Western Digital Caviar SE16 500GB: Big Low Noise Champ?

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high5
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Post by high5 » Sun Dec 31, 2006 12:33 am

Hard mounted?

jldet5
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Re: Me to

Post by jldet5 » Sun Dec 31, 2006 5:18 am

PaulRivers wrote:I also got the Western Digital WD5000KS (well, it's listed as the WD5000KSRTL at MicroCenter as is every 500gb Western Digital drive - but the drive itself says WD5000KS on it).

And I to am a little underwhelmed by the quietness of the drive. It was a pretty annoying seek/write noise when I hooked it up. I turned on AAM using the Hitachi Feature Tool, and it made the drive noise drop to the range where I'm to lazy to return it, but it's certainly not anything I'd call "silent". I have an old 80GB Seagate drive running in another server in the same room, and the WD5000 makes about the same amount of noise (after turning on AAM). The Seagate makes a nicer noise, though, and if I had a choice I'd go with the Seagate (it's that 80gb vs 500gb thing that holds me back...).

With AAM on and the computer case open, the drive definitely isn't "nearly inaudible from one meter" while seeking. The noise from the drive sounds like the recorded noise - just louder than I expected.

I have two drives (I only ran 1 at a time for noise testing). MDL: WD5000KS - 00MN80
DATE: 14 NOV 2006
DCM: HBACAJAHB
Product of Thailand
Attach nexus heat sinks, a 5 volted 90mm fan, make feet and side mounts using sponge rubber weatherstrip 1/2" from Ace. Place in bottom of case.
Last edited by jldet5 on Sun Dec 31, 2006 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PaulRivers
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Post by PaulRivers » Sun Dec 31, 2006 4:39 pm

Would it seek noise really be affected by how they're mounted?

jldet5
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Post by jldet5 » Sun Dec 31, 2006 4:48 pm

PaulRivers wrote:Would it seek noise really be affected by how they're mounted?
Absolutely; huge. There are many different ways if you start reviewing some posts. My favorite as above though you will find other people have their favorites to include sorthobane. I even have one hard drive on another computer in a smart drive HD enclosure and then mounted on foam. Always use a 5 volt fan ( or some airflow) or you will get heat build up.

PaulRivers
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Re: Me to

Post by PaulRivers » Sun Dec 31, 2006 6:09 pm

jldet5 wrote:Attach nexus heat sinks, a 5 volted 90cm fan...
That's going to be a rather large fan... ;-)

jldet5
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Re: Me to

Post by jldet5 » Sun Dec 31, 2006 7:49 pm

PaulRivers wrote:
jldet5 wrote:Attach nexus heat sinks, a 5 volted 90cm fan...
That's going to be a rather large fan... ;-)
darn metric system :oops: post updated!

PaulRivers
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Post by PaulRivers » Mon Jan 01, 2007 3:08 pm

Well, just to reply - I have a Dell like the one in this silentpcreview article:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article21-page1.html

So my hard drives are mounted using the green plastic mounting thingies that the case comes with.

I've noticed something strange - when I'm copying a file on the hard drive to another location on the hard drive (seemed like the easiest thing to do), that's when I get the noticable seek noises. I also get them a little when I start the computer up. (Oh - maybe I figured it out. When copying large, contigous files the hard drive is quiet, but when copying multiple small files it's noisier).

But when I copied something off another computer on the network onto the hard drive, I couldn't hear the drive seeking at all.

P.S. Or...is my hard drive getting quieter as I use it? I swear it just suddenly started being *much* quieter...I opened up the case and realized that my the hard drives were getting rather hot to the touch. I had two hard drives mounted in the case in the logical fashion, with both in the 3.5" hard drive bay. (When noise testing I would disconnect one of the drives). But they were hot to the point where touching the drive with my finger wasn't *quite* hot enough to burn it, but my finger didn't want to stay touching the drive...I one of the drive out of that bay and wedged it next to the floppy drive (which never even gets used), and now my drives are running coolor...I also may have repositioned my case in relation to my wall...I'm going to stop blabbing now. :-)

accord1999
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Post by accord1999 » Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:50 pm

PaulRivers wrote: I've noticed something strange - when I'm copying a file on the hard drive to another location on the hard drive (seemed like the easiest thing to do), that's when I get the noticable seek noises. I also get them a little when I start the computer up. (Oh - maybe I figured it out. When copying large, contigous files the hard drive is quiet, but when copying multiple small files it's noisier).
Copying lots of small files within the same HD is going to be tough on it since it has to go seeking back and forth continuously to read and write. Writing to the HD from a network is a lot easier since all it has to do is write, and the network (unless its gigabit) is probably a lot slower than the maximum writing speed of the HD.

jhhoffma
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Post by jhhoffma » Tue Jan 23, 2007 6:38 am

I just bought the WD from BestBuy ($149.99 minus a $75 gift card for Christmas!)

