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 Post subject: Fast Overclocked Gaming PC but quiet - how? I have an idea.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:38 am 
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I built myself a Home Server with 8 drives and I've come to the conclusion that come what may you simply can't silence 8 things spinning a disk at 5400-7200RPM. The whine will always be audible.

So I put the whole thing in a kitchen cabinet. No more noise.

Now I could do this with my 4Ghz overclocked machine but I know it's going to get hot in there.

I thought why not get rid of the case altogether?

I'm thinking 2'x4' Ikea cabinet and a few of these:

http://www.xoxide.com/360mm-case-fan.html


I already have a Megahalem cooler with a 140mm fan that I can regulate to quietness until the CPU gets hit at which point it wouldn't matter since I'd be playing a game with sound anyway and the whole thing is inside a cabinet. I could even do push-pull.

Now the cabinet has a divider in the middle of its 4' dimension I would put all my components (MB, PSU, Blu Ray drive etc.) on one side and have 1 360mm fan at the inlet, one feeding the second chamber, and one on top of the second chamber to exhaust the hot air. I could even run the middle fan faster since it would be inside completely. I'm talking about a 2' x 2' x 15.5" chamber in which would sit my MB, GPU, PSU, Blu-Ray drive, SSD and the other acting as a vent chamber.

I bet I can keep my components cooler than in the Antec 300 case they exist in currently while keeping my noise levels much lower and probably inaudible from my sitting position about 15 feet away.

I plan on attaching everything with simple double sided industrial velcro adhesive tape and if needed even treat the doors and walls with aurelex foam or acoustic foam. Without a doubt I can get more airflow through this system than I am getting in my Antec 300. I could mount an auxillary fan to cool the MB itself and my PSU is an Antec 80+ unit which also does not put out much heat (relatively speaking).

Since Ikea is flat pack I could make the holes for the fans before assembly and fit filters.

Am I barking up the wrong tree? Am I forgetting to consider something? Perhaps grounding? AFAIK a case is not necessary to get the components of a PC to run.

I mean I could even fit 6 such fans in this cabinet and not break a sweat, and given the relatively free airflow static pressure isn't even a major concern. I'm really itching to try this out.

EDIT: On second thought with those bad reviews of that fan why not stick with a proven fan?

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/6662/ ... g36c15s714

I could even get 9 of these and run the outer fans at low speed and the inner fans at medium speed. Everything would be mounted to wood which is damping and if I need I could further reduce speed with a fan speed controller or two.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:26 am 
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You don't need all that airflow. You just need something to keep the air from getting stale.

I would be wary of those big fans. Even at low rpms, those blades are moving quickly.

Get one of each and test them out. Also take a look at the new 180mm Silverstone fan. They have a special filter for it. And it looks engineered to be quiet.

Otherwise consider sticking to 140mm fans for which you can buy filterright brand filters. You want to filter the air on its way in to keep dust down. Probably what makes the most sense is four 500rpm scythe 140mm fans on the inside pushing air from the first chamber into into the second chamber with the equipment. I would underclock them to be even slower.

If they have filters it will keep the dust out. As they push air in the second chamber, the air can find its way out through some blow holes. Make some blow hols to let the air into the first chamber with the Scythes.

The only fans you are using will be enclosed. If you have 4 of them, it is no great calamity if one of the breaks down without you knowing it.

If you end up with any funny sounding harmonics, replace the 140mm fans with 120mm fans, Scythe slipstreams at 5v or Nexus at 7v. Or maybe Scythe S flex F model at 5 volts.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:04 am 
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I see. Very clever. Put all the fans inside and just make passive filtered inlets and outlets. Thanks for your suggestion.

I think you're right that I should pick tried and true fans even if they are smaller.

As for resonances, that's where I might need to do some acoustic research that may be beyond my ability. Well I guess I can test by trial and error.


