It is currently Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:47 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Quiet pc as compared to dell...
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 10:45 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 10:16 am
Posts: 20
Location: Houston, TX USA
I have (as I'm sure most of you have at one point) a couple of dells that I use at work, and a system I built myself. The 2 dells at work are pretty quiet (some high pitched fan whine and electronic hum, but not overly obtrusive)...on the other hand my system at home was not built w/ sound in mind, and its horrible. It's upstairs in a loft area, and I can plainly hear it when I am downstairs and in another room.

My question is...using a stock dell machine as a rule...is it pretty easy to make my pc quieter than that?

My current system is 1.5yrs old, but the things I learn messing with it over the next couple of weeks will be applied to a new system I'm going to build. Current system:
1500xp
Epox 8k7a (w/ fan on northbridge)
512 pc 2700
gf3 ti200
ibm 60g
lite-on 16x dvd
samsung 24x cdr
thermalright volcano 6+
generic mid tower case
generic 300w psu (came w/ case)
& 2 generic case fans (1 at mid height back blowing out & 1 at low front sucking in)

current case(edit) - CPU temps are ~44 C idle and ~49C after running prime for an hour

Most of the noise seems to come from the VGA fan and that crappy volcano. At this point HD noise is a non issue - because everything else is so loud.

My plans are to switch the psu fan to a panaflo & use a thermalright sk7 w/ 80mm panaflo (w/ zalman fanmate) & and then use rubber isolators to mount the case fans, use a zalman heat sink on the northbridge chipset and lastly the zalman heat pipe on the vga card. - After all this, I would only have 80mm low to medium speed fans (no more high speed northbridge / vga or cpu fans)

How do you think a system like this would stack up noise wise against a dell?


Last edited by Dr. Smith on Wed May 21, 2003 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 11:22 am 
Offline
*Lifetime Patron*

Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2003 1:28 pm
Posts: 951
Location: Tennessee, USA
Sounds like a good setup. It is hard to say how it will stack up vs. a Dell, since noise is so much a subjective measurement, but it sounds like it'll be much quieter than your current setup.

With the changes you proposed to your system:
(1) The IBM drive will become noticable....and then will likely drive you mad until the noise is dealt with, so figure a HDD into your equation.

(2) With a generic case it is hard to project if you will have sufficient airflow for low-speed/undervolted fans (though a 44C case temp points to poor airflow in your case). Make sure you clean up the cabling inside your case and consider removing grills in front of fans (including the PSU) to reduce turbulence and impedance. You didn't specifically mention swapping your case fans for panaflos. I wouldn't remove the case fans completely, since you will likely need something pushing air through the case. Consider putting undervolted panaflos in their place as well.

Looks like you're on the road to quiet-addiction. :D


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 11:33 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 11788
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Quote:
My plans are to switch the psu fan to a panaflo & use a thermalright sk7 w/ 80mm panaflo (w/ zalman fanmate) & and then use rubber isolators to mount the case fans, use a zalman heat sink on the northbridge chipset and lastly the zalman heat pipe on the vga card. - After all this, I would only have 80mm low to medium speed fans (no more high speed northbridge / vga or cpu fans)

You can beat a Dell. Their low noise system specs are based on the quietest config for the particular series, so...

A key question to ask is whether the in/out case air vents are free and open. If not, consider a new case or some cutting work. This makes a big difference, because an unrestricted airflow path is the #1 key to making low speed quiet fans cool effectively.

