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 Post subject: New system..but still worrying that something's missing
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2004 2:39 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 6:14 am
Posts: 19
Location: Germany
A while ago I made some some entries to this forum regarding my plans to build or buy a silent PC. Another option discussed as well was a said to be silent barebone system.

After some extensive reading in a variety of sources – and especially in this great forum – I was close to going crazy but still managed to make a decision: As I didn't have the time, patience and willingness to take the „risk“but because I did sort of know what I wanted, I looked for a shop which would build and test my configuration for me and which would be easy to get back to in case of problems.

I found a store with reasonable prices, but I had to accept two facts: First, they didn't offer AMD systems based on socket 939 yet, and second, they didn't have much choice in all those categories relevant to silent computing (PSUs, fans, heatsinks and so on).

However, they seemed to know what they're doing and said they knew how to focus on building a silent PC.

Here's what I got:

    Chieftec „Dragon“ Medium-sized tower with silencing kit from „be quiet!“
    Asus K8V SE Deluxe
    AMD Athlon64 3400+ (Because of the cool'n'quiet feature, the power consumption and the price)
    Heatsink ArcticCooling Silencer64TC 12-23db(A), thermo control, 1200-2800 U/min
    2*512 MB Samsung CL3 with Thermaltake Memory Cooling kit (copper)
    2*160GB Samsung SP1614C
    CD-ROM
    CD-RW
    DVD-RW
    Floppy
    ATI Radeon 9200SE (128MB)
    Creative Audigy 2 ZS
    5 Chassis fans CoolerMate CMT-SF8 80mm 21db(A)
    PSU „be quiet!“ 450W 1.3 2L Blackline Titanium


Remarks:

Mainboard/BIOS: I've got Cool'n'Quiet and Quiet Fan enabled. The mainboard is controlling the CPU heatsink, however only in the sense that it's regulating the fan speed, it's not actually controlling it, because the fan runs so slow that the mainboard/bios complains.

The PSU is said to be able to control up to 3 chassis fans and lets them run a while after shutting down the pc in order to cool it down. However, this seems to be the case for all of the 5 fans. Although I have already had several looks inside the PC I am not quite sure how the fans are connected to the PSU. And I GUESS the PSU measures its own temperature only...

As the PSU is controlling the fans I cannot monitor their speed via the mainboard/bios either.

The harddisks aren't especially silenced, because the shop didn't offer any solution in that department. And the fans aren't decoupled (?) from the chassis either.

My judgement: I would have expected it to be even more quiet, meaning I am not 100% happy.

The biggest concern is the rather deep „humming“ noise which I guess stems from the two fans in the front of the PC. However, because there are those two harddisks and all those 5.25“ components, those fans should make sense.

I especially like the sound of the PC in standby mode (when the fans are still running), but what exactly changes in the transition to standby? Can I drwa any conclusions out of this?

And I am especially worried that PSU, fans and mainboard (including bios options) aren't connected and working together in the best possible way.

I don't know if any of you have any comments on this configuration or if you actually know those components (or at least understand my English), as I am living in Germany. But I would appreciate any comment ot hint towards further enhancements very, very much.

Sorry for this long story, but there are a lot of thoughts still hunting me...and I would be glad to find some help, tipps or just understanding here.

Regards,

Specialman


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2004 4:05 pm 
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Patron of SPCR

Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2004 6:07 am
Posts: 2674
Location: Houten, The Netherlands, Europe
I have a system in the same case with the same damping material. That system is off and stays off till I have time to get rid of the same deep humming sound you hear. The Chieftec Dragon has those horrible purple plastic fanholders. I plan to get rid of them all. You can feel the vibration of the case right next to the exhaust fans.

My plans for this case are:
  1. Cut out the stamped metal grilles for the two front fans and the two back fans.
  2. Don't put a fan in the lowest front position. Just an open hole to let air in.
  3. Take the lowest drive cage and remove the purple fan holder. Take two harddrives and screw them in the cage upside down. Then you get opening-drive-opening-drive-opening, for optimum ventilation. Lastly put a fan in the place where the purple thing was and friction fit it with pieces of foam.
  4. Throw away the purple fanholders from the exhaust fans, drill some extra holes and use Bluefronts New Fan Mount Design....DIY to attach two 80mm fans.
  5. Replace the fans with Nexus 80mm Real Silent Case Fans.
This way there are two case fans and the PSU for the exhaust, which should be enough, and one fan for spot cooling the harddrives.

