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Quietest Hard Drive?

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February 24, 2008 9:28:11 PM

Which of these three drives is the quietest?

WD Caviar 7500

Samsung Spinpoint F1

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11

I'm looking for a 500GB drive to put in a PC that will be in my living room. I have it narrowed down to one of the above three, and I'd like to get the quietest one.

It's hard to find a lot of information regarding the sound levels of drives.

Thanks for your help.



More about : quietest hard drive

February 24, 2008 10:10:11 PM

there are limited reviews out there as these drives are new..i can tell you for a fact about the 7200.11 500GB cause i own one that its very quiet. i cannot hear the annoying clicking when seeking for information as i used to with my old 7200.7 80gb

dont know about the others but i dont think you can go wrong with any of them...if you get the 7200.11 just remember to remove the smal jumper for sata3.0 speeds
February 24, 2008 11:01:37 PM

i also own the 500gb seagate 7200.11 and i can confirm that it's very quiet. the only time i hear it is when the windows if loading all the programs when my computer boots up. and not to say it's loud or anything, it's just the only time i can hear it working.
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February 24, 2008 11:13:27 PM

WD caviar gp's are quieter than the 2xWD 500 GB, and seagate 320 gb and maxtor 250 all sata300 at 7200 rpm. the GPs have the variable speed
February 24, 2008 11:23:07 PM

I'm a little reluctant to get the 7200.11 because I have a 7200.10 and I find it to be very loud. Have they really corrected this issue with the 7200.11?

As far as the WD GP drives go, they are very quiet, but the performance just isn't there. Also, FYI, they are NOT variable speed. The rotational speed is set at the factory and it is invariable. It's somewhere between 5400 and 7200 RPM, but WD will not say what speed each drive is set at.

SSD will be great someday, but not now. Too small and WAY too expensive. Let's hope that changes in a few years.

Thanks.
February 24, 2008 11:35:15 PM

Performance in your living room, might i ask what more performance you need? all 1 TB drives are set at 5400 rpm non-variable
February 25, 2008 12:08:47 AM

What in the world does the fact that the PC is located in my living room have to do with its performance? I'm not using it as a HTPC. It's a general purpose/gaming PC that happens to live in my living room.

I just don't want a hard drive that's going to make overly loud seek noises while I'm watching TV. The Seagate 7200.10 I currently have is LOUD.

Obviously a drive running a 5400 RPMs can't perform at the level of a 7200 RPM drive. The GPs are great for data drives, not for boot drives, IMO.

Thanks.
a b G Storage
February 25, 2008 12:19:13 AM

Any 7200.11 drive would be quiet enough for your needs. Imo, your case/CPU fans are probably going to be more louder than the HDD. (Unless you use high quality ones like Scyth S-Flex,etc)SSD dives might/might not be an option for you.
February 25, 2008 12:34:09 AM

bdaley said:
I'm a little reluctant to get the 7200.11 because I have a 7200.10 and I find it to be very loud. Have they really corrected this issue with the 7200.11?

As far as the WD GP drives go, they are very quiet, but the performance just isn't there. Also, FYI, they are NOT variable speed. The rotational speed is set at the factory and it is invariable. It's somewhere between 5400 and 7200 RPM, but WD will not say what speed each drive is set at.

SSD will be great someday, but not now. Too small and WAY too expensive. Let's hope that changes in a few years.

Thanks.


I have a 7200.10 ES 500GB and 2 7200.11 500GB drives in my system now and I can tell you from personal experience that yes they have fixed their noise issues. My ES drive is extremely annoying as a primary drive due to the constant clicking and loud seeks but the newer drives are almost completely silent.
February 25, 2008 12:59:11 AM

I own a Seagate 500GB model, it is by far the quietest drive i've ever used. I also have a Seagate 250GB, and the 500GB is even quieter then that one is! Also with a 5 year warranty, can't go wrong.

Now on the flip side, the loudest drive i've ever witnessed was the WD raptor 150 with the litttle window. Wow, you do not want that thing if your trying to build a silent pc.

Just my two cents.
February 25, 2008 12:59:57 AM

ausch30 said:
I have a 7200.10 ES 500GB and 2 7200.11 500GB drives in my system now and I can tell you from personal experience that yes they have fixed their noise issues. My ES drive is extremely annoying as a primary drive due to the constant clicking and loud seeks but the newer drives are almost completely silent.


Thanks, that's good to hear.

