Are SSD supposed to be silent?

Peter Franks

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Regarding the Samsung SSD, it is mostly, except when the fan is on which is not related to that, there's not much doing, but if I open a folder with clips in, or icons, and while scrolling and icons appearing, it does make a hissing noise. Is that normal and the drive is not faulty in any way?
 

hobowankenobi

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Aug 27, 2015
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on the land line mr. smith.
Sounds like it is angry.

Kidding!

I have swapped out dozens, and I don't think I have ever heard one "hiss". I have heard (I think) some very faint, high frequency noise on some....not unlike some TVs make. But generally, to my ears, silent.
 
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Peter Franks

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Thanks! It is silent generally but not when opening up folders and the file icons in it. I just understood they were all silent because there’s no moving parts
 

Mikael H

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Sep 3, 2014
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Thanks! It is silent generally but not when opening up folders and the file icons in it. I just understood they were all silent because there’s no moving parts
What you're hearing is mechanical movement due to changing currents in electrical components; often called coil whine. In all likelihood you'll simply have to live with it; though it might be possible to isolate whether it's the SSD or components on your main board that are making the noise as the signal passes them.
 
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Peter Franks

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Thank you, I only wondered if it was something odd, because of the 'no moving parts' descript of SSD, but how is it possible to isolate. It's not a problem, I just wondered if it was the norm. Now, to TRIM or not to TRIM, that is the question.
 

rhett7660

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Jan 9, 2008
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I have yet to hear an SSD make any noise, at all. That is very strange. Now granted, my ears are not what they used to be some 20 years ago, but like others, I have changed out dozens of them and haven't heard anything.
 
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Peter Franks

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It's not particularly loud, I, like you expected it to be silent though. Another thing I thought would improve is the amount of times the fan comes on as it has less to do, but alas, I think it comes on more with the SSD?
 

Mikael H

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Sep 3, 2014
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I have yet to hear an SSD make any noise, at all. That is very strange. Now granted, my ears are not what they used to be some 20 years ago, but like others, I have changed out dozens of them and haven't heard anything.
TBH when it happens it’s often the main board that creates signal noises. Anecdotally based on my limited experience it mostly happens on older hardware.
 
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TC_GoldRush

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I'd just run a few system diagnostics and make sure it's working correctly. If so, then there should be nothing to worry about. Check for any bad sectors (it's normal to have a couple on a SSD), just make sure that the number of bad sectors (even if 0) remains consistent. How old is your SSD? SSD(s) typically don't last as long as HDD(s), expect (maybe) around 4-7 years out of them.
 
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Peter Franks

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TBH when it happens it’s often the main board that creates signal noises. Anecdotally based on my limited experience it mostly happens on older hardware.
Makes sense, I do fall into the 'old hardware' category too. 2011 MBP
I'd just run a few system diagnostics and make sure it's working correctly. If so, then there should be nothing to worry about. Check for any bad sectors (it's normal to have a couple on a SSD), just make sure that the number of bad sectors (even if 0) remains consistent. How old is your SSD? SSD(s) typically don't last as long as HDD(s), expect (maybe) around 4-7 years out of them.
I've just got it, Just taken out an HDD still running well after 8 years, if a little slow. ... what tests should you run to know it's running OK, 'sectors'? Initially wanted to run it as an external, but strange behaviour from trying to run externally made me fit internally now.
 
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Anarchy99

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Dec 13, 2003
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CA
Similar to Coil Whine in a GPU
Technically any electronic component can get resonance buzzing.
You hear a lot about coil wine because it's the most common
(before you ask no SSDs & CPUs don't have coils)
Most people don't notice resonance buzzing but it happens from time to time
In my experience usually when I've heard resonance buzzing its usually a CPU or some other motherboard components but it wouldn't be impossible for it to be the SSD
 
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Roman78

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May 7, 2018
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Well i can confirm that when i installed a SSD in a Mac Mini 1.1 using 10.6.8 i hear also a Hissing sound out of the Mini some times. When i do a benchmark i.e. xBench i hear it explicit by the disk speed test. I did not have it whit the same SSD in a G4 Mini.
 

