Is there any way a WD Raptor 150 can be silent?

Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

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krille
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Is there any way a WD Raptor 150 can be silent?

Post by krille » Sat Apr 15, 2006 6:10 am

Hey!

I was wondering if a WD Raptor 150 can be silent in any way?
Maybe using any of these (ignore cost, it's not an objective...only think of silence).
Questions

a) Is a silent WD Raptor 150 possible at all? Or should I give up the idea entirely?

b) Which of the above products (or any other method/product) would be best for silencing a Raptor 150? Ignore cost.

c) Which of the above products (or any other method/product) would be best for silencing a 7200 RPM HDD? Ignore cost.


Thanks

~ Kris


Edit: Case will probably be the Antec P180.

TomZ
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Post by TomZ » Sat Apr 15, 2006 1:40 pm

There must be a lot of variance with the 150GB Raptors, because the one I just put into a P150 is actually very quiet, quieter than my other 74GB Raptors.

Sorry, I don't have any experience with those HDD coolers, however.

IsaacKuo
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Post by IsaacKuo » Sat Apr 15, 2006 2:14 pm

The Zalman heatpipe cooler has no effect whatsoever on noise.

(I personally don't find any 3.5" drives silent under any acceptable circumstances, other than putting them in a different room.)

josephclemente
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Post by josephclemente » Sat Apr 15, 2006 2:32 pm

My 150GB Raptor is VERY quiet in the bottom chamber of my P180.

However, I once tried it in the upper hard drive bay of the P180 and heard a low-frequency idle noise that I didn't like (maybe from the drive sleds?).

I've been happy with the Raptor. It's good to have a drive that performs well for a change. :)

jaganath
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Post by jaganath » Sat Apr 15, 2006 3:45 pm

Questions

a) Is a silent WD Raptor 150 possible at all? Or should I give up the idea entirely?
I think a totally silent (as in 0dB) Raptor is out of the question. However using a hard drive enclosure and some soft foam could probably get the noise from the hard drive below ambient (ie undetectable except in the middle of the night).
b) Which of the above products (or any other method/product) would be best for silencing a Raptor 150? Ignore cost.
I think a SmartDrive 2002 Copper Edition would be best if cost is not a factor:

Silencio's Ebay Shop- Smartdrive 2002C

Silencio is an SPCR member. You might get a discount if you mention SPCR.
c) Which of the above products (or any other method/product) would be best for silencing a 7200 RPM HDD? Ignore cost.
Same as above, but slightly less demanding on the enclosure as heat generation will likely be less from 7.2K rpm than from 10K rpm.

~El~Jefe~
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Post by ~El~Jefe~ » Sat Apr 15, 2006 5:58 pm

IsaacKuo wrote:The Zalman heatpipe cooler has no effect whatsoever on noise.

(I personally don't find any 3.5" drives silent under any acceptable circumstances, other than putting them in a different room.)
I am not sure why people bash this product. It has a few great things it can do, one of them being a secure, non-home job for partially isolating a 3.5.

this guy has a raptor, not a 4 year old 5400 rpm whatever. His hd costs more than most cpu's. You have to consider cooling it and longevity over silence. no sandwiching in a passive case. I mean, you could do that, but you also could take 300 dollars and light it with a match too. I think the best of all worlds is the zalman with it's rubber nibs removed and isolated with rubber banding in a 5 1/4 slot. It does work well and, it pulls away heat from the drive to dissipate into the case air.

IsaacKuo
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Post by IsaacKuo » Sat Apr 15, 2006 7:42 pm

Those are your priorities, but perhaps not the OP's priorities. He said "only think of silence".

flyingsherpa
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Post by flyingsherpa » Sat Apr 15, 2006 8:14 pm

i'm sure it can be done if money is no object. i've seen some setups that involved entombing a loud drive in layers of foam, rubber, a box, etc. the trick is that they used watercooling to keep the drive's temperature down. i don't think anyone makes an off-the-shelf hard drive watercooler, so you may have to roll your own. of course this adds a lot of complexity if you don't already have a watercooling setup, but it may be your best shot.

but then the pump's noise will drive you crazy! this stuff never ends :lol:

krille
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Post by krille » Sun Apr 16, 2006 12:18 am

Thanks for all the replies everyone! I will try to answer them all in turn. :D

TomZ :: I must have made myself unclear. I don't have the WD150 already. I have to know I can make it as silent as my Samsung Spinpoint P120 before buying. It's good to hear you think it's quiet, even quieter than WD74. Is this with AAM on? Does it hurt performance much?

