best silent hard drives in 2020?

Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

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flyingsherpa
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best silent hard drives in 2020?

Post by flyingsherpa » Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:23 am

Just curious what everyone is buying for silent drives these days. The industry seems to have slowed down a lot as the tech has leveled out and SSDs have ramped up, but many of us still need mass storage and want it to be quiet. This is definitely major area that I miss official SPCR reviews for...

Abula
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Re: best silent hard drives in 2020?

Post by Abula » Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:35 am

Well we are more screwed than the WD GREEN days, as now we have more platters and Helium drives are not quiet, they are not black levels, but my WD Red 3tb and Green 2TB are much quieter, that said.... not much you can do, most of todays high density and platter drives are not quiet, so the solution is NAS and place it where you cant hear it.

CristianoO'Quinn
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Re: best silent hard drives in 2020?

Post by CristianoO'Quinn » Tue Jun 09, 2020 4:13 am

i bought a Western Digital AV-GP 1TB , is really quiet m power saver and do not overheat

CristianoO'Quinn
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Re: best silent hard drives in 2020?

Post by CristianoO'Quinn » Tue Jun 16, 2020 5:04 am

flyingsherpa wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:23 am
Just curious what everyone is buying for silent drives these days. The industry seems to have slowed down a lot as the tech has leveled out and SSDs have ramped up, but many of us still need mass storage and want it to be quiet. This is definitely major area that I miss official SPCR reviews for...
WD Black 4TB Performance Internal Hard Drive - 7200 RPM Class, SATA 6 Gb/s, 256 MB Cache, 3.5" - WD4005FZBX - with price 180$

CoolColJ
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Re: best silent hard drives in 2020?

Post by CoolColJ » Sat Dec 19, 2020 7:19 am

Well as far as external HD I have used recently, bought new

The Western Digital elements 4TB portable SE is really quiet, you can only hear it if you put your ear against it in a normal environment
120MB read/write so 5400rpm.
Really small and USB 3 powered

While the 10TB desktop non helium version is quite a bit louder, much louder than my old Samsung and WD green sitting next to it out in the open.
Not much seek noise, but the idle is audible from a couple metres away in it's case.
SMART says 5400rpm, but idle sound and specs 200+MB read/write says 7200rpm class.
Need external power supply

CoolColJ
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Re: best silent hard drives in 2020?

Post by CoolColJ » Sun Dec 20, 2020 7:46 pm

I just got a Western Digital 4TB Blue - WD40EZRZ 5400rpm drive

Sitting outside of the case powered up, it is just as quiet as my odd collection of old WD Red 3TB, Samsung 1TB and 2TB F3, and 1TB F1
These drives are all 9-10+ years old now and still going strong :)

My Corsair HX1200 fan never turns on, and MSI RTX 3070's fan also never turns on at idle, so system is pretty quiet

Benchmarked in Samsung Magician 180+MB/s read/write, 480 read/write IOPs
Way faster than my older drives and 2x better IOPs - 100 to 130 MB/s read/write for these

Looking at the specs on these Blue drives from Western digital - the 4Tb version is faster than the 3TB, but same noise levels.
The 1TB is 2db quieter at idle, 21db vs 23db, but anything under 24db is already pretty good
6TB model is at 25db

https://documents.westerndigital.com/co ... 771436.pdf

The drive speed is pretty good, and almost near my noisey 10TB and incoming 14TB Elements drives, that are just white label versions of the 7200rpm WD Red plus drives. I only turn these on for backup and then back off once done. easy enough by just unplugging the USB 3 cable
Last edited by CoolColJ on Wed Dec 23, 2020 8:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

CoolColJ
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Re: best silent hard drives in 2020?

Post by CoolColJ » Mon Dec 21, 2020 4:02 am

I have the above WD Blue drive suspended vertically now in my Silvertsone FT02, using strips of 1 inch velcro strapping cut to length from a roll, along with my old Samsung 2TB HD 204UI and Western Digital 3TB Red WD30EFRX. Retired the two Samsung 1TB drives, F1 and F3.

Together with my 2 NVMe and 1 SSD drive and it's pretty darn quiet from a metre away, even with an open case.
I can't even hear the drives seek!

I can recommend :)

Before doing the above installation, I plugged each drive one at a time and held them against my ear, and the two old F1 and F3 drives are louder and vibrate more than the new WD Blue 4TB drive. But overall they are fairly inline with each other once suspended.
While the new drive is way faster.

CoolColJ
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Re: best silent hard drives in 2020?

Post by CoolColJ » Mon Dec 21, 2020 7:02 pm

So the the WD 10TB Elements external hard drive I have above is according to CrystalDiskinfo it's a WD101EDAZ
which from research is a white label air version of the WD101EFAX.

