Scythe Quiet Drive Page: 1
Introduction
 
Scythe is a name synonymous with aftermarket cooling hardware. I would like to wager that there aren't too many PC enthusiasts who hadn't at least seen, owned or heard about this well known Japanese based company's products.
 
While many of you would be familiar with their  vast range of well-performing CPU heatsinks, Scythe also caters for other PC hardware and effectively cooling it. Today we have been fortunate enough to have been supplied with Scythe's Quiet Drive, a fanless HDD chassis.
 
Scythe Quiet Drive make up
 
Anyway, let's have a look at the Scythe Quiet Drive's specifications...
 
Specifications
 
The Scythe Quiet Drive's specifications were taken directly, and unashamedly, from the product's webpage
 
Model Name: Quiet Drive

Model #: SQD-1000

Manufacturer: Scythe Co., Ltd. Japan

Dimensions: 145 x 198 x 36.5mm

Hard Disk Type: Parallel & Serial ATA

Case Bay: Standard 5.25" Bay

Weight: 860g

Core Structure: Quadruple with Double Noise Reduction, Heat Diffusion & Anti-Vibration

Cooling: Double Heat Diffusion Method + Thermal Conductive Sheet

Mounting: Float Mounting Method
 
I have no doubt after looking at the Quiet Drive that it will reduce HDD noise quite significantly, but how the temperatures will fair I guess we'll have to wait and see. One other thing that should be mentioned here that isn't in the specifications above, is whether or not the Quiet Drive is suitable for high RPM drives like the Cheetah. Incidentally, Scythe also manufactures a 2.5" Quiet Drive for those who require it.
 
Let's head over the page to have a look at the Scythe Quiet Drive's packaging, and the unit itself in a little more detail.


Scythe Quiet Drive Page: 2
Packaging
 
The Scythe Quiet Drive comes packaged in a sturdy cardboard box that displays the usual amount of advertising that we have come to expect from Scythe.
 
Quiet Drive packaging front Quiet Drive packaging rear
Quiet Drive packaging side
 
The unit itself is housed within wafers of styrofoam around the sides. This should adequately protect the unit if dropped during transit, but the lack of polystyrene packaging on the top and bottom of the box offers little protection should something sharp pierce it. All things considered, and the fact that the Quiet Drive is aluminium, means it should arrive safely at your doorstep.
 
After extracting the Quiet Drive and its accompanying accessories from the safety of its box, this is what you are greeted by.
 
Quiet Drive contents Installation manual
 
The included installation manual is quite easy to follow, even in its multi-lingual format. The included images at each stage of the assembly also helps to make things easier to follow.
 
Included in the Scythe Quiet Drive packaging is:
 
* Inner HDD housing;
* Outer Aluminium housing;
* 2 x sheets of Thermal Conductive Sheeting;
* 1 x 4-pin molex;
* 1 x hybrid SATA/Power lead;
* Instruction manual;
* Screws for inner/outer housing, and installing into your chosen chassis.
 
Let's take a look at the Scythe Quiet Drive in a little more detail.
 
A Closer Look
 
The Scythe Quiet Drive feels very sturdy and well made; something that we've come to expect from Scythe.
 
Scythe Quiet Drive outer casing Scythe Quiet Drive side view
 
The Scythe Quiet drive is intended to be used as an internal 5.25" bay device, and is designed to reduce/eliminate HDD noise. The Quiet Drive will appeal to those who prefer their PC's to be as near to silent as possible, or those who use HTPC's.
 
Dense foam walls SATA/Power hybrid connector
 
The interior walls of the Quiet drive are well padded with high density foam that looks very much like Neoprene. The thickness of the foam should help alleviate any HDD noise.
 
The power connector that Scythe has supplied with the Quiet Drive is quite novel in that the the SATA plug and SATA power connector are housed together in an hybrid fashion.
 
Let's head over the page to see how easy it is to get a HDD all decked out in the Scythe Quiet Drive...


Scythe Quiet Drive Page: 3
Installation
 
I have chosen to install a Seagate 80GB 7200.10 SATA II HDD in the Scythe Quiet Drive. But the Scythe Quiet Drive will take both SATA and PATA drives.
 
Seagate SATA
 
The HDD is installed into the inner casing by 6 x screws. The orientation of the HDD really doesn't matter, provided that the connectors for the HDD are at the open end of the casing...obviously.
 