IsaacKuo :: I would agree with your observation. I'm not sure how to place it in a different room and still bootable with high-performance though. This is for my gaming PC, which is very high-end although as silent as possible. (I'm just now in the process of switching noisier components for more silent ones.)

josephclemente :: Good to hear. I will remember not to put it in the upper drive bay. I have now two people in a row telling me it's silent already without any additional silencing techniques, in the P180 (bottom cage specifically). Alas, since I haven't made my purchase yet, I don't have an opinion myself.

jaganath :: Of course not. I was thinking more below ambient, or just above (ie in the same area as ~Seasonic S12 600 and some other quiet components). That japanese Smart Drive 2002C looks very interesting. Does it really out-noise-reduce the other enclosures in my list? The 2002C is a little harder to get (obviously) but if it's worth it (cost is acceptable if it indeed is the best for silence, I am positive investing in less headaches). Is it really able to cool a 10k RPM Raptor by the way?

~El~Jefe~ :: Rest assured, my CPU costs more than a Raptor. ;) Besides, there's always the 5-year warranty of the Raptor.

IsaacKuo :: Correct, I want silence (as long as I'm not literally frying anything).

flyingsherpa :: Interesting. I've already invested in two water-cooling pumps, who are said to be very silent when properly insulated and undervolted: The Iwaki RD-20 and RD-30 24VDC pumps. They surely provide enough flow and head pressure for an additional HDD water-block, if it helps in the quest for silence. I'm not that much into constructing my own blocks though, as I have no prior experiences and I'm not educated in this school.

I really hope I won't be annoyed by at least the more silent of the two pumps (whichever it turns out to be...will have to test them myself). They were almost $300 each and the seller said he couldn't hear them over a Zalman VGA HSF (he had to actually touch it to make sure it was turned on). Hope his claims are true.


Eagerly anticipating further replies!

~ Kris

jaganath
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Post by jaganath » Sun Apr 16, 2006 2:09 am

Is it really able to cool a 10k RPM Raptor by the way?
Here is a review of the SmartDive tested using a Raptor:
The loudest hard drive that I own is the Western Digital 74GB Raptor that I reviewed right here. It’s rattling and crunching can be heard during every data request. Those whose computers act as file servers can find this type of crunching very annoying. Hopefully the Smart Drive will be up to the task to lessen the noise level.

To my surprise the Raptor’s noise was completely undetectable. The crunching I heard during every boot was no longer there. All I could hear was the humming of the cooling fans.
SystemCooling.com Review
I performed two tests on the WD800JB; first test was in the drive cage of the XClio case and second was inside the Smart Drive enclosure. To record the idle temperature I booted the system at recorded the temperature of the hard drive after 30 minutes. To measure the load temperature I ran defrag on the hard drive and monitored for the highest temperature reached.

As you can see the temperature of the hard drive did not change very much. We’re only talking about one extra degree at load when the Smart Drive was used. I must say that I was a bit surprised at the results, as I was expecting much higher temperatures with the hard drive sitting inside the Smart Drive. I mean closing off the hard drive in an almost air tight enclosure with insulation surrounding and no fan to circulate the air, does not exactly bring effective cooling to mind. But the Smart Drive’s combination of copper and aluminum is effective enough to keep that hard drive at the same comfortable operating temperatures as it would face with the enclosure.
Unfortunately he did not do a thermal test with the Raptor.

krille
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Post by krille » Sun Apr 16, 2006 2:24 am

Sounds good. Really good. I guess I'm in for a Raptor WD150 and a Smart Drive 2002C then. Too bad they didn't test it thermally with the Raptor. However, we still don't know for sure the Smart Drive 2002C is the best case enclosure in the list, do we? It's a legitimate question, since it costs over 2x more (with shipping) and is more than twice as hard to get (shipping, delivery time, logistics and general pain to come over it).

krille
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Post by krille » Sun Apr 16, 2006 3:25 am

What about this Silentmaxx Aluminium HD-Silencer?

It claims to reduce noise by 80% and handles even 10k RPM HDD. It sounds like holy grail of HDD silencers, if even remotely true.
1. Reduces hard drive noise by over 80%
2. Compatible with 1” high 3.5” hard drives (10,000 rpm or less)
4. Provides the best cooling properties
5. Manufactured from 100% aluminium for maximum heat dissipation
6. Rubber mounted enclosure for damping
The whole enclosure is manufactured from 100% aluminium, which offers the very best in heat dissipation. So much so that this enclosure is compatible with all hard drive that run at 10,000 RPM or lower. Because the hard drive is completely encased in the enclosure air born noise is exceptionally low.

The Silentmaxx Aluminium Hard Drive Enclosure also includes rubber mounts. This stops any vibrational noise generated by the hard drive being transferred onto the PC chassis. This significantly cuts down on the “rumbling” and “clicking” noises which are very common in hard drives.

TomZ
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Post by TomZ » Sun Apr 16, 2006 6:34 am

krille wrote:I must have made myself unclear. I don't have the WD150 already. I have to know I can make it as silent as my Samsung Spinpoint P120 before buying. It's good to hear you think it's quiet, even quieter than WD74. Is this with AAM on? Does it hurt performance much?
I didn't change any settings on the Raptor (didn't know there were any, actually). Since the drive was quiet enough, I didn't tinker with it at all. So the drive is running with the factory default settings.

flyingsherpa
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Post by flyingsherpa » Sun Apr 16, 2006 7:50 am

a quick google search turned up several commercial products to water cool hard drives. they might be worth a look as i imagine they'd keep temps down better than a smartdrive type enclosure.

diver
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Post by diver » Sun Apr 16, 2006 9:35 am

You could turn it off. :D

nici
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Post by nici » Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:29 pm

Im feeling way too lazzy to read all the posts, but heres my personal experiences.

