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 Post subject: My quiet PC project :), updated 07.06.2010
PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 3:40 pm 

Joined: Sun May 02, 2010 3:10 am
Posts: 100
Location: Iceland
Well I found SPCR little more than a year ago when I finally started to get tired of the noise my PC was making and started to google how to do and where to start. Might have been 18 months, been lurking here for some time :).

So to Mike C and every other contributer to this site KUDOS!

Finally I kicked started my mission to quiet down my PC.

My starting specs:
Case: CoolerMaster Stacker, has 3 120mm case fans (at the back and 1 on 2x HDD cages, also has a 80mm on the top blowing in and a 80mm fan on the side window blowing ontop of the GPU card.
MB: MSI PN7SLI Platinum
CPU: Intel C2D E8400 @3Ghz
RAM: 8GB OCZ Platinum
CPU cooler: Zalman CNPS9500 AM
GPU: nVidia 8800GTX
HDD: I had about 7 HDDs, 3 old IDE and 4 slightly newer SATA
CD/DVD: Old Plextor DVD/CD writer

First thing to do was to tear every component out of the computer and dust clean it. WOW those 120mm fans very dirty :(, especially the ones on the HDD cages. And the dust layer on the HDDs wasn't much better. Guess I hadn't cleaned there for a few years, while I had used compressed air on the rest of the computer.

To bad I forgot to take a picture before I cleaned everything, I'm thinking maybe 0,2mm dust layer on the two fans and closing in on 1mm layer on the worst HDD. Ouch.

So after cleaning everything (that took time ^_^) I removed the two 80mm fans completely, the one scewed to the top of the case was a little tough to get to the screws.

Next thing was to remove my old small HDDs and replace them with larger drives. So now it's a 500GB Samsung, 500GB WD Green, 2x 1TB WD Green and a 1,5TB WD Green (I first had a 1,5TB Seagate but I got the click of death so that got replaced fast).

I moved the power button/front usb bezel from the top to the bottom of the case, makes for easy cable connection and doesn't really bother me.
Now after reading about decoupling the hard drives I went and bought some fabric elastic band. And did my first tries.

Here are a few pictures.

Mynd 1 ... /mynd1.jpg
Mynd 2 ... /Mynd2.jpg
Mynd 3 ... /Mynd3.jpg

Now before I started this I hadn't really thought that much about cable management, I had tried to keep them together and such but not really out of the way of the airflow as such.

Discovered that my case isn't really made for cable management, so I have to use some pressure to close the back side of the case.

Mynd 4 ... /Mynd4.jpg

This is side should be on the other side but I needed the extra room of the bulge there to fit the cabling so I could close the case.

Mynd 5 ... /Mynd5.jpg

Pretty nice cable management :D, everything mostly out of the way. I did some tries with a small limited duct over the CPU cooler but ended up discarding it.

So now for some airflow. I had these three 120mm Cooler Master fans, to I tied them together like this.

Mynd 6 ... /Mynd6.jpg

I did use this between the fans so the hard plastic wouldn't rattle.

Mynd 7 ... /Mynd7.jpg

Yes that's what you use on doorway's and windows to tighten the seal :).
Here I've suspended the fans in the middle of the case, I did end up undervolting them to 7v.

Mynd 8 ... /Mynd8.jpg

Mynd 9 ... /Mynd9.jpg

If you're wondering what that orange thing I used to tie everything up with is.... it's gift wrapping thingmabob (don't remember the name). Tough, easy to use and cheap, the clincher was it was the only thing I found in the grocery store I could use ^_^ (at 22:00).

Here I had spent about 6-7 hours total, I'm a newb at this so this takes a lot of time. And since I've got a bad back being bent over the computer and stuff for so takes a big toll, and an even bigger one the next few day's.
But nice food, drink and Richard Hawley in the background made this fun.
So by now mostly done.

Mynd 10 ... Mynd10.jpg

Mynd 11 ... Mynd11.jpg

Those 2 80mm fans I put there to try but got discarded for noise. And I removed that fan grill as well.

All done for Part 1 of the project, man the difference from the old one was alot!

