hitachi 7k500 is loud in unibody Mbp

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by duk, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. duk macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2008
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    I picked up a Hitachi 7k500 (7200 500gb).
    And although yes, I am not noticing any vibration, this drive is LOUD with the seeking sounds, constant chatter when it accesses the hard drive plus the little pings when it parks the head (the 5400 did this).
    Much louder then the 5400 Hitachi 250 it replaced.
    Is anyone else noticing this? I have a late 08 unibody MBP.
    This may be a deal breaker for me.
    Whats your experiences in this regard.
  2. davidlv macrumors 65816

    Apr 5, 2009
    Kyoto, Japan
    I have the same drive but in a 15" MBP. It is virtually silent! So, either you got a bad drive and should exchange it, or maybe when you installed it you displaced the rubber shock absorbers the disk rests on, in the cutouts for the nuts on the side of the disk? Maybe the 13" is prone to sound enhancement due to its smaller size.
    You could try another drive, and use the Hitachi in a USB case if nothing works to quiet it down. Best solution would be an SSD drive, but of course they are expensive now.
  3. DesmoPilot macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2008
    Have had my 7K500 in my 15" since May. Been silent all the way through.
  4. DaftZombie macrumors member

    Nov 4, 2010
    Washington State
    Something's not right- I have the same drive in my MBP 13" and it's just as silent as the stock Hitatchi (why I chose it). I've also read quite a few reviews on various sites from MBP 13" users having no issues with sound or vibration. It's actually the only drive I saw that consistently got good reviews in those aspects.
  5. duk thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2008
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    Hmm. Actually mine is a 15" I didn't mean to leave that detail off.
    There is no vibration problem, I can just hear the when it parks and unparks the head, which it does a lot. So nobody elses makes the seeking sound? I'm in a quiet room btw. Guess I'll give another one a shot, although hate to go through the time machine restore etc. I'm considering trying the wd 500 black.
  6. DesmoPilot macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2008
    WD Blacks (Both in 2.5 and 3.5 form factor) are notoriously noisy.
  7. phas3 macrumors 65816

    Oct 5, 2008
    maybe you got a bad one? Alot of guys are saying it's silent yet you are experiencing chatter. Try trading it in for another one?
  8. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040


    May 20, 2010
    Boulder, CO
    I can vouch for my 7K500 that is in my 13" Pro as being silent! So, OP you should apply HDAPM (google it) and if that doesn't solve you issues, you should RMA the drive, apply HDAPM and be on your merry way...
  9. duk thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2008
    I am still using the drive and it seems to have quieted down a bit, it's still not silent as some have stated (the ssd in my mba is silent).
    I'm not sure if I am getting used to it or if it has settled down a bit after the initial os loading etc.
    Thanks for the replies, I'll update if anything changes or if I swap it out.
  10. phas3 macrumors 65816

    Oct 5, 2008
    well that's preference, if you are comparing the SSD with an HDD. Is the hitachi a single platter hdd?
  11. duk thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2008
    No, I was comparing the Hitachi 7k500 500gb 2 platter to my original Hitachi 5400, regarding seek/head park sounds (not spinning or vibration).
    The reason I brought up the ssd in my mba is because people are referring to the 7k500 as silent... silent in my definition is the ssd in the mba (no moving parts) so I'm wondering if maybe I'm a bit more sensitive to the sound of the drive or am in a quieter environment etc.
    Just trying to determine if my 7k500 is exhibiting signs of a flawed drive, but as I had mentioned in previous post, it seems to have calmed down quite a bit over the past couple days from initial install.
  12. duk thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2008
    The 7k500 is going back, just can't get used to all the little clicks and didn't want to set it to never wind down. I noticed on the original drive I removed that apple puts a very thick shield sticker on top of the hard drive, so thick in fact that I can't help but wonder if it is a sound dampener.
  13. Stvwndr219 macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2009
    What was your original drive? Mine just looked like a regular drive with an apple logo on it..
  14. Blu101 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2010
    Have had mine for ~2 months, silent as silent can be. The only time I hear it is for a split second on turn on. After that, it's as if the thing isn't even in there...

