Quiet Hard Drive: A Simplified Buying Guide Of Top-Performing Tool For Immense Storage

Hard Drive and slot

Last Updated: July 3, 2021

During a busy day at work, the last thing you need to hear is that annoying noise from your computer. It can be because of overheating or some other problems.

Nevertheless... 

An HDD in good condition should not make that sound. Hence, you wonder what to look out for if you will buy a new and quiet hard drive.

If this is your concern, let's go through various options and see which is the best quiet hard drive for you. Furthermore, discover why Crucial MX500 is our best overall.

Quiet HDD Review 2021

1. Crucial MX500 Hard Drive – Best Overall

Crucial MX500 1TB 3D NAND SATA 2.5 Inch Internal SSD, up to 560MB/s - CT1000MX500SSD1

With the impressive combination of performance and competitive pricing, it is without a second thought that I picked MX500 from Crucial as the best overall. It features a powerful SATA performance and one you can effortlessly install on any standard laptop or desktop.

Crucial offers the MX500 in a wide range of capacity from 250GB up to 2TB, which is one of its advantages from the previous model. Unlike the former MX300 model, which only comes in the 275GB and 525GB versions, there is no performance drop in MX500 regardless of the capacity.

Finally, let's not forget its noise-free operation, the reason why it frequently makes its way to most quiet hard drive reviews.

MX500 also provides features not typical in mainstream HDDs, like a five-year warranty and hardware encryption support to protect your data from hackers.

Pros

  • Five-year warranty
  • Micron 3D NAND technology for power failure protection
  • Noise-free operation
  • Hardware encryption for data protection
  • High-endurance rating
  • Ideal for any desktops and laptops compatible with 2.5" 7mm SATA drives

Cons

  • It runs slower than the 2TB version
  • No instruction about secondary expansion drive
  • Installation can be tricky for newbies

Takeaway

With the MX500 in a broad range of capacity options, you will have no trouble finding one that suits your budget and storage requirements. The additional security features of this hard drive are also hard to ignore, making it an excellent deal for its price.

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2. Seagate BarraCuda 2TB HDD – Best Value

Seagate BarraCuda 2TB Internal HDD

The BarraCuda Internal Hard Drive from Seagate is a common name you will often encounter when looking for the quietest HDD. That came as no surprise at all, knowing how Seagate is a trusted brand for its exceptional quality over the years.

It comes with a 2TB storage capacity, but Seagate also offers BarraCuda in 1TB, 3TB up to 8TB storage capacities.

With the hard drive's combination of 7,200rpm platters and high-density data, BarraCuda can read data impressively fast yet remains affordable.

This model is more focused on speed with multi-tier caching technology, which is very exceptional. Most brands can only offer half of this performance in terms of speed. Therefore, you will experience no delays in loading your files and applications.

Pros

  • Low-power consumption
  • Affordable and with a 2-year warranty
  • Multi-tier caching technology
  • 2TB storage space
  • Operates quietly
  • Snappy performance of 7200 rpm spin speed

Cons

  • Limited cache

Takeaway

The Seagate BarraCuda model offers a tremendous storage capacity at 2TB, perfect for your most critical files and with only a quiet hum when in use. It is conveniently suitable for various computer applications and even helps you save on your utility bills since this quiet hard drive is also energy efficient.

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3. WD Blue 1TB Internal SSD – Best In Endurance

WD Blue 1TB Internal SSD - SATA III

No matter how long the list is for quiet hard drives, it can never be without the WD Blue SSD. It performs well even with multiple configurations done simultaneously, has low power consumption, operates silently, and doesn't have a reputation for overheating.

Western Digital is famous for setting high standards in its products. They ensure that their products go through extensive Functional Integrity Testing before their release to the market, and WD Blue is no exception to that.

Additionally, this model features vibration protection technology and allows you to create a cloud-based backup so your files are safe from accidental corruption.

