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Budget PC Sound proofing!

Discussion in 'Computer Components' started by monkeynuts, Mar 30, 2005.

  1. monkeynuts

    monkeynuts
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    I've just built a new PC to replace my powerful but noisy laptop. It's in a coolermaster wavemaster case which is superb, but it's still very loud and will probably stay loud when i upgrade fans and HDD.

    Current kit:

    XP 3200+ with a fanless heatsink (ebuyer special - runs at 41C)

    3 Stock coolermaster 80mm case fans which will be replaced with Panaflo fans when they arrive

    Maxtor 80gb HDD (noisy) that will replaced with a quieter 200gb maxtor 10 and enclosed in a silent drive enclosure (unless it gets too hot)

    Antec 350W PSU "silent" with 120mm adjustable fan


    Has anyone found a source for sound proofing/dense foam that isn't horrendously priced?
    I know about Dynamat, Brown Bread and Acousti but they are bit expensive for me at the moment.

    I've already gone way over budget :rolleyes: and need some cheap sound proofing to line the sides of the case with as although aluminium, they are still very thin and resonate.

    Also it sits on a wooden floor, would sitting it on a different material help?

    I blame you all for the quest for silence!

    Any help much appreciated :)

    Cheers :thumbsup:
     
  2. monkeynuts

    monkeynuts
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    Forgot to add that i've got some Vantec fan gasket things on order, might make no difference, but i'm that desperate for peace and quiet!!
     
  3. dekoded

    dekoded
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    I recently got a PC sound proofing kit from maplins, I think it cost about £15 and you get four sheets of black bitumen 32cm x 16cm and two acoustic foam sheets (the knobbly stuff) of the same size.
    I don't know who makes it but on the instructions it says 'hama 41517'

    I tried looking on maplins web-site but couldn't find the same kit so perhaps each store has different stocks?

    Anyway I would certainly recommend it :smashin:

    The bitumen sheets are also used to 'deaden' steel baths, kitchen sink tops and I used to work in a car accessory shop where we used to sell them for sound proofing car body panels (to stop your car from sounding like a tin can)
     
  4. monkeynuts

    monkeynuts
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    Thanks for that will have a hunt or email maplins as i don't have a store locally.

    So would suppliers of other products stock something similar?

    I quite fancy doing my car as well if i can find a cheap supply.

    Thanks again

    Sam
     
  5. monkeynuts

    monkeynuts
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  6. monkeynuts

    monkeynuts
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  7. dekoded

    dekoded
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    PS you should certainly notice a difference when you change your coolermaster fans, I think they're a bit crap, PAPST fans are the best that I have used!
    As for sitting it on the wooden floor, yes I think that will make it louder, I have an LG dvd recorder and although this only has one fan at the back it is noisier than my 3200+ shuttle HTPC which is on the tv stands glass shelf above it.
    What about putting some different feet on the case? some softer rubber ones might help or maybe even blue/white tac.
    I have also made a very cheap hard drive de-coupling by using cable ties and soft rubber grommets!
    TIGHT BAS :censored: DS QUIET HDD MOUNT:
    First of all attach a thin piece wire to the HDD using one of the mounting holes and screw and leave at least six inches of wire.
    If you wrap the HDD in foam (you normally get some in the box that it comes in) and tape it up, then cover it in bitumen sheets, then attach four soft rubber grommets to the sides using cable ties. You can then use more cable ties to attach the grommets to the sides of the mounting bay (not the normal HDD one but the larger cd-rom type).
    you will then have your HDD suspended on the grommets and it will be much quieter :thumbsup:
    The wire can be used to 'ground' the HDD to a suitable screw hole to stop any possible static build up in the HDD.
    If you are worried about overheating then do the same but without the foam and bitumen.
     
  8. dekoded

    dekoded
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  9. dekoded

    dekoded
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  10. RobsterD

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    I'm afraid the Akasa stuff I thought was a waste of money it made no audible differene to my case just increased temps and looked nice.
    The stuff from Quiet PC tho did make a diff to my Silverstone case.
    I suppose you get what you pay for.
    Bitumen pads maybe a better cheap alternative sourced from speaker manufacturer Falcon Acoustics,tho a bit of a pig to fit as you need to heat them up before you stick them
    Rob
     
  11. mrmoo

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    You don't have to worry about grounding. Its grounded to chassis through the molex power connector.

    Hard Drive Vibration Damper

    http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=38013&TabID=1&source=15&WorldID=4&doy=30m3
     
  12. Grahamhyde

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    I have used 'Laminate Floor Underlay' in my PC.

    It is the 'expensive' £3/m² type that has the foil back and is made of an inert heavy density felt type of foam. I have use craft mount spray adhesive using the foil side stuck to all bare metal panels of the case. The result is a significant reduction of higher frequencies and it is a damn site cheaper than proprietry foam. Where possible, hard drive bays etc. I have loaded up with off-cuts of the material.

