This is my first build that is intended to be quiet from the start. My previous Shuttle SN45G got a lot quieter over it's life but this time I didn't want to end up replacing half of it just to get it quieter.
The SG03 is an unusual Micro ATX case. There are various reviews of it up, here's the first on Google:
Intel Core 2 Duo E8200
Asus P5E-VM HDMI
2x1Gb PC6400 Kingston (temporary)
Samsung HD501J 500Gb HDD
LG 18x DVD-RW
Enermax Modu82+ 425W
Silverstone NT-06 Lite cooler
Arctic Cooling Accelero S2
2x Akasa AK-191SM 120mm fans
PaQ PWM -> DC convertor
Here's the internals sans PSU:
Having a modular PSU really does help in this case just to be able to get the thing in and out. Hooking up the PSU fan sensor cable to the header underneath the back of the CPU heatsink is not so easy however. The case is rather lacking in PSU mounting holes so I had to lightly file one edge to be able to get a screw in up against it. 4 screws is much more stable than three.
The PWM to DC fan convertor can be seen at the top right hand corner of the motherboard. I have both fans running 800-850rpm although I can slow them down or speed them up independently over a range of 250-1300rpm. I know the choice of Akasa fans has been questioned here before but I really do like these. They disappear underneath the sound of the quiet hard drive idling and can not be recognised below around 750rpm, despite being right at the front of the case.
Here are some detailed fan speed/temperature testing results obtained via Speedfan with manual fan control. These are all idle temps, it's to compare fan speeds, not overall cooling efficiency. Although PSU fan speed can not be controlled, I noticed that with the front fans running under 300rpm there wasn't sufficient airflow over the CPU and PSU so the PSU fan felt the need to rev up, peaking as high as 630rpm. It was nice to see that it slowed back down to 480rpm after airflow had increased. Although 450rpm is meant to be standard this one revs a little higher due to the increased air resistance that the CPU cooler introduces. This is aerodynamic, not thermal.
Top fan rpm Lower fan rpm CPU GPU System HD0
0 0 42 50 43 31
289 0 42 51 36 33 Slowest starting speed
291 276 41 51 35 32 Slowest starting speed
474 285 39 54 30 32
469 464 38 49 29 30 Similar to PSU fan speed
692 479 35 47 25 29
703 703 34 40 24 27 Highest totally inaudible
811 781 33 38 22 26
879 844 32 37 22 25 Defaults
1172 1278 30 31 19 22 Max
Room temperature is pretty low, probably about 18C. System temp is very low because the sensor is somewhere near the front, right in the way of the fans. All temperatures were left until stable. The GPU temp is slightly confusing as it seems to go up for a while.
Overall the system is so quiet that sometimes I've come into my living room and been surprised to find that it's on, with my old Shuttle my sensitive hearing means I could have heard it down the corridor if the door was open.
The main noise now is from the HDD at idle and it's seeks are quite noticeable when in front of it. The hard drive mounting isn't that bad but doesn't cut out much low vibration. I'm considering converting the HDD tray into a sandwich mount. There's about 7.5mm on either side of the disk and a burly aluminium tray around it to use as the frame.
The DVD made a bit of vibration at high speed so I've damped it down with a bit of adhesive backed felt. The drive is only used for those few Windows games I play that still require a disk in the drive so a bit of nosie doesn't bother me. Resonating case noise is bad though, so I wanted to stop it.
The case came with a rather nasty overbright white power LED. I've disconnected this now which might save a Watt and looks much nicer. power consumption is ~76-80W idle and the highest I've seen under load is 139W.
Here is the system running with a Keytronic KT2001 keyboard, Logitech MX400 and Samsung SM245B:
The S2 has now been replaced with an S1 rev2. This has dropped the GPU idle temp by around 5C and the load temp by around 9C.
Here's the discussion of it:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... 862#407862
Todo (updated 2010-02-07):
- Further improve hard drive mounting.
- Better cable management. Some cables are longer than they need to be.
- 2D/3D clocks on the graphics card. I've now read that this is not possible in the BIOS, I may resort to software.
- Possibly modify the 3.5" 'external' bay. Having the blanking plate attached to the side bracket (read an SG03 review to see what I mean) makes installing and removing the bracket much harder.
- Replace case fans with Noctua S12B
- There must surely be a way of adapting the propreitary fan voltage output from the Modu82+ to enable use of a standard fan.
- Experiment with ducting