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  • JEN
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"Silent audio computer"
Reply #75
How do I find out which Athlon XP 1900+ I have?

  • Delirium
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"Silent audio computer"
Reply #76
I'm a bit late on this thread, but I'll add a few of my experiences.  I have a Zalman 5100CU CPU fan/heatsink combo, and it's nearly silent in my setup.  The fan is variable-speed (manually variable with a knob, not heat-sensing, though you could probably rig up something ify ou wanted), and I keep it around 2200 rpm, which is inaudible when the case is closed.

My hard drives are also nearly silent with the case closed.  I have 3 5400 RPM hard drive I can't hear at all (I manually spin them up and down with hdparm and I can't tell the difference), and a 7200 RPM hard drive that I can only hear when it's spinning up, not during normal operation.  The 7200 is a Western Digital, the others are Maxtors.  This seems hit-or-miss though; my brother has a 7200 Maxtor that's incredibly loud (makes a noticeable noise when reading/writing data).  If yours is loud and you use Linux, read through hdparm's manpage; most modern hard drives have multiple modes of operation, and you can move it to a slower head-motion mode that will significantly decrease noise (by default they're on the noisiest/fastest setting, but if it's just a drive for MP3s or movies, you don't need anything near the max speed).

I also have some entirely silent 1800 RPM case fans.

The PSU I'm much less happy about.  I bought the 300-watt PSU from quietpc.com, and it's still fairly loud.  To be fair, it is quite a high-quality PSU; it's one of the few 300-watt PSUs approved for use on Athlon Thunderbirds, because its power is very consistent and doesn't get dirty under load.  It has no trouble handling my Athlon T-Bird 1.33 GHz with four hard drives and a CD-RW, which would require a 350-400 Watt PSU from most manufacturers.  It also is much quieter than the stock PSU I had before.  But it's far from silent, and still a bit louder than I'd like considering that I sleep in the same room as it.  Unfortunately, the quieter ones seem to be far more expensive.

On that note, does anyone have any particular recommendations for quiet power supplies that are reasonably-priced?

"Silent audio computer"
Reply #77
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On that note, does anyone have any particular recommendations for quiet power supplies that are reasonably-priced?

There have been several discussions at SPCR about the SilenX power supplies. Everyone who has bought one agrees it is astoundingly quiet. From what people have said, if you can't hear your hard drives, there's no way on earth you'll notice this PSU.

The 300W model is $70, and rated at 14dB (almost pure silence). I'd get one for myself, but I've got too many other noisy things in the PC right now (my Maxtor 740dx is suspended with rubber bands, but it is still quite whiny when idling).

I just bought a pile of NMB 1800rpm/18dB fans, and they're a bit noisy (you can hear them clicking as they spin) at 12V. I will try lowering voltages and/or decoupling them from the case. However, I popped open my Antec PSU and stuck one of my new fans in there (wired through a Zalman Fanmate so I can control the speed), and that helped cut down on the noise. If you don't mind voiding your warranty, try plugging a quiet fan into your PSU, and maybe screw the fan to the outside of the PSU to reduce air turbulence inside the PSU.

"Silent audio computer"
Reply #78
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How do I find out which Athlon XP 1900+ I have?

That can be done in several ways. One is to take off the heatsink and look at the die; if it is fairly squarish, it's a Palomino. Thoroughbred's have about a 2:1 length-to-width ratio.

A better way  is to get a hardware monitoring program, such as Motherboard Monitor, and find out what "VCore" voltage is being used by the processor. If the processor is using 1.75V or something like that, it's a Palomino. If it's 1.5V, it's a Thoroughbred (A or B, you can't tell which at this point). Your system BIOS should also report the VCore: when booting, press Del or Esc or F2 or whatever it takes to get to the BIOS, and look for a hardware monitoring screen. There you should see your VCore.

