EcoGreen F2 500GB not as quiet as expected

Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

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DAve_M
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EcoGreen F2 500GB not as quiet as expected

Post by DAve_M » Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:25 pm

My hard disk is the loudest part of my computer now. I was expecting better based on the review at SPCR...

"It is inaudible in idle" - Well mine isn't. It's certainly not loud but I can hear it easily from about a meter away in a quiet room. I can even hear it from across the room at idle just about.

SPCR measured it at 12dB at idle. So I'm a bit confused because I can imagine just how 12dB is and I'm sure my room won't match an anechoic chamber.

Seek noise is also very clear. Using AAM makes an obvious improvement. About as good as one can expect for a hard disk. So that's fine, I don't find it annoying. But the idle noise is starting to bug me.

I have soft mounted the hard drive as well (antec solo). But putting your hand on the drive you can easily feel vibrations from it.

I wonder if the drive is faulty... what do people think?

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Post by NeilBlanchard » Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:11 pm

Hi Dave,

Is the drive suspended or on the silicon grommets? It will be quieter when suspended, because decoupling it from the case, will keep the case from "amplifying" the sound.

Some drives vibrate noticeably and others are smooth(er). If you suspend it, put some of the shoulder bolts in the bottom of the drive, so they catch the suspension bands to prevent it sliding out.
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Otter
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Post by Otter » Thu Oct 01, 2009 2:40 pm

I agree with Niel. If you haven't decoupled the drive yet, that's what you need to do. The SPCR tests reflect a suspended drive for because most silencers will suspend their drives and because the unsuspended noise has as much to do with the case as it does with the drive.

DAve_M
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Post by DAve_M » Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:04 am

Hi, I've tried different ways to decouple and it made no difference. The silicone washers in the antec solo do a very good job at decoupling the drive so I'm using them for now. I tired putting the drive on a hard, metal surface and the noise did get a lot worse from the vibrations.

I made a recording of the drive and have been comparing it to the SPCR recording. They are very similar I'm sure my drive is not faulty now.

I compare it to my previous HDD. a Fujitsu 4200RPM 2.5" 40GB drive. The Fujitsu is not significantly quieter, but it is noticeably quieter if that makes sense... The noise disappears completely into the background and can only really be heard clearly if you put your ear very close to it. The ecogreen is more of a deep humming that is very difficult to block or ignore. I've put the computer in a cupboard behind closed doors. And if I am 2 to 3 meters away, I can still hear it as it's the loudest part of the computer. But this would be at night, as during the day it's quiet enough to be drowned out.

So I would say it is not inaudible at idle. If anything, the idle noise is worse than the seek noise. I want to try putting the ecogreen in a scythe quiet drive. That will add a couple layers of metal to block the sound so I'm hoping for a big improvement...

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Post by NeilBlanchard » Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:59 am

Hi Dave,

Have you used the suspension in the Solo? This will be a LOT quieter!
Sincerely, Neil
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DAve_M
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Post by DAve_M » Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:12 am

NeilBlanchard wrote:Have you used the suspension in the Solo? This will be a LOT quieter!
Yes. I also tried different things like putting the drive on the carpeted floor. The only thing that made a noticeable improvement was when I put the drive inside a box or something similar to block/absorb the noise.

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Post by sampo » Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:53 pm

DAve_M wrote:So I would say it is not inaudible at idle. If anything, the idle noise is worse than the seek noise. I want to try putting the ecogreen in a scythe quiet drive. That will add a couple layers of metal to block the sound so I'm hoping for a big improvement...
Yes, scythe box will improve idle noise to inaudible levels. You might find the seeks annoying after that though, if you have very silent computer.

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Post by Wibla » Fri Oct 02, 2009 4:13 pm

Might also be an off sample, rough handling etc during shipping, in that case I'd be wary of putting it into a production enviroment..

Otter
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Post by Otter » Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:10 pm

Sounds like you might have gotten one with a poorly balanced platter. OTOH, you're going from a 2.5" drive that spins at 4200 RPM to a 3.5" drive that spins at 5400 RPM. Still, it ought to be inaudible at 12db, so I think it's a safe bet that your drive is louder than the reviewed sample.

DAve_M
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Post by DAve_M » Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:11 am

I made a recording of the drive at only 8cm if anyone would like to hear it then I would try and upload it somewhere.

In the recording, the drive is very quiet. After comparing it to the SPCR recording, I have decided the drive is not faulty. It's a decent recording, and without cranking the volume it is difficult to hear at all.

But all my previous comments are still true. The drive has a noise that is persistent and difficult to block out both mentally and physically (unless it is directly tackled like with a scythe quiet drive).

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Post by Otter » Sat Oct 03, 2009 7:28 am

Are you saying the drive is quiet in the recording, but noisy in your house?

