We take the issue of noise very seriously at KitGuru and this is why we have built a special home brew system as a reference point when we test noise levels of various components.
Why do this? Well this means we can eliminate secondary noise pollution in the test room and concentrate on components we are testing. It also brings us slightly closer to industry standards, such as DIN 45635.
As this can be a little confusing for people, here are various dBa ratings in with real world situations to help describe the various levels.
KitGuru noise guide
10dBA – Normal Breathing/Rustling Leaves
20-25dBA – Whisper
30dBA – High Quality Computer fan
40dBA – A Bubbling Brook, or a Refridgerator
50dBA – Normal Conversation
60dBA – Laughter
70dBA – Vacuum Cleaner or Hairdryer
80dBA – City Traffic or a Garbage Disposal
90dBA – Motorcycle or Lawnmower
100dBA – MP3 player at maximum output
110dBA – Orchestra
120dBA – Front row rock concert/Jet Engine
130dBA – Threshold of Pain
140dBA – Military Jet takeoff/Gunshot (close range)
160dBA – Instant Perforation of eardrumNoise was measured from a meter away.
The 70mm fan spins quite actively to ensure there is plenty of cool air circulating across the drives and components. It is audible when under extended heavy load, such as when copying files to two hard drives over a long period of time. Generally however, the fan isn’t that audible.
Power consumption is much in line with what we would expect from an ATOM powered NAS system. At idle the NAS consumes around 19 watts of power, and this rises to around 30 watts under load. You can send the NAS to sleep by leaving it for a certain amount of time, or by holding down the power button for a few seconds. It drops to around 3 watts in this state.
The system cools well, thanks to the active fan, both hard drives hover around 28/29c. Ambient room temperature was 23c.