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 Post subject: Need Quieting System Advice
PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2004 7:07 am 
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Posts: 127
Location: Australia
Hi,

I've been posting and reading SPCR and the forums for quite a while now, and after a lot of research am about to begin silencing my system. Affordability is important.

It's very loud at the moment, and the sound is severly interfering with my work.

Current Specifications:

- Pentium 4 'C' Northwood 3Ghz (with stock HSF)
- Gigabyte 8IPE1000 Pro2 motherboard (with noisy NB fan unplugged - still very stable)
- 512MB DDR400 RAM
- HIS 9800PRO IceQ (with Arctic Cooling VGA Silencer) (replaced dying and noisy GeForce 4 MX440)
- Western Digital 200GB 7200RPM hard drive (JB 8MB cache model)
- Western Digital 120GB 7200RPM hard drive (JB 8MB cache model)
- AOpen H600A Case
- AOpen 300 Watt PSU with 'Noise Killer'

Basically I've already purchased a very quiet 9800PRO with Arctic Cooling VGA Silencer to replace a GeForce 4 MX440 which had a very whiny (and dying) fan.

The hard drives are a significant source of noise. The PSU, when run by itself for testing, produced very little noise.

Planned purchases:

- 1x Zalman CNPS7000B-AlCu
- 2x Arctic Cooling 80mm Fan Pro TC

The Zalman AlCu has gotten a lot of good press here, and from other sites. The Arctic Cooling Fan Pro TC doesn't seem to have a lot of experience at SPCR, but it is listed as relatively inexpensive on the recommended fans list, and seems to perform well here:

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article129-page2.html

What do you think of my planned purchases? I know the Japanese Panaflos are better, but they're quite a bit more expensive.

As far as I can see the last great hurdle will be the hard drives, and I'll hopefully take care of that later, but for now I'm trying to reduce the CPU fan noise.

Also, the fan grilles at the back of my case look like this:

http://www.dansdata.com/images/h600a/back440.jpg

and the front fan grill:

http://www.dansdata.com/images/h600a/baysnfans400.jpg

Do they look reasonable? The rear ones aren't the best, but the front one is quite good from what I can see.

Thankyou in advance :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2004 7:44 am 
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The rear grilles are horrible. My guess is that less than 50% is open. So you need to cut them out. If you are using tin snipps or a dremel on the case anyway it is very little effort to cut out the front grille too. It is not as bad the rear ones, but no grille is always better.

The AOpen PSU is a AO300-12APNF? Then turn the speed dial about two third up when testing it not loaded. That is the amount of noise you can expect when running it in a system that is really doing something.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2004 6:52 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2004 7:49 pm
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Location: Australia
I don't think I'm game enough to cut them out at the moment, but it'll always be an option in the future (especially when the warranty expires).

What do you think of the current specifications, and then adding these parts in?

- 1x Zalman CNPS7000B-AlCu
- 2x Arctic Cooling 80mm Fan Pro TC

I think this should cover the major sources of noise, except the hard drives. I've got some EAR grommets, but unfortunately they don't fit into the screw holes on the case properly.

Major sources of noise:

CPU Fan - planning to replace with Zalman CNPS7000B-AlCu
Video Card - currently very quiet, using Arctic Cooling VGA Silencer
Motherboard fan - disabled (still stable)
PSU - seems to be relatively quiet, if found to be noisy later will be replaced)
Hard drives - probably the loudest source of noise, will consider suspension in NoVibes III (although it is very expensive)

Is my plan good? Is there anything I have missed?

Thankyou everyone again.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2004 8:06 pm 
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Location: Australia
Anyone? I'm really hoping to put in an order for the parts as soon as possible.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2004 8:15 pm 
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I'm not sure how much of a difference the case fans will make on noise, since you didn't specify what you're currently using.

The HS should make a huge difference based on the stories I've heard about the stock 3GHz HS.

You should keep in mind though (and it seems you have) that the drives will still produce a fair amount of noise and that your system won't necessarily be quiet after your planned upgrades. But it should be quieter than it currently is.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2004 8:37 pm 
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Intelligent thermal management is the basis of safe PC silencing. When you ignore the case and airflow through it, you undermine any real possibility for success. Lose that case & get a good one from the recommended cases or cut the grills. There are no other intelligent options.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2004 10:38 pm 
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Posts: 1443
Location: Turkey
Actually Mike, that case can be modded to be quiet. It's one of the heaviest steel cases I've seen. Weighs nearly 10kg net.

Anthony, you HAVE TO cut those grills. They are your major noise source and you don't realize it.

Before buying any fans for the rear, check what you have. AOpen used to use sleeve bearing medium Globe fans, then swithced them to Yate Loon. I didn't like the Yate Loons (even though they're okish when undervolted) but the Globes are the equivalent of a Panaflo M1A in terms of airflow and noise. When undervolted to 5V, they move a lot of air and are pretty quiet.

The stock PSU that comes with the H600A is a Fortron FSP-300ATV (at least in the ones I've seen). It's a very cool-running PSU and you might even get away with modding it with a Panaflo L1A. an M1A would give you better peace of mind though. At your loads, that fan wil definetely ramp up even though the PSU stays cool.

