questions about hard drive noise and options for NAS cases

Got a shopping cart of parts that you want opinions on? Get advice from members on your planned or existing system (or upgrade).

Moderators: NeilBlanchard, Ralf Hutter, sthayashi, Lawrence Lee

Post Reply
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 2:11 pm

questions about hard drive noise and options for NAS cases

Post by nick[0] » Wed Dec 03, 2014 2:38 pm

Hi, I'm planning to build a NAS in the next six months, and would like your opinion on which case and hard drive configuration I should go with. It needs to use ECC memory.

To begin, it needs 4TB or redundant storage. To get that, I'll either use 2x4TB WD Reds, or 4x2TB. Assuming that all the drives are spun up and all drives are furiously seeking, which will be quieter? From what I can tell, the 4TB drives will be quieter, but I'm not actually sure. I prefer for the idle to seek noises to be as similar as possible, and to avoid high frequency chirps and clicks.

And what case should I go with? Ideally, I'd like to put in in a space that is only 32cm tall but has ample front side, and a little bit of back ventilation. If absolutely, necessary, I could go with a minitower, but budget is a major concern. At the moment, I'm looking at building my own NAS around the Fractal node 304, with the ASROCK C2550D4i. It ends up being $150 more expensive than an entry-level Lenovo TS140, but is more expandable, has higher quality components, and doesn't have a CPU fan. Please let me know if there is a quieter case that I should be using. The case must support a minimum of three internal 3.5" drives in some way or another.

Posts: 1839
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:10 pm
Location: Northern New Jersey

Re: questions about hard drive noise and options for NAS cas

Post by bonestonne » Mon Dec 08, 2014 7:15 pm

2x4TB drives will be quieter, in theory.

If an object emits 12dB of sound, a second identical object will cause the total measurement to raise to 15dB. In effect, roughly +3dB for each additional unit.

So 4x 2TB drives will be x+9dB, where 2x 4TB drives will be x+3dB.

Again, all in theory, because depending on what the ambient noise level is, there will be a threshold of what you can and can't hear. 4x 2TB drives may be audible in your environment while 2x 4TB drives wont be.

For redundancy, RAID1 will be very effective with just 2 drives as well, providing you with 4TB of fully redundant storage, something even many consumer NAS units can provide easily. Setting up in a custom NAS will be simple, and give you the flexibility of whatever cooling you want, and larger, slower spinning fans to keep noise to a minimum.

Post Reply