Seagate Barracuda 120GB: 2mb or 8mb???


M

Mitchua

Is it worth dishing out the extra bucks for the 8mb version of the Seagate
Barracuda 120GB IDE hard drive? I'm looking for preformance but most of all
QUIET. I have 2 noisy sub-40GB drives now and I'm looking for something as
quiet as possible, with a bit more space as well. I hear the Seagates are
the quietest (on www.silentpcreview.com at least).

Thanks for your help,
Mitchua
 
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@

@drian

Is it *that* much more expensive? I have the 8MB version, an extremely
quiet but hot drive. I think I paid $130 for it.

@drian.
 
V

Vanguard

Seagate Barracuda 7200.7/IV (http://snurl.com/285s):
120GB (ST3120026A), 7200RPM
8MB cache
8.5ms avg. seek
25dB typical
$99 (http://snurl.com/2874)

Seagate Barracuda V (http://snurl.com/285r):
120GB (ST3120024A)
8MB cache
9.4ms seek
25dB typical
$103 (http://snurl.com/2876)

Seagate doesn't mention if this noise level is during idle or during
seek; it just says "typical".

Samsung (http://snurl.com/2863):
120GB (SP1213N)
8MB cache
8.9ms seek
27dB idle, 28dB seek
$110 (http://snurl.com/2877)

So, for speed, the Samsung drives sit between Barracuda IV and V. The
Samsung drives are also a wee bit louder. Samsung drives are harder to
find (and in stock) than the Seagate, Maxtor, or WD drives.

Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 (http://snurl.com/2867):
120GB (6Y120P0)
8MB cache
9.3ms seek
27dB idle, 35dB seek
$111 (http://snurl.com/2878)

Slower than Seagate and Samsung, and noisier, too. Quiet when idle
(yeah, that's just them spinning with no head movement) and matches the
noise level of the WD drives (i.e., loud) when using it.

Western Digital:
120GB Special Edition Caviar (http://snurl.com/286m)
8MB cache
8.9ms seek
35dB idle, 39dB seek

WD drives are the loudest even when just spinning. I have a WD 40GB and
it is definitely louder than my Maxtor 40GB; my WD drive whines all the
time while I usually only hear the Maxtor during heavy head movement.

You might want to visit http://www.tomshardware.com/; search on "8 MB
cache". I didn't check the 10K RPM drives but they should be louder
since they are spinning faster. Now I'm itchy for a sound meter to
check ambient and computer noise levels. The $50 unit at Radio Shack
(http://snurl.com/287c) ain't doable since it starts at 50dB. Even the
pricey ones (over $200) start at 30dB. So how do we users measure sound
levels under 30dB?
 
M

Mitchua

I got the Seagate 7200.7. It's a beautiful drive. It's WAY quieter than
the old Fujitsu and IBM drives I had in there. The undervolted case fans on
my system are way louder than it ever is. On boot I can't even hear it.
It's a little hot compared to those other drives but I mounted it in front
of a 80mm intake case fan so there shouldn't be any problems.

It was a little hard to find just because everyone was either sold out of it
(high-end shops) or didn't carry it (crap, el-cheapo shops).

Thanks for everyone's help in here,
Mitchua
 
V

Vanguard

Time to look at some quieter fans, like the stealth fans from Vantec. I
used them to replace the 80mm case and power supply fans. Monitor
temperatures before and afterward to ensure the slower CFM for the
stealth fans don't end up with raised temperatures. Now my Western
Digital drive is the noisest component followed by the fan on my P3
Slot1 CPU (yep, still using an old machine).
 
M

Mitchua

Vanguard said:
Time to look at some quieter fans, like the stealth fans from Vantec. I
used them to replace the 80mm case and power supply fans. Monitor
temperatures before and afterward to ensure the slower CFM for the
stealth fans don't end up with raised temperatures. Now my Western
Digital drive is the noisest component followed by the fan on my P3
Slot1 CPU (yep, still using an old machine).
The noisiest fan in my computer is the northbridge fan on my Asus A7V266-E.
Think I should just buy a VGA heatsink and glue it on there instead?

--Mitchua
 
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V

Vanguard

You should open a new thread asking about replacing the fan to see is
someone who owns that motherboard has already done that and recorded any
temperature change. I don't recall where, but I remember reading some
test lab's comment that the fan was a worthless gesture and that a
heatsink was sufficient (as long as the chip didn't also include onboard
video). Since I often wander over to http://www.tomshardware.com, I
suspect that's where I read it. You see articles like
http://snurl.com/28fm where 12 of 24 motherboards had a fan on the
chipset (but several of those where fans were used were within a vendor
which used a chipset fan on all their models).

It would've been better to state which chipset for which you were
considering removing the fan rather than the motherboard. Not nice to
make helpers make a longer trip by having to go to Asus to find your
motherboard to see what chipset it uses to then head off to the chipset
maker's web site to look up the specs. According to
http://snurl.com/28fn, yours used the VIA KT266A chipset. Asus has a
bad link to VIA but eventually I got to http://snurl.com/28fo. No
technical specs there. I eventually hit the same dead link that Asus
had when trying to find more detailed info on their chipset. I gave up
and went back to Tom's Hardware site and did a search on KT266A. Of the
matches, and of those that I checked, like http://snurl.com/28fv, 6 of 8
motherboards with the KT266A had fans. The fact that any had no fan
indicates that it is not required.

However, even those with fans should already have a heatsink on the
chip. You should have just a fan. Or maybe you meant that you would
put on a *bigger* heat sink. Since the original heat sink is already
glued on, you might have problems getting the old one off. I've heard
of some folks using a hair dryer but a heat gun would more narrowly
focus the heated airflow. Be sure to run a fan across the motherboard
to prevent overheating nearby components or the board itself. I've also
heard of folks using dental floss to saw through the glue.
 
K

kony

The noisiest fan in my computer is the northbridge fan on my Asus A7V266-E.
Think I should just buy a VGA heatsink and glue it on there instead?

--Mitchua
If the CPU heatsink is exhausting down towards it, you can likely use
a passive 'sink. Asus now often uses a silver aluminum passive
'sink... I don't know where you might find one of those but one of
these might work:
http://www.svcompucycle.com/zanoco.html


Dave
 
E

Ed Light

Vanguard said:
So, for speed, the Samsung drives sit between Barracuda IV and V. The
Samsung drives are also a wee bit louder.
But the new quiet models have a quieter seek.

My Samsung reads 7 deg cooler than my Seagate, but it feels pretty warm on
top.
 
V

Vanguard

That's what I mentioned about the Seagate noise spec. They state only
25 dB as "typical". What is typical (to Seagate)? Is that when idle
and the platters are spinning with no head movement? Or is that when
the heads move (seek)? If Seagate's noise spec of 25 dB was during
seek, it is quieter than Samsung's noise spec of 28 dB during seek.
 
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E

Ed Light

Vanguard said:
That's what I mentioned about the Seagate noise spec. They state only
25 dB as "typical". What is typical (to Seagate)? Is that when idle
and the platters are spinning with no head movement? Or is that when
the heads move (seek)? If Seagate's noise spec of 25 dB was during
seek, it is quieter than Samsung's noise spec of 28 dB during seek.
Right... I'm thinking of a review that compared them.

http://www.silentpcreview.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=252
 

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