I previously was running two Maxtors (a 200GB DM10 and a 80GB DM9) that were ok. I was running both in my HTPC (OrigenAE X11) on Sorbothane blocks, slightly offset from each other so the fan would cool both (particularly the 200GB boot disk, 80GB is for music only).

I am very impressed with the entire package, not just the HDD itself. First of all, it's quiet (I assume AAM is enable to max by default, but I haven't tested it yet), very quiet. I hear no idle noise (even after stopping my Zalman 7000B HSF) above the slight whoosh of the rest of my fans.

However, I was most impressed with the capabilities of the installation package. I plugged the drive in, ran the installation utility and selected "Make new disk the boot disk". I have use disk installation and repair utilities in the past and they never worked, and I always ended up wiping the drive and starting from scratch. After the utility ran for a couple of hours--gave me a good chance to get out of the house with the fiancee for awhile--I shut the computer down and disconnected the other drives and booted to the WD. It booted and is working flawlessly...NOT ONE ERROR.!!

[Edit: there was one glitch. The Recycle bin became corrupted and would not show any files sent to it. A boot-time ScanDisk fixed that problem]

To me this is indeed an accomplishment considering that both of my old hard drives were PATA and the system had never seen a SATA drive before. I expected WinXP to piss and moan about not having drivers for the SATA connection.

Temps are very good (<30), but I have active cooling there (80mm YateLoon @ 5v). I can hear the slightest seek noise if it's really quiet in my living room, but most of the time it's inaudible over the background noise or TV. I'd recommend this drive to anyone!
HTPC: OrigenAE X11|Gigabyte GA-MA785GPMT-UD2H|Phenom II x3 740BE w/AC Freezer 7|150GB Velociraptor|Corsair VX450
Main: Antec 300 (SlipStream @ 800rpm/140mm @ 5v)|Asus M4A88TD-M|Phenom II x4 945 (Mugen2 pass.)|Asus EAH6850|Samsung 830 128GB|Antec TP750
WHS: DF-85|P8H67-M Pro|I5-3450S/Hyper 212+|Corsair AX650|Sandisk Extreme 240GB, 2xWD20EARS, 2x WD15EARS, WD15EADS

Konnetikut
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Post by Konnetikut » Tue Jan 23, 2007 8:44 pm

how is this compared to Samsung Spinpoint T? (320GB)
How come spcr doesn't have a review of the samsung? :o

Devonavar
SPCR Reviewer
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Post by Devonavar » Wed Jan 24, 2007 4:45 pm

We reviewed a 400GB Samsung T shortly after we saw the WD. We have yet to see samples of their more recent 500GB (166GB platter) drives... and we also haven't seen WD's 166GB platter drives. No particular reason why besides the fact that we've had other priorities.

PaulRivers
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Post by PaulRivers » Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:52 pm

Devonavar wrote:We reviewed a 400GB Samsung T shortly after we saw the WD. We have yet to see samples of their more recent 500GB (166GB platter) drives... and we also haven't seen WD's 166GB platter drives. No particular reason why besides the fact that we've had other priorities.
Would you mind posting a link to the review? I'm not sure where to find it.

Konnetikut
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Post by Konnetikut » Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:37 pm

also, is this drive comparable to WD2500KS? 250GB.
The 500GB is sold out at my seller (NCIX)

Devonavar
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Post by Devonavar » Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:56 pm


Ultimatetone
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Post by Ultimatetone » Thu Feb 08, 2007 2:45 pm

-
I, too, am curious about -

WD Caviar SE16 WD5000KS vs. WD Caviar RE2 WD5000YS ...

as well as the 3-platter WD 500GB versions -

(WD Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS vs. WD Caviar RE2 WD5000AAYS ?)


Ultimatetone

Kartturi
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revisit to noise

Post by Kartturi » Thu Feb 15, 2007 9:13 pm

Devonavar wrote:r33tr33t:

Have you read this article yet? We've just redesigned the way we make recordings, and one of the benefits of the new system is a lower noise floor.

