From 3.5 7200 to 2.5 5400, cant tell a difference

Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

Moderators: NeilBlanchard, Ralf Hutter, sthayashi, Lawrence Lee

Post Reply
Aris
Posts: 2299
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 10:29 am
Location: Bellevue, Nebraska
Contact:

From 3.5 7200 to 2.5 5400, cant tell a difference

Post by Aris » Fri Dec 15, 2006 9:35 pm

Well i built myself a new completely inaudible system using the reviews from this site.

I was a little worried as i was putting it together that the decrease in speeds of the notebook hard drive was going to be unbarable, but decided i at least wanted to try it just so i would know first hand what its like.

Well its been a couple months now, and honestly, i cannot "Perceive" any difference in speed. I'm sure if i ran benchmarks i could prove its slower, but i dont feel it when i do my daily activites on my computer.

I web browse, do IM with the wife, use iTunes at all time, play world of warcraft, run antivirul software, open word documents. Sometimes i'll have multiple firefox tabs up at once, and iTunes is always running even when i'm playing games.

I dont use my computer for video's. So i dont download large amounts of them, or put any of my dvd's onto it. I download mp3's from iTunes but i'm still at only around 5.5gb of music. WoW and my other games/programs only take up around 10gb. So i really dont need a hard drive any bigger than around 40gb.

The only other downside is price, but imo, the reduction in noise is worth the extra cost per GB.

My old hard drives were always considered "quiet" or on the recommended list of this website. Mostly seagate and samsung drives. I went with the 2.5" Samsung 40gb SATA drive. Its even hard mounted to the case and still it makes no noise or vibration when running. i can BARELY hear it seek occasionally if i'm listening for it, but usually i cant hear the seeks.

So as is, i really cant see why people still use 3.5" hard drives. I would say i perform most tasks that most people use there computer for. Web browsing, IM'ing, MS Office applications, audio playback, and even gamming.

Eunos
Friend of SPCR
Posts: 378
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 3:29 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Post by Eunos » Sun Dec 17, 2006 10:03 pm

I had a similar experience when going from 3.5 to 2.5 - I did not find much 'real world' performance difference at all... on the other hand, the heat and noise difference is very noticable!. Now I use nothing but 2.5", even for external backup drives. I use my drives for everything from video (watching, not editing) to multitrack audio editing.

student
Posts: 70
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2006 5:41 pm

Post by student » Mon Dec 18, 2006 4:53 am

Its a pretty similar story between my 250GB 7200rpm Seagate 7200.8 and my 36GB 15000rpm Fujitsu MAU running those kinds of applications. The only time I notice a difference is when writing/editing video files and using large image files in Photoshop... the larger the files the bigger the difference. You guys would HATE the Fujitsu MAU... it sounds similar to and about as loud as a cordless drill when running at full speed.

fresh
Posts: 89
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 2:30 pm
Location: Slovenia

Post by fresh » Sun Dec 24, 2006 3:00 pm

Few days ago, I bought storage drive that was recommended on SPCR, WD 2500KS caviar SE16 new revision. However, it turned out to be far from silent. Dunno, maybe WD decided silence is not worth extra bucks, so they again started putting cheap loud engines in their drives. Apart from that, I am very satisfied with reviews here on SPCR.

As recommended, I am owner of Seasonic s12-600w which is excellent power supply, Zalman CNPS 9500 with undervolted vent to 3-4V, where vent is completle inaudible (even quiter than nexus 120 on 7v, since ball bearing vents can never be completly silent), while cooling is still very sufficient. GPU is pasively cooled, so my system should have been silent. But it wasn't, due to the disc. So before I made more mistakes with searching for silent 3.5 drive, I decided to just do w00t you guys suggested. I ordered 2.5 samsung 80GB IDE, which will be tested in two days. Can't wait to hear complete silence :twisted: I know 80GB isn't much, so I will use transportable drive for my movies collection.

TNX for advice
The sounds of silence, brushed my ear-drums.
Gigabyte G33m-DS2R, E4500, 2x1 GB DDR2 800, 500 GB HD501LJ, 7600gt

speedlever
Posts: 128
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 1:39 pm
Location: NC, USA

Post by speedlever » Mon Dec 25, 2006 10:04 am

Hmm. I never considered a laptop drive for my Conroe build. That's good info and another point to consider as I've been struggling with the HD component... noise and heat issues.

