Quiet optical drives

Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

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antivenom
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Quiet optical drives

Post by antivenom » Thu May 20, 2010 2:41 am

It's been a while since I last posted here, mainly because I reached a point where i was happy with the low level of noise my computer was creating. But one component has always bugged me and I don't want to have to put up with it anymore.

My LG GSA-H55LBL lightscribe drive sounds like a small hurricane inside my rig, especially when burning DVDs. I managed to soften the noise it creates when I padded out the inside of my case with vinyl tiles but it's still deafening.

I've searched the forums a bit but I can't seem to find any threads on quiet optical drives and unless I missed it, there doesn't seem to be a recommeded section for optical drives either. I did manage to find several mentions of the Pioneer 216, but nobody seems to stock it anymore.

So can anybody help me out with a few optical drive recommendations please? All I need is something that can read and write to CDs and DVDs, I've never touched the lightscribe part of my LG. I live in the UK and I don't really want to spend any more than £20.

Thanks.
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KayDat
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Post by KayDat » Thu May 20, 2010 3:14 am

Optical drives are noise, there's no way around it. You could try limiting the drive speed, if you don't mind slower data transfer. The old go-to tool was Nero Drivespeed, but it's been split off into a seperate company, where you have to pay for a licence. You can still try it for 30 days though, or try looking for old downloads of the Nero tool.

antivenom
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Post by antivenom » Thu May 20, 2010 3:27 am

Oh yeah I tried Nero Drivespeed, didn't seem to do anything :x

I'll try the newest version from the website you linked though, thanks.
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Just an ordinary rabbit
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Post by Just an ordinary rabbit » Thu May 20, 2010 9:05 am

You could always put it in an external enclosure, bury it under masses of pillows and then seal it in a plastic box. That worked pretty well for me, though its a pain when you need to change discs.

IDvsEGO
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Post by IDvsEGO » Thu May 20, 2010 10:40 am

avoid use at all costs. I dont use mine much and when I do its an acceptable sacrifice. I dont watch movies from it at all. I rip and encode or stream internet media. Most games have ways around playing from the disc. Most apps have downloadable executables that I either redownload or store on my files server. The only uses I have for my drive are for OS installs, burning, and ripping...non of which I do often enough to be an issue.

external drive in a desk drawer that is acoustically treated is an option though. sound deadening...foam base...go crazy.

antivenom
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Post by antivenom » Fri May 21, 2010 12:43 am

So the general consensus is there are no quiet optical drives? That's a disappointment but nevermind, I'll just have to put up with it.

Thanks for the help guys.
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Vicotnik
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Post by Vicotnik » Fri May 21, 2010 2:26 am

Pioneer DVR-216 is pretty quiet. These days I have mine laying in a cupboard though, only connected through USB/eSATA the few times I really need an optical drive. Almost never in these days of fast internet access. :) I use HDDs for all my storage, used to have stuff on DVDs and before that on CDs. But today HDDs are cheaper.

I'm curious, why do you use the drive so much that its noise is an issue?
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KayDat
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Post by KayDat » Fri May 21, 2010 3:19 am

Watching movie perhaps? Maybe he has a big DVD library.

Vicotnik
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Post by Vicotnik » Fri May 21, 2010 3:30 am

If I had a huge DVD library I would get a cheap external HDD, rip everything to it and have easy access to all my movies without the hassle of messing around with slow and noisy optical media. ;)
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IDvsEGO
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Post by IDvsEGO » Fri May 21, 2010 4:25 am

Vicotnik wrote:If I had a huge DVD library I would get a cheap external HDD, rip everything to it and have easy access to all my movies without the hassle of messing around with slow and noisy optical media. ;)
yep, thats what I did. I also use netflix streaming. I have physical media, but its more of a backup thing than a usage thing.

piglet
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Post by piglet » Sat May 22, 2010 2:01 am

antivenom wrote:Oh yeah I tried Nero Drivespeed, didn't seem to do anything :x

I'll try the newest version from the website you linked though, thanks.
other free software that you could try:
CDslow at http://cdslow.webhost.ru/en/cdslow/index.html
CD Bremse at http://www.cd-bremse.de/cdbremse.htm

Eunos
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Post by Eunos » Sat May 22, 2010 4:22 am

In about 1997 our family computer had a quad speed CD-ROM drive, and it was extremely quiet - not unlike a home stereo CD player. As soon as they got to 12x etc they started putting fans in them, and the days of quiet optical drives were gone forever.

