Can you hear your hard disk?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by TuffLuffJimmy, May 4, 2009.

  1. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #1
    I was in an Apple Store the other day to scope out the perfect machine for me next year at school. I was looking at the Macbook, which are pretty slick. I ran the 2.66GHz MBP through its paces, Aperture, photoshop and the rest of the creative suite I plan on using. Anyway, as I toyed with it I noticed I could feel the hard disk seeking, and if I listened closely, without even putting my ear to the machine, I could hear the disk! I checked the 17 inch display model and I could feel the disk in that one too.

    With my current core2duo Macbook I can't feel or hear the hard disk at all, even if I press my ear up to the machine. I've even gone through two disks in this machine, the stock 120GB drive and a 320GB one I believe is from seagate, neither drive makes a sound.

    Is this a problem with the unibody machines? I think I would get too annoyed with this and I may look else where in a machine if this is a common problem.
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    I can barely hear my HD, I think when its being extremely active, I'm more likely to hear it. I don't feel the vibration but then I have it hooked up to a monitor and keyboard in my office most of the time, so I won't have the opportunity to feel any vibration.

    When its mobile, I don't recall feeling the hard drive at all.
     
  3. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #3
    I don't hear anything in my white MB ... but my externals are really noisy.

    It may be the drive, or the MBP casing passing the noise/vibrations along.
     
  4. TuffLuffJimmy thread starter macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

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    #4
    I would be fine with it being the drive as I really don't see myself sticking with the stock drive, but if it's the case I might consider getting a Dell and sucking it up and reinvesting in LightRoom and get a new video editor.
     
  5. smartalic34 macrumors 6502a

    smartalic34

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    whats wrong with your current macbook? also, drive noise may vary considerably depending on the manufacturer. when I upgraded my MBP's drive, I went from an 80GB fujitsu to a 250GB seagate. the seagate makes a lower-pitched sound that is slightly less noticeable to me, but it does click more often than the fujitsu did.

    did you happen to try out more than the 2 display models? it may be that your macbook has only had seagates (for example) and the display models were both using a different manufacturer...
     
  6. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #6
    The Fujitsu 5400 RPM 320 GB which came with my 17" UB has some noticeable head seeking sounds. Not loud, but more than I've had in the last several years (Hitachi 7200, WD 7200 and Seagate). All those were virtually silent when seeking. The Fujitsu's spindle is quiet, though.

    I've since (just last week) replaced it with the WD 7200 RPM 320 GB Scorpio Black. It's seeking noise is virtually nonexistent (can't hear unless I put my ear against it). Spindle noise is very quiet - just a light "whoosh". Overall, the drive is silent compared with the stock Fujitsu.
     
  7. ViciousShadow21 macrumors 68020

    ViciousShadow21

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    Mar 11, 2009
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    To your left or right
    #7
    if you're not keeping the stock drive why dont you get an SSD?

    i didnt hear the stock drive. when i had it. i recently put in the WD Scorpio Black i hear it every once and a while but really only when it's extremely quiet. even then its really only when the heads are parking and when doing audio conversions with protools and logic.
     
  8. michael.lauden macrumors 68020

    michael.lauden

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    #8
    SSD's are more expensive per GB.. and also you aren't going to find a 500GB 2.5" SATA SSD (or atleast i dont think haha)
     
  9. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

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    Oct 24, 2007
    #9
    I can't hear my HD rotating. I think it's broken. Its an SSD. ;)
     
  10. mputtr macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    #10
    on my mbp (early 08), I occaisonally hear a "click" and a short whirr every once ina while, that also kinda freezes my laptop's response for a second.
     
  11. TuffLuffJimmy thread starter macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

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    Portland, OR
    #11
    I need something a little faster. Aperture is a pain to use, in fact I've given up on it for the time being. I'm getting into ACS4 and it's preformance is really lacking on the Macbook as well.

    I'll look into SSD options. Does anyone have any suggestions for a small 500GB scratch disk that uses FW800?
     
  12. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #12
    g-drive mini.

    I think there is one that is 250 or something around that from the apple store. 500 gb, FW800, FW400, USB, three year warranty.
     
  13. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #13
    OWC, or build one from bare drive. I just bought a nice FW800 case from NewEgg made by Rosewill (link) for under $50. I imagine you're looking for a 7200 500, so the price difference between an already built drive/case (OWC) or putting it together isn't that much. I have an OWC case for one of my drives and I've got a 320 7200 coming in tomorrow that will go in the Rosewill. (I went with Rosewill, because I liked the 3.5" FW800 case I have)
     
  14. Benguitar Guest

    Benguitar

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    #14
    On my previous mid 2007 black MacBook - YES I could hear a high pitched whining noise whenever it was running, my guess is it was the hard disk?

    On my current early 2009 15" Unibody MacBook Pro - NO Very quiet machine.
     
  15. TuffLuffJimmy thread starter macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

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    #15
    Alrighty, so I'll just assume that it's a machine to machine defect. When I get the 'book I'll make sure to talk to the reps about the noise and see what they have to say about it.
     
  16. Warranty Voider macrumors 6502

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    Aug 27, 2008
    Location:
    Maine, US
    #16
    The stock drive that came with my 2.4 GHz MBP (250 gigs) was the quietist drive I had EVER heard (or not heard ;) ). I could never hear it spin up, however I would hear it "click" when the head parked after a sudden movement. Hard drive noise is effected greatly by the lack of metal above it. If you put you're palm over the hard drive, you'll notice it significantly reduces the noise.
     
  17. js81 macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #17
    Ok, so here's my take. The stock 120gb drive from my Macbook was silent. I then upgraded to a 200gb 7200rpm - it was silent but the vibration drove me crazy. I then "downgraded" to a 160gb 5400rpm and it's silent again. This is in a white Macbook. YMMV, of course.
     
  18. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    Pa
    #18
    It could just be that the hard drive is starting to fail on that computer. Remember, the display computers tend to get banged up pretty badly. Heck, the trackpad was a light grey on one of the white MacBook's in my local store today:eek:
     
  19. magamo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    #19
    Hmm. The 160GB 5400rpm HDD that came with my white MB made an annoying clicking noise. I then installed Hitachi 200GB 7200rpm. The drive was louder when seeking, but somehow the noise was a totally different kind and less jarring. I don't know how to describe it, but the older HDD could make me crazy when it was seeking. I feel the same way when some types of styrofoam blocks rub each other. Aargh! Just the thought of that sound drives me nuts!
     
  20. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000

    mikes70mustang

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    US
    #20
    i have yet to hear my hard drive, the only thing i can hear is a slight buzzing
     
  21. designgeek macrumors 65816

    designgeek

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    "Town"
    #21
    I can hear mine too, if the battery cover was tighter then I wouldn't be able to. Try moving it around and hearing the sound change. I was considering an SSD for that reason.
     
  22. magallanes macrumors regular

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    Jul 12, 2008
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    South of Jurassic Park
    #22
    Its common and ok to hear a slight buzz. The problem is when you heard a crack noise, because this means that the disk is dying.
     
  23. macgrl macrumors 65816

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    Jul 17, 2008
  24. smartalic34 macrumors 6502a

    smartalic34

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