In the last few years the requirement to optimize powertrain noise and vibration has increased significantly. This was caused by the demand to fulfill the vehicle's exterior noise legislative limits in Europe, and by increased customer awareness for high ride comfort. Much effort concentrated on the engine and the powertrain as prime sources of noise and vibration in a vehicle.The cranktrain with its moving components is a significant source of noise and vibration excitation within the engine. This paper describes results of investigations to evaluate various design alternatives in respect to NVH. The influences of crankshaft material, of balancing rate and of secondary shaking forces are discussed, with the aim to evaluate these various design options.