DAve_M
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Post by DAve_M » Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:31 am

Otter wrote:Are you saying the drive is quiet in the recording, but noisy in your house?
Almost. It's difficult to explain. It must be the noise character. If I compare it to the 4200RPM Fujitsu again... the Fujitsu is comparably quiet but when it is in the case and 2-3 meters away, any sound has all but vanished. The EcoGreen is deeper and more like an electronic style hum that is annoying to listen to. It's only after I changed all the fans (they are now all truly inaudible) that I noticed the hard disk noise. Before that I was perfectly happy with it.

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Post by Otter » Sat Oct 03, 2009 1:58 pm

DAve_M wrote:It's only after I changed all the fans (they are now all truly inaudible) that I noticed the hard disk noise. Before that I was perfectly happy with it.
That is the typical mod cycle.

This may get me branded as a heretic, but have you considered turning the fans back up? If you were happy with the white noise masking the drive before, I'd say that's a better setup than one that reads lower on the meter but has a more annoying character.

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Post by DAve_M » Sat Oct 03, 2009 3:18 pm

Otter wrote:This may get me branded as a heretic, but have you considered turning the fans back up? If you were happy with the white noise masking the drive before, I'd say that's a better setup than one that reads lower on the meter but has a more annoying character.
I agree with you but my fans are modded to run at 5v fixed so can't really turn them up very easily. I'm just going to try the scythe quiet drive next. I'm so close to inaudible... it's just that hard disk left.

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Post by jackylman » Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:01 pm

Sorry to hear your frustration. :(
I just got one of these drives and I love it. It is quieter than my Spinpoint HD321KJ, and much quieter than my old WD 2500KS (RIP).

I'm curious as to the manufacture date and model# on your drive. In the review, the label of the SCPR drive says "Model: HD502HI/Y" and was manufactured in Feb. '09 whereas my sample does not have a "/Y" on the model and says "R54" instead of "5400rpm." My drive was manufactured in Apr. '09
http://www.silentpcreview.com/Silent_Sa ... en_HD502HI
Hi, I've tried different ways to decouple and it made no difference. The silicone washers in the antec solo do a very good job at decoupling the drive so I'm using them for now.
This drive has very low vibration, so I could understand more unconventional forms of decoupling not having a significant impact. Like, you said, as long as the drive isn't touching the chassis directly..

porkchop
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Post by porkchop » Wed Oct 07, 2009 2:46 pm

please do tell us how it goes!

the current quietest 3.5" hdd in an sqd should be interesting - i recently put my wd green in one, the noise reduction wasn't mind blowing but it did drop my temps some. i would like the buy a laptop hdd in the future and use 2 sqds- that should give me pretty much the quietest possible mechanical hdd, hopefully i can add a small ssd later which will give me the most quiet combo i can justify paying for.

DAve_M
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Post by DAve_M » Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:21 am

I now have my ecogreen F2 inside a scythe quiet drive.

It was a bit of a pain to assemble. Everything fit very tightly and I ended up partially stripping some of the screws. So I can't find out the model number now since I don't want to take it apart.

It's been on for about an hour or so but is reading at only 22*C. Ambient temp must be around 20*C so that is impressive.

I can say the noise is not eliminated completely. By putting my ear right up close to the drive I can still hear it easily. I still need to put the drive into the case and I have not tested the drive properly in a low noise level situation. So I will do that and the give my verdict.

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Post by bendit » Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:59 am

a thread that nicely details the O/C traits of the Silencer!

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Post by Shamgar » Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:25 am

jackylman wrote:I'm curious as to the manufacture date and model# on your drive. In the review, the label of the SCPR drive says "Model: HD502HI/Y" and was manufactured in Feb. '09 whereas my sample does not have a "/Y" on the model and says "R54" instead of "5400rpm." My drive was manufactured in Apr. '09
I have the HD103SI/Y -- the 2x 500GB platter variant, Product of China, manufactured Sept. 2009, R54 with 32MB cache. R54 is probably a funny way of abbreviating 5400 revolutions (per minute). I wouldn't lose any sleep over it. Not sure what the Y denotes, though I may end up deciphering it later. Could be due to Far Eastern superstitions or a nomenclaturist doing a fine job earning his keep over at Samsung HDD division.

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Post by telebog » Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:00 am

Thanks DAve_M for your posts.

I'm looking forward to hear about sqd + ecogrean F2, is there dead silence or?

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Post by Ksanderash » Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:03 am

telebog wrote:sqd + ecogrean F2, is there dead silence or?
I'm one of the first owners of this drive on SPCR, and I can say that you can hear it clearly when it is screwed in the case like a regular drive, or when it is simply lying on the desktop.

But being hidden in the case plus properly threated by a noise absorbing material it is realy DEAD SILENT.