It even runs faster than most hard drives but does not support hardware encryption and has a shorter warranty.

Pros

  • Suitable for launching games and creative applications
  • Low noise level and energy efficient
  • Reliable performance
  • Cloud-based backup
  • Vibration protection technology
  • Easily accessible software tools from the Western Digital website

Cons

  • Limited two-year warranty
  • Lacks hardware encryption support

Takeaway

WD Blue takes pride in earning one of the highest endurance ratings, making it a suitable option for heavy work volume. This model from Western Digital is a solid pick in durability, but it can be pretty pricey for what it has to offer.

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4. Seagate IronWolf – Best For Entrepreneurs

Seagate IronWolf 8TB NAS Internal Hard Drive HDD – 3.5 Inch SATA 6Gb/s 7200 RPM 256MB Cache for RAID Network Attached Storage – Frustration Free Packaging (ST8000VNZ04/N004) Among the quietest HDD with outstanding performance and maximum storage space is the IronWolf from Seagate. Its compelling combination of reliability and data protection makes it an ideal choice for small businesses looking for rock-steady performance and ease of use.

It can conveniently meet your requirements for high-capacity storage without the worry of any performance issues.

The IronWolf likewise functions in silence and with no vibrations. Further, this hard drive is even capable of safekeeping your data during power outages.

What's more impressive is IronWolf's design, specially made for NAS (Network-Attached Storage) devices, making data storage and retrieval easily accessible when necessary. This model can also maintain low power consumption even with a significant volume of data.

Pros

  • NAS-optimized hard drive
  • Error recovery control to prevent loss of valuable documents
  • Suitable for tons of workload
  • Ideal for small to medium-sized businesses
  • Extremely silent operation
  • Large data storage

Cons

  • Very pricey
  • Packaging needs improvement

Takeaway

I know you'd find this pretty expensive, but considering how it powerfully uses the NASWorks firmware, you'd realize how it's worth the price after all. This firmware enables the drive for server functionality, reduces power consumption, and easy to operate for small businesses.

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5. Toshiba MG08 – Best Storage Capacity

Toshiba MG08 16TB Hard DriveMany users find the MG08 model from Toshiba among the quietest HDD today while also meeting their growing needs for storage capacities. Its previous model, the MGO7, is the first to utilize conventional magnetic recording or CMR.

The MG08 likewise features the same CMR technology, which is why you can expect an optimal, reliable performance even in ultra-compact environments.

This silent hard drive even features integrated sensors that can detect vibrations and control them efficiently.

Additionally, it features a helium-sealed design, allowing the device to require less power while minimizing turbulence with less resistance to spinning disks. This Toshiba model can help you save money with lower energy consumption yet still enjoy high storage density.

Pros

  • Conventional magnetic recording technology
  • Helium-filling design for discs to spin freely
  • 7,200rpm speed with 512MB of cache
  • Built-in rotational vibration sensors
  • It uses 50% less power than other models
  • Outstanding data security with the Persistent Write Cache Technology

Cons

  • Some warranty issues
  • Slight humming sound

Takeaway

Aside from having a massive storage capacity, the MG08 can also support a high volume of workloads, making it ideal for your dynamic needs. With MG08 as the first enterprise capacity drive, it is a brave move from Toshiba as it goes head-on with the giants of the HDD industry.

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6. Toshiba X300 – Best Budget-Friendly

Toshiba X300 4TB Hard DriveFor those users with an extensive game library and have an excellent need for immense storage capacity, the X300 from Toshiba makes a practical choice. It is a silent HDD featuring excellent data protection and hard drive stabilization technologies.

These powerhouse features effectively minimize vibrations and ensure reliability at a very affordable price range.

It is one of the most budget-friendly options for hard drives having the same storage capacity.

The 4TB version of the X300 model has a whopping speed of 7200 RPM, 128MB of cache, and a data transfer rate of up to 200MB/s. This impressive speed works for both its reading and writing capabilities. However, the hard drive's warranty is only up to two years.

