The Vicious Cycle!

The forum for non-component-related silent pc discussions.

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Post by Mr_Smartepants » Tue May 06, 2003 12:12 am

Here's my Cycle so far.

1. Sold Apple G4 Cube (zero fans, Cuda IV, zero noise).
2. Bought components, built first PC for self (built hundreds for others).
3. replaced original Foxconn case with Antec Sonata.
4. replaced Antec fan for Panaflo 120mm L1A (connected to Fan Only connector)
5. replaced stock P4 cooling for Alpha PAL8942 with TT SmartFan2 (Dumb move! The fan, not HS)
6. replaced TT SmartFan2 with Panaflo 80mm L1A
7. replaced stock Radeon 9500 cooling with Zalman ZM80A-HP
8. lined case with melamine foam
9. waiting for Maxtor DM+ 120G to arrive in mail to replace whiny WD120G

Now that the PC is almost silent, I can hear the Antec PSU is making a faint on/off/on/off tone sound. Argggh why won't Antec get back with me on an RMA?! :evil:

...the saga continues
Last edited by Mr_Smartepants on Tue May 06, 2003 6:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by rpc180 » Tue May 06, 2003 6:12 am

I would've kept the quiet cube :) And seriously, other than the bare bones of the OS, I'm sure those Apple's are easy to use if their stores are any indiciation. Cept for games maybe, they can do anything else just (more?) efficiently!

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Post by Mr_Smartepants » Tue May 06, 2003 6:40 am

I'm not going to get into why I 'switched' from the Mac.
I used to beta-test Apple hardware (since before the iMac) and I have my reasons for going PC. I have seen the future my friend. Apple had their shot and lost. The only hope for Apple now is to move to an open hardware architecture and away from proprietary hardware. Otherwise they will fall into the footsteps of Atari and Amiga.

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Post by Rusty075 » Tue May 06, 2003 8:06 am

I'll vote for that Mr Smartepants.

Or how about the long-rumored x86 porting of OS X? That'd shake things up for Mr. Gates

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Post by pingu666 » Tue May 06, 2003 11:01 am

dont macs use pc parts now?
there fileshare thing looks good at least :)

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Post by Rusty075 » Tue May 06, 2003 3:18 pm

They do but they don't. :lol: The parts are basically PC, but just different enough to make them incompatible. And Apple controls the licensing, so not just anyone can make and sell Apple parts. It's not that different from what the likes of Dell and Gateway used to do with their PC's, only on a more broad scale.

It's a double-edged sword: It's good for Apple because they can make a little margin everytime a user upgrades their machine (through the licensing) and it's a part of why Mac's are traditionally more stable than PC's. The Mac OS only has to support a fairly limited range of approved components, while Windows has to have builtin support for every isoteric component going back decades.

But for the consumer it has meant less options, generally higher cost, and the lack of competition has reduced the incentive for improvement.

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Post by halcyon » Wed May 07, 2003 6:26 am

This is what the hobby (or sickness, if you prefer) is all about.

Learning through the pain of personal experience and mistakes.

I've built several attempts at silent computers for some years now, starting with small tweaks like psu fan replacment, rubber grommets, case dampening materials, etc.

Now I've progressed to the level that I have just built my current computer (less than two months old) and I'm ready to start from scratch, because of all the things I learned and the things I need to try out and improve.

Fortunately my wife can use this computer and it's already quite silent as it is (as soon as I get a better fan controller and even more silent case fans).

But the next one, I'm sure it'll be my final system for some time to come.

Yeah, right :)


PS I think the single biggest mistake most beginners do (at least I did) is to pick the wrong case. The case can dictate your choise of fan size/placement, HD positioning/daming/cooling, case damping material type/thickness, air circulation patterns, ducting, PSU placement, optical drive noise and many, many other things. A good case is where it all begins, imho. Unforunately there is no be-all-end-all case out there. All have their pros and cons.

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Post by Mr_Smartepants » Fri May 09, 2003 8:58 am

For all Mac users, DO NOT READ THIS!

