Please help me choose a hard disk!

Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

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DG
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Please help me choose a hard disk!

Post by DG » Tue May 04, 2004 5:59 am

I'll put the hdd in the default hdd cage of an Antec 3700 with no fan in front.
I want a silent hdd, p-ata, 40GB-80GB (don't need more).

What i am looking for is a hardisk with minimal vibrations (because, as i said, i am planning to put it in the standard hdd cage of my 3700) and minimal whine (seeks don't bother me that much). My PC, i plan to do, is a very quiet one...

I read the threads, but i can't make up my mind:

So far:

Samsung - not very reliable, and i care very much for this aspect.
Seagate (7200.7) - they got "the buzz" (!!!!!!!!)
Maxtor DM9 - don't know

Gholam
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Post by Gholam » Tue May 04, 2004 8:25 am

I don't know about larger 7200.7's, but the 40GB I got (2MB cache model) is completely, totally silent. There no humming, no buzzing, no whirring, no nothing. If you press your ear against it, you may hear a very faint crunching of the heads seeking, and that's all besides the short "zhhhhh" when it's being powered up, and even that is quieter than any other drive I've ever heard. Your mileage might vary though, so when you go shopping, ask to plug it in before you buy it.

POLIST8
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Post by POLIST8 » Tue May 04, 2004 10:30 am

Samsung or Seagate. Don't mess with anything else if silence is what you're hearing for (har har).

Maxtors will Melt, WDs will Whine. Hitachi is not recommended either.

see here:

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article29-page2.html

Best Buy has some great deals on Seagates with 8MB caches right now.
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bomba
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Post by bomba » Tue May 04, 2004 11:01 am

I purchased a 160GB 7200.7 from Compusa last month. Very quiet idle, but clearly audible seeks and as others have reported accoustic management is locked on these drives. I suspect that those lucky owners of silent 7200.7 drives happened to get drives locked in quiet mode, while mine seems to be locked in performance mode. However, idle noise & vibration is very low, so these might be your ticket.

As you've probably read in some of my other posts, I have had good experience with Maxtor DM+9 drives in my quiet PC; Sonata, stock drive mounting & grommets (see sig.), though I recently had a 120GB drive crash after 2+ years 24/7 service.

In regards to reliability, you can try to glean info from the storagereview.com reliability survey, but I found it to be of limited use. Personally, I would choose the drive based on price, noise, vibration, temperature and performance (in whatever order of priority suits you). Ignore reliability unless it is evident that a specific model has an unusually high failure rate.
I find it helpful to think of hard drives as the electromechanical devices that they are; it's not a question of whether they will fail, the question is when. Hopefully, the drive will be sold or retired before it fails but this is not always the case. Better safe than sorry so select & use your favorite backup or drive imaging utility & use it regularly. Makes drive failure much less painful should it occur!

PS: I'm not sure if the AAM mode can be "reported" from these silent 7200.7 drives, but if possible, it would be interesting to find out from Gholam what AAM mode his 40G 7200.7 is in.
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NeilBlanchard
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Re: Please help me choose a hard disk!

Post by NeilBlanchard » Tue May 04, 2004 11:20 am

Hello:
DG wrote:I'll put the hdd in the default hdd cage of an Antec 3700 with no fan in front.
I want a silent hdd, p-ata, 40GB-80GB (don't need more).

What i am looking for is a hardisk with minimal vibrations (because, as i said, i am planning to put it in the standard hdd cage of my 3700) and minimal whine (seeks don't bother me that much). My PC, i plan to do, is a very quiet one...

I read the threads, but i can't make up my mind:

So far:

Samsung - not very reliable, and i care very much for this aspect.
Seagate (7200.7) - they got "the buzz" (!!!!!!!!)
Maxtor DM9 - don't know
Well, at least one of the "reliabilty" threads on the Samsungs was in error, and I will say that I have used 6 Samsungs (2 120GB SATA 8MB cache, and 4 160GB SATA 8MB cache) and I know of others who have used 'em, too, and none have had a lick of trouble. They are very quiet at idle, and seeks are quite muted in the BQE.

I have also had good luck with 3 PATA Seagates (1 40GB 'Cuda IV and 2 120GB 7200.7's). However, the Samsungs perform better, have quieter seeks, and carry a 3 year warranty vs the 1 year on the Seagates.

