The quietest: 2.5" drives

Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

Moderators: NeilBlanchard, Ralf Hutter, sthayashi, Lawrence Lee

brianstretch
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Post by brianstretch » Fri Jul 29, 2005 11:04 am

Am I correct in thinking that the new SATA 2.5" drives use the same data and power connectors as desktop SATA drives? Replacing my Raptor with a nice quiet 80GB Seagate 7200.1 drive, perhaps mounted in one of these, is very appealing. (Then I just have to wait for someone to get them in stock...) I have it mounted on rubber grommets now but that's just not enough.

~El~Jefe~
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Post by ~El~Jefe~ » Fri Aug 19, 2005 7:36 pm

that lil guy is hot stuff. :)

10 dollars too pricey for me though being that I have a goal of raid 2.5's. :)

forgieboy
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Post by forgieboy » Fri Oct 28, 2005 12:35 am

Just thought I'd add a recommendation for the 80gb WD Scorpios... I have one sealed in bubble tape in my Asus Pundit-R which is silent. I also just put one in my 1.33GHz iBook. The seek noise on these Scorpios is very low, and the whirring sound is low enough that I can only hear it in the iBook at 4am in my silent bedroom when I put my head within about 30cm of the drive.

All in all, the best 2.5" drive on the market for the price as far as I'm concerned.

IdontexistM8
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Post by IdontexistM8 » Fri Oct 28, 2005 3:50 am

Have you avoided the clunk/click issue with the Scorpio then?

Edward Ng
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Post by Edward Ng » Fri Oct 28, 2005 3:10 pm

IdontexistM8 wrote:Have you avoided the clunk/click issue with the Scorpio then?
Mine has never done that and I've been running it 24/7 couped up in a SilentDrive for months now (this computer is never turned off).

-Ed
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forgieboy
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Post by forgieboy » Fri Oct 28, 2005 9:47 pm

Well the scorpio in my desktop has never made those sounds, but the scorpio in my iBook just started making them as I read your post. damnit.... it doesn't do it when I'm not doing anything, only when I'm say using a resource intensive application. It goes away a few seconds after I quit the application..... (the program I was using was Ableton Live btw).

Is there a firmware patch for this?

IdontexistM8
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Post by IdontexistM8 » Sat Oct 29, 2005 4:38 am

forgieboy wrote:Is there a firmware patch for this?
If you're drive is a couple of months old then yes..info & links in the thread I started yesterday here

If it is more recent like the one I bought in the last week (manufactured this month too) then no and it's best to RMA it.

forgieboy
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Post by forgieboy » Sat Oct 29, 2005 4:57 am

Well I'd love to send it back.... but if you know how hard it is to replace the HDD in a 12" iBook then you probably wouldn't have suggested it :o

Also, it's just such a PITA not having my laptop in action for a week or however long it'd take WD to send me new one.

IdontexistM8
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Post by IdontexistM8 » Sat Oct 29, 2005 10:42 am

forgieboy wrote:Well I'd love to send it back.... but if you know how hard it is to replace the HDD in a 12" iBook then you probably wouldn't have suggested it :o

Also, it's just such a PITA not having my laptop in action for a week or however long it'd take WD to send me new one.
If you've got a credit card then do one of those advanced RMAs (via the website) that someone told me about the other day. Then all you've got to do is clone or copy over what you want.

forgieboy
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Post by forgieboy » Sat Oct 29, 2005 10:10 pm

I live in Australia. WD don't do advanced RMAs outside the US, Canada and the EU. I'll wait to see what they see in their email about the clunking noise...

IdontexistM8
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Post by IdontexistM8 » Sun Oct 30, 2005 8:17 am

forgieboy wrote:I live in Australia. WD don't do advanced RMAs outside the US, Canada and the EU. I'll wait to see what they see in their email about the clunking noise...
Bad luck there :(

kanton
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Scorpio Metalic Loop Noise

Post by kanton » Sun Nov 06, 2005 9:24 pm

Hello. I’ve found you excellent forum info on silent hard drives for notebooks very useful and decided to give something back.

My notebook hard drive crashed and I decided on the WD Scorpio 40G for what I thought was the silent one on the market. My previous hd was a Toshiba and was really silent.

The Scorpio is really silent. Even on heavy hard disk tasks. However, is driving me mad! It produces a really unbearable metallic loop noise. I mean, even with TV on and me typing on the keyboard I can really notice the metallic loop. It goes up, up, up them down, down till it stops for 1 second. Them up again! It’s unbearable! I prefer my desktop loud noise PC. It’s not an irritating loop that get’s on my nerves. As you know, we (human beings) bare better random (even loud) sounds, then loops!

I am going to change it first thing tomorrow.

kuril
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Post by kuril » Fri Nov 25, 2005 11:02 am

I just set up a
Vendor: TOSHIBA Model: MK1032GAX Rev: 0811

into an Adaptec 2.5" USB2 enclosure. The drive is super quiet, as can be expected from Toshiba lineage. I can't hear it unless my ear is within 4" of the enclosure, and even then it is a strain. The 16mb cache is definitely a performer:

MK1032GAX:
/dev/sdb:
Timing cached reads: 2472 MB in 2.00 seconds = 1234.34 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 74 MB in 3.02 seconds = 24.50 MB/sec

Raptor:
/dev/sda:
Timing cached reads: 2520 MB in 2.00 seconds = 1260.19 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 204 MB in 3.01 seconds = 67.85 MB/sec

Not bad!