Link here.

This article basically spells out some of the problems I've encountered with Apple Computer, Inc. and why Apple is doomed to fail.

I used to be the biggest Mac Zealot around. I've owned Apple hardware since the Apple II+ was released. Now I've turned (Switched?) to the PC world and I'm not looking back. PC users will get a laugh from the article and Mac users will doubt their faith.
You've been warned.

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Post by rpc180 » Fri May 16, 2003 8:16 am

Rusty, this wasn't YOUR oil PC was it?! ... oboy01.htm

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Post by Rusty075 » Fri May 16, 2003 8:40 am


Not mine, but exactly the same concept. My personal favorite was the use of the Coke can to hold the HDD up. :lol:

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Post by bdelima » Fri May 16, 2003 3:28 pm

Here's my cycle...

1. Spend 6 months and a bucket of $$$ on quiet PS's, fans, HD silencers, HSF, and on and on. Still not quiet enough.
2. Reinstall factory Intel HSF, install high-speed fans, enable MB fan control, reinstall HDs directly in cage. Move computer into crawl space just behind where my desk is. SILENCE AT LAST!!!!!!!!

:D :D :D :D :wink:

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Post by madd02 » Fri Jul 15, 2005 12:10 am

Good to hear im not alone in this obsession of mine...

well it all started with my ABIT IC7 NB HSF crapping out...getting noisy.

1) replace NB HSF with Zalman 47j (interesting mounting holes epoxy used)
2)Modified PSU until thermal control crapped itself.
3) just added a 100ohm pot to PSU dropping globe fan to 3v...dead silent.
4) 8500 zalman 47j mod...very handy those things
5) thermaltake ram sinks cut up and used for rams sinks on GFX card
6) CPU HS replaced with light...peeerrrdy
7) new hard drive sp120 sata 200gb
8) back up drive removed and put into external drive enclosure
9) case fans mounted with gaskets
10) gaskets crap for stock fans got some silicon fan mounts (heaps better)
11) new case fans...acoustifan 80mm
12) created own fan controller based on 5v trick, used silicon diodes to reduce 12v to 10v. included switch so now its a 5 - 10 switch for all case fans.
13) realised that i wanted to monitor temps...purchased fan controller LianLi tr3b...scratch genious fan controller
14) a few resistors to undervolt fan controller output
15) suspended HDD bunggie cord and cable clamps
16) cut out rear fan guard and replaced with wire grill.
17) new PSU... i didnt like the no thermal detect, seasonic tornado 350 rev3a
18) mod new psu with fan mounts and removed grill...replaced with wire grill.


1) Duct air from intakes onto VGA and 80mm acoustifan
2) apply insulation to drive cage..small hush type noise from HDD still.....
3) acoustipack the whole case

4) ACTUALLY USE MY COMPUTER !!!! i decided i wasnt going to turn it on till i finished..... hahah 6 weeks later...

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Post by ~El~Jefe~ » Fri Jul 15, 2005 1:23 pm

ati fans are worst noise followed by psu's.
after that, basically anything with a good fan regulator knob attached to it in a steel, heavy case is kinda tolerable. I always tell people to first get a fan controller before swapping out fans, they will need it anyways, and sometimes it cures the problems in general.

yeah, swaping the zalman fan is old school spcr stuff. could get you dead as well or burned or nerve damage in your arm, but its worth it !! (they say)

Wasn't a zalman with a panaflo the old reference psu for quietness?

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Post by EvoFire » Fri Jul 15, 2005 2:19 pm

Fairly new to the game, here is my list of fortunes(and misfortunes)

1. Oil old 45mm(wtf?) fan in the old 400Mhz HP computer. (slight improvement)
2. Stuffed old socks, stuck various pieves of rubber on places in the case, and stuffed eggcrates in the case, basically cramming the case.(slight improvement)

This is where the fun begins......

