Scythe Silent Box SBX-1000 HDD Enclosure

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MikeC
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Scythe Silent Box SBX-1000 HDD Enclosure

Post by MikeC » Sun May 15, 2005 9:03 pm


winguy
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Post by winguy » Mon May 16, 2005 5:55 am

Where would one normally place this box in a case?

MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Mon May 16, 2005 6:01 am

from the article: "Once the box is screwed together, the whole thing is meant to be screwed into a 5.25" optical bay."

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Post by Green Shoes » Mon May 16, 2005 6:13 am

Nice review, guys. It seems rather silly to only release it for IDE-compatible drives, though (apparently with good reason, according to one of the pics). Any word on if they are planning to release an SATA version?

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Post by MikeC » Mon May 16, 2005 6:41 am

Actually, if you wanted to use it with a SATA drive, it'd be a simple matter to cut a wee notch in the rubber to make it fit. We didn't because we tested it with both P and S ATA, & even a small acoustic "leak" can hurt performance of acoustically sealed devices.

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Post by scara » Mon May 16, 2005 7:43 am

Quality review, probably the best of the recent ones. Nice and concise whilst still providing excellent detail and clear comparisons.

Are there any more HD enclosure reviews being worked on? The SmartDrive isn't available over here in the UK (afaik) and it would be good to have a trusted opinion on some of the other options out there.

Spotted a small error. On page 3, the last sentence before the second image should read "but most of the time only one is necessary to completely cover the internal electronics."

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Post by MikeC » Mon May 16, 2005 8:00 am

In a nutshell, of the >half-dozen hdd silencing devices we've been sent samples of, there are only 3 I would consider: NoVibes, SmartDrive & Silentbox. The rest... we're not reviewing the ones we have; not worth our time. This includes most aluminum box/plates + grommets type devices. Which is just about all of them. Some of them actually make the HDD noise worse by increasing vibration transfer.

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Post by tay » Mon May 16, 2005 8:10 am

Lol Mike. The first thing that crossed my mind when I saw the review thing was powergyoza's box. Nice to see props to him in the article. Good review! I might make one of these myself for the 4 platter maxline II in the server.

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Post by Caudipteryx zoui » Mon May 16, 2005 9:11 am

Does any distinct smell emanate from this product?

I don't normally associate new car tires with pleasant or neutral smells. This is unfounded speculation, but I wonder if intensive HD or case heat over time would produce some kind of funk with this.

edit: The results speak for themselves, but I still wonder what cooling performance might be gained if the Heatlanes were employed on the sides of the HD. Is it not true that HDs dissipate more heat from the sides than they do the top or bottom?

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Post by lenny » Mon May 16, 2005 9:40 am

I have a small question regarding the temperature results.

The thermal pad comes into contact with the PCB. The heatlane is therefore conducting heat away from the electronics, not the actual drive body itself. The low temperature (which is probably read by an IC on the PCB?) might be misleading.

Is there any way of testing the drive with and without the box with independent temperature sensors on the top and sides of the drive?

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Post by MalcolmC » Mon May 16, 2005 9:58 am

I tried one of these boxes about a month ago, and because I am using a SATA drive (Samsung) on an embedded Promise SATA controller, I cannot monitor the temperature using software (if anyone knows of some software that would enable me to do this please let me know.)

Anyway, I got a thermometer for my case and attached the lead to the drive (the placement of the lead was somewhat random, but I put it on the drive body, near to the SATA and power leads.) Before putting the drive in the box, it was running at oround 36 degrees, and in the box (and it took a long time to warm up) it was somewhat over 50. This was with a slight airflow.

I was concerned about the increase in temp, especially because we are (in theory at least) supposed to be coming towards the sunny summer here in the UK, and was concerned that temps would climb even higher.

Anyway after a week or so, the drive noise started to increase, and I discovered that the screws had started to come loose - as Mike says in his review, you have to be careful not to tighten too much; but from my experience, it's hard to get them tight enough. So I removed the drive again, and have a reject box sitting on my bench.

As a matter of interest, the heatlane bit was hardly hot to touch - I really do not think it was doing a very good job of conducting heat away from my drive.

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Post by lenny » Mon May 16, 2005 2:50 pm

Thanks, MalcolmC. That's exactly the kind of testing I'm looking for.

Speedfan could read temps of my SATA through the VIA southbridge, but I'm not sure about through the Promise SATA controller.

