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 Post subject: My somewhat quiet computer
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2003 8:05 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2003 11:14 am
Posts: 18
Location: Estonia
Hi,

I bought a new computer some months ago and have tried to get used to the noise of it, but gave up recently. This is the configuration of my computer:

P4 1.8a with inbox HSF
Epox 4BDAE mobo (no fan)
MSI G4MX420D 64MB DDR (no fan)
Maxtor DM+ 8 30GB 7200rpm FDB
52x cd-rom LG
Codegen case & 300W PSU


I found in my "junkbox" a couple of 80mm fans, made by Jamicon and Spire. Then I replaced the PSU fan with the Spire fan @ 5v, cut away front and rear stamped grills and installed the Jamicon fan as exhaust @ 5v.

For the CPU fan I built a simple fan controller which lets me adjust its speed from below 1000rpm up to 2400rpm, most of the time it's running @ 1600rpm. The controller is installed in the top 5.25" bay.

The side intake holes on the case are closed with duct tape, so air gets in the case only from front, which helps cooling the hard drive.

MBM reports CPU temp 33/43C idle/load and case temp 24..29C. HDD temperature is 26..32C depending on room temp. The air coming from the PSU is slightly warm, but never hot.

The computer is right beside my desk, <1m away from me and the only sound I hear is the pretty quiet HDD whine and the almost inaudible whoosh of moving air. I'm sure the computer can be silenced further, but I'm on the budget and I think it's quiet enough for me.

Comments?


Pictures

Ghetto-looking on the inside, but who cares:
Image

Front grille cut away, my ghetto-rounded floppy cable:
Image

Rear view, fan grills cut away:
Image

Front view, bottom plastic grille removed:
Image
On this picture you can see my selfmade front USB port :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2003 10:46 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2003 1:28 pm
Posts: 951
Location: Tennessee, USA
Welcome to SPCR! Nice work on your box.

(1) I like the DIY budget solutions you used like the USB port, floppy cable and fan control. 8)
Seems like we often try to route all the cables along the far case wall, but you're right--who cares what it looks like for pics if your airflow is good.

(2) It looks like you could take more plastic off the lower front of your bezel if you wanted to make that whole bigger (pic#4), but no need if you're happy with your current temps and noise.

(3) Can you give us a pic of your fan controller?

(4) I bet the HDD Rubber Box or a foam box (to a lesser degree) would help with the drive whine if you're up to another DIY project. Not sure if you'd need active cooling of the HDD box--meaning one more fan in the case--or not. Also, I'm not sure of a good source for the carving rubber in Estonia. :( Sorry.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2003 1:02 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2003 11:14 am
Posts: 18
Location: Estonia
Thanks for the comments, aphonos.

Yes, I don't care if the computer looks nice inside, because I would never put a window on the side or top of my computer. And tape is so handy for holding cables in place. I have also tried rounded IDE-cables but sent them back, they were too stiff. Cable folding seems to be the only way to go.

I don't think the opening on the bottom of the bezel needs to be any larger, there seems to be plenty of airflow.

The fan controller is a simple single-transistor circuit:
Image

The transistor is an old (and probably too powerful) unit I found in a drawer. I can't remember the type, but any powerful enough npn transistor will do (BC337-40 for example).

Image
Here is a blurry picture of the backside of 5.25" faceplate, onto which I have installed it. The transistor is superglued to the plastic. My soldering skills could be better, but it works :wink:

The output voltage range of the controller is 4.5...11.5 volts. Intel's inbox fan (12v, 0.18A) starts fine with minimum voltage but rotates so slowly that the mobo doesn't detect it. The lower limit of the sensor is around 1100rpm, so I guess the fan speed on lowest setting is about 800...900rpm.

I haven't tried putting the HDD in any noise-blocking box yet, actually the whine is fairly quiet and doesn't bother me as much as the fan noise did. At least I can sleep with the computer running in the same room. And I'm planning to get a Barracuda soon :D


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