Hard disk reccomendations

Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

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gcwebbyuk
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Hard disk reccomendations

Post by gcwebbyuk » Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:50 am

I currently have 2 1TB Seagate 7200.11 drives.

I find their spin noise is louder than the fan noise from my case/CPU/GPU.

I have tried suspending them, which cut down on the seek noise, but the constant spinning noise was still there.

I went for these drives as their specs were good for the PC I was building at the time, which wasn't with a view to getting it as quiet as possible.

I have two WD Scorpio Blue 2.5" drives which I have used - these were MUCH quieter, but also a lot slower.

Are there any 2.5" drives that can match the speed of the 7200.11s?

I have thought about an SSD and these seem the holy grail, but they also cost a lot - so looking for the best drive to use now, as am hoping SSD prices will come down.

I did consider a small SSD for the OS and a second drive for data, but I would still get the spin noise from the 2nd drive...

jessekopelman
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Post by jessekopelman » Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:57 am

WD Velociraptor is 2.5" and better performance than 7200.11. SPCR found it pretty quiet for a high-performance drive, as well.

There are plenty of 7200 RPM 2.5" drives out there, but I wonder at their acoustics. It is more the 5400 RPM that is typical of a 2.5" drive than the form-factor that makes it quieter. Meanwhile, larger form-factor drives will always have an inherent speed advantage at the same RPM, thanks to geometry. This is why the newer 5400 RPM 3.5" drives tend to be at least as fast as 7200 RPM 2.5" drives. I don't think something like a WD Green has quite the performance of a 7200.11, but it is probably better than a Scorpio Blue and you may find it adequate.
gcwebbyuk wrote:I did consider a small SSD for the OS and a second drive for data, but I would still get the spin noise from the 2nd drive...
You can have the second drive go to sleep when not in use. This is an approach taken by many. It will be years yet, before TB-class SSD are what most people would consider affordable.

gcwebbyuk
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Post by gcwebbyuk » Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:18 am

How do I go about setting a drive to spin-down when not in use?

How quick does it spin backup again when needed though?

jessekopelman
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Post by jessekopelman » Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:00 pm

gcwebbyuk wrote:How do I go about setting a drive to spin-down when not in use?
Depends on OS. I recommend you search these forums as we have discussed this many times. I remember that for Windows, revoSleep is pretty well thought of, but I think I remember reading somewhat recently of an even better program.
gcwebbyuk wrote:How quick does it spin backup again when needed though?
< 1s. Long enough that it is noticeable if it is something that would open instantly from a spinning hard drive, but I doubt you'd notice the extra time for a big file that takes a few seconds to open anyway.

It is important to note that once your drive wakes up you should probably have it stay awake for some time before putting it back to sleep. Spinning up is the most stressful activity for a drive. How long depends on the drive. Things like a 2.5" drive (non-Velociraptor) are meant to be put to sleep quite often to conserve laptop power, so I'd say as little as 5 minutes. WD Green are also meant to be powered down quite often -- maybe 10-15 minutes. For normal desktop drives, I'd think 30 minutes or longer would be best.

gcwebbyuk
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Post by gcwebbyuk » Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:28 pm

How would 2x500gb WD Scorpio Blue 2.5" drives in a RAID array compare to a 7200.11?

I mainly use my second 1TB drive as a backup drive, and can use this in the X-Dock at the top of my case, so would only need it plugged in when backing up.

jessekopelman
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Post by jessekopelman » Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:33 pm

gcwebbyuk wrote:How would 2x500gb WD Scorpio Blue 2.5" drives in a RAID array compare to a 7200.11?
RAID 0 can make a big difference for some applications, but is negligible for most things. For most people, this kind of array is no replacement for a faster single drive.

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Post by ~El~Jefe~ » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:02 am

I have never been happier than with my 1TB Samsung F1, HE103UJ drive. It is the higher level warranty version of one that was reviewed on here. Has a 7 year warranty if used in business setting/server. It is quieter than 160gb samsung and 320 samsung. seeks are quieter too. speed with my particular motherboard is staggering.


I really cant see the need for a Raptor as the capacity is always lacking.

gcwebbyuk
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Post by gcwebbyuk » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:20 am

Current testing setup is now:

1 x 1TB 7200.11 swapped for 500GB 7200.12 from Sky HD box - giving more space on there anyway.

1 x 1TB 7200.11 to be used as a backup drive.

1 x 320GB WD Blue to be used as an archive drive to move old data to that won't need fast read times etc.

The 7200.12 is supposed to be quieter than the 7200.11, as long as there is some form of weight in the centre of the drive to keep pressure on it:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1004-page4.html

I intend to use a rubber eraser as suggested in that article.

Will see how that goes. Just transferring data across now.

SkyHD box done, and all working.

gcwebbyuk
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Post by gcwebbyuk » Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:45 pm

I intended to use a rubber eraser as suggested in that article, but didn't need to.

Much quieter now! Just defragging and cleaning up any [email protected] on the HDDs and I think I will be happy!

Well until the Coolermaster fans and sound deadening arrive!

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