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Mini Noise Review: LaCie d2 Quadra Hard Disk 500 GB

 
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SimpleLife
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Joined: 30 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 4:25 am    Post subject: Mini Noise Review: LaCie d2 Quadra Hard Disk 500 GB Reply with quote

After researching this forum, Amazon reviews, and much Googling, I finally bought an external hard drive: the LaCie d2 Quadra Hard Disk 500 GB.



My main issues in descending order are noise, performance, reliability, capacity, and price.

There were so many to choose from like the ones recommended in this thread (which didn't exist when I bought my drive a month ago):

http://www.123macmini.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=18996

I'm happy with the price, performance, and capacity, although I should have bought the 750GB (just to have, especially with Time Machine, but then again it's more $$, so I guess I'm happy at 500GB).

Reliability, so far so good, but who knows long term.

I primarily use the drive with Time Machine and to occasionally back up a file like a 20GB Virtual Machine for VMware Fusion. I use Firewire 400.

Now the big issue: noise.

First off, I put the drive under my desk to save space and for less noise.

The drive does have an Autopower function that works well. Although, I'm not quite sure how long this takes.

When it is actively reading or writing I can definitely hear it. It's a very soft grinding typical hard drive noise.

When it's on but not actively reading or writing it's about as loud as my Mac Mini 1.83 GHz Core 2 Duo running with the fans at 1500-1700 RPM (iStat Pro widget). This is with the drive on the desk. Below the desk, it's a bit quieter obviously.

The loudest noise is when the Autopower activates on or off, or when the Mac is shutdown or put to sleep. There is a big metallic, sliding clack noise for about 1 second.

I emailed Lacie about this clack noise, and they said it was normal.

Verdict:

On a whole I'm happy with this purchase. Compared to my 5 year old Western Digital external hard drive, this unit is much quieter except for the occasional clack noise. The WD drive had a lot of noise, whirring all the time.

I can understand the noise issues. This is a hard drive after all, and it's not an insulated drive. The nice thing is that it is fanless, and this definitely contributes to noise reduction.

I wish someone could do a comparison of all the major large capacity external hard drives mainly in terms of noise which is for me the big issue.

The Lacie drive is also very attractive and has a very pleasing, modern yet soft design. I like how it looks, and it has a very nice heft, probably for heat dissipation.

I considered the WD Passport Studio as recommended by JohnnyBoy in many threads here at 123macmini.com. But I think it was bit expensive for the capacity. I wasn't quite sure about the speed performance either. From reading many generous posts from JohnnyBoy, I shared his desire for a quiet external hard drive.

One of many reasons for me switching to Macs is that generally the hardware is relatively quiet.

I don't know if there is a quieter off-the-shelf external hard drive with equivalent speed and capacity, but overall the Lacie is a pretty decent choice given the reviews and comparisons I could find on the Internet. It goes very well with any Mac, and functions well with a Mac Mini.
_________________
Mini 1.83 GHz 4 GB RAM
LaCie d2 Quadra 500GB
Dual 19” LCD displays w/ EVGA UV+ & DisplayLink 0.9 Driver
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