What is the quietest 5400rpm HDD?

Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

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gustavs_a
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What is the quietest 5400rpm HDD?

Post by gustavs_a » Tue Jul 22, 2003 1:30 am

Hi,

I realize that a 7200rpm drive is not really necessary just for storing movies and music (as 2nd drive), 5400rpm could be quieter and keep cooler. My primary hdd is Barracuda IV 40Gb 7200rpm.

What is the quietest 5400rpm drive with capacity 80Gb or more? I'm most interested in idle noise (whine). How much quieter it is than the quietest 7200rpm drive?

Thank you,
Gustavs
Last edited by gustavs_a on Tue Jul 22, 2003 6:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by pingu666 » Tue Jul 22, 2003 2:52 am

well your 7200 drive is about as quiet as they come. seagate do the u series but its cheap and louder than your current drive i think. theres samsung and maxtor, i think your left with samsung tbh
maxtor will have loud seak
i rekon a another seagate 7200 or a samsung drive be a good bet
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Post by gustavs_a » Tue Jul 22, 2003 8:03 am

Which one is quieter: Samsung SV0802N 80GB 5400rpm (single platter) or Barracuda IV 80GB 7200rpm ?

al bundy
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Re: What is the quietest 5400rpm HDD?

Post by al bundy » Tue Jul 22, 2003 9:32 am

gustavs_a wrote:...What is the quietest 5400rpm drive with capacity 80Gb or more? I'm most interested in idle noise (whine). How much quieter it is than the quietest 7200rpm drive?

Thank you,
Gustavs
I too hate the idle whine sound much more than the seek sound of a hard drive.

Consider the Maxtor DiamondMax 16 series, model #4R080L0 (80GB), or 4R120L0 (120GB), or 4R160L0 (160GB). These are fluid-bearing 5400rpm drives that are already very quiet, and their idle whine is of a slightly lower frequency than the 7200 drives (thus a little less ear-piercing).

Also consider putting one of those above drives in an inexpensive Silent Drive enclosure, as this will kill the idle whine better than the Smart Drive enclosure does, and also will be temperature-safe with a 5400rpm drive.

8)

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Post by POLIST8 » Tue Jul 22, 2003 10:01 am

I personally think that a 5400 RPM drive is a waste of time considering the hard disk is the slowest part of any computer system.

But hey, it's your money.
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Post by gustavs_a » Tue Jul 22, 2003 11:00 am

al bundy: maybe you know how these Maxtor drives compare to the new Samsung SpinPoint V80 drives ?

POLIST8: I only need it for storing movies and music (as 2nd drive), higher speed would give nothing (5400rpm should be fine for playback). Whatever the speed, I want the quietest.
Last edited by gustavs_a on Tue Jul 22, 2003 11:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by POLIST8 » Tue Jul 22, 2003 11:16 am

OK.

I have a 40GB Maxtor 5400 RPM Drive if you want to buy it for $45 (which includes S/H).
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Post by gustavs_a » Tue Jul 22, 2003 11:39 am

POLIST8: No, thanks. I need at least 80GB and not louder than Barracuda IV 40Gb.

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Post by hmsrolst » Tue Jul 22, 2003 1:14 pm

I have several Seagate U6's that are very nice in small systems--both quiet and cool. According to the database at Storagereview.com, they are among the quietest drives. Mine are 40GB, but 80GB ones are listed on Pricewatch for $65.

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Re: What is the quietest 5400rpm HDD?

Post by XtalMan » Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:11 pm

gustavs_a wrote:Hi,

I realize that a 7200rpm drive is not really necessary just for storing movies and music (as 2nd drive), 5400rpm could be quieter and keep cooler. My primary hdd is Barracuda IV 40Gb 7200rpm.

What is the quietest 5400rpm drive with capacity 80Gb or more? I'm most interested in idle noise (whine). How much quieter it is than the quietest 7200rpm drive?

