Quiet cases

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Quiet cases

Postposted on Mon May 27, 2002 1:43 am

Hi there!

Although most of you maybe focus on maximizing cooling power when choosing a case, I'd actually like to get one that's really quiet. I'm not interested in overclocking or anything, but it should of course deliver enough cooling for stable, reliable work.

Any recommendations?
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Postposted on Mon May 27, 2002 2:59 am

If you want quiet cooling, get big and slow fans rather than small and fast ones. A nearly-silent low-rpm 120mm fan can move as much air as an annoyingly-loud high-speed 60mm fan.

A rheobus or equivalent looks like a good way to optimize cooling versus quiet. Thermally-controlled fans are also very quiet, but most of the prepackaged solutions will allow things to get warmer than you would probably choose on your own. The thermal control on the Antec True430 power supply is neat. Not only does it slow down the fans in the power supply, it slows down any fans that you connect to a pair of dedicated 4-pin connectors, as well.

I have tried the Vantec "Stealth" fans. They are quiet, but they do not move much air. The Panaflow "L" models move more air and are still very quiet. I haven't tried the Papst 80mm fans yet.

A pair of Western Digital hard-drives is noisier than all five of the 80mm fans in my case. (Maybe I should have stuck with IBM, Maxtor or the super-quiet Seagate drives.)
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~quiet is good~

Postposted on Mon May 27, 2002 8:53 am

Seems that you fellows in Europe are more noise sensative then folks in North America.
I think first you have to target what you intend on using for a processor.
That will determine how much air you are going to have to move through your case. For example a VIA C-3 processor requires much less cooling than a P4 or anything from AMD.
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Postposted on Mon May 27, 2002 9:30 am

Well, if you've got the PC standing in your living room, where it's otherwise relatively quiet, you notice the noise ...

As for the processor, etc. - it's currently an old Slot A Athlon 650 MHz, but since it's probably going to be quite an expensive case, I'd like for it to be at least a bit future-proof (read: I'd like to be able to put in a Thoroughbred/Clawhammer if I want to).
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Postposted on Mon May 27, 2002 6:57 pm

Just like JAE said, the main thing is fans. There aren't many cases that come with mounting holes and cutouts for 120 mm fans.

I know Lite-On makes one and I've seen others.

Also, you'll have to buy a heatsink that accepts an 80 mm fan like the Alpha PAL 80XX series.

If your power supply is noisy, you'll have to take that apart and replace the fans with medium to low speed (< ~ 4000 RPM) dual ball bearing jobbies.
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Postposted on Wed May 29, 2002 6:33 pm

:x Many people bang on about how quiet VIA C3's are, well so's my Amiga 500 (and prob faster too).

:evil: The VIA C3 is unbelievably bad. The AMD K6-III 450mhz is 50% faster than the VIA C3 800mhz and the Celeron 266mhz is on par with it. How anybody could consider a C3 is beyond me, if you want quiet then use a Celeron or Duron and down clock it so it runs with just a HS.

:roll: Most of the noise in PCs is made by the PSU so get a quiet speedstep model from the likes of Enermax or Antec.

:wink: JustAnEngineer is perfectly correct, a larger lower RPM fan is more preferable than a noisy small high RPM fan and should also cool better.

:) Go for a 5400RPM hdisk (I've used the Maxtor 536DX 60GB, it is completely silent) as they're quieter and cooler.
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Postposted on Wed May 29, 2002 6:35 pm

8) If you want a DVD or CDRW then go for one which spins down dependent on data throughput (like LiteOn), for movies the DVD drive only needs 1x anyway.

:-? If your mobo has a fan on the northbridge this can also cause a lot of noise, a bit of Arctic Silver and a good HS should keep it more than cool enough if you're not an o/c.

:P The only other form of noise would be from the gfx card, you could opt for a GF2MX (a lot don't have or need a fan).

:roll: Obviously you can underclock most components and should then be able to replace the standard fan for a quieter version (but be very carefull).