Also, if you know the exact model number of the processor, you can decipher which version it is (Palomino vs. Thoroughbred). If you know its stepping code, you can find whether it's an A or a B. from some random Googling:
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The AXP 1700+ Thoroughbred core I have here is of MODEL #: AXDA1700DUT3C and STEPPING CODE: JIUHB 0303XPMW. Notice that there are two versions of the Thoroughbred core: Thoroughbred A and Thoroughbred B. To differentiate the Thoroughbred B from the A, check the stepping code of the processor. If the stepping code ends with a B, then it is a Thoroughbred B core. Otherwise, it is a Thoroughbred A core (with the stepping code ending with an A).

I don't know if the model number and stepping are printed somewhere on the processor; if they are, it would involve removing the heatsink, which is likely too much trouble. Unless you bought your processor very recently, your Athlon is almost certainly a Palomino or perhaps a Thoroughbred "A". Try the VCore check; that should be all you need to find out what version Athlon XP you have.

  • JEN
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"Silent audio computer"
Reply #79
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...A better way  is to get a hardware monitoring program, such as Motherboard Monitor, and find out what "VCore" voltage is being used by the processor. If the processor is using 1.75V or something like that, it's a Palomino. If it's 1.5V, it's a Thoroughbred (A or B, you can't tell which at this point)...

I have speedfan installed on my system.  Looking at the bottom of speedfan, it displays VCORE = 1.75.  Does this mean I have a Palomino?

Quote
There have been several discussions at SPCR about the SilenX power supplies. Everyone who has bought one agrees it is astoundingly quiet. From what people have said, if you can't hear your hard drives, there's no way on earth you'll notice this PSU.

The 300W model is $70, and rated at 14dB (almost pure silence). I'd get one for myself, but I've got too many other noisy things in the PC right now (my Maxtor 740dx is suspended with rubber bands, but it is still quite whiny when idling).

I just bought a pile of NMB 1800rpm/18dB fans, and they're a bit noisy (you can hear them clicking as they spin) at 12V. I will try lowering voltages and/or decoupling them from the case. However, I popped open my Antec PSU and stuck one of my new fans in there (wired through a Zalman Fanmate so I can control the speed), and that helped cut down on the noise. If you don't mind voiding your warranty, try plugging a quiet fan into your PSU, and maybe screw the fan to the outside of the PSU to reduce air turbulence inside the PSU.

I read the bit about modding the PSU fan and placing it outside of the case.  I have I question, What is the recommended temperature of the PSU?


Other questions

1.  RubberBands!  How/where are they supposed to be used.  How about plasterceen,  would that be a better alternative?

2.  I currently have a 350W PSU powering:
   
    1xHDD
    2xCDD
    1x92mm fan

I want to buy the Silent PC 300W PSU + additional fans:

    1xHDD
    2xCDD
    4x92mm fans with 5-1/4 fan speed controller to control all 4 fans

Fan layout.  I will be modding the case.  1 fan at the top of the case blowing hot air out.  2 fans on the side of the case blowing air in, 1 pointing towards the GPU and the other pointing towards the HDD.  and the final fan (which I already have) pointing at the flower heatsink!

Is this a good layout for maximum airflow with big/quiet/slow speed fans?

will 300W PSU be enough power to power all this?

All 4 fans will be the 92mm quiet fans from quietpc.  they will be controller by a 5 1/4 4xfan controller with all fans running at there slowest!

edit
there is slight humming from my pc.  when I apply slight pressure on the right side of the pc with my hand, the humming stops, when I do the same to the left, the humming does not stop.  What could this be and how can it be stopped?
  • Last Edit: 19 April, 2003, 06:15:13 AM by JEN

  • CiTay
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"Silent audio computer"
Reply #80
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there is slight humming from my pc.  when I apply slight pressure on the right side of the pc with my hand, the humming stops, when I do the same to the left, the humming does not stop.  What could this be and how can it be stopped?

Parts of the case are vibrating, and the sides act like a loudspeaker. You could increase the mass of the sides by putting on some heavy sound-dampening mats from the inside, as you find in many overclocker online shops. Another possibility is to acoustically decouple the sides from the "stiff" body of the case by putting something soft between it, but i wouldn't do that, because it greatly decreases EMI shielding.

