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 Post subject: Cooling 10K SCSI HDD, PC Cases, and Case fans
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2003 4:54 pm 
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Hi! I'm new to the topic of low-noise PC's, and want to upgrade my PC with quietness in mind.

I don't think I'll want to go to very extravagent lengths to do it, but would like to do what I can to keep the noise low - I've decided to stick with SCSI, and am eyeing a Fujitsu MAN3735MP as my next hard drive. They seem relatively good on noise / temperature compared to most - but if anyone can recommend a better choice for a 10K SCSI drive, please do.

I knew this drive would need active cooling, so I bought one of those "Ultimate Hard Drive Cooler"s beforehand. (It fits into a 5.25 bay & has two 4cm fans that blow air over an aluminum heatsink that gets clamped to the top of the drive. It was reviewed as one of the more effective hdd coolers) It does add noise obviously, and I would like to keep the number of fans to a minimum.

My question: I've been thinking about possibly getting a new case as well, maybe an aluminum one for the extra cooling. I've noticed some cases have two 8 cm fans at the bottom front, in front of which is situated a 3.5 hdd bay. Would using this be as effective as the "Ultimate HDD Cooler" described above? Does anyone think that 2 8cm fans in front of a hdd bay might actually be quieter than sticking with the old case with the "ultimate hdd cooler" (1 8cm front fan + 2 4cm fans in the harddrive cooler I have now)?

Anyone here use such a case with very fast hard drives? Is this as effective as fans w/a heatsink?

If I do decide on a new case, I'm not looking for anything really fancy, but well constructed and without too many fans. Does aluminum really make a difference? I was also thinking of getting some noise isolating material such as Dynamat Extreme - but whether this would defeat any gain in cooling from going aluminum I don't know.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2003 10:51 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2002 9:52 pm
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Location: United States, Mobile, AL
alluminum cases are overated, if u have ur harddrive mounted directly (not decoupled) to one it will be cooler than a steal case, but other than that there is no cooling difference between aluminum and steal. Also i would think that 2 4cm fans would be loud, at least from the fans ive heard so i would just put one 8cm fan blowing directly on the harddrive and it should be fine. Also i heard that seagate chettahs are suppose to be pretty quiet SCSI harddrives.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2003 2:31 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2002 9:04 am
Posts: 331
Location: Belgium
Get a case with a front bottom HD mount (and those two intake fans) and dump the HD cooler.
Why?
Here's why:

1) Those two intake fans will cool your HD's about as efficiently as it gets.
2) Your case likes (nay, loves) cold air coming in
3) You need intake/outtake anyway with 10k scsi's, so using the hd cooler would only create more noise.
4) 40mm coolers have to spin at very high rates to move any air at all, which means they're noisy as hell.

The case doesn't have to be aluminium of course, that choice is up to you (and your wallet!)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2003 2:45 pm 
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Gandalf wrote:
Get a case with a front bottom HD mount (and those two intake fans) and dump the HD cooler
Here's why:...

Thanks for the advice. I looked at a few cases with the 2 x 8cm front fans - some of them had metal mesh grills on them, kinda resembling the speaker grills on some boom boxes. Is this preferable to "punched holes in the case"? On the one hand, it would allow air to flow unimpeded, but on the other hand it allows noise to emerge from the case.

I was looking at the Acousticase. It's hard to tell from the pictures and diagrams if it has anything similar to a drive bay in front of a fan. The Acousticase is expensive, but tempting to someone lazy like me. I wouldn't be able to use it though if I couldn't properly cool a 10K scsi drive. Does anyone know if the Acousticase would be suitable for this? It does have a space for an *optional* 8cm front fan, but I can't really tell where the drive bays are (apart from the 5.25 & floppy bays). Anyone know?

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 Post subject: AcoustiCase 80mm optional front fan
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 7:49 am
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Location: UK
Francis wrote:
I was looking at the Acousticase. It's hard to tell from the pictures and diagrams if it has anything similar to a drive bay in front of a fan. The Acousticase is expensive, but tempting to someone lazy like me. I wouldn't be able to use it though if I couldn't properly cool a 10K scsi drive. Does anyone know if the Acousticase would be suitable for this? It does have a space for an *optional* 8cm front fan, but I can't really tell where the drive bays are (apart from the 5.25 & floppy bays). Anyone know?


The AcoustiCase(TM) C6606A does have an optional front 80mm fan (not supplied), but this fan is situated close to the floor of the front of the case, and several inches below the HDD cage hanging above it. :?