Thank you,
Gustavs
I'm very happy with my Samsung Spinpoint 160Gb hard drive (2Mb cache). It cost about $125 at newegg.com I can't hear it idle. The seeks are still audible, but if you suspend the hard drives, that helps a lot.

I use it in my HTPC, and 5400rpm is fast enough to record TV shows, and play back movies and music. As a bonus, it runs a lot cooler and quieter than my Maxtor 7200rpm FDB 80Gb hard drive in my desktop.
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Post by al bundy » Tue Jul 22, 2003 5:51 pm

gustavs_a wrote:al bundy: maybe you know how these Maxtor drives compare to the new Samsung SpinPoint V80 drives ?
I haven't had the opportunity to compare the Maxtor DiamondMax 16 drives against the Samsung SpinPoint V80 drives yet, so I can't give feedback on that at the moment, sorry!

I would love to know the answer about the comparison too, if anybody else has compared them for idle noise level?

8)

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Post by arman68 » Wed Jul 23, 2003 1:17 am

I think 5400rpm drive in a HTPC is the way to go: usually cooling conditions are less than ideal in such a box and 5400rpm drives help keep the temperature down.

The problem is getting a large capacity drive. After reading all the reviews and specs, it seems that the Samsung SV1606N 160GB is the best candidate; I have not tried it though.

I have tested a Maxtor DiamondMax+ 8, and my impressions was that it was as quiet as my Barracuda V (both with AAM turned on). In fact during heavy disk operations I can distincly hear the seeks on the Seagate, but barely on the Maxtor, which surprised me.

I am interested in the Maxtor Maxline II 300GB drives: has anyone used it?

A warning: stay away from IBM hard drives: they are very noisy, bearable with AAM, and run hot as hell.

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Post by CoolGav » Wed Jul 23, 2003 4:35 am

Last year I got a Seagate U6 80Gb and was really pleased with the performance and noise aspcts of it that when it came to building a server I wanted to go with some more the same (for a RAID array). I couldn't source any at the end of last year and ended up with some Samsung 5400rpm, 80GB ones instead which are equally as good IMHO. Because I'm running 1 U6, 3 Samsungs as well as a used SCSI boot drive (read some loud drive I picked up cheap) and some fans I don't actually hear the IDE drives!

Since the demise of Fujitsu and the unavailability of U6's in the UK when I wanted some I go with Seagate Baracuda's for performance/noise, and have no problems recomending Samsung for 5400rpm storage drives. I may invest in some more 80Gb drives myself to bolster the RAID-5 array to help keep up with my DV and music habits!

PS: I've been lurking here for a while, so hi! :D

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Post by Ralf Hutter » Wed Jul 23, 2003 5:06 am

I have a Samsung 160GB, 7200rpm (SP1604N) on the way from Newegg right now. It's going to be my new storage drive, replacing an 80GB cuda IV. Reading this SPCR review leads me to believe that it should be damn near as quiet as the 40GB cuda IV MikeC's comparing it to. I'll post back after i get it running.
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Re: What is the quietest 5400rpm HDD?

Post by bluehat » Tue Jul 29, 2003 2:34 am

gustavs_a wrote:Hi,

I realize that a 7200rpm drive is not really necessary just for storing movies and music (as 2nd drive), 5400rpm could be quieter and keep cooler. My primary hdd is Barracuda IV 40Gb 7200rpm.

What is the quietest 5400rpm drive with capacity 80Gb or more? I'm most interested in idle noise (whine). How much quieter it is than the quietest 7200rpm drive?
I'm using a 80gb 5400 rpm Maxtor 16 drive, since it is a very cool running and also quiet drive and can be easily silenced without heat concerns.

I used 4 liters of sand for acoustic hdd isolation (2 x 2l plastic bags, and hdd located airtightly between those bags). Hdd is also inside a soft sock which isolates vibrations to sand bags. It is relatively lightweight and silent solution, no seek noises or whine are audible on my zero-fan setup.

The system is always turned on, and a cablefull of mp3's and other files going in and out all the time. My room temp during the summer is 28 C even in the middle of the night and hdd max temp is 49 C.