Sounds like the 7200.11 is the drive to get.
February 26, 2008 12:07:15 AM

yeah why not ? go ahead and grab it, its one of the best prices per gb (500gb model) at least it was when i was building my pc earlier this year

32mb cache, second gen perpendicular write technology, its a good drive man, just remove the jumper b4 install, and make sure the drive had that new firmware i think its called AD4 or AS4 or whatever, A - something, cause the earlier ones had issues with cache not being recognized by windows, check the downloads section on the seagate site to find whats the latest firmware version...
February 26, 2008 12:13:19 AM

The case will make a big difference as well. Using the suspension setup in my SOLO, my raptor is just as silent as my 7200.10.
a c 114 G Storage
February 26, 2008 1:39:22 AM

bdaley said:
It's hard to find a lot of information regarding the sound levels of drives.


no it isn't. :) 

http://techreport.com/articles.x/14200/14

@ Idle
F1 - 49.4 / 52.2
7200.1 - 50.8 / 53.6
Caviar Green - 49.3 / 51.3
Caviar SE 16 / RE2 - 50.9 / 53.6
Raptor X - 53.9 / 58.8

Caviar comes in several flavors.....the green model spins from 5400 - 7200 to keep power and noise down and "This feature is also the reason why the performance isn't at the very top."

The green Caviar is 49.3 barely under the F1 and considering the performance difference between the Greenie and the others, I'd go elsewhere:

Average DTR
Samsung F1 (1 TB) - 91.7
Seagate 7200.11 - 80.9
WD7500 - 76.5
WD Raptor - 75.3
WD Green - 59.5

PC Mark HD Benchmark
Samsung F1 - 122.6
Seagate 7200.11 - 92.9
WD7500 - 91.9
WD Raptor - 86.3
WD Green - 74.6

The caviar is out cause it's the lowest performer among the acceptable performers and the loudest. The Greenie is out cause it's a dog.

It would seem to be a choice between the Seagate reliability and 5 year warranty and the Samsung's performance. If the 3 year warranty doesn't affect your decision, the F1 would seem to be a no brainer. The F1 gets it's performance boost from higher density platters . Samsung 1000 GB model has 3 platters which works out to 333 GB per platter. Now the F1 line has capacities of 160, 250, 320, 500, 640, 750 and 1,000 GB. At 333 GB per platter, the number just don't work. Apparently, they have two different platter densities 250 and 333 (well somewhere between 320 and 350) in this line and use from 1 to 3 platters.

Now Tomshardware review says:

"The HD103UJ is the top model of Samsung's new Spinpoint F1 family. While all are based on the same data density (350 GB per platter), rotation speed (7200 RPM) and interface (SATA/300), only the 1000 GB and 750 GB models have the full 32 MB of cache memory."

But I can't make that math work for 500 and 750 GB drives so, I am gonna have to assume that the reviewer is wrong. Other sites have said that the 500 Gb and 750 GB models are based upon 250 Gb platters.



Seagate OTOH, uses 250 Gb platters which "works" as they offer it in sizes of 500, 750 and 1000 GB.

So the F1 at 750 GB will have no where near the performance of its 1000 GB sibling.

So if you want to bump up to the TB size, I'd say get the F1 with it's hi density platter as its the only size that is this fast. The other 250 GB multiple Samsungs, I'd expect to top out at about 88 MB/s peak and 68 average.

At 500 GB and 750 GB, Seagate is the king of the hill performance wise. AT 1 TB (and maybe 320 / 640 GB) , it's Samsung.

Is the 1.4 dB extra noise for the 7200.11 enough to offset the 10 or so MB/sec performance hit for the Samsung with the lower platter density ? That's your question.


February 26, 2008 2:08:43 AM

Well, I ordered a 7200.11 from Newegg. Sounds like the consensus favorite. :-D

Thanks for all the responses.
February 26, 2008 2:30:14 AM

niiice, enjoy
February 26, 2008 3:03:51 AM

I hope I do.

I just have a bad taste in my mouth about Seagate because of the 7200.10 I have. But it sounds like the 7200.11s are a great improvement.

Thanks.
a c 114 G Storage
February 26, 2008 4:18:55 AM

bdaley said:
Well, I ordered a 7200.11 from Newegg. Sounds like the consensus favorite. :-D


Worth noting that if ya buy an Infrant / Netgear NAS, they as well as many other NAS vendors use the 7200.11's in all their units. Newegg had a deal thru January 31st whereby if ya bought a 2 drive NAS they threw in a free Seagate drive
March 2, 2008 11:01:59 AM

Well, I received the 7200.11 yesterday. The performance was not benchmarking like it should have right from the beginning. Within 24 hours it began to make a clicking sound and SMART reported imminent drive failure. Fitness & Performance both 0%.

I'm returning the drive and I'm done with Seagate. That's two bad Seagate drives in a row. I think they have serious QC problems.
March 2, 2008 12:06:44 PM

bdaley said:
Well, I received the 7200.11 yesterday. The performance was not benchmarking like it should have right from the beginning. Within 24 hours it began to make a clicking sound and SMART reported imminent drive failure. Fitness & Performance both 0%.