3. Bought a new computer in May 2004, current one I'm using.
4. One month later, bought new heatsink, Spire WhisperRockIV.(slight improvement)
5. Started hanging out here(oh boy!), seen/heard some good stuff and got rifle bearing CoolerMaster LED fan.
6. Giddy!! Tests out the fan, mounts on side panel, even worse than before. Decide to swap out HSF. (mild improvement, not as good as expected)
7. Case fans were LOUD, removed grilles covering them(side and top), very restrictive those things are.(big improvement)

Now, computer goes out of commision for 2 weeks, bangs table and cries. The following are all done one after another.

8. Cut out grille on PSU, (improvement)
9. Apply AS5
10. Remove video card fan(starting to die after 6 months)
11. Ghetto mod a 80mm fan on a PCI cover and blowing at video card.
12. 5V the case fans.
13. Kill HDD and PSU with the volt mod.
14. RMA hard drive.
15. Get Seasonic ST 300... WOW.
16. Plug in all the parts and savour the mods that I didn't get a chance to feel cause the computer died. Friends were like WOW, ur computer is silent.

After a period of savoring the quietness.

17. Start running passive cooling on CPU with the VIA northbridge CPU interrupt hack. No games during passive, have to turn on fan for that.
18. Notice ghetto mounted video card fan was being a bad boy.
19. Get CoolerMaster SUF LED fan.(these things are cheap for their performance)
20. Replace growling ghetto modded video card fan.(bright, I love blue lights, and BIG improvement)
21. Turn on AAM for HDD, finally.(BIG improvement)
21. CPU fan is now making a big racket(the vicious cycle), looking to replace it with another SUF, cheap things.
22. 5V case fans are making some wind noise, hearing them again... what can I do?? Use more SUFs?? they 5V pretty well, no wind noise either...
23. Starting to hear PSU again.... Hmm... fan swap?? CoolerMaster again?? The 120mm is on the "good fans" list.... Cheap too...

I realized that I actually haven't spent that much, just.... lots of parts replaced and did simple mods...

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Post by shoebox9 » Sun Aug 28, 2005 12:59 am

Rusty, I am proud!

I only just discovered a german web site* sporting oil submersing stories. The owner has had a PC submerged in no-frills sunflower oil for 18m now, & even the fans still work!

They don't put the h/drives in however, but this whole idea is just begging for someone to add a submersible oil pump, and a full sized car radiator for passive cooling. If the h/drives were encased in something & passive cooling brought the oil temp low enough for h/drive survival, surely this would be the world's most silent, high powered PC!?

I would do this myself, but I've just bought water cooling stuff (incl. h/drive w/cooling) so I'm alrady commited to this path. (I'm building a custom sound proof box with 2 water loops, including a car radiator.)


* See- ... 537dc60619

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Post by nici » Sun Aug 28, 2005 5:04 am

Well i cant really remember it all but it went something like this...

1. I-ve read somewhere about silent computers, so i order my new computer with a Zalman 6000Cu cpu cooler. This was my first own pc.
2. After a few months i want to take a look inside the case, and i find this think with a knob on it. Turn it and the cpu fan slows down! I found a FanMate :lol:
3. Now that the cpu is "silent", i get a new PSU.
4. still noisy, cant figure it out. After i accidentally put my finger on the GPU fan i notice there is a fan there too, so i got a zalman heatpipe cooler.
5. cpu the loudest thing again. i got the 7000alcu, it had just been released at this time.
6.Swap maxotr hdd for a samsung.
7. get a new case, the Nexus Breeze. The psu fan keeps ramping up, i switch the 350W nexus for a NX4090. Then i notice that the noise coming from the new psu isnt actually fan noise, its coil-whine.
8. I think at this point i realised thjat no air-cooler will be quiet enough, and i got the Reserator. Cant remember wich PSU i was running at that point.
9. I think i got the 3700AMB and acoustipacked it at this point, and got some Nexus fans.
10. I have crappy memory, and cant remember it all.
11. get a Be Quiet! PSU
12. get a new A64 system, watercool cpu and gpu..
13. watercool the chipset
13. get another Be Quiet PSU
14. Turn the case upside down so i get the psu at the bottom.
15. get antec phantom.
16. turned tha case back up right again.
17. it got boring.
20. back to air-cooling, 7700Cu and 700Cu. didnt last for long, back to the reserator
21. The reserator and Phantom worked great, but i got bored again.
22. i bought a P180, ZM80D-HP, AC Freezer64 and installed a NB47J on the Chipset.
23. Now im trying to figure out how the hell to keep the chipset cool and quiet.
24. after first start up the computer is really slow, so i think its the chipset overheating. After a few restarts it starts to work fine, for no apparent reason.
25. i ran cpuBurn for half an gour, and smartguardian shoved chipset temperature to be 57, i take the "freeze everything to -55c in seconds" spray can and cool the chipset, with spraying on the chiposet cooler for a few second the temp drops from 57c to 42c, wich would indicate that the DFI actually reports chipset temperature.
26. Now im going to open the case and start thinking.