I never even thought about the realistic performance differential and appreciate this thread.
--speedy

jimmyfergus
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2004 8:24 am
Location: MA, USA

Post by jimmyfergus » Wed Dec 27, 2006 6:31 am

fresh wrote:Few days ago, I bought storage drive that was recommended on SPCR, WD 2500KS caviar SE16 new revision. However, it turned out to be far from silent.
Very interesting - I heard that too when contemplating my next build. Perhaps this drive needs to be revisited by SPCR...
[size=75]formerly Dell P4 Northwood desktop (ugh), modified, plus [url=http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=315621#315621]NSK2400 X2 MythTv PVR/server[/url][/size]

psiu
Posts: 1201
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 1:53 pm
Location: Plymouth, MI
Contact:

Post by psiu » Wed Dec 27, 2006 9:27 am

This is good. I will have to show a friend of mine this thread--I put a laptop drive in my mom's new computer and will be going with a laptop drive for my wife's, and probably any other disk upgrades I do. He thinks this is silly despite any arguments to the contrary.

Perfectly fine for nearly any application you can think of, even games, about the *only* really bad uses would be loads (and I mean LOADS) of video and as a server--but how many people do enough of those that it would outweigh the heat and noise benefits?

HammerSandwich
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 1288
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 3:21 pm
Location: 15143, USA
Contact:

Post by HammerSandwich » Wed Dec 27, 2006 10:10 am

So why does ANY laptop feel slow, if the HD is not responsible?

pyogenes
Posts: 273
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2006 10:38 am
Location: Chicago

Post by pyogenes » Wed Dec 27, 2006 11:00 am

HammerSandwich wrote:So why does ANY laptop feel slow, if the HD is not responsible?
I wouldn't say ANY laptop, but I agree many do feel slower (I have a couple that are just as responsive as my desktops). Cheaper ones often have 3600rpm drives (or at least that used to be the common), and lots of laptops don't have anywhere near enough RAM so you're going to disk far more often. Throw in the latency of WiFi compared to a wired connection used in most desktops and it's easy to get a lousy experience with laptops.

While I agree that most people won't feel a difference using a slower hard drive, it's not for everyone. I find 7200rpm drives too slow for working with multiple large files in Photoshop (only reason I bother with RAID 0).
Joe

Aris
Posts: 2299
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 10:29 am
Location: Bellevue, Nebraska
Contact:

Post by Aris » Wed Dec 27, 2006 1:58 pm

I agree with pyrogenes, its not for everyone, and there are circumstances outside of server usage that someone would require faster drives. But i think for alot of people, switching to a 2.5" drive is alot easier to obtain silent operation than the myriad of suspension/dampening techniques to make 3.5" drives barable.

I think the biggest reason notebooks give a slower performance has to do with slower CPU/GPU and lower amounts of ram clocked at lower frequencies.

I think people just get hung up on that old addage "the slowest component in the system is the hard drive", and while yes its true, how often is it really utilized to such an extent to be noticable? If your downloading files, the internet download rate will be far slower than your hard drive. When your installing somthing from a cd/dvd rom, the optical drive will be far slower than your hard drive. Some programs may load a little slower if they need to put large files into memory, but this doesnt happen often and with only a few programs.

I didnt think this thread would get so much praise, thanks for all the positive comments.

nici
Posts: 3011
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 8:49 am
Location: Suomi Finland Perkele

Post by nici » Wed Dec 27, 2006 2:11 pm

I didn't notice windows getting any slower with a 80Gb 2,5" samsung sata drive, but doing work in photoshop was horribly slow compared to the Raptor i had before that. Load times in games also got longer, but not by a huge amount.

The slightly slower load times in games were not too disturbing, i could live with that. Maybe a 7200rpm drive, or two in RAID 0, would also make photoshop faster. No point though, my enclosed 3,5" drive is quieter than the NeoHE anyway.

psiu
Posts: 1201
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 1:53 pm
Location: Plymouth, MI
Contact:

Post by psiu » Wed Dec 27, 2006 6:57 pm

The whole system needs to be "well-tuned", which is usually where the older laptops failed--not enough RAM, a slower system bus, onboard video, slow hard drives.

