Xbox 360 noise

So I’ve been googling and searching the forums, and there really only seem to be two original works on the subject: One, the news that some new 360’s (not mine) are using a quieter Benq DVD drive, and two, a nice little article by Jason Cross in ExtremeTech that involves some simple steps that void your warranty.

Given that I don’t have a particularly large budget for game systems and the 360’s reliability record, I’d like to not void my warranty. But I would like a quieter machine.

Only thing I can think of is to put some sort of box around it, but how to do this without basically putting it into its own private sauna?

Wrap it in a towel. Bonus if it overheats and you get a new Falcon model.

My 360 only makes a lot of noise when playing Halo 3. I don’t know why. Seriously though, when the Halo 3 disc is in the drive, my 360 sounds like a jet engine. Otherwise I never even notice it.

google “cabinet”

will be difficult. For one you will not be able to easily change cd’s. If you can see the noise source, it’s louder! maybe if it allows external dvd drives you could just leave the drive outside. easier to “relocate noise source” for pc’s.

The main problem with quieting a 360 is that no matter how much you deaden the sound inside (like my article), the vast majority of the noise is made by the 12X DVD-ROM drive when it spins up during gameplay. In fact, you’ll notice the 360 is perfectly reasonable (Wii-level noise) when you play an XBLA game or watch a DVD movie (where the drive spins at some low 2X speed or something). Toss in a game and it’s super noise time. :(

All that noise basically escapes through the front of the DVD-ROM drive. If you do anything to change that, you’re probably also doing something that makes it a total pain in the ass to put other discs in there.

Unfortunately the only real solution would be for Microsoft to go to a quieter DVD-ROM drive. The BenQ model is the quietest of the bunch, but it’s still pretty darn loud. Fact is, on the “buying millions of units” level, a DVD-ROM drive that can spin at 12X quietly really is going to add some pretty significant costs to MS’s bottom line. And they’re trying to get the price of the box down, not the other way around.

Long story short - just don’t expect a quiet 360 anytime soon. At least not until several years from now when potentially do something like the PS2 Slim with it.

DVD movies are read at 1X. Umm, obviously.

My BenQ is pretty damn loud. If I have a quiet 360, I shudder to think of a loud one.

So, Jason, are you saying Microsoft should have gone with a slot loading DVD drive a la Wii and PS3?

My first refurb had the BenQ drive, and although it wasn’t what I’d call quiet, it was usually drowned out by the game itself and easily ignored. My second refurb, however, has an older drive (Hitachi, I think) and sounds like a small blender when it’s running at full speed. I’ve had to start wearing headphones all the time now while playing Guitar Hero.

Maybe I can just deflect the sound backwards – it’s in front of a soft curtain that ought to absorb the noise.

I can clearly hear my BenQ whirring away during mass effect, which is fairly quiet. For whatever reason I can’t hear it during assassin’s creed. Maybe ME constantly streams data or something?

For texture swapping, I think. I noticed a lot of texture popping going on.

Are xbox360 games allowed to use the hard drive for data caching if a hard drive is present?

The internets imply that this is the case, which is why ME gets more frequent “Disc Read” errors than any other game – it’s stressing out the marginal drives that are in most 360s.

CoD 4 was so loud it made me think it was broken. I would buy an Elite Stealth edition for an extra fifty bucks, even owning one already, just to mute that fucker. Good thing my building has thick walls, or the neighbors would be up in arms about how loud I have turn game volume to ignore that WHIRRRRRR.

Are you sure? Some DVD-ROM drives can’t actually go down to 1X, and even many consumer electronics DVD players spin faster than that, using redundancy to reduce errors and such.

The PS3 does not have a DVD drive, it has a blu-ray drive. I don’t want to put too fine a point on it - it’s just that it spins MUCH slower than the 12X DVD drive in the 360. The 2X BD drive in the PS3 spins at roughly 1700 RPM (Blu-ray is constant linear velocity, so it probably spins faster as you move to inner tracks). A 12X DVD speed is about 7,000 RPM on outer tracks.

If it slot loading, it’s still got to spin at 7,000 RPM to be a 12X drive.

I can’t find solid info on the Wii’s DVD-like proprietary drive, though I’m fairly certain it’s quite a bit slower than a 12X drive. The Wii discs are very DVD-like, with the same capacities and data density, so it’s pretty safe to assume the Wii spins the discs far slower than 7,000 RPM, too.

What I’m saying is: for the 360 to be quieter, they would have had to use a slower-spec drive, or a more expensive drive than can spin at 7,000 RPM more quietly. The slower drive spec would have meant longer load times and poorer streaming of data during gameplay, though.

The 360 drive, at 12X DVD speed, can transfer about 16 MB per second. The 2X BD-ROM in the PS3 gives them about 9 MB/sec, which is why so many games require a several-minute hard drive install before the first time you play them.

My comments about them only really potentially fixing it if they do the equivalent of a “PS2 slim” in a few years wasn’t in reference to slot-loading. Just that I wouldn’t count on them dealing with the DVD drive noise until there’s a major design overhaul that involves changing the physical size and shape of the case and stuff.

Really? That’s interesting. But CD drives still spin at 1x CD speed, right?

What I’m saying is: for the 360 to be quieter, they would have had to use a slower-spec drive, or a more expensive drive than can spin at 7,000 RPM more quietly. The slower drive spec would have meant longer load times and poorer streaming of data during gameplay, though.

Or making the hard disk mandatory… which would have been smarter anyway. :(