"Silent audio computer"
Reply #81
Quote
Quote
there is slight humming from my pc.  when I apply slight pressure on the right side of the pc with my hand, the humming stops, when I do the same to the left, the humming does not stop.  What could this be and how can it be stopped?

Parts of the case are vibrating, and the sides act like a loudspeaker. You could increase the mass of the sides by putting on some heavy sound-dampening mats from the inside, as you find in many overclocker online shops. Another possibility is to acoustically decouple the sides from the "stiff" body of the case by putting something soft between it, but i wouldn't do that, because it greatly decreases EMI shielding.

It would make more sense to decouple the thing that's humming, which is probably a fan or a hard-drive. You can mount your fans using soft foam through the fan screw-holes, or use some sort of soft rubber (search Silent PC Review for "fan grommets"). This is much easier than turning your case into a 50-lb tank.

Also, you might double-check to make sure your SilentDrive enclosure isn't transmitting hard-drive vibrations through the case. If it is, maybe some rubber washers would do the trick.

"Silent audio computer"
Reply #82
Quote
Quote
...A better way  is to get a hardware monitoring program, such as Motherboard Monitor, and find out what "VCore" voltage is being used by the processor. If the processor is using 1.75V or something like that, it's a Palomino. If it's 1.5V, it's a Thoroughbred (A or B, you can't tell which at this point)...

I have speedfan installed on my system.  Looking at the bottom of speedfan, it displays VCORE = 1.75.  Does this mean I have a Palomino?

Yup, you have a Palomino. Which means it'll run a bit hotter, but that doesn't mean you should lose hope, it just means you might lose another 100MHz trying to run it totally silent.

Quote
I read the bit about modding the PSU fan and placing it outside of the case.  I have I question, What is the recommended temperature of the PSU?

That's a tough question, because much of it depends on where you put the thermal sensor to measure the temperature. But my guideline is: warm air coming from the PSU fan is okay, hot air is a bad sign. One way to ensure cool air from the PSU (hence a slower fan) is to duct cool air from the front of the case (maybe I said this already): Pop open the top 5 1/4 drive bay and use some cardboard to guide it to the front of the PSU, and making sure it blocks the air from mixing with the rest of the case. The idea is to separate the PSU from the rest of the case so the PSU has its own cool air supply. You will need to block any vents that are facing the CPU.

Quote
Other questions

1.  RubberBands!  How/where are they supposed to be used.  How about plasterceen,  would that be a better alternative?

Don't use normal rubber bands (like I did)... they'll become brittle, and whatever they're holding will eventually fall. I tied a few rubber bands together and ran them through some holes at the bottom of the 5 1/4 drive bays, then slung my HD through them. This makes the HD much quieter, but not quiet enough. I plan on replacing the rubber bands with some kind of enclosure soon, hopefully before the bands break.

Quote
2.  I currently have a 350W PSU powering:
    
     1xHDD
     2xCDD
     1x92mm fan

I want to buy the Silent PC 300W PSU + additional fans:

     1xHDD
     2xCDD
     4x92mm fans with 5-1/4 fan speed controller to control all 4 fans

Fan layout.  I will be modding the case.  1 fan at the top of the case blowing hot air out.  2 fans on the side of the case blowing air in, 1 pointing towards the GPU and the other pointing towards the HDD.  and the final fan (which I already have) pointing at the flower heatsink!

Is this a good layout for maximum airflow with big/quiet/slow speed fans?

You might be able to do away with one of the side fans; one fan could supply enough air. Or you can use no fans on the side and just build a duct for the CPU/GPU fans.

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will 300W PSU be enough power to power all this?

300W will almost definitely be enough.

Quote
All 4 fans will be the 92mm quiet fans from quietpc.  they will be controller by a 5 1/4 4xfan controller with all fans running at there slowest!

If you plan to have all fans running at the slowest possible speed, you could save some cash and just modify your fan connectors to feed the fans 5V instead of 12V (see the bottom of this page).

  • JEN
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"Silent audio computer"
Reply #83
Thanks for all the advice everyone especialy SometimesWarrior .  You have helped me alot in my quest in making a silent pc

OK, I have just discovered another problem.  I have managed to unlock the processor!  but my motherboard is designed for overclocking, not underclocking.  Therefore, it will not allow me to set the vcore below 1.725!!!

