I learned so much from SPCR and I want to thank everyone who contributed valuable information here that made SPCR such a nice place to hang out. After months of studying and updating, my PC has finally reached a level of quietness I am happy with. It is about one meter away from where I sit, and I cannot hear it.
I am now documenting everything I did. Hopefully newbies will find this article helpful.
Here is an overview shot. The cables seem a bit untidy right now, I will get to that soon.
Here are the normal temperatures and fan speeds when CPU is at idle.
======== Case =================
- Cheap. ($46 on amazon.com)
- I can choose my own PSU.
- Hard drive cage can be easily suspended.
Mod: I cut out the fan grills front and back with Wiss tin snips. Then I filed the edges with mill files.
Advantage: It reduces wind noise caused by air turbulence and also increases air flow.
Instructions: Modding & Cutting with Tin Snips
Nexus 120mm & Antec Tri-cool fan
- They are both quiet at around 6v.
- Can be connected together and controlled by one Fan Mate II
Advantage: They spin at roughly the same rpm, thus the same cfm. So the air pressure is balanced. Imbalanced air pressure may cause the Seasonic S12-430 to dump heat inside the case. Controlling both fans with one Fan Mate prevents that from happening.
Instructions: Quick & easy cage suspension system
Instructions: Vinyl Floor Tiles for Case Damping
======== Power Supply =================
If you are buying a PSU but unsure about the wattage you need, try this wattage calculator.
The only flaw I noticed is that it rates all Athlon64 CPUs at 89W. There is no option for the new 90nm Athlon64 CPUs that are rated at 67W. Besides this, it is a nifty little program.
I bought a Seasonic S12-430
- Quiet. Its fan seems to always spin around 750-780 rpm.
- Future proof: has the 8-pin connector for dual CPU motherboards, and it is 430w.
- Stable voltages
- Runs cool
Click the link below to see why S12-430 is great.
Power Supply is mounted with the hard drive screws and grommets, and it is cushioned with rubber padding underneath.
======= CPU ==================
Athlon 64 3000+
- Rated at 67watt. High performance to wattage ratio
- High performance to price ratio
- Runs cool, idles at 32C with Zalman 7000
- Great cooling performance
- Quiet 92mm fan at low rpm
I enabled Cool’n’Quiet in BIOS.
I undervolted CPU from 1.4v to 1.1v before.
The idle temperature dropped a few degrees. But I am happy with the idle temp at 1.4v, which is about 30C-32C. So the CPU is currently at the default 1.4v.
====== Hard Drive ==================
Seagate Barracuda 7200.8
Mod: Quick & easy cage suspension system
Instructions: EZ suspension in SLK3000B
====== DVD Burner ===================
Samsung TS-H552B @ TS10
It is fairly quiet, and it supports bitsetting too with firmware TS10.
======= Motherboard ==================
Chaintech VNF4 Ultra
- Stock chipset fan is noisy
- It is silent at 7v.
Right now, the Panaflo 80L is connected to a 7v fan port. If you are not an overclocker, this 7v setup is quiet and effective. If you are an overclocker, click the link below and go to section 2, which is titled "Cooling NB47J with SpeedFan 4.25".
3000+ @ 1.1v & Cooling NB47J with SpeedFan 4.25
====== Video Card ===================
- high performance to price ratio
- will take a while to obsolete this one
- Great cooling performance
- Quiet 80mm fan at low rpm
- Can automatically change fan speeds when temperature changes.
- Can monitor temperatures for CPU, GPU, motherboard, harddrive
- Can monitor fan speeds
- Can warn you if temp or fan speed is out of range
Everytime GPU temp goes above 43, the fan on VF700 automatically ramps up. When the temp drops, the fan slows down. No more manual work. This is magic. I love it.
Instructions: GPU fan in Auto-Pilot Mode