The Adaptec enclosure, however, has a slight issue it seems. The USB connection is rather fragile and it can cause the interface to hickup if handled wrong while turned on. Fortunately, there really isn't any reason to touch it while in use. I'll probably end up velcroing it to my case. As with many here, I've shunned having more than one drive in a system. My raptor is currently sitting on two slices of foam within the 5.25" drive bay -- a very cheap and effective solution to its intense knocking noises.

Speaking of touching, very little wasted energy from this drive. It barely warms the enclosure.

Charles
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Post by Charles » Thu Dec 08, 2005 3:24 pm

Hi

What do you know about noise with the larger 2.5" hdd-s? 80-100 Gb ones?

Is a 2.5" Hdd with 16MB cache faster, than one with "only" 8Mb?

The other brands? You mentioned WD, Toshiba...

What about the Samsung and the Hihatchi drives? Are they good in terms of noise and secondly in speed?

BR!
Gigabyte P35-DS4, C2D E8200, AC Freezer7 Pro, 2x Corsair 6400C4, Hitachi P7K500 320GB, Samsung 20X, Gigabyte 8800GT Rev. B, Antec Solo, Tagan Easycon 480W, Hyundai Q17S, Logitech Mx1000, Logitech MediaKeyboard Elite. Fans: Nexus RealSilent 12cm & 9cm + Zalman FM2

NoiseFreeGuy
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Post by NoiseFreeGuy » Mon Aug 21, 2006 2:12 pm

Does anyone know if you can buy 4200 rpm 2.5" hd's with SATA connectors, and if so, will they connect into desktop motherboards?

Any sub 20dB models?

Shadowknight
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Post by Shadowknight » Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:22 pm

NoiseFreeGuy wrote:Does anyone know if you can buy 4200 rpm 2.5" hd's with SATA connectors, and if so, will they connect into desktop motherboards?

Any sub 20dB models?
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article297-page1.html
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article264-page1.html
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article278-page1.html
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article250-page1.html
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article630-page1.html

All are faster than 4200rpm, but these are SATA notebook drives reviewed on SPCR.
[size=75]Asus P4C800 Del., P4 3.0 Northwood w/Scythe SCNJ-1000 Ninja (fanless), Antec P180 black SPCR edition w/Acoustipack V.2 Deluxe; BBA X800 XT PE w/Zalman ZM80C-HP and 92mm Nexus; Samsung P80 120gb Smart Drive 2002 on foam; Raptor 74gb (turned off); Antec Phantom 350w; 2x120mm Nexus @ 670rpm, diNovo keyboard, Thanko Silent Mouse http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewtopic.php?t=24308[/size]

NoiseFreeGuy
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Post by NoiseFreeGuy » Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:16 pm

Shadowknight wrote:
NoiseFreeGuy wrote:Does anyone know if you can buy 4200 rpm 2.5" hd's with SATA connectors, and if so, will they connect into desktop motherboards?
...
All are faster than 4200rpm, but these are SATA notebook drives reviewed on SPCR.
Thanks.
I was asking about 4200 rpm drives specifically.
Those are the only drives I'm interested in.

qviri
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Post by qviri » Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:59 pm

NoiseFreeGuy wrote:I was asking about 4200 rpm drives specifically.
Those are the only drives I'm interested in.
(Going by your comment in the other thread re: silence.) With all due respect, check the recommended page. The 4200 rpm Toshiba and Fujitsu have been measured at 16 dBA; the 5400 rpm Samsung at 17 dBA. If you have a single fan in your system, the difference will be all but negligible. If you entomb the drive in an enclosure a'la IsaacKuo, you won't hear either of the drives.

Also, you can get the Samsung in SATA. This will be seen by the motherboard as a normal drive, no difference from a 3.5" drive. However, fitting the cables in the enclosure if you choose to get one might be a challenge, since they're somewhat thicker than the ATA ribbons.
Thinkpad X200 – aging fan, T60p – Core Duo whine :(
Nothing endures but change

NoiseFreeGuy
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Post by NoiseFreeGuy » Tue Aug 22, 2006 12:10 pm

qviri wrote:With all due respect, check the recommended page..
Yes I had read this article.
But it doesn't includes specs for each drive re: SATA connector and rpm.


>>The 4200 rpm Toshiba and Fujitsu have been measured at 16 dBA; the 5400 rpm Samsung at 17 dBA. If you have a single fan in your system, the difference will be all but negligible. <<

Yes, I would consider a 5400 rpm drive too if it were less than 20 dB as indicated above. For me there are two important factors at play, audible noise and noise/EMF's *felt* in my temples.
For example, I have a 5400 30G Maxtor drive right now that I can most definitely hear, but can't feel in my temples (with the drive and CPU in an adjoining room).

