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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2002 2:32 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
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Location: Walnut Creek, CA
I'm overjoyed at finding this site and forum; I thought I was the only person on the planet who hated the noise of his computer! I've been researching a new system for weeks, and have decided on a P4 system because of the low voltage/low temp compared to AMD, and also because of the fact that the P4 will shutdown gracefully if it looses cooling. So I've bought a P4 1.6 MHz (low voltage, Northwood core) <BR> <BR>Ultimately, I may go with water cooling, but for now, I want to try 'silent' fans and such. I'm frantically reviewing dozens of products and slowly coming to decisions on each one; but now that the CPU and mobo (Asus P4B533) are on their way, I would like to make haste! For that, I need guidance from you guys please! <BR> <BR>I don't play games; I don't overclock. I do heavy photoshop, occasional video conversion, nothing that my current PIII 660 can't handle. Other than that, it's pretty basic web design, email, and browsing. So this is a pure fun project - to build a silent PC. Don't mind spending the cash. Have electrical background. Have tools... . Time is a bit of a problem ... . <BR> <BR>So - power supply. The Zalman looks good. Is it better than the Enermax models? What about the 'Ultra Quiet 300 Watt ATX Power Supply ENP730 ' at endpcnoise.com? I see references to your 'modded reference PS'. Can I mod a Zalman with better fan? What about taking a risk and hooking their fan to a fan controller, and controlling it yourself? Or to a digital doctor monitor? <BR> <BR>CPU cooler - this one is tough. I'm leaning towards the Zalman flower, all copper, and running their fan at very low speed. Is it worth buying a better fan than the one they supply? What about relying on the case fan for airflow - that's one big heatsink! Or, relying on the CPU fan for turbulence, and the PS fan for flowthrough (no case fan) (my video card will be an ATI all-in-wonder based on rage pro - churns out a bit of heat). Anyone tried that VERAX CPU heatsink from Silicon Accoustics - for $73, I'd expect miracles! <BR> <BR>Hard Drive. The Seagate Barracuda seems great. Is it worth running the barracuda in a vibration damper (eg, noisecontrol novibes II from frozenpc.com)? I don't plan to run the HD in a cooler. Just a thought - has anyone ever considered using a laptop hard drive? My work provides me with almost the ultimate in silent PCs - a 1 GHz Dell latitude with 20 Gig HD, 512 Meg Ram .... which I use in my living room at home, with a wireless lan card, for laptop browsing. The hard drive is VERY quiet. Pretty slow, I guess. I've seen conversion kits that let you run laptop HDs in regular systems. Just a thought. <BR> <BR>Case - I'm seeing some pretty fancy cases on offer; all aluminum, etc. Are they really worth it? I want to go mid-tower, not full, for office-aesthetics reasons. All-aluminum appeals - sturdy, heat dissipation, etc ... but who knows - maybe the weird laws of accoustics will make all that sturdiness count against me. Do cases tend to arrive, from mail-order guys, without damage? <BR> <BR>Finally - any tips for glue to glue a thermistor to a device to monitor it's temp? I'm assuming you don't want to pick a glue that itself insulates the heat. I'm just looking for glue to stick the thermistor from, say, a digital doctor to the hard drive surface, to the outside of the power supply, etc. <BR> <BR>Thanks for your help, everyone! Chris <BR>
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2002 2:32 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
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Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
HI Chris, welcome to SPCR. That has to be as long a post as I've seen anywhere! <br> <br>A few suggestions: <br>1. read the P4 silencing article in the Mods & Projects Topic <br>2. the stock Intel HS with a quiet fan at V combined with some Vcore reduction will keep the P4 perfectly cool. The Zalman 6500 either model) will keep it even cooler, but the Zalman fan is not that quiet. Fanmate comes with it, nice bonus. <br>3. New Zalman and Seasonic PSUs remain the quietest unmodded PSUs. Have not compared a Q-technology; will depend mostly on fan quality all all the really quiet PSUs have the same ~5V default for fan. Modded ref PSU is simply any psu with a Panaflo 08L12A fan at 5V or less. If you want to mess with the PSU, Silicon Acoustics offers a passive PFC Seasonic 300W for $44. Good value, IMO. <br>4. Cuda (and most modern HDD) has SMART internal temp diode you can monitor with software. Dtemp is listed under Links. Well worth suspending, sandwiching won't silence much more but helps with cooling, if that proves to be an issue. Again, read HDD articles here. <br>5. Case -- any decent one with adequately size vents will do. Generally, larger is easier to quiet than smaller, but midtowers do fine. <br>6. There is a Recommended Components section in the works. It should be up and running in the next few days, might not cover everything right away, but it will be a good start.
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