Best quiet NAS drive for quiet NAS operation in the living room

ullbeking

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Jul 28, 2017
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Hello,

I am speccing a NAS based on a 8x drives in a U-NAS 810* series chassis with ASRock Rack E3C236D2I and E3-1200 v6 CPU (probably 1240). I figure that a lightly loaded CPU with help to ease fan load. This will be a pure NAS, not a NAS loaded up with lots of services and Plex, etc, etc.

The E3C236D2I is mini-ITX, which should help airflow in the tight fitting chassis.

I've got a WD Red EFZX 8 TB HDD's so far, but they click a lot an I don't like that. Is there a NAS drive that doesn't do this? Is there a drive that is also quiet in other ways, so that the NAS is suitable for the living room? I'm thinking of 8 TB as a minimum capacity, up to about 14 TB, but I don't want to overspend. Quietness is most important here.

Can somebody please recommend a medium-high capacity SATA/SAS 3.5" NAS HDD that is quiet and will not be very loud in operation? Is this realistic? It's for the living room, for the whole family to store their data.

Thank you!!

ullbeking
 

ullbeking

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NAS (WD RED, Seagate NAS) drives are the quietest you're going to get. Maybe you should buy SSDs? (or just find another place to put the nas...) Kingston 2.5" 7.68TB SATA III 3D TLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) SEDC450R/7680G - Newegg.com
I am unable to afford SSD's of that size. I'm thinking that if I use a tiered file system with 2x-4x 100 GB or 400 GB SLC SAS SSD's on top of 4x-6x high capacity HDD's then that will help. For example, I'm investigating bcache and bcachefs to help with this.

When you say "Seagate" are you referring to Ironwolf?

Is regular "clicking" noises normal?

I just had a look and I think I'll purchase another 2x Seagate Ironwolf 8 TB SATA drives because I would like to try them to see whether I like them. The final drive bays will be occupied by SSD's, either for a fast tier or a cache (HGST SLC or MLC SAS SSD's), or at the same "regular" level as the HDD's (800 GB - 1.2 TB Intel DC S3XXX SATA SSD's).
 

andrewbedia

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Drives make noise, yes. If you want to post a video clip, I can tell if it's normal or not.

Yeah, Ironwolf. I haven't bought a Seagate NAS drive since the name change.
 

ullbeking

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@andrewbedia Can you please recommend any physical solutions that might help a little by dampening the vibration on the drives? Do you know of any special system that minimizes vibration between the drive case and the chassis?
 

andrewbedia

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NAS/Server cases as far as I know don't have this. Your best bet would be like... a Fractal design case with the rubber grommets that hold the drives.
 

i386

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Mar 18, 2016
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NAS (WD RED, Seagate NAS) drives are the quietest you're going to get
Sadly that's not correct anymore..
The older red models are actually spinning at 5400 rpm but use drive managed smr which can be problematic under (heavy) load. The new models wd released after admitting to use smr run at 7200 rpm and don't have the "quite" advantage anymore.
Is regular "clicking" noises normal?
That's probably the headers moving around aka seeking noises.
 

Rand__

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Mar 6, 2014
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Is there a drive that is also quiet in other ways, so that the NAS is suitable for the living room? I'm thinking of 8 TB as a minimum capacity, up to about 14 TB, but I don't want to overspend. Quietness is most important here.
The old cost/heat/noise/performance conundrum at its best...

Have you considered that you might not need 40T+ in the living room? Depending on what you're doing it might be perfectly fine to just have the hottest data local and get the rest via 10G networking... or even wireless, depending on your needs...
 

ullbeking

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The old cost/heat/noise/performance conundrum at its best...

Have you considered that you might not need 40T+ in the living room? Depending on what you're doing it might be perfectly fine to just have the hottest data local and get the rest via 10G networking... or even wireless, depending on your needs...
Indeed, I have considered this. Do you have any suggestions for what kind of architecture would be suitable for this kind of setup?

Our apartment IS small, and we do want our bedrooms to retain their bedroom-like serenity. Aside from the living room, where there is "activity", there's nowhere else to put things like wires and computers; we want to keep those spaces "human" and "humane" spaces.

I have probably several terabytes in various sizes of SSD's, and I'm considering building an all-SSD NAS or using only SSD's for local storage (for example, a 1U 10x 2.5" SATA/SAS SSD server, or a 2U 24x 2.5" SATA/SAS SSD server (using, an SC216 chassis, but I'm not sure if the noise of this model of chassis would itself be overbearing).

If I confine myself to an SSD-only NAS, then does there exist a chassis that is similarly near-silent?

(I would use 3.5" HDD's in the primary backup server and secondary backup server only when backups of the NAS and other computers are in progress; therefore, those servers would not be much of a problem.)
 

Samir

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Jul 21, 2017
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In my experience, good quality enterprise class drives will make noise because they're more heavy duty. You can use desktop drives that are not nas rated, but they will most definitely be quieter.

The best solution is to put the nas a place that a nas normally won't be--in a closet, under a bed, etc. No one really needs to see the nas--just have access.

The other idea is to put the nas enclosure into another enclosure that has sound proofing.

To be honest, I don't know why there aren't portable noise cancellation devices that you can get and plug in next to a source of noise. Oh wait, probably because husbands or wives will probably try to use them on their spouses. :D
 

adminmat

New Member
Sep 1, 2019
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I keep a tiny server in my living room. Recently added a few WD white drives with a custom, 3D printed rack. The thumping noise was driving me crazy. One drive would make this very consistent, every 5 seconds "thump" noise. So I remembered those rubber bumpers that come in the Easystore enclosures. I figured WD probably thought it through when they engineered them. So I added two of them between the drive tray and the bracket. And two between the tray and the case and it WORKED! It nearly eliminated the noise.

Here's the custom mount:

PXL_20201224_215257870~2_resize_36.jpg

Here are the little rubber bumpers mounted:

PXL_20201220_203949033~2_resize_10.jpg
Very quiet now.
 

Samir

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Jul 21, 2017
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Yep, isolating anything that will amplify the shock will do wonders. :D
 

adminmat

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Sep 1, 2019
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This setup sits close to the TV / sofa in a small-ish apartment and is pretty much inaudible. It's now 31TB and growing. @ullbeking it's definitely possible to make it quiet. This was my goal when selecting hardware. The loudest part are the Noctua fans :)
 
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