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Last post Author Topic: Building a Quiet PC  (Read 12198 times)

mouser

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Building a Quiet PC
« on: November 29, 2006, 06:13:10 PM »
nice article on building a quiet pc:

Quote
We've all seen plenty of reviews of those big CPU coolers that promise to keep your processor chilly while reducing noise. Big, slow-moving fans are good at that. There are other parts of your system that can make a lot of noise, though. That graphics card can get loud when it spins up. The hard drive and optical drive vibrate the case during heavy use. If there's a fan on your motherboard chipset, it can sometimes be the worst offender: That small fan often spins at a really high speed, emitting a loud high-pitch sound. Of course, your case fans matter, too. An often overlooked part of the noise equation in a high-end PC is the power supply.
Rather than looking at all the ways one can build a super-quiet PC, we decided to focus on the case and power supply. We'll take a fairly typical high-end system and put it into a good-quality enthusiast case, and then see if some case modifications can drop the decibel levels a bit. The idea is not to replace all the cooling with new equipment, but to see if sound dampening material, rubber grommets, and quieter power supplies really make a difference.



Also see this related older article: http://www.extremete...,1697,1938568,00.asp

f0dder

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Re: Building a Quiet PC
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2006, 03:31:11 AM »
A bit sad that they didn't get bitter end results than they did...

I think the noisiest part of my case are the two 120mm casefans - but that's a steady, low-pitch hum, so it doesn't annoy me. The harddrive-rotation-induced resonance is the most annoying part, since it's a "cyclic" sound.

I have a passively cooled chipset by the way, and yesterday I swapped my trusty old GeForce6600 for a passively cooled gigabyte GeForce7600-GT - so none of those annoying small high-pitch fans :)
- carpe noctem

brotherS

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Re: Building a Quiet PC
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2006, 03:58:08 AM »
I don't have time right now to read the complete article, but it surely is amazing what you can do to silence your PC! I now virtually have to stop breathing to hear mine and I can only recommend to invest in silence than always in the fastest, newest PC.

I think the noisiest part of my case are the two 120mm casefans - but that's a steady, low-pitch hum, so it doesn't annoy me
Here's what you can do:
- there's a small piece of hardware available that reduces the fanspeed based on the temperature of the passing airflow
- there are special silent fans available where you only hear the airflow, not the actual fan
 :-*

The harddrive-rotation-induced resonance is the most annoying part, since it's a "cyclic" sound.
I highly suggest some decoupling device (and of course the quiet Samsung HDs), I rarely hear my HDs anymore.
 :-*

f0dder

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Re: Building a Quiet PC
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2006, 04:45:16 AM »
Quote
there's a small piece of hardware available that reduces the fanspeed based on the temperature of the passing airflow
not a good idea, since I've got a passively cooled GPU - I need the airflow :)
- carpe noctem

brotherS

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Re: Building a Quiet PC
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2006, 04:54:48 AM »
Quote
there's a small piece of hardware available that reduces the fanspeed based on the temperature of the passing airflow
not a good idea, since I've got a passively cooled GPU - I need the airflow :)
My GPU and GFX-card are passively cooled too - no problem :)

Carol Haynes

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Re: Building a Quiet PC
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2006, 05:12:01 AM »
My new 'Cool & Quiet' system sounds like an aircraft waiting to take off ....


Trouble is temperatures are high so I bought a new case for it with extra 'cooling features'. This has reduced the temperatures a bit but only by introfucing yet more fans ...

Now my case has:

1 x 25cm case fan (on the side)
1 x 12cm in the back
1 x 9cm in the back
1 x 9cm fian in the top
1 x 12cm intake fan in the front

not to mention PSU fan, CPU heatsink fan, 2 GPU fans and 3 hard discs whirring.

I get the feeling ear defenders or a loud sound system is going to be required.

Even with all this I have these temperatures:

CPU 44C
Motherboard/Chipset 48C
GPU 51C / 71C

The higher GPU is because I have a PCI card in the slot next to the PCIe slot so there isn't much clearance.

Anyone any suggestions (apart from putting the whole thing in the freezer!)

I have considered liquid cooling but that adds even more to the price ...

