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 Post subject: If only I didn't have hard drives...
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2003 4:40 pm 
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Today I installed a Zalman ZM80C-HP heatsink on my Geforce4 and switched out my Enermax "Whisper" PSU for a new Seasonic Tornado.

http://www.patbert.com/sa/dsc08391.jpg

http://www.patbert.com/sa/dsc08394.jpg

Thankfully my video card's stock heatsink/fan was simply held on with plastic screws; I didn't have to worry about prying anything off.

The Seasonic is certainly more silent than the my Enermax, but the real difference was made by getting rid of the stock heatsink/fan on the video card! It went from loud and whiney to totally silent!

As you can see in both pictures I had to pass one of the screws on the GPU heatsink bracket through the fan bracket for my CPU fan. This was perfectly simple enough and didn't cause any problems.

The CPU fan braket does mean that I couldn't use the optional GPU fan even if I wanted to. No big deal for me as the Heatsink itself is enough to cool my old fashioned card.

So now I have a Sunon intake up front blowing over a hard drive, one in the rear, the cpu fan, and the big 120mm in the PSU. Both the Sunon's are running at 7 volts and even if I unplug them both I can't hear a difference. I even have the 92mm over the CPU turned all the way down with its fan controller.

This makes for one quiet rig. The most noticable noise is coming from my two Western Digital hard drives. I have an 80gb and a 120gb (mounted in the 3rd 5-1/2 slot). They do make a semi-high pitched sound that I can notice now that the GPU fan is gone.

I don't know how I am going to decouple them, I will have to make a trip to the hardware store before I do anything. But from reading I get the feeling that decoupling does more to reduce low pitched sounds and won't help with the high pitched noises?

One problem I had with my case was that it had a flat piece of sheet metal for the PSU to sit on. Not a good idea if your PSU fan is on the bottom! I had to get out some tin snips and do away with it. It doesnt make for a pretty edge but it is all gone now. The case is an Antec SX600. My only other complaint is that there are no drilled holes for mounting fans, you have to use their plastic fan holders and snap them in. Not a big deal if you own a drill, but I don't.

Alright I think that's it. I have to say the documentation for the Zalman GPU heatsink is top notch! Very well done, it's even translated to english perfectly! Seasonic is also very well done, but obviously it is a lot more simple.


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 Post subject: Re: If only I didn't have hard drives...
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2003 5:39 pm 
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Location: Tennessee, USA
Patrick wrote:
Today I installed...<snip>

Great job! Success stories are always appreciated. :) Thanks for the report on the Seasonic PSU.

Patrick wrote:
I don't know how I am going to decouple [the HDDs], I will have to make a trip to the hardware store before I do anything. But from reading I get the feeling that decoupling does more to reduce low pitched sounds and won't help with the high pitched noises?

One option is ebay the old drives and get something quieter. Have you considered the Rubber Box or 2-Drive suspension articles in the Storage section on the main site?

Patrick wrote:
The case is an Antec SX600. My only other complaint is that there are no drilled holes for mounting fans, you have to use their plastic fan holders and snap them in. Not a big deal if you own a drill, but I don't.

I always love a project that requires the purchase of a new tool. :wink: (I know, no more money after buying bits for the PC :)) Check out this picture from the article Quiet MP Dual-CPU Workstation to see how you can use pieces of foam (alternately foam-rubber ear plugs cut to size) to mount your fans in place of the purple brackets.

Alternately, if you buy or borrow a drill, I have a simplistic sketch of how I made mounting holes in my Chieftec (Antec clone) case in this thread.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2003 6:14 pm 
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I used to have two REALLY whiny maxtor drives. decoupling them made a big improvement, and then the rubber box was somewhat effective at silencing the 7200 RPM drive; A 1" foam box completely silenced the 5400 RPM drive (but it was very low usage so temps weren't important)

Then my dad bought me the FDB maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 (he saw it said "whisper quiet" so he bought it for me) definatly an improvement.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2003 12:53 pm 
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http://www.patbert.com/sa/dsc08405.jpg

I wasted a few dozen zip ties trying to get the lengths right. Works very well though if I don't say so myself.

Now all I need is to get a hold of something to mount the fans.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2003 2:36 pm 
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Patrick wrote:
http://www.patbert.com/sa/dsc08405.jpg

I wasted a few dozen zip ties trying to get the lengths right. Works very well though if I don't say so myself.

Now all I need is to get a hold of something to mount the fans.


Patrick, this is a very neat idea. I wish I saw this before I bought those suspensions for the HDD...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2003 2:43 pm 
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Tigr wrote:

Patrick, this is a very neat idea. I wish I saw this before I bought those suspensions for the HDD...


Thank you. I assume my way doesn't work quite as well as using elestic string because plastic zip ties don't soak up the vibrations nearly as well. It's better than nothing though eh.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2003 5:46 pm 
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Patrick wrote:
http://www.patbert.com/sa/dsc08405.jpg

I wasted a few dozen zip ties trying to get the lengths right. Works very well though if I don't say so myself.

Now all I need is to get a hold of something to mount the fans.

I'm glad yours works!

I tried the same experiment with zip ties in a system (not mine) using very small ties (about a 1" loop) through the HDD screw holes and then looping larger ties (similar to yours) through those loops to the case. I didn't notice any noise reduction as a result even with a decent amount of slack in the ties (semi loud Fujitsu drive that whines and has noisy seeks).

Have you tried placing your drives on foam at the bottom of your case to see what effect that has on noise? And in comparison to the zip tie mount method? (I imagine you'd rather not try that experiment now that you sacrificed all those zip ties to get things just right in your case now. :))


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2003 8:14 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 4:54 pm
Posts: 15
Ah well the nice bit is I can pull the drives out of the zip ties and put them back in without cutting them.

I would be happy to try that but I don't have any foam/rubber to try it with. I was thinking that using some sort of padding on the zip ties where they touch the case might have been a good idea. Either way I need some foam/rubber, I will have to make a trip to the hardware store to see what sort of things they have.


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