nathan_reilly

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Apr 2, 2016
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Similar to Coil Whine in a GPU
Technically any electronic component can get resonance buzzing.
You hear a lot about coil wine because it's the most common
(before you ask no SSDs & CPUs don't have coils)
Most people don't notice resonance buzzing but it happens from time to time
In my experience usually when I've heard resonance buzzing its usually a CPU or some other motherboard components but it wouldn't be impossible for it to be the SSD
I just wanted to put my 5 cents in, this ^^ In my work with LED lights and their drivers, we have to do a lot to eliminate buzzes and chirps and whines that occur fairly commonly in electronics...all issues of resonance. You may not be hearing your SSD, but instead some controlling circuitry or something.

*edit: I should have said outright that these buzzes and chirps and whines are benign, just irritating. Cheap LEDs will buzz for hundreds of thousands of hours :) *
 

Brian Y

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Oct 21, 2012
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Perfectly normal - could also be from the CPU under the higher load during heavy IO operations.
 

Peter Franks

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Original poster
Jun 9, 2011
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Bearing in mind it has 'no moving parts', the SSD is a lot battery hungrier than the HDD was
 

robo456

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Mar 3, 2008
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New Jersey
I can confirm you're not crazy. I'll take it one step further... I have a pretty nicely spec'd out Alienware R7 that I added a Samsung 960 M.2 drive to. It also hisses and whines sometimes. I'm not sure if it's a "Samsung" thing; I've been working with PCs all my life, and have never heard this type of sound before.

Originally I thought it might have been the liquid cooling pump, but like you've found, it's strictly when loading programs or excessive hard drive reading. Very strange.

EDIT
Just re-read Nathan's reply... does make sense. Thanks!
 
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Peter Franks

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Jun 9, 2011
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I've no experience with any other SSD other than Samsung, so could be possible, yes.
Any noticeable drain on battery for you. I was always told SSD uses less battery?
 

Mikael H

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Sep 3, 2014
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I've no experience with any other SSD other than Samsung, so could be possible, yes.
Any noticeable drain on battery for you. I was always told SSD uses less battery?
Unfortunately that isn’t true. SSDs can use less battery when idle, but their mode of operation is very much “on/off”. Either it’s working, in which case it’s drawing it’s stated power required, or it’s not.
A spinning drive may need its maximum stated power draw when doing random work, but draws considerably less than that when working sequentially.
 

Analog Kid

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Mar 4, 2003
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Similar to Coil Whine in a GPU
Technically any electronic component can get resonance buzzing.
You hear a lot about coil wine because it's the most common
(before you ask no SSDs & CPUs don't have coils)
Most people don't notice resonance buzzing but it happens from time to time
In my experience usually when I've heard resonance buzzing its usually a CPU or some other motherboard components but it wouldn't be impossible for it to be the SSD
This usually happens because the magnetic fields cause a mechanical stress on a component. If a system that is generally expected to be quiet starts making noise, it could be a sign that a part is physically damaged and the ordinary mechanical stresses are causing more movement and thus more sound. Cracked ferrites or bad solder joints, for example, can lead to more noise.

Personally, if the SSD is truly audible, and you can determine that it's the SSD and not the system power supply that's making the noise, I'd try another sample and see if you get the same result. If the second one makes noise too, then that's just how it is...
 

Peter Franks

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Original poster
Jun 9, 2011
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Unfortunately that isn’t true. SSDs can use less battery when idle, but their mode of operation is very much “on/off”. Either it’s working, in which case it’s drawing it’s stated power required, or it’s not.
A spinning drive may need its maximum stated power draw when doing random work, but draws considerably less than that when working sequentially.
Don't I know it! I thought the battery was lousy prior to the SSD, and the old HDD you could hear burring away like a goodun so you knew the battery was getting a pounding. But the SSD is using far more battery and on this 7 year old battery, it's doing me no favours. Maybe a new battery may be in order now.
 

Peter Franks

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Jun 9, 2011
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It’s not a problem, true. Was more of an ask and curiosity.

Great shame it didn’t cure the fan noIse and heat problem on YouTube and all other video online. It’s the only thing that really winds me up with the MBP. Although not a new machine, it’s always done it.
 
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