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Recommended Hard Drives

Our reference article about HDD noise, along with complete acoustics-ranked listings of all SPCR-reviewed HDDs since late 2008. Latest update 4 October 2014.

SPCR's Hard Drive Testing Methodology

The HDD testing system underwent a major series of upgrades that reflects the growing sophistication of SPCR readers -- and our own increasing awareness of hard drive acoustics issues. The acoustic testing tools of careful listening and SPL measurements remain; they are enhanced with a new vibration testing methodology, as well as measurements of power draw in an effort to predict thermals.

Samsung 950 Pro 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD

Samsung's latest flagship 950 Pro M.2 SSD utilizes four PCI-E 3.0 lanes and features the Samsung UBX controller, 3D V-NAND, and support for the new NVMe standard.


SilverStone TS431U 4-Bay External Enclosure

The SilverStone TS431U is a basic 4-bay USB 3.0/eSATA external enclosure that's built like a SilverStone case.


WD Black 6TB Performance Hard Drive

The latest hard drive from WD offers both high performance and capacity in a single package. The WD Black 6TB is equipped with a 7200 RPM motor, 128MB of cache, and is backed by a five year warranty.


WD Blue SSHD 4TB & 1TB Hybrid Drives

The premise behind the WD Blue SSHD is a solid one, combining 8GB of snappy NAND Flash with a 5400 hard drive to produce a single responsive yet affordable high capacity all-in-one storage solution.


Kingston HyperX Predator 480GB M.2/PCI-E SSD

Kingston's high-end consumer M.2 SSD is powered by the latest Marvell controller, 1GB of DDR3 cache, and 19nm Toggle-mode flash memory, and uses a PCI-E 2.0 x4 interface to overcome the limitations of SATA.


Thecus W4000+ Windows Powered 4-Bay NAS

The line between NAS and server is blurred with the Thecus W4000+, a 4-bay unit running Storage Server 2012. 4GB of RAM and a 60GB SSD are included to help bear the load of Windows but an older Atom processor holds it back.


Kingston HyperX Savage 480GB SSD

Powered by a Phison S10 controller, 256MB of DDR3 cache, and 19nm Toggle-mode NAND Flash, the HyperX Savage is positioned as Kingston's new high-end consumer SATA SSD.


Samsung Wireless & Seagate Backup Plus External HDDs

The Samsung Wireless Mobile Media Streaming Device offers truly portable storage accessible by a variety of WiFi devices, while the Seagate Backup Plus drives delivers a more traditional wired experience.


Samsung M9T 2TB (2.5-inch) & Seagate SSHD 2TB

Two mechanical drives from Seagate: The Samsung SpinPoint M9T 2TB is the only standard 9.5mm thick 2.5" notebook drive of this capacity; others are thicker. The Seagate Desktop SSHD 2TB is a hybrid desktop model with 8GB of NAND Flash augmenting a 7200 RPM motor and 2x1TB platters.


Crucial MX100 512GB & Samsung 850 Pro 256GB SSDs

The Crucial MX100 512GB is the ultimate value SSD with the best capacity:price ratio on the market, while the Samsung 850 Pro 256GB is positioned as the latest ultra-fast premium flagship emphasizing performance and reliability.


Thecus N7710-G 7-Bay NAS with 10 GbE

The Thecus N7710-G is a no-nonsense 7-bay NAS tower server that focuses on function over form. The user interface is humdrum but the hardware is the true star, including a 2.9 GHz Sandy Bridge processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 10 GbE card.


WD Red 6TB and 1TB (2.5-inch) Hard Drives

While both are members of the WD Red family, the 6TB model is a massive flagship desktop drive, while the 1TB model is a tiny 2.5-inch drive for the budding slim NAS market.


Seagate Enterprise Class v4 6TB Hard Drive

With six 1TB platters, 128MB of cache, and a 7200 RPM motor, Seagate boasts that the Enterprise Class 3.5 HDD v4 6TB is the world's fastest hard drive. The validity of their claim and the environmental ramifications lie within.



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