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Thread: Quietness please!!

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    Quietness please!!

    Hi,

    My system is as follows: Intel 3.0Ghz, 1GB DDR, ATI 9800 128, Soundblaster Audigy, Westurn 200 UDMA 133, Sony optical drives, Akasa ultra quiet 460W psu, Coolermaster ATCS case fitted with 3 arctic 80mm fans.

    My question is would it be possible to make a completely quiet Pc with this spec to go in a bedroom so the most critical of people couldnt hear it?

    I currently have a Zalman superflower for the CPU cooler, a Zalman ZP80 for the graphics and what is supposed to be a quiet PSU! It is still noisy!! Can I make a dead silent PC or do i get a laptop!!

    Thanks

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    How thin are your walls mate? If I shut the door, you can't hear my PC anywhere else in the house. Or are you talking about the missus trying to kip in the same room?

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    noise between rooms is amplified when the noise object is placed on wood i.e. a desk, carpet gives the better noise reduction but theres always the static risk which is minimal

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    It'll never be totally silent but you can do a lot to make it quieter. Zalman do a lot of good kit and there are some very quiet fans about too. The PSU issue is a tricky one, I know that some companies do totally passive solutions but they tend to cost a lot of money.

    How's your HD? Western Digital aren't exactly known for their quiet drives. Have you tried looking at Samsung's drives? I used to prefer Seagate but some of the newer Seagates aren't all that quiet, sadly.

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    The missus!

    I'm afriad it's the missus! To be fair to her it is very noisy ! I thought with my recent purchases it should be almost silent. The only noise seems to be from the artic 80mm fans! As soon as the system warms up it is unbearable!



    What are your opinions on a Sonata case? I thought I had done all the right moves!!!

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    I bet it's your harddisks making most of the noise.

    I run my lappy at night sometimes and its very quiet apart from when the fan kicks in every 5 minutes, but my external harddisk is still the loudest thing in the room and that's a "25dB" seagate, one of the quietest ever made. You wont be able to win unless you encase it in a concrete box.
    I dont like sig pics so i turn off sigs Which doesnt help when i dont know what ive written here! DOH!

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    re: "Coolermaster ATCS case fitted with 3 arctic 80mm fans"

    You hit the nail right on the head! :-) I have the same case. Try another case, or put some quieter case fans in there (i.e. Zalmans, about £7 each) and make sure you put noise damping gaskets (about £4 per 2 pack) between them and the case. You could also try some case anti-noise foam/padding, to reduce the 'boom' effect. That little lot will still probably cost you less than a new Sonata...

    re: "I bet it's your harddisks making most of the noise."

    Probably not. My old IBM 'Deathstar' was a real noisey bugger, but any of the newer drives with FDB motors are real quiet, even though they spin 2500 rpm faster, especially when mounted internally (and especially when used with noise-dampening mountings). I thought my newer drive (Maxtor) was still the source of noise, until I booted my PC up with it detached to find it wasn't. The racket really came from the case and CPU fans.

    I'd also mention that the standard Intel HS/Fan is a noisey bugger. I replaced mine with a Zalman 7000cu - the all copper jobbie with a 92 mm frameless fan - and at 2000 rpm it keeps lower temps than the Intel, and it's silent.

    If noise bothers you that much, Zalman do a totally silent case. But it costs £700! Think you'd get more noise from the wife if she found out you'd spent that much. :-)

    Nomadd

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    I couldn't agree more!! I bought the Coolermaster case because I thought when coupled with all the right goodies it would mean peace at last! Not only is it noisy but the missus is giving grief over it !!!
    What a disaster!! Do you reckon I should get a Sonata?

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    I was looking at the sonata a while back but couldn't figure wether or not the PSU could handle my system. It probably could, but instead i went for a Coolermaster centurion and a 450W CWT from scan, which is still noisy for me in this room (I am ina room no bigger than 1m x 1.5m, so noise IS an issue).

    Is watercooling completely silent?

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    Yes, I assume that water is the way but then you would still need a PSU with no fan!!

    There must be a way to get a Quiet PC?!?!?!?

    Can anyone suggest a case/fan set up?
    I was about to buy a Zalman 400W PSU when someone said the Akasa 460 ultra silent PSU was better value and Quieter!! The problem I have is firstly my case (coolermaster ATCS) has a tiny vent for the PSU! The second problem is the Artic 80mm fans are a lot louder than expected!!

    Help please!
    All I (We) want is a system that is almost silent in the same room we sleep in!

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    What are the specs on those arctic fans, and is the system still as noisy with them disconnected?

    If you're finding it's a lot quieter without the case fans, try running the case with just 1 intake / 1 exhaust, and think about replacing the existing 80mm fans ...I wouldn't worry about the PSU - the akasa runs off a 120mm, doesn't it, so that shouldn't be the problem...

    Also, make sure you've got the zalman fanmate on absolute minimum.

    I'm running similar efforts for quietness, I'm being defeated by my cpu and gfx fans (can't fit an arctic cooler over the top of my firewire headers, sadly, and 7000a zalman won't fit either) - but my PSU (Hiper 420) and case fans (Panaflos) no longer come into the equation.

