Hiding Mac Pro external storage: how?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by jimthing, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. jimthing macrumors 6502a

    jimthing

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK
    #1
    I have two Promise Pegasus R6's for storage and backup. The issue is they make too much noise (not a massive amount, but still annoying) in my environment, and I NEED PEACE AND QUIET!

    Can someone recommend a storage idea for putting them in some kind of box/cupboard/closet/enclosure, or something else?

    I've tried Googling for an actual product to do this, but all search terms tried just bring-up enclosures for putting plain HDD's into, and not for storing away the loud enclosures themselves (what are these things called anyway??).

    Surely there's SOME product out there for this type of situation? Preferably some way that's not going to keep the heat in too much, and can let it escape/circulate. Places like studios and the like must use some solution for this, when they cannot just move them into a server room of their own...? :confused:

    Ideas greatly welcomed.
     
  2. -hh macrumors 68020

    -hh

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2001
    Location:
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    #2
    The simple/obvious answer is a longer TB cable, but just putting them in a box is a bit cheaper than the $800 (and a flight to Japan) for a longer optical TB cable for a solution today (while we're still waiting for Corning to decide if they're going to sell the product in the USA; don't know about your UK situation).

    An old fashioned impact printer sound isolation cabinet might work. Here's a website with some examples ... but do note that these still have a muffin fan on them as well, which will create some noise...and you can't exactly just unhook it, or you'll cook your hard drives.

    FYI, you might want to prowl some junk shops to look for an old printer cabinet that some business got rid of five years ago...might be able to find one cheap.

    So placement of the box and maybe some 'egg crate' style insulation can perhaps DIY reduce its noise level down...if that isn't enough, you can try adding ducting - - some of the stuff used for a clothes dryer should be around the right size - - and supersede the local muffin fan by force-feeding the cabinet from the other end of your DIY ductwork.


    -hh
     
  3. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #3
  4. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020

    JesterJJZ

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    #4
    I know people have replaced the fans in those things with quieter ones.
     
  5. jimthing thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jimthing

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK
    #5
    Yeah, that's on Amazon.co.jp, and it's not really viable, lol!

    Just found the search terms to use are "server rack" and "noise reduction enclosure", but the prices vary widely even for smallish ones, from ~£150 to £800!!

    The thing is, it probably needs some kind of external fan, otherwise shoving any external RAID box into these containers is surely going to overheat the RAID's? And then the external fan makes the noise, rather than the R6's themselves?!

    Can't believe how difficult finding a solution is turning out to be, as I'm completely unknowledgeable in these things. :confused:
     
  6. Cubemmal macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    #6
    I'm a noise freak and am quite sensitive to computer noise, having dealt with it for so long. Really there's not much you can practicably do. You can get expensive quiet racks as already suggested, but then you are fighting the noise of the fan in the rack, the noise not attenuated by the rack (none of them are perfect), cabling, space, heat and power issues.

    The only solutions that really work are either get quiet equipment to begin with, or just put up with it. This is one reason I'm so interested in the new Mac Pro as it should be completely silent.

    For storage I have a Synology NAS off in a closet, far away, connected by 2xgigabit LAN. Not as fast as TB connected obviously but good enough and quiet. Since you already have the Promise arrays, if you can put up with a little lag you could consider getting a cheap/used mini to plug them into, then move them off into another room or closet and then remote mount. That will be fine for backup. For storage, if it's active (photo/video editing) then it probably won't be fast enough. Or you can sell them and buy a Synology which is very quiet already (it can go next to your desk) and can be put far away to make it silent.
     
  7. davida1 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #7
    Thunderbolt is dead

    I wouldn't hold my breath for longer Thunderbolt cables. Apparently Thunderbolt is becoming another dead-end interface (or perhaps it always has been):

    http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/07/usb-3-0-continues-to-steal-thunderbolts-thunder/

    Thunderbolt is perfect for one case: a MacBook Air connected to the Apple TB display. Otherwise, it's not very useful. The reasons include: requirement for a display signal to be included, lots of problems for developers, limited access to the SDK, and the intel approval requirement. So, for every other case, USB 3 is better.
     
  8. -hh macrumors 68020

    -hh

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2001
    Location:
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    #8
    Just add the airline ticket to fly to Japan! ;)

    I think I used printer sound cabinet (Google suggested printer sound proof cabinet) for what I had found ... I can recall that my brother had bought one of these for a big old daisywheel printer that he had hooked up to his Apple IIc way way back when.

    Exactly.

    It is a good news/bad news kind of thing - - we've gotten used to having much quieter equipment than what we had 10, 20 years ago...but by the same token, the prospects of now having a pile of externalized accessories carries the risk of bringing us back to the Bad Olde Days of a stack of little ~2" diameter muffin fans screaming away, particularly since it is tempting for 3rd Party peripheral developers to either cut corners, or as a small business, they're often lacking in the engineering resources to also consider things like acoustic signature.


    -hh
     
  9. Varmann macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    #9
    Interesting, are you sure?
    There is still a lot of heat that should be removed with air flow.

    Do we actually know anything how it will react during different loads and ambient temperatures? Not to forget when the air intact has been partley cloged with floor dust.
     
