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 Post subject: Wondering about Acoustipac for my Lian Li PC-A10A
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:36 am 
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I found out, by accident, that some weight on the top of my aluminum Lian Li case would stop vibrations in the top panel of the case. I had put my tape measure up there one day to get it out of the way, and noted an impressive reduction in the moaning/eerily droning noise of the vibration. After experimenting around, I found that I could almost completely silence it by placing both of my tape measures on the top of the case. The second tape measure goes just behind the little access door at the front of the top of the case.

Image

I was wondering if it would be a good idea to apply some of the Acoustipac 7mm, heavy 3-layer, material to the inside of the top panel of the case to add the weight in an aesthetically pleasing way, and stop the vibrations. Here is a view of the inside of the case taken about 4 years ago, but it is all basically the same inside (the square aluminum exhaust vent on the inside, just below the rear fan has been removed).

Image

Since I have to do the annual maintenance on the water cooling system, and maybe tidy up the wiring mess, I thought that it would be a good time to do some more silencing work inside the case. The whole cooling system is mounted on the removable motherboard tray, so gaining access to the entire insides of the case will be very easy. In fact reaching anything in this case is easy too, like annual water cooling maintenance: I just unplug all electrical connections on the motherboard, slide it out, open the reservoir, then turn the whole shebang upside down and dump it out in a bucket.

There is minimal fan or airflow noise in the case after quieting the vibrations in the top panel. Would it be worth it to cover the insides of every panel with the heavy Acoustipac to make it quieter, or not really worth the effort?

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 Post subject: Re: Wondering about Acoustipac for my Lian Li PC-A10A
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:10 pm 
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Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Perhaps the vibrations are being caused by the fan. Perhaps:
- you could change the top fan
- you don't need the top fan
- the fan could be rubber mounted


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 Post subject: Re: Wondering about Acoustipac for my Lian Li PC-A10A
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 7:43 am 
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Hi, Thanks for the reply,

What you said makes sense. Oh, the top fan is most definitely responsible for the vibration, but is needed to pull air over the motherboard to keep the Northbridge and, to a lesser degree, the Southbridge cool. Even with the top fan, the chipset temps climb to the low 50 deg. C range sometimes. And, the radiator fan sucks air into the case, so that it is cooling the radiator with cool air from the outside of the case. But then the radiator fan blows warm air into the case. Thus the top fan helps get rid of warm air from the radiator too.

The fan is mounted on those little soft black silicone arrows that came with the fans. They are Akasa Apache fans, they come with the rubber mounts in the second picture here: Photos of Akasa Apache fan.

I don't want to replace the fan for two reasons: First, the motherboard's fan control circuitry usually won't start the fan for a while, letting the chipset get warm first. During the time the fan is off the case is somewhat more quiet. But even with the top fan off, there is still a little bit of vibration. Second, getting the rubber mounts in there was a tight fit, and I have no idea of how to get at them to remove or cut them.

After thinking about it for a while, I have already ordered one sheet of the heavy, 7mm thick, triple layer, Acoustipack to put on the inside of the top of the case. I have also decided on a fully trustworthy and customizable fan and pump controller system. I have also ordered this gadget (PDF file, i've ordered the LT model without a front panel), two temp sensors, and a flow sensor. With all the features and customizable cooling curves this controller has, it should be able to keep the system cool and yet quiet at the same time.
Will report back and let you all know how it works.

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 Post subject: Re: Wondering about Acoustipac for my Lian Li PC-A10A
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 7:42 pm 
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Location: Greece
How about the pump and hard drive? Do you think they could be part of the problem? Some people try to soft mount their pumps in order to cut down on noise. The same goes for the hard drive. Most of the Lian Li cases I`ve used were somewhat prone to increased vibrational noise and rubber grommets do little to help. Mounting the drive/pump on a piece of open cell foam should be much more effective. Overall, I think that isolating the sources of vibration from the rest of the case should be the most efficient way reduce vibrational noise.