You can forego the vga heatpipe cooler. You might do fine with just a VGA-fan bracket from Zalman -- with a Panaflo. Just disconnect or remove the orig fan on the VGA & run a Panaflo on the bracket at ~5-7V. Saves you lots of $ and hassles (that heatpipe cooler is a pain to install). Also the Zalman ZM17 works well even on GF4 ti4600 in combo with the fan bracket cooling. (or a homemade variant -- see my P4 system quieting article for a DIY version using a PCI slot cover)

The PSU fan swap will probably get you some improvement, but if the fan is running at 12V all the time, or runs off a dumb thermistor control, it will still not be that quiet. Probably >30 dBA in the PSU with all the turbulence & vibration, even with a Panaflo L. I suggest you invest in some Zalman fanmate1 fan controllers and/or a Zalman multi-controller. You can run the new PSU fan leads out of the PSU and feed it off a controller to adjust the voltage. Don't forget to ensure good airflow through the PSU by cutting away any unnecessary fan grill, and doing the 90 degree pivot on the intake vent side. (see Leo's Dual-MP system article).

Finally, you will want to at least put your IBM drive on a sheet of soft foam on the bottom of your case. Once the other work has been done, this simple move will make such an enormous difference you will shake your head in amazement.

Have fun & good luck! :wink:

_________________
Mike Chin,
Editor/Publisher, SPCR
Support SPCR with your donations!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 11:36 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 10:16 am
Posts: 20
Location: Houston, TX USA
I meant 44C was the cpu temp...I don't remeber the case temps...~ 28 I think - about 7-8 degrees warmer than room temp..If I recall.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 12:49 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun May 04, 2003 4:33 pm
Posts: 376
Location: Athlonville, My Computer
You can make your PC as quiet or even quieter than any Dell except the SX260, nothing can beat that thing. I know, I work with one, even with my ear pressed to the vent nearest to the CPU I cant even hear a system fan.

_________________
*Official* Court Jester of SPCR
*Unofficial* Friend of The Knights Who Say Ni


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 2:48 pm 
Offline
*Lifetime Patron*

Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2002 4:05 pm
Posts: 230
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Athlon Powers wrote:
Quote:
except the SX260, nothing can beat that thing.


Hmmm, that's kinda demotivating. :(

However, keep in mind that at work the ambient noise is much higher than at home. Therefore, it may not be as quiet as you think. I remember I had to start work at 6:30am for awhile and at that time, no one was in. I could really hear my computer, especially the hard drive (and it was only a PII) and before when I started work at 8:00am I never heard my computer before.

Still, I don't doubt that it's quiet. I find it suprising that a small form factor PC could be quiet, and even more surprised if that's Dell's quietest model. I thought they were most likely to be loud, and that if you were going to build a quiet PC (OEM or not) an ATX tower was your best bet.

Either way, one of us should pose as an employee for Dell for a couple of years and steal all their secrets and them post them here !!

BTW - Althouth for a perfectly silent computer I would be willing to accept this, the SX260 has only integrated graphics and is only available with 5400 RPM drives (at least at the Canadian Dell site). The graphics isn't a big deal since I don't play games, but a 5400 RPM drive would probably really affect even everyday ho-hum use.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 6:50 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 11788
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Athlon Powers wrote:
You can make your PC as quiet or even quieter than any Dell except the SX260, nothing can beat that thing.

I beg to differ.

According to Dell's own spec sheets, the quietest SX260 is the Small Form Factor version, which has a sound power rating of 3.8 bels and 25.1 dBA SPL at "Operator Position" (~.6 meter from front panel). This is with the drive at idle. With the drive working, the numbers jump to 4.2 bels and 30.8 dBA SPL.

My noisiest system right now measures ~28 dBA at .6 meter -- regardless of drive activity (it is a suspended Barracuda IV). My quietest system measures 16 dBA at .6 meter -- again regardless of drive activity with another suspended Barracuda IV. These were measured in an ambient of 12 dBA. at around 1am with a highly accurate calibrated B&K SLM capable of reading below 0 dBA: measure background noise, then turn systems on & allow to run folding ~20 mins, then measure again.

Neither system changes volume when pushed hard (which they are because they are always running folding at home).

The noisiest one is a P4-2.8G + 512MB RAM + GF4-4800 VGA + two 'cuda IV 40G drives. It has 4 Panaflo 80L fans at various speeds.

