Storage

Samsung F1 750GB & 1TB Drives: Fast... and Silent?

Storage
Samsung F1s are the top performing 7200RPM desktop drives of the day. We put the 750G and 1TB models through their paces in SPCR's acoustics chamber to find out whether they can take the low noise crown.

Western Digital's single-platter 320GB Caviar SE16 WD3200AAKS

Storage
WD's new 320GB/platter Caviar SE16 desktop hard drives have been creating some excitement. They are high performance by virtue of their high areal density, the OC websites have reported. With the low number of spinning platters, they should also be very quiet, a quality WD have been focused on for a couple of years now. We took the 320GB single-platter model out for a spin in our acoustics lab. It turned into a long and winding road.

Terabyte Round III: WD Caviar Green Power WD10EACS

Storage
Our enthusiasm for the low noise WD 750GB Green Power hard drive prompted us to go hunting for the 1 TB flagship model so we could do more than speculate about it. With Western Digital's odd IntelliPower system for rating spindle speed, we wanted to confirm for ourselves that it shared all the characteristics of its smaller brother — noise, power and all.

Terabyte Round II: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11

Storage
Seagate's Barracuda 7200.11 shows signs of significant changes, and it is claimed to be quieter, less power hungry, and faster than previous versions. And it is. But how much quieter?

The Terabyte Landmark: Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000

Storage
The Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 was the first terabyte drive to market, and it remains one of the fastest drives money can buy, competitive with the legendary WD Raptor. Historically, Hitachi drives have been on the noisy side, but the 7K1000 brings incremental improvements and a low RPM idle mode that no other drives in the industry offer.

WD Green Power: A New Benchmark in HDD Acoustics & Power

Storage
Western Digital has been on our watch list since they sent us their (then) flagship 500 GB drive with seeks that we could hardly hear. This is the WD first drive sample that we've seen since, and it's unusual: Their PR says it's Green, low power, and very quiet. We confirm that it spins at 5,400 RPM using frequency spectrum analysis; WD's code for this speed is "IntelliPower". Does lower rotation speed mean lower noise? You betcha!

Seagate Momentus 7200.2 160GB 2.5" hard drive

Storage
Seagate is one of three manufacturers now making 7,200 RPM Notebook drives. Their Momentus 7200.1 was an acoustic disappointment, but it's been updated with Perpendicular recording and fall detection in the 7200.2. Did the improvements extend to the acoustics?

Antec MX-1: Actively Cooled External HDD Enclosure

Storage
The MX-1 is Antec's first external hard drive enclosure. They pointedly call it an Actively Cooled Hard Drive Enclosure. It includes a fan, one quiet enough that Antec says it measures less than 22 dBA@1m. That's quieter than most hard drives. It's made mostly of plastic, but Antec also claims it keeps the drive very cool. Those are pretty good reasons for us to be interested

Mirra Mirra in the Closet

Storage
Seagate's Mirra Personal Server is designed to prevent the loss of data from the hard drives in your network. It is an automated backup system. Its acoustics are not ideal for hanging on the wall... or anywhere exposed, for that matter.

Icy Dock's eSATA Enclosure

Storage
eSATA drive enclosures are potentially useful for silencers because they allow the boot drive to be placed remotely for the ultimate in acoustic isolation. Icy Dock makes nothing but hard drive enclosures, and they have one of the first eSATA enclosures on the market, a most stylish device some people wouldn't want to hide.

Samsung Spinpoint T Series: Successor to a Quiet Legacy

Storage
Samsung has a long history of producing quiet drives, and we expect the Spinpoint T Series to continue that legacy. The capacity can't quite match the 500 GB and 750 GB drives on the market, but the real question will be whether it can match Western Digital's recent drives for noise.

Western Digital Scorpio: Another Quiet Notebook Drive

Storage
Western Digital has done little to promote their line of notebook drives, and with the flagship drive coming in at just 120 GB, it's not hard to see why. Rated according to the usual slew of benchmarks and performance tests, this Scorpio is not particularly noteworthy. But, SPCR doesn't run the usual slew of benchmarks and performance tests; we are interested in noise. Is the Scorpio quiet enough to earn our approval?

Western Digital Raptor 150GB: New Revision, New Noise?

Storage
The industry's top performing enthusiast drive is now available in a larger, 150 GB capacity version. Did noise grow with storage space, or does this new revision have the same quiet idle and sharp seeks that we saw in our review of the last revision? Now that WD can lay claim to making the quietest mainstream drive, we expect great things of them.

WD Caviar SE16 500GB: Big Low-Noise Champ?

Storage
The search for a quiet high capacity hard drive continues with Western Digital's 500GB Caviar SE16. SPCR's favorite drives are rapidly disappearing as the Samsung Spinpoint P80 and the Seagate Barracuda IV fade further into obscurity; the market has long since moved on from our single-platter 40GB and 80 GB favorites. So far, no high capacity >250GB drives have lived up to SPCR's tough noise standards; could this WD be the one?

External Seagate Drives: A Portable 2.5" and a Pocket Drive

Storage
You only have to put up with the noise of a portable drive when you're copying to and from it — not whenever your computer is running. On top of that, many portable storage devices employ quiet 2.5" or smaller drives that are inherently quieter than the full-size ones in your PC. They're just so darn convenient that we had to take a look at a couple samples of Seagate's clumsily named but elegantly designed USB 2.0 Portable Hard Drive and Pocket Hard Drive.
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