    Try another one.
  15. Jottle macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2003
    Different people are more or less sensitive to the sound of the hard drive. It's possible the OP got a drive from a louder batch, but my understanding is that the 7k500 isn't much louder than other 7200rpm hard disk drives. It will be louder than a 5400rmp drive in general. The pings are definitely head parking noise, which can be solved via hdapm. However, if the constant "whir" of the platters also bothers you (like it does me), and you typically operate in a very quiet room, nothing you can do will make that drive quieter. I'm sensitive to noise, so I stick with 5400rpm drives for this reason. If you crave silence and amazing speed, SSD is the only way to go. But be ready to shell out $$$ for them.
  16. dime21 macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2010
    Going from a 5400 rpm drive, to a 7200, of course there is going to be more noise. That said, I have two 7k500's in my 15" MBP. NVH might be slightly higher than with the original drives, but not enough that I really notice or care.
  17. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    I have that one and I originally purchased it for my Mac Mini but it's now in my 13" MBP and I've never had any problems with it nor have I ever heard any sounds come from it. It's always been such a quiet drive for me. Guess I got lucky?
  18. duk thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2008
    Original drive is a Hitachi 5400 250.
    I am now in the process of installing a 7k500 320 Hitachi. From what I am hearing during loading of os, it's pretty similar to the 7k500 500... maybe even a bit louder. I guess the Hitachis just have a distinct noise when parking the head, which osx seems to make it do every 2 seconds. I'm considering the wd black 500, although people seem down on it on mr forums? It has received rave reviews. Anyone have one that can comment on its head parking and access sounds?
  19. duk thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2008
    Okay, final thoughts on the Hitachi's, first of all, determining sound level is clearly very subjective, personal and environmental. What one person feels is silent another may find to be intrusive.
    The three drives I have now used in my late 08' 15 MBP are:

    Hitachi 5400, 250gb- This drive is quiet, only a very slight pop/ping sound when the head parks, no discernible vibration or spin noise.

    Hitachi 7k500-500- Drive is probably quiet enough for most, spin noise is prevalent, but non-intrusive, no vibration. In a quiet environment, you can clearly hear the heads park and drive seek sounds.

    Hitachi 7k500-320- This one is almost identical to the 500, if not just a bit louder in regard to the head parking, spin and vibration are tolerable (actually vibration seems non existent, this goes for all three).

    If you must have a Hitachi, in my experience the 500 was the best of the bunch, as performance gains were noticeable over the 5400 drive.

    I am not a fan of the constant head parking sounds on these drive.
    I plan on sticking with the 320 for awhile until perhaps a good 750gb 7200 alternative comes out (I may try wd black 500). SSD's are still to expensive in large storage capacities for me.

    One user recommended applying HDAPM to solve the head parking pings, does anyone know what affect this has on battery life and if it causes the risk of data loss to increase due to typical movement associated with using a laptop?
  20. RKpro macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2008
    I have the same computer, and it came with the same 250GB 5400rpm Hitachi. That drive is great, I could barely hear it, but it was kind of slow. I still use it in an enclosure for Time Machine.

    In late 2008, I tried to upgrade to a 320GB 7200rpm Seagete. It was faster, but I could not stand the noise and vibration. I traded it for a 320GB 7200rpm Hitachi, and it was much better, didn't vibrate, but I was still really annoyed by the noise. So I was disappointed in 7200 drives, I stuck the stock 5400 back into the mbp, and waited a few month for 80G intel SSD to come down in price. Single best computer upgrade ever.

    Yeah, its obviously fast, but I just love how it's dead silent. In combination with super silent fans at 2000rpm in the MBP, I think the magsafe brick buzzing is louder than the rest of my machine.

    I kept the 320GB 7200rpm Hitachi for my networked attached storage box in the basement, but that drive died just last month. No idea why.

    People have different levels of sensitivity to noise. And I live in a quiet area, so I get to hear more. Since getting used to my SSD, I can't really work on other people's laptops anymore because I find the hard drive noise too distracting. But that's just me, I'm weird.
  21. duk thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2008
    hitachi 7k500 is NOT loud in 15" unibody Mbp!

    Update, after being driven crazy for the last several months by a noisy Hitachi 320gb 7200 that replaced a noisy 500 gb Hitachi travelstar and based on the comments/replies from macrumors board members, I decided to give the Hitachi 500 gb, 7200 another try. And guess what? the reports are true! This drive is extremely quiet, I don't hear anything! I'm very happy with this drive and am glad I decided to give it another go... If your looking for a 500gb 7200 with zero vibration and almost silent operation, this is the drive for you... if you get one that makes a lot of noise, like my first one, exchange it, as it is not normal for this drive.
  22. Mac-key macrumors 6502a

    Apr 1, 2010
    I just ordered the 750GB 7200rpm hitachi.

    Here's hoping it's nice and quiet!:)
  23. duk thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2008
    I had my eye on that one, please report back after install.
  24. deadwulfe macrumors 6502a


    Feb 18, 2010
    I'll preface this in that I have nothing positive to offer to this thread. It's just me ranting.

    It kills me to see how many people demand an absolutely quiet HDD. To think back at how far storage technology has come and how today's mechanical storage devices barely make a sound any louder than your pants getting into a bunch about how noisy it is, makes me marvel at how people even come up with the original idea in the first place. People, buy an SSD, since it has no moving parts.
  25. cibby macrumors member

    May 27, 2005
    Mac-key please tell me what your experience is with your drive. I installed the 7k750 in my Optibay and think it's pretty loud. The seek/writing doesn't bother me at all, it's just the general "spun up" operating noise. At first I thought the fans were going but it's just the HD's regular noise. I'm wondering if I have a lemon or if this is how the 750gb version runs. If so I'm either going to try another brand or switch the to 500gb that sounds quieter.

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