So, my question is, if I leave the vcore @ 1.75, but underclock the xp1900 to xp1700 or xp1500, will it run cooler than the original xp1900 speed?  If that is not possible, is there any other way to reduce the vcore?

BUILD A DUCT:  Now that could be interesting!  I can understand how it will inprove processor cooling, but how will it improve GPU cooling when there is no fan or duct pointing at the GPU? (Problem solved, make 2 92mm duct with 2x 92mm silent fan )

Another problem: As my HDD is in the Silent Drive Enclosure, on worm days the temperature of the HDD can reach upto 56 Degrees!  I think 55 Degrees is the limit.  How/what can I do to cool the HDD.  My idea was to mod the case and add another fan pointing towards the HDD, but it seems that the fan is to thick to fit between the case and the HDD!  Any ideas on how I can cool the HDD down?

Silencing plan:

    4x 92mm silent fan + duct on side of case pointing towards the CPU, GPU, HDD, and 1 blowing air out of the top of the case (should be enough)
    fan speed controller 4 fan
    1x passive GPU heatsink without fan
    grills 4x 92mm
    1x 300W silent PSU

Future mods

    4x fan filters (reduce dust blowing in)
    acustic foam from quietpc
  • Last Edit: 20 April, 2003, 04:12:18 PM by JEN

  • JEN
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Reply #84
What would be better?

1. modding the PSU with 2 silent 80mm fans + 1 silent 92mm side intake fan?

or

2. modding the PSU with 1 silent 80mm fan + 1 silent 92mm side intake fan + 1 silent 92mm top-of-case exhaust fan?


plus

can anyone recommend a good HDD
Requirements for HDD:

80Gb+
Quiet & Cool operation yet not too slow (infact fairly fast)

  • CiTay
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"Silent audio computer"
Reply #85
Quote
1. modding the PSU with 2 silent 80mm fans + 1 silent 92mm side intake fan?

or

2. modding the PSU with 1 silent 80mm fan + 1 silent 92mm side intake fan + 1 silent 92mm top-of-case exhaust fan?

3. modding the PSU with 1 silent 80mm fan + 1 silent 92mm side intake fan. You want to make sure that the incoming airflow is equal or slightly higher than the outgoing airflow, to have a balanced air pressure or an overpressure situation. With underpressure, the air starts coming in through every slit of your case, including CD/floppy drives. And with air comes dust, the natural enemy of every PC owner. Also, i've read somewhere that fans on the top of the case are less effective than fans at the upper rear of the case, due to physical reasons.

Quote
Requirements for HDD:
80Gb+
Quiet & Cool operation yet not too slow (infact fairly fast)


Seagate Barracuda V, 120 GB, 2 MB or 8 MB cache version
  • Last Edit: 21 April, 2003, 05:13:49 PM by CiTay

  • JEN
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"Silent audio computer"
Reply #86
Quote
Quote
Requirements for HDD:
80Gb+
Quiet & Cool operation yet not too slow (infact fairly fast)


Seagate Barracuda V, 120 GB, 2 MB or 8 MB cache version

Is this the one Barracuda ATA V 120GB UDMA100 !

  • CiTay
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"Silent audio computer"
Reply #87
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Is this the one Barracuda ATA V 120GB UDMA100 !

Yes it is.

  • spoon
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Reply #88
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So, my question is, if I leave the vcore @ 1.75, but underclock the xp1900 to xp1700 or xp1500, will it run cooler than the original xp1900 speed? If that is not possible, is there any other way to reduce the vcore?


Running it at a slower clock will make it create less heat, it is the frequency that creates the heat. I have run in the past Celeron 800MHz processors at around 300MHz with no fan on the heat skin for an audio system.

  • ff123
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"Silent audio computer"
Reply #89
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Quote
Is this the one Barracuda ATA V 120GB UDMA100 !

Yes it is.

