Momentus XT Noise & Quiet Hard Drives

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by runningman1228, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. runningman1228 macrumors newbie

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    May 3, 2008
    #1
    I just upgraded my 13" Macbook Pro 2.53GHz Mid 2009 to the Momentus XT 500Gb and its pretty quiet, but not practically silent like the original Hitachi 250Gb drive. It sounds like a little fan is going pretty much all the time. I also tried the Western Digital Scorpio Black and it wasn't much quieter.
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    Are there any almost silent (fast would be nice) drives other with 320Gb+ other than SSD?

    Might there be a hard drive controller or something Apple loads onto their factory drives that makes them quieter?
     
  2. tjb1 macrumors 68000

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  3. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

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    #3
    You do know thats because its a 7200 not a 5200 like your old hard drive :p
     
  4. runningman1228, Dec 7, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010

    runningman1228 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    Yeah, I was looking for a faster a larger drive under $150, so it was definitely part of the reason I chose that drive.

    I've just heard people say that their factory 7200rpm drives in the larger macbook pro are silent. Which makes me wonder if Apple has some sort of firmware or something installed on their factory drives

    Also when I boot up the momentus xt, scorpio black or blue (all 500Gb) in my external enclosure, while they are all fairly quite, they roar in comparison to my stock 250Gb drive. Not sure why though...
     
  5. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

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    #5
    NO. Some people are less sensitive to noise or work in areas where the ambient noise level is enough to block the slight drive noise. All mechanical disks make some noise. Even within the same model some drives are quieter than others.

    Stop listening for it and your mind will accept it as background clutter and filter it out. The XT drives are very nice performers and quiet enough for a mechanical disk drive.

    Cheers,
     
  6. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #6
    My XT has a slight "woosh", air-rushing sound. It's less than my WD Scorpio Black 320GB was, and hardly noticeable in a quiet room. I can't discern any head seek noise at all. Especially nice when compared with the periodic WD head load cycle click. All is quiet now. Also, it seems to run cooler.

    I've been running 7200's for a long time, and this XT is the quietest I've had. I can't remember the maker of the 5400 320GB which came with my Early 2009 17" UB MBP, but it was rather noisy (head seek). It's spindle noise might have been less than the WD, but it can't be much less than the XT to have been heard at all.
     
  7. polaris20 macrumors 68020

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    #7
    I've never found it to be all that loud, and I record acoustic instruments, so I'm pretty sensitive to noise levels. I'm extremely happy with the XT; it's a great drive.
     
  8. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

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    #8
    All hard drives these days (except 10,000+ RPM ones perhaps) are silent enough to ignore comfortably :D
     
  9. JKK photography macrumors regular

    JKK photography

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    #9
    Ignore the tiny bump in volume output, and enjoy the noticeable increase in speed ;)
     
  10. phas3 macrumors 65816

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    #10
    it's user preference, unless you have an OCD of noise levels. People read other post that their same product is silent, but don't take into consideration how sensitive they are to noise etc...to me as long as I don't hear the ticking noise it's fine.

    I don't really care much either about noise as long as it's not too loud. What I care about is performance and vibrations.
     
  11. Stvwndr219 macrumors 6502

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    #11
    If you're really unhappy, I've heard good things about the Hitachi 7k500 but you're going to take a performance hit if you take that route...
     
  12. runningman1228 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    Yeah the sound that I hear is a "wooshing" noise, and is noticeably louder than my old drive, but I pretty much only hear it when I'm in a very quiet room like my home office, which unfortunately is where I use my computer the most.

    The nice boost in speed is probably worth it. I'm going to give Hitachi's new 7mm 7200rpm 320GB drive a try. I think they are supposed to be pretty quiet. Probably going to start saving for a SSD as well ...Any other suggestions would be great though.

    Thank you all for your help.
     
  13. phas3 macrumors 65816

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    #13
    an SSD is always the best route, but because of the current price for SSDs I can't justify it.

    Also, I do think that if you do heavy video editing and photoshopping then you would be better off with an i7 computer/laptop as those softwares utilize the processor more and then you can benefit with an SSD. But for things like web browsing, a little bit of gaming, and university stuff then a 13" with 8gb upgraded ram and 7200 rpm upgrade is more than enough.

