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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Question VelociRaptor, 2TB Black, performance and noise

    Greetings,

    I'm working towards a new build for my wife (which will be geared towards video editing, Adobe CS5, etc.), and am also considering upgrading the OS hard drive for my computer. At this point I'm just looking for feedback regarding hard drives. I know that SSD's are highly recommended and all, but I'm not interested in them at this point, so the following is just regarding traditional hard drives.

    Video Editing Build:
    -We'd be doing the P183 case, and possibly even adding in AcoustiPack sound dampening, if necessary. The case would reside on a carpeted floor, next to the user.
    -Based on my research the Western Digital WD6000HLHX 600GB VelociRaptor is currently the fastest hard drive (not counting SSD's) on the market. It also seems to get decent reviews regarding quietness. This is what I'm most curious about.
    -The Western Digital WD2002FAEX 2TB Caviar Black is another drive I'm considering, which is also supposed to have very good performance (though not as good as the VelociRaptor), and according to some be a little quieter than the VelociRaptor.

    With both of these drives I see mixed reviews regarding noise. Some say they're both fairly quiet, and others say that they're the noisiest thing they've ever heard. Part of this is likely due to the subjective nature of noise, plus varying conditions (different computer cases, ambient noise, etc.).

    I would love to hear from Puget employees as well as any customers with builds having either of the above hard drives in a P183. I am interested in data for conditions where the computer itself is already quiet (so no loud fans running, drowning out hard drive noise).

    When either of these is in a P183, are they audible (from more than 1 foot away) at idle, or under load? Is there much of a difference in noise for either drive if they are in the main compartment of the P183 vs in the lower, PSU, compartment?

    How much difference does AcoustiPack make for the quietness of each?

    How does each fair if placed in a noise dampening enclosure (I'd like to know this both separate from and in addition to having AcoustiPack installed, if possible), which would put the hard drive closer to the human ear (because it would have to go higher in the case)?



    Upgrade OS drive for my computer (a previous Puget build):
    -I currently have a WD6401AALS-00J7B1 in a FT02 case, which hasn't been the greatest combination, unfortunately (though I love the case itself).
    -Looking into the VelociRaptors for the above future P183 build has gotten me thinking about upgrading my OS drive to a VelociRaptor (or maybe the 2TB drive instead).

    I know that Puget doesn't sell that many FT02 builds, so answers to these questions may be harder to come by. As before I would love to hear from Puget employees as well as any customers with builds having either of the above hard drives in a FT02.

    When either of these is in a FT02, are they audible (from more than 1 foot away) at idle, or under load?

    How quiet is each if placed in a noise dampening enclosure in a FT02?

    Many thanks in advance for any information and input anyone offers on the above!
    Sean

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    1,853

    Default Re: VelociRaptor, 2TB Black, performance and noise

    In a properly quieted system either of those drives (VelociRaptor or 2TB WD Black) will be the loudest component. With that said, the VelociRaptors don't sound that bad to my ear: they are noticable, but seem to be a softer noise than the WD Black. That may be because the pitch of noise is different, or it may just be me. I've not heard one inside a noise-dampening enclosure, though, so I'm not sure how much it helps (but I suspect quite a bit).

    The 2TB Black drive is *loud* - that will be audible, though not horrible, at idle... but under load gets very annoying. Using a noise-dampening enclosure helps, but does not completely silence it. Idle noise may go away, effectively, but you will still hear it under load from 1 foot away.

    Those are all opinions based on using the P183. The FT-02 is not as quiet, largely because it does nothing to dampen noise coming out the front from hard drives and such. I would expect the sound from both drives to be much more noticeable in that chassis.

    Honestly, it is very hard not to start gushing about how great solid-state drives are, both in terms of performance and complete lack of noise, but I saw your comment about not being interested in them... so I'll stop myself before I go any further
    William George
    Customer Service Lead
    Puget Custom Computers
    william@pugetsystems.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    14

    Default Re: VelociRaptor, 2TB Black, performance and noise

    Hi William, Thanks much for your quick response!

    Quote Originally Posted by PCC-William View Post
    In a properly quieted system either of those drives (VelociRaptor or 2TB WD Black) will be the loudest component. With that said, the VelociRaptors don't sound that bad to my ear: they are noticable, but seem to be a softer noise than the WD Black. That may be because the pitch of noise is different, or it may just be me. I've not heard one inside a noise-dampening enclosure, though, so I'm not sure how much it helps (but I suspect quite a bit).
    From listening to audio recordings of each, the pitch does sound different between the two. The VelociRaptor sounds a bit higher and the 2TB Black sounds a bit lower/deeper. It may be that the higher pitches benefit from dampening more than the lower ones do?? (That's more a question to myself, thinking out loud, than something I expect you/others to answer.)

    Quote Originally Posted by PCC-William View Post
    The 2TB Black drive is *loud* - that will be audible, though not horrible, at idle... but under load gets very annoying. Using a noise-dampening enclosure helps, but does not completely silence it. Idle noise may go away, effectively, but you will still hear it under load from 1 foot away.
    It sounds like from your experience the VelociRaptor does better (ie, sounds quieter) in the P183 than the 2TB Black does, is that correct?