That being the case, I think it's also important not to use noise cancelling software, since what we're recording is... noise. We want the recordings to reproduce what we hear — and that includes the ambient noise. In fact, we will be including a section of ambient noise in every recording we make from now on. This should help people judge the relative loudness of the noises we record.
Hi,

I was reading the thread and got caught in the noise conversation. I think r33tr33t there has a point. When you take your average recording, it has the sound, including background noise which as argued is not a bad thing, and the line noise from microphones, amps and whatnot on the signal path.

Now, what I think r there was trying to establish is that the line noise, which is not part of what we hear if we listen to the actual harddrive, is a bad thing because it masks the sound we are trying to hear and lowers the so called resolution of the recording, much in the same way video noise makes the picture fuzzy and unclear. Then as you record something as low in volume as a harddrive and amplify it, you end up amplifying the line noise too, including the argued over microphone added noise, taking you effectively further from the target of presenting what you actually hear. What you get with noise filtering is improved resolution, as the line noise is not there masking the recorded phenomena, resulting in higher fidelity to the recorded HDD etc.

I should think that in practice this would work, r wrote, by taking your standard setup and padding the microphone so that it does not pick up outside sound and recording the pure line noise, and composing the filter thereof. Now if you apply this filter to a recording done with the same setup, you should end up with much less background noise and more of the actual HDD and a much cleaner recording, depending of course on the filtering technique and filter parameters.

And while you're at it, maybe it would be possible to analyze the noise sample waveforms to define, for example the what is the amplitude and shall we say kurtosis of a random access noise pattern that you and your readers find irritating? I've read a bout fans that may have buzzing or clicking noises, or maybe the samples I've heard didn't, and HDDs with a supposedly annoying random access chattering, but it is hard to reflect these statements in the text to how I would feel about them and would it be a too high a price compared to the performance of the component (e.g. WD Raptor vs. Caviar SE16). These kind on heuristics based on the waveform would perhaps be more accurate predictors of the perceived quietness of a given harddrive.

On the subject of background noise, it sounds like a good idea to keep it as a yardstick for readers to judge how much the access noises rise above the ambient and so on. As you said, the path from the HDD to the reader's ear can't be ideal so there needs to be some scale.

djtana
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new wd5000aaks

Post by djtana » Fri May 09, 2008 9:27 pm

Hi guys, i work at best buy and noticed quite a few different models of these se16 500gb drives coming in. we've had these black retail box se16 drives for a while... and last week we got a bunch of newer ones, they come in a slightly smaller box. same box but shrunken. i bought one of each to see what was up... intrerestingly enough.... there is some changes...

the bigger box version is:
WD5000AAKS-00A7B0 which is made in thailand...
31-oct-2007...serial number begins with WCAS

the smaller box version is:
WD5000AAKS-00YGA0 which is made in malaysia...
02-march-2008...serial number begins with YMAS

after doing some hard core inspections... i noticed they used different PCBs on the bottom... and also have different stickers on top.

at first, i didnt notice a difference between the two drives accoustically speaking... vibrationally as well... then i decided to do some hard core analyzing...well hard core enough for me.

2 Big things i noticed between the two drives...

the older WD5000AAKS-00A7B0 vibrates differently, it will almost cycle through a vibrating sound.... also it makes woosh sound that is more pronounced.

the newer WD5000AAKS-00YGA0 does not go through a vibrating cycle and doesnt vibrate nearly as much as the newer one. Also there is very little woosh sound and if u listen closely enough it is actually quieter... at times i thought the drive was not on, so i double checked, and only after sticking my ear right beside it did i notice that yes it was on.


i thought it was worth mentioning to all you SPCR readers as i was building a rack for my four 500GB hard drives to mount into cage for my HTPC. it might only be a small difference in sound, but when u have 4 of these bad boys going, small can turn into large amount of sound... so im going to buy 2 more of the newer small box versions and exchange the big box one for the small one.


GOOD LUCK AND HACK FUN. hope this is helpful for some of you!

djtana
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Post by djtana » Thu May 15, 2008 4:30 am

so apparently, anyone looking to buy one of these se16.... it states specifically that there may be a thaliand made or malaysia made hard drive inside these new boxes. the only way to tell is to check the serial number printed on the retail box version... if it starts with WYMAS then you are golden. WCAS means it is made in thailand which is the noisier of the two slightly different drives. You can also tell by look at the sticker. Thailand made drives will have yellow at the bottom of the sticker on the top part of the drive and the malaysia made drives are all black print and white background stickers with no yellow at all. Good luck!

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