One other thing, I'm not really worried about dust. The filters are more for noise suppression actually. I never walk out of Microcenter with less than 3 cans of compressed air. The level of access I will have to my components with this is far better than any computer case as well. Just open the door and spray away!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:11 pm 
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I thinking of dropping an Antec Skeleton case in there instead of fastening everything with velcro. I could put the whole thing on a thick foam pad.

EDIT: It won't fit a Megahalem but this will:

http://www.highspeedpc.com/Merchant2/me ... TopTechSTD


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:22 pm 
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sxr71 wrote:
As for resonances, that's where I might need to do some acoustic research that may be beyond my ability. Well I guess I can test by trial and error!


If you stick with 120mm fans running at 500 rpm or less (you can really undervolt some of the Scythe Gentle Typhoons and Slipstreams to well under 5 volts - some of them start at 3v), I don't think you are going to have any resonance problems.


Last edited by ces on Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:27 pm 
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sxr71 wrote:
I thinking of dropping an Antec Skeleton case in there instead of fastening everything with velcro. I could put the whole thing on a thick foam pad.

EDIT: It won't fit a Megahalem but this will:

http://www.highspeedpc.com/Merchant2/me ... TopTechSTD

NO NO NO. You think that is a case. NAHHHHHH... THIS is a CASE:
http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/acrylic-cowboy-pc-case/
Put in a Thermalright HR-01+ and place the PSU so that its fan is gently sucking the air away from the HR-01+.

Or take a look at it's big brothers:
http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2008/07/2 ... cases.html


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:31 pm 
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sxr71 wrote:
One other thing, I'm not really worried about dust. The filters are more for noise suppression actually.

You are going to be moving a fair volume of air slowly. Its easier to prevent the build up, than to clean up after the fact.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:04 pm 
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I've gone a little and devised this overkill "solution":


Figured out some ductwork options.

Duct perfect diameter for 180mm fans:

http://americanhvacparts.com/Merchan...lver_flex_duct


My thought is to have on the left side 2 of these mounted to the left wall of cabinet and a thin filter on the end. The other end will have 180mm fans mounted to them - one blowing on my HSF so the existing 140mm fan will be moved to the "pull" position in a push-pull. The other will blow on the GPU and NB, RAM etc. The duct(s) will be held by wire.


I will also mount 3 180mm fans inside the divider with a neoprene surround from here:

http://www.closedcellfoams.com/neoprene.html

That way less vibration is transmitted to the cabinet. Each one of those will have:

http://americanhvacparts.com/Merchan...uct-floorboxes

Everything will be coupled with neoprene. They will be ducted out to the top of the right half of the cabinet.

I will use the extra neoprene to stick to the walls and doors with spray adhesive.

I know all this sounds like overkill but it will be very upgradable and it's not really that much more expensive than some of those crazy $$$ cases with aftermarket fans and mods.



With the feedback I've gotten here I think I could switch down to 120mm fans and do the same thing with 5" ductwork.


Last edited by sxr71 on Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:06 pm 
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ces wrote:
sxr71 wrote:
I thinking of dropping an Antec Skeleton case in there instead of fastening everything with velcro. I could put the whole thing on a thick foam pad.

EDIT: It won't fit a Megahalem but this will:

http://www.highspeedpc.com/Merchant2/me ... TopTechSTD

NO NO NO. You think that is a case. NAHHHHHH... THIS is a CASE:
http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/acrylic-cowboy-pc-case/
Put in a Thermalright HR-01+ and place the PSU so that its fan is gently sucking the air away from the HR-01+.

Or take a look at it's big brothers:
http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2008/07/2 ... cases.html


Nice "uncase" I'll look into them.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:02 pm 
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I still like your cabinet idea best.

Can you put a link here showing the Ikea cabinet you are thinking about useing?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:31 pm 
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ces wrote:
I still like your cabinet idea best.

Can you put a link here showing the Ikea cabinet you are thinking about useing?


Yes sorry:

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40134050


It's only $80 or one-third of a Lian-Li.

