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 Post subject: Any thoughts/ideas on my planned silent pc?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 11:49 pm 

Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 12:44 pm
Posts: 380
Location: UK
It's that time again - my current pc is starting to get dated and I can't upgrade it any further as the motherboard has no support for agp 8x, newer fsb frequencies, and newer ram speeds.

However, this time I want silence - at the expense of some power if necessary. I've sourced some essential parts which I think will provide a good base for a quiet high end pc. I was wondering if anyone can spot any issues with what I plan to do.

Case: Antec Sonta in conjunction with this soundproofing kit.
PSU: SilenX 400w iXtrema Pro rated at 14dba.
Case Fans: SilenX 120mm x 2 (supplied with dampening mounts) also rated at 14dba.

As for components, I plan to get one of Asus's high end nForce2 motherboards, and either an AthlonXP 2800+ or 3000+. Thermalright do a silent cooler (the SP-97) which has had very good reviews, and allows you to put any 92mm fan you like on it, so I'll get a 92mm SilenX fan for that (again, 14dba rating).
Fan controller: Probably the Sunbeam one as it allows you to turn the fans completely off while still having full range control
Memory: 2 x Cosair platinum 512Mb cas 2.0 PC2700 modules
Graphics: Sapphire Radeon 9800pro 256Mb ultimate edition (the "ultimate edition" bit means they've taken the fan off an pre-fitted a fanless Zalman heatpipe cooler)
Storage: 2 x Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 Plus 200GB ATA-100 (8MB Cache)
Optical: A DVD +R/RW -R/RW combo drive (model yet to be decided on)
Other: Transfer TV/Radio card from my old pc

I'm hoping I've thought of everything here to make sure I can have a very quiet pc that still performs well.
Incidentally, I know the Antec case comes with a PSU. However, I want the quietest one I can get and the SilenX one is significantly better. I can always Ebay the one it comes with.
So far as I can see no other case has the silencing potential (the Antec harddrive mounts are rubberized, for example) so I really want to get that one.

Also, I know the Antec case has holes drilled near the top of both sides that could screw up airflow. However, from what i've read, the soundproofing kit I've pointed out covers those up, so that's not a problem.

If i've missed something obvious, let me know

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 1:19 am 

Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2004 7:07 am
Posts: 14
Sounds pretty good to me, buddy. I haven't had much experience with any of the SilenX gear, but 14dBa sure isn't much! I thought maybe go for a bit more grunt and try an Athlon 64 solutiong with their CnQ technology, but I've read reports of the 2800+, 3000+ running a bit cooler than the AMD64 series, so yeah...


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 8:10 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 12281
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
The Sonata & PSU are overrated. It's an ok starting point, but both restricted front vent and PSU noise will become issues for lots of people very quickly.

On that website, I see they sell the Antec 3700 -- either version is actually better tho neither have great PSUs. Also better is the AcoustiCase -- is at a premium, but it's a good case similar to 3700 & I presume it has the damping already applied. Ditto the Chenbro Gaming Bomb (which I think is better in some ways than any of the others above) + quiet PSU of your choice.

My suggestiion -- attack the noise at the source -- don't let it start -- and you'll find there's no need for damping materials. That means getting the quietest components to start with and the best cooling devices and running all fans at an absolute minimum in the most unrestricted airflow case, with HDDs fully suspended.

Fact: Some of my open-bench systems that run folding @ home 24/7 can't be heard unless you get within 2~3 feet with all other sound sources off in a very quiet room. They measure no more than 20~22 dBA/1m. They are completely unenclosed. :wink: 8) :)

Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 9:16 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2003 6:28 pm
Posts: 434
Location: CT, USA
as always, MikeC's advice is the best. i've spent considerable time and $$ silencing my PC and the one thing i never replaced was the case. if you stuff cool, quiet stuff into almost any case, you can get a quiet system. now i did cut out some fan grills, but thats about it. maybe i could lower temps with a better breathing case, but my temps are fine, my system is fast and inaudible to me, and i saved $$ on not buying a new case. if you buy all the right parts, the case is less important. worked for me.

main: athlon II 240e + Dark Knight, MSI 785GM-E65, Dell RM112, 4GB G-Skill, HVR-2250, 256GB Samsung 830 & 3TB WD Red, CM Elite 341
laptop (backup): IBM Thinkpad X60s, LV CoreDuo 1.66, Samsung 840 120GB
laptop (main): Dell XPS13 9343 FHD i5, 128GB SSD, blissfully silent almost all the time

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 9:44 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2004 10:34 am
Posts: 33
I totally agree with MikeC. I recently remodded my pc because I plan on upgrading to a pentium 4 3.0. I've already upgraded my video card to a 9600xt fanless with heatpipe. This card creates some heat. My old setup had acoustipack and other dampeners everywhere. I ended up removing all of it except for the side panels (it was the only place where it didnt get in the way of my mod) I then removed this crazy duct thing I built for my PSU. After that I reversed the PSU fan so it sucks air in. Then I removed all the fans and remounted them on the top of the case. So they blow air out. Last I cut 3 3" holes on the bottom of the case and raised the case off the floor with mounted wheels. The case is simple, cool and quiet. Not bad for having 4 80ml fans! (running at 5v ofcourse) The case temp is now about 10-15 cel. cooler than my old setup and the same quietness.

In short, use quiet components, as least fans as necessary running at 5v, and good air flow. Don't worry about dust! Thats pretty much it.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2004 7:08 am 

Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2003 9:40 am
Posts: 636
Location: USA
R2fugu why did you reverse the fan in the psu and you don't get much nosie even thought those fans are on top mount?

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