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Quiet hard disks ?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by clintrubber, Feb 8, 2005.

  1. clintrubber

    clintrubber Guest


    Just wondering, is there some general agreement on who makes the quietest drives ? Maxtor, Western Digital, Seagate ?
    (I realize this might be model-dependent though)

    Or are the differences just small ? I had a look at the noise-specs,
    but the differences may be influenced by the measuring conditions.
    So if anyone has some real-world experiences here ?

    Last but not least, any of these brands considered less reliable ?
    Heat issues ?


  2. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    I can't say for sure. But what I CAN say, is turn "off" the acoustic management for your audio drive (if it is enabled). Acoustic Management DOES make the HD quieter - and it does so by negatively affecting the HD's bandwidth (specifically Seek time) as it slows the heads actuators. Disabling it (Set it to "0") will get the most possible bandwidth out of your HD. There is uaually a utility provided by the HD manufacturer to do this (I think Hitachi has a free program that works with many brands of HD).

    I'm a Maxtor fan, and a WD fan myself. Most HD's are fairly relaible these days (now that the old IBM "Deathstar" is history ;) ). The WD Raptors are nice for that extra "umph" if required (10,000RPM SATA Drives). I hear there is a 15,000RPM version due out soon :eek: !!!

    Back-up OFTEN, and to multiple locations, and you will be covered no matter what brand you decide on.

  3. clintrubber

    clintrubber Guest

    Thanks for the reply.

    OK, I'll just go for availability and if thery're all available I'll go for the best noise spec (FWIW, the Maxtor reports several dBs less when compared to a WD and the latter is even using A-weighting at that).

    Reliability, yes, I have one of those IBM's in my non-music machine but it's been fine... so far.
    I was impressed by the WD-HDD which is still going strong after many years, but it sounds like as long as it's no IBM all will be fine.

    Thanks & bye,

  4. wwwill

    wwwill Guest

    The consensus I've heard from many people is that the Seagate Barracuda is the quietest IDE drive out there. I don't know this from experience, just from LOTS of people thathave had many different brands of drives.

    I have a WD and it seems better than older drives I've had (Maxtor and IBM DeskStar). [/b]
  5. clintrubber

    clintrubber Guest

    Thanks for the Seagate-suggestion. Browsed for the specs and indeed these back this up, it's at least as quiet as the Maxtors I saw (variations caused by different conditions permitting).

    I'm a bit hesitating w.r.t. Seagate though; of the not that many HDDs I've used I've never had faulty Maxtors or WDs in my hands but already two Seagate-units.

    FWIW that is, just a feeling. (But should I pay attention to that typo I just made ? Re-reading this reply before submitting I saw that I had made a type and had typed Seahate... :shock: ). Enough now, it'll all be fine stuff. :cool:


  6. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    the seagate is the quietest in Idle mode.
    while in seek mode its just as loud as the WD or Maxtors.

    all the manufacturers test DB in idle mode.

    all WD JB or JD (8meg buffer drives) have a 3 yr warranty, the raptors 5 yr. 2 meg buffer 1 yr.
    with Maxtor is 1 yr
    Seagate varies wildly as can depend on where you bought it.
    oem or retail. basically best to figure 1 yr warranty.

    i favor the WD for a number of reasons
  7. clintrubber

    clintrubber Guest

    Hi ADK, thanks for the response.

    That's making me curious ! :)
  8. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    i should have just posted it before!

    we sell close to 200 WD drives a month.
    when i get a dead one i usually have to wait 6-8 weeks before i get a second one (not worth RMAing just one drive)
    easy rma no questions asked.

    benchmarks: have proven to be faster than most or right at highest speeds.
    IBM/Hitachi dont count as i doubt i will ever sell them again.

    an exceptioin to this is the Seagate 200G ide(which is odd as they have not been the fastest in the past)
    this drive benchs right behind the 10k raptors.

  9. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    I'll second what ADK said about the Barracudas. They are very quiet in idle. I put mine in rubber shock mounts and that cut the access noise right down. I have to listen very close to be able to hear the access noises, and I have a very quiet computer otherwise.
  10. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    The Seagates were great drives at one time but they made the mistake of getting into bed with Packard Bell to produce the Conner Drives and their quality went in the toilet. I owned many of the old Seagates when they were the fastest drives around. I've heard their quality has improved but they lost me as a customer a long time ago and it would take a pretty significant product to bring me back, like better performance than the Raptors maybe.

    I am a long time fan of Maxtor's and use them alot, mostly the really large drives for massive storage. That's where I think the Maxtor's really excel. For pure speed like gaming or high performance Daw's I like the WD Raptors.