    I have a dedicated i7 desktop just for those intensive apps and gaming.
     
  14. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000

    rkaufmann87

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    #14
    First relax, the Momentus XT takes about a week to settle down, you will notice less vibration and it will begin to cool down. I was concerned the first week I had mine (had it now about 6 weeks) and it's now as quiet and cool as the original drive. Post back in another week and let us know how it is then.
     
  15. runningman1228 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #15
    Glad to hear that! I was thinking there might be some sort of break in period as the bearings and everything get settled in, and the disc "organizes" itself. It might even be a little quieter already. I'll post again in a week or so. Thanks
     
  16. Jottle macrumors 6502

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    #16
    There's no "cooling down" the whoosh sound. That sound the OP is hearing is the platters. Those are always spinning when the drive is on. The seeking noises may lessen, but the whirring sound will be at a constant level. I could be wrong about the breaking in business, so please report back if you notice this sound lessening.
     
  17. JKK photography macrumors regular

    JKK photography

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    #17
    Yep, I've witnessed the same on my WD Scorpio Black. It just takes a little time for it to get itself right, I guess.
     
  18. runningman1228 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #18
    it's been a little over a week, and unfortunately I haven't noticed much, if any of a decrease in the noise of the drive. Maybe I was shipped a particularly loud one or something.

    I suppose I'm starting to get used to it. I wonder if there might be some sort of thin adhesive foam I could put on the drive, or something kind of like dynamat but thinner...also wonder if this might overheat the drive?
     
  19. gr8tfly, Dec 16, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010

    gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #19
    Perhaps you did get one that's a bit noisier, although you said you had similar noise with the WD. At any rate, if you feel it's noisy, you should exchange it. Mine's still virtually silent.

    As quiet as mine was, I applied the SD24 firmware update (from SD23) and the drive became even quieter, yet provided the same performance when needed. I would suggest, if you have SD23, to go ahead and apply the update. I used Seagate's bootable ISO CD updater without problem. There's another MR thread with some discussion on the update. You can check your firmware version through System Profiler and going to the Serial ATA section.

    Edit: if the drive is properly mounted in the rubber isolators, there's not much else to do, mechanically. If you covered it with any material, it would adversely affect cooling.
     
  20. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

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    #20
    I just installed a 500GB XT drive, and it is louder, but you can't hear it at all after a few days unless you purposely listen for it :)
     
  21. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    #21
    I can't help but wonder how much of this is the drive "settling down" and how much is the user getting used to the sound? :)

    Anyone know of any sources that do actual sound level testing of hard drives? That would be an interesting list to peruse.
     
  22. ViviUO macrumors 6502

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    Jul 4, 2009
    #22
    First, I have great hearing.

    With that said, how do you guys hear these things, and how can some people call them loud? I am referring to the Momentus XT of course. I have seen lots of complaints on other boards with people griping over the slightest amount of noise that would otherwise be undetectable unless the user was sitting in a sound-proof booth of some sort.

    It just makes no sense to me. Perhaps I have a rare silent drive or something?

    /rant.
     
  23. JKK photography macrumors regular

    JKK photography

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    #23
    Because of this noise 'problem,' I've decided that the first thing I do when I get my MBP 13" will be to replace the HDD with the 7,200 rpm one. That way I'll never get to witness the 'silent' stock HDD, and then the 7,200 rpm drive will be normal for me.

    :)
     
  24. tjb1 macrumors 68000

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    #24
    Note on the firmware update, dont waste your time... I got my drive in August and it already had the latest firmware on it. This thing spins at 7200rpm, its going to make noise. Play some music and get over it.
     
  25. runningman1228 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #25
    Thanks for letting me know about the firmware update, I was just reading about it and everybody seems to say it makes the drive faster, quieter, and more energy efficient, so you can't go wrong there. I do currently have the SD23 so hopefully that helps some.

    Also JKK immediately replacing the hard drive is probably a great idea. Everything is relative. I doubt I'd be saying anything if my computer was this loud out of the box, just compared to the original drive it's a bit loud...

    I'll update the firmware and report back!
     

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