What's quieter and runs cooler: iMac internal 3.5" HDD or external 2.5" FW drive?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Icaras, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. Icaras, Jul 1, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2011

    macrumors 601

    Icaras

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Location:
    California, United States
    #1
    I'm getting ready to throw down for a new high end 21.5" iMac with an SSD (once Lions out). I was at first planning on ordering the SSD + HDD combo, but what with the all present concern of hard drive noise in iMacs with randomly shipping Seagates, I am reconsidering just purchasing the SSD model only. I was lucky enough to get a WD Caviar Black in my current iMac 27", which is supposedly quieter, but even then, my very picky ears still find it grating.

    I need a larger drive to store my content (Logic sample libraries and iTunes). So what would be the optimal setup for noise and heat:

    1.) SSD + 3.5" HDD iMac, or...

    2.) SSD only iMac, with 2.5" external FW drive (7200RPM).

    Specifics such as cost, value between drive capacities, and bandwidth speeds are negligible. Reduction of noise and heat is paramount.

    Any insight would be much appreciated :)
     
  2. macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #2
    Id say you are getting your knickers in a bunch over nothing. people come here to complain -- not brag. So we dont get to see the 80 million people with perfectly good iMacs posting. We only get to see the handful that dont.

    My WD Black in my 24" iMac is noisy -- lots of drive noise when accessing files -- where as my external Seagate 1.5TB drive is near silent, even when accessing files.

    If you are already running Logic from a older and slower 2.5" drive, then just keep that course. Buy a 1TB 2.5" drive and drop it in the G-drive case. Heat and cooling solved.

    I would love to have one of these: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firewire/EliteALmini/RAID/eSATA_FW800_FW400_USB

    I would order the iMac with the basic 1TB drive and be done with it.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 601

    Icaras

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Location:
    California, United States
    #3
    Thanks. The Raid drive you linked looks nice. Also, interesting how you point out that your external Seagate (which I assume is 3.5" enclosure) is more silent than you're internal drive, which also happens to be a WD black. This is the kind of thing that I like to get my knickers in a bunch :p And seriously what makes me consider going the external route.
     
  4. macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #4
    Seagate is *not* in an external enclosure. Its a bare drive on a Seagate FW800 "foot"

    here it is, in the background are 2 SIIG FW 800 cases with 500 gig IDE drives in them and a OWC FW800 case with a 300 gig IDE drive -- at the end of my chain is a WD FW800 passport drive that I swapped a 500 gig 7200 RPM Hitachi drive into.

    The foot is $20 at Best Buy, designed to work with Seagate Go Flex drives -- but for $20 its now my FW800 drive dock. Any SATA drive just plugs into it, including 2.5" ones

    what Im saying is that for every 50 Seagate drives that are loud, there are 50 WD ones are too. People are wasting too many brain cells thinking about it.

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Seagate...199529445&skuId=9948596&st=seagate&cp=2&lp=18

    [​IMG]
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 601

    Icaras

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Location:
    California, United States
    #5
    Awesome. Never seen feet before until now.

    Yea, you're right about over thinking it. I think it will just stick with the original plan and get the SSD + HDD option and be done with it.

    Thanks again.

    /Thread.
     
  6. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Location:
    Germany
    #6
    The (2TB) HDD fan is the "loudest" (*) part in my iMac and in my quiet room I sometimes find whatever little noise it makes too much. Thus, I am sympathetic to your concerns. Yet, I still recommend buying a HDD/SSD combo. The HDD sound goes away after a few idle minutes; if need be I can always use the "eject" command to make it go completely quiet. (I just haven't figured out how to rediscover it without a reboot). You control what you put on the HDD.
    My external WD MyBook is louder but I prefer its low humming to the Hitachi drive's high-pitch buzzing. Yet, subjective perception differs and changes over time, so I am glad to have a choice between both drives.

    (*) = The ODD fan can get even louder but does only so when increasing minimum fan speed beyond 2000 which I have not experienced even with heavy DVD/SSD activity.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 601

    Icaras

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Location:
    California, United States
    #7
    Thanks for the insight Air. I agree with your statement that noise is very subjective perception and will definitely differ from user to user. My confession is that I also have the new Macbook Air (well, used to...as it's now in my wife's proper possession!), but the silence of that machine is really nice. I can't help but desire for that same quickness of the SSD while retaining the sheer silence.

    Yea, the SSD + HDD combo is probably the best solution at this point in time, and I'm pretty much leaning toward that route. I really hope once SSD prices drop to critical mass prices, that Apple can offer dual SSD BTO options for pure silent machines. :D:cool:

    Thanks for the recommendation. Now whenever Apple wants to drop Lion....
     

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