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 Post subject: Silencing PC: Mission Failed Miserably
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 5:37 am 
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I recently bought an Enermax EG375P-VE SFMA Noisetaker PSU hoping that it would make my PC quieter. I've installed it last night and noticed it was noticeably quieter, but the temperatures are pretty bad. I do not play games on this system and DID NOT overclock it either. Here are three tests:

====================================
#1 CPU Fan & Old PSU
====================================
I get fairly decent temperatures, 51C tops for the CPU and 40C tops for the case. Old PSU is very noisy.
====================================
#2 CPU Fan & New Enermax PSU
====================================
Temperatures are skyrocketing, it could easily go up to 50C/CPU and 40C/case even in an air conditioned room! BTW, I've uninstalled one hard drive in this one too! It's pretty quiet, I'm satisfied with this combo...but the temperatures are very worrying.
====================================
#3 CPU Fan & New Enermax PSU & Rear Case Exhaust Fan
====================================
So before frying my CPU, I installed a "supposedly" silent (Vantec Stealth 80mm fan) and jacked up the PSU's fan to "high" with the knob in the back. It helped the temperatures, probably comparable to test #1. Although now it's NOT EVEN near silent, perhaps even louder than test #1. It's the case fan that is causing all the noise now, it's probably the noise blowing against the holes in the case.

Refresh me please, why in the heck was the point of buying the new Enermax Noisetaker if it's still going to be noisy and doesn't help the temperatures at all whatsoever? Do I still have hopes for silencing this thing?!

Here is my computer setup:
MOTHERBOARD: MSI K7T266Pro2
CPU: AMD Athlon XP 1900+
HEATSINK: CoolerMaster DP5-6 w/Vantec Stealth 80mm fan
MEMORY: 512MB DDR PC2100
SOUND: On-board
VIDEO: nVidia GeForce2 MX-400
PCI CARD: Network Card 10/100
DRIVE: Teac 1.44 Floppy
DRIVE: LiteOn 16x DVD
DRIVE: Plextor 8x4x32 CD-RW
HARD DRIVE: Maxtor 60GB U100/5400rpm


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 5:55 am 
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I fail to follow.

Test #1 you get a max CPU temp of 51°. Test #2 you fear that "it could easily go up to 50C/CPU".

Um, that doesn't seem to be "skyrocketing" to me.

Even if the temps do go up, so what? Even 65 or 70° is a perfectly fine CPU temp.

Quiet PSU's are also low airflow. That goes hand in hand. Sounds more like a case airflow issue than anything else. Work on improving the airflow through the case and the temps will drop. (what case is it, anyway?)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 6:02 am 
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Rusty075,
Sorry for the misunderstanding. Test #1 has a max CPU temp of 51° . Though Test #2 could "easily" go up to 50° while -idling- and in an -air conditioned room-. I have an Inwin S508 mid-tower case. How can I improve the airflow? Is it possible without the case exhaust fan?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 6:04 am 
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low noise, low price, low temps, fast cpu speed

pick 3.


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 Post subject: Re: Silencing PC: Mission Failed Miserably
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 6:05 am 
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NeedQuietPC wrote:
Do I still have hopes for silencing this thing?!


If you can get away from thinking of good/bad temperatures from an overclockers point-of-view anything is possible.

50*C isn't hot (my CPU idles at 50*C).

A good fraction of silencing is sacrificing higher temperatures for silence by reducing the (inherently noisy) cooling solutions that plague PCs.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 6:37 am 
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NeedQuietPC wrote:
How can I improve the airflow? Is it possible without the case exhaust fan?


The best place to look to improve airflow is the intake. Take a good look at your case: how is air getting into it? Ideally you'd have the same cross sectional area for intake as you do exhaust. You've got about 20 square inches of exhaust area (the 80mm fan and the PSU), and you've probably got about 2 sq inches of intake. :lol:

Take a cruise through the Cases section' stickies, and the Gallery..lots of good indeas in there on how to improve airflow.

You'll likely have to do some case modding, but opening up the intake and removing the exhaust fan grills will make a noticable improvement.


And nutball's right....anything below 70-75° for a CPU temp is fine, really.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 6:46 am 
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1. What's the exhaust fan grill look like? Is it stamped out of the case metal? How much obstruction is there? That's one source of both noise and excess heat.

2. Vantec Stealths are pretty noisy at default 12V. They start being tolerable when undervolted to about 7V, better at 5V but then they don't push any air :(

3. How good is your thermal grease on the CPU? Is it Arctic Silver? Have you applied it correctly? AMD1900 shouldn't run that hot on idle.

4. If I remember correctly the DP5 is a 70mm ancient cooler. How did you mount a Vantec on top of it? Maybe that's one reason. Also IIRC the DP5's original fan does 4000+ rpm to do any cooling.

