Vibrations, Noise Level
Thanks to only 5,400 rpm, the WD drive neither makes bothering noises, nor does it generate noticeable vibrations. Usually, your power supply fan will be louder than this drive, so you should only hear the read or write accesses (the heads' movements). The lately review drives 153BA and 205BA have also been real gentlemen, running at a low vibration level in spite of their high rotation speed. Of course this also applies to the 45 GByte model, which calls even less attention thanks to the low rotation speed.
High rotation speeds cause higher friction, thus also more heat than models running at 5,400 rpm. As a consequence, the 450AA is able to score lots of points in this discipline, as we measured 37°C (99°F) max. The drives of our first hard drive review heated up to between 39°C (102°F) (Western Digital as well) and 50°C (122°F) (Seagate). All temperature measurements are done at approximately 20°C (68°F) and outside the computer case, but even after installation into a computer case this drive will certainly never reach critical temperatures (60°C/140°F and more).
The WD drive doesn't look as good here, if you compared to the previously tested hard drives. It scored a CPU load of 46%, which is worse than the scores of the majority of its competitors.
Western Digital differentiates between single drive and master mode. Single drive has to be used if your hard disk is the only drive at the IDE port. Before attaching two drives to this IDE port, you will have to decide which one will be master or slave.
The photo shows the Caviar 450AA from the downside. We have enlarged the interesting area:
The jumpers have to be placed vertically from the right side.