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How quiet are your quiet pc's?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by spamboy, Sep 16, 2005.

  1. spamboy

    spamboy
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    I built a reasonably quiet pc - antec overture case with acoustic foam, zalman cpu cooler, passively cooled 6600gt, pioneer dvd with slowdown utility and all was fine untill I moved into my dedicated hc room where the pc is about 3 ft behind my head (from being on the other side of the room).

    It's distractingly loud. I'm wondering what to do next, I could put it into a tower case and put it into a cupboard (heat isssues there though I guess).

    Anyway I was wondering whether I should continue down the route of making the pc quieter or if it's pretty good already and I should look at ways external to the pc of controlling the noise? How quiet are your pc's?

    Thanks,

    SB
     
  2. OneEleven

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    I can't hear mine unless everything else in the room is turned off and there is no other noise. So no bad - but could be quieter
     
  3. Mr.D

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    The dvd drive is the loudest component in mine. Ripping to HD and playing back from there solves this though.
     
  4. Mark Ward

    Mark Ward
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    What Power Supply are you using?
     
  5. The Dude

    The Dude
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    you didn't mention the PSU... what have you got in there?

    also.. is your motherboard chipset passively or activelt cooled?

    I'd say the annoying things left to consider at that listening range would be ( in order)


    Chipset fans (if present)
    PSU ( Antec Truepower are excellent electrically, but V.noisy IMO )
    DVD drive ( RIP to HDD as Mr.D says.... MUCH quieter..)

    you should be able to achieve almost complete silence.
    the noisiest thing in mine is easily the DVD, same as Mr.D...

    :)
     
  6. Ray

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    You also don't mention if it is on a shelf/unit/floor. It maybe that any small vibrations from the drives are being amplified due to poor isolation from it's surroundings. A wooden shelf for example can make a good soundboard especially if it resonates at just the right frequency. If this is part of the problem try isolating the case from the shelf using rubber feet or foam under the case.

    Ray
     
  7. deksawyer

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    Noise is a thing that haunts me, and I'm currently exorcising it from my system.

    I use a Silverstone LC-13 case, which came with a 92mm intake and 2 60mm exhaust fans. Not the quietest in the world.

    I removed the 92mm fan and cut a hole big enough for a 120mm fan in the base of the case. I removed the chipset fan from my motherboard and fitted a Zalman passive heatsink as well as fitting a 60-80mmm adapter plus an Arctic Cooling fan to the rear of the case. I kept one of the 60mm fans as it was less noisy than the other.

    I also changed my CPU cooler to the one in my sig as it can run flat out very quietly. This is managed by Speedfan to reduce the speed/noise when it's cool enough, whilst raising it when needed.

    Acoustic foam is also being used and even though it raises temps a fair bit, it seems to dampen a lot of the noise.

    I'm always bangng on about my new PSU as well, but that adds a hell of a lot to the silence of the system now. It's an Elan Vital Greenerger which can run with the 120mm fan off, but this will switch on every now and again to cool it (it doesn't happen too often though).

    A hifi trick is to cut squash balls in half and use them to support your equipment, to dampen vibation, maybe worth a look for you. Blu Tak works in a similar way.

    D.
     
  8. Mr.D

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    Actually I was wondering if I could find someone to write a batch file to rip an entire dvd to harddrive on insert using dvdshrink or dvdcrypter and the play it back using TT or whatever dvd player you use.

    I had dvdidle for a bit but it never rips the entire dvd in one go ( starts up again every 15 mins) and is mightly unstable.
    I don't rip all my dvds to hard drive for storage just to keep the noise down.

    I might ask on the TT forum.
     
  9. Skunkpipe

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    The latest incarnation is silent - even in a silent room you can't hear it.
    *SMUG*
     
  10. spamboy

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    I'm using the smartpower psu that came with the pc, I think that and the case fan are the loudest part of the system. I used to be able to hear the hard disk untill I put the soundproofing in. I can't replace it as it it's particular to the case.

    I usually play dvd's off the hard disk, although I don't find the dvd unpleasantly loud - well the pioneer is good (dvd-120) but the nec dvd-rw is incredibly loud.

    Sounds like it's worth getting a different case and trying a quieter powersupply.

    Thanks,

    SB.
     
  11. The Dude

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    from reviews that's meant to be a decent case anyway... I'd go for a better PSU first of all... not a huge expense...

