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 Post subject: First try, Antec NSK2480 based system
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 11:51 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 11:38 am
Posts: 27
Hi!

First of all, great site and great forums. I've found lots of knowledge here the last couple of years.

Anyway, I recently built my first HTPC, and of course, I want it to be as silent as possible (it's always on and right above our heads when we sit in the couch :)).

Main components are:
Antec NSK2480
Stock PSU
Noctua NF-S12 1200, running with U.L.N.A (about 800rpm iirc)
Scythe Ninja Mini on CPU, no fan
AMD BE-2350
An Samsung SP T166 500GB, SATAII, 16MB
An hitachi deskstar, 250Gb, can't remember exact model, but fwiw, it's about as noisy as the samsung, seek noise is however "duller", but about as loud.

The main issue here being... HDD Noise! Not from seeking/reading/writing/vibrations mind you, but plain schschshcshcsching noise!

If I turn off the HDD's it becomes VERY hard to hear this computer, and from about 3m away, I can't. At all. But with HDD's on, I can hear in my entire 40sqm living room :)

What can one do? Is the only solution HDD enclosures or DYI sandwiches? If so, I would probably go for the latter, because I think I could get a hold of aluminium at no cost and I think the enclosures are rather expensive for what they are.

Or am I just too greedy for silence? This is after all my first try, and I've never had a system (not even laptop or gaming console, except for NES) that's been this silent, but yet... It bugs me that the first step towards silence was really simple, but now I got HDD idle noise all over the living room (I didn't before swapping out the stock cooling of course :))!

And, oh, for what it might be worth for anyone, running the ninja's 80mm fan at an inaudible speed still moves a lot of heat (but now it's passively cooled anyway...).

Sorry for the lengthy post and thanks in advance!
/Stefan


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 12:03 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 11:38 am
Posts: 27
Ok, I'm the first to reply but that's ok :)

Yesterday I was fiddling around a bit inside the case, to see if I could maybe apply same dampening or so. It seems most of the noise escapes through the vents in the bottom of the case though, and I don't want to reduce air flow.

That being said! After I put everything back (the same it was before I opened the case), I could clearly hear vibrations (and beatings between the two drives). I adjusted some of the screws a bit and the beating went away, but I guess there still is unwanted vibrations moving from disks to case.

Unfortunately one of the disks (the hitachi) is lying under the DVD (due to it being IDE and the IDE cable also has to go to the DVD) and it'd be very hard to suspend that one. I guess I could put it upon some foam though.

Should I suspend the samsung instead of using the stock mounting? I guess one could turn the "top" of the mounting upside down and remove the stuff in the bottom of the case to make space for a suspension.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 2:46 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 11:38 am
Posts: 27
This baffles me. Did two tests:

A poor-mans-suspension, using some elastic band I bougt in a "sewery shop" or whatever they're called in english. The samsung stayed just as noisy. Maybe the stock Antec silicon "suspension" is quite decent?

Furthermore, I compared the noise of the Samsung to the Hitachi one. The samsung seems a bit louder to me! And this with the Hitachi actually not being mounted at all, it's lying on the bottom of the 5.25" cage! After what I've read about samsungs AND the Antec NSK24x0 being quiet feel I'm at a loss here. I read about all you guys having to put your ear right to your case to be able to hear your HDD's, but mine is heard, idling, all over the room!

Am I missing something?

edit: Maybe I should get a hint soon and stop making posts too? :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 1:08 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 11:38 am
Posts: 27
Really? No-one? Am I posting this in the wrong section? :? Or have I just misunderstood what a silent pc is?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 1:43 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2007 1:33 pm
Posts: 141
Location: The Netherlands
I think in your case, with the seeks being very audible, I'd try a DIY contruction.
I'd probably try to get foam all around the HD behind the DVD-player. About the Samsung, you could try the same.
Keep in mind about cooling though! HDD's give heat away to the case through the hard mounting. You might need an extra fan or let the air follow an other path...

_________________
Ankh-Morpork had dallied with many forms of government and had ended up with that form of democracy known as One Man, One Vote. The Patrician was the Man; he had the Vote.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 1:52 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 11:38 am
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FlorisNielssen wrote:
I think in your case, with the seeks being very audible, I'd try a DIY contruction.
I'd probably try to get foam all around the HD behind the DVD-player. About the Samsung, you could try the same.
Keep in mind about cooling though! HDD's give heat away to the case through the hard mounting. You might need an extra fan or let the air follow an other path...


