3x80gb one platter vs 2x160gb two platter, which is quieter?

Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

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3x80gb one platter vs 2x160gb two platter, which is quieter?

Post by One » Thu Jan 15, 2004 10:12 pm

I will set up a RAID 0 with Samsung Spinpoint drives. Using 3 drives instead of 2 makes it up to 50% faster than with only 2 drives, right? Three SP0812C (80gb) drives is the same price as two SP1614C (160gb) drives, and you get 50% extra speed for 33% less storage space.

I have read that 2 platters give 1-2 dB more noise than 1 platter, and 2 drives give 3 dB more noise than 1 drive.
So with three 1 platter drives it would be -6 dB more noise?
And with two 2 platter drives it would be 4-5 dB more noise?

Maybe I should get three SP1614C drives instead of SP0812C, then it would be 1-2 dB more noise for twice storage space but 50% more money, but I don't think I need that much storage.

I already have a SP1614N and it has an annoying whine but I can take it, it is much better than my old WD1200JB, I can't stand it for 5 mins now (whine goes through earplugs).
Two SP0812C would be the most silent RAID 0 solution for me with only 1-2 dB increase in noise from what I have now, but it would be 30% more expensive than a SP1614C with the same storage space, but I would get a 100% increase in speed.
Adding another 3 dB for a third drive for only 50% extra speed is probably bad.

2 port SATA RAID controller cards are cheaper than 4 port, so I would save some money there (almost half price). I also need extra cables for more than two drives.
Does the price of the RAID controller matter, can't I just buy the cheapest one? If I only use RAID 0, then I don't need support for other RAID 5 or 10.
So it would be best to buy either 2xSP0812C or 2xSP1614C.

I want the best bang for the buck, but noise is most important. What should I do?
Last edited by One on Fri Jan 16, 2004 2:49 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Choy » Fri Jan 16, 2004 2:43 am

Normally more platters equal more noise, but not always. Sometimes they have been able to design it drives so that there are no measureable difference. On the other hand an additional drive always gives increased noise. And if you mount them with mechanical contact they can interact and create additional noise.

About the performance, an additional drive in the array will give you an increased transfer rate but not improved access times, because they depend mainly on the mechincal design of the head and platters.

Also consider data security. Do you really need to raid so much space? Unless you need that much fast space (for eg video editing) I'd suggest just raiding two drives and keeping as much as possible outside the array. I'd use the wd in a server or something as storage space, preferably letting it spin down when not in use.
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Post by einolu » Fri Jan 16, 2004 8:29 am

Raid 0+1?


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Post by lm » Fri Jan 16, 2004 9:26 am

2x sound power means +3dB (logarithmic scale),
so 2 drives is 3dB louder than 1 drive, but 4 drives are 6dB louder than 1 drive, so 3 drives is about 4.75dB louder than 1 drive.

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