  10. ABCDEF-Hex macrumors 6502

    ABCDEF-Hex

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2013
    Location:
    NC
    #10
    Put it in the "cloud":

    [​IMG]

    Here's a nice shelf - you might still hear it though.
     
  11. tuxon86 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    #11
    I use, at home, a couple of ProBox 4 drives USB2/3/e-Sata enclosure for my data on my iMac. Those tends to get noisy as they age. My simple solution was to simply move them to the floor, well behind, under my desk. With the distance and the desk between me and them I can't hear them anymore.
     
  12. Sharky II macrumors 6502a

    Sharky II

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #12
    I'm worried about noise too. However quiet the new Mac Pro is, what does that matter when you're going to have to have a bunch of noisy HD enclosures? Or one big enclosure?

    I've not seen a hard drive or array of HDs that doesn't make a more objectionable noise than a Mac Pro with 4 internal drives.

    It's not even just the db reading, but the pitch of the noise. The Mac Pro is a nice, unobtrusive low hum. External HDs are really annoying and 'whiney'.

    I have the Mac Pro in my (music) studio (4 internal HDs and 2 internal SSDs) and it's no problem - but i have to turn off ALL external FW/USB HDs connected to it as they are so annoying. And they aren't cheap external drives...

    I hope apple come out with a quiet, 'cheap' 4xHD thunderbolt enclosure with some good acoustics and cooling properties.

    However quiet the new Mac Pro is, i'd guess/bet that for the majority of users, their overall work environments will be *noisier* with this new MP than the 2006-2012 Mac Pro.
     
  13. tuxon86 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    #13
    Well, you can also reduce the noise by using SSD in your external enclosure... If you are rich that is...
     
  14. wonderspark macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
  15. tuxon86 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    #15
    1TB SSD go for what presently $500 to $600?
    Of course if you have the cash for a Pegasus 6 what is $3k to $3.6k in drives.
     
  16. wonderspark macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #16
    Exactly. :p

    I have a Sans Digital 8-bay RAID box right now, and I put Noctua fans inside, which made a huge improvement. Now, I only hear the HDDs, no fans.

    If I could replace my 8x 2TB HDDs with 8x 2TB SSDs for the same $200 each I paid for WD RE-4 HDDs, I would... but these things have 5-year warranties, so I'll be using them for another three years or so. By then, I'm hoping 2TB SSDs will be close to that.
     
  17. Boomhowler macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    #17
    I have put my workstation, server and the driveboxes connected to those in a separate room and drilled a hole big enough for a dvi-connector to pass through. Pretty easy to do and I don't hear anything, not even when the GPU fan should be on pretty high rpms :) (well, iStat menus says that the fans have accelerated).

    Firewire and usb extender for peripherals (Apogee duet, usb headset, trackball, keyboard etc. ). The DVI connector is pretty big so when you have gotten that through it's pretty easy to add in a couple of usb cables etc. as well.
     
  18. jimthing thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jimthing

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK
    #18
    I'm not 'rich' if that's what you're getting at, just reasonably savvy in my longterm purchasing decisions. :)
    Yes I bought two R6's, but these were both bought 2nd hand (got a great deal, so they were less than half the retail price), and they perform VERY well (better than the Drobo 5D a work colleague has for sure, he got fed-up with the thing and returned it!) which made the decision to go DAS worthwhile over NAS's which although cheaper, I've found do not perform as desired.

    I also forked-out for Hitachi consumer grade 4TB drives (good enough, as RAID and backup provides the security; I can suffer a bit of downtime if a drive failure ever happens to rebuild/replace) in both of them for 3-4 years of storage/backup needs. Also sold the 2TB drives they came with, and spent another £100 for 2x StarTech 3m cables (3m being the longest copper connection Tbolt works with).

    So really not bad value at all after cashing everything up, I think it worked out at £2700. £2700/48TB (12x 4TB) = £56 per terabyte. Which is currently excellent per-TB for a high performance set-up too, and means not having loads of externals all over the place! With 1 HDD, using RAID 5 level, in each R6 being used for redundancy, of course.

    Using SSD's is clearly out of the question for storage for anyone sensible. I only used a Samsung 840 Pro 256GB for my Mac Mini boot drive, which is the best logical choice.
    --------

    Anyway, back on topic, do you think putting them in a box of some kind (metal or wood) would need an external fan in the box to cool them or circulate air?
    I might even consider a cheap-ish Ikea heavy-duty office cupboard, just really unsure on the fans & air circulation issues??
     
  19. Cubemmal macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    #19
    Nope, but they made a big deal about the optimized fan and airflow, and looking at the design with my engineering eye I think it will be silent. Put another way, if it isn't then they screwed up, and Apple doesn't screw those things up.
     
  20. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #20
    Heat is like energy and matter, it can't just "go away" and in fact needs to be moved from one place to another.

    On the good news front, this issue will soon move further into mainstream with everyone forced to use external peripherals.

    A large fan turning slowly creates less noise than a small fan moving the same air.

    Ideally you could come up with something similar to how cars get cooled. A thermostat could be set for say 100 F and the fan would only work fast enough to maintain that temp.
     
  21. Larry-K macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    #21
    I just leave an ever expanding layer of crap on my desk, it eventually covers up everything.
     
  22. brand macrumors 601

    brand

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #22
    Wrong answer.
     
  23. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012

Share This Page