Forget the front fan. It's horribly placed, there are no usable mounting holes just bracket places. It doesn't cool the harddrives either. You might be able to attach an 80mm fan with just one screw in a crooked position and then suspend your hdd cage (you definitely want to do this). Or you could cut the side fan places and add a fan there but the intake is pretty restricted there.

Whatever you do, stay away from dampening materials. Those tiny holes that run down the side are essential to cooling. Cover them up and you'll have nightmares.

Seeing that your case is one of the older ones without the side panel air tunnel , I'd say go for the Zalman cooler. You won't have much airflow with your case. The new ones with the side panel tunnel cool processors wonderfully fyi. If you have a means of changing your side panel, do so.

Of all the info above, you'll find that cutting out the back grills will be the most beneficial for you. Be warned though. The steel on that case is EXTREMELY thick. Don't try to cut it with tin snips or nibblers. Buy, borrow, steal a Dremel otherwise you'll go with an aching arm for at least two weeks.

You'll also find removing the top will allow a free working environment :)

When I recall what I did to that case..... I could be charged with rape :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2004 11:14 pm 
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Location: UK
burcakb - was just browsing past - what's this air tunnel you mention?

anthony - I totally agree with the recommendations so far to slice and dice the fan grilles. As has already been touched on, you probably haven't taken into account the surprising noise levels that can be generated from restricted air.
Those fans are trying to force air through a gap that is much too small, resulting in a lot of high-pitched "wind noise" - as a general rule high pitch noise is more noticeable and many people find it most annoying (hence why "white noise", which is similar, is used for sleep deprivation torture ;)), so that could be one of the major noise sources you have.
If you're worried about things getting caught in the blades, buy a wire fan grill which are much less restrictive.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2004 2:53 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2004 7:49 pm
Posts: 127
Location: Australia
MikeC wrote:
Intelligent thermal management is the basis of safe PC silencing. When you ignore the case and airflow through it, you undermine any real possibility for success. Lose that case & get a good one from the recommended cases or cut the grills. There are no other intelligent options.


Thankyou everyone for their responses. I think I'll be looking towards an Antec Sonata or Antec SLK3700BQE (I like the look of the Sonata, but the BQE is a better case for quieting purposes) in the future - probably with a completely new Athlon 64 build.

However, I'm just trying to quieten down my current system, and replacing and cutting the case isn't an option at the moment.

My temperatures are very good at the moment, with the hard drives operating at ~32C on idle, and ~31C idle for the CPU.

My question now is - would my planned combination of components provide an improvement over the Stock Intel HSF in terms of noise, and would they provide a good and relatively quiet solution with an Antec Sonata or SLK3700BQE?

Thankyou again.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2004 3:16 am 
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Location: Turkey
meglamaniac, i'm talking about your average Intel-required CPU duct.

Anthony, you won't notice much difference. The noise from your back grills is practically drowning out everything. Trust me. I love the case and I've fiddled with it enough to know.

btw, you'll positively hate the Sonata after the large interiors of the H600.

As for your purchase, you'll love the Zalman 7000. As for the Arctic Cooling fans, you'll be replacing one wheezing noise (grill noise) with another. FIRST CUT THOSE GRILLS.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2004 4:05 am 
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Lol, we're really not going to let him get out of here without saying he's done it are we?

:D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2004 4:10 am 
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I actually used to run the system with absolutely no system fans - besides the CPU fan. The temperatures were not bad then - so if the Zalman CPU cooler is just as good as the stock HSF with quieter operation, I shouldn't be living too dangerously. As someone else has said the hard drives will probably drown out the sound anyway. The Arctic Cooling fans should be good for cooling, and quieter than the current stock fan I'm using.

If no-one has a reason not to purchase the Zalman or the Arctic Cooling fans - I can go ahead and purchase.

Thankyou again to everyone for their help. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2004 5:39 am 
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Location: Turkey
How about this?:

You cut out the back grills ( :wink: meglamaniac), attach some very slow turning 80mm fans (even the Vantec Stealth at 5V will do though you could get better fans in there) so there's SOME airflow out the case and the PSU doesn't need to ramp up, fanswap a Panaflo L1A into the PSU, turn your hdd cage upside down and suspend the whole contraption with bungee cord. Add the Zalman with fanmate set to low.

I'd say, that'd give you a sub 30 dBA system with minimal cost.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2004 7:23 am 
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It'd all work out fine, except I'm not willing to cut any part of the case.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 11:30 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2004 7:49 pm
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Location: Australia
MikeC wrote:
Intelligent thermal management is the basis of safe PC silencing. When you ignore the case and airflow through it, you undermine any real possibility for success. Lose that case & get a good one from the recommended cases or cut the grills. There are no other intelligent options.


meglamaniac wrote:
Lol, we're really not going to let him get out of here without saying he's done it are we?

:D


Well, you've all done it - I've cut the grills. :)

They looks something like this now (the edges aren't as clean as in the pictures :wink: )

Image
Image

So, are these parts good to go? I'm hoping to purchase soon.

- 1x Zalman CNPS7000B-AlCu
- 2x Arctic Cooling 80mm Fan Pro TC

They're both on the 'recommended' SPCR lists.

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

I'm currently trying to source some NIDEC Samsung Spinpoints, but they're almost impossible to purchase as no store stocks them where I am located.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 12:36 am 
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Posts: 380
Location: UK
Looks good.
If you can trust yourself not to trap your fingers I wouldn't bother win fan grills either.


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