This drive is pretty noisey at idle in it's rubber mounted plastic case, quite audible from 1 m away. Like a faint drill sound.
And according to the specs below - 36db idle and 38db seek, that's why :)

https://documents.westerndigital.com/co ... us-hdd.pdf

It's also the loudest of these drives.
Now Amazon UK has the 14TB version on a very good price right now, so I'm going to return this 10TB Elements and grab the 14TB version.
Likely a white label helium version of the WD140EFFX
If it truly has a 20dd idle and 29 seek, that's a big improvement!

I know the 21-23db idle rated Western digital drives, suspended mounted in my system are near inaudible from 1m away in my system

If it's that quiet, I will likely have it plugged in all the time.
Maybe even remove it from it's case and have it mounted internally.
The 29db seek will be a few db louder than my current inaudible drives, but since it will be only used to make incremental Macrium Reflect image backups of my partitions it will be idle most of the time. 29db rated might only be around 25db in the case and 1m away

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xekv2Y2mmfQ
Last edited by CoolColJ on Wed Dec 23, 2020 8:42 am, edited 2 times in total.

CA_Steve
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Re: best silent hard drives in 2020?

Post by CA_Steve » Wed Dec 23, 2020 8:08 am

Thanks for the info.

CoolColJ
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Re: best silent hard drives in 2020?

Post by CoolColJ » Wed Dec 23, 2020 8:32 am

Pic of my suspended hard drive setup in my SIlverstone FT02, using cut velcro strips from a roll. Works surpisngly well

None of these drives are audible in idle or seek at 3am, 1m away, with an open case!
Left to right - Western Digital Blue 4Tb WD40EZRZ, red 3Tb WD30EFRX and Samsung 2TB 204UI
far left is my old Intel 520 240GB SSD, which I paid some $500AUD 8 years ago.... It's plugged into the cartridge style slot of the FT02 using an Icy Dock 2.5 inch enclosure inside the FT02 drive cradle

Two velcro straps per drive that loop around the top of the drive case holes and hang down freely, soft side inside so the drives slide in smoothly.
Silverstone AP183 pwm fans below keep them cool at 550rpm, motherboard controlled, also inaudible - much less air woosh sound than the stock AP181

case is open due to new Ryzen X570 Tomahawk build, so motherboard is siting outside along with power supply ontop of the case for the past few weeks!
So lack of noise has been an ear opener :D

Image
Last edited by CoolColJ on Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

CoolColJ
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Re: best silent hard drives in 2020?

Post by CoolColJ » Wed Dec 30, 2020 10:36 pm

Received the 14TB WD Elements drive yesterday

This drive is way quieter than the 10TB model I returned back to Amazon.
Based the on the Red Plus drives they are made from, I can see why - same noise specs - 20db vs 34db idle!

https://documents.westerndigital.com/co ... us-hdd.pdf

Same speeds and they are 7200rpm according to the PDF
512MB cache, CMR helium drive
Ends up at 12.7TB capacity....

Image

Pretty fast at 210+ MB/Sec read/write over USB3.
Backing up some Macrium Reflect images to it, was the same speed as to an SSD, as it's capped by by Ryzen 3800x's compression speed of around 210+ MB/sec :)
So it feels much faster than than my other HDs

The drive is really quiet at idle in it's plastic air vented case, as you would expect with a 20db idle rating, pretty much inaudible from 1M away.
I can feel a periodic thump on the case every 6 secs, which you will hear if not suspended mounted when inside a PC.

Even while seeking and writing it is quiet as well, despite the 29db seek rating. But there seems to be an occasional dull hollow resonant rattle seek sound, once in a while, that seems to be the drive interacting with the plastic case, which should not be an issue when suspended.

Ejecting the drive in Windows 10, causes the drive to go in standby, handy. Saves unplugging the USB3 cable.
I'm pretty happy with it sitting outside, for backup purposes, so will not be removing it from the case to mount internally.
But due to it's speed, I am tempted to use it as a main storage drive...

Pretty amazing combo of acoustics, speed and size!

CA_Steve
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Re: best silent hard drives in 2020?

Post by CA_Steve » Thu Dec 31, 2020 7:43 am

It continues to baffle me why the bare drives cost $100+ more than the external storage versions.

Abula
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Re: best silent hard drives in 2020?

Post by Abula » Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:21 am

CA_Steve wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 7:43 am
It continues to baffle me why the bare drives cost $100+ more than the external storage versions.
Usually is warranty.

Hrafn
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Re: best silent hard drives in 2020?

Post by Hrafn » Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:21 pm

Abula wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:21 am
CA_Steve wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 7:43 am
It continues to baffle me why the bare drives cost $100+ more than the external storage versions.
Usually is warranty.
Also, it means you don't have to deal with the near-ubiquitous 3.3V pin issue unshucked WD external drives apparently have. Plus, you have greater certainty on exactly what drive model you end up with.

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