I'm returning the drive and I'm done with Seagate. That's two bad Seagate drives in a row. I think they have serious QC problems.


That is unfortunate you are giving up on Seagate. I would suggest you take a look at ESD issues as well as bad power.

Seagate is the biggest, best and most reliable brand i've ever worked with. I would strongly suggest you look at other components in your system causing the problems as well.

I know in the past I had a bad NIC card shorting out the pci bus, causing drives to fail. I could of said it was Samsung or WD or whoever else, but in reality it was the system.

Drives are extremely sensitive to shock, both physical and electrical.
March 2, 2008 12:13:03 PM

BS! There is NOTHING wrong with my setups, it's the lousy Seagate QC.

Check around, I'm not the only one on the net complaining about Seagate quality recently.

Seagate has gone downhill since their hook-up with Maxtor.

Are you a Seagate rep or something?
March 2, 2008 12:25:44 PM

No but I use seagate and i've never had an issue. Why don't you provide some information on your setup and what your using to benchmark and what your comparing those benchmarks to. Who did you buy the drive from? Was it oem or retail? What TWO drives failed you in a row?

These are the types of questions that would be great to post answer to. Instead of saying, SEAGATE SUCKS! THEY HAVE QC ISSUES!

One drive does not constitute QC issues, and no I don't work for Seagate. Defensive aren't we?
March 2, 2008 5:42:25 PM

cranbers, show me where I said "Seagate sucks". Making things up, are we?

If anyone is defensive, cranbers, it is you. You may not be a Seagate rep, but you sure sound like a fanboi. Why do you feel the need to defend a HD manufacturer? And it's been 2 Seagate drives that have gone bad on me in the last year: a 7200.10 in 10 months, and the 7200.11 in less than 24 hours.

MrsBytch, I use 120 MM fans and I can assure you everything in my setup runs very cool. I'm concerned with sound because the last Seagate drive I used, the 7200.10, had very loud seek noise and it wasnoticeable. The drive noise was by far the loudest thing in my setup, which is why I was reluctant to go with Seagate again.

Thanks.
March 2, 2008 6:25:07 PM

bdaley said:
BS! There is NOTHING wrong with my setups, it's the lousy Seagate QC.

Check around, I'm not the only one on the net complaining about Seagate quality recently.

Seagate has gone downhill since their hook-up with Maxtor.

Are you a Seagate rep or something?


i've been using seagate drives since 1995 and have never had a problem. you probably just had bad luck with your 7200.11. as for your previous drive, did you try adjusting the acoustics settings? i keep mine on performance so i do hear it when it's working, but when set to quiet, even during the 100% usage, it's completely silent.
March 2, 2008 7:17:28 PM

yeah just get the warranty replacement, my 7200.11 has been silent since i got it in the beginning of February and i play games a lot
a c 114 G Storage
March 2, 2008 8:07:58 PM

bdaley said:
BS! There is NOTHING wrong with my setups, it's the lousy Seagate QC.


As I mentioned previously, will find that most NAS vendors use Seagate drives exclusively....and they are the only vendor with a 5 year warranty. I figure there's some reason for that. I'm not adverse to using Samsung, Fujitsu or Hitachi if they king of the hill when I'm building.....only brand not welcome here is WD.

Box behind me has had Seagate 10k drive sin it since 1998.....one was replaced under warranty in 2002 at which time I added a 2nd drive. I have 6 other Seagate's here and 3 Hitachi.....2 of the Seagates are replacements for failed WD drives (failed 5 days apart) one of which failed under warranty.....WD refused to cross ship so I told em to take a hike and I threw it away rather than waiting 2-3 weeks for replacement.

Two in a row like that is rare. But I had two DOA Mobos once where the replacement was also dead.....**it happens.

here's a comparison you may find relevant:

http://www.storagereview.com/WD1500ADFD.sr?page=0%2C9
"According to filtered and analyzed data collected from participating StorageReview.com readers, the Western Digital Raptor WD1500 is more reliable than 12% of the other drives in the survey that meet a certain minimum floor of participation....According to filtered and analyzed data collected from participating StorageReview.com readers, a predecessor of the Western Digital Caviar GP, the Western Digital Caviar WD4000KD , is more reliable than 5% of the other drives in the survey that meet a certain minimum floor of participation."

http://www.storagereview.com/1000.sr?page=0%2C7
"According to filtered and analyzed data collected from participating StorageReview.com readers, the Seagate Barracuda ES.2 is more reliable than (collecting data, check back soon!)% of the other drives in the survey that meet a certain minimum floor of participation....."According to filtered and analyzed data collected from participating StorageReview.com readers, a predecessor of the Seagate Barracuda ES.2, the Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 , is more reliable than 43% of the other drives in the survey that meet a certain minimum floor of participation."

