Recently I installed an additional SATA drive on my Lenovo laptop. Without much ado I formatted the drive to ext4. Unfortunately, I quickly realized that the hard drive is spinning almost twice a second. My first drive on the laptop is also formatted with ext4, so using ext4 was a natural choice. A Google search revealed that I am not alone with this problem (USB Drive Blinks Constantly on EXT4 Format), and pointed out that formatting with ext3 can cure the problem. Which it indeed did.
The morale is: Newer is not always better.