So, the optional fan would help with increasing general throughflow, but wouldn't be blowing cool air directly over any HDD installed in this location.

Small diameter fans are normally very noisy, so we'd recommend you try and find an alternative to using them if possible.

:idea: If you have a particularly warm HDD, then perhaps try mounting it in a 5.25 drive bay but disconnect any small fans associated with the mounting cage and observing how warm it becomes (with heavy usage) just allowing air to be drawn in passively from the front of the case using a combination of rear exaust case fans and the PSU fan(s)?

Thanks for spotting the ommission of decent images of the interior construction of the AcoustiCase(TM) :arrow: we will put this right and get some images uploaded to the website (acoustiproducts.com) as soon as we can.

Regards, Jeremy
R&D Acousti Products


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2003 4:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 4:14 pm
Posts: 517
Location: Toronto, Canada
Noise question - definitely not the Maxtor Atlas 10k III. It emits an intollerable high pitched whine. I actually put my Barracuda ATA IV in and removed the Atlas because I couldn't stand it anymore. Of course, now I have to live with IDE slowness and unreliability.

Consider the Seagate Cheetah 15k.3 It is supposed to be quiet, but until I hear one myself, I will reserve my opinion. Also, older Cheetahs display an annoying noise every 10 minutes as they access the drive for some reason.

Case Question - I have a Coolermaster ATC 110 with two front 80mm fans (Panaflo L1A's). The case is quiet, but in no way silent. Also, hard drive noise escapes out the front. Unfortunately, it's a catch 22. In order for front cooling to be effective, you need unrestricted airflow. Unfortunately, this means no muffling of fan or hard drive noise.

You may want to consider a case such as the Coolermaster ATC 101:
http://www.coolermaster.com/case/p101.htm
This case has an 80mm fan on the floor at the front of the case. This fan can be "aimed" to a certain degree, and should provide sufficient cooling for a SCSI drive.


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 Post subject: Re: AcoustiCase 80mm optional front fan
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2003 4:53 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 4:27 pm
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acousti1 wrote:
The AcoustiCase(TM) C6606A does have an optional front 80mm fan (not supplied), but this fan is situated close to the floor of the front of the case, and several inches below the HDD cage hanging above it. ...Regards, Jeremy R&D Acousti Products

Thanks for the reply. I really am concerned about adequate cooling for a SCSI 10K drive, so I really wouldn't want to take chances with this. I downloaded the manual for the HDD I was looking at, and in it it gives MTBF according to temperature. I don't know if I'm interpreting this correctly, but the cooler you can keep the HDD, the longer it's likely to last. If the table shown in this manual translates into reality at all, I'd rather not even run them "a little warm", as I'd like to keep it a few years!

The Acousticase looks great, and I'm puzzled why I don't see a lot of other manufacturers offer a "pre-made for silence" PC case - there certainly seems to be a potentially big market for this (besides the extant "niches" like audio recording!). I would like a Silent PC, but I'd rather enjoy the PC than spend countless hours gathering parts and modding - though many people enjoy doing this, I think a lot of people would also agree with me. Lazy people like me would pay a bit more for a PC that's easier to live with!

I guess the Acousticase is out of the running in my case quest, but thanks for taking the time to answer and clarify this on your web site.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2003 2:21 pm 
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Posts: 133
two 80mm panaflows will keep ur HD cooler and quieter than any 51/4" bay hd cooler


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 Post subject: Re: AcoustiCase 80mm optional front fan
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2003 11:31 am 
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Location: UK
Francis wrote:
The Acousticase looks great, and I'm puzzled why I don't see a lot of other manufacturers offer a "pre-made for silence" PC case - there certainly seems to be a potentially big market for this (besides the extant "niches" like audio recording!).


The same question led us to develop the first AcoustiCase! We started with our first quiet model, and now have a black version of the same case in the pipeline and a number of other cases currently in R&D. These include popular cases from Coolermaster (210 & 710), Lian Li and Antec - all with pre-cut acoustic material kits.

We've observed that the take-up by modders and niche 'quietness-aware' users has been excellent but that it takes a great deal longer for case manufacturers and system bulilders to catch on that quietness is fast becoming an important issue when selecting a case that's all.

Any suggestions for popular cases particularly well suited for quiet operation using pre-cut acoustic lining would be welcome.

Regards, Jeremy
R&D Acousti Products


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