Western Digital Scorpio--Supposedly the Quietest

Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

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Western Digital Scorpio--Supposedly the Quietest

Post by Edward Ng » Tue Oct 05, 2004 6:35 am

Check this linkage from Tom's; according to Western Digital, their new Scorpio 2.5" ATA drives with, "Softseek," make them the quietest drive in their class, regardless of speed.

I suppose it's best to say that we need to hear this for ourselves before coming to any conclusions.

-Ed

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Post by MikeC » Tue Oct 05, 2004 6:43 am

Just checked WD's site & their own specs don't hold up to that promo
statement. http://www.wdc.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=102

Idle Mode 20 dBA (average)
Seek Mode 21 dBA (average)

I have measured other notebook drives at 4 dBA less in idle -- not sure in seek, but at least 2-3 dBA lower.

But still worth a listen/try. Will try to get a sample...

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Post by Edward Ng » Tue Oct 05, 2004 6:46 am

Thanks, Mike.

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Post by acaurora » Tue Oct 05, 2004 12:49 pm

I am also venturing into notebook drives. As part of being in retail, I can go onto www.RetailAccess.com , where retail can actually win prizes and such, including getting free stuff :) . The past few months, Seagate is NOW giving away a few 100 GB Seagate Pocket External HDDs. Wish me luck to get one :)

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Post by Viperoni » Tue Oct 05, 2004 6:08 pm

Did you guys notice... there's a WD SATA Raid Edition HD, 8mb buffer, and FDB!
Specs to be quiter than a 74GB Raptor and a regular non-FDB JB/SE HDs.

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Post by Edward Ng » Tue Oct 05, 2004 6:37 pm

Daaaayaaaamn; that thing is rated to 1 million hours worth of mean time before it should fail (the Enterprise Caviar SD series).

I wonder how it sounds, what with its FDB bearings; might it be similar to the Caviar PB series drives that were available in limited quantities at one point?

However, you may want to note this:
Western Digital wrote:IMPORTANT: Because of the time-limited error recovery feature, this product is intended for server applications and is not recommended for use in desktop systems.
-Ed

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Post by MikeC » Tue Oct 05, 2004 7:49 pm

Specs to be quieter than a 74GB Raptor and a regular non-FDB JB/SE HDs.
28 dBA idle, 33 dBA seek, 29 dBA "seek 3" -- 7~17 dBA louder than the Barracuda 4, 5 and Samsung SP and notebook drives I use. No thanks.

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Post by acaurora » Tue Oct 05, 2004 9:44 pm

ooo ouch! Denied by the Mike man! Whatcha gunna do now? :twisted:

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Post by Edward Ng » Tue Oct 05, 2004 9:47 pm

Haven't we all learned by now that the manufacturers' ratings heardly mean anything?

Of course you know where I stand on Western Digital's acoustics, anyway.

On the other hand, I always give everything a chance (in WD's case, to make itself look, or should I say, sound bad).

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Post by acaurora » Tue Oct 05, 2004 9:49 pm

No I don't know what your stand is on WD. Please enlighten me. ON AIM.

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Post by maciek » Thu Jan 06, 2005 9:28 am

MikeC wrote:
Idle Mode 20 dBA (average)
Seek Mode 21 dBA (average)
Thats for 60 GB and 80 GB, but 40 GB is:

Idle Mode 17 dBA (average)
Seek Mode 0 19 dBA (average)

Much better isn't it?

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Post by jake_westmorley » Mon Jan 10, 2005 11:07 am

I have just replaced a Samsung MP0402H 40GB by a WD Scorpio of 40GB, and can vouch that the Scorpio is *much* quieter to my ears than the Samsung, which I used to think was pretty darn quiet. Seeks with AAM disabled are also quieter in my opinion.

See my post on:

http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewto ... 173#147173

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Post by MikeC » Mon Jan 10, 2005 11:15 am

jake_westmorley wrote:I have just replaced a Samsung MP0402H 40GB by a WD Scorpio of 40GB, and can vouch that the Scorpio is *much* quieter to my ears than the Samsung, which I used to think was pretty darn quiet. Seeks with AAM disabled are also quieter in my opinion.

See my post on:

http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewto ... 173#147173
Wow! I guess I better get hold of one!

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Post by acaurora » Mon Jan 10, 2005 1:37 pm

*steals the last WD Scorpio on the shelf just as Mike reaches for it*

*YOINK*! ;P

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Post by jake_westmorley » Tue Jan 11, 2005 5:10 am

I've just posted a couple of quick benchmarks of the Scorpio vs. Samsung MP040 here http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewto ... 365#147365 and thought it would be relevant to this thread. There are also two mp3's of seek noise from each drive.