On the Seagate site, the ST3120023A is a 160 GB model:

http://seagate.com/cda/products/discsales/desktop/

I have the 80 GB version of this, the ST380011A.  Generically, this line is referred to as the Barracuda 7200.7 (Ultra ATA/100, not the serial ATA).  The 80 GB version has a single platter, and is likely quieter than the 2-platter versions.  So far, I am happy with the noise level of mine.  I can't say whether the performance is any better or worse than other 7200 drives on the market today.

My last drive was an IBM 60 GXP 40 GB model, which was far noisier than the 7200.7.  I really don't notice an improvement or degradation in performance vs. my old drive.
ff123

  • Annuka
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Reply #90
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The 300W model is $70, and rated at 14dB (almost pure silence).

I have replaced the standard PSU fans with 12 dB pabst fans on a several PSUs. The PSUs are quieter, but nowhere near 12 dB. The turbulence inside the casing makes the fan a lot noisier. Try to reduce turbulence or the new PSU/PSU-fan purchase might be in vain.

  • bodhy
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"Silent audio computer"
Reply #91
Hi all...
Maybe some of you will be interested in this beauty:
Absolutly silent PC

http://www.mini-itx.com/reviews/hush/

Best regards.
b;:.

  • JEN
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"Silent audio computer"
Reply #92
Is the Seagate Barracuda 80Gb 7200rpm UDMA100 Hard Drive the same drive as the 120Gb mentioned above and as quiet?

  • CiTay
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Reply #93
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Is the Seagate Barracuda 80Gb 7200rpm UDMA100 Hard Drive the same drive as the 120Gb mentioned above and as quiet?

Depends, since they don't list the model number.

ST80021A - 80 GB Seagate Barracuda IV, 40 GB per platter.
Had one of these, very quiet.

ST80023A - 80 GB Seagate Barracuda V,  60 GB per platter.
Only one side of the second platter used for the 80 GB model. Have two 120 GB models, also very quiet.

ST80011A - 80 GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.7, 80 GB per platter.
Supposedly quiet as well, but they they removed the "SeaShield" from the bottom of the drive, see this and this pic, i guess to  reduce costs. Cuda IV and V both had it. Also, the performance seems to have decreased in some cases, see this review and the follow-up.

So, i'd try to get my hands on a Cuda IV or V model. They are still being sold these days.
  • Last Edit: 26 April, 2003, 01:08:35 PM by CiTay

  • ff123
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Reply #94
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Is the Seagate Barracuda 80Gb 7200rpm UDMA100 Hard Drive the same drive as the 120Gb mentioned above and as quiet?

This is the Barracuda IV line.  The 40 GB model is single-platter, whereas in the 7200.7 line, the 80 GB model is single-platter.  However, the 7200.7 line doesn't have the SeaShield, and the AAM function is disabled.

The 40 GB Barracuda IV is pretty much the gold standard of quiet hard drives, but it's small and slower by today's standard.

I find the noise of the 7200.7 to be acceptable, even when mounted regularly to the case.  However, every now and then it makes a small buzzing noise, which I believe could probably be eliminated by mounting it with No-Vibes.  I think I remember somebody (Dru?) also mentioning the small buzzing noise.  It sounds kind of like the buzzer on my oven timer, except that it is just barely audible when the room is quiet.

Currently, if the hard drive isn't buzzing, the loudest thing I hear is probably a low frequency hum from the Panaflo mounted on the rear of my computer.  I think I can probably elimnate this with isolating screws.

ff123

  • JEN
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"Silent audio computer"
Reply #95
I am planning on making a CPU exhaust duct to the back of the PC with an 80mm panaflo fan, replaying the PSU fan with a 80mm panaflow fan and maybe add another system exhaust fan at the back.

As the case might end up with 3 exhaust fans, air will need to be drawn in from someway.  I made an 80mm inlet at the front/floor of the case.

I will also be using fan isolation mounts and have already decoupled the hdd to reduce vibrations.  I have also heatpipes the GPU (fanless)

Do you think the CPU exhaust duct is a good idea?
  • Last Edit: 30 April, 2003, 06:29:01 PM by JEN

"Silent audio computer"
Reply #96
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As the case might end up with 3 exhaust fans, air will need to be drawn in from someway.  I made an 80mm inlet at the front/floor of the case.