8) If it's quiet perf you'd like then explore water coolers.
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yep

Postposted on Thu May 30, 2002 11:39 am

everything sounds right...fans and PS fans are big culprits.

another easy & cheap trick is to the line the case with sound deadening material. You can buy expensive, purpose made material like Dynamat (from places like Directron.com) or I actually use craft foam sheets. I get self adhesive sheets from WalMart for $0.64/ea. (In EU, try local craft store). The foam is about 5mm thick and is easily cut to shape with scissors....the benefit in noise reduction is dramatic and $5 is enough for a full size case.
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Postposted on Mon Jun 03, 2002 6:27 pm

We're working on both a Home Theater PC and a Silent PC case, although I don't have a firm ETA on when they'll be in or available at this point.

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Postposted on Mon Jun 03, 2002 6:32 pm

Austin wrote::x Many people bang on about how quiet VIA C3's are, well so's my Amiga 500 (and prob faster too).

:evil: The VIA C3 is unbelievably bad. The AMD K6-III 450mhz is 50% faster than the VIA C3 800mhz and the Celeron 266mhz is on par with it. How anybody could consider a C3 is beyond me, if you want quiet then use a Celeron or Duron and down clock it so it runs with just a HS.


Have you read any of the recent reviews of them? They dont perform nearly as back as you think.
Your bargaining posture is highly dubious.
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Postposted on Mon Jun 03, 2002 6:53 pm

:wink: I'll take a look, I take it they've moved on since the C3 800mhz.

:) Can you give any links?
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Postposted on Mon Jun 03, 2002 7:16 pm

Your bargaining posture is highly dubious.
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Postposted on Mon Jun 03, 2002 7:17 pm

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Postposted on Mon Jun 03, 2002 7:20 pm

getbornagain wrote:http://www.athlonmb.com/article-display.php?ArticleID=177&PageID=1

1ghz via c3


PC3000 Memory Comparison?? :D
Your bargaining posture is highly dubious.
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Postposted on Mon Jun 03, 2002 8:12 pm

:roll: Damn, just got back from scouring the web for VIA C3 CPU info:

http://www.pcpowerzone.co.uk/reviews.php?id=42&page=1
C3-933mhz vs Celeron-850mhz: C3 has half MIPS and a quarter of the FPU speed! Multimedia funcs of C3 CPU are 1/5 & 1/3 of Celeron850. RAM speed (using same mobo etc) is 1/3 of the Celeron! Still slower than Celeron 600mhz. Temps under load: C3 passive is 8'C hotter than Celeron, C3 active is 6'C cooler.

http://www.cluboverclocker.com/reviews/cpu/via/c3_933/
Nothing PCpowerzone don't cover.

http://www.via.com.tw/jsp/en/products/C3/c3.jsp
Info on the new C3 1ghz, no benchmarks though, now that's confidence.

http://www.hexus.co.uk/review.php?review=373
Raves that this C3 1ghz can now decode DVDs (the 933 couldn't), that's something a PIII-450mhz could do years ago!

:wink: Erm, well if you live in a sauna, then maybe, oh no, the steam!!!!

I think my washing machine has a more powerful CPU! :lol:

And I though Intel was bad for pushing mhz over performance :lol: .
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Postposted on Mon Jun 03, 2002 8:16 pm

The only real limiting factor of the C3s are the fpu. Its running at half-speed of the core. The next core is supposed to include a full-speed fpu and sse which will help tremendously.
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Postposted on Mon Jun 03, 2002 10:11 pm

:oops: :oops: :oops: i'm stupid sorry
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Postposted on Tue Jun 04, 2002 2:30 pm

In the past few months I have been on a quest to silence my case. It gets a little annoying trying to sleep with it on. Here's what I had:

antec sx1030B, with 2 case fans and an antec 300 watt P/S
Mini super orb (2 fans, approx. 5000 rpm)
duron 800
chipset fan
nidec gamma28
ibm 75 gp
ibm 34 gp

What I found was that the bottom fan on the super orb was creating 30% of my noise. I disconnected it, undervolted and underclocked the CPU (recently I brought it back up to 800, it's running fine), ripped off the chipset fan, aimed my gamma 28 at the chipset fan, and disconnected the two case fans.