Where did they mount the fifth case fan in your case?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2004 5:31 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2002 10:32 am
Posts: 740
Location: Melbourne, Australia
That seems like a lot of fans! I don't think you have a hot system. With a bit of effort I believe you can run the entire system with 1 CPU fan, 1 PSU fan, 1 rear case fan. I prefer to have the case as open as possible at the bottom, with a fan exhausting heat at the rear top. Ducting the PSU allows you to keep it cool with minimum airflow. Hard drives should always be decoupled. You would be amazed at the amount of humming transmitted to the case! The Samsungs require minimal cooling. I have one in the bottom of my case with no airflow, but it stays under 35degC. I know you wanted an easy solution, but you need to 'get your hands dirty'. Most computer shops do not know anything about the needs of silent PC enthusiasts, so you need to do it yourself. Welcome to the world of computer silencing!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2004 4:09 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 6:14 am
Posts: 19
Location: Germany
Tibors wrote:
My plans for this case are:
  1. Cut out the stamped metal grilles for the two front fans and the two back fans.
  2. Don't put a fan in the lowest front position. Just an open hole to let air in.
  3. Take the lowest drive cage and remove the purple fan holder. Take two harddrives and screw them in the cage upside down. Then you get opening-drive-opening-drive-opening, for optimum ventilation. Lastly put a fan in the place where the purple thing was and friction fit it with pieces of foam.
  4. Throw away the purple fanholders from the exhaust fans, drill some extra holes and use Bluefronts New Fan Mount Design....DIY to attach two 80mm fans.
  5. Replace the fans with Nexus 80mm Real Silent Case Fans.
This way there are two case fans and the PSU for the exhaust, which should be enough, and one fan for spot cooling the harddrives.


Hmm...interesting solution, but to be honest, maybe a bit too much DIY for me...although I haven't decided yet.
I thought about a completely new case as well, but that would end my (really long) guarantee which just began, I guess. I bought the PC only 2 weeks ago. And taking the whole thing back to the shop isn't an option, because they simply don't have better cases. They did THEIR best in silencing it...

From what I read today, I guess the fans in the back of the case are mounted so that the air is drawn INTO the case (exactly like the front fans). I'll have to check that when I get home. Either the builder had an idea or simply made a mistake...what do you think?

Tibors wrote:
Where did they mount the fifth case fan in your case?


The case has got two fans in the back, two fans in the front and one in the side which can be opened (with a grill).

There`s a company called silentmaxx (www.silentmaxx.de) and their cases got good reviews. Interesting architecture with two 120mm fans, one in the case's floor and one in the back...I wonder whether I could risk transfering the whole system to a new case...and thereby only change how the fans are connected to PSU and/or motherboard...and thereby wasting what I spent on having the system biuilt and ruining the guarantee...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2004 5:04 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 6:14 am
Posts: 19
Location: Germany
alleycat wrote:
That seems like a lot of fans! I don't think you have a hot system. With a bit of effort I believe you can run the entire system with 1 CPU fan, 1 PSU fan, 1 rear case fan. I prefer to have the case as open as possible at the bottom, with a fan exhausting heat at the rear top. Ducting the PSU allows you to keep it cool with minimum airflow. Hard drives should always be decoupled. You would be amazed at the amount of humming transmitted to the case! The Samsungs require minimal cooling. I have one in the bottom of my case with no airflow, but it stays under 35degC. I know you wanted an easy solution, but you need to 'get your hands dirty'. Most computer shops do not know anything about the needs of silent PC enthusiasts, so you need to do it yourself. Welcome to the world of computer silencing!


Maybe I should start with simply detaching one or two of the fans (one in the back, one in the front)...
I would have liked to decouple the hard drives with separate cases, but any solution which interested me needs a spare 5.25" slot...

If it's true that hardly any shop really knows anything about our requirements and how to fullfil them and therefore I will indead have to do some DIY, then I guess I am going to ruin the guarantee anyway...then I could as well look for another case with a different fan setup...

And I really would have liked to be happy with what the vendor sold to me...(that's why I chose to order a complete system...and because of the guarantee...)!!!


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