Wrap it in a piece of foam rubber, and you'll never hear it from 1m distance, even at seek, but watch out for the temperature -- Samsung shows 8°C less than there realy is.
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Post by new2spcr » Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:37 am

Ksanderash wrote:Samsung shows 8°C less than there realy is.
Would you kindly elaborate on this?
Antec P182, MSI H55-GD65, i3 530@3.5GHZ (w/Nexus 92mm@850 rpm & Minja), 4GB RAM, Samsung HD502HI (suspension w/rubber cords) Geforce 7300GS (w/Zalman ZM80D-HP) PSU Corsair VX450 (w/Noctua NF-S12-1200), System fan Scythe S-Flex 120mm@~550rpm

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Post by Ksanderash » Tue Oct 27, 2009 5:48 am

new2spcr wrote:
Ksanderash wrote:Samsung shows 8°C less than there realy is.
Would you kindly elaborate on this?
Easily. Samsung soho drives' internal temperature probe do report lower value that other vendors' drives (HGST, WD, Seagate). The offset is negative, and can be around 5-8°C. That's a known fact :!:

It isn't a serious problem, though. EcoGreen2 500Gb is rather chilly, being a 5400 rpm drive.
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Post by new2spcr » Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:10 am

Ksanderash wrote: Easily. Samsung soho drives' internal temperature probe do report lower value that other vendors' drives (HGST, WD, Seagate). The offset is negative, and can be around 5-8°C. That's a known fact :!:

It isn't a serious problem, though. EcoGreen2 500Gb is rather chilly, being a 5400 rpm drive.
Ok. I've heard rumours that the temperature sensor that Samsung uses reports lower numbers, but I've never read any hard facts supporting that claim.

I've noticed though that some of the "black chips" on the drive gets pretty hot definitely over 45 degrees C, little uncomfy to touch. I don't know where Samsung has put their sensor though.
Antec P182, MSI H55-GD65, i3 530@3.5GHZ (w/Nexus 92mm@850 rpm & Minja), 4GB RAM, Samsung HD502HI (suspension w/rubber cords) Geforce 7300GS (w/Zalman ZM80D-HP) PSU Corsair VX450 (w/Noctua NF-S12-1200), System fan Scythe S-Flex 120mm@~550rpm

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Post by Shamgar » Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:54 am

I'm using two Samsung drives right now: HM160HI (SpinPoint M5) 2.5" 5400 for system and HD103SI (F2 EcoGreen) 3.5" 5400 for storage/backups. I can support the claim that Samsung drives report unusually low temperatures, especially on my F2 EcoGreen 1TB. Enclosed in an external casing with no active cooling, it typically reports temps in the low to mid 20s °C. It feels cold to the touch too. Don't know whether this is good or bad for the drive in the long term. Even with a +8°C on top of the "incorrect" value, it's still remarkably low. A WD6400AAKS in the same enclosure easily went up to 40-50°C in averagely warm ambient conditions. Being a 7200 drive, that may be expected but WD is known to run hotter while Samsung tend to runs cooler than most.

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Post by Ksanderash » Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:28 am

new2spcr wrote:Ok. I've heard rumours that the temperature sensor that Samsung uses reports lower numbers, but I've never read any hard facts supporting that claim.
Then I feel myself obligated to show you this link :P There was even the author of this review on the SPCR forum, so you can ask him about the details.

S.M.A.R.T. / Pyrometer
Image Image
I've noticed though that some of the "black chips" on the drive gets pretty hot definitely over 45 degrees C, little uncomfy to touch. I don't know where Samsung has put their sensor though.
Yeah, I marked this too. The CPU chip seems to be about 55-60°C hot when drive is busy (40-45 when idle), cause I can't bear my finger on it. But I still think we should not worry much, cause modern silicon chips can stand one houndred of °C w/o negative effect.
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Post by new2spcr » Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:59 pm

Shamgar wrote:I'm using two Samsung drives right now: HM160HI (SpinPoint M5) 2.5" 5400 for system and HD103SI (F2 EcoGreen) 3.5" 5400 for storage/backups. I can support the claim that Samsung drives report unusually low temperatures, especially on my F2 EcoGreen 1TB. Enclosed in an external casing with no active cooling, it typically reports temps in the low to mid 20s °C. It feels cold to the touch too. Don't know whether this is good or bad for the drive in the long term. Even with a +8°C on top of the "incorrect" value, it's still remarkably low. A WD6400AAKS in the same enclosure easily went up to 40-50°C in averagely warm ambient conditions. Being a 7200 drive, that may be expected but WD is known to run hotter while Samsung tend to runs cooler than most.

I'm not sure how much I should trust the famous paper Google released 2-3 years ago, but I like to think that HD's should be warm, not cold. But not too hot either.
Mid 20s is what I'm getting now with Ecogreen F2 500gb.

/dev/sda: SAMSUNG HD502HI: 25°C

That's just 2-3 degrees over ambient.

