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 Post subject: Screw quiet, I want silent
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2002 9:14 am 
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Hi guys,
I'm completely fed up of 'quieting' my system. This is kinda a rant; I just want it to be silent, how hard can it be?!

Even my flipping monitor buzzes. It's a complete pile of junk. The stupid GF2MX fan temps go through the roof when I disconnect the fan.

Ahhhhhhhh! I'm gonna need:
-Silent LCD monitor
-Solidstate hdd
-VIA C3
-Fanless PSU with no transformer hum
~£1k :(


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 Post subject: Re: Screw quiet, I want silent
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2002 6:15 am 
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davidhooper wrote:
Ahhhhhhhh! I'm gonna need:
-Silent LCD monitor
-Solidstate hdd
-VIA C3
-Fanless PSU with no transformer hum
~£1k :(

I think you forgot to add "a pony". :)

The easiest and cheapest method of getting a truly "silent" computer is to simply move the computer into another room. You'll have to pay a bit to get some decent quality long video cables, but that's cheaper than any solid state hard drive out there. :)

Or, you can always bury it.

--kurt


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2002 7:10 am 
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Location: Worcester, UK
Yep, thats exactly right (moving it, not burying it :roll: :P ) it is the best solution. Ive done this now (wish i'd done it earlier - i love my comp now :lol: ), but you still have the problem of the monitor buzzing.

I really cant decide whether to splurge £600 on an LCD or not... decisions, decisions...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2002 7:16 am 
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If you do any hardcore gaming, you probably want to steer clear of LCDs for now. I love my 19" ViewSonic VG19, but it isn't nearly as smooth as a CRT on the fast FPS games. Then again, I don't play those all that often, so it's not a big deal for me.

--kurt


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2002 7:37 am 
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Location: Worcester, UK
19" LCD?!?!! You lucky *$#&%!!!! :P :D :D

Nah, i dont game, just music production, so i need a high core spec machine, but a G550 and an LCD would be perfect for display requirements. Been following developments for a while, but not sure whether to go for one now or not... Toms hardware is suggesting that prices are gonna be going up, which sounds ridiculous... He also said ones with response time of about 13ms are gonna be out soon - should be good enough for the gamers out there.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2002 2:01 pm 
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So, if I moved it I would need:
-Long video cable
-Long keyboard cable
-Long mouse cable

And energy to put in DVDs when needed :P
Anything else?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2002 2:32 pm 
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davidhooper wrote:
So, if I moved it I would need:
-Long video cable

Make sure it's a quality video cable -- video signals can degrade over long distances (10ft+) so it's important to get a cable that will carry a signal with minimal loss.

You should expect to pay anywhere from $30 - $200 for this cable. If you see one for $10, be very suspicious.

--kurt


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2002 2:38 pm 
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Yeah, even over 6' they can degrade. I got a cheap 6' cable for £5 which was a waste of money cos it caused lots of ghosting. Definetely buy a high quality one with coax for the RGB signal.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2002 6:53 am 
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after quietening my case, my monitor buzz is now starting to get to me. :evil: are TFT's totally silent? if so i'll have to seriously consider one.


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 Post subject: Here's an option...
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2002 7:48 am 
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Hi,

You sound a lot like me. I'm fed up of quietening my system. If it 'aint silent then screw it.

No - TFTs aren't totally silent - at least not mine. I've got a NEC MultiSync 1510 which, to me, is silent. But I've also got an NEC 1810X which buzes (because it's old and a bit broke I think, probably need to get it mended), and my super-duper Sony 18.1" monitor, which is normally silent, makes a high pitched sound when certain graphics are on the screen (someone explain that to me).

My Sony Vaio Picturebook (PCG-C1VE) *is* silent apart from a very, very quiet buzzing from the TFT screen when the hard-drive is spun down. But when the har-drive is active it makes a hell of a racket (at least to me).

I've looked into Solid State hard-drives but a 3GB drive would itself cost about £2,000. No thank you.

I've tried a Barracuda IV on a desktop before and its definitely not silent. Even with elastic holding it in suspension is too noisy for me.

One idea might be to replace a HDD with lots of CompactFlash cards connected by IDE. Dunno how that'd work though, or if it would be any good.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2002 9:26 am 
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teklan wrote:
are TFT's totally silent?

My ViewSonic is completely silent -- I don't hear anything from it.

It also uses far, far less power than my old CRT.