The quietest one is a P3-1.1 Tualatin w/Matrox G550 + 512MB RAM + 1 'cuda IV 40G drive. It has 3 Panaflo 80L fans at 5~6V.

The SX260 looks easily beatable to me. 8)

_________________
Mike Chin,
Editor/Publisher, SPCR
Support SPCR with your donations!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 7:15 pm 
Offline
*Lifetime Patron*

Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2003 1:28 pm
Posts: 951
Location: Tennessee, USA
marc999 wrote:
Athlon Powers wrote:
Quote:
except the SX260, nothing can beat that thing.


Hmmm, that's kinda demotivating. :(


I think Mike provided some more motivation. :)

Side note on Dells: I noticed today that the Optiplex GX260 SD bios has a setting for Quiet Acoustics for the Barracuda IV HDD that it has installed. Hmmm. I'm not pushing Dells :wink: , just glad that one retailer pays attention to noise...makes my office a lot quieter at work, since I can't have a DIY machine at work.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 8:21 am 
Offline
*Lifetime Patron*

Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2003 8:01 pm
Posts: 309
Location: Washington, DC
Quote:
The quietest one is a P3-1.1 Tualatin w/Matrox G550 + 512MB RAM + 1 'cuda IV 40G drive. It has 3 Panaflo 80L fans at 5~6V.


Unless you foamed it, that's pretty much my configuration minus the second B-IV. I guess I can stop being so obessive :wink:

_________________
Laptop : Lenovo x120e : AMD e350 : G.Skill 8GB : Intel x25-m SSD
HTPC : Intel E8400 : Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H : G.Skill 8GB : OCZ Vertex 2 SSD : Ahanix MCE-302 : Sony Bravia KDL-40S2000 : Yahama HTR-5830 5.1
Desktop | VMWare Testlab : Intel Q9550 : Gigabyte GA-EP45T-UD3LR : Mushkin 16GB : XFX HD5850 : RAID1 WD120 Scorpio : Antec Solo : Seasonic X-400 Fanless : 3 x Dell 2007FP S-IPS Eyefinity


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 8:51 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 11788
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
rpc180 wrote:
Quote:
The quietest one is a P3-1.1 Tualatin w/Matrox G550 + 512MB RAM + 1 'cuda IV 40G drive. It has 3 Panaflo 80L fans at 5~6V.

Unless you foamed it, that's pretty much my configuration minus the second B-IV. I guess I can stop being so obessive :wink:

Oops, sorry, was wrong about # of fans in this one: just 2 Panaflos, one on SLK800, the other in the PSU. Some acoustic damping, but not a full acoustipack treatment or anything. Don't think it would help much (1-2 dBA?) because most the noise is from the back vent and PSU fan, which is naturally exposed.

The P3-1.1S + SLK800 is amazingly cool. It might be undervolted by 0.1V, can't recall exactly. The temp never exceeds 36C running folding 24/7. (We're at 62, btw :!: )

_________________
Mike Chin,
Editor/Publisher, SPCR
Support SPCR with your donations!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Quiet pc as compared to dell...
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 5:35 pm 
Offline
*Lifetime Patron*

Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2003 12:27 pm
Posts: 1465
Location: Reading.England.EU
Dr. Smith wrote:
My question is...using a stock dell machine as a rule...is it pretty easy to make my pc quieter than that?
As per earlier responses it is definately possible - I wouldn't say 'pretty easy' though - takes care and (in my experience) some iteration.

I have 3 systems all folding, one is a Dell Latitude C400 notebook. The fan is always running on that, and whichever room it is in (with either of my other 2 Athlons) I can hear the Dell fan as loud as the towers.