    Sounds crap (pun intended), but works - to a degree.

    What you have to remember is it's the cracks/vents in the casing that lets most noise out.

    Position the case on the floor and surround with inert/non-reflective objects ie boxes, packs, laid on carpet - anything that will absorb sound. Try not to have the case in the direct field of hearing. At the same time create enough space around for suitable ventilation. It all counts but there will always have to be practical compromises ie. to look good enough for the wife.

    The utlimate solution that I am toying with is to locate the processor box in the attic with all sides open for maximum cooling then using long cable feeds/wireless to the monitor/speakers/controls and having a locally positioned networked/quiet/slow/cheap machine for disc loading. That way when using the processor at high speeds (ie ripping) cooling & noise isn't an issue at all.
     
  13. Grahamhyde

    Grahamhyde
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    Bitmen sticks chronically when warm as well.
     
  14. monkeynuts

    monkeynuts
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    Thanks for all the replies!
    Glad to see everyone's very resourceful when it comes to saving money!

    The underlay root sounds worth a try, i had thought of spray mount as i've used it in the past for other things, just not what to stick with it!

    How thick is the underlay?

    Fan gaskets have arrived and new fans, HDD and HDD silent enclosure should be arriving today, so will post back with the results, be gutted if it still sounds like a plane!

    Cheers

    Sam :)
     
  15. monkeynuts

    monkeynuts
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  16. TopDog

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    Monkeynuts that mboard is so clean it cant be on a working PC ;-) thought id follow the underlay advice as well, also looking at longer keyboard cable and usb hub, etc to move the pc away from where I sit, _Id thow a duvet over it to keep it quiet - but its slow enough as it is and it would only go to sleep. I use a zalman flower cooler on mine which is good, but not as good as a no fan option.
     
  17. Dunkwho

    Dunkwho
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    beast indeed - was just looking at the very same cooler (ebuyer have the copper\alu version with a fan for slightly less too). looks like the PSU and case fans you have around that are doing the job nicely ... I'm not sure I'd want to risk fanless in my PC (only has a PSU fan and a PSU exhaust fan). Must resist modding the PC :D Have you seen the £5 fan controllers ebuyer have too? Gotta be worth it to tweak temp vs noise !

    Duncan
     
  18. Dunkwho

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    Oh - and rock on windows media center extender for xbox ... please lets get a UK version too!! (and quickly). media pc then goes in the loft, xbox streams tv, local playback of dvd\cd\etc\GAMES .... sob ... please microsoft, get us a working UK version too!

    Duncan
     
  19. monkeynuts

    monkeynuts
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    Quick report back:

    3 new Panaflo 80mm fans fitted (maybe overkill) all running off 4 pin PSU connectors
    Vantec 80mm fan dampers
    200gb Maxtor 10 SATA drive fitted
    Silent drive arrived (not tried with SATA yet)

    The silent drive made a big difference with my old Maxtor drive, as that horrible writing sound was still there but very muffled.

    The new drive is very quiet and should be totally inaudible in the silent drive

    The fans are all still audible :( tho it's definitely quieter than with the stock coolermaster ones.

    Will be trying to get some underlay to have a experiment as just holding the sides of the case with my hands stops some noise.

    For the money it's cost i'm not overly impressed, i think some DIY solutions will now be necessary to ease the pain ;) and at worst wrap my gorgeous wavermaster case in a duvet!

    Any more ideas?

    Cheers

    sam
     
  20. Dunkwho

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    Are you running your panaflo fans from the regular motherboard connector? That'll be full speed and probably overkill. Take a look at the fan controller I mentioned and hook all 3 case fans up to that running in conjunction with motherboard monitor to log your system and CPU temps. I'd suggest you'll be able to run quite a bit down and still keep your system stable.
     
  21. Yandros

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    I've built a load of silenced wavemasters for the office, and have been very happy with the results.

    I opted for 3 Papst thermally controlled fans

    http://www.chillblast.com/customer/product.php?productid=154

    The only downside to them is that you really have to reposition the sensor to the opposite side for the 2 intake fans, which is a bit fiddly.

    As you've found, Wavemasters are prone to resonance, due to the all aluminuim chassis.
    I've used two different sorts of soundproofing - acoustipak and magic fleece The acoustipak is better IMO. The best materials are dual layer - a dense material to kill resonance in the side panels (akin to heavy rubber), and then foam to absorb the sound itself. (I lined out a steel server rackmount cabinet in 5mm barrier material and 20mm acoustic foam - worked very nicely).

    One extremely cheap thing to try, is to check the tighness of all screws. I had a very nasty resonance in the side panel of one wavemaster that turned out to be from the hard drive being screwed in too tightly. Rubber washers all round will probably kill some more resonance too.

    One last thing - my home PC is the predecessor to the Wavemaster - the 220 series, and that doesn't have any intakes at all! It has just the top blowhole fan and the rear exhaust. It's an identical case, but without the wavey facia. With a P4 3.0 and a Geforce 5900 Ultra, the temps are still perfectly acceptible. So, if you want to experiment, swap out the ashtray in the top for the fan holder, and block up the intakes entirely.
     
