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Silencing my CPU cooler

Discussion in 'Computer Components' started by RichardH, Aug 8, 2002.

  1. RichardH

    RichardH
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    I decided that as my HCPC's going to be a decent way away from where we'll sit, I wasn't going to splurge on a Zalman, so I took a chance on the
    Thermaltake Volcano 9+ - noting that it's quoted at 17Db at it's lowest spin speed. I've found it seems to have a bit of a buzz to it. Taking the fan off the heatsink seems to quieten it down a little, so I thought I'd put some padding or other between the two. Any other tips? Or should I bite the bullet and go Zalman (cheapest I've found for that is £31.71 delivered here for the AL version. Any other recommendations for quiet coolers? I guess I could replace the fan on the existing cooler with a Papst....
     
  2. Garrett

    Garrett
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    I do not know if it helps, but you can get special padding to put on the inside of your case to quieten it down, but could run as expensive as a new fan and cooler.
     
  3. Kramer

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    The best HS (air) is here .

    Not cheap, & I don't think it includes a fan, but you can fit an 80mm Papst & still have relatively good performance.

    Or fit a Zalman fanmate for options of good performance/noisey or reasonable/silent.

    I have the Volcano 7+ at the mo, a good cooler (modded for silent options), but still not silent enough for me.

    Hence my foray into water cooling in the coming weeks.

    How do you fancy pumping 600 litres per hour through your HTPC? :D

    The Flower is fine I believe, but not recommended for high performance systems, & requires good case cooling also.
     
  4. RichardH

    RichardH
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    Kramer - I presume you modded the Volcano by changing the fan to a Papst?

    Garrett - saw an article on overclockers.com about using mouse pads to damp the case - see here


    For all you overclockers here (expect we're mainly underclockers!!) - an amusing article
     
  5. ChrisAllenFiz

    ChrisAllenFiz
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    Even quiter than the pabst is the Verax, available from www.pcsilent.de . I have both and the verax is quieter, but also more expensive :)

    Chris
     
  6. RichardH

    RichardH
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    ....just been tinkering, and the existing fan IS quiet as long as the RPM stay below 2000 or so. I think I'll experiment with keeping the flow of cool air in to the case up, to try and keep things moving - maybe a duct to pipe cool air in to the right place....
     
  7. KarlRobinson

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    Another item that can make things quiter is the HD, running the 2.5" micro drives are a lot better.
     
  8. RichardH

    RichardH
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    HD not an issue - Seagate Barracuda - nice & quiet. I'm also pleased with the Antec power supply, which seems pretty good.
     
  9. Garrett

    Garrett
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    Same here mate, when using for word processing or Internet work, I can use it in the whisper mode, then when playing games click it over to the fast mode, and as I use floor standing speakers, and I have a full tower on the floor under a desk the fan noise tends to get deadened. I can hear it when not playing games in fast mode, but like a clicking clock I soon switch of to the noise.
    Kramer how did you mod it I would not mind doing it myself, despite what I have just wrote above.

    Thanks for the tip Richard H.
     
  10. Garrett

    Garrett
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    RichardH, By the way that Volcano 9 looks funny I thought the heat sinks are better made of copper than aluminium, for better thermal conduction. The fan also looks to be copper what’s the point of that?
     
  11. RichardH

    RichardH
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    It's a mainly alu sink with copper insert which sits on top of the cpu itself, so it conducts the heat away fairly well (in theory!).
    The fan IS plastic, but a funny orange colour.
    Comes with a connector to a thermistor (supplied too) that sits under the CPU to monitor temp - seems to do a good job, as I have it running at 1600RPM when first switched on (and it's v quiet then), asn as temp rises, so do the RPM, and then the temp stabilises. Currently stabilises at around 40 dec C.
    Alternatively you also get a rheostat to manually ater the speed, but it seems to only govern it from ~3500 to top whack (~4500 IIRC), so it's NOISY then. But at least if I push the PC hard I know I've got some cooling power there.
     
  12. Garrett

    Garrett
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    I have seen them on other Volcanoes they have a round part underneath that is copper. From the picture that is pointed to it looked as though the got all the materials in the wrong place.
     
  13. Kramer

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    Hi all,

    Copper is a better thermal conductor, so absorbs heat better than Aluminum. However, copper is slower to release heat. Here aluminum is better.

    So, theoretically, using copper to absorb & then aluminum to dispell the heat is the best way.

    But in practice, all copper HS (well designed) do tend to perform better.