The top panel could be a little problematic, in Lian Lis they`re a little thinner than the rest of the case. I don`t think that fitting Acoustipac would be enough as it`s not a particularly rigid material. I would try to do without the top fan like Arbutus suggested. I would use the radiator fan as an exhaust instead, perhaps helped by the "former" top fan in a push-pull configuration.

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 Post subject: Re: Wondering about Acoustipac for my Lian Li PC-A10A
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 9:45 pm 
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ntavlas wrote:
How about the pump and hard drive? Do you think they could be part of the problem? Some people try to soft mount their pumps in order to cut down on noise. The same goes for the hard drive. Most of the Lian Li cases I`ve used were somewhat prone to increased vibrational noise and rubber grommets do little to help. Mounting the drive/pump on a piece of open cell foam should be much more effective. Overall, I think that isolating the sources of vibration from the rest of the case should be the most efficient way reduce vibrational noise.


I like your idea of push-pull fans. The hard drives are mounted by the bungee cord suspension method, and there are 4 of them now. They are all sandwiched in the front hard drive cage, the one with the single drive in it in the photo. The bungees made a big difference in the transmission of vibration and noise to the case, they effectively eliminate it. They are cooled by an Akasa Apache that is mounted on very thin rubber pads (front intake fan). Since the drives are mounted so close together, I built a little air-flow duct that funnels all of the fan's output directly to the drives and keeps it from going around them. It is made of 5mm neoprene.

The pump is mounted on the removable motherboard tray, but it is isolated at least a bit. I used a block of this stuff, Petra's Gel Stuff between the pump and the motherboard tray. Since the pump is mounted on the motherboard tray, it is on a vertical surface. To hold it in place I used two long nylon screws and nylon nuts. I figure that the nylon, which has some give to it, will transmit less vibration than steel screws would. Further, the pump is mounted very loose, so it can essentially "ride" gently on the Gel Stuff and is not tightly coupled, by the screws, to the motherboard tray. You can push the pump around a bit very easily. After mounting it this way there was a vast and dramatic improvement over the little neoprene pad that the pump came with. I am toying with the idea of making an L-shaped mounting bracket for the pump, so that the screws don't need to hold it up, just keep it from wandering away. That way the screws will be much looser, and transmit even less vibration. The bracket would also free up some space at the front of the motherboard tray possibly giving me the room to mount the Aquaero controller on the tray as well, and keep the whole water cooling system on the removable motherboard tray.

Your idea for push-pull is brilliant. I might just do that, and eliminate the top fan. But there are two problems to overcome. The first is figuring out how to mount the fan that will be next to the case. The best that seems available is the little silicone fan isolators, the ones that are 120mm x 120mm, and supposedly keep the fan isolated from the case. They are really to thin to work. There is one between the rear fan and the case now. I will want to figure out a much better mount for the fans.

The second problem I may be able to live with. With only the radiator outside of the case at this point, the case is 58.5 cm deep, front to back. It is way too deep to put on any shelf as is, but will gain 5 cm more in depth with two fans out there as well (not counting isolation/soft mounting). I don't want to put it on the floor, as it is already deeper than my desk. I also want the dvd drives easy to reach. And I have Great Danes who sometimes get quite playful and energetic, and the frequently shed a lot. There is thus lots of dust and fur in the house. One of the dogs likes to hide under my desk. Well, at least as much of himself as he can fit under there :lol:

Sorry for the long post, but was kind of brainstorming with you guys. But the pain killers are now kicking in and I'm loosing ability to think clearly, so thanks for your responses, have a good night.

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 Post subject: Re: Wondering about Acoustipac for my Lian Li PC-A10A
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:48 pm 
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Putting a layer of the 7mm, 3-layer Acoustipack Extra on the inside of the top panel did the trick. Now the only noise the computer makes is the sound of moving air. That probably can be reduced a bunch by removing the grille above the top-mounted exhaust fan.

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