Posted by BobM on May 9, 2013
To call this drive array "whisper-quiet" – as G-Tech likes to tout on their literature – is to call the Grand Canyon a "small drainage ditch."
The 3TB drives in this array (Hitachi HUA723030ALA640s in mine) are not particularly quiet when seeking, and there appears to be no sound buffering between the drive trays and chassis which turns the entire unit into an amplifier. Beyond that, the unit IS relatively quiet when first started, with the small ~40mm fan in the power supply running on low making a minimal amount of noise.
But 5 minutes later, once it's warmed up a bit, the power supply fan begins to speed up. Another few minutes and it's running on high, making enough noise to annoy. But it gets worse as several more minutes pass, and the large upper fan turns on and speeds up. With both running on high, it's only slightly quieter than a running hair dryer sitting on your desk. What's worse is that the power supply sounds like it's underpowered, as you can actually hear the whine of the fans slow every so slightly in bursts that exactly coincide with accessing the array... when the drives start doing something they draw a little more power than when they're not, and you actually hear it in the fans. Unbelievable. After running on high for 10 minutes or so, the fans eventually will spin down, and the cycle continues... All. Day. Long.
On the bright side, using an ATTO R680 SAS controller in RAID-5, the array is fast, pulling ~460MB/sec reads at the start and ~260MB/sec at the end (hard drives read from the outside inward, where the data rate is higher on the outer tracks as the sectors are passing by faster.)
However, if you're looking for an array to sit next to your workstation or on your desk, this isn't it -- unless you are comforted by the constant cycling of various levels of fan noise, or work in a noisy environment where you cannot hear your own thoughts anyway.