Quiet and fast - WD green, Seagate LP or Samsung F2 ?

Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

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frny
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Quiet and fast - WD green, Seagate LP or Samsung F2 ?

Post by frny » Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:50 pm

I need to replace my system drive with a RAID1 config. I currently have a WD7500AAKS (WD 750GB 7200rpm).
Not sure yet if I will go 1TBx2 or 1.5TBx2. I need drives at least as fast as the WD I have and as quiet as possible (I believe that the noise coming from my current drive has more to do with the vibrations than the drive noise itself - event though it is on grommets)

After reading a lot of reviews (probably too many for my own good) I have:
- WD green: head park issue which is a concern both for reliability and noise but it is fast.
- F2: quiet but the reliability is not established and it is slow (tomshardware review)
- Seagate LP: fast, quiet, question abt reliability after the 7200.11 series fiasco.

I am leaning toward the LP even though reviews on newegg mention a hum.

Any input? Should I go for the 7200 rpm version of these drives (is the noise that much worse??)

LodeHacker
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Post by LodeHacker » Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:37 am

F2 = higher platter density = faster throughput.
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Ksanderash
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Post by Ksanderash » Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:07 am

I think buying a HDD is a "scratch-and-win" lottery so listen to your heart :wink: No jokes. I read a lot of opinions on all three of them, and I can not tell you which is the quitest. It depends on the unique copy of device you have picked up.

Concerning the speed -- I don't think this is a decisive reason to choose among these. You won't notice the difference, it's rather psychological belief, I think (when we are dealing with soho drives). Of course 7200 will be faster (not so much though).

P.S. I would take the LP.
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kal001
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Post by kal001 » Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:37 am


Shamgar
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Post by Shamgar » Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:32 am

I too am needing to buy a new system drive. It will either be F2 or LP. I hope Seagate has overcome their previous issues (noise and bad firmware) so I can give them worthy consideration again.

The Barracuda ATA IV ST340016A served me for almost seven years before I layed him to rest in bubble wrap. It brings tears to my eyes to even think of it :cry:.

But life goes on. Here's hoping that Barracuda LP speaks of the future, rather than the past :wink:.

frny
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Post by frny » Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:48 pm

I am still leaning toward the LP - waiting for July 4th sales.

looking back at tom's hardware http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/2tb ... 61-10.html - their acoustic test has very weird results. the 7200 1TB seagate wins (even compared to the 500G 7200.12) and the wd green is last. I am wondering how much I should trust these results.

I might decide to go for the 7200 version of the seagate if it's already that quiet.

SleepyBum
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Post by SleepyBum » Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:52 pm

frny wrote:looking back at tom's hardware http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/2tb ... 61-10.html - their acoustic test has very weird results. the 7200 1TB seagate wins (even compared to the 500G 7200.12) and the wd green is last. I am wondering how much I should trust these results.
I think there was a post before saying that Tom's Hardware acoustic test results are pretty much useless because they place the microphone way to close to the HD for any meaningful data to be gathered. Can't seem to find the post that stated it.

The 1TB WD green are currently shifting from 333GB platters to 500GB platters, so there might be a mix of those drives in the channels right now.

The 1.5TB drives from WD and Seagate seems to be using 4-platters, probably defective/short stroked platters that didn't make it into the 2TB version. Although, the WD is probably also shifting those towards 500GB platters, as the WD 1.5TB seems to be out of stock at most retailers.

You'd probably want a low platter drive, for less vibration, and higher density for speed.

kal001
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Post by kal001 » Thu Jul 02, 2009 8:31 am

According to this review (Czech Language) Barracuda LP is impressive. . :wink:

sampo
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Post by sampo » Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:51 pm

I'm not sure that how accurate extrahardware's noise measurements are, but I would stay away if Seagate LP really has 6.6dB noise delta between idle and seek. Samsung F2 has noisy seeks, so don't buy this drive if you are going to use it as system drive.

kal001
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Post by kal001 » Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:35 am

sampo wrote:I'm not sure that how accurate extrahardware's noise measurements are, but I would stay away if Seagate LP really has 6.6dB noise delta between idle and seek. Samsung F2 has noisy seeks, so don't buy this drive if you are going to use it as system drive.
Author provides objective and subjective rating. He evaluate objective measurement worse than real impact to user, sitting next to drive and listening. Although the number in dB could look bad, the reality is not. Each drive produce different sounds and it is impossible to compare them using one number.

knirfie
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Post by knirfie » Fri Jul 24, 2009 3:23 pm

