Here's what I have now...
Sonata Case and stock 380W power supply (These can be purchased cheaper than you realize, $60 after rebate at Fry's. Beat that BQE)
P4 3.2 GHz E (Prescott) (Yes, I know)
Zalman 7000 Al/Cu
Seagate 120 Gig 7200.7 (I know, but it was only $35)
Rear 120mm fan @ 5V
First off, how does everyone get 5V to their fans?
I found this to be the easiest way. I just switched the metal pins one end of this connector. Super easy to do and didn't require any soldering or anything. I hadn't seen this method on here but I'm sure many people do it. I put the label on the connector so I don't mistake it for a 12V connector and attach it to something important.
I realize I have a super hot CPU, but this isn't a problem because my room stays cold almost all the time, and I don't do anything CPU intensive. Regular CPU temps are right around 40° with the CPU fan turned all the way down on the fanmate.
Right now my main noise maker is the 120mm fan, followed by the power supply fan, followed by the HD, then the CPU fan I guess. If I got rid of all fan noise I would be fine wth the HD noise because I actually like being able to hear that my computer is working.
The question is what's the next step if I would like to make this a silent PC? I repeat silent, not quiet. If I replace the 120mm fan, I'll just hear the PSU, and if I replace that I'll hear the new 120mm fan probably. To me it seems like an incremental improvement in noise won't do much because I, (like many others here) will just hear the next component instead.
Short of getting some absurdly expensive fanless case or sticking my computer in a closet, do I have any good options to make this silent from 5 ft.? (Hard drive excluded from silence requirement) I'm hoping to find someone locally to trade me a Northwood for my Prescott because this will help in my quest by putting a smaller load on the power supply. I'm not too stressed out about having this hot processor though because it really isn't a serious reason that I have noise in my computer.
If I get one of the recommended PSUs and a better 120mm fan will I have a rig that I'm satisfied with? I'm starting to think the guy who did a really nice job of putting his computer in another room without losing much functionality had the right idea. I still don't know why everyone gave him such a hard time.
Sorry for the long post, but what shall I do next? Or maybe I should just leave well enough alone until I'm really ready to make a BIG step toward silence.
Any input is appreciated..