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 Post subject: Pinpointing source of noise
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 6:37 am 
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I've got:
MSI Radeon 4870 512 mb with the fan at 1050 rpm, which appears to be the lowest it'll go.
Antec Sonata (III I think).
Antec EA-500D
Scythe PWM CPU fan
Nexus case fan at 1200 rpm

The CPU and case fans don't appear to be the problem.
The HDD is on silicon grommets (from the case).

I'm having trouble pinpointing the source of the noise, I expect it to be the videocard.
Disabling the fans one by one doesn't really seem to help me.

What could be the source of the noise?
Is this PSU still decent?


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 Post subject: Re: Pinpointing source of noise
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:56 am 
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Pinpointing fan noise is best to temporarily stop each fan by itself and see if the noise goes away.

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 Post subject: Re: Pinpointing source of noise
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:17 pm 
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Agreed. Alternatively, you could open or your computer and then turn it on. The place your head right next to each of the fans to determine which fan is the noisiest. But usually most of the fans contribute to the total noise level.
It's probably more precise to temporarily stop a fan at a time though.

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 Post subject: Re: Pinpointing source of noise
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:27 am 
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I've already done that but that doesn't seem to help. Then the case is open and I'm closer to the fans, so they sound different.


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 Post subject: Re: Pinpointing source of noise
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:39 am 
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Olaf van der Spek wrote:
I've already done that but that doesn't seem to help. Then the case is open and I'm closer to the fans, so they sound different.

A Nexus fan running at 1200rpm? Which Nexus is? And at anyway, what do you use to drive the Scythe PWM?

Assuming the cpu and case fans are quiet enough (even if I have some doubts about this, due to lack of details), you may just stop the PSU fan with a toothpick when your PC is running (with the side panel closed).
If you will get a better noise-profile, than more probably that not the culprit may be the video card and/or some form of a cavitation/resonance noise inside the case (due to interaction between parts).
You may also use different test to stress different parts.

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 Post subject: Re: Pinpointing source of noise
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 7:41 am 
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Could we please get a picture of the inside of your case? I think that might help most of all, since you aren't giving us much in the way of details to work with. Also, if you have the option to use onboard graphics, you could try physically removing the graphics card and see if that helps at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Pinpointing source of noise
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:00 am 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
Olaf van der Spek wrote:
I've already done that but that doesn't seem to help. Then the case is open and I'm closer to the fans, so they sound different.

A Nexus fan running at 1200rpm? Which Nexus is?

Real silent case fan, 120 mm, basic series
Quote:
And at anyway, what do you use to drive the Scythe PWM?

MSI P45 Neo. Speedfan displays 0 rpm on idle and I think 800 rpm on load for it.
Quote:
Assuming the cpu and case fans are quiet enough (even if I have some doubts about this, due to lack of details), you may just stop the PSU fan with a toothpick when your PC is running (with the side panel closed).
If you will get a better noise-profile, than more probably that not the culprit may be the video card and/or some form of a cavitation/resonance noise inside the case (due to interaction between parts).
You may also use different test to stress different parts.

I'm primarily concerned about idle noise. I've ordered a Radeon 6450 passive to test without the 4870.


Scrooge wrote:
Could we please get a picture of the inside of your case? I think that might help most of all, since you aren't giving us much in the way of details to work with. Also, if you have the option to use onboard graphics, you could try physically removing the graphics card and see if that helps at all.

What would you like to see/know? I can't take a picture (no cam).
I can't remove the videocard (no IGP), but I will try a passive card tomorrow.


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 Post subject: Re: Pinpointing source of noise
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:00 am 
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Olaf van der Spek wrote:
Real silent case fan, 120 mm, basic series

It cannot run at 1200rpm, as it's a 1000rpm fan.
At anyway, in my experience a 120mm fan running at 1000rpm isn't really quiet, it is moderately loud.

Olaf van der Spek wrote:
MSI P45 Neo. Speedfan displays 0 rpm on idle and I think 800 rpm on load for it.

So it is SpeedFan, or the MSI BIOS to control your fan?

Olaf van der Spek wrote:
I'm primarily concerned about idle noise.

It's the same thing, even at idle: just a toothpick.

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 Post subject: Re: Pinpointing source of noise
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:21 am 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
Olaf van der Spek wrote:
Real silent case fan, 120 mm, basic series

It cannot run at 1200rpm, as it's a 1000rpm fan.
At anyway, in my experience a 120mm fan running at 1000rpm isn't really quiet, it is moderately loud.

Olaf van der Spek wrote:
MSI P45 Neo. Speedfan displays 0 rpm on idle and I think 800 rpm on load for it.