_________________
2009/Oct: Jetway JNC81-LF * 4850e naked under fanless Xigmatek Apache * Antec mini Skeleton w/Nexus 120mm PWM fan * Delta 90W brick w/Skeleton DC-DC board * WD2500BEVT 250Gb blue


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2003 7:25 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun May 04, 2003 4:33 pm
Posts: 376
Location: Athlonville, My Computer
MikeC wrote:
The SX260 looks easily beatable to me. 8)


You are probably right now that I come to think of it. The office is right across from a variety of noisy machines so that is probably interfearing. :evil:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2003 1:09 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 10:16 am
Posts: 20
Location: Houston, TX USA
thanks for the reply's

now I plan to remove the northbridge fan, remove the vga fan (and add a zalman style bracket w/ a 92mm 5v fan to cool the nvidia heatsink) and then add the sk-7 w/ panaflow & zalman fanmate.

I hacked up the front and back of the case this weekend & removed restrictions from the back of the PSU and turned the intake fins 90 degrees.

current cpu temps at idle / internet browsing are ~ 40-42
case temps are 20-24 depending on my room temp.

I started to run cpuburn the other night, and my temps shot up really quick - ~50 after about 15 min....are there other programs I should try or is cpu burn actually accurate...I had used prime95 in the past and my temps never got that high?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2003 2:34 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 11788
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
cpuburn does stress the cpu more than prime95. 50 is not bad at all. You've made no fan changes and this is with your stock hsf still, so...

_________________
Mike Chin,
Editor/Publisher, SPCR
Support SPCR with your donations!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2003 2:38 pm 
Offline
*Lifetime Patron*

Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2003 12:27 pm
Posts: 1465
Location: Reading.England.EU
Dr. Smith wrote:
I hacked up the front and back of the case this weekend & removed restrictions from the back of the PSU and turned the intake fins 90 degrees.
OK - you're hooked :D
Dr. Smith wrote:
I started to run cpuburn the other night, and my temps shot up really quick - ~50 after about 15 min....are there other programs I should try or is cpu burn actually accurate...I had used prime95 in the past and my temps never got that high?
CPUBurn seems to be the most reliable way to put the greatest load on your CPU - certainly better (if your aim is maximum CPU load) than Prime or Folding. Basically you can be sure if, despite your mods, the CPU is stable under CPUBurn, it will be stable in normal use.

_________________
2009/Oct: Jetway JNC81-LF * 4850e naked under fanless Xigmatek Apache * Antec mini Skeleton w/Nexus 120mm PWM fan * Delta 90W brick w/Skeleton DC-DC board * WD2500BEVT 250Gb blue


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2003 8:22 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 10:16 am
Posts: 20
Location: Houston, TX USA
Now I'm hooked,

Last night I removed the northbridge fan, added a fan mate to the volcano (I haven't received the sk-7 or panaflo yet)..running at full 11v since its just a 60mm fan still.....I'll back that down once I get the better HS & 80mm fan on. I also changed my two generic case fans to 5v.....that made a huge difference, the fans themselves were pretty quite, but at 12v, the wooshing sound was the loudest.

Just after those changes, my pc has gone from annoyingly loud to just a little louder than the Nutrend built pIII 450 next to it.

The main sources of sound now are the
1.)volcano fan - not as bad as before, but still loud
2.)PSU - I won't change it though...as I said before, I'm building a new pc in another month or so, so the new PSU is going in there. I may wire the psu fan to another zalman or wire in a resistor....currently the psu exhaust air is just barely warm, so I think I've got some headroom there. The PSU is a generic 300w w/ no thermoresistor, so it blows at 12v all day.
3.) Hard Drive....yep, that IBM deskstar is loud. would I have to worry about heat, if I just laid the drive on a carpet pad (or other cushion) at the botton of the case, directly behind the intake fan? I could possibly rig up an aluminum plate to sit on top to provide some conductive cooling....only if needed though


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2003 8:34 am 
Offline
*Lifetime Patron*

Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2003 1:28 pm
Posts: 951
Location: Tennessee, USA
Dr. Smith wrote:
3.) Hard Drive....yep, that IBM deskstar is loud. would I have to worry about heat, if I just laid the drive on a carpet pad (or other cushion) at the botton of the case, directly behind the intake fan? I could possibly rig up an aluminum plate to sit on top to provide some conductive cooling....only if needed though

Placing the HDD on carpet pad (may want to use a few layers) or a piece of packing foam is a good step. It will cut down on the noise that comes with the HDD vibration being transferred to your case. It will not help with the whine of the drive spinning.

