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 Post subject: Please help me shut it up! :-)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 5:22 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2002 5:10 am
Posts: 47
Hi everyone, my computer is making an awful lot of noise and I just recently found this website - I hope someone out there can help me...

The specs (wrt noise generation) are:

Chieftec TX10-BLD (just replaced my old generic cheapass case, but to no avail)
ThermalTake Volcano 5
TNT2 M64 with a tiny fan
WD ATA7200rpm (40GB)
chassis fan attached and running

The steps I am considering right now are disconnecting the gfx board fan and the chassis fan, but I'm not sure how much that would help. I am also giving some thought to replacing the CPU fan (I'm using an AMD XP1500, so I don't think I could get away with just a heatsink, though).

Any thoughts?

VERY grateful for your advice.


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 Post subject: Re: Please help me shut it up! :-)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 8:40 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2002 11:35 pm
Posts: 41
Location: Amsterdam
El_Duderino wrote:
Hi everyone, my computer is making an awful lot of noise and I just recently found this website - I hope someone out there can help me...

The specs (wrt noise generation) are:

ThermalTake Volcano 5


Get rid of this first. It's probably the greatest source of noise. Look around this website in the 'recommended' section. Personally, I have very good experience from 2 german manufacturers of silent parts, but I don't know anything about their availability outside of Europe. But here are the addresses anyway:
www.aconto.de
www.ichbinleise.de

Quote:
TNT2 M64 with a tiny fan
WD ATA7200rpm (40GB)
chassis fan attached and running

The videocardfan and harddisk are probably the second sources of noise.
The noise that the harddisk produces during seek actions is not too difficult to reduce: A suspension system as described on this website will do the trick. The whining noise that's always there is much more difficult. Purchasing a really silent disk like the Seagate Barracuda IV is of great help, other disks like your WD would have to be encapsulated to be quieted down. Boxes like that exist, but are expensive.
The videocardfan is a bit difficult, because removing the heatsink+fan voids your warranty, but if you're prepared to do that, some quiet vidcard coolers exists. Zalman produces some very interesting stuff, not cheap.

Quote:
The steps I am considering right now are disconnecting the gfx board fan and the chassis fan, but I'm not sure how much that would help. I am also giving some thought to replacing the CPU fan (I'm using an AMD XP1500, so I don't think I could get away with just a heatsink, though).


Before anything, start with replacing the CPU HSF. Look around this website and the recommended manufacturers' websites, and be amazed how much a difference a quiet CPU cooler makes. It will however, make you more critical about other sources of noise. It made me end up with a watercooling system. No noise, but an empty wallet :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Please help me shut it up! :-)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 9:03 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2002 5:10 am
Posts: 47
Thanks a lot for your input!

I will look into replacing the CPU fan right away.

The snag is, I'm really keen on replacing that TNT2 with a GF4Ti200, which would probably mean I'm sacrificing a lot of the volume gains made by replacing the CPU HSF. OTOH, I've been told you can use a Zalman 80 something heat sink with the GF4Ti200 - do you know if this is routine?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 9:09 am 
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Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Quote:
you can use a Zalman 80 something heat sink

Yes this is routine. You can also use a quiet 80mm fan at 5-7V mounted perpendicular to the video card to cool it. This is virtually silent in a closed case and provides as good if not better cooling than most of the tinuy whiny fans on video cards. This was done on several projects you'll find in Mod & Projects. The P4 silencing piece and the VIA + TKPower 300 article, for example.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 9:47 am 
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Quote:
ThermalTake Volcano 5

Nooooo! My old TT Volcano 5 was so terribly noisy - words fail me to describe it's shameful noisiness!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2002 12:37 pm 
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Posts: 47
Update:

I did the following:

1) disconnected the TNT2 fan
2) replaced my thermaltake with an arctic super silent pro (cheap thing, but I'm not overclocking anyway)

My SO walked in the bedroom (where the computer is) and asked me if it was on - the difference is beyond belief.

There is just one small thing (and there should really be a name for this) - now I can hear a host of other sounds, which were obscured earlier. I am particularly bothered by a very high pitch sound, the origin of which eludes me. Could it be the Northbridge fan? (I am using an Abit KG7.) I don't think it's the CPU/PSU/chassis fan, and probably not the harddrive either.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2002 3:01 pm 
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Location: Worcester, UK
Well you can check your fans by just pushiing in the middle to stop them briefly - mind the fins thou! Also try setting your HD to spin down after 3 mins of non-use - its in power options in control panel i think. That could narrow it down. Also is the sound intermitent or continuous? Mine makes a high pitched sound when i do things like scroll down a page sometimes.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2002 4:11 pm 
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Chief, that strange scrolling sound could be coming from your PSU, believe it or not. Check by isolating the sound. I've seen this with 2 PSUs. BTW, El_Duderino, your high pitched noise could also be PSU coil noise.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2002 2:11 am 
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Location: Worcester, UK
I have tryed to find the source, but its hard to tell, i think its coming PSU, its certainly near, i also thought it might be the DC/DC converters near the CPU? Their so close its hard to tell.

