"IntelliParkâ„¢ - Delivers lower power consumption by automatically unloading recording heads during idle to reduce aerodynamic drag and by disabling read/write channel electronics."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:57 pm 
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Image

There's the benchmark from my netbook. Looks about the same as the nVidia test. There's no noticable ticking from the drive, but I haven't been putting my head to the computer to listen either. If it's very faint, then I wouldn't have noticed.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 5:32 pm 
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Nick Geraedts wrote:
Image

There's the benchmark from my netbook. Looks about the same as the nVidia test. There's no noticable ticking from the drive, but I haven't been putting my head to the computer to listen either. If it's very faint, then I wouldn't have noticed.


ok, with Cool & Quiet turned on I'm getting identical results.

Image


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