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meerkt
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2.5" HDD noise levels

Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:34 pm

Anyone ever compared the noise levels, or the nature of the noise, of different 2.5" HDDs?

I was preemptively avoiding 7200rpm drives because of noise, but it hadn't occurred to me until now that I should pay attention also to the differences between 5400rpmers.

I replaced a Samsung/Seagate Spinpoint M8 500GB with a Toshiba L200 1TB, and the idle noise is more prominent. The root cause may be that the Toshiba is 2 platters rather than 1. I can't find exact specs for the old drive, but extrapolating from various specs it should be 2-4dB quieter. But I don't know, maybe the problem is the noise spectrum.

Any thoughts?
 
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Re: 2.5" HDD noise levels

Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:45 pm

HGST Travelstar 1TB 7200rpm = 100% inaudible to me. It's in a NUC that boots from m.2 SSD and sends USB audio to a Schiit Modi2 DAC and then to a Pioneer SX-5580 blackface West German version.
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Re: 2.5" HDD noise levels

Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:17 pm

I've never noticed noise from the lower RPM models. 7200 you can occasionally hear when they seek, since the head actuators tend to be tuned for performance rather than low power/noise (the assumption is probably that if you paid for 7200 RPM, you care more about performance).
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meerkt
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Re: 2.5" HDD noise levels

Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:41 am

I'm using the drive in a laptop, and it doesn't provide much soundproofing.
In a heavily built case it wouldn't be audible.
 
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Re: 2.5" HDD noise levels

Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:49 pm

You can always run the higher RPM drives in "quiet mode" via the ATA acoustic settings. I recall it making a huge difference on loud drives at the expense of a little bit of latency on seeks.
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meerkt
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Re: 2.5" HDD noise levels

Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:28 am

Seeking noise is less important. I don't suppose it causes them to run at lower RPM?

Can you trust it to be available and effective on any drive model from any manufacturer?
 
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Re: 2.5" HDD noise levels

Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:34 am

meerkt wrote:
Seeking noise is less important. I don't suppose it causes them to run at lower RPM?

No, it just changes how hard they accelerate/decelerate the heads during seeks. So I take it the noise you're getting is mainly whine/vibration? That may be a manufacturing defect (e.g. slightly off-balance platters).

meerkt wrote:
Can you trust it to be available and effective on any drive model from any manufacturer?

I believe it is optional (and ignored on drives that don't support it).
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meerkt
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Re: 2.5" HDD noise levels

Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:27 am

Yeah, the idle noise is the issue. I don't think it's defective in this regard (despite the clicks situation).

BTW, the drive doesn't support AAM.
 
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Re: 2.5" HDD noise levels

Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:48 am

meerkt wrote:
Yeah, the idle noise is the issue. I don't think it's defective in this regard (despite the clicks situation).

If the drive is vibrating excessively, that could indirectly be causing the clicks, by causing seek errors.
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