Either way, its not a problem now because i have my computer in the cupboard next to me, and it is completely silent!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2002 2:33 am 
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Well, I tried the old thumb-pressing-down-on-fan trick on the Northbridge fan - that didn't stop the sound. (Too bad, as that could have been fixed in a jiffy.)

What's interesting is that the sound disappears just as the resolution is changed on the monitor when winxp boots up. Then it's back in an instant... (And the videocard fan is disconnected already!)

Most intriguing... :-)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2002 3:49 am 
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Location: Worcester, UK
Ah! Try switching your monitor off, its possibly the buzz from your CRT. Thats all i can hear from my computer now :)


<--- Me must start saving for a nice TFT!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2002 4:30 am 
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Well, I'm using an LCD display, so no dice. :-)

However, when the hard drive powers off or is disconnected entirely (:-)), the noise disappears like magic. So I guess the diagnosis is clear - all I have to do now is find a remedy... :-)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2002 4:44 am 
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Location: Worcester, UK
And you dont have to look far! :D

HD silencing Part 1

HD silencing follow-up

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2002 6:51 am 
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Posts: 47
Hehe, yeah I looked at that. I'll be on the lookout for two thick aluminum disks, and if I don't find any, I might take the plunge and go for a Seagate Barracuda instead.

The question is if a sandwiched WD is quieter than a non-sandwiched SB4... :-)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2002 7:23 am 
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Posts: 47
Just an update...

Just a couple of days ago, my system was as listed in the first post in this thread. Now I've done the following:

1. Replaced the thermaltake with an arctic cooling super silent pro.
2. Disconnected the video card fan.
3. Disconnected the northbridge fan.
4. Put the HD in a Silentdrive (MAN did that make a difference!).

All in all, it's like day and night.

Thanks a lot for your input. As for my next step, maybe a new PSU (I'm using the stock Chieftec 340w)... Or a new chassis fan... Or another hard drive altogether... Maybe I'll disconnect the CD-ROM, that gets pretty noisy at times... or maybe I'll... You see what I've become? :-)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2002 9:29 am 
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I guess we need to put the HD quieting devices in the Recommended HDD page. The Silent Drive does belong in there (he says reluctantly :? ) with Smart Drive and NoVibes (both much better devices reviewed here) but with a strong warning against using 7200 rpm drives. The design of the Silent Drive tends to trap heat, and 7200 rpm drives, which run hotter than 5400 rpm ones, often get quite hot (above 50C). Although we generally take the approach that CPUs can be run considerably hotter than is widely accepted by hardware and OC enthusiasts, we take a more cautious approach with HDD. Why? Because HD store your DATA, which is usually the most important thing in most people's PCs. Letting your HD run hot does risk earlier failure.

I recommend using Dtemp or similar (look under Software in Links) to check your drive temp & make changes if the temp easily exceeds 50C.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2002 6:51 am 
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are u getting any stabiliity issues with disconnecting the northbridge? those northbridge fans make a heap of noise but the lil heatsinks in my experience can't hack it with no fan to force the air across them, depends on your northbridge, if it's starting to run a bit unstable I'd advice a Zalman Passive Northbridge cooler or just stick a big heatsink onto it with a bit of thermal epoxy or frag tape (epoxy should not be considered reversable btw) :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2002 4:28 pm 
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or maybe 5V the NB fan if it will start up consistently. Ive done that on mine, and its completely inaudible, but is plenty sufficient to cool the NB.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2002 8:54 am 
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I have actually been experiencing some stability issues. My computer doesn't seem to want to be running at 133 MHz FSB any more, but I didn't immediately attribute that to the Northbridge (I think I broke the socket when I tried to pry the cable off :-(). It is still very cool, however (32 degrees C)...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2002 11:18 am 
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How are you getting that 32C temp. Is that maybe the "System Temp" from the BIOS? If so, that may just be the ambient temp in the case.

What motherboard/chipset are you using?

If you are able to run OK at 100, but not at 133, that definitely leads you to think the chipset is having trouble.

I would highly recommend one of the big Zalman NB heatsinks. They're only $5, and well worth it.

Here's a link to that sink from where I bought one. I bought the 32J, but I imagine this works pretty close to as well.

http://www.sharkacorp.com/cgi-bin/TLSstore.cgi?user_action=detail&catalogno=zmnb32

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2002 7:07 pm 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
or u could go the cheapo way and just frag tape or thermal epoxy a S370 or a large Socket Heatsink to the Northbridge :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2002 4:43 am 
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Well, I put in a Zalman NB32J instead. Installing that mother was quite an ordeal, since the puny heatsink provided by Abit wouldn't go without a fight.

Sadly, the new heatsink did not remedy the instability problem (although I'm keeping my fingers crossed and will continue tweaking the BIOS to see what can be done).

Thanks for your help! (All of you...)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2002 4:46 pm 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
lol, I destroyed my push pins on my northbridge fan heatsink, lucky the plastic was weaker than the motherboard :) have u tried checking your RAM to see if that might be causing the stability issue? try finding a RAM testing program as well, my friend had dodgy RAM and managed to RMA it when he showed to the dealer that the RAM was actually dodgy using a testing program

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