I had purchased a new Antec P-160 case and while perusing the Net for ideas on modding it, I came here and caught the Quiet Bug. Being a little cheap, I ordered a PowerSnooze sound dampening kit and combined it with a few pieces of other sound dampening material I had on hand.
First thing was to silence the power supply unit a little more. Now...I have the Thermaltake Silent power 480w psu, so yeah, I know its quiet in and of itself, but indulge me a bit, OK?
I slapped an Antec silicone gasket on it:
Next I took a Zalman 7000 Aluminum-Copper CPU heatsink/fan and I took that fan off and place two small neoprene strips between the base of the fan and the bracket that it is attached to the heat sink, following Joe DeFuria's great mod here
. Thanks Joe! Now the fan is riding on a cushion. Quiet as a churchmouse...
Next I took some dampening material and lined the bottom of the hard drive rack. The hard drive mounts themselves already had rubber mounting grommets for silence, but I also added some neoprene strips for the hard drives to "ride" on. I decided to combine both, rather than use either one exclusively. I then screwed the hard drives down just enough for a"spongy" feel when mounted on the rack:
The filter behind the front panel is real spiffy, but actually ineffective because at the bottom there is a huge a gap between it and the front fan grill (red arrow). I decided to removed the "filter" and just tape some foam filtering material directly on the fan grill to keep the dust out:
I could have opted for NO front fan, but I liked the idea of a blue LED fan showing through the front...used an Antec 120mm LED fan hooked into a fan controller. It is currently down to minimal rpms, but still putting some nice cool air over my two Western Digital Raptor drives.
Then I took some more dampening material and stuck it on some strategic spots on the inside of the front panel to help dampen noises coming out that grill:
Now for the inside....on the left you can see an Antec silicone gasket placed on the 120mm Enermax rear fan, making it all the more quieter than it already is (why in the world they made them pink, I'll never know...). I then put some thin dampening material on the chassis (green arrow) and also sound absorbing
material all around the psu area and the bottom of the case (red arrows):
...and on the base and inside top. Then I put blocks of extra material into cavities like the hard drive cage:
Next came the two side panels. I placed sound barrier
material on both, then placed sound absorbing
material on top in spots that would help with noisy areas (around the psu, CPU and hard drive areas):
Now for the transplant....Nurse!! Out came the mobo tray for the mobo installation...a little bit of a tight fit with all the material in there, but we made it...:
Then everything else....
Click for larger pic
And believe it or not...the whole thing powered up fine on the first try:
From top to bottom:
Plextor DVD Dual-format burner
CoolerMaster HD Cooler with a Western Digital 80gb HD
CoolerMaster HD Cooler with a Western Digital 40gb HD
Nexus Fan Controller
Pentium 4 3.0ghz CPU overclocked to 3.2ghz
Two Western Digital 36gb SATA drives in RAID 0 array
Asus P4C800-E Deluxe Motherboard
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128mb graphics card (cooled with an Artic VGA "Silencer" fan)
Audigy 2 soundcard
1gb PC-3200 DDR memory
Thermaltake Silent Power 480w psu
Noise level: It's mucho quieter than my original system was. Stand about 8 feet from the system and you can't hear it at all. With the side panel off, I had to put my ear almost inside the case just to hear the Zalman HSF. The 120mm fans are very quiet and the power supply is vurtually silent. The noisiest thing on there are the two hard drive coolers with those 40mm fans, but I'm working on those. The coolers have a thermal pad inside that actually may be able to keep them cool enough without the fans running. They're secondary and tertiary drives anyway and not accessed all that often.
IDLE-- CPU was a constant 96 F, System held at 81.
LOAD-- I had Bryce doing a slow rendering of a 3D scene while I accessed the Net. Under load, the CPU got to 104 and stayed there. System went to 87. Not too shabby.
Bistro be a happy camper....
Please....comments, criticisms and suggestions for improvement are more than welcome!