Probably a bit late, but:

I own 3 Seagate Barsacuda LP 1.5TB's, and in my opinion, THEY ARE NOT QUIET! Especially the random seeks are very noisy, but also in idle I hear them, and they seem louder then my 1st gen Hitachi 1TB (the 5 platter one).

samuelmorris
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Post by samuelmorris » Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:07 pm

The WD10EADS, while the fastest of the green 1TB drives, are also the noisiest, but they still eclipse every other drive I've owned, mainly on vibration - with four at once, the deep vibration is certainly audible, but it's so quiet that compared to a single 7200rpm drive you don't notice it. I always avoided lots of samsungs and seagates as their vibrations were (and for 7200rpm still are) terrible, but the silent drives seem to be getting good reviews.

Lt_Dan
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Post by Lt_Dan » Sat Jul 25, 2009 4:49 am

regarding the green - what's the difference in platter density between 500 and 750? (it's said that the 500 is 1 platter)
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whiic
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Post by whiic » Sat Jul 25, 2009 5:06 am

It's wise to take these recommendations and anecdotal evidence as merely sample variance, prejudicial assumptions and even fanboyism... because they simply don't make that much sense.

SPCR review concluded that 4-platter 2TB Greenpower is quieter than 1-platter low-rpm Seagate (Pipeline series). Now people say 3-platter low-rpm Seagate (Low Power series) is quieter than scaled down 2-platter GP.

Sure, downscaled versions may in some rare cases be noisier due to light-weight cast but I believe it's still a bit more common for them to be quieter due to less rotating weight.

F2 500GB has been reviewed by SPCR and it was quieter than 2TB GP (yeah, if it had lost to 4-platter drive, it would have been quite a shame on them). Whether upscales at 1.0 and 1.5TB are quiet, user reviews vary a lot. (I for example don't have 500GB compare my teraby F2 but it is quieter than 1st and 2nd gen 1TB GPs.)

I would probably pick Samsung... or new, 3rd generation GP (of which I never have owned). I'd skip the Seagate. It receives way too much hype despite being the last to market. Seagate just happens to be the favourite of most e-reviewers. Most of them have formed their opinion back when Seagate had 5y warranty... they even often reversed the results in conclusion section if the benchmarked showed much fail. But usually they didn't need to... because Seagate fares pretty well in these synthetic tests:
most reviewers just do STR and random access testing and display the same results over and over again in different looking graphs on several pages. Believe me: it does not mean Seagate is superior. Seagate firmware sucks, and their real-world performance is typically mediocre at best.

Also, if you trust Tom's Hardware acoustic measurements ad determine 7200.11 to be quieter than Greenpower, you are a fool. Acoustic measurement taken from a distance of few centimeters or millimeters vary a great deal on WHERE the microphone is positioned. Top? Bottom? Center on the top? Side? Corner? Over PCB? Over spindle motor? Take the measurement from 20+ cm and the noise should be pretty uniform regardless of the direction you're listening to it. There'd still be some variance, but fractions of millimeter in microphone positioning wouldn't any longer affect the score.
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_MarcoM_
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Post by _MarcoM_ » Sat Jul 25, 2009 12:14 pm

Well said whiic, is what i think too.
I would pick Samsung F2 500 for same reasons, after all SPCR review is a guarantee.

samuelmorris
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Post by samuelmorris » Sat Jul 25, 2009 2:19 pm

it's terribly biased, but seagate drives always have been and always will be noisy in my book, I've yet to see an exception to that. I basically only trust SPCR for noise readings as only they bother to do them properly. A 4 for vibration equals a loud drive, there's nothing more to it than that. It's a two horse race between WD and Samsung.

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Post by thejamppa » Sat Jul 25, 2009 2:38 pm

I have now two F2 500GB Single platters and they are quiet. They're quieter together than my old Samsung T166 series 500 GB hdd in Scythe Quiet Drive lyin on foam.

I can't tell rest but F2's are pretty safe bet, at least 500 Gb units.
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samuelmorris
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Post by samuelmorris » Sat Jul 25, 2009 2:40 pm

Difficult one to judge, because my HD753LJ is quieter than my old HD400LJ (I think thats a T166) and it's still pretty noisy even on foam (but not in a silent drive) - as the vibration amazingly enough seems to penetrate the foam? :shock: :?

whiic
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Post by whiic » Sat Jul 25, 2009 2:46 pm

Yeah, SPCR has big emphasis on noise, proper measurement distance with minimal background noise, and include subjective evaluation of noise characterics. Of course subjective is a personal view of noise profile, and varies by psychology and by sensitivity of ears, but dB(A) weighing is also based on certain, theoretical type of ear. Plus dB(A) doesn't really consider psychoacoustic effect... like variance in noise, that may be more annoying than constant noise (even though constant noise averages higher).

