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10k Raptor Noise/Heat question

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May 9, 2006 8:04:32 AM

Ok so I havent upgraded my pc in a long time but I got a raise at work and a bonus so I went nuts and tried to get all the best crap based on a little research.

My question is this: I purchased (2) Western Digital Raptor HDD's for a home theater pc that I am trying to keep very quiet. I read that these can get hottier and noisier than other drives. Can anyone let me know a way to possibly cool them and keep them quiet?

I am going to adapt my water cooling system to this pc and it has limited space. Wiht the 2 10k raptors and my water cooling I wont have any 5.25 bays free for a hdd internal inclosure. Do I even need additional cooling for these? Anyone having experience with these drives I would appreciate your advice.

The following are the other items I went with:

(1)Silverstone st56f psu (560watt/dual 12v rails)
(1) Asus A8R32-CrossFire 3200 MB
(1) Opteron 170 (to be oc'd a bit)
(2) 1GB OCZ Platinum xtc pc 4000
(1) ATI x1900 cf edition (got it cheaper than an xt and get 2nd card later)
(2) Western Digital 10k rpm Raptor (for Raid 0)

I was going to go sli all the way with 7900gt but swiched at the last minute after reading a bit more thinking the ati would have better image quality for my home theater/projector for games and movies.
May 10, 2006 9:56:48 PM

I don't know exactly how hot Raptors get, but they are hotter and louder than other drives. In a full size case, heat isn't a problem for a Raptor. In a tight case it might be - it depends on airflow. Generally you cool it by placing a fan so it blows air on the drive. I've heard of someone using a waterblock on it, but I don't know how well it worked, if it was a specific HD block or a custom mod.

As for quiet... Quiet and cool don't mix very well here. Rubber washers/grommets to isolate the drive from the cage reduces some sound. Sound deadening foam around the drive (which insulates the drive so it gets hotter) or on the sides of the case. Hmmm, that's all I can think of right now.

Mike.
May 10, 2006 10:37:04 PM

Quote:
Ok so I havent upgraded my pc in a long time but I got a raise at work and a bonus so I went nuts and tried to get all the best crap based on a little research.

My question is this: I purchased (2) Western Digital Raptor HDD's for a home theater pc that I am trying to keep very quiet. I read that these can get hottier and noisier than other drives. Can anyone let me know a way to possibly cool them and keep them quiet?

I am going to adapt my water cooling system to this pc and it has limited space. Wiht the 2 10k raptors and my water cooling I wont have any 5.25 bays free for a hdd internal inclosure. Do I even need additional cooling for these? Anyone having experience with these drives I would appreciate your advice.

The following are the other items I went with:

(1)Silverstone st56f psu (560watt/dual 12v rails)
(1) Asus A8R32-CrossFire 3200 MB
(1) Opteron 170 (to be oc'd a bit)
(2) 1GB OCZ Platinum xtc pc 4000
(1) ATI x1900 cf edition (got it cheaper than an xt and get 2nd card later)
(2) Western Digital 10k rpm Raptor (for Raid 0)

I was going to go sli all the way with 7900gt but swiched at the last minute after reading a bit more thinking the ati would have better image quality for my home theater/projector for games and movies.


You did not say what case you will be useing.

You can keep the heat down first by dumping the Raptors....in real life you will never see an advantage useing them over regular drives,more so just playing movies.


Why use a dual core to play movies?
An Optron 146 is only $200 boxed and I run mine at 2.9Ghz all day long.
With a Thermalright SI-120 cooler and Silverstone FM-121 fans for both cooler and Coolermaster case the CPU only hits 38C in a 22C room.
The fans com with speed controlers and I run them 1000 RPM under full speed....can't even hear them when next to the case.
Improve your airflow 70% by removeing the exit fans guard from the case...unless you have a toodler in the house!

That ram you want to use will also put off alot of heat....G.Skill 4000USU2-HZ (2 x 1Gb) run at only 2.6 volts and are cheep at $152 on Newegg.


Z
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May 10, 2006 11:49:18 PM

raptor's are unnecessary for HTPC's. HTPC's hard drive access usually includes reading a lot of data out of a single, large file--which makes a faster spinning drive unnecessary. The only advantage to the 10k and 15k drives are the ability to collect lots of data from different parts of the drive really quickly--useful in, say, database applications. Further, 10k and 15k drives require active cooling, which means more fans, which means more noise. Stick with a single large 7.2k drive.

