I'm building a Media Center with probably around 6-8 Harddrives in raid 5.
I want as big of drives as I can get but temp and noise level are very very important. Any of you have any experiences with the seagates 750s or WD500s?
I don't have the specific hard drive models you're asking about, but I have owned quite a bit of Western Digitals, Seagates, and Maxtors over the years; the WDs and Seagates have always been quite when accessing or writing data (especially the WDs) while the Maxtors sound like the heads are about to go (although they have been pretty reliable *knock on wood*).
kellison007, I'm in pretty much the same situation.. looking to build a large media server w/ raid 5. Can you tell me what raid hardware you're planning on getting?
I'm initially only planning for 4 drives, but would like the flexibility to expand to more drives later. Noise isn't as big a concern for me as I plan to put the array in a closet, but it would still be good to keep it as quiet as possible.
From my initial searches it looks like the 750gb drives are not very cost effective yet. If you do a search for different hard drive deals on FatWallet.com you'll find:
300GB is $0.20/GB ($60 for a $300 gig drive), currently the sweet spot.
500GB is $0.30/GB ($150 for a 500 gig drive)
750GB is $0.40/GB ($300 for a 750 gig drive)
As far as I know, 750GB is the largest drive size available right now? This would account for its higher price / GB. It also means building that getting the largest raid array with the fewest drives is gonna be fairly pricey.
I'm considering waiting a few months to see if some 1TB drives come out and the price of 750's drops closer to $0.30/GB.
I have six of the Seagate 750GB drives in two Raid 5 sets installed in an Antec Nine Hundred case (ASUS P5B Deluxe Wi-Fi/AP) running Vista Ultimate RTM x64. This setup is definitely NOT conducive to a quiet environment, but for me, cooling is more important. Besides, I always have music playing when I'm on my computer so the fan noise of the Antec case doesn't bother me. The drives themselves are quiet.
I have 6 of the Seagate 7200.11 320GB drives in Raid 5 for the exact situation you are looking for. They work great, very quiet, extremely fast reading data - writing is slow due to the Raid overhead with my nforce 590 but since this rig is primarily for playback it is fine.
I cool them in a custom cage/case I built with an Arctic cooling 120mm fanin front and behind them and the unit sits 5 feet from me in my theater setup and i only hear it if the sound on everything else is off.
So I know the seagates are quiet but you need to take care to ensure they are isolated from vibration for the ultimate in quiet i.e. rubber grommets or some custom idea you dream up.
It sounds like you have the funds to setup a separate frontend by the tv and a hidden backend server. Then sound and heat shouldn't be an issue. Even with out this setup the your system, cpu, chipset, and/or gpu fan will likely make the most noise.
For the past two years drives have quited down a lot, but if it still isn't enough most drives have a utility where you can setup less aggressive access times to make them even quiter.
What OS are you using? If xp anything over 2TB can be a problem.
As the one person stated the current sweet spot on drive prices is in the 250-350GB drives at $0.15 - $0.25 a gig.