Well, almost silent
I've finally reached the end of my quest to build a pc that is quiet enough to live next to my desk and still run at an acceptable temperature. It has taken about a year to reach this point. I'm on the second waterblock and third radiator since the beginning of the journey. Along the way I've discarded a homemade maze style copper waterblock, a Toyota Supra heater core, and the Tower of Cooling Power
. The tower was a good performer, but I wanted a radiator that blended better into the room.
The computer system:
- ECS K7S5A motherboard
- Athlon 1.4 GHZ CPU
- 256 Mb DDR RAM
- 80 Gb Barracuda IV hard drive
- Plextor 12/10/32A burner
- Generic 48X CD ROM
- Generic floppy
- Aopen GeForce 2 video card
- Generic case
- 300 watt Codegen power supply-fan replaced with 80mm Pc Power and Cooling "Silencer"
The cooling system:
- Copper/Acrylic jet impingement waterblock
- Copper tube passive radiator
- Two channel temperature-dependent fan controller
- Danner MagDrive 2 pump
- 1/2" ID vinyl and silicone tubing
- One gallon of distilled water
The radiator is a relatively simple design adapted from copper tube radiators built by others. There are two 3/4" copper tubes 96" long with a 45 degree elbow and hose barb on each end. One tube has a tee with a hose barb mounted vertically to connect to the resevoir.
The tubes ready for painting.
The tubes with a coat of black paint.
The pump box is made from 1/2" mdf and covered on all inside surfaces with carpeting to silence the pump. The pump is suspended from two stretch cords and connects to two hose barbs with short lengths of silicone tubing inside the box.
The fan controllers are a modification of this circuit
. I added a resistor to each side of P1 to stretch the control range and a capacitor across the fan to stop 'growling' at low speeds. One thermistor is stuck into the fins of a Zalman passive heatsink on the video card and controls a 92mm fan blowing on the video card and hard drive. The other thermistor is hanging in the case and controls a fan blowing into the psu.
Back to the radiator... Here is the pump side of the installed system showing the pump box, resevoir, and tubing connections.
The computer side.
The entire system with the radiator mounted below the fireplace.
The computer has been on for three hours of surfing and writing this post and the temperature reported by MBM5 from the motherboard is 42 degrees C. A couple of hours of Half-Life will raise the temperature to 44 degrees C. The pump is completely silent and the fans have spun up so I can hear them now, not loud, just barely audible. The TV or quiet music will easily drown them out.