Quietest faster large HDD right now? 3TB or 4TB?

Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

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alexb
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Quietest faster large HDD right now? 3TB or 4TB?

Post by alexb » Thu May 01, 2014 11:30 pm

What's the current king of quiet storage guys? I'd like to get a 7200RPM drive for better performance, but am afraid of the noise. Knowing that I mostly care for idle noise, what's the best options these days in 3-4TB size?

Thanks

andyb
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Re: Quietest faster large HDD right now? 3TB or 4TB?

Post by andyb » Fri May 02, 2014 9:40 am

The answer I will give you is far less than good :(

As for performance, you can find reviews all over the place - but you cant trust their noise data at all, and its barely worth comparing their noise data to other drives either. What I would say about performance is, how are you going to be using the drive, just storage, boot, both.? What will you be storing e.g. movies, mp3's or millions of tiny word documents, will you be running programs.? Ideally you will have an SSD with all of you programs on and standard user data, and have a HDD for mass storage, if so, then HDD performance is not a real issue, I have 2x laptop drives as my main PC's storage - hardly fast but they don't need to be - that's covered by a very fast SSD.

I recently installed a 1TB WD Red into a new PC acting as a server. The drive was inaudible in a standard office in open air when shunting a load of data to/from the drive, granted its a 1TB model, but seek volume rarely changes between models in a range, however vibration and idle noise does. I was exceptionally surprised at how little vibration was coming from the drive, it was more similar to the vibration levels you would expect from a 2.5" 5,400rpm drive than a 3.5" 5,400rpm drive.

As it is I plan on buying 4x of the 4TB models as soon as the 5TB model is released (instant price drop). I was going to buy the 4TB WD Red's regardless of whether or not there is a quieter 4TB drive on the market or not, for the following reasons:

I used to be a fan of Seagate and distrusting of WD (long story that I wont go into). WD has proven to me beyond any doubt (reasonable or otherwise) that their HDD's are a lot more reliable than Seagate drives - reliability is very important to me.

WD Green drives have more vibration than their "Red" cousins and also have a warranty that is 1-year shorter (2-years rather than 3), for the negligible difference in price this is well worth it, they also have roughly the same performance and to top it off I will be using them in a RAID array for which they are designed, they also run cool with no active cooling (e.g. zero-airflow).

In summary, I believe that the WD Red drives are the best option for large storage that is currently available, and the small price premium is worth it for the extra warranty alone.

If there are other drives that are quieter than the WD Red drives then you will have to look at mounting, if hard mounted the WD Red may prove the winner anyway because of their very low vibration, if soft mounting and if the Red drive is a little nosier, then by how much.? Would you even notice would be my question.

Finally a note on head-parking, I don't ever notice a head parking noise in my office, but the head-parking feature on the Red drives is activated after a significantly longer period of idle than the green drives which will make them more reliable as it will happen less often, and from the noise perspective will be better as it happens less often.... I hope this helps in some way.


Andy

PS: I do not work for, am not affiliated with and do not own any shares in WD, and I was honestly surprised at just how quiet and low vibration the WD Red drives are (I have seen 2TB models but only briefly and they were as good as the 1TB models - anecdotally).
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alexb
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Re: Quietest faster large HDD right now? 3TB or 4TB?

Post by alexb » Fri May 02, 2014 3:33 pm

Thanks, I had to explain my usage. This would be for file server mostly, hosting movies/music, etc... AND for light gaming. I'd like to use this PC to network files to my home theatre, TV, and XBOX. I will 100% be using an SSD for Windows boot device, so this would act as mass storage only in addition to the SSD.

I currently have an older Hitachi 2TB, which is not too bad. I'd like to maybe get a 7200 IF it could be quiet enough at idle.

alexb
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Re: Quietest faster large HDD right now? 3TB or 4TB?

Post by alexb » Fri May 02, 2014 3:35 pm

I've been away for a while., what's WD Red? They only used to have Green, Blue, Black. Is Red a new category altogether? Where does it fit in the range now?

Thanks

alexb
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Re: Quietest faster large HDD right now? 3TB or 4TB?

Post by alexb » Sat May 03, 2014 7:59 pm

alexb wrote:I've been away for a while., what's WD Red? They only used to have Green, Blue, Black. Is Red a new category altogether? Where does it fit in the range now?

Thanks
Ok, I did the research and it does look like a good long term solution... is the extra cost worth it for the Red?

andyb
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Re: Quietest faster large HDD right now? 3TB or 4TB?