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Post by Edward Ng » Tue Jan 11, 2005 7:21 am

Wow I totally forgot even starting this thread...

Well, let's hope somebody's willing to pony up a sample.

Mike, NewEgg's got Scorpios in 40, 60 and 80GB sizes.

-Ed

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Dear Jake_westmorley...

Post by Reason » Tue Jan 18, 2005 3:31 am

Thanks for your review about WD Scorpio. You notified scorpio quiter than samsung... But i listen your mp3 files and i think scorpion idle sound is higher then samsung... Are these mp3's record in same condition ??? Record level, Entry gain vs..vs...

* Sorry for my english...

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Post by jake_westmorley » Tue Jan 18, 2005 5:31 am

Hehe, no, the sound files are me recording with my webcam's microphone at an undefined distance/angle from the hard drive (about 2 cm), so you really shouldn't compare the idle/noise of the samples 8)
I simply don't have the hardware to perform scientific audio recordings like SPCR do.
Subjectively I find both the idle and seeks of the Scorpio more muted.

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Post by xilencer » Wed Feb 02, 2005 2:04 pm

The clicking in idle is putting me off, what is it? faulty batch? hardware feature? firmware setting?

SR Thread: http://forums.storagereview.net/index.p ... opic=18472
WD Thread: http://websupport.wdc.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2821
SPCR Thread: http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewto ... 770#148770

noiseless
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Workaround for clicking problem

Post by noiseless » Sun Feb 20, 2005 8:08 pm

Hi,
I really like this site and this forum with its experts on silent solutions.

Anyway, I bought the WD Scorpio 40 GB 8MB cache a while ago to replace the drive that came with my new notebook (a 5k80). I also had some problems with clicking noises simuliar to those described in the threads linked above. In my case, it seemed to be times when the clicking stopped (for a while?) after a period after startup though, as someone else described in another thread. I did not investicated this further though, since I am perfectly happy with a workaround to the problem that I found. :)

Anyway, since I have heard it might be a power manangement problem simuliar to the one that some Hitachi drives has, I first tried to turn off the power manangement feature of the drive, by using the Hitachi Feature Tool. That didn´t work, since the tool reported I couldn´t change this on this drive (it, however, seemed to be able to change the AAM (accustics manangement) at least to some of the differnet steps).

Next thing was trying the Power Booster program, which I really didn´t expect to work either, after the experience with the feature tool. The program complained about beeing used with a non-Hitachi/IBM drive, but started up anyway. By setting the slider all the way to the right, which corresponds to turning off the power manangement in Hitachi drives, the annoying repeating clicking totally disappeared . :P Now I do start the program everytime with XP, and then after that I can close the program down totally and still enjoy the absence of clicking. I acctually think that the normal seek-noise also went down a bit, but that might just be placebo and I haven´t checked this any further.

By the way, I had the 40 GB Hitachi 5k80 earlier, and now when I don´t have the clicking problem anymore, I really prefear the WD to it. To me the WD sounds quite a bit quieter both in idle and seek noise levels. Also, the 4200 rpm 40 GB Hitach/IBM Travelster 80GN, though a bit slower and older, is to my ears a really nice drive when it comes to its soundlevel. A friend of mines Acer laptop has it and is very quite. To my ears that drive is about the same as my "fixed" Scorpio (though I haven´t spent that much time comparing them). The WD Scorpio 40 GB is not totally silent in a totally quite room, but it is sufficient to almost not bother me at all (and I am very easily annoyed sometimes when I write things).

I hope that WD will release a firmware update though, like the IBM/Dell one for a simuliar problem on some Hitachi 5k80. Otherwise there will for example be a problem with using the drive under Linux (think I will try using some kind of Windows emulator very briefly after the Linux startup in case I install that OS later, just to be able to run the Power Booster).

It might also be that I got an old batch of drives, maybe they have a newer firmware on newer drives from start? Or, maybe my drive is just a bit "special". Probably it is mostly the persons that have some kind of noise problems that bother to post in order to maybe get some help.

http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/support/download.htm is the place to go, if you want to read about and download the programs mentioned above.

By the way, most people don´t mind the noise of either the 40 GB 5k80 or the 40 GB Scorpio. The noises is drowned in all but very quite rooms with none or almost no background sound (no air conditioning etc). I, however, like to sometimes sit up and work in the late evenings, and am generally very much annoyed by any unwelcome sound whatsoever that may disrupt my concentration. I also have a laptop (rebranded Compal cl56) that runs on passive cooling almost all of the time when doing "normal" activities like websurfing, document editing and so on, so the HDD is the only source of noise in my room.

