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 Post subject: My silent systems
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:48 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Outside the box
I have almost completed silencing my two systems:

#1: gamer rig
CPU: AMD Phenom II X2 550 BE (undervolted a bit, but at stock speed)
Heatsink: Scythe Mugen II w/ the stock fan
Mobo: Gigabyte Ma790X-UD3P
Memory: 5GB
VGA: Asus DirectCU 6850
PSU: Nexus NX-5000 R3 530W
HDD: an old 300 SATA and an even older 200 GB P-ATA Samsung, right now suspended with wire straps
Case: Sharkoon Rebel9 Pro Economy
Fans: a 14 cm Noctua at the top, (right above the Mugen) a 12 cm Sharkoon in the front (in front of the drives)

Extra cards & Stuff:
-Creative X-Fi Music
-BlackMagic Intensity Pro
-ASUS SATA DVD-writer

How silent it is?
For starters, all the case & cpu fans are controlled to be around 600 rpm. That creates an air flow that is sufficient for the cooling of all components even playing Crysis on the maximum settings (sans AA). This is achieved by SpeedFan and a Zalman Fanmate for the top 14cm fan, as one of the fan headers can't be controlled. (Didn't try the beta for this setup... maybe they fixed that.) I was actually suprised how much the top 14cm fan actually added to the cooling even though the airflow at the low speed was nothing great. It really helped keeping the VGA fan from turning up a notch every time I started a game. Now it only does that with demanding games and even with those, not all the time.


Right now, there are only three "noisy" components: the HDD suspension is bad (the decoupling given with the case is the usual joke, the wire straps are far better but still audible if working) and more importantly, the VGA. The VGA fan is the only component I can actually hear all the time, I suspect that is because of the open nature of the case. Yes, it is suprisingly silent, but my old 4850 with the Zalman aftermarket cooler (the same as the Sapphire toxic ed. hat, but with a fan controller!) was by far less noisy. (Note: in the P180 case if I set the fan to low setting, I couldn't hear it.)

A bit of history:
This machine used to have a 4850 w/ a Zalman aftermarket heatsink, an old and noisy Chieftec 450W PSU, an Antec P180 case and a duo of Antec triforce fans. I binned the PSU (the fan was at the end of its life... not surprising after 6 years!), the P180 went to my other machine. (see post #2 for that) Then I was astounished just how loud the antec fans were compared to the rest of the PC, so with the new case I bought a couple of new fans as well as the 6850. The latter was chosen thanks to the SPCR review. Now it is almost OK, but even in this state will annihilate any other gaming setup I've seen.

The cable management is actually clean, apart from the PATA cable, the Fanmate cable and that big lump of unused cables at the bottom :)
Image Image

The memory was a tight fit, and the sidepanel is quite open right now. I have yet to experiment with these 12cm fan intakes closed.
Image Image

_________________
gamer: AMD Phenom II X2 550 BE // Scythe Mugen II // Gigabyte MA790X-UD3P // 4096MB DDR2 // ASUS 6850 DirectCU // Nexus NX-5000 // Sharkoon Rebel9 Pro Eco
work/movie: AMD Fusion A8-3870K // Scythe Mugen II // Sapphire HD6570 Silent // 8GB DDR3 // Seasonic X-400W// Antec P180b
home server: Intel Celeron 1037 // Gigabyte C1037UN-EU // 4GB DDR3 // PicoPSU 120WI+60W brick // Fractal Design Node 304


Last edited by nagi on Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:09 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: My silent systems
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:01 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:48 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Outside the box
#2 rig: Office / server / work

CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 400e (undervolted quite a bit, but at stock speed)
Heatsink: Scythe Mugen II w/ the stock fan
Mobo: ASRock A785GMH/128M
RAM: 5GB
VGA: ATI 4200 IGP (128+512 RAM)
PSU: PicoPSU + 65W delta brick
HDD: 2x 1500GB Samsung EcoGreen + 2x 160GB Samsung 2.5" (system and an "external" drive)
Case: Antec P180b (yes, first version, only mod: fan cover doors removed)
Fans: 8cm Sharkoon Silent Eagle 1000 for the chipset, 8cm SilentMaxx for the twin 1,5TB's

Extra cards & Stuff:
- the external drive and an external slim DVD-RW runs off a powered USB Hub
- the two extra fans are actually running off a second, measy 5-10W brick

This is my 24/7 workhorse. It operates as a fileserver and an office PC. Also, before this, I used an Asus M6800Ne laptop for this, that has an over-engineered cooling and if controlled with Notebook Hardware Control, is passive cooled ~98% of the time. As such, one requirement was clear: silence. Now, I do have a bit of a tinnitus, but I live in a part of a city where the nights are dead silent: no bus, no car in range of tens of miles, people are mostly sleeping, and even if they are not, these are detached houses with thick, mostly sound-absorbing walls.

The 5W brick was called into service because the SilentMax fan made the system restart at large loads. Most likely this is because I modded the MOLEX connector from the usual 12V-ground to 12V-5V. This is not an issue with a 2-300W gaming PC, but the PicoPSU did not seem to like it. So I added in the 5W brick, and just to be sure, used the fan connector with an actual controller this time.

How silent it is?
The 8cm sharkoon does not even have to be controlled: you only hear it if it is in the open and you are closer than ~1m. In the P180 it is OK by all counts. The SilentMaxx is actually a quite good fan once controlled, and that is shocking from a transparent blue fan. Still, it is old, the bearings are a bit shot, so this is the only part that I can hear at times. The HDDs are silent enough - and not worked 24/7 - so the system is actually pretty close to my ideals. I still need to replace the SilentMax fan for a proper 12cm one, but I think that's it.

Image
office - 1 - open side by nagy_balazs_andras, on Flickr

_________________
gamer: AMD Phenom II X2 550 BE // Scythe Mugen II // Gigabyte MA790X-UD3P // 4096MB DDR2 // ASUS 6850 DirectCU // Nexus NX-5000 // Sharkoon Rebel9 Pro Eco
work/movie: AMD Fusion A8-3870K // Scythe Mugen II // Sapphire HD6570 Silent // 8GB DDR3 // Seasonic X-400W// Antec P180b
home server: Intel Celeron 1037 // Gigabyte C1037UN-EU // 4GB DDR3 // PicoPSU 120WI+60W brick // Fractal Design Node 304


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 Post subject: Re: My silent systems
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:04 pm
Posts: 42
Location: Brasil
Unused cables can be a mess and a good bed for dust. Thats why I like modular PSU's.

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 Post subject: Re: My silent systems
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:48 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Outside the box
R2_ wrote:
Unused cables can be a mess and a good bed for dust. Thats why I like modular PSU's.

That might be so, but the front/top/bottom dust filters mostly alleviate this problem (unless you don't open the case for years). The front ones are quite thick on the Rebel9.

I can't really do anything about the picoPSU other than buying a new case (the old P180 does not have a managable back) and using a boatload of extenders, which is also problematic in itself.

_________________
gamer: AMD Phenom II X2 550 BE // Scythe Mugen II // Gigabyte MA790X-UD3P // 4096MB DDR2 // ASUS 6850 DirectCU // Nexus NX-5000 // Sharkoon Rebel9 Pro Eco
work/movie: AMD Fusion A8-3870K // Scythe Mugen II // Sapphire HD6570 Silent // 8GB DDR3 // Seasonic X-400W// Antec P180b
home server: Intel Celeron 1037 // Gigabyte C1037UN-EU // 4GB DDR3 // PicoPSU 120WI+60W brick // Fractal Design Node 304


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