How to make your hard drive quieter, for free! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 12-10-2008, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
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So apparently hard drives have a "quiet" mode that does not significantly reduce data transfer rates and can be applied with the right software, check it out!

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...stic,2084.html
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post #2 of 14 Old 12-10-2008, 10:40 AM
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Not all hard drive support AAM and in many cases the differences are negligible.
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post #3 of 14 Old 12-10-2008, 12:48 PM
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More importantly, not all controllers support AAM and each hard drive manufacturer has different ways to enable/disable the feature. About 3 years ago, this feature made a big difference on some HDDs that supported it, but nowadays, if the hard drive is loud with it disabled, it'll still be loud with it enabled and visa-versa.

For your PC silencing needs...check out www.silentpcreview.com

For your WHS needs...check out www.wegotserved.co.uk
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post #4 of 14 Old 12-10-2008, 02:28 PM
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Not according to the test. With it enabled the sound dropped from 49dBA to 43dBA.

Some say for the human ear every 3 db sounds like double the sound volume?

AMP: Hegel H100, DAC: Arcam rDAC, Speakers: Tannoy Revolution Signature DC6T, TV: Samsung 65HU7505 (US: 65HU8550), HTPC: ATI 280x, Windows 8.1 with blu-ray
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post #5 of 14 Old 12-10-2008, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnusr View Post

Not according to the test. With it enabled the sound dropped from 49dBA to 43dBA.

Some say for the human ear every 3 db sounds like double the sound volume?

yes, the decibel scale is logarithmic, with 10dB being 10x louder. Perceived loudness doubles at about +3dB, but not exactly.

Still, even though 49dB is probably 7x or so louder, it's not like 49dB is all that loud, though.
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post #6 of 14 Old 12-10-2008, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhhoffma View Post

More importantly, not all controllers support AAM and each hard drive manufacturer has different ways to enable/disable the feature. About 3 years ago, this feature made a big difference on some HDDs that supported it, but nowadays, if the hard drive is loud with it disabled, it'll still be loud with it enabled and visa-versa.

I just switched settings on my 400GB Hitachi that I'm sure is less than 3 years old and the difference was drastic. It was set to quiet by default and has always been dead quiet, changing it from that made it quite loud. Too loud to put up with for any potential performance gain.

WinAAM wouldn't detect the two Seagate drives (200GB/250GB) in my HTPC.
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post #7 of 14 Old 12-10-2008, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steven975 View Post

yes, the decibel scale is logarithmic, with 10dB being 10x louder. Perceived loudness doubles at about +3dB, but not exactly.

Still, even though 49dB is probably 7x or so louder, it's not like 49dB is all that loud, though.

Not quite. Sound pressure doubles every 3 decibels. There's no hard and fast standard for perceived loudness, but in general, adding 10 decibels will sound twice as loud. All of this is further complicated by the vastly different sensitivity we have to certain frequencies. A drive that measures objectively loud can still be unobtrusive if the tonal character of the noise is low and broadband, like a large fan. Alternately, a very quiet drive can still be irritating if it has noticeable high-frequency overtones, or if it produces significant volume changes with different uses. Some drives do very well hard-mounted to enclosures. Other drives require soft-mounting lest their vibration cause the entire case to hum.

Drives today are leagues more quiet than they ever were in the past, save for a handful of Seagate models. The only people who really need fret are silent-PC enthusiasts that have already damped the rest of the noise from their systems.
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post #8 of 14 Old 12-10-2008, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KnightRT View Post

Drives today are leagues more quiet than they ever were in the past, save for a handful of Seagate models. The only people who really need fret are silent-PC enthusiasts that have already damped the rest of the noise from their systems.

Many of today's drives are still very noisy, and can be easily heard, even if you don't have a super-quiet system.

I have yet to see a drive that's as quiet as some of my old Barracuda IVs.
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post #9 of 14 Old 12-11-2008, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelWill View Post

I just switched settings on my 400GB Hitachi that I'm sure is less than 3 years old and the difference was drastic. It was set to quiet by default and has always been dead quiet, changing it from that made it quite loud. Too loud to put up with for any potential performance gain.

WinAAM wouldn't detect the two Seagate drives (200GB/250GB) in my HTPC.

Hitachi hasn't really changed their dampening systems on their read heads since the Deskstar series, so that's no surprise. I have a Deathstar myself in my WHS box, but its seek noise (which is what AAM will reduce) was never the problem, it was always the idle whine (bad bearing design). Unfortunately, idle whine is almost impossible to eliminate.

For your PC silencing needs...check out www.silentpcreview.com

For your WHS needs...check out www.wegotserved.co.uk
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post #10 of 14 Old 12-11-2008, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nm88 View Post

Many of today's drives are still very noisy, and can be easily heard, even if you don't have a super-quiet system.

I have yet to see a drive that's as quiet as some of my old Barracuda IVs.

You can find noise in any product category, but whereas the only choice in the past was a Barracuda IV, any of the more recent 7200 RPM drives from WD and Samsung now offer similar performance. See here:

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article29-page2.html

WD's 5400 RPM Greenpower drives are nearly inaudible, even outside an enclosure. I have five of them in a 5-in-3 enclosure a few feet from me and the soft hum of my laptop is drowning them out. A single suspended GP inside an enclosure is completely inaudible under any circumstances. Before the GPs, I had 500 GB 7200 RPM Samsungs. Soft-mounted, they were nearly as quiet. Too much vibration for a 5-3 enclosure though.
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post #11 of 14 Old 12-11-2008, 10:08 AM
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I would think another advantage to the AAM quiet setting would be less heat and power consumption, thereby lowering the overall case temps and making variable speed fans work that much less harder, so not only getting slightly quieter drives but maybe slightly slower fan speeds as well.

I tried the WinAAM utility last night but it does not seem to like AHCI mode and detected no drives. When I get a chance I'll switch to IDE and give it another try. Has anyone else tried WinAAM with a controller in AHCI mode?
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post #12 of 14 Old 12-11-2008, 11:34 AM
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Dang this would work for me, if my video card wasn't the one making all the noise drowning everything out.
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post #13 of 14 Old 12-11-2008, 04:43 PM
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The thing you don't want is the case magnifying sounds made by your hdd. Make sure you use rubber grommets or some other type of sound dampening mounts.

BT

Just remember, to the MPAA "We're all guilty until..............."
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post #14 of 14 Old 12-11-2008, 06:28 PM
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My computers are barely audible.

Epoxied all joints on shrouds.

All cold metal contact surfaces got a layer of electrical tape. Same
where fan casings contact metal.

Lags in cold areas filled with window insulation.

Al fans replaced with high efficiency Noctua and similar.

Thin rubber mats under each system. Heavy decorative objects on top
also help.

Ideas galore at http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/

Forget the drives, i have a Dish 622 in my system
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