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 Post subject: Are there any quiet full tower cases???
PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 9:59 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 16, 2003 9:11 pm
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Location: Marina del Rey, CA
I currently have a Supermicro SC-750A full tower case, but I want to replace it w/a new full tower case (ie. at least 6 5-1/4" external bays) and I want a quiet one. There doesn't seem to be much mention of full towers in all the various quiet case articles I've been reading. The only full tower in the recommended cases list is the Antec 1080. I don't find many others in searching this forum. Are there any other full towers that people can recommend?

Also, doesn't that big hole in the 1080's left side panel for a 80cm fan let out a lot of noise?

Thanks,
Steve


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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2003 6:35 am 
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I have an Antec 1080 Plusview. Lovely case, very pleased with it. The side 80mm fan doesn't seem to generate any more noise than any other case I've seen. Note that the 1080 has only 4 5.25" bays, rather than the 6 you're looking for.


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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2003 6:04 pm 
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WAIT! Don't get rid of that $220 Supermicro SC-750A case just yet! I have the same case and have made it very quiet. I'll be putting up pics later. I basically took this loud 7 fan case and turned it into a quiet three 120mm fan case. It can breath easy and now has positive pressure as well.


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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2003 3:35 pm 
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Location: Marina del Rey, CA
Hey Katana. I did decide to hold off on a new case and put a new motherboard/cpu/memory in my SC-750A for now, since full towers are so hard to find nowadays. So please put some pics up and tell me what you did!

My SC-750A is pretty quiet now, but it cost me several hundred dollars. Eventually I figured out that the answer was too remove as many fans as possible and run the remaining at 7 volts (including the CPU fan), but I'm not sure I be able to still get away w/this w/a new 3.0G P4. My biggest complaint now is general case vibration noise due to my 10K RPM SCSI drives. I helped that a lot by replacing an older Atlas2 10K w/a Atlas3 10K, as well as a lot of blu-tack to keep the doors coupled to the frame.

But I still can't help but wonder if a newer tower would be quieter. I have the *original* SC-750A. Supermicro (/Addtronics) made a lot of improvements in a revision to this case shortly after I got mine. Which one do you have. Mine looks like this:

Image


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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2003 6:20 pm 
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Yep, I have the original as well. Cost me $220 when I bought it many years ago, whew!

I'll try to get you some pics real soon.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2003 7:42 pm 
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OK, here's what I recommend:

1st, rip out all fans.
2nd, read crisspy's post on tin snips.
3rd, Get some edge molding from Directron.
4th, Hack up the front bezel with some modder's mesh.

Done!

Image. . . . Image

Image. . . . Image

Now this case lives again! Two 120mm front fans means positive pressure. This will help the quiet PSU's to run cool and quiet.

On a side note, you'll notice I also removed the center support bar in the middle of the case. There was no need for it, so I dremmeled it out to give me more elbow room :)
(The Dynamat was there from years ago. It was successful in making the case heavier 8))

When I get ready to use this case, I plan on blocking up all ventilation holes so that the air will move from the 120mm's and the PSU. (I might block it up with AcoustiPak.) This will ensure positive air pressure.


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 Post subject: well the long version...
PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2003 8:10 pm 
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As the unofficial see-katana-do guy I can pretty much tell you how he'd suggest you mod it..

First off, the case is a natural for 120mm fans for intake and exhaust so first up just get out a hole saw and start goofing around ala this post or that article. Key here is stamped steel grills are evil so you needed to get rid of them anyway! =)

I'm assuming two 120mm's in and one out is all you really need since you don't seem to have a huge number of drives but don't ask me, I honestly have no idea how large that case is. Pick out the standard panaflo L1a fan or perhaps a pabst NGL if you are feeling fancy. For more deliberating on fans hit the forums hard =) Balance out intake so that it's stronger than the exhaust from the fan and psu such that you have a positive pressure in the case.

