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  How Much Better Does HDD Perform w/ Acoustic Management Disabled? 
 
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john albrich Dec 30, 2007, 10:45pm EST Report Abuse
Has anyone done recent comparisons on this? I've not done any for a few years, and the interfaces (and drive noise levels) have improved substantially. I'm wondering just how much improved system performance, if any, is actually realized by disabling the Acoustic Management feature of a hard drive these days.

Many drives currently come with an acoustic profile management setting that tries to provide a balance between reducing operating noise to an "acceptable" level while still providing "acceptable" performance. Of course, the manufacturer decides what "acceptable" is in both parameters.

I'd like to know if turning acoustic management off in modern disk drives will increase system performance to any significant degree.

It would be even better to know if buying a particular brand and model of drive would be better in this regard. This would be kind of like buying a certain motherboard or CPU to obtain a higher over-clocking range than a competing mobo or CPU.

For example, if I disable the acoustic management on a "Brand X" drive will I get better performance than an equal spec "Brand Y" drive that has its acoustic management also disabled?


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~Vel Jan 01, 2008, 10:13pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: How Much Better Does HDD Perform w/ Acoustic Management Disabled?
i did a test once with my set up (check profile for specs) and to what i recall i got about a 5%-10% increase (this was a good while back, hence my sketchy memory), and my drive was noticeably louder. it wasn't worth it to me so i put it back to the original setting. for best results do your own test and figure if the noise is worth it or not, you won't damage anything by doing so and it's easy to change (at least on my mobo)

Chris McGee Jan 02, 2008, 03:11am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: How Much Better Does HDD Perform w/ Acoustic Management Disabled?
I tend to pretty much ignore any performance gains you can get from a hard disk. Even with a performance gain of 100% it's still the slowest component in your system and the biggest bottleneck by far. The 5% performance gain you might see from something like this would be virtually unnoticeable anyway in real world usage.

RockAway Technology Jan 04, 2008, 05:33am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: How Much Better Does HDD Perform w/ Acoustic Management Disabled?
The Automatic Acoustic Management can be disabled, enabled with recommended values or enabled with user defined values.The user has the option to move the slider to either reduce the hard drive noise or to increase it. Increasing it would sound like a crazy thing to do. One should note however that lowering the noise has a small - really - performance effect on the hard drive.Read in detail by visiting the following link.

http://www.ghacks.net/2007/11/03/lower-the-noise-of-your-hard-drives/

Dublin_Gunner Jan 04, 2008, 06:04am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: How Much Better Does HDD Perform w/ Acoustic Management Disabled?
I think maybe anandtech had done a review of this before, and concluded that for them anyway, they preferred it being quieter over the performance gain (only noticable in benchmarks).

Your drive will run cooler too.

Lancool PC K62
Phenom II x3 @ 3.5Ghz
4GB DDR2-800
ASUS GTX570 DirectCU II
Ritchie Hicks Jan 04, 2008, 06:58am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: How Much Better Does HDD Perform w/ Acoustic Management Disabled?
Surely in 2008 the noise reduction technology is that much improved that it really makes no odds?

Dublin_Gunner Jan 04, 2008, 07:24am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: How Much Better Does HDD Perform w/ Acoustic Management Disabled?
Ritchie Hicks said:
Surely in 2008 the noise reduction technology is that much improved that it really makes no odds?


You'd be surprised!

Lancool PC K62
Phenom II x3 @ 3.5Ghz
4GB DDR2-800
ASUS GTX570 DirectCU II
john albrich Jan 04, 2008, 11:01am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: How Much Better Does HDD Perform w/ Acoustic Management Disabled?
RockAway Technology said:
...Increasing it would sound like a crazy thing to do. One should note however that lowering the noise has a small - really - performance effect on the hard drive.Read in detail by visiting the following link. http://www.ghacks.net/2007/11/03/lower-the-noise-of-your-hard-drives/

Unfortunately, the link provided doesn't provide any quantitative information...which is what I'm looking for.

A small performance improvement can make significant improvement on overall system performance depending on where it is, and what programming it impacts.

In general, the lower the level of the device in system I/O, the greater the impact on performance...and disk I/O is very low on the list.

I was hoping that someone has done some RECENT testing that indicates where this stands with newer technology, higher-platter density, low-mass r/w head drives.

My hypothesis is that with the newer drives the system performance gains achieved by opening-up the acoustic margins is almost immeasurable...but the point is...I've seen no data to support this as yet.

I quantified my older drives using ftool long ago. What I don't have are any data for more recently available drives.

On some of my older drives, it was virtually impossible to hear any noise level difference between using the maximum quiet profile and the acoustic profiling 100% disabled. On such drives, I'm willing to completetly disable the acoustic management in order to obtain any performance gain. I also haven't seen any significant thermal difference between the drives running with or without acoustic profiling disabled. Any difference I've seen has been well within measurement error limits.


However...

If someone could provide dBA measurements of a lot of the newer drives with acoustic profiling set to "default" (this is usually about half-way on the "slider" from what I've seen) and again the dBA rating with acoustic profiling 100% disabled, I think that would be a very useful bit of information.



 

    
 
 

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