These steps are probably not all in the right order, i´ve swithed so many components that i cant remember when i did what and why and in what order.

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Post by StarfishChris » Sun Aug 28, 2005 5:53 am

My own 15-point guide...

1. Finally crack due to extreme noise pollution.
2. Type in "silent pc" in Google. Find some sites (including this one!).
3. I buy a Sonata and an Arctic Cooling Copper Silent 2TC. Improvement, but still noisy.
4. I investigate the source of the noise. The two Maxtor hard drives (1999-2001) are facing redundancy. (In actual fact I kept the newest one for playing around with Linux, but it gets switched off whenever possible.)
5. Thanks to SPCR I decide to buy a Barracuda IV from
6. I receive a Barracuda 7200.7. The IV disappeared completely... not worth the trouble to do anything about it, plus I saved a few quid ;)
7. Still more noise, and my 1.3G Duron was lagging a bit now. I switch to an A64 3000+ Newcastle system and gained full control over fan speed, voltage, weather etc.
8. Now the Sonata TruePower PSU is the noisy one. I looked inside for crickets without success, so I concluded the clicking noises were something mechanical.
9. Snipped off the fan grill. I don't know whether the noise difference was placebo or real, but it did sound a little quieter...
10. I make silencing harder for myself by joining the Folding team. Not that it made much difference, that darn PSU makes the same noise however loaded it gets!
11. I take a cereal packet, scissors and sellotape and see where ducting gets me. Nowhere, that's what.
12. Idea for two-fan PSU. Tibors digs this thread up and gives me ideas.
13. Search eBay for Seasonic PSU - I find a cheap oldish one, buy two Panaflos and mutilate it.
14. Sell old processor/motherboard to get an A64 3200+ Venice system. And a horrendous pile of metal (TT Sonic Tower) to put on top of it. And MuteMat sound dampening. And some sorbothane. Earmuffs would've been a cheaper solution.
15. Silence at last! Well, when my monitor isn't on, anyway. :(

So when I get a TFT my job is complete. But just for this computer, of course... the assimilation of others still continues :twisted:

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Post by sensei » Sun Aug 28, 2005 8:12 am

Here we go...

1.Bought a computer (my criteria at the time was that it needed to be cheap and fast, 1.4 athlon and GF2 GTS 32 mb i believe...)
2. Realized that the awful cheap cpu hs was woefully underpowered. Bought a Thermaltake something-or-other, that claimed silence (haven't we all at some point been burned by silence claims?)
3. Switched the fan to a papst nice gains.
4. PSU died. Bought a seasonic 270W (I believe)
5. Googled and found this place.
6. Proceeded to buy a zalman alcu flower, and passive GPU cooling.
7. Suspended my hard drives.
8. I was still in an unbelievably crap case, so I splurged on a thermaltake tsunami dream (really liked the look of coolermasters wave, but wanted 120mm fans)
9. Switched fans to nexus, bought a psu, switched that fan to nexus
10. Acousitpack deluxe
11. New and improved HD suspension.
12. modded that old zalman flower to use a nexus 92mm.

in the mean time i went through 3 cpus, 3 RAM swaps, 4 mobos and got an ATI 9700Pro (still with the old zalman passive cooler.)

