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 Post subject: My quiet, ducted rig
PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 12:35 pm 
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I just bought a digital camera, so it's now time that I post about my main quiet rig.

Click on the pictures to see a bigger version.

Here we go :

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The case is an AOpen HQ-45, that I bought when I didn't know anything about quiet computers, and that I would never buy again. It came with a buzzy-whiny 250W PSU that was supposedly "silent", and that's since then been replaced by a 120mm Fortron.

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It's not a looker, that's for sure :) But I don't care much, as long as it's quiet. The case is lined with an acoustic foam named Gedicoustic. I'm very happy with this foam, it gets rid of the remaining noise from the undervolted fans.

Now let's follow the airflow :

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These little feet are there so that the intake fan can breath. The case sits on the same kind of carpet layer that you can see on the picture.

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The intake fan is an L1A running at 6v (in serie with the GPU fan). The HD temp is between 39°c and 41°c , and much higher without this fan. The fan is held in place by the acoustic foam.

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The hard drive is a suspended 60Gb 'cuda V. I had a hard time finding a cuda V, all vendors had 7200.7, but I eventually managed to get one. There is absolutely no way I can hear it through the acoustic foam, so I'm very pleased.

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Here are the extensions cards. You will notice that the main graphic card (there are two of them) is ducted to a rear exhaust, more pictures coming.

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The graphic card is a Leadtek Geforce 4 Ti4200, with an L1A at 6v and a cardboard duct. This helps cooling the case, as hot air from the GPU doesn't pollute it. The stock thermal paste has been replaced by AS3, and the card is overclocked to 280/585.

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Here is the ducted CPU. The processor is a TBred 1800+, undervolted to 1.25v, and cooled by a Thermaltake volcano 7. I tried lapping the heatsink, and got an improvement of 0 (zero) degree (celcius :)). The L1A is controled by a ZM Fanmate, and runs at about 7v. CPU temp while folding is around 47°c, at room temp = 27°c.

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Here is the CPU airduct. It exhausts hot air from the CPU to the rear of the case. It's pretty ugly, but works perfectly as it prevents the PSU fan from speeding up. It's made of this material :

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I bought 6 meters of this stuff for €8. I think I could build about twenty airducts with that :).

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Here is the duct intake, that's attached to the CPU hs. It's made of an old fan frame.

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Now the duct exhaust. It's an L1A, soft mounted to the rear of the case.

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Here you can see the rear of the case, where the hot air is exhausted. There's a layer of Gedicoustic on the wall behind the computer, to absorb the noise from the PSU.

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Here is a rear view where you can see the GPU duct exhaust.

A few facts and numbers about this computer :
- I can only hear it at night when the room is very quiet. The loudest component is the PSU.
- Average temps (while folding) are CPU : 47°c, case : 35°c, HD : 40°c, room : 27°c.
- 10,000 3DMarks (sometimes a bit more, sometimes a bit less, average is 10,000).
- Once every week, the PSU begins to whine. I have to stop F@H, then it stops, and then I have to run a CPU cooling program for a few hours until I can run F@H again.
- This computer is on 24/7, it's very reliable.
- I recently added leds, so that I could know when the HD was reading/writing. When there were no leds, I used to turn the monitors off when I had friends come and visit me. When I told them the computer was on, they usually wouldn't believe me.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 12:59 pm 
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So are those big washers on the hard drive acting as heat sinks?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 1:19 pm 
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That was the idea, but I never tried measuring temps with/without, so I can't say if it works. They make suspending easy though :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 2:02 pm 
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Is there any trick left that could make your comp any quieter? ;)

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 2:11 pm 
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tonalt wrote:
Is there any trick left that could make your comp any quieter? ;)

Have you put fan isolators on the PSU fan? :wink:

(somebody help us....we're obsessed :roll:)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 2:23 pm 
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Believe me, I tried. There simply isn't enough room, if I mount isolators the fan touches the heatsink and is even more noisy.

There isn't enough room between the PSU and CPU HS to mount the PSU fan outside. I wish I could mount the fan outside, cause right now it's too close to the heatsink and that's why it's noisy.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 3:44 pm 
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Well good.....glad to see someone besides myself with a successful duct project. Is your PSU overheating?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 5:02 pm 
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I just measured the temperature of the air exhausted by the PSU : 36°c. With a room temperature of 29°c, that's very good. It would probably rise to about 40°c when playing 3d games.