    Any of these would be fine for a DAW but as was pointed out warranties with Seagate can be spotty. Just avoid the junk brands (Hitachi, Samsung, Fujitsu etc.) and you'll be fine.
  11. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    If the HD noise from a Seagate Barracuda hinders you, then you are rediculous. I'm not sure I've ever really heard my HD say much; but maybe my powersupply fans drown it out. I don't think HD noise will be as much of an issue as you might think as long as you get one of these respected brands. As far as reliability....you stand a certain % chance of getting a dud from any of the companies; a lot of it just depends on if you are a naturally unlucky person or not. I don't think this forum would be a large enough sample to get a real accurate reliability score. But I can at least vouch for my WD and Seagate HD's.
  12. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    the drives ar the loudest things in our systems.
    everything else is 20db or lower.

    and yes there are people with great mics (even a Studio projects b1 wil do it) that is recording in the same room can pick up computer noise.

    not everyone has a recording room and control room.
    in fact very few.

  13. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    That's the boat im in Scott. My drives (in access) are the loudest things in my system too.
  14. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Maybe I'm just lucky, but I hardly ever hear my HD's except on startup. It would be cool to get rid of the low fan noise though.....
    I just don't trust/want to pay for the other cooling methods. Besides, the expander on my P1 takes care of it pretty well. :cool: :D
  15. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    I don't think it's luck, you said in your other post that your PS fan drowns the HDD sounds out. That's not a good thing. You really need to slow your fans down. The noise will affect what you hear in your mixes. More fans at slower speeds is the key, try a speed controller or if your PS supports it let it control the fans. My systems are the coolest running you'll ever see yet still very quiet. David and I had a thread going here on noise and heat issues, here's the link.

    (Dead Link Removed)

    We discuss some good ways to cut noise and increase cooling, you should check it out.
  16. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    I often run 3 HD's at once. My 20 gig Western Digital, has been running since 1998 - 24/7 until last year, not noisy. My two new 40 gig Seagates are quiet(They add no noticable sound at all to the running machine), though they do only ATA 100(For me no problem). I bought 3 30 gig Maxtors 2 years ago, one completely died a couple of months ago, I'll replace the other two as fast as I can, simply because I don't know and, for the low price of 2 new HD's, won't chance it...

    My Everest software(Free download) tells me that the Maxtors run warm - nearly twice as warm as the Seagates. Like 150f, sted 82f(About case temp). My WD is apparently old enough that Everest is not able to sense it.

    I use drive drawers. When I removed the tiny fans on the drawers(1 or 2 in each) the reported temps did NOT go up at all, but the noise went WAY down. Those cheap little fans were s-c-r-e-a-m-i-n-g!(I thought it was the HD's...). As I use the drawers only for convenience, not for HD transport, I just leave their aluminum covers off. I do run a 2nd. case fan.

    Fans are easily the noisest things in my machine, overwhelming any HD noise. Keeping them clean(Or just replacing them once in awhile) helps keep the noise down a bit. If I get around to it, I will investigate "solid state"(Super heatsinks, etc.) cooling options.

    Biggest relief from machine noise came when I cut a hole in the wall of the studio, ran the cables through the wall and put the machine in the other room - the hole stuffed with beach towels(At least in the Winter...). Ahh, silence.

    WD's or Seagates for me(For now), simply because the Maxtors reported temperatures worry me, not their noise or actual durability(Which my single failure experience does not prove one way or the other.)...

    Teddy G.
  17. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    150 F is way to high. Most manufactuers say around 130 F should be MAX. My DAW runs 2 Maxtors, 120 and 250 GB and the temp averages 92 F and around 100 F under full load. Are you sure your drives sensor is working properly? If it is don't expect it to last long at those temps. Check the thread I listed earlier for some things you can do to reduce heat on your drives.
  18. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Wow 150 F! you don't have a hot plate in your tower by mistake do you? :shock:

    THanks for the link but I was actually being quite sarcastic when I said the fans "drown out" the HD. It really isn't too noticeable.
    But I want to get an Antec case just for giggles sometime. Prolly wait till I upgrade my whole mobo/cpu combo, though.
  19. clintrubber

    clintrubber Guest

    Thanks all for the info & discussions. I ended up with a WD 800JB and all seems fine. It might not be the most quiet, but I had a good feeling w.r.t. reliability about previous a WD-HDD I had so I went for that brand. And I got the impression here that the differences are nog that huge between HDD-types. The fan of my mixer-PSU at least overpowers it. :cry:

    Thanks all,

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