« Last Edit: November 30, 2006, 05:19:15 AM by Carol Haynes »

brotherS

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Re: Building a Quiet PC
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2006, 05:44:26 AM »
My new 'Cool & Quiet' system sounds like an aircraft waiting to take off ....

25cm case fan (on the side)
2 x 12cm in the back
1 x 12cm fan in the top
1 x 12cm intake fan in the front
not to mention PSU fan, CPU heatsink fan, 2 GPU fans and 3 hard discs whirring.

9 fans!? :o :o :o :o :o

Your PC is suffering from the 'way too many fans' syndrome!

My P-IV 2.4 GHz (I heard new duo-core Pentiums don't get as hot) tower has a temp-controlled CPU fan, the power supply has a temp-controlled fan and there's a huge (and therefor slow/quiet) additional temp-controlled fan, covering the back blowhole to suck the air out/through the case. That's all!

* Before *
You see the RAID HDs in light-silencing, vibration-reducing containers and the power-supply in its original position; the holes in the back aren't closed yet:
http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/4102/hpim0678before2ml9.jpg
Building a Quiet PC


* After *
You see the power-supply now in a horizontal position, making place for the huge blowhole and silent-controlled fan; the HDs are now directly in the airflow, *perfect* for cooling:
http://img179.imageshack.us/img179/1327/hpim0945silentcasemodio5.jpg
Building a Quiet PC


You see how it looks from the back; note the special fan mounting to avoid vibrations:
http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/2972/hpim0951blowholeandpoweqz7.jpg
Building a Quiet PC

« Last Edit: November 30, 2006, 06:09:32 AM by brotherS »

f0dder

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Re: Building a Quiet PC
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2006, 06:09:44 AM »
My CPU usually idles around 35C, under max load goes to 55C. The GPU varies between 50-65C depending on load (though 60+ seems to happen very rarely, even when stressing the system with 3dmark). Motherboard temperature seems relatively constant around 40C.

Not having clearance for GPU airflow is a bad thing...

Seems ridiculous that you need so many fans :-s. I've got a front intake 120mm fan, and a rear exhaust, and that's it. Stock AMD cooler, too.
- carpe noctem

dk70

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Re: Building a Quiet PC
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2006, 01:40:44 PM »
9 fans should force a visit to Silentpcreview http://www.silentpcreview.com/  8) Search forum for undervolting.

Was it a 3500 cpu? Well, any in the series run very cool and you can get f0dders numbers easy. Stock cooler is more than enough even with overclocking - Ive had a 3500 at 2700mhz and 1.55v, dont remember more than 55 as max. No special cooling. So activate whatever Asus call cpu fan control in bios and you will get perhaps 2000rpm instead of default 3500rpm. Only in games and such will fan speed up. You can set levels of heat vs. rpm in procentage or something. Same can be done for video cards Im sure. Try Rivatuner if not supported by Nvidia drivers. Normal desktop work mostly requires very little power so should be quiet. At least cpu, video.

I dont remember if there were some special settings for AMD cool&quiet feature in Asus bios. Not that you have to use it, not much benefit with so cool cpu. Can be quiet when running at fixed/normal speed and letting bios deal with rpm. Stock fan cant go lower than 1500rpm or so anyway.

Also remember sensors can be inaugurate and the "Motherboard/Chipset" one can only measure 1 spot. If placed near area of motherboard which is just hot by design you get "alarming" number no matter what. Does not mean much. If you want 30 degrees find where sensor is then point fan directly at it - only way. Close to useless sensor I think. Also look out for Asus updates, happens they "recalibrate" through either bios or monitor tool.

Byte

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Re: Building a Quiet PC
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2006, 07:05:19 AM »
Hmmm, interresting concept - silent PCs.

It's when I can't hear my pc that I know there's a problem.  If a fan stops spinning, I'll notice it if it's normally loud.

Being a smoker who smokes in front of his multple pc's, hearing the fans at work is a good thing.  When I can't hear them, or when smoke dust has worked its way into the bearings and they begin to whine on startup, that's when I know it's time to bust out with a tooth brush and some oil to clean them up and "refurbish" them.

Granted, I do run motherboard monitoring software (Asus Probe, MotherBoard Monitor, etc) which helps me keep track of fan speeds and temps.  However, I'm not in a nuclear sub, monitoring the former Soviet Republic's naval activities - silence doesn't matter much to me.  Effective cooling does.

