Quiet hard drive


From what I can tell, it's been quite some time since anyone's asked for external hard drive recommendations. My current drive seems perhaps a bit shaky (yes, it's backed up), and I'll soon be replacing it. I want what everyone wants: quiet, reliable, large enough. Any favorite brands -- or ones to avoid?
The drive is attached to a Mac Mini, with my CD collection (slightly less than 1,000 discs) stored in Apple Lossless. Thanks for your recommendations.
-- Howard
hodu
The Western Digital Caviar Green series in 1T, 1.5T and 2T sizes are very quiet (Idle Noise 24 dB; Seek Noise 29 dB). Install in an external drive case of your choice.

Quieter than this, look for 2.5" laptop form factor drives or SSD drives, but the capacity goes way down.
Hi Howard,

If you haven't already seen it, you'll find this thread to be of interest:

http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?icomp&1295832104

Regards,
-- Al
Hodu,

If your music is important to you sonically, beyond just the drive being quiet, solid state hard drives sound significantly better.

Right now they are still very expensive, probably several hundred dollars for 250 - 500 GB but prices are falling.

Albertporter,

You make an interesting point as intuitively, it always seemed to me that a SSD might somehow have an advantage over a more mechanical traditional drive.

As audiophiles are not known for balking at high prices, could you give any more insight into how the sound might differ from a traditional hard drive?
As was mentioned earlier, the Cavier Green drives are very quiet and also very cool (low power usage). They are slower than the regular drives. The solid state drives work very well especially as bootable drives. My system comes up 3-4 times faster with the SSD.

As far as sound, memory is cheap so why bother playing from any hard drive. Have the track load to memory and play from there. I use 8GB of system memory which eliminates HD signatures.
Cw, Actually I've been considering putting together a music server using Mac Mini, Solid State drive and maybe an Ayre DAC.

A friend I trust says this gets you within 15% of any digital system made and cost a fraction. The fun part is it's controlled from iPhone or iPad and you can also use it connected to your TV.

He told me of tests with various drives and said Solid State drive was significantly less digital sounding (less jitter?) and more transparent.

I was on with Apple last night trying to get them to configure me a Mac Mini with SS drive, server processor and extra RAM. I don't know yet how serious I am but the price sure beckons to me and I could sell my CD and Blue Ray machines and use the cash toward this project.
I'd be very surprised if you regretted the move, Albert. Now question that one can get good digital sonics, and the convenience is an absolute delight.

The music-dedicated Mach2Music is an option worth considering for a Mini http://www.mach2music.com/

The Pure Music iTunes augment software is great bang for buck.

John
As to your peripheral HD, I'd take a look at the Oyen MiniPro. The chipsets are important and the drive is silent. I'd recommend the 1TB drive. Run it USB buspower. Give them a call... very cooperative and customer-friendly... I have no affiliation... just a happy customer. Eric Hider of dbaudiolabs recommended the drive to me for my Tranquility DACs I have been very pleased.

:) listening,

Ed
04-27-11: Jdoris
I'd be very surprised if you regretted the move, Albert. Now question that one can get good digital sonics, and the convenience is an absolute delight.

The music-dedicated Mach2Music is an option worth considering for a Mini http://www.mach2music.com/

The Pure Music iTunes augment software is great bang for buck.

John
Jdoris (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

I bought the Mach2Music machine and working on acquiring a DAC.
Keep us posted on your DAC shopping, Albert!

John
05-10-11: Jdoris
Keep us posted on your DAC shopping, Albert!
John,

I purchased the Ayre QB9 this morning and now deciding on the required USB and interconnect.

For USB my first thought was Audioquest Coffee but now I'm pretty sure it will be Locus Design Cynosure or Nucleus USB.
That should be a splendid combo, from everything I've heard about the Ayre. My USB cable is the bottom of the line Locus Design, the Polestar, I think, and it was an appreciable improvement over stock. I expect any of the LD models a good choice. Good luck! John