I think I could run the PSU fan at a fixed 5v, but I want the additional safety of the temp controled fan, cause the system is on even when I'm asleep or not at home, and my room can get pretty hot.

What I'm thinking right now is that I could dremel a 120mm wide square in the PSU, and mount the fan one half inside, one half outside (see what I mean ? 12.5mm inside, 12.5 outside), suspended with whatever I could think of. That would be great, the fan would be 12.5mm further away from the heatsink, and would be soft-mounted. I'll check if there's enough room below the PSU tomorrow, right now my girlfriend needs the internet connection (the computer also acts an internet sharing router).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 3:47 am 
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That GF4 duct seems interesting. Perhaps I should do a duct just like yours. I think that I have the exact same card (the HS goes around the card, right?), with 80 mm Papst NGL mounted with insulated wire. Does the duct help much temp-wise?

Cheers,

Jan

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 5:10 am 
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Yeah I remember you said you had the same GFX card in this thread. One of your first posts, and one of my first posts too, by the way :)

There is no significant improvement in case temps from the airduct, but :
- while playing 3d games, the air exhausted through the PCI slot is pretty warm, which means it's actually moving hot air from the inside of the case to the room, which is good :)
- there is no airflow noise from the fan blowing on the heatsink. When a Papst was screwed to the heatsink, is was a bit noisy
- it looks weird, and I like having weird stuff in my computer :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 7:15 am 
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Kostik wrote:
What I'm thinking right now is that I could dremel a 120mm wide square in the PSU, and mount the fan one half inside, one half outside (see what I mean ? 12.5mm inside, 12.5 outside), suspended with whatever I could think of. That would be great, the fan would be 12.5mm further away from the heatsink, and would be soft-mounted. I'll check if there's enough room below the PSU tomorrow, right now my girlfriend needs the internet connection (the computer also acts an internet sharing router).


Not enough room. *sigh* :cry:.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 8:58 am 
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Kostik wrote:
Yeah I remember you said you had the same GFX card in this thread. One of your first posts, and one of my first posts too, by the way :)

There is no significant improvement in case temps from the airduct, but :
- while playing 3d games, the air exhausted through the PCI slot is pretty warm, which means it's actually moving hot air from the inside of the case to the room, which is good :)
- there is no airflow noise from the fan blowing on the heatsink. When a Papst was screwed to the heatsink, is was a bit noisy
- it looks weird, and I like having weird stuff in my computer :D


I think I'm trying that when I have enough time to try to silence the main rig I use (the one on the sig). I've played mostly with my older machine, and it's pretty quiet. I need still to replace CPU fan and HD, but I'm currently waiting for the Samsung 120 GB 8 MB to arrive to shops here. If that ever happens...

Sorry to hear that the PSU mod didn't work. I do have the same PSU (350W version), and it's quieter than the original 235W Enlight one. It's not silent, but I have the computer on a desk next to me, so pretty much any sound is audible.

Cheers,

Jan

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2003 10:46 pm 
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New mod.

With my room temperature reaching 30°c and higher this summer, the fan in the 120mm Fortron became unbearably loud. The PSU was so much in need of fresh air, that my computer was quieter with the case open than closed !

I had a 120mm Globefan lying around. It's a sleeve bearing fan, not perfectly quiet but decent and cheap. It comes with a thermal sensor that has very little influence on its speed.

The thermistor is of the "less resistive when it's hot" kind. So what I did was cut it, so that the controler thinks "damn, the resistance is very high, it must be very cold out there", and let the fan spin at its lowest speed. I then installed it in the PSU, bypassing the fan controler, and plugged the fan on the mobo.

This setup was tested with several loops of 3DMark2001, to load the CPU and graphic card, and the air exhausted by the PSU was barely warm.

The fan is *MUCH* quieter than the stock ball-bearing fan. My case temp is a few degrees lower, and I can't hear my computer, again.

It's 8:50AM here, I'll have to wait for the two AM test to say if it's really that quiet.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 3:28 pm 
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Question : what did you use to glue the foam.
I was thinking to do something similar....

So far I tried with auto-adhesive floor tiles : works brilliantly from a noise standpoint (this is a very dense material) but they just do not seem to stick enough. I was thinking to try and replace it with that foam which I assume should be lighter..

Thanks in advance


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