    You might also try Samsung drives, I've heard WD have a tendency to be a wee bit loud too

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    Littlewill: I probably wouldn't jump at the Sonata just yet, as inc. a new PSU it's going to cost you a few bob. I'd also be a bit careful about following the advice to disconnect fans, as my PC became very unstable when I did that - mind you, I've an overclocked P4 at 3.5GHz and and overclocked 6800GT... I've disconnected only the top case fan now (as that's the one you hear the most) and have left the other 3 running. I have an Enermax PSU that has two fans on it: a bottom one to draw the rising heat off the CPU HS/fan and an exhaust one out the back. My PSU fans have a control knob for adjusting the fan speeds, and I have them set to half speed, which is totally silent.

    What you really need to do is pin down the source of your noise, otherwise you are just clutching at - maybe expensive - straws. Start disconnecting stuff until you find the noisey stuff; you're machine will be alright for short runs without all the case fans as long as you have the side panel off. Obvoiusly the CPU fan has to be connected, but at least if you disconnect all the case fans and the hard disk, you be able to powerup and get a general feel for how much the noise goes up when you add each bit back, and an idea of how noisey the CPU fan and PSU fan is. Do some testing and see how you get on. My 'gut feel' is still that it's CPU fan and case fans, so those are the best places to start. Again, testing should make this clear (or otherwise.)

    I've considered water myself, but I'm holding off until I can get a decent kit for both my CPU and 6800GT. With a decent radiator/fan setup, you should be able to reduce the number of case fans to a couple - although do keep an eye on temps if you do. Also, it's a bit of an expensive leap, and where do you stop? I'm happy with my PC now, but it's certainly not anywhere near silent. Have a look on quietpc.co.uk for a few ideas. At the end of the day you can make the Coolermaster silent(ish), just like you can make a Sonata silent(ish), but it can prove to be quite pricey. It's all down to how much money/time you want to spend... Oh, have a look at the Zalman case if you do go to quietpc, but be prepared to wipe the drool off your keyboard! :-)

    Nomadd
    Last edited by Nomadd; 04-08-2004 at 09:29 PM.

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    Thanks

    Nomadd

    Thanks for your advice you are right. After all the only noise I have left can be the case fans as the hard drive isn't noisy really. What would you do in my shoes? Would you try and get the Artic's to quieten down and add soundproofing? On my previous case I only had 1 120mm Aucostifan (from quiet pc) fitted. Fair play, it was virtually non hearable! The problem is the 80mm's do have to spin that much faster. Would you try another brand? I forgot to say earlier I have put a 50 Ohm resistor in line with them so they are running slower than full out!!
    I have read several reviews on the PSU I bought and everyone praises it! The only thing I can say is that coolermaster haven't given it much space to breath!! Normally the PSU is unrestricted into the case. On my ATCS it has like a 10mm wide long cut out which must only cover 10% of the fan!!
    Your help is appreciated. I just don't want to spend more money on wasted efforts. Time isn't a problem.

    Regards
    littlewill

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    Cooling

    HI

    The fans are PRO TC's. They have built in thermostats and I have put an inline resistor (50 Ohm's) and I still can't hear myself think!!

    I think it is going to be a matter of playing around to quieten this peach down!! What is your opinion on Sound proofing? What and how much?



    Thanks

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    Some nice fans and soundproofing materials here http://www.whispertec.com

    You can isolate the fans from the case with rubber mounts to stop vibration/noise transmission to the case as this is all the Sonata does different from standard cases. The antec 120mm fan in the Sonata is actually quite loud so I changed the fan after a few weeks of owning the case.

    Try some new case fans and make sure you have manual speed control so you can dial them down to a noise level that is acceptable to you. Reduce the number of fans but keep an eye on your case temp and your CPU temp using some hardware monitoring software.

    Soundproof does indeed work. Thicker material absorbs more sound energy and special layers help with specific frequencies + vibration. Something to consider once you are happy with your fans ie icing on the cake rather than a cure for loud fans.

    Big CPU heatsinks are a good idea and preferably one that you can mount a standard sized fan of your choice. The thermaltake silent tower is stupidly large and leaves only 1mm clearance to the case side panel. The cooling on this monster is much better than the zalman flower so you can further reduce the RPMs or quantity of fans. I am certain they also make a passive heatpipe CPU cooler with cooling fins that project out behind a case exhaust fan and 'share' the airflow. Less fans = less noise.

    If you mainboard has a fan change it for a large passive heatsink.

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    Littlewill: I'd say do it in steps, going with the cheap stuff first. You might find that you get a PC that's quiet enough for you without going the 'whole hog'. That's what I did, and in my case (pun!), I stopped once I'd got a new harddisk (to replace my reall old noisey Deskstar) and put the silent Zalman CPU hs/fan in.

    The 80mm noise gaskets are £4 for a pack of 2. So get some of those and give them a try. They will stop the fan noise resonating through the aluminium case. If you find you need to go further, maybe buy one of the cheapish, queiter 80mm fans - i.e. a Zalman. Disconnect all you case fans except one and see what the noise level is like; then swap that one fan out for the Zalman (or similar quiet fan) and see what a difference it makes. Then you'll know whether it's going to justify the cost of replacing all 4.

    After that - if you still don't think it's quiet enough - try a case noise suppresion pack (i.e. noise blocks for empty drive bays and padding for all the case panels).

    And after that, maybe think water.

    As I say, that would be my approach if I was going further forward, as it's doing things in a progressively more expensive manner.

    NB. I still don't think we got a mention of you CPU hs/fan? Like I said, the Intel one is noisey. I really can't recommend the Zalman enough - my P4@3.5 is cool and silent with it fitted.

    Nomadd

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