    Re modding my Volcano 7+, a Papst can't be fitted as the cowling will only take a 70mm fan (as supplied), unless it's modded.

    I've a baybus fitted (home made in a blank faceplate of my Lian Li PC-7 aluminum case). I've modified the switch arrangement controling the Volcano, added some extra zener diodes & resistors & now have speed options of <1500, 3300, 5500 & 6500RPM, aswell as control of all my case fans (all 5,7 & 12volt switching).

    BTW, Garret, I found that reversing the fan on the 7+, so it sucks rather than blows, has improved cooling by about 3C on the lowest setting (3300RPM). But I have a rear exhaust fan ideally placed just above the Volcano to extract the hot air (7v normally).

    M/board temps are now just above ambient, & the graphics card is also about 7C cooler as a result.

    This is in an XP1800+ running @ 1.85v & 1725mHz 'ish.
     
  14. RichardH

    RichardH
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    I might try reversing the fan on my Volcano 9+, then. Nice one!
     
  15. Kramer

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    I forgot to say you need to physically reverse the fan. The impeller is not symetric, so reversing the supply cables won't be as good.
     
  16. Garrett

    Garrett
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    So you just turn the fan upside down!
    What do you mean a rear exhaust fan ideally placed just above the Volcano to extract the hot? Did you make brackets to hold the fan?
    I’m finding this most interesting.
     
  17. Kramer

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    My Lian Li case has an exhause fan directly above/behind the CPU heatsink (just below the PSU).

    I'll take a pic later & post it if you want.

    Also, my Enermax PSU has twin fans, the bottom being right overhead the HSF, also helping extract the hot air.

    Obviously sucking air through the HS will help with M/board cooling (when blowing, you're blasting your Ram with hot air!), & help GPU etc... provided you can get the heat out fairly quickly.
     
  18. Garrett

    Garrett
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    I wouldn’t mind if you would be so kind.
    I have a case intake fan at 90 degrees and 2 inches away from the Volcano 7 (extra one I put on it) do you think reversing both will help. I see what you mean about the heating up of the ram. I also have a special extractor fan just under my graphic card, that blows out of the PCI slot in the back of my case.
     
  19. Kramer

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    Will do, check here in a while.
     
  20. Kramer

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    As promised.

    [​IMG]

    Soon all will be gone! Water gear on it's way :D
     
  21. MuFu

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    Nice, H20 is the way to go. :)

    I definitely recommend getting fanbus/baybus too Richard, although you might find that they are slightly impractical for use in an HTPC and a little on the expensive side (quite easy to make if you have moderate EE knowledge though). Rheostats are ok, but are very hard to calibrate and the ones that come with HS's (such as the 9+) tend to set the fan RPM very high and leave it there for more time than is actually needed.

    [​IMG]

    It the moment I'm running an 1800+@1938MHz, 2.1V in almost total silence on my main system (WD 800JB HDD is the only thing you can hear - very fast, but fairly noisy). The mobo northbridge is Zalman passively-cooled and my Enermax lower fan is also wired into the fanbus. When CPU usage goes up, it's as easy as turning a couple of pots just to keep temps in check. I find the best thing is that I can now leave the PC on all night and sleep in peace! :cool:

    As for the HTPC, here, I will be undervolting the CPU (a Cel-T 1.2GHz) to ~1.2-1.3V and running it passively cooled. That leaves just the GPU fan to get rid of and a Barracuda ATA IV + 75GXP which don't really make any noise at all. The PSU fan is running at 5V and is virtually inaudible.

    What CPU do you have? You can get away with undervolting (slightly underclocking if necessary) and passively cooling in many instances, as long as you have a decent HS and reasonable case airflow. The best heatsink available right now is the Thermalright SLK-800, IMO, although stick with that Volcano - you'll probably find that once you have it all set up and installed, the noice is much more tolerable than you imagined. As a cheap alternative to a Papst, Evercool make pretty good medium-ouput, low-noise 80mm units.

    MuFu.
     
  22. Garrett

    Garrett
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    Thanks Kramer

    Sugar I only got a new power supply unit last year. The fan I mentioned that was two inch away from my volcano is similar to the one on the left of the picture but is just a little lower down.
    Anyway you picture is food for thought.
     