My P3 laptop boots the fastest of all my computers--2.5" 5400 rpm HD and all. It would probably count as "well-tuned" :D

nici
Posts: 3011
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 8:49 am
Location: Suomi Finland Perkele

Post by nici » Wed Dec 27, 2006 7:38 pm

Not to mention all the crap that usually comes installed on a new laptop and runs at start-up..

fresh
Posts: 89
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 2:30 pm
Location: Slovenia

Post by fresh » Thu Dec 28, 2006 5:02 am

Today I installed 2.5 80GB Samsung IDE. Since all other components are silent, it was audible at first, but only low frequency sound, that can be easily dammpened. After I put some foam under it, and closed sidepanel of the case, it turned inaudible. HDD tune shows only 25MB/s average speed and 17ms response time (20 with AAM), but differences from almost twice as faster WD drive are hardly noticable.

Until flash discs overcrowed market, I am staying on 2.5 drive.
The sounds of silence, brushed my ear-drums.
Gigabyte G33m-DS2R, E4500, 2x1 GB DDR2 800, 500 GB HD501LJ, 7600gt

loz
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 1:29 am
Location: Grenoble-France

Post by loz » Thu Dec 28, 2006 5:22 am

I didn't do extensive tests, but I use a 2.5" 5400 for 6 months now for extensiv web usage.
I don't see any performance problem, except some slow downs when swapping. I doubled ram up to 1go, and no problem since...

jellybeard999
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 3:22 pm

Post by jellybeard999 » Thu Dec 28, 2006 8:05 am

The only problem here is some of us use a LOT of HDD space...

I am currently taking up :

Main PC
80gb windows + apps + games
210gb storage

HTPC
5gb install (could use a laptop drive here, but i have partitioned it onto the Movies drive)
130gb movies
220gb TV programmes (rips + recorded)
120gb TV recordings im not going to keep, but havent yet watched... various stuff...
45gb FLAC files for my listening pleasure... MP3 sucks ass
Server
250gb of stuff backed up, due another 250gb in here...
~40gb of work in progress waiting to be moved to necessary location...

this would cost an absolute fortune in laptop drives :/

jaganath
Posts: 5085
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2005 6:55 am
Location: UK

Post by jaganath » Thu Dec 28, 2006 9:01 am

If lots of storage is needed you could have a 2.5" system drive and a massive 3.5" located remotely via eSATA or similar.

Felger Carbon
Posts: 2049
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2005 11:06 am
Location: Klamath Falls, OR

Post by Felger Carbon » Thu Dec 28, 2006 10:21 am

jaganath wrote:If lots of storage is needed you could have a 2.5" system drive and a massive 3.5" located remotely via eSATA or similar.
I think you'd better check the maximum lead length on eSATA. :?

jaganath
Posts: 5085
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2005 6:55 am
Location: UK

Post by jaganath » Thu Dec 28, 2006 11:18 am

2 metres is still better than having lots of 3.5" right next to you in the case, also gives you room to build an enclosure for them. Anyway, I said eSATA or similar, it could be USB, Firewire, whatever.

JazzJackRabbit
Posts: 1386
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2004 6:53 pm

Post by JazzJackRabbit » Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:44 pm

Meh, it depends on what you do, shutting down my PC at work reminded me of that. Takes couple of minutes just to close all the applications (MSSQL, two Visual Studios, sourcesafe, Outlook, several web browsers and explorers). And that's on a 3.5" drive. Used to take eternity, to the tune of 4 minutes on 7200RPM Hitachi laptop drive. So if you just surf web on your PC, and occasionally use office, laptop drive is OK otherwise the faster the drive the better.

qviri
Posts: 2465
Joined: Tue May 24, 2005 8:22 pm
Location: Berlin
Contact:

Post by qviri » Thu Dec 28, 2006 4:19 pm

I had a 15k rpm Seagate in my computer at work and it didn't feel substantially faster than my desktop at home with a 5400 rpm laptop drive. Of course, the sh*tty P4 Williamette at work might have had something to do with that.
Thinkpad X200 – aging fan, T60p – Core Duo whine :(
Nothing endures but change

Post Reply