Decoupling a drive from the case usually results in a small increase in the drive temp since you lose the heatsink effect of the case. You can use the DTemp utility to check the drive's temps, but if you are placing it in front of a case fan (even a 5v case fan) you should be fine with that little amount of active cooling.

Double check that you have enabled the acoustic management on your drive to cut down on some of the seek noise. The IBM/Hitachi feature tool can be found here.

EDIT: PS.
Dr. Smith wrote:
Now I'm hooked,
Welcome aboard :D


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2003 10:19 am 
Offline
Friend of SPCR

Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 2:08 am
Posts: 203
Location: Sheffield, UK
i have to say that i find decoupling hard drives does cut down on whine. i have a linux box running as a router firwall, its an old p166 and although its in the cellar head i couldnt resist shutting it up. it had a 7200rpm wd caviar 1gig in it and it was LOUD, i could here it with the door shut, and if i really tried through the wall in another room. i decoupled it with a little foam and now is much more bareable (the door is enough to shut it up) it now runs with just a 92mm (stock) psu fan, and seems fine temp wise.

so in sumary, try takign it out of its hard mounts you may be surprised.

now if i can just get rid of that low end 'fuzz' from my baracuda.

_________________
P4 2.53GHz (undervolted) w/zalman AlCu Flower + 80mm LIA @ 6V - 80GB Cuda IV suspended - Cheap 550w PSU w/ 80mm LIA @ 6V - Geforce ti-4200 stock HS + LIA.
Coming soon: HTPC system.
Folding 24/7.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2003 10:52 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 11788
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
mynci wrote:
i have to say that i find decoupling hard drives does cut down on whine. ... so in sumary, try takign it out of its hard mounts you may be surprised.

now if i can just get rid of that low end 'fuzz' from my baracuda.

Agreed. The whine does drop somewhat with decoupling.

And by low end 'fuzz' I presume you mean either seek noise or low freq bearing noise? If you decouple it totally, you won't hear anything from the 'cudas. Mine are basically silent in the case with elastic suspensions.

_________________
Mike Chin,
Editor/Publisher, SPCR
Support SPCR with your donations!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2003 10:58 am 
Offline
*Lifetime Patron*

Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2003 1:28 pm
Posts: 951
Location: Tennessee, USA
mynci wrote:
i have to say that i find decoupling hard drives does cut down on whine. [snip]

so in sumary, try takign it out of its hard mounts you may be surprised.

I happily stand corrected. :) Thanks for weighing in and straightening me out. 8) (Edit: Thanks Mike, too.)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2003 11:34 am 
Offline
Friend of SPCR

Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 2:08 am
Posts: 203
Location: Sheffield, UK
mike: they are currently in foam and i would guess it is bearing noise (from the description you gave in the hard disk round up - acoustic fog, i believe) i am planning on suspending one of them over the summer with some bungee (cant risk a cock up at the minute though) and then i may put the other drive in an hdtv style machine and then i can still use it as remote storage.
they are very quite in the foam but i can tell they are connected as oposed to starting the system with their power cables unplugged.

my spelling is atrocious :).

_________________
P4 2.53GHz (undervolted) w/zalman AlCu Flower + 80mm LIA @ 6V - 80GB Cuda IV suspended - Cheap 550w PSU w/ 80mm LIA @ 6V - Geforce ti-4200 stock HS + LIA.
Coming soon: HTPC system.
Folding 24/7.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group