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Post by wim » Mon May 16, 2005 6:07 pm

it's good that spcr does not shy away from pointing out all the negative sides of a product. such objective reviewing is quite strange to see compared to other review sites. i mean, almost all the reviews here are quite critical and that's a great thing (for us). but i wonder if the manufacturers ever get annoyed, eg i could understand if scythe were feeling this review is seeming like more of an ad for the smart drive.

ps: the main questions in my head was left unanswered by this review. it's probably the question of most interest to all spcr readers. when using a modern/quiet drive (seagate, spinpoint..) how does the silent box compare to d.i.y. elastic suspension? can a quiet drive (i.e. "can my drive") be made inaudible with the 'silent' box?
because this is where suspension fails, it works really well but it does not make a 3.5" drive inaudible, even inside a damped case (unless you have a fairly high ambient). so when i'm thinking with my wallet, i'd want to know whether i can go something better

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Post by MikeC » Mon May 16, 2005 10:06 pm

wim --

Several points:
1) quiet drives (seagate, spinpoint..) ARE made inaudible by my DIY suspensions. What are you doing wrong w/ yours?
2) I think the other questions you have are answered as well as they can be given limitations of web reporting on acoustics.
3) Yes you can get better than your suspension -- put the HDD in either the Silentbox or Smart drive then use a DIY elastic suspension.

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Post by Likif » Wed May 18, 2005 1:33 am

Nice article! The mp3s are messed up, the Reference Noisy Drive links to a DiamondMax10 with a 23-28dbA output, 'inside Smart Drive' links to a Deskstar, and 'inside Silent Box' links to the Deskstar again.

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Post by wim » Wed May 18, 2005 2:18 am

MikeC wrote:1) quiet drives (seagate, spinpoint..) ARE made inaudible by my DIY suspensions. What are you doing wrong w/ yours?
:-| you think suspension makes drive inaudible..? this surprises me!
don't think i'm doing anything wrong. i just copied you! :lol: i have the elastic very loose, (a tap on the drive makes it wobble quite slowly and with large amplitude). when i was first experimenting with suspension, i was amazed out how easily the vibes would creep back in with higher tensions. but i have it very loose and the drive is touching nothing but elastic and air. finger on the suspension frame (steel 5 1/4 bays hacked out of an old AT case) and it feels completely dead. drive still vibrating of course, and audible, but it's just air borne acoustics..structure borne acoustics gone as far as i know. i use barracuda IV's but i have also got nidec spinpoints (almost equal, maybe B IV's slightly quieter) so i don't believe i have fluke noisy drives.

don't get me wrong, they're very quiet but certainly not inaudible. i can only conclude that perhaps i have younger ears than you (i'm 23) or maybe the ambient is lower (at night there's no traffic and can hear the fridge compressor cycle which is 3 rooms away!). i certainly don't mean to accuse you of being a deaf old fart, so got any better ideas? :wink:

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Post by ATWindsor » Wed May 18, 2005 4:04 am

MikeC wrote:In a nutshell, of the >half-dozen hdd silencing devices we've been sent samples of, there are only 3 I would consider: NoVibes, SmartDrive & Silentbox. The rest... we're not reviewing the ones we have; not worth our time. This includes most aluminum box/plates + grommets type devices. Which is just about all of them. Some of them actually make the HDD noise worse by increasing vibration transfer.
How about the new drive-thing from mcubed (or something), that seemed like an interesting product.

AtW

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Post by MikeC » Wed May 18, 2005 6:26 am

wim wrote::-| you think suspension makes drive inaudible..? this surprises me!..... don't get me wrong, they're very quiet but certainly not inaudible. i can only conclude that perhaps i have younger ears than you (i'm 23) or maybe the ambient is lower. i certainly don't mean to accuse you of being a deaf old fart, so got any better ideas? :wink:
I am older than you and I do fart but it's good you're not accusing me of those things and getting my backside up. :lol: :lol:

The lab PC, which is often left on while we are testing and listening to very quiet things, measures 18~19 dBA/1m. It is under a desk/table, which probably makes it more inaudible. It has a single-platter B-IV, suspended in a NoVibes till recently, now sitting on foam (the nv was needed for another project). The entire PC is basically inaudible to both Devon (who is your age) and me unless we get down on your needs and put our heads within a couple feet of it. My main system in my office is about the same, but a little louder at maybe 20-22 dBA/1m -- it has 2 HDDs, hotter VGA & CPU, more PCI cards and a couple more fans, but unless it is a very quiet day, and I am not typing, it too is basically inaudible.

So yes, I do think a good suspension makes a quiet drive inaudible in actual use.

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Post by SomeGuy15 » Fri May 20, 2005 2:39 am

MalcolmC wrote:As a matter of interest, the heatlane bit was hardly hot to touch - I really do not think it was doing a very good job of conducting heat away from my drive.
I've got a 74GB Raptor in the SilentBox and have found that the aluminium cover does get quite warm.

Did you use both of the gel pads? I used one to cover the drive electronics and used the other to attempt to transfer the heat from the bottom of the drive to the heatlane. I also put some thermal grease between the heatlane and the metal cover.

Having said all that, the drive definately runs a lot hotter than before. It used to sit around 35-36 degrees and now it often reaches 45 degrees (according to SpeedFan). I might try cooling it with a very slow 80mm fan. Before it was hard mounted to a 3.5" bay in my Antec SX630II case so it ran a lot cooler.