--kurt


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2002 12:41 pm 
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Location: Santa Clara, CA
there are standard ATA PC Card Type 1 at 1GB now. cost is a bit over $600 USD. OEMs also sell notebook form-factors (i.e., 44-pin IDE connector instead of PC Card interface). these may go higher than 1GB, but i'm not sure.

it's still very expensive, but much better than the £2,000 for 3GB you mentioned.

here's another idea: do a network boot and mapped network drive from a NAS, like a Quantum SOHO SNAP server (do they still make those?) or equivalent product. or even cheaper, make a DIY NAS it from some old PC spare parts that most of us have lying around.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2002 12:56 pm 
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hyum wrote:
there are standard ATA PC Card Type 1 at 1GB now. cost is a bit over $600 USD. OEMs also sell notebook form-factors (i.e., 44-pin IDE connector instead of PC Card interface). these may go higher than 1GB, but i'm not sure.

Right -- the IBM microdrive. Anyone heard anything regarding their reliability? I know they're stilll fairly new, but you have to wonder how long something that small will last.

hyum wrote:
here's another idea: do a network boot and mapped network drive from a ... DIY NAS it from some old PC spare parts that most of us have lying around.

I've done this before and it works reasonably well. At least with linux, you can get away with a 486 (or even 386) and run that as a diskless workstation. Totally silent once the floppy stops grinding away on boot. It does take some effort to get working, however, especially if you want to run Xfree86 and other GUI apps. Still, a nice solution, nonetheless.

--kurt


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2002 3:30 pm 
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actually, i don't mean microdrive. microdrive is not solid state plus it is CFII interface, not ATA.

what i was talking about is a flash ATA card, either PC Card Type I or notebook drive form-factor with 44-pin IDE interface (i.e., solid state notebook drive drop-in replacement).

here is one product link for a ATA PC Card Type I.
http://www.smartmodular.com/product/pro ... oductID=13
there are other vendors that make this as well. i'm sure if SMART makes one, so does sandisk as well as other competators or theirs.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2002 3:37 pm 
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here is another link: sandisk 2.5" flash ATA drive (44-pin notebook connector). they list a 2GB size. price is not listed so i don't know how much it costs.

http://www.sandisk.com/oem/flashdrive.asp


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2002 3:42 pm 
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heh. looks like arrow is listing the 2GB at $2300 USD, and 1GB at $1100 USD for the sandisk flash drive.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2002 3:45 pm 
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I would be extremely wary about using flash RAM in a desktop system. Flash RAM has a limited number of writes that it can process before things start to break -- it's not designed for a system to be writing to it constantly.

--kurt


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2002 4:18 pm 
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agreed. flash drives are not an optimal replacement for HDD, even for silent operation.

flash drives use flash ROM, not flash RAM. however, flash EEPROM does have a limited number of block erases. a typical minumum is 100K block erases.

however, flash ATA controllers not only handle the ATA control, but also have an algorythm that shifts the data around so that writes to the same logical location is physically shifted around so repeative writes in one section don't "wear" out the flash as quickly. how much longer this preserves the flash is dependant upon the application.

also note that flash drives and flash technology is very slow. if fact, it's much much slower than a desktop or notebook HDD. erase cycles are very slow, and to do a single bit-write, you have to do a block read, block erase, then block write to change a single bit- it's painfully slow. (you can read this on howstuffworks.com to learn about why this is for flash memory if you're interested).

only if you're fanatical about noise would i even consider this solution, or unless your PC is in industrial control or telcom :). better to stuff a HDD in a foam box.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2002 9:50 am 
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kurtl wrote:
here's another idea: do a network boot and mapped network drive from a ... DIY NAS it from some old PC spare parts that most of us have lying around. I've done this before and it works reasonably well. At least with linux, you can get away with a 486 (or even 386) and run that as a diskless workstation. Totally silent once the floppy stops grinding away on boot. It does take some effort to get working, however, especially if you want to run Xfree86 and other GUI apps. Still, a nice solution, nonetheless.


3-4 years ago I used a 486/33 system with 8 megs of memory, fanless PSU, no hard disk, and booted it using the Xdenu distribution (X terminal on 2 floppies). In my university's campus area I was able to use heavy modern applications by connecting to the unix servers from my home. The noisiest part of the system is the 486 processor. It produces same kind of quiet high-pitched noise as the background noise in old sound cards.

There is a huge difference between almost silent and totally silent. Total silence is luxurious and not possible to have.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2002 10:14 am 
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bluehat wrote:
Total silence is luxurious and not possible to have.

Total silence, at least with respect to personal computers, is absolutely possible to have. Whether it's accomplished through moving the computer into another room, or building a sound-insulated chamber, there are ways to achieve it.

You can argue about "Total Silence" meaning 0dB vs. "Total Silence" meaning "completely inaudible to the human ear". Given that the perception of both is identical, however, I would suggest that such an argument is completely academic.

--kurt


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