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My MacBook Pro has an SSD drive that runs silent, which is really great.

I am considering removing the SuperDrive, moving the SSD to the optical bay, and adding a 7200-RPM regular HDD in the main compartment.

I would install OS X on the SSD, and keep large files I seldom need on the HDD.

Will there be a (new) constant spinning noise, or will the HDD be silent when not in use?

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Certainly it depends on the drive. From my experience using Apple laptops that contained HDD's, there was NO noise unless the drive was failing (an unfortunately common occurrence). But some HDD's are definitely louder than others.

One thing to clarify though: you will not hear the drive "spinning". You may hear the drive being accessed. The primary source of noise is the actuator arm, not the spindle/platters. When idle the drive should be silent.

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    All HDDs emit noise. Some are louder than others but none run as silent as an SSD.
    – user10355
    Commented Dec 28, 2013 at 10:46
  • I dind't say HDD's don't emit noise, I said you wouldn't hear it.
    – Bigtuna00
    Commented Dec 28, 2013 at 20:03
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    You may not hear it, others might. Don't over generalize. Just state the facts. I have heard every single HDD, be it 2.5" or 3.5" in any system.
    – user10355
    Commented Dec 28, 2013 at 21:04
  • If the drive isn't being accessed (and lays idle for a while), there'll still be some sort of fan-type noise, right? I am using that HDD inside an external enclosure at the moment, and it's pretty loud :(
    – Baumr
    Commented Dec 29, 2013 at 1:11

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