There ARE silent Seagates in the i5.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Sir Cecil, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. Sir Cecil macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2008
    In other threads in the last few days, you might have noticed my frustration boiling over with the "chugging" sound of the Seagate drive in my i5. I exchanged the computer at the Apple Store but seeing how so many other people were reporting the same "rumbling" sounds, I hesitated for a couple of days before opening the new computer's box. I was considering returning it unopened for a refund and waiting a month or more before buying a new one, in case the annoying problem was sorted in a future batch.
    But I gave in and opened it Saturday... and I'm mighty pleased I did!
    My heart sank a bit when I saw it contained a Seagate as before – I'd been hoping for a Western Digital – but after using the replacement i5 for a few hours, I can report that this is undoubtedly the quietest drive I've had in any Mac.
    So far, all I've noticed is the very lightest whir when coming out of sleep. I have to put my ear right up to the computer to hear any other sounds at all. I haven't stressed the drive yet (no games or major projects), but after some time on the web, playing back music files, watching a DVD, a quick bit of photo retouching and copying some CD tracks to the desktop and editing them in Peak Pro, everything has been noiseless. So obviously I'm happy and if things stay this way, I'll be overjoyed.
    To those with a noisy Seagate in their i5, and who are hesitating to exchange it because there might not be an improvement, I really do suggest you do NOT accept it as normal or unavoidable – I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that the Seagate drive I have on this i5 (ST31000528ASQ) is the most silent I could wish for. And so far, I've seen no screen issues or any other problems. I hope I'm not talking too soon, but as of this minute, I have a computer that fully lives up to the expectations I had at the outset.
  2. gjw4u macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2008
    Sir Cecil, if I may say so, I think it great when people mange to post positive reviews or posts. The forum seems to receive to many of the opposite kind.
  3. Sir Cecil thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2008
    Well, until I discovered this replacement was fine, I too was posting some pretty negative stuff about the i5/Seagate noise. But right now I'm in a much happier mood!
  4. wesleyh macrumors 6502

    Mar 23, 2007
    That's good to hear, do let us know if it continues to be silent in the days to come. I have a replacement on the way so I hope its silent as well and this was just a bad batch.
  5. SOLLERBOY macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2008
  6. spcdust macrumors 6502a


    May 6, 2008
    London, UK
    What can you hear? Personally mine is like a very low level grumble - like a belly ache. Mine is not not constant as some others are reporting but seems to be fairly evident when you open an application such as iPhoto, and accompanies some web browsing.
  7. meagain macrumors 68030

    Nov 18, 2006
    if you are:

    Playing music files
    watching a dvd
    editing cd tracks...

    How on earth would you hear the HD anyway? Of course you wouldn't hear it in those situations.
  8. uploaded macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2009
    no problems at all

    hey guys,

    I have my i7 now for about 4 days and i must say that this machine is absolutely fine. I have no problems at all.

    My 1TB Seagate HD is as noisy as the hd in my wifes imac (late 2006 640 GB Seagate). When Timemachine is running or Photoshop is opening then i can hear it but all the other time it is very quiet. While typing this message I can hear nothing - and I'm extremely sensitive to noise.

    I have read a lot about screen flickering, some yellow color at the display bottom, scratchy hard disks, noisy fans .... I have been anxiously waiting for the imac but I have not been disappointed.

    I am very happy with my first mac ;)
  9. MT0227 macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2009
    I hear the same "grumble" only when there is read/write activity to the disk. It's hardly noticeable in a silent room. I'd like to get an understanding of what people are expecting here and what they are hearing.
  10. Kronie macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2008
    Good to hear Sir Cecil. I hope my replacement has a quiet drive.

    I hear the same belly grumble that others do. Or heard at least as I'm getting a replacement. For some reason Apple chose to put the drive smack in the middle of the screen as close to your face as possible and it could just be that the sound is amplified through the screen and case?

    Personally, I don't think its it normal for the drive to grumble with no programs open and the iMac just sitting there completely idle. Unless it has a bad sector. I mean whats it doing?

    What I expect from my $2,500 computer is a drive as quiet as my 1TB external or my Seagate Momentus in my laptop. Yes I can hear those drives spinning and reading/writing but not a constant and in no order grumble...grumble.....grumble......
  11. wesleyh macrumors 6502

    Mar 23, 2007
    If you type "sudo fs_usage -f filesys" in terminal youy can see exactly what it's doing. Basically alot of mdworker/mds (spotlight), launchd, and for some reason parallels prl_disp_server and vmware (even when they're not on..) all are reading / writing from the disk. All the time. At idle... Check for yourself. So to me the noise at idle is coming from these activities.
  12. mdewberry macrumors regular

    Aug 20, 2003
    Sir Cecil, thanks for the update! Please let us know how it goes the next few days.. I am very sensitive to noise, and I definitely did not hear the chugging (belly grumbling) my first few days with my iMac, even after migrating about 60gb of data to it (it truly was dead silent).. Noticed it (to my surprise) on day 3..

    I have just over a week within my 14 day period.. Am considering switching or returning and ordering the 2tb drive from the internet (which I don't want to do)..

    I am also curious about the return policy... If I return it to order a BTO online, will I get hit with the $200 restocking fee?
  13. jddar macrumors regular


    Aug 7, 2009
    My i5's Seagate drive is also very quiet--virtually silent! I've had my iMac for one-week. So far, absolutely no problems whatsoever: fingers crossed and knocking on wood! Don't want to jinx myself.
  14. mdewberry macrumors regular

    Aug 20, 2003
    Interesting!! Geez.. now I wonder if it would make sense to do an even exchange at the Apple Store? I wonder if there was a batch of noisy drives and it is not with all Seagate drives?
  15. SOLLERBOY macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2008
    same here. gets really bad when doing HDD intensive stuff but to me it's not that bad., better than the scratching noises dell pcs make.

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