Maybe check out the Reliabilty Survey over at Storage Review? http://storagereview.com/map/lm.cgi/survey_login
Sincerely, Neil
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Gholam
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Post by Gholam » Tue May 04, 2004 1:13 pm

bomba wrote:PS: I'm not sure if the AAM mode can be "reported" from these silent 7200.7 drives, but if possible, it would be interesting to find out from Gholam what AAM mode his 40G 7200.7 is in.
AIDA32 reports that the drive does not support automatic acoustic management. Active SMART reports "Vendor's recommended acoustic management" = 128, "Current automatic acoustic management value" = 0. Not sure what to make out of it, but my best guess is that AAM is off, and it's still completely silent.

bomba
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Post by bomba » Wed May 05, 2004 10:51 am

Gholam wrote:
bomba wrote:PS: I'm not sure if the AAM mode can be "reported" from these silent 7200.7 drives, but if possible, it would be interesting to find out from Gholam what AAM mode his 40G 7200.7 is in.
AIDA32 reports that the drive does not support automatic acoustic management. Active SMART reports "Vendor's recommended acoustic management" = 128, "Current automatic acoustic management value" = 0. Not sure what to make out of it, but my best guess is that AAM is off, and it's still completely silent.
I haven't used the Hitachi Feature Tool, but out of curiosity I read the Feature Tool user guide on page 8. Seems Feature Tool allows the user to select an AAM value in the range from 128 to 255, with 128 being the quietest and 255 being fastest. In the context of Feature Tool, "AAM=0" makes no sense. However, my guess is that since you're barely able to hear the seeks and the number 128 is reported by SMART, that your drive is locked in the quietest mode. I'd check out the AAM reporting of the 160GB 7200.7 PATA drive I purchased, 'cept it is in a PC I built for my sister in-law who lives 400+ miles away. However, though idle noise was imperceptible, seeks from the 160GB 7200.7 were clearly audible from a normal sitting position over the moderately quiet case & CPU fans with the closed up PC located under the desk. Don't get me wrong, my sister in-law is thrilled with how quiet her new PC is and the seek noise is not obtrusive, but certainly her particular 160G 7200.7 PATA drive is a couple orders of magnitude louder than your 40G drive
Gholam wrote:If you press your ear against it, you may hear a very faint crunching of the heads seeking, and that's all besides the short "zhhhhh" when it's being powered up, and even that is quieter than any other drive I've ever heard.
Looks like you got a good one!
Luddite w/ old-skool P4 desktop rigs, incl. custom home server w/ 8 fanless/trayless hot-swap SATA bays in a mid-tower case w/ single 120mm fan.

DG
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Post by DG » Thu May 06, 2004 1:21 pm

Ok, i bought a Samsung 80Gb, 8 MB cache, p-ata. Should arive tomorrow. Anyway, i'll keep the old drive (maxtor 40gb D740X - yeah, i know...) in an external box, and use it for back-up...just in case... :roll: I'll keep my fingers crossed. :D

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Re: Please help me choose a hard disk!

Post by dasman » Thu May 06, 2004 1:53 pm

NeilBlanchard wrote: However, the Samsungs perform better, have quieter seeks, and carry a 3 year warranty vs the 1 year on the Seagates.
FYI, unless something has changed fairly recently, OEM 7200.7's carry a 3 yr warranty while the retail are 1yr. I have two of each and I confirmed the warranties by S/N shortly after purchase.

I also have a 120GB spinpoint (for about a week), and find it both faster and quieter (especially with AAM set).

Dave

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Post by Ralf Hutter » Thu May 06, 2004 2:19 pm

Chicken Little says: "DON'T GET A SAMSUNG!!! THE SKY IS FALLING!!! DON'T GET A SAMSUNG!!! THE SKY IS FALLING!!! DON'T GET A SAMSUNG!!! THE SKY IS FALLING!!! "

:roll: :roll: :roll:
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Post by dasman » Thu May 06, 2004 2:27 pm

Ralf Hutter wrote:Chicken Little says: "DON'T GET A SAMSUNG!!! THE SKY IS FALLING!!! DON'T GET A SAMSUNG!!! THE SKY IS FALLING!!! DON'T GET A SAMSUNG!!! THE SKY IS FALLING!!! "

:roll: :roll: :roll:

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