If your case is this one then I'd first look at the front intake, try to open it somewhat then at the CPU/heatsink interface and probably decide I need a better heatsink.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 6:51 am 
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Thanks for all the advice! I guess I was overly worried about the temps and didn't dare to go on any further (obviously, I'm not an overclocker).

If the CPU is running at 70° or below all the time, does it significantly reduce its life? How about the case temperature, what's a safe temp?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 6:52 am 
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WELCOME to SPCR!

Stealth fans are not quiet as you have found out. There is no doubt that you should be able to quiet your PC without spending too much $ and the Inwin case looks fine. Here's how I would attack it as a start:

You will need 1 or 2 case fans with the quiet PSU. Go with Panaflo L1A fans, they are cheap at SVC Compucycle. Use a 92 mm for the rear exhaust if it will fit. If grilles look restrictive cut them out. Upgrading your CPU HSF will be money well spent. HSF's with 60mm fans are generally not well suited for quiet applications. Zalman 7000 or a Thermalright SP-97 (topped with an L1A) are excellent but pricey; if you are budget minded, the Speeze WhisperRock is quite good for ~$15/shipped.

Connect each fan via a fanmate or control speed via software such as speedfan or fanspeed. Note that these software aps do not work with all motherboards and/or all fan headers, try & see. Experiment with fan speeds while stressing the system to it's max; CPUBurn is a good ap for this. As far as temps go, shoot for (debatable) max temps of 60C for the CPU and 40C for hard drives, don't worry too much 'bout case temp. Lower your fan speeds as much as you can within these parameters. Note, if your hard drive temps are too high, add another 80mm L1A as a case intake @ 5v fixed. Good Luck and keep us posted on your progress!

BTW, does your case have a CPU side duct?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 7:01 am 
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burcakb,

Answers:
1. The exhaust fan grill looks is exactly what you see in that link you provided. Yes, that's the case I have too.

2. The Vantec Stealth 80mm is definitely less noisy on the CPU than in the exhaust.

3. The thermal grease was left over from the original CoolerMaster heatsink that was originally installed when I bought the system.

4. Yes, it's an ancient cooler!
http://www.coolermaster.com/index.php?L ... er_title=0
It uses a 60mm fan but I replaced it with a 60-80mm adapter and Vantec Stealth 80mm (Vantec Stealth again, but definitely not as noisy as the one in the exhaust). The temps didn't differ that much between this 60mm fan and 80mm fan though.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 7:21 am 
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Is your case the one I linked to? If it is, that means you get those high temps with a CPU duct which just shouldn't be. Your rear exhaust does look like it could accomodate a 92mm. And the grill isn't too restrictive. I mean I'm sure your hdd and CPU fan noises are way above the turbulance noise from the exhaust grill. I'm really more worried about that white whatsitsname thingie on the front intake. If you don't have proper intake, nothing you'll do will improve your exhaust.

Also I forgot to ask. Is your CPU a Palomino or Thoroughbred core? If you don't know, use CPU-z to find out. Palominos heat up a lot more.

Seriously think about updating your heatsink. The DP5 is really ancient

It's been suggested that Panaflo L1As may be a little underpowered for PSUs, you may wish to go with M1As (I have no experience with Panaflos, only Vantecs)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 8:00 am 
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NeedQuietPC wrote:
3. The thermal grease was left over from the original CoolerMaster heatsink that was originally installed when I bought the system.


Ouch!!! Immediately get Arctic Silver 5 and use it !!!

The DP5 is really ancient. It just doesn't have the capacity to cool properly. I'd say look for another fan for your CPU but really you're better off changing the whole thing. If you don't want to spend too much, look at the Speeze/Spire whisperrock IV.

PS: Where do you live? Your hardware inspires me to think you live somewhere nearby....

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 8:04 am 
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Thanks for the help again. Guess I need another heatsink.

How quiet is the cheapo Speeze WhisperRock? There's a WhisperRock "II" and a "IV", which one should I get? The WhisperRock is 26.5dBA, how does it compared with my Stealth (said to be) 21dBA?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 8:12 am 
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Why don't you get something really good? The Speeze HS -- and other similar cheap copper/aluminum ones are OK for the money, but something like a Thermalright SK7 or SLK800 with a 80mm quiet fan will perform like 5C better. Or you can use the extra headroom to slow the fan down even more and get lower noise.

PS -- check SPCR's lab clearance sale in the deals forum. ;)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 8:12 am 
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NeedQuietPC wrote:
1. The exhaust fan grill looks is exactly what you see in that link you provided. Yes, that's the case I have too.

Inwin cases are of solid construction, but not very well suited for quiet operation. In fact one might even argue that Inwin cases are not well suited for modern systems at all. Inwin has been around a long time and they used to make good products but then fell into a deep slumber on the innovation side. Lately there have been some signs of a waking up, but most of their products have not been updated.

