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Quiet SCSI harddrives

Posted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 7:23 pm
by directedition
In my efforts to make quieter PCs (and daily drivers out of SGIs) the most common enemy is fan noise (the O2 has the loudest 170w PSU fan in the world). That's fairly simple to mitigate. Just replace the aging fans with newer more modern ones. Replace aluminum heatsinks with copper ones and use real thermal grease instead instead of the basic ceramic crap SGI uses so you can use lower RPM fans. Maybe put in some acoustic padding.

Harddrives are the next major enemy to combat. I haven't yet come across a SCSI harddrive that wasn't noisy as all-get-out. I want to use SCSI->IDE converters so I can use quiet laptop drives, but I'm just not confident in the converters. I'd much rather use SCSI drives that are relatively quiet. Can anyone recommend any?

Re: Quiet SCSI harddrives

Posted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:49 pm
by D-EJ915
My fujitsu 73GB 10k u160 80-pin drives are quite quiet. When you're doing a lot of disk thrashing they can be noisy because of the head jumping all over but other than that they're no louder than my 7200rpm sata/ide drives.

Re: Quiet SCSI harddrives

Posted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:44 pm
by jade_angel
I have a pair of 15k 146GB Seagates in my main workstation that are only slightly louder than the nearly silent 750GB 7200RPM disk that's being used as a storage tank. The only catch is, they're sorta expensive - I got lucky and got a steal on eBay, which doesn't pop up all that often.

Re: Quiet SCSI harddrives

Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:41 am
by Arabski

Code: Select all

  Vendor: SEAGATE  Model: ST336754LC       Rev: D403
  Type:   Direct-Access                    ANSI  SCSI revision: 03


Cheetah, 15 kRPM. Quietest drive I've ever heard, or did not hear in fact :D

p.s. This buy was also a steal. Got it for equiv. of 20$, and normally they sell for around 150$

Re: Quiet SCSI harddrives

Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:31 am
by jan-jaap
Arabski wrote:Cheetah, 15 kRPM. Quietest drive I've ever heard, or did not hear in fact :D

Confirmed, but use the 15K.3 or newer. Those are the ones with the quiet FD bearings.

Re: Quiet SCSI harddrives

Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:07 am
by Arabski
I forgot I got a photo :) It's even newer...

seagate_15krpm_2.jpg
Quiet Seagate

Re: Quiet SCSI harddrives

Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:10 pm
by anotherlin
I'll confirm that. I've two SAS 15k5 Seagate Cheetah, they're almost silent. They make an SCA version, you check it.

Re: Quiet SCSI harddrives

Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:24 pm
by nekobean
I will also look for a quieter drive, because I sit next to my Fuel all day, and my head starts to spin half way through the day. Speaking of this, though, you mention SCSI->IDE converters; where the heck can these be found?!? I've been looking for a long time, as I would like to finally be able to install a nice DVD/CDRW drive in my Fuel.

Re: Quiet SCSI harddrives

Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:48 pm
by directedition
You can find them on ebay, but they aren't cheap, and they aren't guaranteed to work correctly in an SGI. Otherwise I'd certainly go for a super-quiet IDE drive for my system.

Re: Quiet SCSI harddrives

Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:13 pm
by guardian452
I've got a compaq 251872-001 15k 18g drive in my octane and a second as a spare. Not the quietest drives out there but barely audible over the fan, which I suppose is about the same noise level as a pc. So not too bad.

Re: Quiet SCSI harddrives

Posted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:29 pm
by josehill
nekobean wrote:I will also look for a quieter drive, because I sit next to my Fuel all day, and my head starts to spin half way through the day.

Between the power supply and the drives, the best investment might be a good set of noise canceling headphones! I love my Fuel, but it is definitely not a quiet box.

Re: Quiet SCSI harddrives

Posted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:04 pm
by hamei
josehill wrote:I love my Fuel, but it is definitely not a quiet box.

I can barely hear mine over the tinnitus ... silver cloud ? :D

Re: Quiet SCSI harddrives

Posted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:57 am
by guardian452
The quantum atlas 10KII in my onyx is by far the loudest part of the system.

It makes a quite pleasurable vvvveeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE when it spins up. Take a dremel tool and put a slightly off-balance bit on and crank that up to full speed. That's what the quantum atlas sounds like.

Re: Quiet SCSI harddrives

Posted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:17 pm
by jan-jaap
I'm not too fond of the Atlas series either. We used to have Quantum Atlas disks at work -- they all died and were replaced within warranty, many of them more than once. I had a Maxtor Atlas in my O2 -- too noisy. I bought it new, btw.

IMHO the biggest problem with most UW SCSI drives is that by now they're all at least 5 years old. A 5 year old disk that was used occasionally may be fine, but one that has been spinning in an array for 5 years: forget it. Bearings wear out and get noisy.

The FD bearings are more quiet and more durable, so I feel more confident to buy them second hand.

Re: Quiet SCSI harddrives

Posted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:02 pm
by bri3d
Quantum disk is always loud - Quantum Fireballs were the standard for low-end workstations with SCSI for years, and they're some of the most notoriously obnoxious drives ever manufactured. I'd go with a new Seagate - they're quite quiet. Pretty much the newer the drive is the quieter it will be, with a few exceptions.