Quietest hard drive for macbook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by monsieursugar, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. monsieursugar macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2009
    Hi guys, I'm new to these forums so go easy on me!

    I recently bought a bigger and faster hard drive to replace the one in my white macbook 2.0 GHz (GeForce 9400m). The one I went with was a seagate momentus 7200.4 320GB 7200 rpm. I installed it with no problems - until that is I used it in a quiet room and realised I could hear it!

    Now don't get me wrong, it isn't what I would call excessively loud, but I heard it all the time without even listening out for it. The only time I ever heard the standard 120GB drive was when I placed my ear against the macbook casing...

    I know that I'm just a fussy b*****d but I couldn't stand the noise - it was like a dripping tap and I couldn't ignore it! So I put the original drive back in and the silence is blissful.

    So now what I want to do is buy a bigger drive that is as quiet or quieter than the standard macbook drive - I realise that I may have to sacrifice 7200 rpm for 5400, but I'm ok with that.

    Is the hitachi travelstar any good?

    Any thoughts will be much appreciated, and sorry for the long ramblings!

  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Solid state drives are quietest drives because there's no moving parts but they are expensive
  3. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    You may have just gotten a bad drive; I can't hear anything from the same drive installed in my 2.33 mbp. People on the forums have reported vibration issues with the 7200 rpm wd scorpio black.

    The 500 gig scorpio blue is supposed to be a good drive, and some state that it is almost as fast as its 7200 rpm sibling. You could try that, or start saving up now for an ssd drive as stated previously.
  4. monsieursugar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2009
    I've looked into ssds, however they're far too expensive. Maybe one day when they're cheaper but for now I'm really just wandering if anyone has upgraded to to a reasonably priced HD that is as quiet as the standard one?
  5. indiecraig macrumors member

    Jan 25, 2008
    I have the 320GB 7200.3 in my Macbook and have never noticed any sound from it, even when I leave it on at night to download. I get annoyed at the sound of the fan during a Skype chat, so I'm pretty sure I would notice it if it made noise. Maybe the 7200.4 ones are noisier. Maybe you have a bad drive. Or maybe you have superman hearing.
  6. macgrl macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2008
    I agree that the quietest drive would be an ssd, I have one in my MBP. They ain't cheap though. This may not help you now but they will come down in price with time :)
  7. bigdaddyp macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2008
    Seagate Momentus 500gb 5200rpm its silent and fast.
  8. rmb7984 macrumors regular


    Apr 1, 2008
    Tampa, FL
    I have the hitachi Travelstar 320GB 7200 in my Unibody Macbook and I love it. I must admit, however, that I think it sounds like the one that you thought was too loud. It's definitely quiet enough for my tastes though. There is a slight increase in vibration over the stock drive. As I type, I cannot hear the drive over the ambient sound of air coming through the vents in my office.

    I'm not sure exactly which drive to suggest, but it sounds to me like you should go with a 5400 RPM drive. Maybe the 500 GB version of the original drive in your macbook? Just a suggestion.
  9. Shawny D macrumors member

    Shawny D

    May 13, 2009
    I have a 320 GB Scorpio Black and it's not noticeably louder than the Scorpio Blue that I used to have of the same size. (Or I've just gotten used to it after the last 6 months?:confused:)
  10. monsieursugar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2009
    I think I am probably just being a bit fussy, as it sounds like 7200 rpm are just generally louder. Maybe 5400 is the way forward - otherwise I'll just have to get used to the noise!
  11. CubeHacker macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003
    Stay away from Seagate - their drives tend to "tick" at regular intervals which can get annoying. I would recommend WD or Hitachi drives. Their 5400rpm models are very quiet.
  12. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    I found the opposite. My Seagate doesn't tick at all but the WD drive I had in my MacBook would make a loud thunking noise every time it parked its head. I can't hear my 7200RPM drive at all.
  13. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    Oh, just make sure that whatever drive you buy does NOT have an internal free fall sensor...people have reported that it can conflict with the one built into the macbook and cause problems.
  14. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    Umm, actually, the sensor is always within the hard drive. There are no additional sensors built in the laptop, it's just that Apple now uses the slightly more expensive version of the hard drive (in case of Seagates, those are the "ASG" models) that have the sensor. But it only costs few bucks and is really worth it and much more in case your laptop falls from table.
  15. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    Not correct. Apple MacBooks and MacBook Pros both have internal sensors (SMS). Also, drives are sold with and without sensors (re: WD -BEKT vs -BJKT)

    As for conflicts - I believe that report was limited to one model and one version of firmware. There are been many reports of zero conflict - including the 17" UB MBP I'm on at the moment (it has the WD -BJKT 320GB 7200RPM).

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