I'm pretty happy now, the HD suspension and nexus fan swap for the psu hs were by far my most effective mods.

Tinkering with the idea of watercooling, but I still have some potential left with air (mainly ducting and such, bit I think I'll wait for that new zalman hs)

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Post by nici » Sun Aug 28, 2005 9:10 am

sensei wrote: Tinkering with the idea of watercooling, but I still have some potential left with air (mainly ducting and such, bit I think I'll wait for that new zalman hs)
If you want the easy way to silence, just get a Phantom PSU and a Reserator and a silent hdd. A samsung inside an acoustipacked case is pretty much silent. But with a setup like that theres nothing to tinker with, nothing to do. I just switched from a setup like that to a P180 and went air-cooled again, i just like air-cooling better than water.

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Post by mathias » Sun Aug 28, 2005 1:11 pm

Guess I'll add my progress report, I think I have a pretty good memory, though my order might also be a bit off.

1. Was out of the loop about computers for a few years, but heard a thing or two about how loud computer parts are getting, especially hard drives.
2. Got a new computer: athlon 2000 with a thermaltake volcano 9, cuda 4, two extra vantec stealths, and a noisy 350watt heroichi.
3. Was shocked by how incredibly loud the TT fan was at full blast, turned it down to ~2300, found out it sucks much better than it blows.
4. Replaced the tiny whiny HSF on my mx440 with a CNPS3000.
5. Killed the TT fan with a vacuum cleaner, replaced it with one of the vantec stealths.
6. Snipped out the stamped grills for my rear and top fan and made a big airhole underneath the drive cage.
7. Got a spinpoint with a JVC motor, put CD images on it for use with virtual drives to not have to use CD's, eventually unplugged it to make it a backup drive.
8. Put a 33 ohm resistor adapter(made out of a broken zalman 56 ohm resistor adapter) on one of the vantec stealths, moved it from the top slot to the rear, 5volted the 2500 rpm xinruilian fan that came with the case, moved it to the top slot.
9. Replaced the 33ohm resistor for the rear fan with a 56ohm, put the 33 ohm one on the CPU fan.
10. Made a crude cardboard duct connecting the CPU and rear case fans to keep the heat out of the PSU, which only quieted it a little.
11. Replaced the noisy Heroichi with a 12cm fan fortron ( :o So that was the major problem recently!)
12. Put the hard drive on foam in the middle of the case floor.
13. Replaced the CPU fan with a nexus.
14. Put both the 33 and 56ohm resistors on the rear vantec stealth.
15. Replaced rear vantec stealth with a 5volted ZMF1.
16. Raised case a bit.
17. Got a 3700AMB, 5volted the stock antec fan, put some foam in between the plastic fan holder and the case, tried the 350W smartpower that came with it.
18. Switched back to the Fortron.
19. Removed the hard drive cage, put the hard drive on foam on a styrofoam platform over the cage mounting point.
20. Drilled out the hard drive cage mounting point, put spinpoint at the back of the case floor on foam.
21. Snipped out the thick honeycomb fan grill, mounted the rear fan with zipties with some foam for dampening.
22. Made a small duct to turn the CPU air backwards a bit.
23. Moved the PSU outside the case.
24. Replaced the D12SH in the PSU with a nexus, replaced the palomino 2000 with a mobile barton, replaced the volcano 9 with an SI97, got a zalman fan controller.
25. Put the 80mm nexus behind the PCI slot covers, made a duct to have it cool the spinpoint better than when I had an 8cm fan crudely aimed at it.
26. Put 4 small pieces of foam between each hard drive and the big piece of foam it's on to improve cooling.
27. Installed linux on the spinpoint, no longer need to have the cuda on.
28. Tried replacing the stock antec at 5v with the D12SH I pulled from my fortron at 3.5-4.5V, switched back.
29. Got rid of the rear fan, ducted 92mm nexus CPU fan(which was always blowing up) to the rear fan opening.
30. Rotated the external fortorn 90 degrees, from on its ceiling to on its side so the sleeve bearings wouldn't wear out, took ~30hrs to wear in again.