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Post by pingu666 » Tue Jul 29, 2003 3:01 am

49 is pretty hot, but its in a sock :O
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Re: What is the quietest 5400rpm HDD?

Post by al bundy » Tue Jul 29, 2003 3:27 am

bluehat wrote:...I'm using a 80gb 5400 rpm Maxtor 16 drive, since it is a very cool running and also quiet drive and can be easily silenced without heat concerns.

I used 4 liters of sand for acoustic hdd isolation (2 x 2l plastic bags, and hdd located airtightly between those bags). Hdd is also inside a soft sock which isolates vibrations to sand bags. It is relatively lightweight and silent solution, no seek noises or whine are audible on my zero-fan setup...

This sounds really cool and interesting! Do you have any pics?

Also, how are you cooling your psu and cpu with zero fans, please explain?

8)

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Re: What is the quietest 5400rpm HDD?

Post by bluehat » Tue Jul 29, 2003 3:33 am

I have some pictures here, but this page is now badly outdated:

http://members.fortunecity.com/bluehat1/

I don't use any aluminum plates any more for hdd cooling, so significantly less sand is needed.
Now I also have a new processor (xp2400 overclocked to 2152MHz, and 2xbig heatsink to cool it), and a nice cherry wood closet to hold these components. But no pictures or camera at the moment.

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Re: What is the quietest 5400rpm HDD?

Post by al bundy » Tue Jul 29, 2003 3:38 am

bluehat wrote:I have some pictures here, but this page is now badly outdated:

http://members.fortunecity.com/bluehat1/

I don't use any aluminum plates any more for hdd cooling, so significantly less sand is needed.
Now I also have a new processor (xp2400 overclocked to 2152MHz, and 2xbig heatsink to cool it), and a nice cherry wood closet to hold these components. But no pictures or camera at the moment.
Very interesting ideas! I hope you will be able to show some updated pics soon, that would be great to see the progress...

Nice work!

8)

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Post by frosty » Tue Jul 29, 2003 11:27 am

Those sandbag idea is so original one of the most interesting things I have read here so far and I am reading almost every new post now - and the statement I put my hard drive in a sock, sounds funny, kinda like the pron I get in my email - neat idea too - but those temps would scare me away I am too paranoid of data lost on the way from heat. :D
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Post by POLIST8 » Tue Jul 29, 2003 11:48 am

I still think buying a 5400 RPM drive is dumb.
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Post by pingu666 » Tue Jul 29, 2003 11:49 am

i woulda thought ud need more surface area
is awsome i must admit :)
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Post by bluehat » Tue Jul 29, 2003 12:00 pm

Actually that sock added only 1C to hdd temp, but sand isn't very good heat conducter. Sand has high heat capacity, but after 12 hours of use temps get high.
Sand thermal conductivity depends on particle size; sand with different size particles (larger seeds mixed with very fine sand) has better thermal conductivity. But still there is air between particles and thermal conductivity is poor.
One might mix some silicon grease, vaseline, bike oil or some general household oil/grease/paste to sand (available in nearest hardware (not computer) store), it should boost sand thermal properties, but if there is a small hole in the bag then you get an oily hdd.

Edit:
in fact Water has much better thermal conductivity than glycol or other liquids. Glycol/water mixture is better only in convective cooling. Water is also better than any oils, even thermal oils or motor oils.
Dry sand thermal conductivity is 0,29 W/mK, and wet sand 2,1 W/mK (very close to granite). In 2 l container about 6 dl of water can be added to dry sand, there is quite a lot of air in sand.
I tried using wet sand in the first sand-silencing attempt, secured the bags with air-conditioning tape, but still the water dried and disappeared in 1-2 weeks.

Any ideas where to get extra-strong, and 100% air and water proof bags?

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Post by al bundy » Wed Jul 30, 2003 3:32 am

POLIST8 wrote:I still think buying a 5400 RPM drive is dumb.
Not at all. There are many very good reasons for doing this.