If you really want to water cool them, though, then i suggest http://www.koolance.com/shop/product_info.php/cPath/29_...
koolance is expensive, but the best quality :) 
May 11, 2006 7:46:24 AM

This is the case I am using although I modified it by cutting a window in the top and a holesaw opening for a sigle 120mm fan on top as both exhaus fan and radiator fan.

http://www.silverstone-usa.com/products-lc10m.htm

I am not new to pc building by any means but i have never had a 10k drive and decided i wanted raid 0. I have oc since before the celeron 300a@450 days. The case has a quiet psu, quiet 120mm radiator/exhaust fan and quiet aftermarket gpu fan. The cpu will be watercooled. And I already purchased the raptor which I got on ebay (2) for $200 total new so I couldnt resist. I will also have a storage drive of wd 320gb 16mb Sata2 I found a couple hdd watercool products that werent too pricy ....like $50-$60 to cool 2 drives watercooled but is this overboard or do they really need active cooling?

** oh and the reason I have the system as is is for a couple of reasons. One it is my htpc but also my primary gaming computer hooked up to a hd projector. Also I will use my old system in my bedroom as a second computer to be used as a "filter" per say running all of my downloading programs and hopefully filtering out all viruses ect. I then transfer these large files accross the network wireless on a constat basis to the htpc after they are verified clean and this will help endsure my htpc/gaming system doesnt get viruses or bloatware of too many memory resident programs eating away at my fast/clean system. Well at least this all made since in my head I dont have the second system up yet or all the parts for this system havent arrived in the mail yet.......ohhh the day will come and I will be happy.

I have also worked as a network admin and network engineer and miss that feeling at work using fast scsi drives. the raptors I got sheap and thought even 10-15% peroformance in some areas would be worth it to me.
May 11, 2006 1:15:38 PM

http://www.storagereview.com/php/benchmark/bench_sort.p...

I saw this posted in someone elses topic but i checked it out and according to these statistics the 74gb raptors scored right in the middle in terms of heat and noice compared to a bunch of 7200rpm drives. Scoring louder than some and quiter that others and same goes for heat. It definately didnt score high compared to the other drives in these categories. Anyways get me to thinking.
May 11, 2006 2:09:09 PM

Koolance has a couple of waterblocks that you can use to cool down the Raptors, but if you want them quiet, stay away from teh 150GB version, those things are much louder than the 74GB versions. Otherwise don't worry about noise. If the HTPC is near the TV the ambient noise from the fans and the TV itself will more than drown out the HD on all but the quietest of scenes.

http://www.koolance.com/shop/product_info.php/cPath/29_...
May 11, 2006 2:09:30 PM

I got a 36.7Gig Raptor, the temp is around 27C and normal HD runs around 40. There's a 80mm fan infront of the case that is cooling both my HDs. In regards to noise, they are not bad. When I put it in the case, I can't really hear any sounds the raptor makes. 8O
May 11, 2006 2:28:10 PM

I have a 74GB Raptor , which was a bit noisy in a Lian Li V1100 II case, probably partially due to the quick mounting system for HDDs in that case. I am now using an Aqua Computer Aquadrive for 2 HDDs and it can keep the Raptor at around 30C which is about ambient inside the case.
May 11, 2006 2:58:24 PM

You're headed in the wrong direction:

Raptors must be actively cooled, as mentioned previously. Even if you're water cooling, you're going to be firing off your radiator fans more often. An HTPC should be a Yonah or Turion. You can passively cool these processors with the right heat pipe/sink combo with ease.

As for storage, samsung has some REALLY nice drives designed to be quiet. This only needs to hold your operating system. Storage for your HTPC should be external. I have a file server with no keyboard/mouse/video. It's Wake-On-Lan and suspends to RAM if it's idle for too long. You can put your storage machine in a closet or wherever: noise won't matter, so you can do something comfortable like RAID 5 with some cheap, loud, and noisy drives :)  If you can afford it, put an i-RAM in your HTPC. Again, all you need is the OS on the local machine. All other data you gan go wireless or gigabit ethernet. Hell, you could even load the OS on a 2 GB USB memory stick if you feel the need :) 

Low Noise = Turion/Yonah (Intel Core)
HTPC Storage = Best when external

Your HTPC should ideally have NO fans and solid-state hard drives. If you want to run something hot, thermaltake has some nice fan-less radiators.
May 11, 2006 3:02:28 PM

Now that I've gone to water cooling, my Raptor is one of my loudest components... that and my 7800 GTX are thorns in my side. That said, I wanted the fastest drive and that's what I got... as far as the video... I'll probably just buy a block for it and go water.

Based on my personal experience with a 74 GB Raptor, I wouldn't recommend it for an HTPC.
May 12, 2006 2:37:45 AM

Hmm I am hearing a lot of negativity about the raptors. I could watercool everhting in the htpc or maybe jsut sell the raptors on ebay I can get more than I paid for them. Again its not just an htpc it is also a gaming rig and used for some video editing. I was planning on having all of my movies on the hdd and be able to use a media remote to open my movies and play things instantly and also re-boot quickly and transfer files between pc's quickly. If the raptors arent going to help me in these areas maybe I wasted $200 and should sell them? The rest of the stuff I went with is not negotiable I know I want everythign else in there and for specific reasons. If I watercool anyway I could technically only have two fans for the whole pc....the exhaust/radiator fan (low noise) and the fan in my power supply (low noise) and I think things would run pretty cool and quiet no?

