People have asked many times “Is there a such thing as a silent optical drive”. At first I didn’t know. But now I do.

Much like Seagate specializes in silent hard drives, there is one manufacturer who has taken the responsibility of providing us silent freaks with a lineup of silent optical drives.

Surely you have tried watching a movie on your DVDROM, only to be bothered by the disc whirring along, even at 1x speed. This can create a disturbance if there are many quiet parts in a movie.

The one component that can make or break a Home Theatre PC for watching movies is the DVD ROM used.

Thanks to I/O Magic, we no longer have to put up with the annoying sound caused by optical drives. They have employed three key technologies to give us beautiful silent operation, but maintains full speeds expected from the newest CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs.

The Technologies

If you’re wondering what exactly makes a silent optical drive, this is what you need to know:

A.R.S Acoustic Noise Reduction System

Think of this as a ‘muffler’ for your optical drive. Much like a muffler uses baffles piping to lower any noise caused by the motor.

A.B.S. Automatic Ball Balancing System

A.B.S. Automatic Ball Balancing System

Not all discs are created perfectly. This is especially the case with cheap CD-R’s most people use. If you are using a disc that is not balanced, I/O Magic’s ABS will lower the vibration. This also helps prevent disc shattering, which is a nice bonus.

D.V.A. Dynamic Vibration Absorber

D.V.A. Dynamic Vibration Absorber

This is an advanced vibration dampening system that can drastically lower the sound caused by discs spinning at full speed. The vast majority of sound created by spinning discs is at the 60 Hz level, and this is exactly where DVA puts its focus. Overall, it is great for file transfers, etc. It won’t bring the noise level to below 20 dBA, but it will lower it significantly (expect it to be lowered to 36 dBA from 42 dBA, which is VERY impressive when you consider that sound is measured on a logarithmic scale!)

Here is I/O Magic’s latest internal optical drive:

IOMagic Silent DVD Burner

Well that about does it for silent CD-ROMs and silent DVD-ROMs! Hopefully this guide helps in your quest for a quiet cdrom or dvdrom in your SILENT PC! :)