It's barely lukewarm to touch (the sides and top), and the drive is suspended with cords and the drive is surrounded by dampening material.

The other Samsung drive I have (don't remember the model), a notebook HD 5400 rpm 80gb gets pretty warm; around 45-48 degrees when Idlling according to S.M.A.R.T. I also can feel it gets pretty hot in the area on the notebook where the drive is mounted.

It seems to me the temperature that S.M.A.R.T reports is correct, at least for my Samsung drives.
Antec P182, MSI H55-GD65, i3 530@3.5GHZ (w/Nexus 92mm@850 rpm & Minja), 4GB RAM, Samsung HD502HI (suspension w/rubber cords) Geforce 7300GS (w/Zalman ZM80D-HP) PSU Corsair VX450 (w/Noctua NF-S12-1200), System fan Scythe S-Flex 120mm@~550rpm

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Post by new2spcr » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:04 pm

Ksanderash wrote:
new2spcr wrote:Ok. I've heard rumours that the temperature sensor that Samsung uses reports lower numbers, but I've never read any hard facts supporting that claim.
Then I feel myself obligated to show you this link :P There was even the author of this review on the SPCR forum, so you can ask him about the details.
I've noticed though that some of the "black chips" on the drive gets pretty hot definitely over 45 degrees C, little uncomfy to touch. I don't know where Samsung has put their sensor though.
Yeah, I marked this too. The CPU chip seems to be about 55-60°C hot when drive is busy (40-45 when idle), cause I can't bear my finger on it. But I still think we should not worry much, cause modern silicon chips can stand one houndred of °C w/o negative effect.
Interesting find. Thanks for the link. Perhaps the rumours are well backed up with evidence - at least for some Samsung models?
Exactly where on the drive did they measure the temperature?

Black chips - only thing that worries me little is that my rubber suspension cords might be too close to those hot spots and start melting them in the long run.
Antec P182, MSI H55-GD65, i3 530@3.5GHZ (w/Nexus 92mm@850 rpm & Minja), 4GB RAM, Samsung HD502HI (suspension w/rubber cords) Geforce 7300GS (w/Zalman ZM80D-HP) PSU Corsair VX450 (w/Noctua NF-S12-1200), System fan Scythe S-Flex 120mm@~550rpm

Ksanderash
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Post by Ksanderash » Sat Oct 31, 2009 6:18 am

new2spcr wrote:Exactly where on the drive did they measure the temperature?
I think, this sort of information can be obtained at the data recovery lab, if you have one nearby ;) I personally can tell you only that HGST drives T7K500 and T7K1000 models have the probe on pcb, and T7K250 has it inside the case.

...

UPDATE Well, I've asked a data recovery guru this question, and he said, that the temperature sensor on Samsung drives is the read-write head itself. And this practice is valid for most of modern drives. There are, though, exeptions -- some WD drives have a separate temperature sensor, and sometimes even more than one(!) sensor. Data collected from such sensors go through the firmware to be translated into digital code, gets individual offset, then mirrors in the SMART.
Last edited by Ksanderash on Sat Oct 31, 2009 8:39 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Shamgar » Sat Oct 31, 2009 6:31 am

new2spcr wrote:I'm not sure how much I should trust the famous paper Google released 2-3 years ago, but I like to think that HD's should be warm, not cold. But not too hot either.
Mid 20s is what I'm getting now with Ecogreen F2 500gb.

/dev/sda: SAMSUNG HD502HI: 25°C

That's just 2-3 degrees over ambient.

It's barely lukewarm to touch (the sides and top), and the drive is suspended with cords and the drive is surrounded by dampening material.

The other Samsung drive I have (don't remember the model), a notebook HD 5400 rpm 80gb gets pretty warm; around 45-48 degrees when Idlling according to S.M.A.R.T. I also can feel it gets pretty hot in the area on the notebook where the drive is mounted.

It seems to me the temperature that S.M.A.R.T reports is correct, at least for my Samsung drives.
I also heard about that Google paper. It was discussed on the forums a couple years ago I think. A warmer drive of which temperature is around 30-35°C appears to be a "safe zone" : not too cool nor too hot.

If choosing which side of the extreme is preferable, I would rather them be a little cooler as opposed to burning hot. A cool drive can be warmed up with some disk activity and the longer you leave it running, while an already hot drive is hard to cool down to a "safe zone" even if you direct a high airflow fan at it (it may still take some time to cool it down).

I really start to get concerned for the integrity and health of my drives when they exceed 45°C. Even though they are rated to run okay up to 50°C, you don't want to be working in the extreme end of the scale for an extended time. Then again, I could just be an overly cautious person when it comes to my drives. Thankfully, Samsung's F2 EcoGreens (and possibly their recent F3 Spinpoints) run exceptionally cool, considering they are desktop drives also.

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