SilenX Luxurae Hard Drive Silencer

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Like it says – Tom Akita

Title

“Today’s high-performance hard drives are among the noisiest components in personal computers, and they’ve been one of the most difficult components to silence-until now.”

This caption on the Luxurae HDSS’s (Hard Drive Silencing Solution) box sums up the situation of low noise enthusiasts when it comes to hard drives.

Features

Title

The Luxurae works by sandwiching the hard drive between two pieces of dense, acoustic foam which are attached to pieces of metal.

OV

The entire sandwich is meant to be installed into a 5.25″ drive bay, but it silences just as well if it’s sitting on the floor of the case. Vibrations weren’t an issue for me, but just place a piece of included packing foam underneath the sandwich to eliminate vibrations if they occur.

Title

Aluminum heatsinks

Attached to the right and left sides of the HD are long, black, aluminum heatsinks that help keep the hard drive stay cool while sandwiched between the foam.

Foam

Assembled

Putting the Luxurae together was very easy and only took about 5 minutes, including the time it took to screw the unit into the drive bay, which was the most difficult part of assembly and installation.

Performance

Silencer Temperatures

Silencer

Idle ºC

Load ºC¹

Top

37.1

37.5

Bottom

40.4

40.8

Side

37.5

39.9

Front

39.8

40.6

Heatsink

36.5

39.7

Outside

25.2

25.7

Without Silencer

22.3

26.6

¹Load temperatures taken after 3 cycles of HD Tune’s Benchmark utility.

Temp probe locations:

  • Top Sensor attached to the center of the top of the drive
  • Bottom Sensor attached to the metal hub on the bottom of the drive
  • Side Sensor placed between one of the side-mounted heatsinks and the drive
  • Front Sensor attached to the front of the drive, which is open to air
  • Heatsink Sensor placed between the fins of one of the side-mounted heatsinks
  • Outside Sensor attached to the top of the outside of the entire unit

Observations

Under load, the drive is just under 11 degrees warmer while sandwiched inside the Luxurae than it is inside a 3.5″ drive bay. Even the drive’s highest recorded temperature is about 14 degrees under its maximum operating temperature of 55ºC.

The Luxurae HDSS does an excellent job of muting low to midrange noise, and it even muffled the high-pitched whine from my Western Digital 1200JB somewhat. It nearly silences the hard drive, especially when the unit is inside the case where it’s supposed to be. My only complaint is that a faint, high pitched whine is still audible from the bearings of the hard drive, but that’s easily forgivable since Western Digital hard drives are seriously loud pieces of equipment. The Luxurae is supposed to reduce noise by 3 to 8 dBa, and it easily reduced noise by 8dBA considering that I’m using one of the loudest drives available.

The HDSS can be used with drive speeds of up to 15,000 RPM, which means that the thermal-tape attached aluminum drivesinks do a great job of dissipating heat. This is probably due to the fact that both ends of the Luxurae are open, which allows air to pass over the heatsinks for effective cooling.

Conclusion

The Luxurae is indeed a silencing solution for all of the noise produced by high performance hard drives. The initial “post-Luxurae installation” boot-up was quite a relief since my ears weren’t bombarded with unpleasant, metallic hard drive noise as soon as I pushed the power button.

At $39.95, the Luxurae is a literal steal when compared to other HD silencers, such as GUP’s Smart Drive 2002c, which performs worse than the Luxurae but costs twice as much. If the noise from your hard drive(s) is breaking your heart, seriously consider SilenX’s Luxurae HDSS – it’s the best hard drive enclosure ever.

Thanks to..

  • Peter Kim at SilenX for providing me with this excellent unit for review
  • Joe Citarella at Overclockers.com for hosting this review

Photography by Eric Lowe

Tom Akita

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Discussion
  1. what type of drives are you trying to silence?

    i have had aabout seagate baracoutas and i can never hear them with 2 120mm fans on low rpms and a closed case
    They have already been silenced, no one is asking how to silence anything really, this is a thread for a front page article..
    what type of drives are you trying to silence?

    i have had aabout seagate baracoutas and i can never hear them with 2 120mm fans on low rpms and a closed case
    Yeah, that makes sense because to my knowledge the 74GB Raptor is the only WD drive to use Fluid Dynamic Bearings. Also keep in mind, however, that those are Idle Noise measurements, and I've read that the 74GB Raptor is pretty loud while seeking.
    Yeah like lots of litttle ball bearings landing in a metal box lol. Just like an old scsi drive but not as loud. An elastic isolator ought to do the trick.
    Yeah, that makes sense because to my knowledge the 74GB Raptor is the only WD drive to use Fluid Dynamic Bearings. Also keep in mind, however, that those are Idle Noise measurements, and I've read that the 74GB Raptor is pretty loud while seeking.
    My rig is very quiet considering how cool it runs. Like I said, the raptors arent any louder than other drives I've used. The only loud part would be the heads clicking when there's heavy read/write, but otherwise its pretty quiet.

    I've just never heard of WD being regarded as a loud hard drive make.


    http://www.storagereview.com/php/benchmark/bench_sort.php

    Western Digital makes the loudest non-SCSI drives on that chart.
    My rig is very quiet considering how cool it runs. Like I said, the raptors arent any louder than other drives I've used. The only loud part would be the heads clicking when there's heavy read/write, but otherwise its pretty quiet.

    I've just never heard of WD being regarded as a loud hard drive make.
    since when are WD drives any louder than other manufacturers? I have two raptors and they're just as quiet as any other drive.


    You won't be able to notice the different noises of hard drives unless the rest of your rig is quiet. My JB drives are pretty loud compared to other drives I've listened to.
    I was joking about the too warm part, hence the :)

    But I try to keep my system as cool as I can with air, without dropping money on a water or exotic cooling system.
    Since my normal body temp is 37°C and I'm not running a fever, I don't know why you would consider 30°C too warm. At these temps the parts are warmed up nicely at just right level. Much like you'd want a car engine warmed up before you drove it.
    I think I'll just use rubber bungies to isolate my drives from the drive cage/case. I don't hear any whine from my 74Gb Raptor but only the SCSI like access clicking as the head's movements are transfered through the case metal.

    I have them running at ~30°C and I want to keep it that way.
    i personally dont see how those side fins could give such cooling since when i touch my HD all of the heat is coming off the top plate - which has now been "insulated" with foam.

    Would silentX be willing to send a sample - or even yourself send your over to a Ocforums admin to test?
    oh and wtf is this?

    "My only complaint is that a faint, high pitched whine is still audible from the bearings of the hard drive, but that's easily forgivable since Western Digital hard drives are seriously loud pieces of equipment"

    since when are WD drives any louder than other manufacturers? I have two raptors and they're just as quiet as any other drive.
    Well then that would depend entirely on the case cooling setup. And besides, with all that foam sandwiched in there, its kinda hard to get any airflow onto the heatsinks and drive itself.
    I would expect it to cool as well, considering it has pretty large heatsinks on both sides of the drive. A little airflow should do.