The Raptor has extremely loud seeks and the SilentBox does a pretty decent job of reducing this noise. Its far from being inaudible but significantly better than before.

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Post by MalcolmC » Fri May 20, 2005 9:47 am

I cut the pads, so that I completely covered the electronics on the drive (as per instructions). I am not saying that the heatlane did not get warm - it did; it just did not get as warm as I would have expected, and gave the impression that it was not conducting the drive heat away from the drive in an efficient manner.

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Post by Tzeb » Sat May 21, 2005 8:26 pm

The reference drive that we used to evaluate the reduction in airborne acoustics was the noisiest drive we could find in the lab. Its identity will not be revealed to protect the innocent. Suffice to say that it has seen over three years of daily use, and is no longer being manufactured.
Well....i think i know what drive Mike is reffering to.
In the audio recordings part the mp3 "Reference Noisy Drive inside Silent Box (Idle: 27 dBA/1m / Seek: 28 dBA/1m)" file has this name : hitachi-deskstar-250-apm-19dba ---> Gotcha! :oops:
Now to serious stuff - At a first glance, knowing the good reputation Nexus has around here, would this new product be better than the Silent Box or the Smart Drive? http://www.nexustek.nl/driveaway.htm
Hope it gets reviewed sometime (soon).

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Post by MikeC » Sat May 21, 2005 10:54 pm

Tzeb wrote:Well....i think i know what drive Mike is reffering to.
In the audio recordings part the mp3 "Reference Noisy Drive inside Silent Box (Idle: 27 dBA/1m / Seek: 28 dBA/1m)" file has this name : hitachi-deskstar-250-apm-19dba --->
Actually it looks like all 3 of those silent box files are plain wrong. We've had a goofup there; will correct it soon and let you know when it's done. And no, that Hitachi is NOT a loud HDD; it's pretty quiet. The files got mislabeled & mislinked.

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Post by ATWindsor » Sun May 22, 2005 12:07 am

Tzeb wrote: Now to serious stuff - At a first glance, knowing the good reputation Nexus has around here, would this new product be better than the Silent Box or the Smart Drive? http://www.nexustek.nl/driveaway.htm
Hope it gets reviewed sometime (soon).
Yeah, that too, semms like a very nice product, maybe even better than the mcubed i mentioned earlier.

AtW

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Post by MikeC » Sun May 22, 2005 11:14 am

MikeC wrote:
Tzeb wrote:Well....i think i know what drive Mike is reffering to.
In the audio recordings part the mp3 "Reference Noisy Drive inside Silent Box (Idle: 27 dBA/1m / Seek: 28 dBA/1m)" file has this name : hitachi-deskstar-250-apm-19dba --->
Actually it looks like all 3 of those silent box files are plain wrong. We've had a goofup there; will correct it soon and let you know when it's done. And no, that Hitachi is NOT a loud HDD; it's pretty quiet. The files got mislabeled & mislinked.
This has been fixed.

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Post by AndyBMC » Thu Jun 01, 2006 10:54 pm

Apart of the mentioned in the article and forum, there few more manufacturers:
mCubed HFX www.mcubed-tech.com/eng/vertical.htm
Nexus www.nexustechnologyusa.com/
Silentmaxx www.silentmaxx.de
Molex www.silentmaxx.de

Are there any more recent articles here on "silencing HDD"? This is I belive one of the key topics for a "silent PC".

Thanks,

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Post by jaganath » Fri Jun 02, 2006 8:57 am

It is under a desk/table, which probably makes it more inaudible.
Pedant alert, something is either inaudible or it's not, it's not possible for something to be more inaudible. It can be quieter, certainly.

Aside from that, anyone seeking true silence (as opposed to quiet) should look at 2.5" laptop hard drives + an enclosure if necessary; I simply don't think it's possible to get a 3.5" below ambient levels of about 15-16dBA without introducing worrying levels of heat buildup. The enclosures which are both good at removing heat but suppressing sound cost as much or more than a quiet laptop drive here in the UK, if they are even available.

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Post by snutten » Thu Aug 31, 2006 5:56 am

I tried stuffing my Raptor 74 in a Nexus Drive-A-Way. According to Nexus the temps should go down but HDD temp reported skyrocketing heat, even with the box outside of the case. The product is un-useable for a 10.000 drive and the marketing is downright dishonest.

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Post by elendil850 » Wed Sep 13, 2006 6:13 pm

It seems as if Scythe has made a new revision of the "Quiet Drive".

Check it out.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817984002

http://www.scythe-usa.com/product/hdd/0 ... etail.html

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Post by Tephras » Wed Sep 13, 2006 8:17 pm

Read nici's test if you are interested in the Scythe Quiet Drive.

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Post by Chaendler » Sat Sep 16, 2006 5:38 pm

After reading all possible posts about Scythe enclosures, I haven't been able to find a direct comparison between the Silent Box and the Quiet Drive.

Anyone has tested both of them and can tell me which one is better?

Thanks!

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