Pros

  • 7200 revolutions per minute and a large-sized cache of 128MB
  • Suitable for desktop workstations and gaming computers
  • High storage density and capacity
  • Data protection technology
  • Supports fast reading and writing
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Limited warranty of only two years
  • Overheating concerns

Takeaway

The X300 may not be the top choice if you're looking for the quietest hard drive, but it's undoubtedly more noiseless than standard hard drives. You can rely on this hard drive's optimal performance even for heavy-duty tasks, from graphic-filled games to editing videos or photos.

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Why Does A Hard Drive Make Noise?

Hard drives contain moving components that generally cause them to make a sound. The faster its motor spins, the louder the sound that a hard drive can make. Even those noise-free HDDs you see today would still make a sound during operation.

However, there are times that these sounds from your hard drive would require more attention from you. If your HDD seems to make a lot more noise than usual or starts producing a noticeable sound, the following are some of the possible reasons why:

CPU Fan

cpu cooler and fan

CPU fans help prevent damages caused by overheating devices. However, accumulated dust trapped in between the fan's blades can also emit grinding noises. So, if your hard drive starts buzzing, check your CPU fan for any possible obstruction that causes the unwanted sound.

Improper Device Position

Ensure that your device is on a level surface, especially if you're using a laptop since even a slight bump can cause damage to your drive. The components of your computer are sensitive and tend to generate sounds when your computer is not resting on a flat surface.

Heavy-Duty Tasks

It's also typical to hear some noise from your hard drive when running a task that uses a significant amount of memory. Playing memory-heavy video games, for instance, causes the CPU fan to spin faster to prevent the hardware from overheating.

Fragmentation

Your hard drive encounters an increased activity when you move, add, copy, and delete files on your computer. It tends to save a file one from the other, modifying its earlier version—these blocks of data or file fragments cause excessive scanning, hence the noise.

To learn more about disk defragmentation, here's a short video you can watch:

Here's another informative video tutorial for beginners, especially for Windows users, on how to optimize your hard drive:

Signs Of Damage

A clicking sound or two could be typical, but anything more than that is a cause for alarm since it could mean a damaged hard drive.

Once you start hearing a constant grinding sound, turn your computer off at once.

This alarming noise might be a sign of possible misalignment of the platters and heads inside your hard drive due to a severe head crash. Your hard drive's read/write heads cause friction on the platter's magnetic surface in such cases, and small metal particles from it produce the noise.

You might likewise want to consider backing up all essential data as a precautionary measure since it's also possible that you might need a drive replacement. If you feel like hard drive failure causes the noise, you can try running a free diagnostic test to confirm your hunch.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there an HDD brand that is silent?

You can find several HDD brands today that are remarkably capable of a silent operation. However, I find the Crucial MX500 brand the best for its powerful performance and overall reliability.

What is the most practical way to make a hard drive quiet?

If your hard drive generates some noise, you must first look for the source because not all noise your HDD makes is a cause for alarm. Check your CPU fan and eliminate any possible obstruction or accumulated dirt that can cause the hard drive to make a sound.

You may also run a diagnostic test to optimize your hard drive and look for signs of damage that may also cause the noise. Regular defragmentation of your disks can also help enhance their performance.

As a last resort, if you find that your HDD is severely damaged, you need to consider replacing it. You may go over the list of today's bestsellers, which I featured and reviewed in this article.

Final Thoughts

In summary, the Crucial MX500 1TB HDD stood out as my best overall product for its powerhouse features, including encryption support and power loss protection.

The Seagate BarraCuda 2TB HDD can't be far behind in providing exceptional value and storage capacity at a very competitive price range. It's also reliable for home and office use.

I hope you find this list of high-performing devices beneficial in finding a quiet hard drive that suits your needs. All featured HDDs have impressive performance, but the best one for you, of course, depends on your storage space requirement and your budget for it.

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