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Thread: Quietest HDDs

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    Question Quietest HDDs

    Right, going for a format soon to have a play with Windows 7 alongside Ubuntu, and I need a couple of quiet HDDs, as my Hitachi Deskstars are rattling like a loose dashboard on Sebastian Loeb's C4.

    These will be going in an Antec 900 for a couple of weeks then a Lian-Li A71 shortly thereafter. I'm not too fussed about capacity but 160GB is probably the minimum I'd consider for OS + Games, and not looking to spend more than £40 per drive ideally.

    Going to be shopping at SCAN, so what would you recommend?

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    Re: Quietest HDDs

    If you're more interested in noise then performance, then I'd recommend looking at the Western Digital GP drives, or the Samsung Spinpoint Ecopowers. Ultimately, if it's a modern drive slowed down to under 7200 rpm, then it will be quieter than equivalent 7200rpm versions.

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    Re: Quietest HDDs

    2.5" Western digital caviar blue can be had for around £45 in 320GB guise. Slot that in somewhere nicely and you won't hear it for trying.

    Otherwise the above suggestions (green power would be my choice), but make sure it's mounted in some rubber grommets (not sure if the 900 has them) or suspended .

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    Re: Quietest HDDs

    Suspended is a good idea. Seen that a few times and looks impressive.
    Last edited by ixos; 06-06-2009 at 11:17 PM.

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    Re: Quietest HDDs

    I'd also second getting 2 1/2" drives instead of 3 1/2" - makes a huge difference, even the loudest (modern) laptop drive will be quieter than the quietest desktop drive.
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    Re: Quietest HDDs

    Quote Originally Posted by MSIC View Post
    I'd also second getting 2 1/2" drives instead of 3 1/2" - makes a huge difference, even the loudest (modern) laptop drive will be quieter than the quietest desktop drive.
    Are they 'as powerful' though?

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    Re: Quietest HDDs

    They certainly aren't slow. My 7200rpm hitachi is pretty nippy

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    Re: Quietest HDDs

    So, as long as it is 7200rpm it should be a good match to the 3.5's?

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    Re: Quietest HDDs

    Quote Originally Posted by ixos View Post
    Are they 'as powerful' though?
    Regular laptop drives are not a fast as desktop drives. In fact, they are usually considerably slower.

    However, there are 2.5" drives that are incredibly fast, the Velociraptor for example is very very fast, but that won't help your noise issue

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    Re: Quietest HDDs

    So, if a 2.5 160g 7200rpm laptop HD is not as fast as a 3.5 16og HD? How come if the specs are the same?

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    Re: Quietest HDDs

    Thanks for the responses. So how much real-world performance loss could I expect to have from a 5400RPM drive as opposed to a 7200RPM one?

    I'm thinking something like this or this.

    The A71 uses rubber grommets, but I guess I'd have to buy an adaptor to use 2.5" drives in a 3.5" bay? Only thing I can find on Scan's site is this, but it's for SSDs- shouldn't pose any problems with a regular laptop drive though right?

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    Re: Quietest HDDs

    Quote Originally Posted by ixos View Post
    So, if a 2.5 160g 7200rpm laptop HD is not as fast as a 3.5 16og HD? How come if the specs are the same?
    Well, the specifications aren't the same really. The RPM might be the same, but other things like data density and platter count can vary on different drives - in other words, there are other areas that can affect HD performance.

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    Re: Quietest HDDs

    I am looking for a fast HD to use in a new system i am putting together. I was looking at the 2.5 drives. I don't want a massive drive as it will only be used as the boot drive and for normal day to day programs.

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    Re: Quietest HDDs

    The western digital scorpio blacks are actually really impressive as far as I have seen

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    Re: Quietest HDDs

    Quote Originally Posted by staffsMike View Post
    The western digital scorpio blacks are actually really impressive as far as I have seen
    Those drives do have good specs, 7200RPM & 16MB cache, but will they be much quieter than the eqv. 7200RPM desktop drive?

    I was assuming a 2.5" would be quiet(er) because it was only 5400RPM? My drives are noisiest when the head is moving over the platter, for heavy read/write. It's a clattering noise which is quite distinct from the hum of the drives when they are just idle. It's the clattering sound I want to get rid of, which I assume may just be a result of the drives being the cheapest at the time I bought them. For example this drive is much cheaper than the eqv 2.5" but the specs are pretty well identical- will the 2.5" be that much quieter in regular operation?

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    Re: Quietest HDDs

    The head noise can be reduced by enabling AAM (if it has it). This will reduce seek speeds though because the access time will increase.

    I find head noise less annoying than the constant idle drone of a 7200RPM disk. That's not to say that all 7200RPM are going to have the same level of idle noise, not even two samples of the same model.

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