So it is SpeedFan, or the MSI BIOS to control your fan?

Olaf van der Spek wrote:
I'm primarily concerned about idle noise.

It's the same thing, even at idle: just a toothpick.

I know. The PSU fan is definitely not quiet. Can it be swapped in the Antec EA-500D or is the only option another PSU?
The BIOS controls the fan.
The Nexus fan box indeed says 1000 rpm, but Speedfan says 1200. I'll see what the BIOS says. Speedfan also says 10V for +12V, so maybe Speedfan or the monitoring hardware is broken. Or my PSU...


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 Post subject: Re: Pinpointing source of noise
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:40 pm 
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Olaf van der Spek wrote:
What would you like to see/know? I can't take a picture (no cam).
I can't remove the videocard (no IGP), but I will try a passive card tomorrow.


Motherboard, CPU, and CPU cooler would be good. You mention a Scythe CPU fan, but not what heatsink it's on (which could be any Scythe, or another brand).


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 Post subject: Re: Pinpointing source of noise
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:36 pm 
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CPU is a Q9450 with a Mugen 2 on a MSI P45. BIOS also says the Nexus fan is spinning at 1150 rpm.


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 Post subject: Re: Pinpointing source of noise
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:34 pm 
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Olaf van der Spek wrote:
CPU is a Q9450 with a Mugen 2 on a MSI P45. BIOS also says the Nexus fan is spinning at 1150 rpm.


Thanks. I believe that is not a very efficient platform, but a couple of 120mm fans at ~1100rpm shouldn't be oppressive. I noticed you haven't mentioned exactly what the noise is. Can you do that?

I'm guessing it's a PSU noise issue. Also, what's the background noise level where you are?


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 Post subject: Re: Pinpointing source of noise
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:24 pm 
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Olaf van der Spek wrote:
The PSU fan is definitely not quiet. Can it be swapped in the Antec EA-500D or is the only option another PSU?

The PSU fan can be swapped easily, but you might have some issue starting the new fan (quieter, lower speed fans have different specs with reference to the stock one).
In my experience it's preferable to start the swapped fan through a motherboard header, rather than re-using the internal header.

Olaf van der Spek wrote:
The BIOS controls the fan.

I have several MSI boards, but no P45 one: usually their BIOS doesn't speed up a case fan at full bore, as your Nexus does, therefore I think it should be possible to set up a more benign profile - noise wise - in the fan control section, maybe using another header. But what about SpeedFan? Is it able to control your fans?

Olaf van der Spek wrote:
The Nexus fan box indeed says 1000 rpm, but Speedfan says 1200. I'll see what the BIOS says. Speedfan also says 10V for +12V, so maybe Speedfan or the monitoring hardware is broken. Or my PSU...

It could be likely that it's a bogus Nexus fan, as it's quite above the highest tolerance.
Have you any spare fan to try, and a different header to try with the same fan?

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Luca


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 Post subject: Re: Pinpointing source of noise
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:27 am 
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Scrooge wrote:
Olaf van der Spek wrote:
CPU is a Q9450 with a Mugen 2 on a MSI P45. BIOS also says the Nexus fan is spinning at 1150 rpm.


Thanks. I believe that is not a very efficient platform, but a couple of 120mm fans at ~1100rpm shouldn't be oppressive. I noticed you haven't mentioned exactly what the noise is. Can you do that?

I'm guessing it's a PSU noise issue. Also, what's the background noise level where you are?

It's not a low power platform indeed. Background noise isn't high.
I've replaced the videocard with a passive model and disabled the Nexus fan. I've moved the HDD out of the case.
Replacing the videocard lowered the load on the PSU, so it's not entirely 'fair'.
I think I'm actually hearing the top/side panel. If I press against them part of the noise stops.
When I listen to the back of the PSU I hear air noise, but also something else. I think it's from the fan motor. The Nexus fan seems quieter.


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 Post subject: Re: Pinpointing source of noise
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:31 am 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
I have several MSI boards, but no P45 one: usually their BIOS doesn't speed up a case fan at full bore, as your Nexus does, therefore I think it should be possible to set up a more benign profile - noise wise - in the fan control section, maybe using another header. But what about SpeedFan? Is it able to control your fans?

SpeedFan doesn't appear to be able to control anything. It seems the BIOS can only control the CPU fan, hence the Nexus running at full speed.
Quote:
It could be likely that it's a bogus Nexus fan, as it's quite above the highest tolerance.
Have you any spare fan to try, and a different header to try with the same fan?


I've tried another Nexus fan (same model / purchase), same rpm. I think the monitoring hardware is just broken...

So a PSU fan swap would be the best step forward?

