The purpose of this thread is to promote an exchange of ideas about the concept of creating a PSU channel, best materials, the construction of an effective noise barrier in the channel, and other related ideas.
The concept of making a fresh air channel from a 5.25" bay (usually the top one) to the PSU was introduced by MikeC; he has posted on this topic in a number of different threads. The system I am building is outlined here
. This thread includes two or three posts by MikeC giving me instruction on how to make a fresh air channel for my PSU. The concept is illustrated in article "Quiet MP Dual-CPU Workstation" by Leo Quan here
. As I have searched the forums I have encountered a number (at least half-a-dozen) of posts by people who have constructed a PSU channel and reported favorably on the result.
This concept of creating a PSU channel applies to PSUs that exaust out the back and have their air intake on the opposite side, thus in line with the top 5.25 bays, such as Seasonic Super Silencer PSU line.
BTX, the next PC computer standard, coming in 2004 uses channels for cooling, also referred to as inline cooling. MikeC posted some pictures of some BTX prototypes here
. And I read a post that said Apple is already using the concept of cooling in channels. So, it appears this idea warrants our consideration.
Anyway, I am in the process of creating a PSU channel, but I was fuzzy on how to create a noise barrier in my channel. The purpose of the noise barrier is to block noise without blocking air flow. Then yesterday I came across a template for a commerical PSU Muffler $30 here
that shows a noise barrier.
After sleeping on the concept presented in the template, I woke up with a clear idea of how to go about creating an effective noise barrier that suits my air flow design. I'll explain my new idea below.
1) The top two bays are used for my PSU channel. A thick card board forms the bottom of the channel, extended from the bottom of the 2nd bay to the edge of the bottom of the PSU.
2) I removed the plastic cover on top 5.25 inch drive bay. I will replace it with a piece of light gray foam, it is porous, I can breath/blow though this foam easily. The appearance then is much like a speaker front. MikeC tells that he like to make a grille out of modder's mesh, that can be painted to match the case if desired.
3) I then cut material to fit the top and bottom and sides of my channel. The material I am using is a closed cell foam that is about 5/8" thick. I suspect that this may not be the best material to use. At this point my focus is on building a channel that provides adequate airflow with an effective noise barrier using material on hand. If I come up with better material I can take it apart and use it as a pattern.
4) The final step is to make a noise barrier. The one I made extends from the top of the channel to a little bit below the bottom of the first bay. This way the air must go under the noise barrier and up to the 1st bay, and the noise will be blocked, ie will not be able to escape the channel, at least this is the theory.
I am interested in learning what materials others have used and would recommend. Is the white foam packing materials OK to use? I have two kinds of this stuff, one is a flexible slightly squishy closed cell foam that feels kinds of plasticy, don't know how best to describe it. The other is white styrofoam, if you bend it it will break a part. Both of these are close cell foam.
Layering. A layer of closed-cell foam (you cannot breathe/blow thorough it) foam on the bottom, with a layer of open-cell foam (you can breathe/blow thorough it) as a top layer. Would this be good, or is this just not the right material?
I learned that my RMA'd motherboard was sent out today, so I want to finish my PSU channel before it arrives.
Thanks to all, and especially to MikeC for providing this wonderful forum,
*Editted* 25Nov2003 to omit the claim that BTX cases will have the power supply at the bottom of the case.