Thanks for all of the advice comming.

--Dean--
May 12, 2006 7:56:31 PM

Raptors are very good drives, but if you're looking for a nice quiet HTPC then you might need to turn the sound up a notch or two on your TV.

IF its a gaming/video rig that's an entirely different story then the Raptors are great for it. They do all those things that you would want them to do and they can reboot in about 30 seconds.

Yes raptors must be actively cooled otherwise they get really hot. If you use HD waterblocks on the raptors you can get away with the two fan setup, but if you don't you'll need a 3rd fan to pull in fresh air over the raptors.

If the case you have is good it will muffle the sound of the HD for any HTPC stuff.
May 13, 2006 2:29:02 AM

Most people overestimate the Raptors heat and noise output based on their experience with 10k rpm SCSI drives.

Follow the storage review link posted above and check the stats for yourself.

Also search for some benchmarks showing the real world benifits of RAID 0. Yes the transfer rate doubles but if you expect the drive to actually perform twice as fast with real world applications you will be greatly dissapointed.

Same with the Raptor. Its fast, and I have one myself. But again many people overestimate its real world impact.

Oh and don't knock yourself out buying extra quiet components and HTPC case only to buy a video card that sounds like a leaf blower.
May 13, 2006 4:10:58 AM

lol the stock heatsink and fan was replaced the first day I got this card (before even putting it in a system) Currentlly put on the vf90 and might sell that and get a cheap vga block....I could never justify those huge $100+ blocks from danger den. I do have a tdx and a black ice extreme....maybe add a $40-$50 vga block and possibly a dual hdd watercooler....errr another $100....have to think about it or maybe wait

I dont expect 50% gain. I would be happy with 10-15 knowing it will benefit some things and not others but might not be happy with that or less if I have a lot of heat and noise to deal with.
May 14, 2006 2:27:37 PM

Well these raptors got a little delayed in shipping but I should have them and the rest of my components by tuesday or wednesday and I will post back later in the week with the noise and heat that I experience with active cooling/without ect (load/idle) so others can have an idea of at least my experience. Then I can decide wether I need a hdd watercooler.
May 23, 2006 7:19:36 AM

Raptors are loud n noizy.

As loud as the if not louder than the 120mm from my Lian Li case.

And the are hotter way hotter than than say a normal 7200RPM HD, They dont absoutly NEED cooling but it would help.

I would recomend you use a nice solid case like a sliverstone to keep the noize down. (Solid as in thick metal without the lian li holes etc). I would try to find passive cooling like sythe ninja etc.

For HTPC I would rather have a neat quiet sysem that is not so powerful and put things into it like 7600 GT (silet pipe II) etc.

Take this rig you got and use it for games

.... Start over with a new sysetm for your HTPC (use as many passive cooling parts as you can).
May 23, 2006 8:45:19 AM

I have one of these

http://www.specialtech.co.uk/spshop/customer/product.ph...

Completely silenced my 2 36gb raptors. If you have no space for it in a double 5 1/2" bay then you could bolt it somewhere else in the case, or on to the outside/back. It's a fairly solid construction so shouldn't be a problem.
May 23, 2006 11:44:59 AM

Hmmm...

I have a 150G raptor and a 250G WD for storage. I have a 120 fan blowing on them. I have no problem with heat.

And to tell the truth, noise it not that much of an issue. Course, living in Texas, I have a fan in my room anyways, so it probaby drowns out the computer noise. 8)
June 30, 2006 7:21:01 PM

Quote:
....in real life you will never see an advantage useing them over regular drives


that's got to be the silliest thing i've ever heard. *everything* loads much faster with faster hard-drives. your hard-drive is pretty much the slowest thing in your entire computer, and every program and all your data (barring cd/dvd) lives there.

think about it this way. upgrade from a middle of the road to the fastest CPU you can buy, and windows will still take 60 seconds to load. go from a middle of the road hard-drive to 2x raptors in striped raid, and now windows starts in 5 seconds.
June 30, 2006 8:09:14 PM

I have a 74GB Raptor and it actually runs cooler than the WD Caviar SE16 in my computer. I have both right behind an 80mm intake fan, so temps are in the low 30s. The Raptor is not any noisier than the Caviar when it is idle (which is near-silent), but while the Caviar is very quiet even while seeking, you can certainly hear the Raptor. The Raptor sounds exactly like the mid-1990s 5-10GB IDE HDDs in the computers in the student labs at school.
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