But still...mistakes were made, the biggest one was I over tightened the elastic bands so quite a lot of vibration was translated to the case.

Also when one noise is gone another takes its place. The CPU cooler fan always was noisy but it had started to wobble at low speeds. And the two fans in the OCZ PSU were really starting to get to me!

Btw the fan on the 8800GTX isn't all that loud (compared to everything else in the old setup it got drowned out).

I had ordered a new PSU, Seasonic X-750, 2x Nexus LED fans (only ones I could get) and Prolimatech Megahelem rev B.
I did have to wait some time for this to arrive, and I'm still waiting for the Nexus fans (going on 3 weeks -_- ).

MAN! is that Megahelem huge! I actually had to some slight modding to get it to fit to my mother board.

Mynd 12 ... Mynd12.jpg

I had to cut one corner off the heatsink frame to fit and you see that copper heatsink on the right? I had to bend that oh so gently away from the socket so the Megahelem would fit.

But before all that in my wait for the new stuff I finally got really, really tired of one of the PSU fans. So I took the PSU out and removed the loudest one out, had to leave the other one in there for some airflow.

Mynd 13 ... Mynd13.jpg

I also moved the PSU to the bottom of the case. Used some more of this:
Mynd 7 ... /Mynd7.jpg

Put this on the wheel bolts and all high points where the PSU would touch so to have it rest softly and vibration free :).

Mynd 14 ... Mynd14.jpg
Mynd 15 ... Mynd15.jpg
Mynd 16 ... Mynd16.jpg
Mynd 17 ... Mynd17.jpg

I decided to use this turn to fix my hard drive elastic problems. So I went out and bought a new type of elastic

Mynd 18 ... Mynd18.jpg

I combined this new fatter elastic with some wire straps, so now it looks like this

Mynd 19 ... Mynd19.jpg

Mynd 20 ... Mynd20.jpg

I'm actualy very proud of that, looks nice, vibration free, very easy application and with those holes I can use thumb screws to secure the drives if I want (thanks to bozar for that tip in another thread).

So now it looks like this

Mynd 21 ... Mynd21.jpg

Moved the DVD down from the top and suspended the 3x120mm CM case fans in the middle.
Closed everything up and even more silent! :D. Only the CPU fan and the PSU fan bothering me and I have to wait for my new parts to fix that.

Part 3 finally I got my new stuff :D, except the nexus fans :(.
Which means I have to use two of the CM case fans on the Megahelem, which means I have less movement of air in the front.

Oh since this is a gaming rig and I don't really have the cash for brand spanking new GPU I bought another used 8800GTX to use them both in SLI. And that means extra heat, and me with not enough fans :/.

Mynd 25 ... Mynd25.jpg
Mynd 26 ... Mynd26.jpg

Fixed one thing that had troubled me... the one hdd below the DVD drive, moved that up :)

Mynd 27 ... Mynd27.jpg

New PSU, CPU heatsink and new GPU installed

Mynd 28 ... Mynd28.jpg

Now since I only had one spare 120mm fan I suspended that one so it could blow right at the two 8800GTXs.

Mynd 29 ... Mynd29.jpg

Well that's it for now. I'm waiting on the two Nexus fans to put on the heat sink and so I can have more airflow from 3x120mm fans in the case itself.
I've been watching the temps on the CPU for 2 day's and it's too hot, guess I need to have those fans on 12v. Will probably reapply the TIM as well if that doesn't help significantly

I really didn't think just how much that extra 8800GTX would heat up the system :(. I've been thinking about how I could fix the airflow.

Maybe some plexi to divide the GPU from the CPU?

So any suggestions would be most welcome.

