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 eardrum
Noise was measured from half a meter away.
This system is extremely quiet, even when writing files over a 30 minute period of time. If the room is extremely quiet you can hear the fan whirring if you are in close proximity, but otherwise we would class this as inaudible under real world conditions.
We measured power from the socket with 2 x 1TB Samsung HD103SI hard drives installed.
At idle, the system only uses 22 Watts of power and under load it rises to around 30 watts with both drives installed.
Time to test the cooling system. Our room ambient temperatures are 23c which is a reasonable temperature for most people to work and relax within.
The drives remained between 3 and 7 degrees above ambient at all times, averaging 28c across a period of 2 hours. The cooling system is perfectly fine for a dual drive configuration.