Introduction

The 7200.7 line brought us drives with capacities between 40GB to 200GB in PATA version as well as the native SATA (as opposed to bridged SATA solutions) versions with 1.5Gb/sec transfer rates and optional Native Command Queuing, and as you can guess from the name, 7200RPM spindle speeds throughout the entire line. After the 7200.7 series, Seagate decided to split the 7200.x family into two separate lines when introducing the 7200.8 series. The new model carried capacities in the 250GB to 400GB range, again, with both PATA and SATA interfaces, so the 7200.8 was a continuation to higher capacities.


Click to enlarge.

Today, Seagate officially announces the joining of the 7200.7 and 7200.8 drives with its 7200.9 line of hard disk drives. The new line ranges from 40GB to 500GB and has models with 2MB, 8MB, or a whopping 16MB buffer. The release of the 7200.9 product line announces the 9th generation of Seagate's 7200RPM desktop hard drives and they conform to the latest in SATA standards ("SATA 2.5"), including the 3Gb/sec transfer rates.

The 7200.9 line of hard disk drives brings an end to the separation of powers and is aimed at mid to high end desktop and gaming PCs, media PCs, and low end servers. This classification gives us a bit of insight at the pricing of these new drives, but we will look into the costs of Seagate's new line of mid-performance hard drives a bit later. Right now, we'd like to cover some information that we received during a technical briefing with Seagate's 7200.9 product marketing manager.

The 7200.9 Series
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  • JarredWalton - Monday, October 10, 2005 - link

    2.6 bels is of course the same as 26 decibels. (deci = 1/10)

    That said, people claiming that 26 dB is not quite probably are going by advertising numbers rather than reality. I have an SPL (Sound Pressure Level) guage, and 26 dB is extremely quiet. I can still hear it, but a room with no noise in it ranges from 24 to 30 dB. A car driving by outside makes about 40 to 45 dB of noise.

    The problem is that if you trus the noise levels from computer hardware manufacturers, you might actually believe that your PSU, fans, HDD, etc. only put out 26 dB of noise. I've got a case with three "26 dB" fans, plus a "28 dB" PSU. Anyone want to guess at the real noise level? I won't keep you in suspense; at 1 meter form the case, the actual measured noise level is 48 dB, FAR higher than the rating of any of the components. Multiple fans plays a part, but even a single "26 dB" fan still came up with a 38 dB rating on my SPL.

    I would agree mostly with Seagate's claim that 26 dB (2.6 Bels) is below the threshold of human hearing. A device putting out 26 dB at a distance of one foot would be inaudible at a range of 10 feet, that's for sure. (Unless you have dog hearing....) Whether or not that's how Seagate rated their drives, though, I can't say.
    Reply
  • ATWindsor - Tuesday, October 11, 2005 - link

    First of all, a room with "no noise" is much more quiet than 24-30 db, it just that you are used to the background noise. a 26 db fan at one feet is around 15-16 db at 10 feet, which is a clearly adible sound that too (this i have measured in an anecoic room). However, in most rooms the background noise would mask it. 26 db is quiet, but its far from inaudible. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, October 11, 2005 - link

    We don't live in sound-proof environments, though. While it may not be truly silent, an empty house without any noise from neighbors or traffic is still going to have a background noise level above 20 dB. If something is below the background noise level for a house, I'm willing to call it "silent" - even if it isn't technically dead silent. I guess that's a difference of opinion, though. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, October 10, 2005 - link

    "26 dB is not quite" should be "26 dB is not quiet". Still need that edit function.... grumble. Reply
  • DRavisher - Monday, October 10, 2005 - link

    Indeed. Though I doubt anyone can accurately detect even a 1dB sound :). Reply
  • ATWindsor - Monday, October 10, 2005 - link

    That of course, can be discussed, but most people would easily detect 26 db, or 20 for that matter. And saying that 29 db is "barly audible" is a far strech IMHO. Reply
  • DRavisher - Monday, October 10, 2005 - link

    I agree. You can certainly hear 20dB+ sounds. Especially if you were to set up a completely closed environment (no background noise that is). Reply
  • Xenoterranos - Monday, October 10, 2005 - link

    OK, there's a period there. they said 2.6 thats "2 point 6" Reply
  • DRavisher - Tuesday, October 11, 2005 - link

    They said 2.6 bels, which equalts (does it not?) 26 decibels (dB). Reply
  • Tiamat - Monday, October 10, 2005 - link

    Agreed. At 2AM (when I am sleeping with my computer idle 10 feet away) I can hear its 28dB and its not very quiet. I would say in the dead of night, a computer would have to be roughly 18dB to be considered unhearable above typical background noise.

    However, there seems to be a mix-up between Sound power and Sound Pressure - two totally different entities.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_power_level">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_power_level

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_pressure_level">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_pressure_level
    Reply

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