Scythe Quiet Drive HDD Cooler and Silencer Review

Cooling/VGA & Other Cooling by jmke @ 2006-12-13

The original Scythe Silent Box has been discontinued, in its place this superior, lower cost Quiet Drive will take over the task of keeping your hard drives quiet and cool. Can this compact box reduce high pitched noises or will it melt your HD platters? Find out in this review.

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Test Results & Conclusive Thoughts

Test Setup

The Quiet Drive was installed in my CPU testing setup based on Athlon 64:

JMke's A64 Test Setup
CPU A64 3200+ @ 2200Mhz 1.47v vcore
Scythe Infinity + GlobalWin @ 5v
Mainboard DFI nForce3 250Gb
Memory 1*256Mb OCZ PC3700
  • Passive cooled TNT2
  • Maxtor 40Gb 54098h8 HDD
  • Seagate 7200.8 250Gb HDD
  • Sonata II Rear – Acoustifan 120mm fan running @ 5v
  • Passive 300W Silverstone PSU

  • I recorded noise at 50cm from the closed side panel, ambient noise was ~37.8dBA, and room temperature was ~ 20°C.

  • Maxtor 40Gb PATA

    The Maxtor when mounted normally inside the case produced 40.5dBA according to the dBA meter, not much higher than ambient but certainly audible in the room, the seek noise increased the perceived noise a lot, with a silent CPU heatsink, passive PSU and VGA, installing such a noisy hard drive in this system certainly made it stick out like a sore thumb.

    Once mounted inside the Quiet Drive the dBA meter only registered 38.6dBA which is less than a decibel over ambient, still the perceived noise was too high to call the hard drive quiet. The seek noises were muffled as well as the high pitched noise, but it didn’t turn this old noisy drive into a quiet one.

  • Seagate 7200.8 SATA

    The Seagate was a much quieter driver right from the start, even installed outside the Quiet Drive the dBA meter failed to pick it up, remaining below the ambient noise. The onboard temp meter registered 40°C when installed normally in the case under full load (Sisoft Sandra HDD bench looping). Seek noises were perceivable and there was still a high pitch noise from the spinning platters, but overall the Seagate was a lot quieter than the old Maxtor HDD.

    Once inside the Scythe Quiet Drive the seek noises were reduced to become nearly inaudible, the high pitch noises vanished completely. The silent system was now truly one step closer to complete silence. Under heavy load the HDD temp was ~3°C lower which is quite impressive, as there’s no active cooling implemented and the HDD is now enclosed inside a foamed up box.

    Conclusive thoughts

    The Quiet Drive lives up to it name of being able to quiet your hard drive, but it’s essential you combine it with a silent drive to begin with. Its capabilities can only go that far, and using a load disk with the Quiet Drive won’t make it magically inaudible, so keep this mind.

    At ~€30 it’s not too expensive to help you further reduce system noise, although if you have plenty of hard drives it might turn out quite costly.

    The Scythe Quiet Drive is available from many European and American stores, at competitive prices, be sure to shop around.
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    Comment from sgtspiff @ 2006/12/14
    Good review.

    As you've been into to the inner pieces of the quiet drive recently I have a question.

    The inner aluminium "box" is there any space for "soft mounting" the hdd in it?
    With some rubber rings around the screws or something?
    Or will this just prevent the 'system' to work its way?

    If it would work it would be a soft mounted hdd in a soft mouted scythe. Double vibration dampening.
    Comment from jmke @ 2006/12/14
    there is already double vibration the rubber inside #1, the mounting to the case #2

    there is no room left around the drive for any extra soft mounting, wouldn't make a difference either for the sound, and would make the drive run hotter due to less contact with the metal shell