I could keep it simple and forgo the ductwork and just put the fans in the divider with neoprene surrounds. I plan to get my neoprene in 1/2" sheet from here:

http://www.closedcellfoams.com/neoprene.html

It's dirt cheap and I could coat the whole walls and doors with it.

I also have come to realize that Gentle Typhoon 120mm X 3 X 1900RPM with Scythe 3.5" fan controllers might suffice. What do you think?

I would also put 2 of those in push pull on the CPU Megahalem HS.

Also I'm thinking about ATI 5850 or 5870 with aftermarket Prolimatech MK-13 HS + Thermalright VRM-5 VRM HS.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:40 pm 
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sxr71 wrote:
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40134050

It's only $80 or one-third of a Lian-Li. I could keep it simple and forgo the ductwork and just put the fans in the divider with neoprene surrounds.


1. Are you sure you sent me the right link? That is a book shelf with no doors. That doesn't seem like it would suit the purposes you were describing. It needs to have some front doors.

It's only 15 3/4, but that probably works. But it needs some doors. Ikea must have something better suited than this. Are you going to fabricate the doors? Or does Ikea make some doors for this listed elsewhere?

2. I really like you idea and I might copy it. I would want to put the following inside the cabinet. That means I would need a space of at least 14"w x 9.5"d x 13.5"h - actually it would need to be slightly larger.

Top Deck Tech Station:
http://www.highspeedpc.com/Merchant2/me ... TopTechSTD


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:02 pm 
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sxr71 wrote:
It's dirt cheap and I could coat the whole walls and doors with it.

I also have come to realize that Gentle Typhoon 120mm X 3 X 1900RPM with Scythe 3.5" fan controllers might suffice. What do you think?

I would also put 2 of those in push pull on the CPU Megahalem HS.


Personally I would be wary of using the GT fans on the cabinet. They do have bearings and they do have some kind of weird resonance that people report. It is reportedly a non-obtrusive resonance but it is there. Also people report that the resonance can become significant at particular speeds, unique to the particular fan. You are apparently safe running them at 12 volts.

If you are using the Prolimatec, why not use Nexus fans. If you were to upgrade to the Thermalright Venemous X, which probably generates more backpressure than the Prolimatech, then it might make sense to upgrade to the GTs which appear to be designed to handle high back pressure and to it exceedingly quietly.

But putting GT fans on a large resonance prone board, even with the neoprene, seems like needlessly looking for trouble.

The 1200rpm slipstreams are very flexible (in terms of quiet rpm range). More so than any other fan including the Nexus.

Those are what I would try first on the cabinet. And I think you only need two of them at 5v. If you need more air they can deliver all you need by increasing the voltage. Once you determine how much you need you can take them back down to 5v and add more.

You can cut all the four holes at once though. Just block two of them at first.

I wouldn't rush to get the neoprene. This might all work out nicely without it. I would use those 120mm fan gaskets that most places sell. They are cheap and easy and effective. I would use them even with the Neoprene.

Also instead of a fancy fan controller, get this.
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/ ... s_id=25981

It will permit you to test fan by fan, speed by speed, in a reproducible manner.

I think you should also get the cabinet fans their own source of power. A low cost Pico-PSU might work.... though come to think of it. maybe you want to make sure that the motherboard and the cooling system are running on the PSU. You wouldn't want the fans to fail but the CPU to continue working. Maybe the PSU needs to be mounted to the cabinet and the mother board plugged into it?

The SPRC Seasonic would be good because even the 24pin main connector is modular and detachable. I wonder if you can connect two of them to the same PSU unit and run two computers of the same power supply?

Doesn't Ikea have any more suitable cabinets for this type of thing?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:59 pm 
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ces wrote:
sxr71 wrote:
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40134050

It's only $80 or one-third of a Lian-Li. I could keep it simple and forgo the ductwork and just put the fans in the divider with neoprene surrounds.


1. Are you sure you sent me the right link? That is a book shelf with no doors. That doesn't seem like it would suit the purposes you were describing. It needs to have some front doors.

