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 Post subject: My Lian-Li S80 with custom foam suspension
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:36 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 1:19 am
Posts: 41
Location: Denmark
I've had this system for about one and a half year but it's only now I've managed to control the 'aluminum hum' of my Lian-Li case which puts the system between 'silent' and 'very quiet'.

This is about my first foray into the DIY world, and (loigically) the first time I post about such a thing so bear over with me.

Here's how the S80 looks like:
Image

My plan was to suspend/dampen my Hitachi 7k1000-Hdd with these blocks to reduce vibration:
Image
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Theoretically I see two advantages to these hifi-grade feet compared to normal foam:
1. They are harder so a smaller area of support should be adequate allowing for more airflow around the hdd
2. They are adhesive on one of the sides which is pretty nifty for the setup I had in mind :D

The obvious disadvantage would be advantage 1, that they are harder and therefore should carry more vibrations. Initial testing (with the hdd resting on two of these blocks in the case) proved that this isn't really a problem; hardly any vibrations were carried from the hdd to the surroundings which reduced the noise of my system to almost nothing. With all fans turned off I could hear only a very faint vibration in a low ambiance environment and older people with less hearing couldn't hear a thing.

So, now I needed a more permanent setup that would allow me to move the rig without worrying about the hdd falling around inside the case. My idea to keep it steady was to not only suspend it underneath but to have it fixed in the foam in all vertical and horizontal directions. Here's how the area I wanted to mount it in looked like (yea, I know my cable management sucks, apologies):
Image
I reduced the area a bit by moving the heat-sink thing (that's meant for mounting your drive in) up a few levels. Next I found out that the foam blocks fitted quite nicely in the rail meant for mounting the heat-sink in:
Image

Next step: Making 'feet' for my hdd to rest on. Here's how they ended up looking:
Image
And how it fitted in it's designated space:
Image
I chose to add an extra bit of foam on the far side of the drive so it wouldn't end up emtiting vibrations to the back of the case either:
Image

Now for the rails in the side to keep it fixed, I put in a couple of strips of foam to the sides:
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The drive fits quite snugly between these.

Last step: Fixing it on the horizontal axis. Sadly I ended up with quite a bit of empty space so I had to make two large 'towers' of foam to fix it against 'the roof':
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It fits snugly though and perfectly securely:
Image
It's not really possible to pry it any other direction than out, and the cables against the case walls will secure it in that direction.

Here's how the system looks with the new suspended HDD:
Image
There's plenty of room beneath the HDD where I might add an SDD later on. If I ever have to add another HDD there should be room for sandwiching it with my current one if I remove the heat sink so I'm thinking of cutting off the top part of the hdd cage to improve airflow.

Now that I was at it I went on to put in a couple of Scythe S-FLEX and remove the very restrictive cover on the exhaust fan which did wonders for airflow and noise as well.
Image

Results? I still have a slight hum in idle which I figure is from the hdd fitting as snugly as it does (I think I maybe should have cut of some of the foam on the side and top). It won't be a problem when I go back to the ambiance my down-town apartment.
My fans are silent when the system is idling and under anything but full stress where I have Speed-fan run them at 100 %. At a 100 % all of my 'big' fans are pleasant and not really intrusive but the one on my Zalman VF900, but I'll be getting a new GFX-card with either an accelero or a VF1000 so I guess that will solve the problem - considering how silent the S-FLEX fans sound I'm leaning towards the accelero with one of those.

Any comments remarks? - please be gentle, I'm a newbie on this front.

_________________
Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 3,06 ghz @ stock - Scythe Mine
Asus P5W DH
MSI NX8800GT Zilent - stock Zalman 'VF-1050'
2 GB Kingston ddr2 667 mhz
Seasonic S12 430
750 GB Hitachi 7k1000
Creative Audigy zs
Hauppauge Nova-DT Dual DVB-T Tuner
Lian-Li S80 case
NEC 3550A-burner
Dell 2407FPW
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... 834#394834


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:41 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 2:35 pm
Posts: 808
Location: Greece
I think you could remove one of the front fans, air will still find it`s way in. And to encourage some more airflow at the rear, you could remove a couple of pci brackets. This should help cool the vga.

As for the disk vibrations, I also used foam and I wasn`t really pleased with the results. I ended up bying a laptop drive, though I think suspending the disk using lashes/cords should yield better results. Might be worth trying..

Welcome to the forum :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 2:32 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 1:19 am
Posts: 41
Location: Denmark
ntavlas wrote:
I think you could remove one of the front fans, air will still find it`s way in. And to encourage some more airflow at the rear, you could remove a couple of pci brackets. This should help cool the vga.

As for the disk vibrations, I also used foam and I wasn`t really pleased with the results. I ended up bying a laptop drive, though I think suspending the disk using lashes/cords should yield better results. Might be worth trying..

Welcome to the forum :)


Thanks for the advice.

Subjectively I feel I have more now than with the hard-drive just resting on foam. It may be because I put the side-panels back on and they are adding some more things that can resonate...

I don't need dead silent as I'm situated downtown with a large playground pretty near and a bit of trafic-noise in the background as well.... At least I'm going to see how much I can actually hear of my computer in that environment.

Considering the intake fans very little is heard of them over the exhaust as they are pretty 'deep' in the case. The s80 doesn't pull air from the front but from side-vents towards the rear and then through channels between dual side panels so the intake has to deal with a good bit of independence (though noise doesn't escape as easy either). So I prefer to keep them both on.

_________________
Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 3,06 ghz @ stock - Scythe Mine
Asus P5W DH
MSI NX8800GT Zilent - stock Zalman 'VF-1050'
2 GB Kingston ddr2 667 mhz
Seasonic S12 430
750 GB Hitachi 7k1000
Creative Audigy zs
Hauppauge Nova-DT Dual DVB-T Tuner
Lian-Li S80 case
NEC 3550A-burner
Dell 2407FPW
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... 834#394834


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 2:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:20 am
Posts: 3141
Location: Missing in Finnish wilderness, howling to moon with wolf brethren and walking with brother bears
Very creative I have to say.

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If seeing is believing, how can blind person believe in anything?
Maturity is just not experience in life but also ability to make compromises.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 2:46 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 9:24 am
Posts: 169
Location: Earth
If possible try to softmount the HD in some kind of elastic bands. Works much better than these expensive feet you got. :-)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 3:11 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2004 4:39 pm
Posts: 172
I'd have to second that. I've tried almost all methods of decoupling the HDD's from the case, including using several types of sorbothane (probally the same type of material you used), and nothing comes close to really suspending the hard drives using something like stretch magic.

True suspension is the best, especially when using more than 1 drive. Its the only way i've found to truly prevent the "beat" effect of having multiple drives.


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