Need quiet storage. SSD, Hybrid, HDD 2.5" or 3.5"

Alright, so here's my dilemma. I have a 1TB 7200 RPM drive right now. It is louder than normal, and I am going to be moving my PC into the same room I sleep. I need a quieter primary drive.

-I dual boot, so I prefer large capacities for this.

-I download Steam games and other large files during the night, causing it to constantly make noise.

-I DO NOT want to lose any performance in a new primary drive just for a lower sound level.

-I already have close to 300 GB in my Steam folder (thanks to the Summer Sale), so an SSD alone is out of the question since any capable size would be way too expensive for the advantages.

-I'm not one to throw money away towards products. I prefer deals. I will not buy a VelociRaptor.

-I would like to get an SSD boot drive just for the experience with them, but unless someone proves it wouldn't be a huge hassle to organize the directories, then it's out of the question (look to #3).

-I have SATA III ports and wouldn't mind spending a little extra to make them worth something.

Basically, I have four options (1=most preferred ATM):

1. Buy a hybrid drive. I've looked at some of the Momentus XT's, but I really haven't researched the whole concept. Are they treated as two separate drives? How hard is it to set up AND keep organized? I'm completely new to hybrid drives.

2. Buy a laptop 2.5" 750 GB 7200 RPM HDD. They are around $100, and generally very quiet. I have a 5400 RPM drive in my laptop and I forgot HDD's made noise (not literally) till I got my desktop. I know they get hotter, but its worth it to me. Also, do they read/write faster? The disk isn't as large, so it wouldn't have to move so far out, but I may just be making things up :P.

3. Buy a 60 GB SSD and a quieter standard HDD, but I'd rather not hassle with the two separate drives. For this I would prefer putting the OS, Chrome, other small programs on the SSD with everything else on the HDD, but I really don't want to make it a huge hassle. Plus, the fact that SSD's have a limited lifespan always sits in the back of my mind. So this is basically a no go unless someone has an easy way to organize the directories.

4. Buy a quiet 1TB 3.5" 7200 RPM HDD. I've tried to find an answer to this, but I always get "caviar green" or "buy an SSD". Greens are slower and I described my thoughts on SSD's above. Does anyone have experience with a large capacity, 7200RPM drive that isn't more expensive than an equivalent laptop drive or a hybrid?

I am asking for people's opinions and/or experiences on the subject.

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  1. 1. They just show up as a normal drive, the hybrid part is handled internally by the drive. I'm not sure how much quieter this would be as you would still be writing to a 3.5" mechanical disk.

    2. With identical cache, rpms, they should perform very close to the same. You will pay more for a 2.5" drive vs the 3.5" drive which performs the same. The 2.5" should be a good bit quieter though.

    3. If you aren't willing to deal with two drive letters this isn't really an option. It's a very common setup at this point, not sure what makes you so against it.

    4. I don't actually see a sound test on toms hard drive charts. You can probably google and come up with something to go by though.

    My machine is also in a bedroom, I keep a fan going at night and don't notice the drives at all. 3 x wd black drives, and an ssd running.
  2. for quiet:
    the SSD will win.

    All other HDDs are in the same boat.
    However, most of the newer ones are fairly quiet, but in the same range of magnitude.

    Read reviews at
    jumping to the chase:
    Seagate Barracuda 3TB was the last they tested.

    But if silence is the key, AND all the other things in your system are quieter than your HDD,

    what you will need to do is buy the regular HDD(that's fairly quiet), the look at the physical options to quiet the sound.
    Part of this was your case choice to begin with. You can then work from that if you are handy with drive enclosures, or foam, and other diy stuff you buy from home depot).

    For your steam issue, do a search at "mklink steam" where you can then make a symbolic link to your games and pick and choose which ones to leave on your SSD and which ones to move over to HDD.

    128SSD is usually the goto size so you DON't need to micromanage every file. Just use it regularly.
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