I've heard many success stories with CPU exhaust ducts, because they get the hot air away from the CPU quickly (it doesn't recirculate and try to cool the CPU again, or heat up the rest of the case). Some heatsinks are easier to duct than others. You said you're using a Zalman flower heatsink? I guess the best way to duct it is to have the duct opening closely shroud the flower from the side, and perhaps overlap the heatsink a bit, so the air is drawn from the side of the heatsink and pulled parallel with the fins (petals?).

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Do you think the CPU exhaust duct is a good idea?

Good idea. One other thing you might do is tape up all the other (unused) openings or vents in your computer, so air doesn't come from anywhere other than the front of the case.

Quote
I will also be using fan isolation mounts and have already decoupled the hdd to reduce vibrations.  I have also heatpipes the GPU (fanless)

Wow, that machine is going to be quieter than a whisper! How does it sound so far?

"Silent audio computer"
Reply #97
Quote
Quote
The 300W model is $70, and rated at 14dB (almost pure silence).

I have replaced the standard PSU fans with 12 dB pabst fans on a several PSUs. The PSUs are quieter, but nowhere near 12 dB. The turbulence inside the casing makes the fan a lot noisier. Try to reduce turbulence or the new PSU/PSU-fan purchase might be in vain.

The "special" fans used in the SilenX PSU's are rated at 14dB in free air for 12V, but most of the time the fans run at <=5V. Also, the fans reportedly make almost no adverse motor or bearing noise whatsoever, so at low speeds all you hear is the airflow, and not the usual clicking sound most other fans make. And maybe you hear a little turbulence.

I think their PSU's used to be straight-up Fortron mods, but they now get custom-designed PSU's from Fortron (bigger heatsinks, higher temperature tolerances perhaps). So most PSU's might not fare as well with such a slow fan. For typical PSU's that need a higher-speed fan, attaching the fan to the outside of the PSU (to reduce air turbulence) is a good idea.

Speaking of PSU's, my Antec 400W burned out (again). My first one (unmodded) lasted 5 months, and this one (an RMA replacement that I did modify) lasted 11 months. And this time the ATX connector melted to my motherboard, so I need to solder a new 20-pin connector to the motherboard. I worked discreetly when I did my PSU fan mod, so I swapped the old fan back in and sent the PSU back to Antec. I hope they give me another replacement.

  • ff123
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Reply #98
Today I put isolating screws on my case fan, and suspended the hard drive in a NoVibes III.  Then I got some foam tape put it between the CPU fan and the heatsink.  The Nexus NX-3000 is now definitely the loudest component in the system, making a hum which is noticeable if I stick my head under the table near the computer, but not when I'm in my normal sitting position.  I'm not sure if it's the fan in the power supply or if it's the magnetics.

I think I'm done!

ff123

  • Delirium
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Reply #99
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Today I put isolating screws on my case fan, and suspended the hard drive in a NoVibes III.  Then I got some foam tape put it between the CPU fan and the heatsink.  The Nexus NX-3000 is now definitely the loudest component in the system, making a hum which is noticeable if I stick my head under the table near the computer, but not when I'm in my normal sitting position.  I'm not sure if it's the fan in the power supply or if it's the magnetics.

Do you have any ideas which of those had the most benefit?  My computer is currently much louder than I'd like it to be, but I can't really figure out why.  My CPU fan is essentially silent (it's variable-speed, and I set it by turning it to the lowest, then turning it up until it was barely audible above the rest of the computer noise, then turned it down from that).  My PSU is 40 dB according to silentpcreview.com (Q Technologies quiet PSU), and my case fans are all panaflow "quiet" fans.  But there's still quite a bit of noise.  It's not the hard drives, because I've manually spun them down (using hdparm in Linux) and they do make an audible difference, but not much of one -- maybe 1-2 dB.  So there's something else causing the noise.  I'm guessing it's either airflow in/out of the case or vibrations somewhere.