This is my current cpu/cooler/fans and mobo, in my previous case. It was my first serious attempt at silencing a pc. While it is interesting to look at, anyone who has done a little homework can spot the mistakes, but this is how we learn. If only I had discovered spcr back then.
It is an older lian li case which I modded to fit a 12cm fan at the front. Unfortunately I could not do the same at the rear.
You can see the papst 12cm fans in the pictures. I was quite satisfied with them and still use them today. Unlike their mediocre smaller brothers tested here at spcr, they are second only to the skythe sflex fans. At 800rpm you can tell a little difference if you stick your ears on them, at more than 1000rpm the difference disapears. And I can confirm they start at insanely low voltages. I was running them at about 7v using the simple controller that came with the case.
I also got a couple of panaflo 8cm fans to use in the exaust (controlled by a zalman rheostat) and psu. Then I discovered two things. 1st, that not all panaflo samples are good (I had other ball bearing fans that were better) and 2nd, that power supplies ramp up the fan voltage when heated. Again, if only I knew spcr back then! I reverted to the adda fans that came with my case though the zalman and psu controllers couldn`t slow them down enough.
The white bits are plastic sheets. I had red somewhere in a forum how important it is to have a clean interior and like many begginers I went a little over the top
It did reflect sound a lot so I replaced it with some sound deadening foam that I still use today. Besides, the smooth plastic surface was of little use since the airflow was primarily limited by that single 8cm fan at the rear. While the cpu cooler did fine, even fanless, the vga (I had the venerable ti4200) overheated during gaming. By the way, without realising it back then, it was such a quiet card, 800rpm nexus quiet. It spotted an unusually slow fan which is probably why it overheated.
Anyway, I had to cut a hole for a second 8cm exaust fan. The cpu duct also had to go. It worked nicely but at the expense of the overheating vga. I also planned to add a second fan to the psu. At this point I was running out of fan controllers. Then I discovered the molex splitters that provide 2x5v and 2x12v fan headers. Worked wonders with my adda fans. At 5 volts and about 1000rpm they were finally inaudible. Another splitter was used to feed the psu fans. I cut a hole on the psu and fitted everything.
Those measures cured my problems, only to discover the next. The hdd noise. If only.. well, I don`t want to repeat myself. Fortunately, getting rid of the cage and mounting the disk on foam was enough. It might seem funny that the same did not work on my current steel case, but aluminium though less durable, is more rigid then the more elastic steel.
After all this, I was satisfied, the happy owner of an inaudible computer. I kept this configuration until recently. I later switched to a seasonic ss380, which is audible but runs cooler than my old modded one. I have posted my current config in detail though, so please feel free..