  22. monkeynuts

    monkeynuts
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    Thank you for the replies :)

    As soon as you said heavy rubber i thought of something, so will go experiment with that to dampen the sides.

    I have the panaflo fans on rubber gaskets and they seem quite quiet and i can't justify the price of the Papst fans just yet, so the fan controller may be my only option. Can someone clarify what voltages the fans run at when connected to MB and PSU, i.e. which is lowest, hence slowest?

    My main concern is now the PSU which i bought from ebuyer:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=78857

    It's not as quiet as i hoped even with the fan speed adjusted to minimum, i might try unplugging the panaflo fans briefly and see how loud the PSU is.

    The new Maxtor HDD was very quiet on it's own and now it's in the silent drive, its inaudible :)


    Unfortunately i bought this case second hand and it didn't come with the fan adapter for the top :( tho he is looking for it though! That'll be worth playing with if i can get hold of it.

    Will report back with any progress!

    Thanks again
     
  23. monkeynuts

    monkeynuts
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    Oh and just to complicate matters, the panaflo fans only come with 2 pin connectors...tho i've managed to adapt them to fit in a four pin slot. Shame i can't control them from the motherboard connections!
     
  24. Yandros

    Yandros
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    If you can't source the fan mounting, let me know, as I've got 7 of them spare at work, since we don't use them.

    For our PCs we've always stuck with the off the shelf stuff, and to be honest, unless you're REALLY short of cash I'd recommend the Acoustipak Standard kit at £24. The end result looks very professional too.

    http://www.quietpc.com/uk/materials.php#aps

    If you're budget is tight, then try these guys (our supplier)...

    http://www.customaudiodesigns.co.uk/products.htm

    code MATK5 0.9mx1.2mx3mm soundproofing mat £7.00
    code FR-12-XL fire retardent foam 12mm (2.4sq m) £20.00

    As you can see though, if you go for the dual layer approach, it's actually cheaper to go with the acoustipak, unless you're going to use quite a lot of it. The mat is amazingly dense stuff incidentally - like working with rubbery lead!...so you might want to get hold of just a sheet of that and see what it does for you.
     
  25. monkeynuts

    monkeynuts
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    I have a feeling i'll end up ordering some Acoustipak, but i'll have a good look around elsewhere first! The other link is very good too, do they mind small orders?

    Regarding the fan mounting, i might have to take you up on that offer as it doesn't look like he has found the one from my case. Any idea how much you would want for them? (hope this is ok to ask in a non-classified forum?)

    Cheers

    Sam :)
     
  26. dekoded

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    Maybe I was being a bit paranoid about static damage to the HDD, but for the sake of a piece of wire it's a case of 'better safe than sorry' !

    I have read about others having trouble with HDD's failing due to static,and some manufacturers also take precautions:
    http://www.xoxide.com/silencer.html
     
  27. Yandros

    Yandros
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    I'll need to double check with my General Manager on Monday to make sure he's happy with us parting with one, but if he's ok with it you can have it for free.
     
  28. mrmoo

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    Not sure what your worried about. If a grounding wire is used it would be to protect against ESD just in case the drive is touched when it's not connected to the power supply. As I said the HDD chassis is connected via the molex to the case chassis. Static cannot build up when a grounded cable is connected, static requires an isolated potential. The most dangerous point for the HDD is when you remove it from the packing, before you touch the case. A tip, if it helps. When you work on the PC, leave the mains cable connected, but switch off the power at the mains socket. The PC case will remain grounded, but not live and is perfectly safe. In 20 years of electronic repair I've never lost a component to static, just remember to discharge yourself to chassis before touching anything sensitive and don't touch PCB's if it can be avoided.

    I'd be more concerned about your wire getting loose and causing a short. ;)
     
  29. JimmyGrimble

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    I am using a coolermaster atcs case with zalman flower on minimum speed,
    two panaflo 80 at rear, two panaflo 80 at front all on minimum speed on a
    enermax 3 1/2" bay controller.
    Athlon 2600xp runs at 28° idle and up to 45° in a game, all nice and quiet
    (can sleep with pc on in bedroom only 5 feet from head)
    the biggest single improvement I ever made was changing levicom 420w psu
    to an akasa paxpower 450w -vastly quieter.
    so called silent psu's rarely are

    p.s. got the coolermaster version of soundpoof material kit you could have for nothing -never needed it
     
  30. monkeynuts

    monkeynuts
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    Yandros - if it's ok that'd be great :) let me know much postage costs as thats the least i can do!

    JimmyGrimble - if you are sure thats ok then i'd like to have a play with the soundproof material :) again let me know how much it costs you to post it.
    Your setup sounds ideal, i think the panaflos on full power are making the noise so will try a controller from somewhere at some point.

    Cheers

    Sam
     

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