Post by andyb » Sun May 04, 2014 12:44 pm

This is only anecdotal as I have never had a WD Red, Blue or Green together at the same time. The Red in my has the lowest level of vibration, followed by the Green and then the Blue. The Green + Blue drive both have a 2-year warranty by default (you can buy a WD Care Pack to extend this to 3-years, I am not sure if this extends the warranty on the Red to 4-years). The Blue drives extra performance over the Green and Red is mostly down to the latency (seek time/spin speed), but IMO is not worth it at all if the drive is just being used for storage, especially for Music + Video's where there is virtually no-seeking at all.

Just had a quick look for prices of the 4TB Red vs Green. ~ £12 price difference, so the Red is barely more expensive and comes with the 3-year warranty, plus all of the other stuff I mentioned in the previous post. The WD Red is my go-to drive for mass storage right now. PS: Don't even bother looking at the Purple, its specifically designed for video recording (CCTV).

FYI:

http://www.storagereview.com/wd_red_4tb ... w_wd40efrx

http://www.storagereview.com/wd_black_4 ... wd4003fzex

WD Blue reviews are not so easy to find as they are the "standard" WD Model and as such there is nothing interesting about them apart from being a little faster than the Green + Red drives and slower than the black, but by default they are the joint-cheapest (with the Green) model that WD produces and I have never seen a 4TB Blue model for sale.


Andy
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alexb
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Re: Quietest faster large HDD right now? 3TB or 4TB?

Post by alexb » Fri May 23, 2014 10:05 am

Thanks andy... here (Canada) WD Red is quite a bit more money, but I will wait for some sale at some point. I guess Black is over-kill as I'd be using SSD for boot drive, so best option seems like Intel SSD boot drive + WD Red for file server (music/video/pics/docs).

HellDiverUK
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Re: Quietest faster large HDD right now? 3TB or 4TB?

Post by HellDiverUK » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:48 am

The past few WD Blue and Blacks I've had have been noisy, mostly vibration which leads to resonance, or the 2TB Black actually made the floor vibrate. Greens and Reds are both very quiet.

Seagate's Desktop.15 (and therefore the Seagate NAS) is quiet as far as idle noise, but accessing noise tends to be quite noisy.

Finally, the HGST Deskstar NAS is a pretty noisy unit, no vibration or resonance but just a lot of whooshing noise, and accessing noise is really quite loud.
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alexb
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Re: Quietest faster large HDD right now? 3TB or 4TB?

Post by alexb » Fri Jul 04, 2014 8:55 am

HellDiverUK wrote:The past few WD Blue and Blacks I've had have been noisy, mostly vibration which leads to resonance, or the 2TB Black actually made the floor vibrate. Greens and Reds are both very quiet.

Seagate's Desktop.15 (and therefore the Seagate NAS) is quiet as far as idle noise, but accessing noise tends to be quite noisy.

Finally, the HGST Deskstar NAS is a pretty noisy unit, no vibration or resonance but just a lot of whooshing noise, and accessing noise is really quite loud.
Thanks, which do you like between WD Red vs. Seagate then?

Abula
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Re: Quietest faster large HDD right now? 3TB or 4TB?

Post by Abula » Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:14 am

SPCR reviewed both of the mayor 4tb, so i would guide the reviews,

Western Digital Red 4TB & Se 4TB Hard Drives
Seagate NAS HDD 4TB

Both are good drives, i would give the slight edge to WD 4tb red as its slightly quieter, but not by much.
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zyg0tic
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Re: Quietest faster large HDD right now? 3TB or 4TB?

Post by zyg0tic » Fri Jul 11, 2014 3:45 am

HellDiverUK wrote:The past few WD Blue and Blacks I've had have been noisy, mostly vibration which leads to resonance, or the 2TB Black actually made the floor vibrate. Greens and Reds are both very quiet.

Seagate's Desktop.15 (and therefore the Seagate NAS) is quiet as far as idle noise, but accessing noise tends to be quite noisy.

Finally, the HGST Deskstar NAS is a pretty noisy unit, no vibration or resonance but just a lot of whooshing noise, and accessing noise is really quite loud.
Since getting my 4TB Black I had terrible resonance issues with a Seagate 3TB and Samsung 2TB, both 7200rpm. But, this was also due to the HDD cage of the Define R4 which spoils an otherwise great case.

Before adding the Black, both of those drives were quiet and I did not know that the drive cage could be an issue.

I now have 2x Seagate 3TB and the 4TB Black but had to suspension mount all of them to deal with the noise. The drives still have a low volume idle operating noise. I couldnt recommend them.

If I wanted silent Id definitly try a WD Red first.

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