    Q-Technology 120mm PAPST get a big :thumbsup: from me, and there are quite a few guys here using SilentX PSU's... I'd say almost any 'quiet' PSU will be better than the supplied one, even though they have a good reputation.. ;)
     
  12. dino2021

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    I use an Akasa Ultra Quiet 460W Paxpower Active PFC ATX2.0 PSU around £50 and near silent

    ThermalRight XP-90C heat sinc with a Vantec Stealth 92mm fan on it. around £45 for the pair


    The vantec stealths are the quietiest fans in the world as far as I know rated at 20db out of the box for the 92mm ones.

    the only thing you can here in my pc is the hdd accessing and the dvd if being used, very happy with the results.

    Got mine from here.

    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/Vantec.html
     
  13. dino2021

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    If you want it even more quieter I suggest you switch to a quieter PSU the elan has a noise rating of around 26-28 DB where as the akasa is 18 DB

    And the panaflow are not the best try vantech stealths there 1DB quieter , it all counts when going for silent
     
  14. Skunkpipe

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    The Elan is actually 0dB - the fan stays off 99% of the time in SSM mode, and spins only occasionally for a couple of seconds - silently.
    the sig is a little out of date. The Panaflo's have been replaced with AcoustiFan Dustproof's all running at 5v (<10dB) - CPU fan is controlled by cool'n'quiet and stays off when running MCE, and is still unaudible when the CPU is at full load.
    The Hdd has been mounted in a Zalman HDD cooler with rubber mounts - this made a huge difference to the HDD noise. (Scythe HDD enclosure was a little too tight in the box)
    As it is, you cannot hear it in a silent room. You can just hear my sky+box in the same silent room, so I'm pretty sure there's not a lot left for me to do:D

    *Still smug :p *
     
  15. AMCross

    AMCross
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    There is only ONE quiet psu out there and its called a YESICO fanless forget about the smaller output ratings these are under specced


    http://www.whispertec.com/psu.html


    quote Adrian and you will get a good service :smashin:
     
  16. pragmatic

    pragmatic
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    I think Antec truepower are very quite have to put my ear to it to hear it and i can't adore noise, not one bit!
     
  17. Bugblatter

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    I use an OCZ PSU, it has a single 120mm fan and is virtually silent.

    Cooling's always a bit tricky in cases of that form-factor. You can slow down the case fans to quieten them but you still need adequate cooling.

    The trick is to get the heat from the CPU out of the case as soon as possible. If you can do this then you can safely run the case fans more slowly, and the fan in the PSU will automatically run more slowly as the PDS will be cooler.

    There are a few ways to throw the CPU's heat straight out of the case:

    One is a duct, and for this you need a heatsink that's suitable for sucking the air through rather than blowing the air into. Most aren't suitable, one that is is the Alpha Pal 8040 (I got one years ago, there are probably better ones now). So you basically cut a hole in the top of the case and put a duct in (bit of plastic tube) that fits around the heatsink (but doesn't go all the way down the heatsink). The fan then sucks air through the heatsink and chucks it out the top of the case, aided slightly by convection. Stuff here: http://www.kustompcs.co.uk/acatalog/Kustom_PCs_Shop_Ducting___Fan_Brackets_27.html

    Another way is to use something like a Zalman Reserator. I've got one of these and with my ear pressed to it in a silent room I can just about tell that it's running. The system stays nice and cool even with the fans on low. Stuff here: http://www.kustompcs.co.uk/acatalog/Zalman.html

    A word of warning though, make sure that the hard drives don't get too hot, especially if they're wrapped in insulation. It's probably a bit late, but with Seagate Barracuda drives (and their successors) you don't necessarily need sound insulation.

    Ok, loads of information there...some of it may even be useful :)
     
  18. Barbarosa

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    Not bad - no fans at all! need to do something about the HDD next!
     
  19. mardale

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    Not too dissimilar to Barbarosa's

    SilverStone LC14S
    Scythe Kamakiri
    Seagate Barracuda 300GB
    NEC ND3540A x 2
    Gigabyte Fanless 6600GT
    Antec Phantom 350 PSU
    AMD Athlon XP3200+

    The Scythe Kamakiri has been stripped of its fan. The front case fan is disconnected and the two rear exhaust fans have been removed. With the case bloted together there is no sound from the HDD and only a VERY faint whirr from the DVD (movies are streamed from the server though).

    The heat produced by this lot is outrageous (unsurprisingly) and caused serious instability and shutdown in 20-30 minutes.

