The quietest drives for my drive bay

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by zoran, Jul 19, 2014.

  1. zoran macrumors 68040

    Jun 30, 2005
    Hello, i just purchased the QX2 that is capable of working in different RAID modes and JBOD. Well as you prolly figured out, thats the mode i want to be using it to, JBOD!
    So i was thinking to equip it with the quietest disk drives possible. At first, im certainly gonna be wanting to have one 4TB drive that will be used by TimeMachine as a backup drive (yes im a Mac user) and later on i will purchase a 2TB drive just for expanding my storage.
    What drives would you suggest for this kind of use and please let me know why!

    note: keep in mind the QX2 drivebay, outputs data using FW so in my opinion im not really looking for the fastest drive because it might be overkill... what do you think?
  2. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    Personally I would never have my TM backup drive inside the same enclosure with my library drives. That is very much all your eggs in one basket.

    I run a LaCie 2Big 6TB in RAID 0 for fast 6TB of library storage. My TM backups go to a LaCie d2 6TB. If my library represented revenue, such as being a pro photographer, the library would also be backed up offsite and/or via a cloud service. The Seagate drives in my enclosures are quiet. The only noise I get is when I wake the Mac and drives in the morning.

    You should be able to find Seagate or WD drives that are in the 3-6TB range depending on the planned storage requirements over the next 2 years.
  3. zoran thread starter macrumors 68040

    Jun 30, 2005
    Why not, what could be the worst scenario that could happen that you are afraid of?
  4. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    The risk is that all of your drives are on a single power supply, which could destroy all drives in the event of a major malfunction.

    I use WD "Red" NAS drives in my Qx2 as they are quiet, low vibration, and cool running. I also replaced the fan with the new quiet fan that OWC is selling as a upgrade.
  5. zoran thread starter macrumors 68040

    Jun 30, 2005
    Well ok but this can be dealt with either a surge protector or a UPS, don't you think?

    What capacity are those Red drives? What mode are you using, RAID or JBOD?

    Is there a big difference with the use of this quiet fan?
  6. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    This would be a catastrophic internal failure of the enclosure power supply which external devices wouldn't stop, although they may prevent the occurrence from external surges. However, this is probably a fairly unlikely scenario, but it is possible.

    I am running mine in RAID-5 with 4ea. 3TB WD "Red" drives hooked up to my Mac Mini Media Server to serve as a TimeMachine backup NAS for my other computers, alternating backups with a Synology NAS in the basement. Gives the Mini Server something to do when I am not watching movies. :)

    I noticed the fan hum with the old fan, I don't think I can hear the fan at all now over the very low hum of the disk drives themselves. Seems to be much better to me. You said you had a newly purchased unit which might have the newer fan already installed, mine was from when the USB3 version first came out probably a year ago.
  7. zoran thread starter macrumors 68040

    Jun 30, 2005
    Didn't quite understand what you are doing with the mac mini!

    The standard unit doesn't have the zalman fan on, i checked!
    Are the WDRed variable speed drives or are they fixed?
  8. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    I use a Mac Mini as a movie, music, video, photo server to the AppleTVs in the house as well as other computers, iPads, iPhones for the family. The media content is on internal drives in the Mini. Since it is idle a good portion of the time, I also use it as a NAS TimeMachine to backup the other computers over the network/WiFi and I store the backups on the Qx2 RAID-5 device. As a backup-backup, the computers also alternate TimeMachine backups to a Synlogy NAS RAID in the basement (also loaded with WD Red 3TB drives) ... so 2 levels of backup.

    The WD Red drives are designed for small NAS and RAID setups that run 24/7 and desire low heat, low vibration to adjacent drives, and quiet operation. They do run slower rpm, but that may not be an issue for you over FireWire.