After all that, the machine is still louder than I'd like, but a large part of that is the hard drives, and they're not so easy to replace on a $20 budget.

If you want quiet, look into the gamma series of blowers. They move a lot of air, and are wisper silent. Also, there was a 5.25" fan system called the twin turbo or something like that that moved tremendous amounts of air at only 26 dBa (very quiet). It's over at 2cooltek for $18 (justcooler) here: http://2cooltek.safeshopper.com/45/34.htm?851
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Postposted on Tue Jun 04, 2002 3:04 pm

8) With modern chips yielding nice perf increases it is easy to get carried away with high o/c and loads of fans.

Some tips on a quieter life:

:D A small o/c, esp using only default voltages should produce only fractionally more heat and still give a good perf increase.

:) As a general rule, physically larger lower RPM fans shift more air a lot more quietly than smaller high RPM fans. Also RPM isn't adequate on its own as a measure of efficiency, see what reviews and advice you can find on good quality fans.

:D A good quality PSU is a big bonus for reducing noise and increasing case airflow, people seem to heavily rec Artec.

:P Case fans can come with smart control (PSUs too); the fans spin down if the temps aren't high and speed when needed. Always try 1 case fan at the front (pulling cool air in) and then the rear (pulling warm air out) and see what temps you get, you shouldn't need 2 case fans. Case fans fitted to sides of cases and areas other than described usually just mix up the airflow and just keep throwing warm air around rather than pulling in cool air and shifting out warm air.
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Postposted on Tue Jun 04, 2002 3:09 pm

:) Avoid putting PCI cards next to each other and try taking out the spare slot covers at the back of your case which should increase ventilation considerably.

:-? Chipset fans on the mobo should not be needed (only for big FSB o/c), you should find paste and a good HS will be more than adequate (but rem modifications void warranties).

:( Gfx cards can often have inefficient loud fans, changing it or mounting a PCI cooler may help it stay both cool and quiet.

:lol: If you only word process and surf the net then a Cyrix C3 and a GF2mx can both run happily without any fans at all!

:roll: I think the best point is not to back your PC up to a radiator though, how many times have I seen that!
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Postposted on Tue Jun 04, 2002 5:57 pm

highlandr: The HDs still too loud if you have them power down after a certain time? Thats how mine are setup and they dont bother me when im sleeping.
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Postposted on Tue Jun 04, 2002 9:07 pm

Coldfirex wrote:highlandr: The HDs still too loud(...)
You could purchase nearly silent Seagate Barracuda IV drives from the outset if noise is a primary concern. I've had mine hanging outside my case twice now and I cannot hear them at all.

Granted, their performance is only 90% of what the highest performing WD 8Mb cache drives run. But, I'm happy I made the silent and less expensive choice.
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Postposted on Wed Jun 05, 2002 5:05 am

:( HDs are another source for irritating noise, and some HDs are pretty loud.

:) I'm very happy with my 60GB Maxtor 536DX (IIRC), it is a 5400, but it seems absolutely as fast as my brothers slightly older 7200 HD. Plus my drive is completely silent and runs very cool.

:P Chucking out your HD and getting a new drive will severly cut noise, either a good quality 5400 or 'quiet' 7200 should be a worth-while upgrade for most people out there. You can get an 80GB HD for $90!
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Postposted on Wed Jun 05, 2002 4:42 pm

For HSFs that can handle bigger fans, have a look at the Zalman Flower range. They use a different fan mechanism which suspends the fan over the HS and as such can use a much bigger fan...

Buy one and a 120mm fan, et voila, zero cpu noise and very effective cooling...

