The search for quiet external storage options

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by theSeb, Jun 23, 2015.

  1. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    The trouble with having an nMP is that you soon realise just how noisy everything else is and these noises and vibrations completely spoil the computing nirvana. I don't mind the whir of a mechanical drive, but I detest the vibration and the fan noise. I have stuck vibration isolation pads onto every storage device and it helps quite a lot, but I still find the noise of fans from my various thunderbolt multi-bay enclosures very distracting, so I only power them on when necessary.

    The one drive that I keep constantly connected is a 2.5" 2TB WD external drive, which contains my iTunes library. Unfortunately the iTunes library is now 1.8 TB and it will continue to grow, so I am forced to look for larger options. Seagate offers a 4 TB 2.5" and so does WD. They are just 2 x 2 TB drives and the reviews indicate that the WD 4 TB with thunderbolt is very noisy. I haven't found much info regarding the Seagate though.

    Alternatively I could look at 3.5" drives, but it's an extra hassle to get power to them neatly and it is not always clear which are passively cooled from the spec sheets. I know that the latest Lacie thunderbolt drive is passively cooled and is meant to be quiet, but I am curious if anyone has other recommendations?
  2. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    I don't have any recommendations unfortunately but rather a general suggestion - I would probably stick with 2.5'' drives. They're smaller, USB powered, and generally quieter in my experience. I don't know how much luck, if any, you will have trying to find an external that is quieter than another - they're basically all the same really. One may have a thicker enclosure that masks the sound just a bit more - but I would argue that they are all generally going to be just as loud as one another. I could be wrong and maybe someone can come through with a recommendation for you.

    I suppose you could purchase a SATA enclosure and just install a SSD in there? That would be my only recommendation - but not so sure that is what you want to do, as it's not very traditional or cost effective. But, if the noise bothers you that much, maybe your preference weighs more. I don't know how much luck you'll have finding anything over 2TB either. Perhaps you can split your media into more than one drive - I know that doesn't sound very convenient but again - if the noise bothers you that much.

    I hope this helps.

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