Noise levels for the WD800BB are respectably low, though not as whisper-quiet as its predecessor. Similarly, due to its platter count and reduced access times, the drive runs much warmer to the touch... almost hot after extended heavy use outside of a drive cooler in our smallish testbed case.
Overall, when it comes to workstation usage, the WD800BB provides formidable competition for IBM's Deskstar 60GXP. It's superior in the WinBench 99 Disk WinMarks, it comes very close in the IOMeter Workstation Index, and it offers something that the 60GXP doesn't: 20 gigs more capacity. The 60GXP retains an edge in entry-level file server applications, but if it's priced aggresively, Western Digital's drive may be a better choice for general workstation use.