I have to admit that is was only recently I even discovered it was possible to reduce the noise of my PC. Since then of course my perception of how noisy it is has increased enormously.
I have an "off the shelf" Evesham pc with an AMD64 2800+, 160g maxtor hardrive and a Radeon 9000(?) graphics card.
I have read the Newbie FAQ's and done as much searching as I can and have discovered the following.
The main noise comes from the fan at the front of the PC - I think it is and air intake and it sits right in front of the hard drive.
The next most noisy is the fan on the mobo - which is a standard 80mm. I have managed to stop both of these fans and the difference in noise is remarkable - the psu and graphics card fans are barely audible.
I have also discovered there is an opening for an exhaust fan, but this is covered by a platic "dummy" for want of a better word.
My main thoughts would be to install a nice quiet 120mm fan at the back and basically switch off the reqally noisy (and very difficult to get to) front fan. Then perhaps replace the cpu fan with a fanless option (the Ninja seems very popular!).
However I don't know how measure the effect this will have on the temp - I really am a noob.
Please offer any advice you can on my thoughts, options and of course the best way to measure/monitor temp.
thanks in advance
Well, as for exhaust fan. A 120mm Nexus, or Noctua 1200rpm version, lowered to 850 rpm, using a fan speed regulator like Zalman Fanmate II,
will be a very silent soloution for exhaust.
Removing the stamped fan grilles, will improve the airflow and lower the noise. Just tape a small, but strong plastic bag securly around the inside of the fan hole before you cut / snip out those grilles.
And check the case throughout, for any metal shards, that may have escaped into the case. Metal is after all electrical conductive.
If you feel the need of a finger guard for the exhaust fan? Get one made out of rounded wire instead. This will at least be better than the stamped one.
Test if you can run the PC without front fan? By shutting it down first, before you remove it. Of coarce this wont tell you the whole story, as you still have the intake fan in there. But anyways.
IF, you see that you will have to use an intake fan anyway? Then a 80mm Sharkoon Silent eagle 2000 or a 92mm Nexus will be a good choise.
Before you get the Ninja, measure the distance between motherboard and the side panel.
The Ninja is 110 x 110 x 150. So you probably wanna have a couple of centimeters between the top of the Ninja and side panel.
As I'm not sure how this case is airflow vice? It could be a good idea, to get a Nexus 120mm for the Ninja too. If you are getting the Ninja Plus rev. B. The included Scythe fan, is unfortuntly not especially silent. It have a low pitched humming to it, even at lower rpm.
If such a big heatsink as the Ninja happends not to fit your case? then an Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 will. The Freezer 64, is also unidirectional. As it's rotateable ( see the manual). And make sure you have the back of the Freezer aimed at the exhaust fan for best heat disposial.
This is a cheap heatsink / fan combo, that will be noticable more silent than your stock dito, and cool the cpu a lot better. Not as good as the Ninja though.
You can make the videocard more quiet, by getting a Zalman VF 900 CU for your 9000 card. Check compability at Zalman home.
The VF 900 CU, is very quiet at low to mid speed. And still will give very good cooling performance.
Also get Arctic Silver Ceramique Thermal paste for the vga cooler. This will further drop the gpu temperature by 2-3 degrees when it have settled after some time. This paste is also very good for the cpu. AC Ceramique is not electrical conductive, like Arctic Silver 5 for ex.
Spread the paste over the top of the cpu or gpu in a paper thin, even layer. Do not use your fingers or a metal object doing this!
A good strategy, when mounting the Zalman vga cooler, is to mount the RAM (memory) sinks first. And letting them settle for some hours before mouting the cooler. Othervise, you risk that the RAM sinks come off easily by accident.
Clean the gpu and RAM with either oilfree Acetone or Isoprophyl alcohol and a lint free cloth throughout before you mount anything onto the card.
Those cleaning fluids, are also good for removing old thermal paste on the cpu.
Make sure you have the cables in the case out of the way of the fans / intake. This will prevent disruption of the airflow thru the case.
The broad IDE cables for the HDDs and the cd drive is easy to fold neatly out of the way. You can fold them pretty hard, without the cable taking any damage. Othervice, it could be a good idea to get rounded IDE cables instead.
Mount the harddrive with rubber or silicone grommets, between hd and hd cage. This will prevent vibrations.
Mount the fan with rubber cords instead of screws. This will also prevent vibrations from fan to case. Especially if the case is made of aluminium.
A good temperature monitor software, is "motherboard monitor 5".
If you dont know wich Radeon 9000 card you have?
Then download this:
This will tell you all about your hardware.
When fiddeling with hardware. Always make sure you are free from static electrisity. This, by grabbing a water tap or kitchen sink, Or the best alternative, get an antistatic wrist strap with a grounding cord. It does'nt take much static electrisity to fry something inside your pc.
Such a strap, costs about 5 bucks down at Wal Mart.