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 Post subject: It's been a while...
PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 11:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 8:02 am
Posts: 64
Location: Toronto, Canada
The last time I probably posted was around the time I built my old computer (Athlon XP 2600 was it?) with a Zalman AlCu CPU heatsink and 9800 pro with arctic cooler.

Anyway, it was relatively quiet in those days (at least compared to my friends), but now it seems downright loud compared to my MacBook aluminum (at least when it isn't revving up!).

So I'm wondering, is it reasonable nowdays to be able to build a rig that could rival the quietness of my laptop. At idle, I've set it to spin its single 40mm at 1900 rpm, and I can only hear it in a very quiet room with my ear 6 inches away.

EDIT: wow. looking at my sig after posting - really brings back memories!

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 Post subject: Re: It's been a while...
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:28 am 
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Joined: Tue May 24, 2005 8:22 pm
Posts: 2465
Location: London
Vegita wrote:
So I'm wondering, is it reasonable nowdays to be able to build a rig that could rival the quietness of my laptop. At idle, I've set it to spin its single 40mm at 1900 rpm, and I can only hear it in a very quiet room with my ear 6 inches away.


Definitely. If anything, it's gotten easier. My desktop is all stock parts and I can barely hear it even the HVAC isn't on -- when it is on, it's inaudible all the way.

The power use of modern mid-range CPUs will be comparable to your AXP, the onboard graphics are now better, the heatsinks and fans have improved, and power supplies and hard drives have gotten quieter.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:04 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2003 7:18 am
Posts: 1070
Location: UK
Hi, if you are looking for super quiet and prepared to make some compromises then you can get a very quiet PC indeed.
Start with integrated graphics and then add a low end dual core CPU, Intel or AMD have viable choices. Under-volt it as far as possible with out compromising stability, maybe even under-clock as well if performance not desperately needed.
Add a large heatsink, eg Ninja or HR-01, and a 500rpm 120mm fan either on the heatsink and ducted to the case or on the case and ducted to the heatsink.
Power with a PicoPSU or other voltage converter type PSu that runs off a (fanless) DC brick.
Finish with a SSD drive. MikeC wrote about a PC of this sort they have in the lab and commented that it was virtually inaudible even in the anechoic chamber! Not sure if was an article or just a forum post on it.
EDIT: Mike's single moving part PC.

The Seasonic X series PSU runs fanless to higher power that a DC brick based once can and then very quietly beyond that, it isn’t cheap though.
If an SSD is too expensive or small capacity look at a 5400rpm drive and put it in a Scythe Quiet drive or the like. (beware of some enclosures that don’t deaden noise much though) Capacity maybe substituted by gigabit Ethernet and a file server / other PC / etc.

These are quite extreme examples, you could pick parts from the recommended list and hopefully end up with a PC with 2-3 120mm fans and as long as they are descent quality and run under 800rpm (preferable under 600rpm) it should be barely audible when on the floor next to your desk. If you want it on the desk you have to work harder to make it in-audible!
Definitely avoid having a hard drive hard mounted under any circumstances. Also try keep HDDs down to one.

Good luck, Seb

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