From there, take that bezel and make a nice hole infront of any planned 120mm fans. make it pretty, make it ugly - doesn't matter. Personally I go for looks myself but suit yourself or your spouse as the 'case' may be. Use Modder's Mesh or equivalent to act as a grill.

Most important is to not use bare screws on any fans attached to the case. Instead, use isolators or such as a decoupler to keep the fans' vibration from the case - Silicon Acoustics is not the only place that sells them. Keep in mind you need 4 per fan so they add up fast if facing bulk purchases. This is prolly the single most effective way to quiet your pc considering it's ease of installation.

Once you have the giant fans set up, get a controller for them so you can control their speed/noise. PWM's (a random bit of electronics kit) seem to be very popular in fan collers but they cause the fans to "click" at low voltages. The only safe options 'current'ly seem to be the Zalman ZM-MFC1 or the Sunbeam Rheostat. Both options have their plus and minus' so choose carefully.

Any other holes not used, just seal up. The idea is to eliminate that fan farm that's standard on the tower and use the least number of the largest fans you can get and spin them as slow as possible.

If you have only a few drives then a creative way to decouple them at the bottom front of the case would help alot. I mean the options are endless, foam, rubberbands, readymade smartdrive enclosures etc etc ad nausium, that's what the storage forum is for!!!!

Keep in mind if you have the dreaded WD drives your best bet is to use an enclosure like the smartdrive 2002 if you cannot part with the capacity/performance. If you have an ibm 180gxp or maybe a maxtor, decoupling them to keep them from vibrating against the case should work. the super micro has a ton of room to play with and you could place them in front of the intake fan.

the next step is the psu... now I'm really not sure what came standard as they had a few setups but might want to replace it with that new 120mm fan version of a fortron/sparkle like the one at XP Director one of the many aftermarket fortrons or a seasonic... again check the forum that pertains; lots of ideas there. If you have a quality psu as is, then you can mod it with isolators and switch out the fans with panaflos etc etc. Read more if you dare.

For cpu use a giant copper cooler like a thermalright 800 or 900 or zalman flower bother with an 80mm + fan. Use passive cooling for the northbridge and graphics card, Zalman has more than a few nifty solutions for passive cooling.

One last thing that comes to mind is to dampen the case by using an acoustic foam like Melamine Foam. The basic idea is that the sound that eminates from the components inside the case will bounce around until it either gets absorbed/passes though the walls or escapes from holes. If you simply add a sheet of foam to the inside if main left panel the sound will bounce around until it hits the acoustic materal which absorbs it at a MUCH greater rate than the case.

Now you can go hog wild with foam, adding it to every bare bit of case you can attach the stuff to. Then you can start getting into different types of foam, some that bounce the sound and is thin or really thick/egg shaped for the areas that can act as super absorbers or the thinish stuff that can fit behind the mb tray etc etc adnausium (detect a trend here?). Guess what forum 'covers' that area! Overall Airflow will not be hampered if you use the stuff properly nor will temps suffer.

Anyway, as far as I can read katana man, any case you can mod a 120mm fan fore and aft to is a case you need not replace, merely mod out a 'bit'.

As for why do I know this.... well I've been building my first quiet pc on the advice of this board for the last month or two and a certain katanaman was spaming his experiences in great depth at the same time.

oh puns clearly denoted in ' 's

Cheers!
-Liq'd

ps this post took way too long to write as katana beat me to it...I like to post while wroking on other things - it can take hours at times. =)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2003 10:53 pm 
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Location: Marina del Rey, CA
Whoaaaa. Holy crap, Liquidated. Thanks for the post.

I should point out that the pic in my post is not my case but from some old review. I too had the inside lined w/original dynamat, but have since removed almost all of it since all it did was make a heavy case a whole lot heavier. I have all the vents taped up except for the bottommost front 80cm and the rear top 80cm, both of which have Silencer fans running at 7 volts. I could use more airflow. Just taking off the plastic front cover drops my temp by 4 deg. I had considered buying the updated front cover from Addtronics, which replaces all those tiny holes w/a mesh grill like you've done.