From pictures of the S 508 I determine that it does not include the cpu duct in the side panel. This duct that they have included in some of their models is part of the 'waking up' I mentioned.

Still all is not lost, your case can be modded for better airflow.
There are several ways to achieve this:
- cut out the stamped fangrills (every inch counts)
- get rid of the plastic pci card rail in the front part of the case.
Most pci cards are so small you rarely need this anyway.
- determine if you can somehow increase the area of the plastic
fanfilter of the front panel. (atleast I assume it's a filter of sorts
from the images) Maybe replace the filter part entirely.
- put higher feet in the case and cut a hole in the bottom.
This is more difficult, but also an effective way of increasing
the intake area without making the changes very obvious to
the outside.

NeedQuietPC wrote:
2. The Vantec Stealth 80mm is definitely less noisy on the CPU than in the exhaust.

I guess the Vantec is better than average, but it's not known as a great fan. I can recommend the quiet models of Y.S. Tech if you can find them.

As to your temperatures. I have an old Palomino XP1800 and it runs at the following temps:
CPU idle ~51C
case is ~35C
room ambient ~23C
I have enough reserve (Fanmates) to drop the temperatures by
several degrees, but that would mean a more noise.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 11:09 am 
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I've turned on the PC for 2-3 hours now and the temps are:
CPU Idle: 52C
Case Idle: 45C

This is with the fans taken out from the exhaust. So the only fans present are the ones in the PSU and the CPU fan. Enermax Noisetaker fan speed knob set to "low".

I'm located in sunny California so weather could be much hotter in the next few months! Could I get away with just the WhisperRock heatsink?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 11:51 am 
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NeedQuietPC --

52C & 45C at idle is bad. I often don't have much higher at load. That Inwin case has very poor ventilation. I strongly suggest you cut away the metal grills for both front and rear case fans. Also examine the plastic front bezel and enlarge the existing openings. You will still need at least one case fan -- preferably the rear, at reduced voltage for lower noise.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 12:04 pm 
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Looking at this picture:
http://images10.newegg.com/productimage ... 293-10.JPG

The plastic cover that has a red/black wire coming out of it has a round thingy attached. What exactly is this thing? Can I safely detach it from the motherboard and remove the entire plastic cover?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 12:07 pm 
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The DP5 is so ancient that ANYTHING is better :)

But MikeC is right, unless you improve the airflow through the case, you'll just be relocating the heat inside the case, overstressing your PSU in the meantime.

The front looks really lousy. Are the slits on the front bezel really open? If not then your case is probably sucking air from a very small slit on the front bottom.

As for the back grill, I've seen worse, I've seen a whole lot worse grills but still you need to get rid of it. It'll both improve your airflow AND reduce your noise. If you're afraid of anything getting stuck, use wire grills.

Don't mind your case temp reports. That's usually the temp of the southbridge chip. It's your ambient that's important.

Note: With 28C ambient I get 53C with CPUBurn running 90 minutes with a Barton 2500+.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 12:11 pm 
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Are you asking if you can change to a WhisperRock and run without a case fan, based only on idle temps? Beats me! In fact, I'm not sure that this question is answerable. Even if you are able to keep your CPU cool enough sans case fan, it's doubtful that this will be the quietest possible configuration. A Panaflo L1A case fan at 5v is very quiet. The cooler case temps will help prevent your PSU fan from ramping up, will help ensure that your HDD(s) don't fail prematurely and will enable you to slow (quiet) your CPU fan while maintaining acceptable temps.

Sounds to me like you're really not taking the time to read and digest the excellent suggestions that have already been given to you. Several responses have suggested you ensure your case has or is modded to have low restriction intake, for example. Also a couple of unaswered inquiries as to whether your case has a CPU duct. And burcakb's horrified response to your admission to swapping CPU coolers without re-applying thermal grease! Finally, I think all who responded will agree that you should have at minimum, a case exhaust fan.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 12:12 pm 
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NeedQuietPC wrote:
The plastic cover that has a red/black wire coming out of it has a round thingy attached. What exactly is this thing? Can I safely detach it from the motherboard and remove the entire plastic cover?


??? Can it be the front USB port connectors? What does it say near the connector on the motherboard? Whatever it is, I'm sure you can route it through some place else and get rid of the plastic.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 12:38 pm 
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Vantec = Shit (still shitty at 7v, but smoke 'em if you got 'em)
Enermax = Please Mod Me (see one of the oldest articles on this site)

Trust me man, I've been where you are. I stopped worrying about rear exhaust fans and even a rear 80mm PSU exhaust after a while, and my 2400+ gets to about 60 in the dead heat of summer.