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Post by sensei » Mon Aug 29, 2005 11:02 pm

nici wrote: If you want the easy way to silence, just get a Phantom PSU and a Reserator and a silent hdd. A samsung inside an acoustipacked case is pretty much silent. But with a setup like that theres nothing to tinker with, nothing to do. I just switched from a setup like that to a P180 and went air-cooled again, i just like air-cooling better than water.
Somehow I understand what you're saying... Which is why I've procrastinated on the watercooling for so long. If I did it, I'd make sure to make the task as complicated for myself as possible... no reserator for me ;)

I have been looking at innovatek's convect-o-matic... seems like a good product, and just tricky enough to be fun :)

I have a samsung 180 and a seagate 'cuda, so I'm pretty happy HD noise wise. I'd definately love to go with a phantom 500, but I'm not sure I have the airflow to power it atm. I think an S12 would be more suited to my needs (not to mention a lot cheaper).

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Post by frostedflakes » Mon Aug 29, 2005 11:24 pm

For all practical purposes, my computer was silent a few "uprades" ago. ;)

TBH, I just enjoy tinkering with electronics. Lowering PC noise and increasing efficiency is one way to take part in this.

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Post by pony-tail » Sun Sep 11, 2005 4:40 pm

I would not even like to consider what it has cost me .
I do not have a credit card - but my bank balance is hurting pretty bad.
I often just buy some new component just to try it out 'cause it looks good on paper , sometimes it works often it doesn't .
This is one wicked addiction .
I might have to take up booze or drugs instead to save some money !
Add this to my turbo car habit and I am always broke .

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Post by PositiveSpin » Tue Sep 13, 2005 6:52 am

Used not to worry about noise level too much - had a number of Lian-Li cased PCs. Then I started reading here. And noticing noise. And reading some more... Then came the buying and trying and discarding...

1. I tried an Antec Sonata. Not so good, standard PSU noisy, rear exhaust noisy, Intel cooler HORRIBLE!

2. Replaced Intel cooler with Volcano (dumb!), then Zalman 7000 (at full speed - oops).

3. Replaced PSU with a series of units, culminating in using a Silenx, which made the case fan the loudest item

4. For some reason, thought adding a second case fan would quieten the system (no, I can't explain that thinking). Thus started the great 120mm fan hunt - tried Antec, Vantec, Silenx, CoolerMaster, and at least 2 other brands... Ripped out second fan when sanity returned. Replaced rear fan, though.

5. Replaced 3.5" hard drive with a mirrored pair of 2.5" hard drives, held to the Sonata drive trays using foam and cable ties.

6. replaced Zalman 7000 with a ThermalRight XP-90Cu with Panaflo

7. on another machine, flirted with a CoolerMaster Aquagate Mini 120 (selfcontained water cooling) - big disappointment. It joins a growing pile of discarded CPU coolers.

8. tried replacing VGA coolers twice - the stock HSFs seem to be glued on, curse it! Start looking at video cards that come with heatpipe coolers as stock - Gigabyte is nice.

But I have more obsessions than just noise...

I like a VERY large Windows desktop. First I got up as high as a 22" CRT. Not big enough. Then I got into DualHead (back when that was a Matrox exclusive) - 2 x 22"CRTs - that was enough, for a while. But CRTs have problems: pincushion, weight, non-linearity, weight, size, weight - my desk was bending under the weight of two 22" flat-screen CRTs.

Tried multiple LCD panels: first using a Matrox Parhelia for TripleHead, then adding a PCI card to use 2 x DualHead - Matrox PCIe P650 + PCI P650. Works, after some messing around, but Matrox drivers something of a pain. And it seems the horrible little 40mm HSFs are glued on.