Where do you have your hard drive(s) mounted? I tried putting my 10K RPM scsi drives in the 3.5 cage, but that made the whole case act like a crappy loudspeaker.

Steve


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 7:37 am 
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You are welcome for putting those pictures up just for you. Don't mention it. My pleasure :)


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 Post subject: Re: Are there any quiet full tower cases???
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 11:42 am 
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Stephen M. Smith wrote:
The only full tower in the recommended cases list is the Antec 1080. I don't find many others in searching this forum. Are there any other full towers that people can recommend?

I dunno if they make it anymore, but Antec has a taller version of the SX1040/1080 - the 1280. There may even be a 1440 model too. Innards should be similar.

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 Post subject: Re: Are there any quiet full tower cases???
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 6:07 am 
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powergyoza wrote:
Stephen M. Smith wrote:
The only full tower in the recommended cases list is the Antec 1080. I don't find many others in searching this forum. Are there any other full towers that people can recommend?

I dunno if they make it anymore, but Antec has a taller version of the SX1040/1080 - the 1280. There may even be a 1440 model too. Innards should be similar.



It's called the SX1240 with a PSU and the SX1200 w/o a PSU. I think they don't sell it anymore but you can still find them if you look hard through Pricewatch or Froogle.

The Cheiftec version is called the DA-01W. These should be easier to find then the Antec-branded version of the same thing.

Directron has about four or five different styles and colors of this case for around $65. Scroll down about 80% of the page to find them. They're right above the pictures of the case doors.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 4:01 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 16, 2003 9:11 pm
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Location: Marina del Rey, CA
From what I can tell, Chieftec makes the Antec's actual cases, and then Antec sticks in their good Truepower power supply. Is this correct?

I checked out Chieftec's site and see that they do in fact make several full (6 5.25 external bay) tower cases, but no VAR's (like Antec) seem to use them. They all use the 4-bay tower cases. I did find them at Directron though. I'll have to recheck Directron and see if they sell them w/o power supplies, because I would definitely want an Antec TruePower or TrueControl in there.

Steve

Also, Katana:

Can you post of list of tools you used in modding you SC-750A? Do I need a dremel or can I get by w/a nibbler?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 5:21 pm 
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Home made paper fan template.
Tin snips to cut the holes.
Dremmel with cuttoff wheel to cut away the center support brace.
Dremmel with cuttoff wheel to cut away the front bezel.
Dremmel with wire brush to soften edges.
GOOP to hold in the metal mesh. C-clamps are also used.

I don't have any experience with a nibbler, but look how good these holes came out:
Image

Image


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 Post subject: yup
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 11:44 pm 
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if you don't have a dremel and you like to tinker with stuff, I'd advise you get one and kit it out a 'bit'. It's makes like SO much easier in all manner of things it's imposible to fully describe.

For dremel shopping get one of the kits with with the extention as it's god sent for working in tight places and general putting around if not specifically for pc's.

the more bits you have for the dremel, the more uses you'll find for it but one that doesn't come in any of the premade kits that I've seen is the mentioned stainless steel wheel brush (the number 530). This bit is ideal for smoothing/deburring steel and aluminum and will turn the most hostile case into a 'lap' dog with an hour of dremeling.

If you don't tinker alot, it's really optional.

The other great suggestion comes from mnpctech's infamous GOOP spotlight. The stuff is like adhesive strawberry jam. It's a single stage glue that's very lumpy in composition and is not the best for even spreading.

What GOOP excels in is setting things like mesh onto plastic bezels because it sets pretty slow but also is very sticky wet. Smear a bunch on the bezel and you can put up a grill with clamps only needed in areas with a lot of bend.

The end result is very tolerant to bending and is not brittle as alot of 2 stage epoxys and 1 stage superglues are.

Cheers!
-Liq


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