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We present a detailed analytical model describing the noise properties of quantum-dot (QD) optical amplifiers operating in the linear and saturated regimes. We describe the dependence of the optical noise on the main physical parameters characterizing the QD gain medium as well as on operating conditions. The optical noise at the amplifier output shows a broad-band spectrum with an incoherent spectral hole due to the gain inhomogeneity. A coherent spectral dip stemming from noise-signal nonlinear interactions is superimposed on that broad-band spectrum. The broad-band incoherent component is also calculated using an approximate model which makes use of an equivalent inhomogeneous population inversion factor. The validity of the approximation is examined in detail. We also calculate the electrical relative intensity noise and observe a spectral hole corresponding to the spectral shape of the optical noise. The most important characteristics of the optical and electrical noise spectra are determined by the degree of inhomogeneous broadening and by the fast carrier dynamics of QD amplifiers. The fast dynamics causes a very wide noise spectral hole which has important potential consequences for detection of fast data and for all optical signal processing.