    At some point could you ask around Puget and see if anyone knows of a build where a current VelociRaptor was put into a silencing enclosure? I'm interested, of course, in the acoustical changes, but I'm also wondering if any over heating issues came into play at all with such a fast drive being enclosed like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by PCC-William View Post
    The FT-02 is not as quiet, largely because it does nothing to dampen noise coming out the front from hard drives and such. I would expect the sound from both drives to be much more noticeable in that chassis.
    Yeah, I'm not totally sure what I'm going to do about the FT02 build. I really like the case (and I'm committed to it for a while in that I don't plan on replacing that computer any time soon), but I do wish I could come up with some sound dampening options somehow. I'd love to have both a quieter hard drive and better performance than I currently have.

    Quote Originally Posted by PCC-William View Post
    Honestly, it is very hard not to start gushing about how great solid-state drives are, both in terms of performance and complete lack of noise, but I saw your comment about not being interested in them... so I'll stop myself before I go any further
    I can imagine that is hard! I'm sure I'll feel the same way once I eventually make the switch--I just haven't felt ready to do that yet. If I don't come up with a better solution for the FT02 build eventually that may be what pushes me over the edge. Thanks for respecting my wishes in the meantime.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Default Re: VelociRaptor, 2TB Black, performance and noise

    Deeper sounds do tend to travel through obstacles more so than higher pitches, so that could certainly be the case. That would certainly explain the VelociRaptor sounding less bothersome when installed in the same case as a WD 2TB Black. Since we are closed today I can't really ask anyone else about the VelociRaptor in a noise-dampening enclosure, but I would not expect any heat issues: yes, the drive spins faster, but it is also physically a lot smaller and so I don't think runs any hotter.
    William George
    Customer Service Lead
    Puget Custom Computers
    william@pugetsystems.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Default Re: VelociRaptor, 2TB Black, performance and noise

    Okay, that makes sense (regarding deeper vs higher sounds).

    No problem regarding not being able to ask anyone today. I'm pleased that you're posting in the forum on a holiday! I was just meaning for you to ask sometime this week, if possible (though there's no real rush).

    I forgot to ask if your earlier statements also involved P183's with AcoustiPack installed? If not, how much does the AcoustiPack dampen the noise of both drives?

  6. #6
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    Oct 2005
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    Default Re: VelociRaptor, 2TB Black, performance and noise

    Our production manager confirms that the VelociRaptor works in the enclosures, and that it does help with the noise they make. As for the systems I remember hearing those drives in... I think they had Acoustipack, but I'm not sure. It should help a little with drive noise, but not hugely.
    William George
    Customer Service Lead
    Puget Custom Computers
    william@pugetsystems.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Default Re: VelociRaptor, 2TB Black, performance and noise

    Thanks for that info. I appreciate it!

    I thought I'd share a nifty approach I've figured out recently that is helping some with noise at times when I want the drive to be quiet (eg, at night). I found a neat piece of software (http://hddscan.com/) that has enabled me to make batch scripts for enabling and disabling AAM for my 640GB drive. So I've been able to set up these two batch files to run daily (one runs at night to quiet the drive, and the other runs in the morning to turn off AAM and enable better performance). This has actually worked really well and makes a noticeable difference in the drive noise. I can live with some drive noise during the day, but it is really a pain to get woken up by my hard drive crunching away on something in the middle of the night. So I'm hoping that maybe I could do something similar with a VelociRaptor (perhaps also in conjunction with a enclosure).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Seattle, WA
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    Default Re: VelociRaptor, 2TB Black, performance and noise

    That's awesome! Great idea. I'm going to have to look into that -- how great would it be if Puget Systems could offer to set up something like that for people? You could even have it turn on on log in, and turn off on log out or screen lock.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Default Re: VelociRaptor, 2TB Black, performance and noise

    I'm so glad you like my idea!

    As you probably know (and I'll mention for other reader's benefit) AAM (Automatic Acoustic Management) settings enable one to trade off between performance and noise. Disabling AAM entirely will give the highest performance, but also the most noise. Enabling AAM at higher numbers (eg, 255) allows some noise managment, but with emphasis on performance, while enabling AAM at lower numbers (eg, 190, or 128) will move more towards emphasizing noise reduction over hard drive performance.

    The HDDScan utility I linked to just creates batch files for you based on settings you choose (which is a very convenient feature!). However, executing those batch files (even via Windows Task Manager) does briefly display a command line window. For my purposes this works fine, but for Puget you all might want to write a wrapper, or add in some code to the batch files to make them work in a minimized state (I believe there are ways to do this, but I haven't looked much into it).

    I'm definitely excited about having more control over my hard drives noise vs performance, and being able to switch back and forth based on what is most important at the moment.

    Jon, If you all do start experimenting with AAM, I'd love to know if it works with the current VelociRaptors and if so how much of difference it makes in noise reduction.

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