Edit: bluehat, I wouldn't recommend putting anything in your case that would require an air/water-tight bag in the first place! Very risky IMO...

8)
Last edited by al bundy on Wed Jul 30, 2003 7:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by WarpedPlatter » Wed Jul 30, 2003 6:53 am

With high-end audio equipment, many people fill speaker stands and equipment racks with a mixture of sand and lead shot to damp vibrations. Some people use mostly sand with some shot, while others use just enough sand to fill in the gaps you would get with shot alone.

While the thermal conductivity of lead pales in comparison to aluminum or copper it is much better than sand. The oil-like filler materials suggested have lower conductivity than sand, but are way better than the air which would be there otherwise. The numbers in the table below are different than those from other sources I've seen, but are close enough to get an idea.

I don't know if a mixture would perform somewhere between the different materials or if it would be near the level of the worst performing component. Maybe someone could experiment and post the results.

The best source of lead shot I know of is from a sporting goods store that sells ammunition reloading supplies. Copper coated lead shot should be readily available as well, at least in the US, since plain lead shot is illegal for hunting waterfowl. There are industrial sources as well and it might be possible to get aluminum or pure copper in shot form if you're lucky.

Thermal conductivity in W/mK

Alumin(i)um 210
Copper 386
Lead 35

Sand, dry 0.39
Soil, dry 0.14

Oil, engine 0.15
Vaseline 0.18
Water 0.58

Air 0.026

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Post by POLIST8 » Wed Jul 30, 2003 7:34 am

Good reasons like...............

Less Value (Based on the drop in price of 7200RMP Drives)
More Noise (Based on the new FDB that Seagate and Maxtor have implemented)
Less Space (Except of the huge external Maxtor Drives)
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Post by gustavs_a » Wed Jul 30, 2003 8:23 am

POLIST8: new Samsung 5400rpm HDDs also have Fluid Dynamic Bearings. Samsung SV0802N could be even quieter than Barracuda IV 40GB ! 5400rpm's also keep cooler.

Of course, if a 7200rpm drive ends up the qietest, I'll better choose it than 5400rpm.

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Post by POLIST8 » Wed Jul 30, 2003 8:25 am

I guess it comes down to the ultimate reason:

It's your money.
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Post by bluehat » Wed Jul 30, 2003 9:49 am

WarpedPlatter wrote: The best source of lead shot I know of is from a sporting goods store that sells ammunition reloading supplies. Copper coated lead shot should be readily available as well, at least in the US, since plain lead shot is illegal for hunting waterfowl. There are industrial sources as well and it might be possible to get aluminum or pure copper in shot form if you're lucky.
Lead might be better than any aluminum or copper. Hdds aren't any cpus that generate more heat than high-power soldering equipment.
Lead has higher density than sand, aluminum or even copper, so it absorbs sound better.
Diving shops are selling a few kg lead shot bags that look sturdy and suitable for hdds, i.e. 3 kg weight belt accessory bag. Is ammunition as cheap?

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Post by al bundy » Wed Jul 30, 2003 11:12 am

gustavs_a wrote:...new Samsung 5400rpm HDDs also have Fluid Dynamic Bearings. Samsung SV0802N could be even quieter than Barracuda IV 40GB ! 5400rpm's also keep cooler.

Of course, if a 7200rpm drive ends up the qietest, I'll better choose it than 5400rpm.
The new Maxtor 5400rpm drives also have fluid bearings, are very affordable right now, and have a nice small profile.

Other good reasons (besides the good ones gustavs_a very patiently reiterates above) can include lower power usage and greater compatibility with silencing devices (which can give the edge on quietness too).

I only mention these things for the benefit of those who might not yet be aware of the several very good reasons for why fellow SPCR's often consider and use current 5400rpm drives. There's always something new to learn.

Oh yeah, and I almost forgot - it's our own money that we spend.

Sheesh, wouldn't want to forget that.

Must not forget that.

Must... not... forget...

8)

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