On the other hand a 7200 Samsung 250G that I tried out last week could not be heard from the adjoining room, but *could* be felt in my temples.

>> Also, you can get the Samsung in SATA. This will be seen by the motherboard as a normal drive, no difference from a 3.5" drive. <<

OK, thanks. Now I know some 5400 notebook drives have SATA cables.

jmk
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Post by jmk » Sat Sep 15, 2007 1:55 am

I have WD Scorpio (40gb, ide) with clicking noise issue, too. Putting the drive inside 2.5" Scythe enclosure is no help. Still hearing the click from meters away.

I'll try Samsung M80 160gb (+ Scythe) next. I expect not to be as disappointed as with WD Scorpio.

frozenghost
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Post by frozenghost » Tue Sep 18, 2007 1:18 pm

jmk wrote:I have WD Scorpio (40gb, ide) with clicking noise issue, too. Putting the drive inside 2.5" Scythe enclosure is no help. Still hearing the click from meters away.
Have you tried the WD solution 1414
http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc.cfg ... faqid=1414

I would do it if I could just get the files provided to boot from CD not floppy :(

jmk
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Post by jmk » Fri Sep 21, 2007 9:13 am

I'll give it a try this weekend. Thanks.

jmk
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Post by jmk » Sat Sep 22, 2007 7:16 am

WD solution 1414 was for no help. All I got is a message: "drive needs no update". And I really don't know how to force a firmware update. Well, looks like I'm all done with Scorpio. I hope Samsung M80 with Scythe Quiet Drive 2,5 will be silent enough.

jameshanley39
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Post by jameshanley39 » Tue Dec 04, 2007 3:24 pm

Just bought a Toshiba MK4025GAS hard drive.. the 2.5" drive recommended on that "recommended page"

The page is right, it is not inaudible. Audible is too noisy for me. It makes a faint noise, and I can hear it from the other side of the room. I don`t like the noise either.

when it starts up it makes a worse noise, (that is short, temporary, so I can live with that), then goes to a calmer noise, but still too high, not nice. Not a high pitched whine, it does not kill me. But I still don`t like it

I guess the next method to quieten it would be a good silent enclosure? smart enclosure? anybody got a better idea? I see it being used with a 3.5" drive. Does it remove the heat from 2.5" drives too? Any better silent enclosures?

A noiseless but very different alternative, would be usb key. booting off of that.. (added- or a stateless hard drive, they have no moving parts, may be silent. but are expensive.. not suitable at all also since i want a -network - of silent comps - in my room - )

kaktus
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Post by kaktus » Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:27 pm

what exactly is the point of getting a 2.5" drive if you still have to put them into an enclosure?

Worse performance than a 3.5", marginal difference in power consumption (not that it makes a difference) and yet still not "silent" as this term is used ridiculously loosely nowadays when everything is anything but silent.

SileX
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Post by SileX » Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:24 am

Looking for this:

Hitachi Travelstar Travelstar 5K500 400 & 500GB

viewtopic.php?t=45513

Chris Beard
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Post by Chris Beard » Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:36 am

Scythe do an enclosure specifically for 2.5" drives.
jameshanley39 wrote:Just bought a Toshiba MK4025GAS hard drive.. the 2.5" drive recommended on that "recommended page"

The page is right, it is not inaudible. Audible is too noisy for me. It makes a faint noise, and I can hear it from the other side of the room. I don`t like the noise either.

when it starts up it makes a worse noise, (that is short, temporary, so I can live with that), then goes to a calmer noise, but still too high, not nice. Not a high pitched whine, it does not kill me. But I still don`t like it

I guess the next method to quieten it would be a good silent enclosure? smart enclosure? anybody got a better idea? I see it being used with a 3.5" drive. Does it remove the heat from 2.5" drives too? Any better silent enclosures?

A noiseless but very different alternative, would be usb key. booting off of that.. (added- or a stateless hard drive, they have no moving parts, may be silent. but are expensive.. not suitable at all also since i want a -network - of silent comps - in my room - )

Kung Fu Hung-Su
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Post by Kung Fu Hung-Su » Mon May 05, 2008 3:14 pm

Will we see a review of the Seagate Momentus 5400.4 any time in the near future? :)

jameshanley39
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Location: UK

Post by jameshanley39 » Sat May 31, 2008 5:35 pm

I just found out people can use
compact flash cards(with adaptors to connect them to IDE), or can use IDE flash modules.

they are actually solid state. they would probably be noiseless.

My only concern might be the "write endurance". There are some issues associated with that.

I thinik USB keys use Flash technology too.. hence the term USB flash drive. makes more sense than usb key

leem
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Location: Melbourne, Oz

Post by leem » Sat Aug 23, 2008 6:44 pm

It would be great to see am updated SPCR review of 2.5" hard drives. I'm interested in low noise and low power, especially idle power, rather than performance. Do 2.5" drives offer that much of an advantage?

I've looked through recent threads for sources: Techreport reviews seven drives, and some good comparative reviews at http://www.storagereview.com.

Would appreciate any more info... Cheers :)

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