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Never noticed how loud my mechanical drives were until I upgraded my cooling. Suggestions please?

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Never noticed how loud my mechanical drives were until I upgraded my cooling. Suggestions please?

Postby Rhys Llewellyn » Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:23 pm

I bought some lovely Noctua fans and a huge CPU heatsink and case. My system idles at a few degrees above ambient temperature and it is extremely quiet. Well it is as far as the fans are concerned anyway.

I have my main SSD with the OS, Cubase and the like on, and 2 Samsung 1TB (HD103 SJ) drives. I use one of those drives to load my samples/VST libraries from, and record audio onto the other drive.

I realise that a large SSD or two would be the ultimate solution, but they're still pretty pricey and I've never had any performance issues with my current setup. I don't believe I'll really get any benefits other than silence, which brings me on to questions/ideas:

Best case scenario - Not spending any more money right now and improvising with my current setup. Both drives still report being in excellent health despite their ages.

Idea 1: I have another PC downstairs. I put my HDDs in there and map them to my home network. It's a Cat 6 wired gigabit network. I then read and write to/from these networked drives within Cubase 10. Is that a plausible solution?

Idea 2: I remove my HDDs and use long SATA and 12V power cables (maybe 3 metres) and place my drives elsewhere in the room. There is an ideal place behind the desk which is separated by some plasterboad partition. It is always cool in there. Can the cables in question cope with being extended that far?

Idea 3: Any suggestions for an ultra quiet mechanical 2TB+ drive?

Idea 4: Does anyone have any others?

Thank you :)
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Re: Never noticed how loud my mechanical drives were until I upgraded my cooling. Suggestions please?

Postby wireman » Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:16 am

You could get a NAS device but that adds a lot of cost.
I don't think you can expect SATA cables to work beyond a metre in length (from motherboard to device).

I have two secondary (2011 vintage) Samsung Spinpoint F3 drives (2.8Bel normal use if the web is to be believed) and I have a quiet PC otherwise but the drive noise does not bother me. My older systems had much noisier ones.
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Re: Never noticed how loud my mechanical drives were until I upgraded my cooling. Suggestions please?

Postby CS70 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 11:16 am

A couple years ago I temporarily set up a large usb disk on a network to use for projects, to see if it was feasible. My pc was connected over wifi, so there’s that, but had all sorts of odd issues with various software, so the disk soon returnee to a local usb port.

Worth trying on fixed line but perhaps without investing too much before seeing how it goes.
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Re: Never noticed how loud my mechanical drives were until I upgraded my cooling. Suggestions please?

Postby ef37a » Sun Apr 14, 2019 11:17 am

You used to be able to buy combined heat sink and sound proofing sleeves for hard drives but I have not seen them about recently.

SSDs are the final solution of course but apart from cost there is the hassle/risk of moving the system L,S&B over to them.

Now, I have a very old NAS drive on cat5e and it used to run all the time and got a lot hotter than I was happy about. I read the book (eeeventually!) and found I could shut the drive down untill I needed the data, in or out. Then after a selectable 10 mins it would spin down again. I don't know but maybe you could do same with the other than system drives in your rig?
Spin up, load samples/tracks, spin down.

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Re: Never noticed how loud my mechanical drives were until I upgraded my cooling. Suggestions please?

Postby DC-Choppah » Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:48 pm

I have a very similar setup. I replaced my CPU fan with a fanless large heatsink.

I have fanless graphics card.

Case fans are large and silent.

So as you say, that just leaves the hard drives. I have 3 hard drives and can use them in Protools with the 'stripe audio' setup to gain more rapid audio read/write. This works great. But when tracking to a cue mix, these three drives might all be going.

So anyway, my solution to the remaining hard drive noise is that I have a rack mount PC in an enclosure. When the doors are shut the remaining noise is gone. I just close the front glass door when we are tracking.

The refrigerator a couple rooms away is now louder than my PC! I am going to have to work on that fridge next.
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Re: Never noticed how loud my mechanical drives were until I upgraded my cooling. Suggestions please?

Postby resistorman » Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:15 pm

I have a friend who tried wired networking, and it worked part of the time but caused problems enough times he couldn’t use it. Both my computers have some legacy drives, and the noise is not a problem. Of course, I have noise dampened cases, and also the drives are shock mounted with rubber grommets. The good news is that ssd prices are falling fast!
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Re: Never noticed how loud my mechanical drives were until I upgraded my cooling. Suggestions please?

Postby ef37a » Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:19 pm

https://www.quietpc.com/silentdrive

^ still around it seems?

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Re: Never noticed how loud my mechanical drives were until I upgraded my cooling. Suggestions please?

Postby CS70 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:57 pm

Another easy way btw is to use a ssd as main drive and a regular usb drive as data drive. Unless you use omnis you can always place it in a mic null so it’s not registering on the recorded track.
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Re: Never noticed how loud my mechanical drives were until I upgraded my cooling. Suggestions please?

Postby FrankRaz » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:39 am

There are plenty of external USB hard drive enclosures out there which would be far cheaper to buy than NAS.
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Re: Never noticed how loud my mechanical drives were until I upgraded my cooling. Suggestions please?

Postby Pete Kaine » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:37 am

ef37a wrote:https://www.quietpc.com/silentdrive

^ still around it seems?

Ironically linking the model that's been discontinued ;)

Looks like they have the Scythe back in through, it's been out of stock for a long time so I wouldn't hang about if you need one.

https://www.quietpc.com/himuro
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Re: Never noticed how loud my mechanical drives were until I upgraded my cooling. Suggestions please?

Postby Watchmaker » Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:26 am

FrankRaz wrote:There are plenty of external USB hard drive enclosures out there which would be far cheaper to buy than NAS.

I put mine in a small wooden box I made to fit. Sits on the desktop, run the cords out the back, a few air slots with light foam and 90% (ish) noise reduction with enough air to cool them. cheap as chips and tolerably quiet.
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Re: Never noticed how loud my mechanical drives were until I upgraded my cooling. Suggestions please?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:56 am

Edit: Sorry, I misread the original post and my original version of this reply is non-relevant now that I read it properly. Mods, please feel free to delete this one ;-)
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Re: Never noticed how loud my mechanical drives were until I upgraded my cooling. Suggestions please?

Postby Agharta » Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:47 pm

I tend to place a hard drive on a small piece of acoustic foam seated internally at the bottom of the case.
I monitor the drive temps using CrystalDiskInfo and as it's not used that much the temps on the current drive are fine.
If too hot for comfort I used to stick a Nexus 80mm fan on top of it held in place with blu-tac and set the RPM to ~700.
That easily cooled it with zero noise.
I do nowadays only use 5,400 rpm 2.5" laptop drives which are quieter and lower power to start so easier to manage.
Now that you can buy 2TB NVMe drives for under £200 I'm happy to use SSDs only for O/S and DAW stuff and use the HDD for other media and 1st level backups.
I'm happy to pay extra for silence plus the system is snappier.
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