Internal casing
 
The first sheet of anti-vibration rubber/thermal sheeting goes down for the inner casing to rest on.
 
anti-vibration rubber
 
The inner casing sits snugly into the outer casing and the second sheet of anti-vibration rubber/thermal sheeting sits on top.
 
inner casing installed
 
The top of the outer casing can now be screwed into place via the 6 supplied screws. The lid does give some resistance when trying to screw it all together, but at the same time, it is comforting to know that the thermal sheeting is making contact with the inside of the lid. The HDD and inner casing are now effectively floating between a sandwich of anti-vibration rubber.
 
Outer caing top Quiet drive rear
 
You can see from the shot of the rear that the foam rubber completely seals the cables protruding from the rear of the HDD, which again should help reduce the amount of noise emitted from the drive.
 
close-up of hybrid plug
 
I have included a close-up image of the hybrid SATA/Power plug for those interested. All that's needed now is to install the Quiet Drive into a spare 5.25" drive bay.
 
Let's head over the page to see how we're going to test the Scythe Quiet Drive, and how it performs...


Scythe Quiet Drive Page: 4
Testing Method
 
I have chosen to test the Scythe Quiet Drive according to the two features that Scythe are marketing it for: noise reduction and heat diffusion.
 
The chosen test setup for todays performance review includes:
 
Heat Diffusion
 
I have chosen to test the heat dissipation properties of the Scythe Quiet Drive by first installing the Seagate SATA II HDD sans Quiet Drive in the test PC and using S.M.A.R.T monitoring to determine the drives temperature. I will also be using SpeedFan 4.33 to compare the reported temperatures.
 
After testing the Seagate SATA HDD by itself, I will then install it into the Scythe Quiet Drive and compare the temperature difference. Again, S.M.A.R.T monitoring and SpeedFan 4.33 will be used to monitor temperatures.
 
Noise Reduction
 
In order to test the noise reduction qualities of the Scythe Quiet Drive I will again be testing the Seagate SATA II with and without the Quiet Drive. I will be using the Seagate SATA II HDD as the boot drive for the test system, so we should be able to hear the difference noise-wise during spin-up time. I have chosen to assess the noise levels for this part of the testing by using my ear instead of our Digital Sound Level Meter that we normally use. The reason behind this decision is that it was simply too hard to isolate all noise emitting components (PSU, CPU cooler, case fans etc.) from the mix to give an accurate measurement.
 
Test Results
 
Heat Diffusion
 
As was to be expected, the Seagate SATA II HDD ran considerably cooler without the Scythe Quiet Drive. Although 6 degrees seems like a considerable amount it still allows the Seagate SATA II HDD to operate within the manufacturers specifications of 0-60 deg C operating temperatures.
 
Seagate HDD temp chart
 
The outside of the Quiet Drive felt quite warm during operation, which indicates that the thermal sheeting is in fact doing its job of transfering heat to the outside of the case.
 
Noise Reduction
 
Noise reduction is where the Scythe Quiet Drive quite clearly excels. With the Seagate SATA II HDD snugly encased in the Scythe Quiet Drive the usual noises emitted by a hard drive during spin-up was significantly reduced. The noise was reduced by so much in fact, that I really had to listen hard over the extraneous noise of the case fans. I found myself constantly feeling the outside of the Quiet Drive for the tell-tale slight vibration of the hard drive working inside.
 
Let's head over the page to see how the Scythe Quiet Drive performed in todays review...


Scythe Quiet Drive Page: 5
Conclusion
 
So how well did the Scythe Quiet Drive perform in todays review?
 
If you are looking for near silent operation from your hard drive/s then the Scythe Quiet Drive could well be worth a serious look. Admittedly, your hard drive/s will run that little bit warmer due to the lack of active cooling from the unit, but they will run incredibly quietly. Some may argue the validity of using the Quiet Drive, but in my opinion those who prefer near silence from their system it's worth the outlay.
 
Overall presentation of the Quiet Drive is nothing short of what we've come to expect from Scythe. Through the use of quality materials and sturdy construction, the Quiet Drive could potentially provide you with a lifetime of silent and passive cooling for your disk drives.
 
Scythe has priced the Quiet Drive quite competitively in my opinion, and it can be purchased from Komplett.co.uk for a reasonable £24.01 inc. 17.5% VAT.
 
Komplett
 
The Good
• Quality construction.
• Excellent noise reduction.
• Price.
• Ease of use.
 
The Mediocre
• Weighty.
• HDD's run a little warmer.
• Requires a spare 5.25" drive bay which may become an issue in a SFF chassis.
 
The Bad
• Nothing to report.
 
Recommended Award
 
Overclock3D would like to thank Scythe-EU for providing the review sample
 
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