My first quiet build?
Now that's a matter of definition, since I've worked with incremental upgrades of my computer since I purchased it at Christmas 2000 and the oldest part of it is the (unused) floppy drive from my previous computer of 1994.
The first time I got really bothered by the noise and did something to reduce it was sometime around 2004/5 I think. (Had an Athlon XP 1800+ at the time.)
I had bought a new computer case that came with a PSU. The PSU had a fairly loud 80mm fan, and adding another 80mm fan at the case exhaust didn't help.
* My first attempt of reducing the noise was to make a simple short duct with damping material on the inside that directed the PSU exhaust sideways, away from me. Reduced the noise level by a dB or two, not nearly sufficient...
* Replacing the PSU reduced the noise a good bit, but by now I was bitten by the "low noise" bug.
* Had an idea about reducing the noise leaking out by having the components placed in a well ventilated but "sound proofed" box. Went on to build this box from fibre board. Air intake through dust filters on the underside. Passing through two 12mm AC fans blowing straight up into the case. Exhaust by two 12cm fans at the upper rear, blowing the air through a vertical duct with outlet rearwards at the bottom. I used the innards of my old case to hold the actual computer stuff but removed a lot of material from it to allow better airflow. Some pictures here
While not quite reaching SPCR standards it did help significantly and I used this case for quite a while.
* Further measures to reduce noise was to 1. replace the stock CPU cooler with a Scythe Ninja 2 (which I for compatibility reasons had to ditch when I got a new motherboard this summer), 2. replace the small fanned chipset cooler with a fanless variety, and 3. replace a noisy graphics cooler with an Arctic S2 (that was only used for one card).
Later on I ditched the huge and heavy wooden box in favour of an Antec P183 (modded for better airflow
), and then reduced the noise further by upgrading the PSU to a CP850.
Got a temporary setback about a year ago when I purchased a not so quiet graphics card
, but that's history.