  23. RichardH

    RichardH
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    MuFu - I beat you to it - I ordered a couple of Evercool 80s for case cooling yesterday, with the intention of getting the case temp down nicely and (as you suggest) sticking with the Volcano, which, if running at low RPM, is quiet enough for the final location of the HCPC - currently in my office, which is a bit "cosy", so you hear the noise more! I'd considered building some speed controllers, but I'll hold on until I see what the final setup's like.

    I'm running an Athlon XP1600+, so cooling's always going to be required - I'd started looking at the underclocking thing, but of course the multipliers are locked on these, so voltage will be the only way - or can multiplier locked CPUs go down but not up??

    Garrett - your case fan you are considering reversing - I'd say you want it extracting air FROM the case to pull the hot air away - I'd be suprised if it's not like that already.

    I'm intending to put 2 case fans in - one on the front of the case pulling cool air in (may mount this in the hard drive bay to help cool the HD too - plus it's then closer to the CPU), and one in the position pictured by Kramer pulling out. CPU fan pulling air UP from the heatsink. (Thanks Kramer BTW, I had intended to turn the fan upside down!).
    Does that sound like a plan?

    EDIT: For anyone interested, I got my Evercools from The Overclocking Store - £4.23 inc VAT & free postage - they're in the Colling|Fans section.
     
  24. Garrett

    Garrett
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    RichardH No it sucks air in, it is one I added myself to balance all the ones blowing air out.

    Can you under clock the CPU in BIOS as I did to get my 1600 to a 1800 for a trial run, but put it back as I really do not need the extra speed at the moment. I think I altered the frequency.
     
  25. RichardH

    RichardH
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    I can alter the bus speed (it sounds like this is what you did), and also the voltage, but obviously the mutliplier is locked. FSB can only increase not decrease, so I may try dropping the voltage - looking drop performance and hence temperature, not overclock!!
     
  26. MuFu

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    Good store that. :)

    Yeah... that sounds like a plan! - I bet you could get away with just the one fan in the position Kramer has it. A fan there is very, very effective because without it you just get a dead, hot air pocket around the CPU (unless your heatsink has an intake on the bottom like certain Enermax/Antec/Sparkle models do).

    It's pretty simple to unlock the multiplier on an Athlon XP (albeit not quite as easy as unlocking the older Athlon "T-Birds"). There's a good guide here, so if you feel like voiding your warranty give it a shot. I've done quite a few now and that method works first time, every time if done properly.

    Having said that, I doubt you'd be able to get away with underclocking, undervolting and passively cooling and AthlonXP unless you have very good case airflow and use a mofo of a heatsink. They run pretty hot "per-clock". The only chips I'd consider "easy" to do such a thing to would be VIA C3s (cool but crap, hehe), Durons and Celerons (esecially the Tualatin-cored "Cel-T's").

    Go nuts! :D

    MuFu.
     
  27. Kramer

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    The FSB can be reduced to reduce the mHz of the CPU. Some m/boards default to 100 FSB if problems are detacted with improper CPU speed.


    The CPU will need the same voltage unless you reduce the freq.

    Reduce the FSB (if the multiplier is locked - as you indicate it is), then you could reduce voltage.(note this will slow all system performance - not recommended)

    BTW, unlocking is relatively easy, & gives option for both over & underclocking.
     
  28. RichardH

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    Garrett - I wasn't going to the passively cooling the beast - I'm sure the required case fans would be louder than my existing setup!
    Bought an original Chrome Orb from Overclockingstore when they first came out - ahh the simple days of joining the bridges with a pencil line...

    Kramer : "The FSB can be reduced to reduce the mHz of the CPU" - not on my MB - seems to only have setting for 100Mhz up!

    Hey ho - maybe I'll try an unlock of the XP, but I'll see what happens with the Evercools....

    R
     
  29. Garrett

    Garrett
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    Hi Kramer, I turned the fan about and the one on the case, but before I thought to look at the temprature yesterday the HD went down.
    I was un-installing some cover disk software, and it must have taken some other files with it that my system needed, and when I re-booted it crashed. So I’m working on a small HD with very little room left to put new programs. A good mate of mine is going to send me the corrupted/missing files, and I will install them. But of that fails it looks as though it is a re-install job. :(
     
  30. Sinzer

    Sinzer
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    I am suprised none of you have looked at Acoustic Mats

    http://www.xpcgear.com/akpaxmatacab.html

    I am sure it wouldn't hurt and is a helluva lot simpler than underclocking your Athlon.

    For a quiet PC, you should really look at pentiums due to the advantages of being able to run it with a HS only.
     

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