While we're on the subject of airflow, anyone want some of the blades from the helicopter on Swordfish, apparently it moved so much air that when it was up in the sky by the top of tall buildings it could still push you into the ground it was that powerful... imagine the overclock :-)

Imagine the noise more like :-),
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Postposted on Thu Jun 06, 2002 6:34 am

I have a chieftec in a miditower with their silent psu. Nice box. Very quiet.
Then add 2x12db papst fans for the intake(one for hd bays)
one 19db papst back outblow. The chipset fan is still quiet...although
i will change it to a passive HS the first time it makes itself know.
so that is 5 fans.... and still both the graphics card and the cpu fan is quite a bit louder then the other fans together. I have the components to build a circuit for switching the cpu fan down a bit... and my graphics card has the openbios so i can have both voltage/MHz/rpm at what i want.

My 2x60gxp doesnt make a sound almost....'

i can clearly recommend the papst for everyone that can get them, they are in a class for themselves.
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Postposted on Thu Jun 06, 2002 8:35 am

Joining Aphasia in getting back to the question, there are two ways to make a case quieter: limit total # of fans or the impact of each fan, or insulate the case; though the latter seems counter-intuitive, most CPU, Vidcard, etc. heat is just load on the airflow (of which you need some) - though a snazzy thin-wall aluminum case may drop temps a bit by radiating heat more efficiently than steel, in my experience they just resonate that fan noise. The problem, IMHO, with trying to limit the fans themselves is that you either remove fans where they might be needed, or start to get really (sometimes ludicrously) exotic in your search to drop the Bels that last 1 or 2 clicks; The Zahlman product is very nice, but you'll need a small business loan to buy it.

I just lucked into the http://www.tccomputers.com/apps/product ... KEGKELGRAY , which is a really, really heavy case; the bloody panels are 1/2" thick at the center! a single intake fan and single PSU output fan - all you need within XP 1900, non-o/c video, 5400 rpm HDD territory. It's the quietest case I've ever been around (ASUS A7N266-e, XP 1900 w/CoolerMaster @ $12, Seagate VI 5400, onboard audio/video), and cost $56 (the case, not the comp). Floppy drive is recessed like a %#$^& HP, though...
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Postposted on Thu Jul 11, 2002 8:18 am

Thinking aloud...

People talk of not having large fans on the CPU HS because the HS is small and therefore the fan won't fit, yet the flower thing has a fan on a bracket above the HS. So, I can't see why you could'nt take the (60mm?) fan off and make up a bracket for a 120 that blows onto the HS like the flower.

Surely the 120 would shift same/more air through the HS and be quieter?

Am I talking b :) ll :) cks guys?

Hell, i've always enjoyed taking risks!
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Postposted on Thu Jul 11, 2002 8:20 am

:-? Ooh, hope that post isn't in the wrong place. Just that this thread got me thinking..
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Postposted on Thu Jul 11, 2002 8:33 am

Dave, you're right except that the 120mm would be blowing air AROUND parts of the Zahlman, so you wouldn't get exactly the same cooling at same airflow, more like 80% or so - so you'd run the 120 25% faster and get the same cooling, and it would still be much quieter.

Additionally, though some of them are trash, and all of them eat up some flow energy in the ducting, you can buy adapters to get an 80 or (I assume) 120mm fan to fit a 60mm heat sink - they stick out from your MB a few extra inches, but because most of the mass is in that big lump o' copper, it doesn't move the center of mass (and thus torque on your little plastic clips) too much.

Dan ( http://www.dansdata.com ) is the god of hsf reviews, if you've got a spare hour. He has just worked through a beautiful Thermaltake piece that accepts 60, 70, and 80mm fans (if memory serves) directly through a snazzy clip arrangement, and the hs is architectural art.
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Postposted on Thu Jul 11, 2002 8:51 am

I think one of the best things you can do to quiet your case is to get rounded cables and then practice good cable management. I have all round IDE cables and grouped my powersupply cables together so I could route them out of the way of airflow through my computer.

If the air hits nothing it makes no noise. That is a very good and simple way to start quieting a PC.
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