One of the nifty features of my Plextor DVD burner is the option to slow the drive's opening mechanism to one of a small number of preset speeds, to silence it even more for "when silence is golden" or something.  I say, let that drive open at full speed, because it's not that loud to begin with.  However, for those looking for silence in components like a DVD burner, I'd have to suggest looking at the Plextor line-up of drives.  Mine's a bit old (it's a PX-716A), but it acts just like new.
The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.  --  Hunter S. Thompson
« Last Edit: December 19, 2006, 09:31:16 AM by brotherS »

brotherS

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Re: Building a Quiet PC
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2006, 09:30:59 AM »
silence doesn't matter much to me.
Studies have shown that silent PCs increase productivity because you feel better - and I can second that from my own experience. It's SO wonderful to work with a PC that's humming away as 'loud' as the sound of a soft summer breeze!

But since you smoke you might not really care about how healthy a quiet PC is ;)

One of the nifty features of my Plextor DVD burner is the option to slow the drive's opening mechanism to one of a small number of preset speeds, to silence it even more for "when silence is golden" or something.  I say, let that drive open at full speed, because it's not that loud to begin with.  However, for those looking for silence in components like a DVD burner, I'd have to suggest looking at the Plextor line-up of drives.  Mine's a bit old (it's a PX-716A), but it acts just like new.
You can set the speed of the opening mechanism?! :o Sounds a bit over the top to me 8) I like DVD burners that burn and read DVDs at a low volume, I'd like to know if the new LG burners *are* quiet.

app103

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Re: Building a Quiet PC
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2006, 10:02:02 AM »
Studies have shown that silent PCs increase productivity because you feel better - and I can second that from my own experience. It's SO wonderful to work with a PC that's humming away as 'loud' as the sound of a soft summer breeze!

Studies have shown if you put me in a quiet room I will go insane.  :P

Studies have also shown that if I don't hear 'normal sounds' coming from my pc, I will just worry myself to death.  :P

I don't mind the sound of fans spinning. I can't sleep unless I hear it. I have been around the constant sound of fans running for over 20 yrs...

Air cleaners
evaporative humidifiers
window fans
air conditioners
computers

It has become a sort of soothing white noise for me.

brotherS

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Re: Building a Quiet PC
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2006, 10:09:11 AM »
I don't mind the sound of fans spinning. I can't sleep unless I hear it. I have been around the constant sound of fans running for over 20 yrs...

It has become a sort of soothing white noise for me.
Ok, your brain has obviously been rewired over the years, I'll exclude you from my "Everyone should get a quiet PC!" mantra.
;D

Air cleaners
evaporative humidifiers
window fans
air conditioners
Not one of those around me thankfully - the only place I really like A/C is in my car :)

Byte

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Re: Building a Quiet PC
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2006, 02:32:17 AM »
I've heard spinning pc fans for almost 25 years now (due to pc exposure).  I'm almost 30.  I have to agree with app, it's like white noise - and without it, some of us end up wanting to go insane.

I've awakened from slumber in the past when the power went out.  The silence woke me.  Of course, this was before I bought the uninterruptable power supplies.  Now I sleep like a baby even if the power goes out.   :D
The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.  --  Hunter S. Thompson

Carol Haynes

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Re: Building a Quiet PC
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2006, 05:05:32 AM »
This is a brilliant short story which seems to be relevant here ...

http://www.amazon.co...orster/dp/1419171119

it is about a civilization where the ever present machine noise stops hen the system breaks down. People die from the silence ...

vegas

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Re: Building a Quiet PC
« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2006, 04:10:31 AM »
Here is a nice case I have had my eye on for a while now, which specializes in cooling through good airflow (it comes in 2 colors):

AeroCool ExtremEngine 3T - BBA Black SECC 0.6mm ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
 http://www.newegg.co...Item=N82E16811196021
AeroCool ExtremEngine 3T - SSA Silver SECC 0.6mm ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
 http://www.newegg.co...Item=N82E16811196022

Some site reviews via google:
http://www.google.co...+ExtremEngine+review

vegas

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Re: Building a Quiet PC
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2009, 09:09:45 PM »
In continuing this old thread, any new PC isn't good enough without a quality solid state disk (SSD) main drive. Benefits include faster transfers (except with MANY smaller files), less heat, runs quieter, smaller size (Space!), better responsiveness (snappier application usage), longer life, less power consumption and much less of a failure rate compared to typical hard drives.  The main downfall is recovery, not an option that I know, so you would have to be sure to backup regularily.

