That's not normal. Send it back and get a new one. My F3s are dead quiet.
I have two F3s, brand new, from two different vendors. They both make the same sound. Others who exchanged their humming F3s for new ones found no improvement.
It's a low-frequency hum. 116.5 Hz, in fact. (The pitch is B-flat, the same as the 5th string, 1st fret on the guitar.) And it pulses at 1-second intervals. If I hold the drive in my hand while it's running, the sound is hardly noticable; but as soon as the drive contacts the chassis in any way, the effect is like touching the handle of a vibrating tuning fork to a soundboard.
The problem is not helped by the design of the drive bay in the Antec 1100 case. There is no way to insulate contact points between the drive and the bay. I also have an Antec p180 case that is built for silence. Its design allows silicone bushings to be placed between the drive and the bay. But the case is small and notoriously difficult to work with. I'm trying to rig up these bushings for use in the new case, but I'm not yet having any success.
If I stay with the F3s, it seems I'll need a different case.
If I stay with the case, it seems I'll need a different kind of drive.
Why not "quiet" your drives using an accoustically treated 5-1/2" bay? For example, a Smart Damper HDD antivibration mount from QuietPC:
If you do decide to go with a different case, I really like the price, cooling, and quiet that Cooler Master's HAF series cases provide (922, 923, HAF-X, etc.).
They both make the same sound.
I still think it's not normal.
1 person found this helpful
Actually, I'd recommend a different case even if you're using a different hard drive (unless you can find a way to isolate the hard drives from the case). That Antec 1100's chassis resonates quite severely with any kind of performance hard drive. And 7200 RPM for the drive's spindle speed results in a resonance that closely matches the natural resonant frequency of that chassis, resulting in a very audible hum. Switching from one 7200 RPM hard drive to another will not solve the resonance problem.
I think you're right. Is this something you know from experience with the 1100s, or did you read about it?
I called Antec this morning. I asked them to send me a couple of HDD trays from their P280 case, which is the same chassis as the 1100, but the P280 trays have silicone standoffs to insulate the case from the drives. Antec doesn't have them in stock right now, but they told me the trays are on order from the manufacturer and that I can expect the trays in the mail in a few weeks.
Problem solved. My local computer shop (ENU in Portland, OR, bless 'em) loaned me two P280 HDD trays (which I will return when mine arrive from Antec). I installed them and the hum was considerably reduced. Then I loosened the screws that attach the HDDs to the trays, to minimize the depth of contact between the screws and the trays, the theory being the less contact between the hard surfaces, the better -- and also to minimize compression of the silicone grommets, the theory being that the compressed grommets are stiffer and more likely to transmit vibration from the drive to the tray and then to the chassis.
And BINGO! The hum is nearly undetectable now.
Thanks again to all.
Harmonics can be buggers. Ever fly an Airbus A-320/321? There is a point, usually right after takeoff, where the engines reach a critical RPM, and set up a disarming harmonic. Most Boeing ships do not have that.
Same can be said for BoCal twin-jet helicopters. Because they are fixed-pitch rotor, they hit a critical RPM, with a major harmonic, on takeoff. If one is not used to it, they can be thrown for a loop. If one is taking off from an oil/gas platofrm, that RPM is hit, about the time that the ship looses lift off the helipad on the platform, and that harmonic (and shaking) takes place, just as the lift is lost momentarily. It makes even brave platform workers dive to the floor, and pray.
Similar can occur with HDD's, their rails, their cases and the connection to the chassis. Glad that you found a "sweet spot."
I have a set of MoBo cooler tubes, that "hum," until I either kick up all fans, or the temp level rises, and they turn UP a notch. Otherwise, major noise! I just load SpeedFan, and kick it ON, to get past that critical RPM. For me, faster is really quieter.
[quote]Switching from one 7200 RPM hard drive to another will not solve the resonance problem.[/quote]
False: The problem with the F3 is the spindle is not mounted at both ends leading to wobble and vibration, this is one of the reasons samsung drives are so sensitive to bumps and the g-shock sensor increments so often.
WD drives do not vibrate in the same way as these F3 drives and will not cause this pulsating hum