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jdrsmith

Hitachi 80GB HDS728080PLAT20 + AAM

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Hi All,

Have installed a Hitachi 80GB HDS728080PLAT20 + AAM in an older PC of mine primarily as its the largest drive the BIOS on my MOBO will cope with.

Had a Maxtor previously so I was a bit spoilt regards its silent operation.

The new Hitachi soumds like a bag of nails, often making really bizzare noises.

Given, its fast enough.

Then I stumbled upon Hitachi's Feature Tool and Automatic Acoustic Management.

This instantly made a big difference.

Question, in enabling Quiet Seek Mode will I be getting much of a performance trade off on an elderly ASUS mainboard, its about three years old.

To be honest I can't tell the difference other than its now much quieter, more akin to my old MAxtor 40GB drive that I had in there previously.

Previously I got the impression that it would shake itself to bits before much longer.

Would it be fair to say that I'm being kinder to the drive in Quiet Seek Mode ? or would it make not a jot of difference ?

Jim.

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There is some difference, I wouldn't call it huge. It also depends on the drive. But if quiet is important to you, then keep it enabled. I also found Maxtors to be the noisiest, quite different perceptions.

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I have also found Maxtors to be excessively noisy when AAM isn't enabled. When it's enabled... they're as silent as mice.

Also some computer cases resonate more easily than others. Some drive make more acoustic noise when seeking, some vibrate more. Some make more idle hiss or whine, some vibrate more on idle. What disturbs the most depends on the perceiver and on the chassis the drive is mounted.

HDD performance is made up of several properties: spindle speed (latency), seek time, linear data density (STR), cache and firmware optimizations.

Enabling AAM increases seek time (say, around 50...100%). Since the latency remains constant that increase doesn't seem so significant. Only 12ms to around 16-17ms (Hitachis) or 13½ to around 20-22ms (Maxtors) when measured in access times. In case of Hitachis, the increase in access time is around 40%. That also that translates into performance loss of around 30% in server environment where data is requested compeletely randomly throughout the platter, with no sequential reads.

In desktop environment (and in most real-life server environments) there's sequential reads (and writes), which benefit from higher STR. STR isn't affected by AAM. While STR plays some role in performance (especially in file copy scenarios), real-world performance is mostly made up by intelligent and fast caching algorithms and adequate cache capacity to be used by the algorithm.

So, I would make a guess that the effect of AAM in typical desktop environment is much less than 10% in most use cases (such as Windows boot-up, shutdown). In some cases, like copying a folder full of small files that are physically located non-sequentially, the performance drop would be close to the theoretical 30% drop, but never worse than that.

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i was wondering will enabling AAM make the HDD last longer since it is seeking slower, less chances of seek damage???

Edited by AforceII

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I have also found Maxtors to be excessively noisy when AAM isn't enabled. When it's enabled... they're as silent as mice.

Also some computer cases resonate more easily than others. Some drive make more acoustic noise when seeking, some vibrate more. Some make more idle hiss or whine, some vibrate more on idle. What disturbs the most depends on the perceiver and on the chassis the drive is mounted.

HDD performance is made up of several properties: spindle speed (latency), seek time, linear data density (STR), cache and firmware optimizations.

Enabling AAM increases seek time (say, around 50...100%). Since the latency remains constant that increase doesn't seem so significant. Only 12ms to around 16-17ms (Hitachis) or 13½ to around 20-22ms (Maxtors) when measured in access times. In case of Hitachis, the increase in access time is around 40%. That also that translates into performance loss of around 30% in server environment where data is requested compeletely randomly throughout the platter, with no sequential reads.

In desktop environment (and in most real-life server environments) there's sequential reads (and writes), which benefit from higher STR. STR isn't affected by AAM. While STR plays some role in performance (especially in file copy scenarios), real-world performance is mostly made up by intelligent and fast caching algorithms and adequate cache capacity to be used by the algorithm.

So, I would make a guess that the effect of AAM in typical desktop environment is much less than 10% in most use cases (such as Windows boot-up, shutdown). In some cases, like copying a folder full of small files that are physically located non-sequentially, the performance drop would be close to the theoretical 30% drop, but never worse than that.

Hey thanks for the input guys,

Curiously I have two Maxtor 40GB drives, purchased within six months of each other.

The first one is really quiet, the second one is very noisy.

Where do I get the software from to quieten a Maxtor ?

regards

Jim.

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jdrsmith, Where do I get the software from to quieten a Maxtor ?

There's some utility from Maxtor to set AAM... it's probably not available on Maxtor website or it's hidden too well for me to find it.

Not to worry: there's many utilities that work with all manufacturers' drives! Hitachi's Feature Tool (FTOOL) is one of them. It works on non-Hitachis as well. (Bootable DOS diskette.)

There's also several Windows utilities to configure AAM without rebooting your system (and even without installing any software). Some utilities are single file executables. HDDScan is one of them: it includes low-level HDD benchmarks, bad sector reallocation, SMART monitoring, Advanced Power Management (APM) (Hitachi-unique feature, not on Maxtors) and ... Automatic Acoustic Management (AAM).

Note: "HDDScan" is freeware "HDD Scan and Restoration Program" is not. I suggest using HDDScan. Download location: http://hddguru.com/content/en/software/2006.01.22-HDDScan/

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