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Topic: How to lower Maxtor HD noise!!!

  1. #1

    How to lower Maxtor HD noise!!!

    Hello everybody,

    after reading and posting in another thread about noisy Maxtor hard disks, I\'ve decided to write to Maxtor. Having bought last week one of their latest 160Gb HD (Parallel ATA, 8Mb cache) I\'ve discovered it is very noisy, so it is of little use for audio applications.

    They answered in a few hours and sent me a DOS utility called AMSET (Acoustic Management Set) to change the noise/performance drive ratio. And... good news!!! The drive default setting is for low noise and good performance, but the drive is still noisy. I set it to QUIET mode and... it is quiet!!! Very quiet, just what I expected it to be!

    About performance, I\'ve checked with Sandra disk benchmark and these are the results:

    Windows XP Professional, SP1
    Pentium 4 2.6 GHz with Hyper Threading
    1 GB DDR333 Dual channel Kingston Value RAM
    MAXTOR DiamondMax Plus 9, 160GB 8MB ATA133 7200rpm (on 1st IDE channel)
    Asus P4P800 Deluxe
    Matrox G550 DualHead

    my HD is partitioned like follows:
    C: 29,2 GB (system and Programs) NTFS block size: default
    E: 58,5 GB (audio/video) NTFS block size: 64Kb
    F: 3 GB (paging file) NTFS block size: 64Kb

    disk benchmark results for partition E:

    35204 Kb/sec
    Windows write cache: ON
    Acoustic Management: FAST (default, good compromise between noise and performance)

    33861 Kb/sec
    Windows write cache: ON
    Acoustic Management: QUIET (quiet mode, worse performance)

    28350 Kb/sec
    Windows write cache: OFF
    Acoustic Management: QUIET

    As you can see QUIET mode performances are only 3,8% worse than FAST mode, but the drive becomes SILENT!

    I still have to check what performances are when Acoustic Management is set to OFF (for better perf.)

    Hope it helps those of you who own Maxtor HD, tell me if you need the utility (I couldn\'t find it on the Maxtor WebSite)

    Roberto Rega

  2. #2

    Re: How to lower Maxtor HD noise!!!

    They answered in a few hours and sent me a DOS utility called AMSET
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">- I\'m glad they got back to you but most of us are not running DOS (Disk Opertating System) anymore.... what about NT4/2000/XP/[codename]Longhorn?

    Cheers, Scott.

  3. #3

    Re: How to lower Maxtor HD noise!!!

    OK that could bring the seek noise down. But it has no effect on idle noise.

  4. #4

    Re: How to lower Maxtor HD noise!!!

    The utility run from a DOS bootable floppy disk, but it enables the drive settings independantly from the OS you are using (I\'m under XP Pro). Also I have no floppy drive, but I\'ve found a way to write the utility to a bootable CD, it worked flawlessy!

    idle noise was not an issue to me, as it is much lower than that coming from the CPU fan. The problem WAS seek noise and I thought everybody was talking about this. The utility actually killed seek noise (now I can hardly say if the drive is being accessed or not!). Can you teel me if idle noise on Seagate drives is noticely lower than Maxtors\'? For the moment I can happily live with it!

    Roberto Rega

  5. #5

    Re: How to lower Maxtor HD noise!!!

    Yes, Seagate idle noise is noticably lower than everything else... [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] But yes, the Maxtor seek noise is extreme! Loudest I have heard

  6. #6

    Re: How to lower Maxtor HD noise!!!

    I put my sampler computer on a \"quiet diet\" (quiet power supply, zalman cooler, papst fan, switched from 2 IBM gxp-60 drives to 1 barracuda iv). Huge difference! The only bugger was this drive didn\'t have glitch-free performance on with the scarbee rhodes (probably one of the more demanding gigs; I think most of my other samples are < 2 gigs). It hadn\'t glitched on the IBM drives.

    I downloaded the ibm \"feature tool\" from the hitachi web site. It showed that the seagate drive was set to the quietest setting with the slowest seeks, and it let you adjust the seek time and it has a test so you can immediately hear the results. I set it to the fastest setting, which makes the seagate seek louder than the IBM drives.

    Now that the barracuda audibly seeks, I have no glitching in any gigs. It\'s still a quiet drive since it has no bearing whine. It\'s possible that I could have found some middle ground in the seek speed setting that performed adequately but was quieter, but I wanted maximum performance.

    So my tips are, the hitachi tool works on seagate drives, I suspect that the accoustic management feature has a standard interface, though it sure can be hard to find tools to set it. Also, GS requires good seek performance when push comes to shove with big gigs and high polyphony, you get worse seek perfomance with silence. Finally, seagate seems to ship its drives in their lowest performance configuration; if the performance of your drive isn\'t adequate for GS, it might be possible to improve it by reducing or eliminating the accoustic management.

    I don\'t have a pointer to the hitachi feature tool, sorry.


  7. #7

    Re: How to lower Maxtor HD noise!!!

    I\'ve read that suspension systems are the best for reducing seek noise. I\'ve seen one that looked like a frame with bunji cords webbed around the drive. You don\'t get thermal conduction throught the case, but the airflow around the drive is really good.

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