    If you want similar drives at 7200 rpm you might look at the HGST DeskStar NAS drives. I have used these in the Qx2, but they currently reside in a OWC Thunderbay IV.
  9. zoran thread starter macrumors 68040

    Jun 30, 2005
    I had the HGST Deskstar 4TB in mind, but decided that i really don't need a drive that fast, plus the fact that it is noisy. Also since i will run Qx2 in JBOD mode, i believe i don't need drives that work on NASes. So what im really after for is drives that aren't speed champions or noisy!
    Something tells me that Red drives don't cover the specs i'm looking for and on the other hand i got no clue which drives do, perhaps the Green drives?
  10. matreya macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    I have Deskstar 3TB and Deskstar NAS 3TB drives in separate RAID enclosures, and find the Deskstar NAS drives very quiet.
  11. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    The Green drives may work fine for JBOD ... but I know from experience they will not work with the Qx2 RAID-5 hardware. If one drive is a bit slow to come to the "ready" state ... it gets voted out of the array as "bad". I have a stack of 4 2TB WD Green drives in a box here from my last Qx2 enclosure. Now OWC lists WS Green drives on their web site as being incompatible with the Qx2.

    But I suspect they would work fine in JBOD, although the Red drives are pretty much the same thing without the problem issues that the Green drives have (i.e. the overzealous parking of the heads).


    I find them very quiet as well, and they claim to have anti-vibration correction which is good when you have 4 or 5 drives packed next to each other. A little vibration can wreak havoc on the drives next to it. :eek:
  12. zoran, Jul 19, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2014

    zoran thread starter macrumors 68040

    Jun 30, 2005
    What exactly is that problem you say?

    Is 30db considered to be quiet for the HGST DeskstarNAS 4TB, compared to the 28db that the WDGreen 4TB produces? (I hope i got the db specs right! :eek: )
  13. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    No, I do not think. Never keep your backup mixed with your data... even using JBOD. It is just a bad idea.

    BTW: You should be using a UPS anyway.

  14. zoran thread starter macrumors 68040

    Jun 30, 2005
    Thanx Jim, but isn't my case similar to having 2 drives on say a MacPro and one drive is the main and the other one is the drive that Time Machine uses for backup? You would still reckon that this would be a bad idea? Only backing up to an external drive would be a good idea?
    If you have personal experience of have read this somewhere reliably please let me know.
  15. wuush macrumors member

    May 4, 2014
    your case is kinda interesting, but you are making the mistake of confusing backup with redundancy. if you are not a professional it might not matter but the mac pro does suggest something else.

    your case is interesting, because you wanna use the storage, which is used as raid array 90% of the time, as seperate drives with one drive as tm backup.

    to explain this i have to explain redundancy vs backup first:

    • created by a raid system (except raid 0) - Redundant Array of Independent
    • real time protection
    • does only save you from disk failure. (mostly not multiple hardware failures, but this depends on the chosen raid mode)
    • isnt save from user error, e.g. user overwrites file
    • no versioning
    • not save from physical accidents (fire/water etc.)
    • raid should only ever be used as insurance, you only use it if you have to (by that i mean rebuilding your data when a drive is failed)
    • redundancy is not backup and you should never put all your data on a single storage device, even one that offers redundancy


    • More than one place for your data (physical distance between different backups)
    • has versioning (depending on used software)
    • more copies = safer
    • online backup is possible
    • Generally more important than redundancy

    First, what do we take from this?
    dont keep a single copy of your important data on a single storage device.

    Second, what do you wanna do?
    Place your Backup in the same device as your external hard drive.

    Third, what makes your case interesting?
    You have a case, which is meant for raid (redundancy) but wanna use it as a backup with your data next to it.
    You wont have the positive effects of raid, like real time protection and you wont have the best possible effects from a backup.

    And here is why we (atleast it seems most forum members) think this is a bad idea (just some examples):
    • Theft --> goto z
    • Fire --> goto z
    • Water --> goto z
    • physical accident --> goto z
    • Lightning strike --> goto z
    • spill coffee --> goto z
    • knock the device over --> goto z
    • power supply transistor explodes --> goto z
    • overheating --> goto z
    • Z: you just lost: start your whole life/business from scratch

    Short Story: A Company with important data will have a tape drive (nowadays probably a external hard drive) built into their server. Every day, the whole year a employee will sign for this drive and take it home, every evening. The company does this because if the building suddenly inflames itself they still have the important data (because it was in a different physical location) and can keep on working.

    morale of the story: do what you want, but dont blame it on someone else if you lose. Most of it seems unlikely but why did you buy a expensive raid storage device in the first place... if you dont wanna be on the safe side.
  16. flynz4, Jul 21, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2014

    flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Yes, I would still consider it a bad idea to use a 2nd drive in a Mac Pro to backup data in the same Mac Pro for many reasons... one being that if someone stole your MacPro, then you would lose your data, and at least one of your backups.