Just keep working at it...every little bit helps, and eventually you won't even think twice about silencing (well, except when opening a PSU...........)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 3:59 pm 
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Hi guys, thanks for being patient with me, I've never modded a computer so this is my first attempt. You're right bomba, I needed some time to digest all this good information. Let me answer some of the questions I see:

bomba
Q. BTW, does your case have a CPU side duct?
A. No, my case does not have the CPU duct, it's basically this monster (http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDe ... 293&depa=0) but no side fan grilles.
MikeC
Q. Why don't you get something really good?
A. Well, this computer is around 2 years old, and I'm trying to get away with less $$ spent. This PC is in my room and the noise really bothers me.
burcakb
Q. Are the slits on the front bezel really open?
A. Yeah, the slits do really open, but it also depends on slits underneath the front bottom.
burcakb
Q. Can it be the front USB port connectors? What does it say near the connector on the motherboard?
A. The connector that connects to this "thing" in the plastic fan cover is labeled "JFP1". There is also another wire from this connector that seems to go to the LEDs.

I think I've decided to replace my HSF, take my 2 Vantec Stealth 80mm fans, one for the front (intake) and one for the rear (exhaust) and run them at 7v so hopefully I can minimize the noise, yet get the case cooler.

As I'm speaking right now, I have the rear exhaust fan running at 12v, the temps are 47C/CPU and 39C/case. That's 3-5 degrees difference, wow!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 7:11 pm 
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NeedQuietPC wrote:
Looking at this picture:
http://images10.newegg.com/productimage ... 293-10.JPG

The plastic cover that has a red/black wire coming out of it has a round thingy attached. What exactly is this thing? Can I safely detach it from the motherboard and remove the entire plastic cover?


I have an Inwin S500 which is basically the same case as the S508. The only difference is the front bezel. The round thing in the front case fan holder is a speaker. You can live without it since all it really is used for these days is for BIOS troubleshooting codes. You know, that beep that computers have when they boot up.

Anyway, my case temps run around 31-33 degrees celcius (as measured by my Iwill XP-333+ running a 1700+ Tbred B Athlon). This is using two 80mm case fans and the original "Powerman" PS (really a FSP300-60BT power supply). My system runs at a not-so-quiet-but-not-that-bad 50db (basically at the bottom end of my Radio Shack sound level meter). Most of the noise is from the power supply.

<Edit>Oh, I guess I should mention that this is measured from my chair, approx 1 ft from the computer. If I put the case on the floor, the sound reading would probably be closer to 40db</Edit>

All-in-all, the Inwin is a solid case with a good, but loud PS. Front airflow could be made better with a less restrictive bezel.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 11:57 pm 
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Whatever it is that's behind the plastic thingy you can do without, I'm sure. Just get rid of it and whatever it is behind it, unless it's a fan.

And.....

USE FRESH ARCTIC SILVER 5 !!!!! THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO

It's not money wasted, you can use the remaining in the tube for any number of heatsink installations. It has a LONG shelf life, it'll be the best money spent on your rig.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2004 1:53 am 
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I've the exact same mainboard. If your idle temps are too high, use Vcool. Never had problems with it.

vcool.occludo.net


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2004 4:20 am 
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Just to pad your confidence again...

my old rig...

Palomino XP2000+

idled anywhere form 50-55

loaded 62'ish

never had problems with it...

and to shamelessly plug the zalman...my mom has that computer now...same pally 2000 only I put a zalman on it and it idles at 38 :shock:

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2004 9:09 am 
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I took your doubts as a occassion and compared the readings of the onboard temperature sensor to my self-modded on-die diode readout.
Here's the diagram:
Image
As you can see, the onboard sensor shows too high figures under 50°C and too low figures for temperaturs over 50°C. But the maxiumum error is 10°C at 90°C which is way off the scary approximation by some persons.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:57 pm 
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I've had excellent results with Vantec Stealth 80mms when used in conjunction with Zalman Fanmate controllers. No louder than 120mm Panaflo L1As IMO. Maybe I have quiet Stealths and noisy L1As, who knows.

Anyway, I'd get a Spire Falconrock II. Excellent cooler. Very cheap (less than $20 shipped). Here's a review. Try it with the stock fan and see what you think. Or do what I did and swap it with a Stealth:
Image

As was said, I would also mod the Enermax, if you feel comfortable doing so. Lots of dangerous components in power supplies... be careful (or rope a friend into the event who has experience in electronics).

Best of Luck,
-Evan-

Edited to fix the link


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2004 11:20 pm 
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I'm sorry I can't agree with the Stealth remarks. I have four and all four are noisy.

Sure, they push a LOT of air at relatively low noise, but they're still noisy. I have a couple of Globe fans (M rated) that push more air with less noise and do not click when undervolted. I'm really about to fall in love with Globe.

For comparison, I also have two Noiseblocker S2 fans. They make about the same noise (but less irritating in nature) but push more air.

So there ARE other fans out there that outperform the Stealth series in many ways.

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