Based upon that survey the 7200 series was 8.6 times more reliable than the WD and 3.6 times as reliable as the venerable Raptor.
March 2, 2008 11:03:16 PM

Thanks. This was a good question & excellent responses. I learned some useful information and it cleared up questions I had about HDD's. Sincere thank you to bdaley and everyone who responded. The forums are a really good learning resource for me.
March 2, 2008 11:47:24 PM

i have 2 seagate 320gb 7200.11 drives.
both are awsome.
March 3, 2008 4:43:52 AM

bdaley said:
Well, I received the 7200.11 yesterday. The performance was not benchmarking like it should have right from the beginning. Within 24 hours it began to make a clicking sound and SMART reported imminent drive failure. Fitness & Performance both 0%.

I'm returning the drive and I'm done with Seagate. That's two bad Seagate drives in a row. I think they have serious QC problems.


I am sorry to see you got a bad unit but it happens. I have 2 7200.11 drives in my system now and I can't speak highly enough of them. I would RMA the drive and see if the next one works, my bet is you would find it's a great drive.
a c 114 G Storage
March 5, 2008 1:13:34 PM

firetatoo said:
i have 2 seagate 320gb 7200.11 drives.


Wow, I didn't even know they made on in that size.....with the 11's reported as having 250 GB platters, I couldn't do the math :)  and didn't think they existed till I checked their site. Samsung does that too with their F1 series.
March 18, 2008 5:39:16 PM

bdaley said:
BS! There is NOTHING wrong with my setups, it's the lousy Seagate QC.

Check around, I'm not the only one on the net complaining about Seagate quality recently.

Seagate has gone downhill since their hook-up with Maxtor.

Are you a Seagate rep or something?


Perhaps someone in the shipping company that delivers your drive is not "handling with care".
a c 114 G Storage
March 18, 2008 11:03:08 PM

Here's two more reliability reports:

http://www.storagereview.com/WD7500AAKS.sr?page=0%2C6
"According to filtered and analyzed data collected from participating StorageReview.com readers, a predecessor of the Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD7500AAKS, the Western Digital RE2 WD5000YS , is more reliable than 4% of the other drives in the survey that meet a certain minimum floor of participation."

http://www.storagereview.com/1000.sr?page=0%2C7
"According to filtered and analyzed data collected from participating StorageReview.com readers, a predecessor of the Western Digital Caviar GP, the Western Digital Caviar WD4000KD , is more reliable than 5% of the other drives in the survey that meet a certain minimum floor of participation.
March 22, 2008 2:47:55 PM

Wow, is there any good HD manufacturer out there :lol: 

I'm about to buy a new HD in the 250 GB area and they only have the Seagate 7200.10. I've seen a few complaints about the .10 version (noise, etc.), but in reality is it pretty good overall? I haven't used a Seagate since my old 30GB IDE, but it is still going (even after my 250GB WD SATA corrupted data) 4-5 years later.
March 22, 2008 3:24:08 PM

All I can say is I have never had a Seagate drive fail, never had a Maxtor fail. Ordered 10 WD drives three years ago for a series of builds and out of that ten, four of the drives were DOA, two failed in the first year and four remain in service.
March 22, 2008 4:13:45 PM

I owned both of those drives in the 750 GB version. The Spinpoint f1 was very quiet but died within 4 days of receiving/installing it. I purchased the Seagate 7200.11 as a replacement, its been very quiet and very fast!

My HD Tach results from the Seagate:
a c 114 G Storage
March 23, 2008 4:56:58 PM

EXT64 said:
Wow, is there any good HD manufacturer out there :lol: 

I'm about to buy a new HD in the 250 GB area and they only have the Seagate 7200.10. I've seen a few complaints about the .10 version (noise, etc.), but in reality is it pretty good overall? I haven't used a Seagate since my old 30GB IDE, but it is still going (even after my 250GB WD SATA corrupted data) 4-5 years later.


I have not seen a 7200.11 in less than a 500Gb size. (500 / 750 / 1000 GB).

BTW, WD has just come out with a hi density 320 GB platter just like the Samsung's. It's in the WD6400AAKS...But they have apparently gone whacky in how they making it.

The 320 and 640 GB versions have 320 GB platters
The 1 TB version has 334 GB platters

So why not make 668 GB and 334 GB ones instead of 640/320 ? I am wondering if it's reliability issue with the wider swing of the arm or something ?

Interestingly enough, the folks over at Samung used the 334 GB per platter design for their 1 TB model which had me among others believing the 500 GB and 750 GB models must have the older 250 GB regular density platters.....But apparently not, an article over at Anandtech says that Samsung has the same number of 334 GB platters in their 750 GB drives as their 750 GB model, they just left the last 84 GB of each platter empty. While that would give it a higher Average DTR (since the slower ends of the platter are empty), seems to me wasting 250 GB of space is kinda silly to hit a size target.


!