What component contributes the most noise in your system?

Got a shopping cart of parts that you want opinions on? Get advice from members on your planned or existing system (or upgrade).

Moderators: NeilBlanchard, Ralf Hutter, sthayashi, Lawrence Lee

Post Reply
tbessie
Posts: 231
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:07 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

What component contributes the most noise in your system?

Post by tbessie » Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:25 pm

I've been slowly upgrading my HTPC to be quieter.

My case has:

2 60mm exhaust fans
1 92mm intake fan
1 CPU cooler
1 1TB HDD

I replaced the 60mm and 92mm fans to be the quietest ones to be found. The CPU cooler is quieter than the stock cooler, but not the quietest. Since I'm limited on space in this case, I can't put in a huge fanless tower CPU cooler and depend on case airflow, so I need a CPU cooler with a fan.

I also replaced the 1TB drive (not the system drive, that's an SSD) with a quieter model (was Hitachi 7200rpm model, now it's a WD 5400rpm "green" model). The PSU is one of the new Seasonic fanless models.

Still, when I turn the box on, I can definitely hear a few devices whirring away. I don't have space for some kind of HDD dampening box. The only thing left I can think of is the CPU cooler, and if it fits, I'll be putting in a Scythe Big Shuriken like in my other box, which seems pretty quiet. I'm wondering if that will bring down the noise at all. Right now I'm using the Alpine 11 Pro Rev 2:

Image

What, in a generally quiet rig (especially a small HTPC form factor box) do you find to be your most noise-generating moving part?

- Tim

frenchie
Friend of SPCR
Posts: 1346
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:53 am
Location: CT

Re: What component contributes the most noise in your system

Post by frenchie » Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:33 am

The fans :mrgreen: :roll: :lol:

Tetreb
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:37 am
Location: Central Europe

Re: What component contributes the most noise in your system

Post by Tetreb » Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:57 am

My rig has a medium tower: vibration, air rush and acoustic resonances seem to be the noise makers here. The fan bearings themselves are not audible.

So a heavy case (panels) and acoustic deadening could solve the issue but this lowers airflow.
Under load or at higher RPM air rushing trough the heatsink fins becomes audible too.

rpsgc
Friend of SPCR
Posts: 1630
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2004 1:59 am
Location: Portugal

Re: What component contributes the most noise in your system

Post by rpsgc » Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:56 am

The power supply.

tbessie
Posts: 231
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:07 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

Re: What component contributes the most noise in your system

Post by tbessie » Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:46 am

frenchie wrote:The fans :mrgreen: :roll: :lol:
Har har. :-P

- Tim

danimal
Posts: 734
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:41 pm
Location: the ether

Re: What component contributes the most noise in your system

Post by danimal » Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:52 pm

just take the lid off, turn it on, and start unplugging fans.

you'll figure out what makes the most noise; then start undervolting it, or replacing it.

tbessie
Posts: 231
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:07 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

Re: What component contributes the most noise in your system

Post by tbessie » Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:11 am

danimal wrote:just take the lid off, turn it on, and start unplugging fans.

you'll figure out what makes the most noise; then start undervolting it, or replacing it.
Well yes indeed, that's what I intend. I've done a lot of that already, tho' it's not as easy to recreate the sound once the cover is on and it's in its cubbyhole. :-)

From what I can tell, even the "quiet" 5400 rpm drive is probably the main culprit. I'll be doing more testing soon. All I've got to work with at this point is the CPU cooler, however, since everything's been as quieted as possible, unless I want to do some custom work (covering things in plastic and foam cases, etc), which I'd rather not do if I can help it.

The case itself has lot of silicone spacers for things to limit vibrations.

- Tim

Kaleid
Posts: 254
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2004 9:43 am
Location: Sweden

Re: What component contributes the most noise in your system

Post by Kaleid » Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:44 am

Difficult to say. Probably the PSU which has a 800rpm fan.

tim851
Posts: 543
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:45 am
Location: 128.0.0.1

Re: What component contributes the most noise in your system

Post by tim851 » Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:35 am

tbessie wrote:
danimal wrote:From what I can tell, even the "quiet" 5400 rpm drive is probably the main culprit.
That would be my guess too.

Even the Green Power ones emit a (generally acceptable and "pleasant") whooshy noise, that can easily be mistaken for a fan.

I had to enclose a 2.5"-drive in a 2.5"-Quiet Drive by Scythe and put that into yet another 3.5"-Quiet Drive to get rid of all whoosh-noises.

tbessie
Posts: 231
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:07 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

Re: What component contributes the most noise in your system

Post by tbessie » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:05 am

tim851 wrote:
tbessie wrote:
danimal wrote:From what I can tell, even the "quiet" 5400 rpm drive is probably the main culprit.
That would be my guess too.

Even the Green Power ones emit a (generally acceptable and "pleasant") whooshy noise, that can easily be mistaken for a fan.

I had to enclose a 2.5"-drive in a 2.5"-Quiet Drive by Scythe and put that into yet another 3.5"-Quiet Drive to get rid of all whoosh-noises.
Well, actually, *I* wrote that. :-) (re: the culprit)

- Tim

Post Reply