Hello Everybody (maybe I shoud use my Dr. Nick riviera voice
I actually discovered SPCR while in the final phase of convering my PC to be ultra-silent, and I found the site very informative and useful. Keeping with that spirit, I figured I'd share my setup with the rest of you to gain some feedback and inspire some others. Here's a general pic of my entire system as it stands this evening:
It's configuration is as follows:
-X-Alien aluminium case with window and side case fan
-AMD Athlon64 3200+ (1MB Cache) @2180MHz
-1 GB Corsair RAM
-Gigabyte GA-K8VT800Pro mainboard
-ATI Radeon X800Pro modded to X800XT Platinum Edition
-SoundBlaster Audigy 2
-Samsung SP1614C 160GB SATA Hard Drive
-LG GSA-4081B 8X DVD+-R(W) drive
-LG 52X CD-ROM drive
-SilenX 14dBA 400W Power Supply
-Zalman Reserator cooling system with CPU, video and chipset water blocks
-SilenX 9dBA case fan
-SunBeam Hard Drive Silencer
-ZBoard gaming keyboard
-Samsung 1100DF 21" monitor
-Creative Inspire 7.1 speakers
This machine, aptly named Overkill, is purely a gaming computer (apart from folding@Home for SPCR while I do actual work on other computers), but I hate having distracting fan noise two feet from my face while I play, so the silent PC initiative was on its way. The first item to go was the CPU and video card fan to be replaced by the Reserator kit, but then everything else became the noisy element in turn, and from that point the Power Supply, case fan, hard drive were all changed to finally arrive at this state.
I'll just post some pictures and comment from there
Well, it's a gaming rig, so it has to look cool too! You can see how the case is a bit of a knock-off of the steel Antec Performance series cases.
Open case. The flash washed out most of the details, but you get a general idea of the layout and you can see the routing of the water tubing. I'm actually running the water intake through the video card, then the chipset and finally the CPU before going back to the Reserator.
These are the most quiet fans I have ever heard (or not heard, actually). They are rated at 9 dBA, and I don't doubt it for a second. They are inaudible past a few feet, with the PC on the desk. I recently saw on the board that there has been issues with SilenX in the past on this board, but I can't say anyting bad about their products. I also live 10 minutes away from one of their main Canadian distributors (www.shoprbc.com
, great place!), so getting their product is rather easy here. I also use their 400W power supply, with no regrets whatsoever.
This is the Zalman Water Block. Very well crafter and designed. With my CPU overclocked by 9%, I am getting CPU temps in the range of 43C undel full load (Folding@Home) with room temp at about 23C. Considering the Video card and chipset are also being cooled by the same water flow, I'm quite happy with that.
Here you can partially see the video card water block and the one that I used on the motherboard chipset. That I've water cooled the chipset is actually a funny coincidence. With the power supply, CPU HSF and video card HSF removed, the loudest component was the chipset fan on the motherboard. Totally unrelated to this, the Zalman video card water block package contains two different size blocks for different video cards. My X800 required the smaller one, and as it turns out, the larger one (presumably for nvidia cards) fit perfectly on the chipset, mounting holes and all. So I don't waste a water block, and the chipset fan is history.
You can also see the RAM heatsinks that come with the Zalman VGA card water block kit. They seem to do the job well, but they forced me to install that SilenX fan in the side panel to keep the card stable for prolonged gaming (which is virtually inaudible anyway)
Although hard to see from this angle, this is the SunBeam Hard Drive Silencer. There seems to be two different versions of this product though. I've seen one that suspends the hard drive, but the one I have basically shock-mounts the drive by isolating it with 4 blocks of rubber at the corners. It works quite well, although with the Samsung drive being the quietest out there right now, there's not much to silence...
Finally, another 9dBA SilenX fan to exhaust heat at the top. It keeps the optical drives from getting too hot also. I initially had not planned to use it, but the audible noise level did not increase after installation, so I left it there. Like the side window fan, it is mounted wit the rubber isolation mounts included with the SilenX fans.
I just thought I'd show a picture of the Zboard (another great Canadian product!), with the Doom3 keyset this time, because it's such a great device for gaming. There are interchangeable keysets custom made for different games, plus one standard keyset for typing and a generic FPS keyboard. Very neat indeed.
In the end, I really, really love my gaming rig at this point. It's incredibly silent, a top-notch performer, and it looks pretty cool. The only downside is that it's not at all easy to move.
Now if only I could make the DVD drive quieter. I'm playing a DVD-audio through the Audigy 2 as I write this, and the DVD drive is by far drowning out every other noise...
BTW, for those who wonder what I use to do my real work, here it is:
Both are folding for the SPCR team, not the enemy
Both those computers are louder tham my gaming machine now
Note the really, really complex WU the PowerBook is slogging through:)
Well, nice to know you all, hope you enjoyed the pictures!