Performance Rig Going Quiet

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Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2005 11:09 am

Performance Rig Going Quiet

Post by Maviryk » Thu Dec 15, 2005 1:55 pm

Hello everyone,

I would say I'm a pretty big PC enthusiast and I just now got into quiet computing. I have a custom built computer case and would like your critiques/suggestions on how to make it quiet.

First off, the case is a imitation Silverstone Windtunnel. It has an inverted ATX board, watercooling, and windows on both sides (weight reduction, with the side effect of making the case louder). The hard drives are mounted above the motherboard, and above them is the PSU.

The airflow goes like this: Wire fan grills through a pair of Sanyo Denki 120x38mm fans, DualHeatercore radiator -> after it goes through the rad, most of the air flows past the wires and tubing to a pair of 80mm TT Smart Fan IIs, and out the case. a smaller amount of air will go up to the PSU and HD array, and get sucked out by thier cooling fans.

Image Image Image

Currently the loudest component in my case is the PSU fan, it is a Delta Tri-blade. I am planning on:
1. Replacing all the 80mm fans with Petite Ace Sanyo Denki 80mm fans
2. Cover up the left window with a poster, and putting acoustic foam on the inside to absorb sound.
3. Possibly finding a way to suspend the hard drive array.

My goal with this project would be to have a quiet computer that can be adjusted for performance during times of intense load/high temperatures. I need suggestions/recommendations on how to suspend those harddrives, and what kind of acoustic dampening foam to buy.

Thanks in advance.

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Post by mattek » Thu Dec 15, 2005 4:04 pm

There is so much to be done here that its hard to tell where you should start. I'll give it shot.

1. Once the PSU is fixed you will need to swap your case fans and/or set them up with some kind of rpm adjustment. Zalman Fanmate could be a solution.

2. Your fans are currently mounted outside of your case. This is from a noise perspective not a good thing. Try to find a way to soft mount them inside your case. This will reduce noise a lot.

3. If these steps are taken you will notice how much vibration and noise your harddrive makes. Search the forums for ways to suspend it. Stretch Magic is supposedly the way to go.

Hope that gave you some guidence. If you post your full specs it will be easier to come with further suggestions.

Also consider getting the Antec P180.

Good luck!

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Post by Maviryk » Thu Dec 15, 2005 6:18 pm

1. The fans already have RPM adjustment, there's an Enermax Ultimate Fan controller in the front of the case.

2. That's not actually the front of the case, I still need to make a front panel, and a rear "muffler" panel.

3. I've seen the ways everyone has been doing it. Finding a way to suspend 6 hard drives securely is going be difficult, to say the least... and unnerving since they are right above my sound and graphics cards! This case moves every 3 months to a new location. I don't know if I'll be able to suspend the drives individually, I might be able to do the entire array though.

System Specs:

Case: Modified AMS Genesis, inverted motherboard, custom HD/PSU placement, dual windowed sidepanels. Four 80mm TT Smart Fan II exhaust fans (soon to be replaced wit Sanyo Denkis)

Motherboard: Soyo P4I875 Dragon v1.0 (soon to be replaced with a P4C800)

CPU: Intel P4 Prescott 3.2 D0 @ 3.78 - Swiftech Storm CPU Waterblock
GPU: eVGA Nvidia 6800ultra - Maze4 Waterblock
PSU: PCP&C 510 DLX - Delta Triblade fan (Soon to be replaced with Sanyo Denkis)
Sound: Soundblaster Audigy 2 ZS
Memory: 2 x 1gb PDP DDR 400
Storage: 74.4gb WD Raptor, 2 x 200 WD HDs, 2 x 80gb WD HDs, 120gb Maxtor
Pump: D5/Swiftech MCP 655
Radiator: 12"x6" Chevrolet Heatercore
Radiator Fans: 2 x 120x38mm Sanyo Denki's
Enermax Ultimate Fan Controller (4 Fans, 4 temp probes)
3.5" Floppy Diskette Drive
Soyo Bay One Extreme
Logisys Remote Multifunction Panel

I highly doubt the P180 will fit all my components. There's already a plethora of Antecs in this forum.

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Post by elec999 » Thu Dec 15, 2005 10:01 pm

I am not into cooling too much. But may I suggest getitng rid of the some of your hard drives, 2 x 80gb WD HDs, 120gb Maxtor. Possibly replace them with bigger size 300gig.

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Location: Charlotte, NC, USA

Post by Shadowknight » Thu Dec 15, 2005 10:54 pm

You might want to consider a Coolermaster Stacker, a Thermaltake armor, or a few others. There was some case recently which was specifically built to be able to take watercooling components easily. I'd ask around on ocforums, given your needs if you choose to go with a new case.

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Location: San Jose, California

Post by autoboy » Thu Dec 15, 2005 11:11 pm

May I suggest a remote server for your harddrives? I had 3 200 Gig drives in my computer and moved them to a 300Mhz PII in the garage. I had other faster computers for the server but decided on the PII becuase it only used 15 Watts or so of power. So far I have not knowticed any speed issues with this setup for HTPC use. Even if you suspend all the drives they will still emit a high pitched motor whine that will continue to annoy you because the rest of the system is so much quieter

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Post by Maviryk » Thu Dec 15, 2005 11:42 pm

You know, I do notice a whine from the HDs... Eventually all the drives (with the exception of the Raptor) will be replaced with 300gbs. That costs $$ which I do not have atm. Regarding the whine, is anyone able to get rid of it completely(and still keep the drive cool)? I don't really notice any vibrations coming from the HD array. Although ya'll do have a point that they will be the loudest components in the end.

What kind of acoustic foam would ya'll recommend? I'm actually thinking about putting pictures in the windows and insulating the interior with sound proofing/deadening.

I would really like to keep this case. I worked on it for 2 months and I'm a bit partial to it... No one seems to like it though.. :cry:

Here's what it looked like before..
Image Image Image

Another reason why I chose to combine my server/gaming rig was because I get the pleasure of moving every three months due to the nature of my work.

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Post by jaganath » Fri Dec 16, 2005 1:39 am

Regarding the whine, is anyone able to get rid of it completely(and still keep the drive cool)?
Really, there are only two ways to get rid of hard drive whine:

1) Buy a quieter hard drive


2) Enclose it (ie with SmartDrive/SilentDrive HDD enclosure)

or both. Obviously enclosing the hard drive will have implications for temps but good solutions like the SmartDrive deal with this well.
What kind of acoustic foam would ya'll recommend?
AcoustiPack and Nexus DampTek are reliable insulating solutions:

EndPCNoise-Case Insulation
I would really like to keep this case. I worked on it for 2 months and I'm a bit partial to it... No one seems to like it though..
I like it.:wink: It's certainly different, but just because something's different doesn't mean it's bad (this applies to a lot of things in life, I find). I think you should be able to keep the case. My view is that there is no such thing as a noisy case, only noisy components.

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