I disagree. They are just as quiet as any drive as long as you don't use them as your main drive. They work great as data drives.
They whine when speeding up. All drives do, but Seagates are the best at keeping this part quiet. After a second or two, when they are at full burst speed, I can't even hear them. Only when I stick my ear right on top of the drive do I hear them "clicking" (faintly) during heavy file access.
WD's are very solid and dependable, their performance is unmatched and you can get a good price for them now. I would, at all cost, stay away from Maxtor. It may just be me (and... well... several others on this forum), but Maxtor's have a way of unilaterally deciding to erase all your data.
I have a Barracuda as a main drive, and 3 WD's (1 200GB, 2 250GBs) for my data drives. Since all the apps are on the Seagate, it is good that it is a very quiet drive. Once the WD's spin up, I can't hear those either.
In short, when playing a DVD or HD streams, I have a very quiet system.
I'm using a WD 80gb 7200 RPM drive as my ONLY drive in my music jukebox, and it is whisper quiet. When I installed the drive at first I thought it wasn't working, but it just turned out to be REALLY quiet. No noise even at start up.
From my reading around here's how it seems, quietest to loudest:
- Western Digital
I've owned each one of these drives and agree 100%. Depending on the size drive, WD's can be extremely quiet. I currently have an IBM 20gig and WD 40gig in the same machine and the IBM isn't much quieter. If you have a decent well built case you should be fine with most WD drives.
I am running 3 200gb WD2000jb Drives and all are quiet. to the point that they are barely audible. No high pitched whine here. just a quiet whir. In my experience, Wd's are very reliable I have never had one fail me in the 10 years I have been building computers.
WD drives are NOT quiet.... unless the 200GB and above drives are completely different than the smaller drives, I have to believe that either
a) I have gotten 5 bum drives from WD and everyone else got quiet ones
b) people don't realize just how loud their drives actually are. That's absolutely no knock on any forum member.
I knew the WD drives I had were obnoxiously loud (3 WD 120 Gb BB, one 120 GB JB and one 40Gb BB) but I didn't realize just how loud until I got two 120 GB Seagate Barricuda V's. Since my 120Gb JB decided to die after only 4 months of use (and I discovered that Dell sold me a reseller drive meant for one of their prebuilt systems and therefore only had thirty days of warranty instead of it being the retail unit with 3 year warranty like they claimed when I bought it), I made one of the Seagates the new boot drive. With nothing else in that system, I could actually hear the power supply fan for the first time. Before that, even with only one WD drive powered up, I could hear the computer from the living room when it was in a storage room two rooms over....
My WD drives are at least 20dB louder than the Seagates, probably a lot more. But without actually sound metering them, that's a rough estimate. And that's with them isolated as much as possible with rubber grommets, etc. If you bolt them directly to a metal case.....oooh headache central.... whine whine whine.....
if you want a quiet drive, go with seagate. Dell had a great deal on them a couple weeks back. Keep an eye out. They DO run quite a bit warmer than the WD's, but sound level wise, there is absolutely no comparison...
My guess is the you have indeed gotten 5 "bum" ones. I am currently doing a large disk-to-disk copy on two WD's, and if I place my ear directly on top of the drives I pick up a very faint "clicking". No whirring or whining. Completely silent. Two 250GB's spinning at 7200 rpm.
Did your drives have 8mb cache?
On the subject of "which drive is quieter", you can't fairly compare a drive that does 5400 rpm with one that does 7200 rpm.
Also, please don't throw around dB terms. I think if any drive made 20 dB in -real- noise, you would know it. And, considering that 1 dB is equal to 10x sound intensity, to say the WD's are 20dB louder is absurd. If this was even remotely true, Western Digital would quickly go out of business.
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