I don't know about all of you out there but I recently bought an Aopen 12x DVD drive and it is extremely noisy. Now I'm working on a new silent system based on the SV24 cube computer and I want it to play DVD's w/o making me go insane from the noise. Does ne one know of ne good silent DVD drives?
Generally speed is proportional to noise. I have a 5X that's nearly silent, but not quite. What you want is a drive that sets speed proportionally to demand. Some drives set a low speed, like 1-1.5X, when reading at that speed, while others leapfrog in blocks of max speed, then idle. The former type are usually much quieter.
The Sony DVD drives we have at work are pretty quiet, but I hesitate to recommend any Sony optical drives. (Got one of thier 2X coaster burners right here....) I've got a 6x SCSI Pioneer slot loader but it's started making a high pitched whine when reading CD-ROMs. The old 2X Toshibas were pretty quiet, maybe you can find an older generation drive at a second hand / surplus store.
I've got a Samsung SD606F that is silent. Older drive, but it's been working flawlessly as the main CD for almost 2 years now. Never really had a problem with any disk, has read everything fairly well.
The Lite-On LTD-163 is supposed to be extremely quiet when playing DVD movies according to SR b/c it (probably) plays them at 1x. When it is reading data I am not sure. If the drive you use doesn't get hot you could try a "sleeve" of some type and add active cooling via a Panaflow "L" series fan or a pair of 40mm (Pentium 1) fans. At least the constant fan noise is less irritating than the spin-up/down of the drive.