Best Quietest Hard Drive (Affordable & Efficient)

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Quietest Hard Drive: There are two common source of unwanted noise in a computer: the fan and the hard drive. If you’re looking for the quietest computer fan, check out the Cooler Master Sleeve Bearing 120mm Silent Fan. Now that you’ve already fixed the fan problem, lets now look at some of the noiseless harddrives you can get online today. But before getting into that lets have a looks at some of the factors makes a hard disk noisy.

Hard drive noise comparison- 7200rpm vs 5400

In terms of performance, the 7200rpm hard drives give an average 120MB/s write and read speeds while the 5400rpm give 100MB/s read &write speeds. However the 7200 hard disks are noisier compared to 5400rpm drives. A study published in TechReport shows that there is a 3% decibels difference between the two harddrives models.

But is 3 percent actually significant enough for the human ear to spot the difference?

Well let me explain in detail how the decibel scale works. The decibel scale for sound is measured such that an increase in10 decibels is equivalent to 2x loudness. So this means that 3decibel difference between the 7200 and the 5400 would be something that’s easily noticeable. (Also read my guide on quiet mini fridge)

The quietest hard drive reviews

Western Digital (WD) Red NAS Hard Disk Drive

Quietest Hard Drive

The Western Digital series of disk drives is specifically designed for use with NAS (Network Attached Storage devices rather than desktop computers. The WD red series is available in 1tb to 12tb capacities and are some of the silent disk drives on the market. While they are designed for use with NAS devices, you can use the WD red drive as a normal desktop drive for storage. However make sure that your motherboard and operating system are new enough to recognize the disc.

These drives can run nonstop for 24 hours, have a three year warranty- (1 year more than you will get with WD’s green and blue desktop drives).

silent hard disc drive comparison chart

ImageName Noise Level Idle dB(A)Noise Level Active (dB)Availability
WD Red Pro 8TB NAS Internal Hard Drive22.539.6See on Amazon
WD Blue 6TB PC Hard Drive - 5400 RPM Class30.332.8See on Amazon
WD Red 6TB NAS Hard Drive - 5400 RPM Class29.433.4See on Amazon
Seagate BarraCuda Pro 10TB Internal Hard Drive Performance HDD26.534.7See on Amazon
WD Purple 6TB Surveillance Hard Disk Drive - 5400 RPM Class31.134.7See on Amazon
Seagate ST6000AS0002 6TB ARCHIVE HDD33.735.4See on Amazon
WD Green 6TB 3.5-Inch SATA 6.0Gb/s IntelliPower3137See on Amazon

Source: Nascompares

Opt for SSD for a noiseless computing experience

Traditional HDD’s contain a disc that spins when the computer is switched on. It’s from this spinning that hard drives get their ratings as either 5400 or 7200RPM discs. It’s the spinning that makes the drives noisy.  On the other hand is a Solid State Device commonly known as SSD. Unlike traditional hard drives, the SSD has no moving parts. Its uses a Negative-AND flash memory. This makes SSD drives dead silent- think memory card or flash drive.

What to consider before buying a noiseless hard disk drive

Before investing in a hard drive for your personal or office computer there are several factors that you should consider. They include:

Storage capacity

In most cases, the search for a new drive starts after realizing our growing needs for more storage space. Suddenly the 500GB or 1TB drive that came with your computer becomes inadequate. If you own a desktop, you can simply add a second, a third or even fourth drive but on a laptop you will have to swap with another drive. The best thing you can do is to swap with another drive with a more storage space. You can easily upgrade your 500GB storage device with a 1TB or 2TB drive. However keep in mind that you will have to spend extra bucks if you’re going to buy a drive with more storage space.


There are dozens of manufacturers out there specializing in manufacturing quiet hard drives. While customer reviews on the internet can be a great way to filter down the different brands offering sweet deals, it’s important to note that consumers at times can be biased on their reviews. Another way to filter down the best HDD manufacturers is through expert reviews. Do not overlook quality when buying an HDD that will store you most important data. Some reliable brands include Samsung, Western Digital, Toshiba, Seagate, and Hitachi. Now that you know some reliable manufacturers, you can use consumer reviews and expert reviews to sort the best drive to meet your needs.

Performance/Rotational speed

Not all hard drives give same performance. HDD come in 4200/5400/7200 and 10,000 revolutions per minute (RPM). The higher the RPM, the faster the disc will process your data but the higher the RPM the costlier. While people tend to think 7200 give better performance than 5400, it’s important to remember that other factors play a crucial role in a hard disk performance. Most of the drive you will find in computers today operate at 5400 and give a desired performance for average PC user. Taking noise level into consideration, it’s important to choose a disk drive that will give you desired performance while at the same time keeping noise levels down to minimum.


Another important factor that you should consider is the warranty offered by the manufacturer. One of the best ways to get an idea for how long the manufacturer expects the HDD to last is to have a look at the warranty. Brands such as Seagate and Western Digital give up to 5 years warranty on their products including HDD’s and this should get you covered in case your drive fails.

What to do after purchasing a silence hard disk drive online

Over the years, I’ve been using a variety of Seagate Archive drives and WD green and red drives and I think it’s best to share some bit of advice on what you should do after buying a new drive and how to detect any defects as early as possible.

The first thing you should do is inspect the packaging the disk arrives in. the drive should be suspended between two plastic holders inside the box. These holders help suspend the drive and prevent it from damage during transit. Now when installing the disk drives, I’d recommend you wear gloves or instead wash clean your hands. This should help avoid transferring hand or finger oil to the drive.

The next step would be long format the drive once you’ve installed it. You can run one or more passes on the drive to ensure that each sector of the disk gets written to. One the formatting is complete, the next step would be to check the SMART data and watch out the values for anything alarming. Pay attention to reallocated sectors, failed reads and RUEs.

Final thoughts on quietest harddrive

With a quiet disc drive you are able to work in a quiet environment without any sort of distractions. But if you are willing to dig deeper in your pockets, you can opt to have an SSD drive because they are much quieter than any silent hard drive you’ll ever find. You can also read Quiet Server for Home and Small Businesses

2 thoughts on “Best Quietest Hard Drive (Affordable & Efficient)”

  1. Thank you for this informative post Andrew. I have found that 5400RPM hard disks are much quieter than 7200RPM drives. And yes the 3% decibel difference is something that the human ear can clearly distinguish. I’ve had to replace my noise SEAGATE drive with Western Digital (WD) Red NAS Hard Disk Drive and I can assure you it’s quiet thought it’s not quiet as I expected it to be but the noise is something I can deal with- not too much to make one lose sleep.

  2. I don’t think you mean 3% difference. 3% would hardly be noticeable. However, 3dB difference is twice as loud/quiet (depending what you’re comparing to what).


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