1TB Caviar Black too noisy for a Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by kudukudu, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. kudukudu macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2007
    I currently have an early 2008 mac pro 8800 GT with 1 CPU, 8GB RAM, a 7200 rpm WD 750 GB hard drive and a Seagate 7200 rpm 250 GB hard drive. I have run out of storage and plan to add one of the following drives:

    1. WD10EADS - WD 1TB Caviar Green (older version is the WD10EACS)
    2. WD1001FALS - WD 1 TB Caviar Black

    Both the 10EACs and 1001FALS drive are profiled here by storage review:

    The Green has an idle noise of 35.9 dB while the Black has an idle noise of 41.0 dB. The Green has about 70-75% performance of the Black.

    I currently have what I consider to be a quiet box (one of my external Lacie backup drives produces more noise than the mac pro) and I would like to keep in that way. While I would prefer the faster disk, I don't really know whether adding a Caviar Black drive to my mac pro will ruin the quiet profile of my mac pro. Has anyone added a Black to their rig without noticing any increase in noise (note I only care about idle noise, I don't care about noisier seeks)?
  2. Fomaphone macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2009
    i have a black and it's very loud... it made my dual 2.5ppc even louder than it was before... and that thing sounded like a jet with a 6800ultra and 9800pro in it.
  3. rylin macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2006
    The greens are plenty fast.
    Get two while you're at it and put them in RAID-1; it'll definitely be fast enough for you, and it'll give you a bit of added reliability.

    You should of course make sure you have a backup solution that covers 1tb+
  4. kudukudu thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2007
    thanks I already have a fairly bullet proof backup system for my needs. I have backups scheduled for once a week. I also have 1 set of external drives on-site and a 2nd set of external drives off-site. I swap them every few months.

    Anyone who cares about their data should always have an off-site backup even if it is 1, 3 or 6 months out of date. On-site backups only protect against software+hardware issues. They don't do anything for theft, fire, etc.

    I am not a big fan of RAID 1 since RAID is more for uptime than a backup (e.g. it protects against data loss related to hardware issues, but not software related issues and user error). If an internal drive ever died I would simply run from my bootable firewire external drive until a replacement arrived and then I would clone it.
  5. Horst Guest

    Jan 10, 2006
    Consider the 640GB Caviar Black.

    One of the reasons I went for some of those are the noise levels of the 1TB models reported in various reviews and forum posts .

    I have no first-hand experience of that , though.

    The WD 640GB Black are fairly quiet, among the fastests HDDs you can buy, 5 yrs warranty, and quite cheap , too.
  6. rylin macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2006
    Indeed; reliability and (read)speed -- anything else should be entrusted to a backup system or an archival system.
    If I got a dollar for every time someone used a RAID setup instead of backup, I'd have at least $83 left on my account after decking out my apartment with new toys ;)

    I'm currently working on a AoE storage system that I want to run in the bomb shelter in the basement of my apartment complex.
    I figure if I offer cheap backup storage (i.e., at-cost) for anyone in the building it shouldn't be a problem.

    A 16-disk remote RAID-Z attached with cat5e should be enough for most purposes :D
  7. TheFuzz macrumors regular

    Aug 18, 2006
    i've got two wd 1tb caviar black's in a raid0 i use as a work drive. they're not nearly as loud as the 150GB raptor i have. i've never really noticed them.
  8. gelid macrumors member

    Dec 17, 2008
    The 1TB Caviar Black caused my whole case to vibrate on my '08 Mac Pro when installed in slot #2. I moved it to slot #4 and it quieted down considerably.

    Since then I added a 1.5TB Seagate (Time Machine) in slot #2 and 500GB WD in slot #3 (Boot Camp), and I really don't notice much noise.
  9. subaqua macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2008
    I just replaced all four of my 320GB drives (a mix of seagate & wd) with 4 Caviar Black 1TBs and while they are slightly louder, I am not distracted by them at all.

    The fan on the 8800 GT is louder than all the drives combined (when the 8800 GT is working hard).

    My 4 drives are in a RAID10 configuration so they are always spinning and active for IO. In other words, this is probably the loudest configuration you can build :)

    You mileage may vary but they are perfectly fine for me. One of the other posters mentioned vibrations with his Caviar Black in one of the drive bays; I cannot detect any vibrations. Perhaps he or she had a mounting screw loose or something.

