And you thought I was kidding.
This is my PC now, and I felt like posting it because it is quite silent. Here are the specs:
- Codegen bigtower, bought in.. The early 00's.
- Antec NeoHE 430W
- Asrock K10N78
- Athlon 64 X2 5600+ (65nm)
- Arctic Freezer 64 Pro modified with Scythe 120mm Kama PWM fan
- 2x2GB DDR2-800 OCZ Gold memory
- OCZ Vertex 30GB SSD
- M-audio Revolution 7.1 / Asus P7131 hybrid / Technotrend S-1500+CI in the PCI slots
Note that the fan controller in the first picture is not actually connected to anything or even plugged in.
Between the Freezer and the CPU there is a very tiny drop of Arctic Silver 5. And I know, the Freezer doesn't make much noise with the standard fan. The primary reason for modding it was to be able to add a dust filter, because the freezer tends to get clogged up with dust without one, and the fan that comes with it cannot have a dust filter.
It's really some tie-wrap and what-are-those-wirelike-thingies-called work, but I'm already happy it stays in place. You might have noticed the freezer is not mounted the usual way, I couldn't mount it the other way around because the fan couldn't be in the same space as the memory modules. This is also the reason I've used an ATX extension cable, I didn't feel like bending the ATX cable on my Antec that far.
I think it does work fairly well, the fan is spinning at a little over 400rpm controlled by the mainboard. The CPU idles (CnQ ondemand) at 50 degrees celcius. Remember 400rpm is very little and the dust filter is probably not helping air to flow either.
So, how silent is it? Well, just idling, it is very silent. I have no tools to measure it, but if I want to improve this in any way, I should first look at my speakers.
My Logitech S100 speakers. The "standby-noise" (no sound being played but speakers turned on) is bloody killing me.
I'm posting my rig now because right now, it's dead silent. I'm going to add a little noise soon. I'm going to put in a Western Digital WD15EADS (green series) to have more storage, and I'm going to mod a 40mm fan to run as slowly as possible, to the point where it's barely capable of spinning up. Because:
This baby gets damn hot. I can't touch it, and I'm not entirely comfortable with that.
In any case, I consider this proof that there is no need to buy an expensive $100+ case to get silent. I've been there, but in the end, the components you pick are far more important. If you start off with the wrong components, no air-cooled case is going to fix that. And if you get the right stuff, you won't need an expensive case.