As mentioned, the hard drive temperature was measured using the WD740’s SMART feature, which allows you to read a value using tools such as Everest 4.6. The drive temperature was pinned down after 45 minutes of heavy I/O activity. Clearly, the GUP Smart Drive Neo does the better job of cooling the 10,000 RPM WD Raptor drive, although this HDD silencer is completely sealed.
Idle noise was measured after a few minutes of inactivity, but with the motor spinning. The difference is more noticeable than the numbers suggest, as the remaining noise is noticeably lower once the WD740 is installed into either of these two products.
The noise level was extremely different when executing our IOMeter database benchmark. Operating the drive on the open test bench resulted in a noise level of 55 dB, which is noticeable at all times, and was perceived as annoying by most of the people who walked by our test setup. Once installed into the 3RSystem case, the hard drive noise was limited to only 42 dB, which is not too far away from idle noise! Clearly, the spring mount mechanism, paired with the case’s sound proofing on the inside, do a great job. Experienced users would not assume that a fast 10,000 RPM hard drive was being used; subjectively, the noise level was almost as low as if a notebook hard drive were running.
However, the GUP Smart Drive Neo did an even better job, achieving a 40 dB noise level during random hard drive operation. If you install your hard drive into the HDD silencer by GUP, it will effectively eliminate almost all of the noise above idle level. The difference between the 3RSystem L-1100 T.REX case and the GUP Smart Drive Neo HDD silencer is noticeable, but only important for those who insist on not hearing their hard drive at all.