It's only 15 3/4, but that probably works. But it needs some doors. Ikea must have something better suited than this. Are you going to fabricate the doors? Or does Ikea make some doors for this listed elsewhere?

2. I really like you idea and I might copy it. I would want to put the following inside the cabinet. That means I would need a space of at least 14"w x 9.5"d x 13.5"h - actually it would need to be slightly larger.

Top Deck Tech Station:
http://www.highspeedpc.com/Merchant2/me ... TopTechSTD



I already linked to that tech station and you can fit it because the cabinet depth is 15". Yes the doors are available separately. Just go to the living room configurator and you can configure different kinds of door.


BTW, I like the power splitter you linked to. Much better than dinky fan controllers.

I have found those 120mm fan gaskets are very thin and basically do nothing. The plan is to custom cut 1" neoprene to hold a 5" square fan inside a 7" diameter duct. But maybe for the inner divider mount the fan gasket would be enough, but still it does almost nothing IMHO. Maybe I should get acoustic foam for the panels instead of neoprene.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:51 pm 
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sxr71 wrote:
1" neoprene to hold a 5" square fan inside a 7" diameter duct. But maybe for the inner divider mount the fan gasket would be enough, but still it does almost nothing IMHO. Maybe I should get acoustic foam for the panels instead of neoprene.


1. Are you saying 1" thick neoprene?

2. I think getting acoustic foam designed for PCs is a more predictable route. I think frostytech has an article somewhere on their site with all the different kinds of such foam. There are a lot.

There are about 3 or 4 online "PC hobbiest" stores that carry a total of 3 or 4 brands. One or 2 of them are fire rated. One of the brands is Akasa. None fo them is cheap. But 1 inch neoprene isn't cheap eather.

I don't see the need to go that route until you see how it sounds without all the padding.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 6:59 pm 
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ces wrote:
sxr71 wrote:
1" neoprene to hold a 5" square fan inside a 7" diameter duct. But maybe for the inner divider mount the fan gasket would be enough, but still it does almost nothing IMHO. Maybe I should get acoustic foam for the panels instead of neoprene.


1. Are you saying 1" thick neoprene?

2. I think getting acoustic foam designed for PCs is a more predictable route. I think frostytech has an article somewhere on their site with all the different kinds of such foam. There are a lot.

There are about 3 or 4 online "PC hobbiest" stores that carry a total of 3 or 4 brands. One or 2 of them are fire rated. One of the brands is Akasa. None fo them is cheap. But 1 inch neoprene isn't cheap eather.

I don't see the need to go that route until you see how it sounds without all the padding.


It is quite obvious that you have not read any of my links. Especially when you linked to the techstation that I already had linked to.


http://www.foambymail.com/neoprene.html

I don't know that looks DIRT cheap to me. Much cheaper than all the big hoopla, specialty "PC" acoustic foam in the world. Browse the site a little to see they also have acoustic foam that is DIRT cheap compared to all the rip off sites you suggest.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:08 pm 
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Please excuse the ADHD.

You are right, foam by mail seems to have any kind of foam you could imagine and it does seem like it is at wholesales prices.

Why did you pick the Neoprene over the acoustic foam? The 4 inch pyramid foam sure looks impressive.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:58 pm 
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sxr71 wrote:

Duct perfect diameter for 180mm fans:

http://americanhvacparts.com/Merchan...lver_flex_duct

That way less vibration is transmitted to the cabinet. Each one of those will have:

http://americanhvacparts.com/Merchan...uct-floorboxes

With the feedback I've gotten here I think I could switch down to 120mm fans and do the same thing with 5" ductwork.


1. Can you redo those links. \they don't seem to work.

2. 120mm is 4.72440 inches. How would you attach the fans to a 5 inch duct?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:11 pm 
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Regarding neoprene, I have the understandig that it's really more sound deadening than sound absorbing. While this is not a bad move of you, most computer cases are an open system, which means that sound absorbtion would be a more efficient option. You should try getting your hands on some cheap foam, and fasten a layer of that on top of the neoprene. Together I think those two could be a killer combo!


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