    Good luck & have fun!
  10. NATO macrumors 68000


    Feb 14, 2005
    Northern Ireland
    If you're just going to be using the drive(s) for generic storage, you might as well go for the Caviar Green and save yourself some cash due to the lower power consumption and benefit from the quietness while you're at it :)
  11. Tom Sawyer macrumors 6502a

    Tom Sawyer

    Aug 29, 2007
    Quick question somewhat off topic but still relevant... Is it the case that when you use OS X's software Raid, you can not partition the Raid 0 stripe set? I have 1 1TB Black and have thought about getting another and striping them but I don't really want a 1.8 TB boot drive. :D
  12. UltraNEO* macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2007
    Hmm.. Even so, I didn't think they're fast enough (but that'll depend on your application requirements). I have four of them in Raid5 for added speed boost :D Also, I don't have a huge problem with noise, often I hear the DVD drive more! :eek:
  13. UltraNEO* macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2007
    Most people stripe a drive to increase the performance since there's absolutely no redundancy, (since there's twice the chance of something bricking) I also think it's a little daft to have such a huge boot drive!!
  14. Horst Guest

    Jan 10, 2006
    You can partition a Raid0 array with disk utility, look here .

    I'm running 2 partitioned WD 640 Black in Raid0, no problem.
  15. wheezy macrumors 65816


    Apr 7, 2005
    Alpine, UT
    I have a WD Green 500GB as my time machine, and it's quiet, although I've heard it from time to time. The Seagate 320 that came with my system is by FAR the loudest drive I have. I have 2 Samsung F1 1TB drives in and they're cooler than the other two and I've never heard them.
  16. rhyx macrumors 6502

    Jan 15, 2008
    I have two of the 1TB Caviar blacks in my Mac Pro. Works fine.
  17. indiprod macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2007
    I have a MacPro 3,1 with a pair of 1TB WD Caviar Blacks in bays 3 and 4 and hardly hear them.
  18. ZMacintosh macrumors 65816


    Nov 13, 2008
    Yeah im using two 1TB Western Digital Blacks one internally for file storage and internal back up and one in an external enclosure. runs moderately warm but nothing out of the ordinary and theyre both silent.

    I havent particularly tried the samsung f1 1tbs but heard good things.

    i recently picked up a bunch of 1TB Hitachi Deskstars (0A35155) for 80$ a pop....not sure if the deal is still good at newegg but theyre comparable to the F1s and 1TB Blacks (just more platters) run quiet and cool....all of them have 32MB cache aswell..

    it just maybe the way the airflow is coming into the case causing them to heat or be louder, also might wanna try reseating them on the drive sleds they seem to be rather touchy, one moment i pull my drives out and palce them back in theyre louder then do it again and theyre hardly noticable.
  19. product26 macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2005
    when it comes to western digital drives.... there is a utility called
    "WinAAM" It allows you to set the drive to a 'quiet' mode.
    Unfortunately it is a windows program but it is well worth it.
    click here to download (at the bottom of the page)

    It makes a HUGE difference in sound (even with the 'green' drives).

    This does affect speed, but not noticeable in every day operation unless you bust out your stop watch.
  20. tom. macrumors 6502


    Nov 9, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    I use a raptor in Slot 1, there is no vibration but the drive is quite loud if you are in a silent environment. The case is better at surpressing it than most though.
  21. macforthewin macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2009

    what enclosure are you using for ur 1tb caviar black? i am looking for a good one for my 1tb caviar black
  22. More macrumors regular

    Dec 27, 2008
    Can't vouch for the Black but I just installed two excellent Western Digital RE3 drives in my Mac Pro yesterday. The RE3 drives are essentially a tweaked RAID edition of the Black with faster access times amongst other minor modifications. I can say that the two of mine in a RAID-0 config are very quiet indeed.
  23. ZMacintosh macrumors 65816


    Nov 13, 2008
    I use one of the 1TB Blacks with AEBSn as a iTunes/AppleTV Library
    and just use this enclsoure:

    nothing fancy, just USB and thats it.
    at first it didnt work with the AEBSn but since i reapplied the firmware (AEBSn) and reset the base station its been flawless

    otherwise i use this one for FW400 and/or USB needs, more of the on the fly work:

    a tad bit pricier but theyre reliable enclosures,,,and i guess a decent rebate for it...
  24. macforthewin macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2009
    when picking a enclosure for the 1tb caviar black is there a requirement i should look like voltage or something.
    sry this is my first attempt at making a internal to external hdd
  25. ZMacintosh macrumors 65816


    Nov 13, 2008
    As far as I'm aware there really isnt a need to get overtly concerned with it.

    if you get an enclosure that handles more than 1 drive, it should state its max power and voltage regulations and if a specific size drive may or may not be compatible.
    but i think its a bit too much thinking into it.

    As long as they support SATA-II (3Gbps) drives, you should be fine...

    I'd recommend putting the external drives and any other of equipment on a surge protector atleast or a good UPS.


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