C-Otto

Very silent drive

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Hello!

I am unable to find the right drive suiting my needs. That is why I ask here.

My PC is very quiet (no CPU fan, no VGA fan, silent power supply, only low-RPM case fans) and I'd like to have equally silent hard drives, too. No doubt the Samsung P120 would be good for that.

The other thing: My PC is a server doing many different tasks at once (that explains the CPU and RAM, see signature), including delivering files to a huge number of students at gigabit speeds. At night time I often have 10+ downloaders trying to get 100 MBit each. About 1/3 of these requests can be done out of the RAM, the rest is from hard disk (different files of course).

At the moment I have two Seagate 7200.7 drives, SATA and PATA, in a RAID0. The performance is quite good, but could be better. The noise (when heavily seeking) is far from good (I think).

Please tell me how I can improve disk performance, especially under mentioned load, with less noise.

PS: 400GB space minimum (in total)

PPS: RAID0 is OK, I do backups

Thanks a lot,

Carsten

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Hello!

I am unable to find the right drive suiting my needs. That is why I ask here.

My PC is very quiet (no CPU fan, no VGA fan, silent power supply, only low-RPM case fans) and I'd like to have equally silent hard drives, too. No doubt the Samsung P120 would be good for that.

The other thing: My PC is a server doing many different tasks at once (that explains the CPU and RAM, see signature), including delivering files to a huge number of students at gigabit speeds. At night time I often have 10+ downloaders trying to get 100 MBit each. About 1/3 of these requests can be done out of the RAM, the rest is from hard disk (different files of course).

At the moment I have two Seagate 7200.7 drives, SATA and PATA, in a RAID0. The performance is quite good, but could be better. The noise (when heavily seeking) is far from good (I think).

Please tell me how I can improve disk performance, especially under mentioned load, with less noise.

PS: 400GB space minimum (in total)

PPS: RAID0 is OK, I do backups

Thanks a lot,

Carsten

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Thanks for quoting, now I remember what I said a few pixels earlier :)

First post, it ate my edit, sorry. :)

Anyway, I recommend Samsung Spinpoint 2504(200 GB) or 2514 (250 GB) for a quiet drive. Even going to the extreme of 2.5" drives you will not get 200 GB+ per spindle. Check silentpcreview.com for other options and a new addiction, Silent Computing. ;)

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Thanks for quoting, now I remember what I said a few pixels earlier :)

And now I see that that is the P120 model of Samsung drive, which you already know of. Good choice! ;)

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especially under mentioned load, with less noise
Are your drives directly screwd to the chassis?

You may wish to consider suspension systems to isolate your drives from direct metal-to-metal rigid contact with the chassis, as noted earlier SilentPCReview has extensive discussion on this.

Particularly because it is seek noise that bothers you, and you do not want to degrade performance, you really aren't going to find any significant improvement... even the P120 is audible while seeking to sensitive ears; I think without a suspension system you would have to go to 2.5" laptop drives, which probably do not meet your capacity requirements or performance requirements...

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Yeah, they are screwed. Harr. I don't think that metal contact is the problem. The seeking itself is kind of loud. I will try that suspension, though. Thanks!

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In my opinion, a fanless machine isn't very recommended if you are using a pretty "souped up" gaming rig, and/or there are no other cooling sources such as an air conditioning unit. See the quote at SPCR on this at ... Power Supply Fundamentals & Recommendations: Page 6:

Fanless PSUs are only recommended with strong cautions!

The ATX case design designates a certain portion of case cooling to the PSU; the ATX design specification assumes a PSU with a fan. Even though most of the fanless models listed here conform physically to ATX PSU standards, this does not mean they are suitable drop-in substitutes for any system. Due to the reduced airflow not only in the PSU but also through the system, thermal management is a serious consideration for successful use of fanless PSUs.

Ironically, the absence of a cooling fan in the PSU may require the addition of another case fan in the system. Fanless PSUs are generally more suitable for systems that run cooler and draw less power. Before opting for a fanless PSU, we urge you to read all the fanless PSU reviews and the associated forum discussions thoroughly. Plan for adequate system cooling and be prepared to experiment and fine-tune the system for thermal safety.

Means, it may advertantly shorten the lifespan of the components inside the casing which may include the hard drive. :ph34r:

As for quiet hard drives, since the legendary Barracuda IV is no longer available, the other alternatives are the Samsung SpinPoints AND the new single platter Barracuda 7200.9s. The older 7200.7s are bit noisier than its predecessor because it does not have AAM, however there are single platter versions of older 7200.7s (such as 40GB and 80GB) which are quieter (although not as quiet as AAM equiped Barracuda IV). ;)

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My computer is absolutely no gaming rig. I recently installed some low-rpm fans, though. So a minimal air flow is present. The power supply however has a fan, I thought that was clear.

Thanks for your HD infos!

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if two users are reading different files then raid 0 will work against you in terms of noise and probably speed. sequential reading obviously involves less seeking than hopping back and forth between two files on BOTH drives using striping. You might consider non raid setup and try to spread the data out evenly, or just run it JBOD. at times you will get worse performance if everyone is after data on the same drive, but on average it should be quieter if that truely is your primary concern.

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You said you do regular backups, so if worse comes to worst and the speed of JBOD doesn't cut it, you could always go back to RAID 0 and restore everything. I tried RAID 0 with a pair of 120 gig 7200.7s and it was NOISY. I ditched them for a single WD 250gig for a data drive and one of my trusty 60 gig Barracuda IVs as my system drive, which spins the most. Much quieter.

I've no experience with Samsung drives except anecdotes from about ones which said they were slow and less reliable than other mainstream drives. I haven't a clue how they are now, but if they're still in business they have to be pretty good. Ask Maxtor, and they've only got a failure rate of about 5%. I read that the old Fujitsu 20gig drives had a 20%/year failure rate. Ouch!

I rubbermounted my drives (got an Antec Sonata case with rubberized quickmounts) and it makes a significant difference in the seek noises. More elaborate isolation mounts are possible, as are complete sound-absorbing housings to put the drives in. Strangely enough, a year or so ago I read a review that tested HD temps when housed and some results showed LOWER drive temps when encased! Strange but (supposedly) true.

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Yeah, they are screwed. Harr. I don't think that metal contact is the problem. The seeking itself is kind of loud. I will try that suspension, though. Thanks!
Decoupling the drives from the chassis using elastic mounts will help. Try it!

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Just for the record:

I suspended both disks with standard rubber bands and the result is really impressive. Thank you for the hint!

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