So far, this one wins hands down...
Corsair CMFSSD-128GBG1D 2.5" 128GB SATA II Internal Solid state disk (SSD), http://www.newegg.co...Item=N82E16820233075

f0dder

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Re: Building a Quiet PC
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2009, 10:26:34 PM »
vegas: while I'd definitely love a SSD, it's still too early to comment on longer life wrt. consumer models using MLC memory. Nobody seems to agree on the MTBF caused by limited # of erase cycles. Also, wrt. speed, the cheaper (or, rather, purchasable-without-selling-your-soul) models generally have lower transfer rates than late-model harddrives. Seek time tends to be better, though :)

Quote
The main downfall is recovery, not an option that I know, so you would have to be sure to backup regularily.
You have to do that anyway :). Btw, when a SSD starts failing, does it actually lose data, or is it just unable to erase the failing cells?
- carpe noctem

40hz

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Re: Building a Quiet PC
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2009, 09:28:43 AM »
much less of a failure rate compared to typical hard drives.

Isn't it rather early to be making such a claim? These haven't had a lot of time out in the field yet. Are there anything other than simulated studies to support that claim?


vegas

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Re: Building a Quiet PC
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2009, 12:04:54 PM »
Yes, it does seem that way, but not necessarily for fact. Hopefully it will prove to be true.

Mark0

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Re: Building a Quiet PC
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2009, 05:49:40 AM »
I know this is not even taken in consideration by many but... the iMac I bought about 3 years ago is almost completely silent. During the day, I can't say if it's turned on. At night, about the only thing I can hear is the HD.
With an SSD it would be almost perfect. I would probably buy one within some months if I weren't planning to give it to my sister or brother and bring something new at home.

Lashiec

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Re: Building a Quiet PC
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2009, 05:30:54 PM »
The main downfall is recovery, not an option that I know, so you would have to be sure to backup regularily.

The most important ones currently are price and disk capacity IMO. $327 for 128 GB is an awfully bad deal.

You have to do that anyway :). Btw, when a SSD starts failing, does it actually lose data, or is it just unable to erase the failing cells?

Once a cell excels the maximum number of erase/write operations, it remains in read-only mode.

Isn't it rather early to be making such a claim? These haven't had a lot of time out in the field yet. Are there anything other than simulated studies to support that claim?

No. What's the probability of a head crash? Do you have big chunks of metal spinning at 7200 rpm? SSDs are not rock-solid, of course, but people don't go smashing their drives with hammers.

f0dder

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Re: Building a Quiet PC
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2009, 07:12:47 PM »
You have to do that anyway :). Btw, when a SSD starts failing, does it actually lose data, or is it just unable to erase the failing cells?
Once a cell excels the maximum number of erase/write operations, it remains in read-only mode.
That's what I thought/hoped. Much better than what you get with a head crash on a mechanical HDD... :)

I do look forward to the day where a (fast) SSD is available for a reasonable price. At something like $150 for 64GB, I'd definitely get one to replace my system drive.
- carpe noctem

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Re: Building a Quiet PC
« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2009, 09:29:17 AM »
I'm running an Asus Commando Mboard (with a passively cooled chipset) in an  Antec 900 case. The case fans have individual speed controls allowing me to have all of them running slowly and whisper quiet.

The almost 7" fan in the top of the case finally address the simple fact that heat rises... (duh!) ...and moves a huge amount of air even at its (silent) slowest setting.

The machine has been running 24/7 for the two years since I built it and still doesn't need dusting (internally). I have wipped a bit of buildup off the front grill two or three times, but the internals look fine due the the CPU having an auto fan speed control and the rest being a high volume of slow moving air.

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Re: Building a Quiet PC
« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2009, 03:26:59 PM »
I can't hear anything any more because of my jet turbine of a computer, so it doesn't really annoy me any more :P
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