Software is the best solution these days, though one small thing that helps is avoiding leaving any discs in there when it isn't being used. They will often spin up on start-up and make a bit of a racket.

I have my optical drive sitting on a piece of foam, so it's somewhat decoupled. That's also helpful if you have the option.

frostedflakes
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Post by frostedflakes » Sat May 22, 2010 4:24 pm

Modern drives are pretty quiet when they're just reading a DVD at 2x or 4x, something like that. It's just when speed ramps up that they get noisy. Set them to burn at low speed in your burning software instead of MAX. Will cut down a ton on noise, but will also take forever to burn stuff, so that's the trade off.

There's never been much of a market for quiet optical drives, because I'd assume there's not much you can do to make a disc spinning thousands of RPM quiet.
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Cryoburner
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Post by Cryoburner » Sat May 22, 2010 10:39 pm

Eunos wrote:In about 1997 our family computer had a quad speed CD-ROM drive, and it was extremely quiet - not unlike a home stereo CD player. As soon as they got to 12x etc they started putting fans in them, and the days of quiet optical drives were gone forever.
They don't actually use fans. It's just that CDs and DVDs weren't originally designed to spin at the speeds used in modern optical drives, and make a lot of noise when doing so. Spinning a cheap plastic disc at 10,000 RPMs is bound to make a fair amount of noise.

Actually, there are better technologies to make faster, yet quieter drives that have existed for years. Back in 2000, when optical drive speeds were reaching their maximum limits, Kenwood released the 72x TrueX, along with some other, lower end drives in the series. What made these unique was that they only spun at around 10x, but by utilizing up to 7 laser beams, could read multiple tracks at once, making them much faster in most cases while remaining very quiet.

Unfortunately, they apparently had issues reading burned discs, along with lower reliability than traditional single-laser drives, so they were discontinued. I do find it a little surprising that no one else has jumped on this idea in the years since though. The prices of fully-featured OEM CD/DVD burners have bottomed out at a little over $20 USD, and there's little room for one manufacturer to differentiate their product from the rest. You would think someone would step up with a quiet multi-laser drive with double the speed to stand out from the crowd.

Another idea, which would be much more simple and inexpensive to implement, would be to just provide a button on the front of the drive to switch between performance and silence modes. You're already at the drive inserting the disc, so switching modes as needed would be easy, without relying on software that may or may not be compatible with your drive or OS. There just hasn't been much innovation in optical drive hardware in recent years.

Vicotnik
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Post by Vicotnik » Sun May 23, 2010 5:36 am

Some drives detect what kind of disc is inserted and set the speed accordingly. I think I had a NEC that did that. With a SVCD disc inserted it would spin at a slow speed, no matter if I wanted to copy the data to my HDD or play the movie.

My Pioneer will detect at what rate the data is read, and adjust the rotational speed accordingly. So if I watch a DVD (or an XviD/whatever) the drive will be reasonably quiet.

Most older cheap drives will go full speed all the time. So some intelligence has been added at least. But I think the optical media is kind of dead no matter what.
Eunos wrote:As soon as they got to 12x etc they started putting fans in them, and the days of quiet optical drives were gone forever.
The only optical drives I have seen with fans are older burners. I once had an old 4X SCSI CDR with a fan. Haven't seen any fans in any modern high speed drive.
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shunx
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Post by shunx » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:02 pm

IDvsEGO wrote:Most games have ways around playing from the disc..
Am I the only one who is very suspicious of no-CD cracks? I suspect many may have spyware. Even if it passes an antivirus scan I still don't trust it.

themaster1
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Post by themaster1 » Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:12 pm

Nero Drive speed works for me on Xp Too bad i only have discovered this software recently. For Vista or 7 users there is a german prog that does similar, can't recall its name though.