Anyway, 4-platter WD: quiet. 1-platter Samsung: very quiet.
The questions are: does WD scale down well to 1 and 2 platters (0.5-1.0 TB) and does Samsung upscale well to 2 and 3 platter (1.0-1.5)?

If old Greenpower generations are of any indication, they do scale down decently (but whether it reaches F2 level requires direct comparison). While we don't have SPCR reviews of high capacity F2 variants, there's at least some reports of them being very quiet (mine included), and some that they are very noisy. Honestly, I think most of the critics just fail at describing what annoys about them. Even I admit the seek noise of F2 is pretty close to horrible, even AAM enabled. Nothing to complain about idle noise. Vibration is pretty much hit-or-miss. If I were to say, "it's noisy" (because of the seeks alone) I would give quite a negative image of the drive.

But when it comes to Seagate, things looks rather bleak: 500-gigger is noisier than 4-platter WD. While low-capacity HDDs may suffer from low-quality cast, it has been a problem mostly with 7200rpm drives. Of course, we still have a very limited selection of 5400rpm models that have entered mainstream not too long ago. It's difficult to determine how easily 5400rpm drives might actually become more noisy due to cost-saving. We need more time to evaluate it.
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samuelmorris
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Post by samuelmorris » Sat Jul 25, 2009 2:58 pm

That first paragraph is exactly why I like SPCR, in addition to decibel readings, qualitative noise descriptions are given to get an idea and a good quality mp3 recording to hear for yourself.
The seek of my WD10EADS is clearly obvious, but I have to remind myself it's in an aluminium case with standard plastic toolless mounts, and the rest of the PC is sub 14dB, so it'd be clearly obvious anyway. Put it in anything other than a super-silent PC and you'd never hear it. If I remember rightly, SPCR gave the F2s a slightly higher score for vibration, but slightly worse for seek (the opposite to how the drives normally are at 7200rpm). On that basis I'd sooner have a WD, the seek is audible, and although it's acceptable, I wouldn't want any more, but the vibration of the WDs is fine. What's strange about it is that unlike 7200rpm drives it only tends to be emitted downwards. You don't hear your PC standing above it, but go downstairs under the floor the PC sits on and you can hear it. Either way 5 7200rpm drives almost entirely drown out 4 5400rpm drives, and the seeks of all but 1 of the 7200rpm drives are almost inaudible behind the vibrations (7200.10 750GB), the 5400rpm drives literally are inaudible behind them, I've never heard them unless I put my ear against the case. (other drives in the system are WD10EACS, WD10EAVS, 2xWD10EADS, WD2500AAJS, 2x WD5000AAKS, HD753LJ)

tkorsvold
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Post by tkorsvold » Tue Jul 28, 2009 6:42 am

How important are the numbers of platters by the way?

I'm looking at a Samsung 1.5TB drive, but it has 3 platters as opposed to the single-platter version reviewed on SPCR.

Would noise improve a lot?


T

samuelmorris
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Post by samuelmorris » Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:04 am

I can't tell much of a difference between the 4-platter WD10EAVS/CS and the 3-platter WD10EADS if that helps. Single platter samsungs are meant to be better than their multi-platter counterparts though.

Lt_Dan
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Post by Lt_Dan » Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:33 pm

so a GP 1TB 2 platters would be quieter then 3 platter GP 750GB?
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Terje
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Post by Terje » Sat Aug 01, 2009 11:03 pm

Lt_Dan wrote:so a GP 1TB 2 platters would be quieter then 3 platter GP 750GB?
I have not heard the 3 platter 750GB, but I got several 3 platter 1TB GB and 3 platter 1TB ecogreens and a single 2 platter 1TB GP.

To be honest, the difference is really really really small and I have to be within centimeters of the drive to here the differnce, but yes, the 2 platter 1TB GP is more silent idle. I am not so sure about on seeks. Seems like the same.

The big difference though. If I hold my hand on the 2 platter GP when doing random access, I cannot feel vibrations at all.

A bit peculiar.. I have only tried this drive on linux, but hdparm on linux returns and error when I try to access the AAM setting.

No AAM?

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