Actually, the noise that bothered me was when the drive was reading a CD. In that respect, the drives where like night and day. Also, the Sony would continue spinning long after I had accessed the drive, while the Lite-On spins down fairly quickly. Some might find this to be desirable, but I didn’t. Sometimes, I would sit there doing something non-computer related and wonder when the damn cd was going to stop spinning. Wanted to make me commit an act of violance on the computer. Perhaps something was wrong with the Sony drive, but it was way too noisy. I do admit, though, to be a fanatic about quiet computers.
Noise from burning a cd and from the tray opening/closing was fine with both drives. Actually, the Sony tray made a whishing noise when opening and closing that I actually sort of liked.