Latest machine uses two PCIe video cards in a Gigabyte 8I945P-DualGraphics motherboard. Tested today using a pair of 7800GTs (NOT quiet!), but tomorrow the new model cards arrive: Gigabyte GV-NX66T256D - heatpiped passive cooling + dual DVI. Two of those will run four 19" LCD panels pivoted into portrait mode = desktop of 4096x1280 pixels - that's exactly 5 megapixels. I laugh at 1024x768!

New machine will be rather quiet when those passive video cards arrive. Using an Antec P180 case, Zalman Reserator water cooling, Antec Phantom 500 power supply, Seagate 7200.7 120Gb SATA (currently in standard P180 grommets - considering suspending, or a switch to notebook hard drive), undervolted low speed fan in the bottom chamber (just to move a little air to keep hard drive cool), stock Tricool on low in the rear exhaust (to avoid overheating the voltage regulators).

So do I qualify for the rubber room yet?

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Post by hyperq » Tue Sep 13, 2005 7:18 am

The quest for silence is a time consuming process. Fortunately, it wasn't that costly for me.

- I planned to replace my Zalman 7000, then I discovered Cool'n'Quiet.
- I planned to replace Zalman VF700 and my 6600GT card with a passive one, then I discovered SpeedFan and a controllable fan port on my mobo.
- I planned to replace the SLK3000B until I discovered Vinyl floor tiles.
- I planned to replace my hard drives until I suspended the entire HD cage.

For many of us, this quest probably will never end. It is good to hear that the OEM manufactures are now gradually paying attention to the noise level of their products. I hope I don't have to spend weeks and months to silence my next PC.

There are better things to do in life than silencing PCs. Then again, a noisy PC substantially lowers the quality of my life.

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Post by IsaacKuo » Tue Sep 13, 2005 7:58 am

My story is a bit different. Initially, I spent some money on "quiet computing equipment", including a couple 120mm fan Fortron PSUs. But I eventually found those PSUs too loud for workstation use. They're now in my HTPC and my closet file server.

My quiet computing journey has been largely about spending as little money as possible, modifying stock equipment, and homebrewing everything else. I have NEVER bought a computer fan. My idea of a fanless PSU is a PSU with the fan removed. My idea of a fanless CPU heatsink is a stock heatsink with the fan removed, and a duct to direct air at it.

The last area where I splurged was a 2.5" hard drive. I've tried various things like submersing hard drives to get silence out of a 3.5" drive. I only had failures. In contrast, I have had great success with cheap homebrew enclosures for 2.5" drives.

For my last few projects, though, I had only 3.5" drives available. I chose to suspend the 3.5" drives for mere quietness rather than spending money on 2.5" drives for silence.

Quiet computing doesn't have to be an expensive endeavor. Still, someday I really have to replace my CRT, and that's not going to be cheap.

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Post by filipcza » Sat Feb 25, 2006 8:46 am

Ok, I have to say this to comfort all you guys who seem to feel a little guilty..

1. Silencing a computer is a hobby. Or it turns to that for most of us.
2. Hobbies should take your time. They are a way to use your free time in a way that gives you pleasure.
3. Hobbies can and should take some money. What's good it is to have money if you don't ever use it? If you don't use it, it's like you don't even have it.
3. This is not even a very expensive hobby, if you start to calculate what some other hobbies cost in a year. Of course you CAN overkill anything.
4. This hobby is not generally bad for your health, or dangerous.

You can also compare this hobby to smoking and see if this really that bad.

But to be fair here's the other side.

You should start to worry if..
-Your hobby takes ALL your money.
-Your hobby takes ALL your free time
-Your hobby causes more stress than it gives pleasure in return.

If one or more of those criterias are met, then you really could have an addiction and that's not good.

But in the meantime, I have my new heat sink fan and fanmate in the post and not feeling guilty at all!
This is a fun hobby, so thanks SPCR, and keep up the high starndards and good work!


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Location: USA

Re: The Vicious Cycle!

