Hello everyone. I'm relativley new to SPCR, but the advice I've gotten from the site has greatly influenced and helped me in creating a quiet yet powerful gaming rig. This system is my work in progress, and I'll update this thread as the improvments are made. Here she is.
The incredibly easy HDD suspension
The suspension on these sonatas is so easy there's no good reason NOT to do it. I just took some elastic that I got from a local fabric shop, and ran it through the holes. Twist it at the ends, and stick your hard drive in, and voila, a great and silent solution.
As it stands, these are the specs.
Antec Sonata with single fan TruPower 380watt PS and pax.mate dampening material
AMD Athlong 64 3000+ winchester core socket 939 CPU with a Zalman 7000B AlCu heatsink
Gigabyte GA-K8NS Ultra-939 motherboard
1 gig Mushkin level one PC3200 DDR RAM 2-3-2
BFG 6800GT OC with Artic Cooling N5 silencer
160g Samsung Spinpoint SATA HD
Lite-On CD-RW drive
So far the biggest problems are the noisy northbridge fan, and the old, noisy optical drive. Next I plan to cut out the rear grill, lower the optical drive one bay to give the PSU more room, and route the wires better up there. I'm going to have to chop up a Zalman northbridge heatsink to fit under the Videocard, which is my one big regret for the system. Always make sure you have a passive NB cooler, or enough room to fit one. The pax.mate foam was another poor decision, in the future if it isn't quiet enough I'll get some precut acoustipack, but that's far in the future. I'm going to replace the case fan with a low speed yate loon or nexus, and I'm going to try to rig up some intake fan inside the HD cage to bring in air more effectivley than the stock 120mm fan mount outside the HD cage. All in all, I'm quite satisfied, as she is an amazing improvment over my previous SFF computer, that thing sounded like a jet engine. Enjoy good computing.
UPDATE: I hacked up a Zalman NB cooler to fit, because the active NB cooler was THE LOUDEST part of the system. Those 40mm fans are amazingly loud, but I was presented with a problem. The NB fan was directly under my video card, and the the ZM-NB wouldn't fit, so I gave it a haircut, and here are the results.
Now the loudest part is the Arctic VGA silencer which I will control, and I'll try to do some ducting of the power supply. I'll post those results when I get around to it.