Hey guys, New to the forum and recently got into the never ending quest for quiet. I have been a case modder in my University years so when I recently moved my gaming PC into living room I quickly set off trying to make it quieter. First off here is the spec and some pictures:
CPU - AMD Athlon II 435 (undervolted at stock clocks)
RAM - 2x1GB DDR2800 Kingston Value
Mobo - Gigabyte MA74GM-S2
Storage - 250GB Maxtor 7200rpm HDD
Graphics - ATi HD5770 1GB (Sapphire)
Displays - 22" Wide screen VGA Monitor (1680x1050)
PSU - FSP Blue Storm 500w 80+
Case - iCute S901 case with 220mm side fan
Removable Media - DVD-R/W+
OS - Windows 7 Home 64-Bit
Apologies for the bad quality pictures, it's quite dark in here today.
The case with my monitor on top (yes this is how I use the PC...)
The case with the side off
A close up of the inside
The HDD in its rubber mounts
Nasty cabling hiding above my optical drive
Now for how I made it almost inaudible at idle and very quiet during games...
When I upgrade my PC I try to replace the components with faster ones that use roughly the same amount of power, Last upgrade I managed twice the performance with no extra power draw, the system uses 65w at idle and 180w playing the latest games at mostly max settings. During the stress tests on both CPU and GPU it uses 220w.
Due to my wanting to keep the power usage down I started playing witht he K10stat application which allows you to play with the 'cool and quiet' voltages of the CPU. After playing with the voltages and the occasional PC restart due to CPU crashes
I have managed to cut 10w idle and 35w during games, and as a happy side effect of this I have cut the temperature of the CPU by as much as 10c under load which was great for the CPU fan speeds.
I have replaced the PSU fan with a newer one as the original had begunt o make very odd noises, as it stands the PSU is very quiet and mounted on dampening foam to reduce vibrations. The HDD you can see is also mounted on dampening rubber blocks which makes it quiet but still the loudest component in the PC.
You may have noticed how it has standard heatsinks/fans on the CPU and GPU, the 220mm case fan is a major reason I have been able to make them quiet. I use fan control software; a gigabyte utility called Easytune6 for the CPU/case fans and the MSI Afterburner for the GPU cooler which keep the fan speeds at a very low level, and thus quiet. Both the CPU and case fan are hooked up to the temperature controlled CPU 3 pin, the means I can automatically turn both up or down based on the CPU temp, you can see the DIY split for the fan cable at the rear of the case. Here are the numbers I recorded today: (18c room temp)
Idle (Web browsing)
80mm CPU fan @ 31c 750rpm
220mm Case fan @ 31c 270rpm
Sapphire GPU fan @ 27c - 30%
Load (Prime95 + Furmark)
80mm CPU fan @ 51c 1750rpm
220mm Case fan @ 51c 440rpm
Sapphire GPU fan @ 62c - 44%
These speeds and temperatures under load are a lot higher than I ever see in games as the programs used for the load readings are designed to really torture your PC.
I may decide to upgrade the cooling on the CPU to remove any noise under games eventually, but for the moment I am pretty chuffed with how it is. Very suprised with what I have done with tweaking and no cost.