Reykjavík DIY Quiet PC

Do-It-Yourself Systems
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I think the pictures will say more than thousand words about the actual assemby of the computer parts, but the hardest parts were probably to fit the two 120 mm Papst fans with the Antec-provided rubber grommets. The case was heavy before, but with all the sound-dampening material and the big heatsinks (the copper heatsink on the CPU weighs 900 g!) it’s like lifting a rock. Following are the final pictures of the fully assembled computer. (The 3rd HDD at the bottom in the pictures, is just a temporary backup disk I used to carry my data from the old computer, and is now gone with all its noise!):

The ASUS P4P800 Deluxe mainboard in-place!

Ahh... nice to finally see everything nicely assembled and no cables cluttering up airflow paths.

A tight fit between the Zalman GPU heatsink and the Northbridge heatsink, but luckily no bending was required! Also visible are th4e Zalman 6500B-CU heatsink and the Kingston RAM strips.

My Cat-Man was considerably more interested in the new gadget than my wife!

Mug-shot! I was surprised to see the front door close without problems because the knobs on the fan controller stick out pretty far.

Side of the case, note that the ANTEC air-vents are completely blocked from the inside by my dampening material. It creates no heating issues with my setup.

And now for the results! I must say I am EXTREMELY pleased! There is no way to tell if the computer is on or not at a distance of 2 meters if it wasn’t for the blue lights on the front of the case. All fans are running at 5 V except the PSU fan which is thermally controlled but never seems to need to speed up. With this setup the CPU runs at 30-36°C idle and motherboard 34-40°C but under load neither the CPU nor the motherboard has gone above 42°C. I find this amazing. Right now the sound-level meter I use (Testo 816) shows less than 30 dB (its minimum) even when mesured only 10 cm from the computer case.

The sound-level meter that turned out to be pretty useless since it only measures accurately down to 30 dB (the ambient noise in my appartment during day is close to that number anyway).

Wireless heaven! My dream came true with this BRILLIANT Samsung LCD! Good-bye space-eating-heavy-weight 19" Trinitron CRT!

If I want to be really picky, I’d say that by far the noisiest component is the Antec PSU fan, followed by the Zalman CPU fan which is really noisy at 12 V but close to silent at the 5 V I’m feeding it. I can’t hear the HDDs when idle but I can detect tiny clicks when active, but this is so "un-annoying" that I’m not sure if I want to sacrifice performance by activating AAM with the Hitachi Feature Tool like many do.

Oh well... I’m a happy camper now thanks to people like you (at SPCR) that fill the Internet with wisdom!

Feel free to comment or ask questions.

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