Aircooled eclosures: Nexus drive-a-way is a no no, temps go way too high and doesnt really do much for noise. mCubec Vertical Silence, so far the best commercial enclosure i have tried, having good contact with the drive to reduce temps and actually reducing the noise quite a bit, but not suitable for passive(no airflow at all) cooling.

Homebrew enclosure alá Alleycat, best of the aircooled options, lowest temps and lowest noise. Search forums for details, the thread has recent replies. works well even witout much airflow. enclosures from www.elfa.se

I havent tried the SmartDrive, mainly because it isn´t available here.

Watercooling, Aqua-Computer makes aluminium blocks for one or two drives wich cool well but are not that good at reducing noise. Putting two 250Gb samsungs in one of them, and enclosing it in thick foam from Biltema makes them inaubidle from any practical distance. Impossible to hear more than 4" away, without the foam audible from the next room. Temps stayd at about 38°c in 22c ambient temp, cooled by a reserator in the same loop with a 24/7 folding 3700+, X800GTO and nF4 chipset. The quality of the blocks is also pretty damn impressive, though you can´t admire that when they are enclosed in foam.

The block+foam takes of quite a bit of space, but it´s as quiet as you´ll ever get in any practical way and not damaging the longevity of the drive with insane temps. Wthout the foam they dont do anything for noise without mods, but they will cool a drive with zero airflow.

Theres also a copper cooler for two drives called SilentDrive(iirc) that should do at least as good of a job as the Aqua, but i haven´t tried that one.

conclusion: aircooled, you need airflow to keep the drives cool in the commercial boxes, though SmartDrive owners may have a differnet opinion. watercooled, combined with foam it´s the best option after the homebrew enclosure, and apart from a couple 90° bends doesnt increase resistance. The stock res pump runs all of the above no probs :)

And as far as the Raptor noise goes, my 74 is brilliant :D Quieter and smoother than any of the five or so nidec Spinpoints i´ve had :)

I blame the Whisky for any typos or other mistakes :wink: Scotch & Canadian= Whisky, Irish & Yank = Whiskey

krille
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Post by krille » Mon Apr 17, 2006 5:29 pm

I was thinking should I get two WD150 for some RAID-0 action? Or would that be overkill and simply be pushing it (in a noise sense)?

KnightRT
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Post by KnightRT » Sun Apr 23, 2006 12:57 am

Given your current system configuration, there is no such thing.

DI

TomZ
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Post by TomZ » Sun Apr 23, 2006 4:04 am

I just got another Raptor 150GB - it's just as quiet as the other one I got a few weeks back.

krille
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Post by krille » Sun Apr 23, 2006 6:22 am

KnightRT wrote:Given your current system configuration, there is no such thing.

DI
lol. Thanks bro! 8)

TomZ wrote:I just got another Raptor 150GB - it's just as quiet as the other one I got a few weeks back.
So, do you think two of these are silent in RAID-0? At idle of course... will have my music on a separate P120. Or is there a noticable difference in noise?

Btw... how does the WD1500 really compare to the Samsung P80 and P120?

Thanks ~ Kris

TomZ
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Post by TomZ » Sun Apr 23, 2006 10:06 am

krille wrote:So, do you think two of these are silent in RAID-0? At idle of course... will have my music on a separate P120.
I would think so, although I'm not running mine as RAID0; they're actually in different machines.

My theory is that if you put 1, 2, or 3 "very quiet" drives in your case, their sound will not add up, unless the drives are each making the same sound at the same time. I think that RAID1 (mirroring) probably does cause amplification of the seek noice since two drives are commanded to seek always at the same time. But for RAID0, they are operating fairly independently.

IsaacKuo
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Post by IsaacKuo » Sun Apr 23, 2006 2:36 pm

TomZ wrote:My theory is that if you put 1, 2, or 3 "very quiet" drives in your case, their sound will not add up, unless the drives are each making the same sound at the same time.
My experience is that hard drive noise does add up, although if one drive is particularly loud it'll totally overwhelm the others.
I think that RAID1 (mirroring) probably does cause amplification of the seek noice since two drives are commanded to seek always at the same time. But for RAID0, they are operating fairly independently.
I think you have it the other way around. In RAID0, the two drives almost always seek together. In RAID1, the two drives seek together only during writing. For reading, RAID1 drives operate independently--and in fact seek times are modestly reduced. This is because the two drive heads are in two different places, so the expected distance one of them needs to move is reduced. At least with Linux software RAID, the drive with the seek head closer to the desired data is used preferentially if neither drive is busy at the time.

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