    I cut virtually the whole top out of the case lid with a jigsaw, lined it with blowhole seal and replaced it with this. It looks great and the heat just exhausts naturally from the top of the case.

    Absolutely stable and sat in an Argos glass hi-fi rack.

    Matt
     
  20. Ch0pper

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    Hi-Grade DMSII here.. Quiet as a mouse (actually thinking of the noise mice make when my cats bring them in it's a hell of a lot quieter!). The only thing I have that makes noise is a Jamo amp that sounds like a kettle is boiling in the corner of the room. Replacing that for a Denon 2805 this week.
     
  21. snow-munki

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    mines 'ok'

    psu fan was ripped out in place of a 7 volted ystech silent fan.

    chipset and gfx cooled passively

    CPU cooled by hugh thermalright heatsink so no fan either

    runs pretty warm but just about ok :)

    HDD in silent enclosure box.
     
  22. Stellavision

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    I've just replaced my cpu & graphics fans with a Zalman reserator. The difference is amazing, but I can still hear the PSU, although not too loudly. It is a Hiper True Power 480 watt with a 12cm fan, so it is relatively quiet. There are also three tri-speed 12cm case fans in there which I tried turning off one by one but the mobo and hdd's were getting a bit warm. I'll probably get the North bridge water block to cool my passivly cooled chipset which hopefully means I can reduce the case fans.

    Generally though it ias very good and you can only hear if the room is silent.
     
  23. Coastliner

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    I haven't built one yet so I talk with a certain ignorance, but I have been doing some research towards building one..

    For those of you with DVD and HD drive noise, you could try fitting rubber grommets (sp?) around the screws that hold the drive in place, between the drive and the chassis.. I've read that it help reduce component noise fairly well..
     
  24. mardale

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    True, but in good quality cases using 6 anchor points there is barely any vibration to dampen at all. The real bottleneck is the PSU fan. When fanlass there is no way to exhaust case heat and you get serious instability issues. If a case is hidden and you don't mind a little DIY using a fanless PSU outside the case and extending the length of the cables is a workable solution.

    For me there was no alternative but actually silent. Not quiet or virtually silent, but silent. I couldn't justify paying hundreds for watercooling and still have the noise of a pump and psu fan humming away in the background. I had to undertake some heavy case modding though so you make your choice I guess.

    Matt
     
  25. reddom

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    PC silence seems to be one of those subjective things, some people can live with a relative high ammount of noise and others (me) cant! I went through 3 iterations of pc for my living room trying to get one that would be quiet enough. I think the environment it is in also makes quite a difference, I live in a fairly quiet area and my living rrom has wooden floors, which don't absorb much sound. It really bugged me.
    the first PC I built was a nice aluminium looking case with a zalman fan, a seagate hard drive and a nexus quiet psu and no case fan or vga fan, all of which were reccomended at the time on www.silentpcreview.com. however i found it way too loud, especially in the evening when i might be sitting in the room reading or listening to music quietly. The noise was mainly case vibration and disk hum.
    2nd try was an aopen xpc (Shuttle type form factor) with a suspended disk drive, but again too loud.
    3rd try I bought a hush atx pc from hushtechnologies. this is silent and has absolutely no fans. I still had to replace the diskdrive for a soft-mounted laptop drive (I also cut out the usb panel and replaced it with a VFD display).
    This pc is so quiet that you can actually hear the cpu when it is working at 100%. The other pc's also became servers that are hidden away where noise doesn't matter, and provide a place to put all the noisy and hot disk storage, tuner cards, dvd drives etc..
    If i was starting again now and didn't want to pay the money for the hush or wanted a bigger case, i'd probably look at something like a passivly cooled pentium m. sometimes i wish i'd never started looking at the noise issue as you can get a bit obbsesive about it!

    RD

    RD
     
  26. ReTrO

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    I run a SilenX PSU in my PC. Passivley cooled GF4 Ti4400 (to be very soon replaced with a passive GF6 6600), 120mm case fan, and an irritating DVD-ROM drive.

    The PC is silent enough when not running any DVD's. I sleep about 2 foot away from it, and you can only hear it slightly.

    HDD wise I have 3 x Seagate Barracudas (2 x IDE, 1 x S-ATA).

    CPU is cooled by a SilenX heatsink with an 80mm SilenX heat controlled fan.
     
  27. mjn

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    Quiet....can you speak up.....i can't here you :eek:

    It lives in a cupboard, so not too bad, but will be rebuilding it when i move mouse in a few weeks.
     

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