In my experience background sound acceptance and experience of noise is a thing that changes very much from person to person.

Also, in most (all ?) manufactures, the 40 GB or lower hard disks models is more quite than the 60+ GB modell. That is because newer hard drive platters is generally at 40 GB each, so a 60 GB modell has two platters spinning, while the 40 GB only has a single. You can usually check this at the HDD companys website though if you want to compare. Most of you here probably already knew this already, though. :wink:

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Post by MikeC » Sun Feb 20, 2005 9:54 pm

noiseless -- Welcome to SPCR ...tho it sounds like you've been floating here for a while. Very nice first post. :)

FYI, I got my hands on a 60G Scorpio and will try to test it this coming week.

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Post by xilencer » Sun Feb 20, 2005 10:27 pm

noiseless - good work with Power Booster and nice to hear it ain't some unchangeable hardware feature!

I'm planning on putting a couple of WD400VE drives in my silenced PS2 and Xbox, so now I just have to wait for a firmware upgrade from WD, or a program that can disable it permanently.

MikeC - happy testing!

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Post by madman2003 » Sat Mar 05, 2005 3:24 am

Anyone know if there is a fix for the clicking problem that doesn't involve windows?(don't have one, but definately won't buy it if it requires windows to silence it)

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Post by Edward Ng » Sat Mar 05, 2005 4:34 am

madman2003 wrote:Anyone know if there is a fix for the clicking problem that doesn't involve windows?(don't have one, but definately won't buy it if it requires windows to silence it)
I've had a WD800VE hooked up, power-only, overnight now and didn't notice any clicking.

Here's hoping that when the ATA is also hooked up, no clicking shows up. This would indicate that the clicking issue has been resolved on production pieces.

I also may not have heard the clicking over the din of the four 92mm Top Motor fans I've got running burn-in simulteneously, but if that's the case, the clicking noise isn't very loud...

-Ed

EDIT: Fan name...

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Post by themite » Wed Mar 23, 2005 6:11 pm

I am really interested in knowing wheather there is any high pitched whine ascociated with this drive,
as i am alergic to resonating ultra frequencies.
If there is as it most probably will be, as all drives hav more or less, how does the high pitch whine profile of the scorpio, stack uop against the samsung whine,...
This i would realy loove to get an opinion on, as ultrasonic frequencies are known to have psychological effects, as nausea and dissiness, concentration problems and stress symptoms.

thanx for your efforts in the search of the ultimate equilibirum :roll:

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Post by Edward Ng » Wed Mar 23, 2005 6:14 pm

themite wrote:I am really interested in knowing wheather there is any high pitched whine ascociated with this drive,
as i am alergic to resonating ultra frequencies.
If there is as it most probably will be, as all drives hav more or less, how does the high pitch whine profile of the scorpio, stack uop against the samsung whine,...
This i would realy loove to get an opinion on, as ultrasonic frequencies are known to have psychological effects, as nausea and dissiness, concentration problems and stress symptoms.

thanx for your efforts in the search of the ultimate equilibirum :roll:
Check my results here.

-Ed

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Scorpio firmware update

Post by Jason_Sheppard » Mon May 09, 2005 5:03 pm

I emailed Western Digital and they called me. They are mailing me a cd with a firmware update that should fix the clicking noise. I should have the cd in 2 days. I'll let everyone know if it works.

Jason

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Re: Scorpio firmware update

Post by @TOMMY@ » Mon May 09, 2005 6:55 pm

Jason_Sheppard wrote:I emailed Western Digital and they called me. They are mailing me a cd with a firmware update that should fix the clicking noise. I should have the cd in 2 days. I'll let everyone know if it works.

Jason
Does this fw apply to all capacity of Scorpio?

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Post by Jason_Sheppard » Mon May 09, 2005 7:44 pm

I am pretty sure it is. Should have the cd on the 11th. He would not tell me much other than to flash the drive and that should fix it and I should give him a call either way to let him know how it goes. I asked him when it would be posted on the website and he stated that he was not sure. They might be using me as a test subject....

Jason

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Post by Ralf Hutter » Tue May 10, 2005 5:43 am

Jason_Sheppard wrote:They might be using me as a test subject....

Jason
Hmmm. Make sure you backup the data on your HDD before flashing that new firmware. :)

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