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=62279

Here jhhoffma says the PSU is 'bad'.


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 Post subject: Re: Pinpointing source of noise
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:27 am 
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Olaf van der Spek wrote:
SpeedFan doesn't appear to be able to control anything.

Which version is SpeedFan? Have you already set up (or tried to) properly the Advanced Tab in the Configuration window?

Olaf van der Spek wrote:
It seems the BIOS can only control the CPU fan, hence the Nexus running at full speed.

Which motherboard is it (exact model)?

Olaf van der Spek wrote:
I've tried another Nexus fan (same model / purchase), same rpm. I think the monitoring hardware is just broken...

I think that more probably there's something misconfigured.

Olaf van der Spek wrote:
So a PSU fan swap would be the best step forward?

I swapped the fan on my EA380 about two years ago with a Noctua R8 and I've never regret of.
But I drive this fan through a fully controllable motherboard header.

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Luca


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 Post subject: Re: Pinpointing source of noise
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 2:05 am 
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I think it's the latest version (downloaded it this week). Haven't setup anything though, will have a look.

I think this is the MB: http://msi.com/product/mb/P45-Neo.html
What could be misconfigured about a simple fan?

Quote:
I swapped the fan on my EA380 about two years ago with a Noctua R8 and I've never regret of.
But I drive this fan through a fully controllable motherboard header.

Doesn't the Noctua have a poor airflow / noise ratio compared to some other fans?


Last edited by Olaf van der Spek on Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Pinpointing source of noise
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 5:26 am 
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Olaf van der Spek wrote:
What could be misconfigured about a simple fan?

You have to look into the BIOS H/W Monitor section to see if there's anything to enable or modify to control the case fan.
Another issue may be that you have two case fan headers, but probably just one could be controllable (so you have to hook up the case fan alternatively on both the headers to see if anything happens).

Olaf van der Spek wrote:
Doesn't the Noctua have a poor airflow / noise ratio compared to some other fans?

I used it as it has an SSO bearing and as it allow me greater flexibility (I can run it from less than 400 up to 1800rpm).
About airflow, I've anything to complain about: it usually runs in the 400-700rpm range and the PSU is just lukewarm during summer.
Other good options for a fan swap are IMHO the Nexus Basic, the Xilence, and the Arctic F8, or a more robust Scythe S-Flex.

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Luca


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 Post subject: Re: Pinpointing source of noise
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:00 pm 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
Olaf van der Spek wrote:
What could be misconfigured about a simple fan?

You have to look into the BIOS H/W Monitor section to see if there's anything to enable or modify to control the case fan.
Another issue may be that you have two case fan headers, but probably just one could be controllable (so you have to hook up the case fan alternatively on both the headers to see if anything happens).

There are two headers, but only one is monitored. Only the CPU fan can be controlled.

Quote:
Olaf van der Spek wrote:
Doesn't the Noctua have a poor airflow / noise ratio compared to some other fans?

I used it as it has an SSO bearing and as it allow me greater flexibility (I can run it from less than 400 up to 1800rpm).
About airflow, I've anything to complain about: it usually runs in the 400-700rpm range and the PSU is just lukewarm during summer.
Other good options for a fan swap are IMHO the Nexus Basic, the Xilence, and the Arctic F8, or a more robust Scythe S-Flex.

Hmm, I wonder what bearings other fans use and how that affects long-term noise. Should sleeve-based fans be replaced every X hours?


Last edited by Olaf van der Spek on Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Pinpointing source of noise
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:41 pm 
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Olaf van der Spek wrote:
Only the CPU fan can be controlled.

What a weird thing: personally, if the CPU header is a 4-pins one, I would use a PWM fan as case fan and drive it along with the real CPU fan using an Akasa three-way splitter.

Olaf van der Spek wrote:
Hmm, I wonder what bearings other fans use and how that affects long-term noise. Should sleeve-based fans be replaced every X hours?

The Nexus, Xilence and AC fans are sleeve bearing ones: IME usually they last less than a ball or fluid bearing fan, but YMMV.

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 Post subject: Re: Pinpointing source of noise
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:47 am 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
The Nexus, Xilence and AC fans are sleeve bearing ones: IME usually they last less than a ball or fluid bearing fan, but YMMV.

What happens when they die and after what time does that happen?


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 Post subject: Re: Pinpointing source of noise
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:07 am 
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Olaf van der Spek wrote:
What happens when they die and after what time does that happen?

YMMV: however, rarely they die, usually they start to make noise (I can add that IME for the 120mm SlipStream and Nexus this usually happens with roughly a 50% percentage after the first year, and in a light but noticeable manner, sometimes after the second year. I'm used to swap them as soon as possible).

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