Cryoburner
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Post by Cryoburner » Tue Jun 01, 2010 5:48 pm

shunx wrote:
IDvsEGO wrote:Most games have ways around playing from the disc..
Am I the only one who is very suspicious of no-CD cracks? I suspect many may have spyware. Even if it passes an antivirus scan I still don't trust it.
You could also optionally rip a copy of the disc to your hard disk and load it with something like Deamon Tools from then on, so long as you're willing to part with some extra hard drive space.
themaster1 wrote:Nero Drive speed works for me on Xp Too bad i only have discovered this software recently. For Vista or 7 users there is a german prog that does similar, can't recall its name though.
That utility is called CD Bremse, or CD Throttle for the English version.

ascl
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Post by ascl » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:43 pm

Cryoburner wrote: You could also optionally rip a copy of the disc to your hard disk and load it with something like Deamon Tools from then on, so long as you're willing to part with some extra hard drive space.
Most games that use cd checks will not work from an image, you'd still need the no-cd check.

I try and buy everything on steam these days, avoids these issues (although does have some of its own).

antivenom
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Post by antivenom » Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:25 am

Hey guys

Sorry, I haven't checked the forums in a while. I was fed up of my loud drive and its fat IDE cable so I bought a new SATA Lite-On drive along with my parents new rig I put together for them.

I was pleasently surprised with the drive when I set up my parents rig at work, but the workshop's a pretty noisy place. What I didn't notice until I installed my drive was an irritating little buzz especially audible when spinning DVDs. Generally its a nice quiet drive, especially compared to me old LG but the buzz does my head in! It's such a relief when I eject the disc.

I've compared mine and my parents drives (both Lite-Ons) and mine is definitely louder than theirs, so I may exchange it for a samsung or something.

In response to your question, I've been playing GTA IV a lot recently which needs the disc to play, and as far as I know there's no easy way around this. I've tried some of the no-DVD cracks but couldn't get any of them to work. I also burn a lot of DVDs and CDs which make a lot of noise.
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wsc
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Post by wsc » Sat Jun 12, 2010 10:20 am

I have a Lite On iHOS104-06 Blu Ray reader and I was shocked, it is very quiet when ripping Blu Rays. However it's a reader only, no burning. I imagine any burner is going to be very loud. I never found a quiet CD or DVD burner.
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Eunos
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Post by Eunos » Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:03 pm

A BD reader will write to CD and DVD.

wsc
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Post by wsc » Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:52 am

Maybe some will, but the iHOS104-06 is definitely read only...
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Eunos
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Post by Eunos » Sun Jun 13, 2010 5:43 pm

I stand corrected, I didn't know such a device existed.

Mind you, to my knowledge there should be no difference in noise level between reading and writing. I'm open to correction on this point too, though. :D

Cryoburner
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Post by Cryoburner » Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:29 pm

wsc wrote:I have a Lite On iHOS104-06 Blu Ray reader and I was shocked, it is very quiet when ripping Blu Rays. However it's a reader only, no burning. I imagine any burner is going to be very loud. I never found a quiet CD or DVD burner.
It shouldn't have anything to do with whether the drive can write discs or not. The important factor is the speed of the drive. Yours reads Blu-Ray discs at a maximum of 4X BD-ROM speed, which should work out to around 3500 RPM, slower than a 20x CD-ROM drive. Of course, it still reads data faster, due to the higher density. If it were an 8x or higher BD-Rom drive, it would certainly be notably louder when ripping disks at full speed.

That's actually a point worth noting though. With Blu-Ray drives, it's still possible to find drives with lower maximum speeds. That drive is limited to 8x DVD-ROM and 32x CD-ROM speeds, so it's bound to be at least somewhat quieter than a typical 16x/48x DVD/CD Combo drive. As an added bonus, they're likely to cost a bit less than the faster drives. Sure it might take longer to rip a disc, but at least it will be more tolerable to use the computer while doing so. : )

michaelius
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Post by michaelius » Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:20 am

Would using external slim dvd burner help?

I was looking at them and there are plenty of models that do only x8 dvd, x24 cd reading ?

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