Edit: Fixed the link of picture 1

Last edited by Deucal on Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:33 pm, edited 4 times in total.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 12:47 am 

Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 12:04 am
Posts: 166
Location: Finland
Nice to read a well written project article with lot's of good photos

E8400 @ 1,8GHz, passive cooling | CPU Queen 7163 points | CPU stress test two hours, temperature 43C | fan rpm's ZERO

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 3:46 am 

Joined: Sun May 02, 2010 3:10 am
Posts: 100
Location: Iceland
Thanks :). I did put a lot of work into this, it really is fun to see the results of ones own hard work.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 5:14 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 12281
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
v. nice job. 8)

This is an aside but... how are the volcanos? :lol:

I came across news about another potential one in Iceland... ... story.html

Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 6:40 am 

Joined: Sun May 02, 2010 3:10 am
Posts: 100
Location: Iceland
The Volcano has calmed down and quite uncommon for this time of year we've had 8 day's of constant sunshine and warmth :).

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 11:38 am 

Joined: Sun May 02, 2010 3:10 am
Posts: 100
Location: Iceland
And my brand spanking new Seasonic X-750 PSU just went dead on me :(.

Got it on Thursday, put it in and had everything run until late Friday night.
Then now this morning (Sunday) computer wouldn't start.
Tried only connecting MB, 1X GPU and CPU but nothing. The MB power led is glowing though.

Connected my old OCZ 600W PSU and everything started up just fine.
Guess I have to RMA it :?

 Post subject: Update 07.06.2010
PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:32 pm 

Joined: Sun May 02, 2010 3:10 am
Posts: 100
Location: Iceland
Finally got my Nexus fans and replaced the old CoolerMaster I had used on the HS.

Mynd 30 ... Mynd30.jpg

Seems like I'll be waiting a bit for my RMAed PSU so I decided to fix my cable management a bit
Mynd 31 ... Mynd31.jpg

Like I did at first with the CM fans I tied together 3 Nexus fans to hang up in the middle of the case for some airflow.
Mynd 32

Mynd 33 ... Mynd33.jpg

All finished for now.
Mynd 34 ... Mynd34.jpg

I still haven't goten back the Seasonic X-750 I RMAed so that CM fan at the botton by the old OCZ 600W is there to blow a little air through it because I have removed the old 80mm noisy fans from it.

All of the Nexus fans are on 12v at the moment.
Much better sounding than the CM fans but still at 12v with so many it is a little noisy, hear the back case fan the most.
The thought is to run all the fans at 50-60% speed, now to buy a fan controller.

Say, can I run 3 Nexus fans on 1 fan controller connector? 1x 3pin connector to the controller and the rest on 4pin molex of the first one.
Each fan is rated at 0.3A and one connector on the controller is rated 1A max.

Now I did some testing :).

Monitoring tools are: Core Temp 0.99.6, CPUID Hardware Monitor, SpeedFan 4.40, RivaTuner v2.24.

Case: CoolerMaster Stacker w/ 4 Nexus fans
CPU: Intel E8400 Wolfdale @ 3Ghz (stock)
CPUHS: Prolimatech w/ 2 Nexus fans @12v
MB: MSI P7N Sli Platinum
RAM: 8GB OCZ Platinum
GPU: 1x nVidia 8800 GTX (will be 2x once I get my RMAed PSU back)
PSU: OCZ Powerstream 600W w/ 1 CM fan @7v
HDD:500GB Samsung, 500GB WD green (hottest by 5°), 2x 1TB WD green, 1,5TB WD green.

With this setup (all fans at 12v) the idle temperature on the CPU dropped from 53° to 46°/47°, the ambient temperature dropped 10° and HDD temps dropped on average 5° - 8°. Note that due to how my HDDs are setup they usually are all always active.

Now for CPU stressed with Prime95 the CPU temps dropped from 63°/64°(CM fans) to 57°/58°, ambient went up by 3° and HDDs up by 2°.

With the GPU [email protected]: GPU idles at 64° (no change) with the stock fan on 60%(auto), surprisingly quiet. [email protected] on and temp goes up to 84° (no change) with fan ramping up to ~70%.
Ambient goes up by 5°, HDDs up by 3°. CPU is semi idle (9% and 15% max use of cores) @49°/50°.

Now with Prime95 and [email protected]:
CPU: 57°/58°
GPU: 84° @60% fan speed, @100% (noisy) drops to 73°
Ambient: No change from before,@ 100% GPU fan speed the ambient dropped 8°!

Man I guess that GPU fan is a sucker :D. But no way am I digging that noise.

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