    Although marginally better, I would not be thrilled to backup to an external HDD physically attached to the same Mac Pro... for the same reasons as above.

    Personally, I like my personal local backups to be physically separate from the primary data, in a different location, secured. Generally this requires a network. Secondly, this is only one element of a good backup strategy. You also need a secondary backup off premises. There are many good internet backup programs... I personally use Crashplan. Both local and offsite backups should be fully automatic without requiring human intervention, and ideally using different backup programs.

    Finally... I do not consider the following to be backup... but I also like to have cloned data. I have two sets... one that runs automatically nightly, and a 2nd set that I manually perform after significant projects to my primary data (such as after a photo shoot)... cloned to a pair of HDDs, which are rotated and one of which is always offsite.

    Do what you want with your data. However, from your statements and attitude, you appear that you are being foolish, and appear to be mentally trying to justify your purchase, rather than thinking this through clearly.

  17. zoran thread starter macrumors 68040

    Jun 30, 2005
    wuush and flynz4, for starters THANK you so much for helping me out and providing your view on my matter, thank you for your time also...
    i just want to say a few things... Im not a company, just someone that want his professional and personal data safe. What you both say as far as data safety is correct i believe and i agree. Its correct when one wants to ensure than none will be lost if something might go wrong. If you ask me regarding your views, i would say that you are right, company/business wise. For personal usage, id say that it might be too much! Even if the TM drive goes wrong there will still be the original data on the drives to keep. If they go down first then there is the TMbackup available! Now if they both have a break down simultaneously... well how often does that happen? In fires or floods or similar kind of disasters, which if they do happen trust me, i wont be worried by my data if i've lost my house!
    Now, why did i buy a expensive raid storage device in the first place... if you don't wanna be on the safe side? Well mainly for the looks, the FW data output ability and the price!

    kind regards and thanx again!
  18. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I still think you are thinking in terms of hard drive failures. Believe it or not... I have had a LOT more RAID boxes fail (resulting in data corruption/loss), than I have had individual HDDs or SSDs fail.

    That 4 drive box on your desk requires a backup... and the larger your array becomes... the more complex your backup becomes.

    BTW: What I wrote is for personal use not corporate or business use.

  19. zoran thread starter macrumors 68040

    Jun 30, 2005
    Were they RAID boxes from known brands and what brands were they? (you can send me in prv if you prefer)

    Are 4 JBOD drives called an array? Cause thats what im going to be doing in the end, i dont think ill ever create a RAIDarray!

    ok thanx Jim :)
  20. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Two of them were boxes made by a major OEM specifically for small businesses. One failed after a few years, but I had the data on the other drive (one was for data, the other for backup). They had 4 of the largest drives available at the time (500GB)... when one of the arrays failed after a few years... it just didn't make sense to keep 8 HDDs spinning to give me <2TB with backup. By then, 2TB single spindle drives were available and dirt cheap.

    Most recently, I lost an HP Home Server. It ran faithfully since 2009, but it crapped the bed and I ditched it. All the critical data was backed up, so I just through it away. It currently had 7.5 TB of storage in it.

    I do have a 8TB Pegasus R4 that I continue to use attached to my iMac. It is arranged as RAID 10, so I get 4TB of data, and it is less than 50% full. It compliments the 768GB SSD in my iMac. I do not consider it to be any more reliable than a single spindle drive. I get fairly good media performance (video and audio) off of it... and I could even run my Aperture library off of it if I wanted. However, I much prefer keeping my photo library on the SSD.

    In a couple of years, I think that 100% of my primary data will be on SSDs. Two things are happening... SSDs are growing fast, and 2TB SSDs are on the horizon now. Secondly, with video becoming "almost free" on demand... the concept of keeping a movie collection becomes obsolete... dramatically decreasing the amount of storage I even desire to have.

  21. zoran thread starter macrumors 68040

    Jun 30, 2005
    Thanx for sharing Jim. Just a question... shouldn't it be less complicated (as far as the circuits is concerned) to run on JBOD rather than RAID?

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