Post by shades_of_blue » Sat Feb 25, 2006 3:49 pm

slippy wrote:1. psu was the loudest thing in my pc, so i replaced it with a zalman 300a
2. then my hdd was the loudest, replace with a cuda iv
3. hsf is the loudest thing --> mcx462 w/L1A @ 7v
4. case fans r too loud --> 5v them!
5. (not really related) want a faster vidcard = loud fan! --> unplug fan

pull out hair
check wallet
go back to #1

actually i'm pretty happy with my setup now, it is a huge improvement before i started quieting things down...but alas there's always something :roll:
this sooo sounds like me.
1 upgraded to a seasonic st-400 because my kingwin triple fan psu was producing noticable bearing noise.
2 switched cases from a cheiftec dragon to an antec 3000b
3 switched from my intel refference cooler to a zalman 7000cu@low setting
4 upgraded from nvidia 4200ti 128 to ati x800 xt aiw
5 installed zalman vf-700cu@5v
5 switched case fans from 2x evercool aluminum 120mm fans to 2 yate-loon d12sl-12 120mm fans, both cases controlled by mainboard
6 rubber grommets installed to dampen case fan vibration
7 suspended hard drive cage (best mod, aside from ditching reference cooler, hands down)
8 ripped apart seasonic st-400 and installed yate-loon d12sl-12 in place of original d12sm-12
9 installed 2-layer think sound deafening foam from my works scientific department….heheh
10 replaced zalman 7000cu with scythe ninja & created an air path duct for it
11 install nexus 80mm (looks like and probably is an ADDA fan, bottom line) on zalman vf-700cu
12 add resistors to case fans based off zalman fanmate resistance to lower minimal mainboard controlled fan speed from 850rpm to 650rpm. unless my ears deceive me, currently the yate-loons are louder at idle then anything in my case above 700rpm.
13 who the f’ knows, right now I need a new sound system. my altec 5.1 system is making noticeable humming noises and crackling on occasion. So that’s next on my list. :cry:

if i had to do it all over, i would have purchased an antec p180, a ninja hs, an antec phantom 500, a vf-700cu, 1 low speed ADDA 80mm and 3 yl d12sl-12 fans from the start. my noise issues would be almost non-existant then. live and learn

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Location: Shi-Khan: Vulcan or MosEisley Tattonnie

Post by fastturtle » Fri Mar 17, 2006 6:48 pm

Thankfully I've been on a students budget so haven't spent lots of money on this addiction. The other thing that helped was the fact that I discovered SPCR and was able to begin incorporating silent items into my purchase plans.

Currently running an MSI-6340M rev:5
XP1800 and stock cooling (1 yr warranty that way)
1 gig PC2100 ram
Seagate 7200.8 80gig drive
Liteon 8x DVD & 52X CD burners
Iomega Zip 100 internal plus standard 3.5 floppy
Generic 300 watt PSU that outputs 280 watts :cry:

Recent Upgrades include a Passive Rosewill Geforce FX5200 (no fan) :)

Next Upgrade is PSU to Seasonic Precise 300 so I can use the New Geforce. Currently using the damn SIS6329 Onboard video :sad:

Right now the noisiest component is the PSU that's 5+ yrs old and soon to be replaced. I don't have any additional case fans installed as I have no problem keeping the system stable. :D

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Joined: Mon May 12, 2003 1:08 pm

Post by NapalmDeath » Sat Mar 18, 2006 6:32 am

I've gone full circle on my cooling projects back to the video card cooler, and it's an ARTIC COOLER?! Going to use a fanmate to add voltage control, or wire it up to my fan bus.

My most interesting was breaking open my Enermax Liberty and swapping out the fan for a Nexus. 1200 rpm is now 600rpm and silent. Had to actually break out the soldering iron for that one.

In the end my SATA Plextor will be the loudest, but I'm using Plextools to spin it down and keep it quiet. For standing noise, my Zalman may actually be audible now. The SG01 has venting holes along almost half the side along the entire length of the case. I'll attempt covering some of them to keep sound in, and monitoring thermals.

I've found listening to your PC around 2-3am when all environmental noise has dropped, you really can hear future projects.

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