Hi, and thanks for the reply!

FWIW, the seeks aren't what annoys me, at least not today. The idle noise is, so that's what I'd really like to get rid of. The drive rarely does a lot of work, so the "ticking" from the seeks doesn't really bother me.

And, oh, also, the stock mounting in the NSK2480 is not really a hard mounting kind. The only metal for the heat to transfer through to the chassis is through the screws, since isolated or "semi-suspended" through rubber mountings for the screws.

edit: uhm, my bad. the screws have no direct contact with any other metal than the HDD's, so I don't think a lot of heat is transferred via that route :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 5:18 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 10:00 am
Posts: 2131
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Idle noise cannot be cured by softmounting, that will only fix seek noise. Idle whine can only be reduced by encapsulation. Using a drive cooler or some device that will enclose the drive with heavy materials (metal and foam) is the only way to reduce the whine of a noisy bearing.

The Samsung should be relatively quiet, so that puzzles me that you think it's too loud. You may have to resort to 2.5" HDDs or SSDs if they are as loud to you as you think, but since you say the seek noise doesn't bother you (as it would most people who are that sensitive to idle whine), maybe you have a couple of bad drives.

Try using only one drive at a time, to determine which one is really causing the most offensive noise, and go from there.

_________________
HTPC: OrigenAE X11|Gigabyte GA-MA785GPMT-UD2H|Phenom II x3 740BE w/AC Freezer 7|150GB Velociraptor|Corsair VX450
Main: Antec 300 (SlipStream @ 800rpm/140mm @ 5v)|Asus M4A88TD-M|Phenom II x4 945 (Mugen2 pass.)|Asus EAH6850|Samsung 830 128GB|Antec TP750
WHS: DF-85|P8H67-M Pro|I5-3450S/Hyper 212+|Corsair AX650|Sandisk Extreme 240GB, 2xWD20EARS, 2x WD15EARS, WD15EADS


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 5:46 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 11:38 am
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jhhoffma wrote:
Idle noise cannot be cured by softmounting, that will only fix seek noise. Idle whine can only be reduced by encapsulation. Using a drive cooler or some device that will enclose the drive with heavy materials (metal and foam) is the only way to reduce the whine of a noisy bearing.

The Samsung should be relatively quiet, so that puzzles me that you think it's too loud. You may have to resort to 2.5" HDDs or SSDs if they are as loud to you as you think, but since you say the seek noise doesn't bother you (as it would most people who are that sensitive to idle whine), maybe you have a couple of bad drives.

Try using only one drive at a time, to determine which one is really causing the most offensive noise, and go from there.


I have done that. The Samsung is slightly more annoying than the Hitachi (which is quite old and purchased without a single thought of getting a silent one). And this with the Hitachi being in direct touch with the chassis! However, the Hitachi goes to sleep when not being in use.

I'm leaning towards it being a bad drive somehow (IE just bad luck with this specific one, not the model!), especially since people say that their drives practically get inaudible when being suspended (which SHOULD put them on par with mine). I don't THINK the Samsung's "idle whine" should be audible across my entire living room, but since I've never tried to build a silent PC before, maybe that's just how it goes?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 11:18 am
Posts: 45
I can't help but wonder if you just have two noisy specific drives. Do you need a full 750GB of drive space? If you can get by with a third of the space, try a 250GB 2.5" drive. Alternatively, there are plenty of 750GB sata drives available cheap these days, try replacing both drives with one new drive and see if it's quieter? My drive is inaudible in my NSK-2400, I just have one 500GB standard 3.5" sata hard drive mounted in the hard-drive bays with the silicone grommets.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 11:25 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 11:38 am
Posts: 27
Bugsi wrote:
I can't help but wonder if you just have two noisy specific drives. Do you need a full 750GB of drive space? If you can get by with a third of the space, try a 250GB 2.5" drive. Alternatively, there are plenty of 750GB sata drives available cheap these days, try replacing both drives with one new drive and see if it's quieter? My drive is inaudible in my NSK-2400, I just have one 500GB standard 3.5" sata hard drive mounted in the hard-drive bays with the silicone grommets.


Hi, and thanks for replying!

Well, I think that's the case too, but it's mainly the Samsung, which is a new drive, that is causing grief, so I think it might be a bad unit (the model is listed as the most silent one you can get over at http://www.storagereview.com/Testbed4Compare.sr if you look at the idle noise chart).
The 250gig hitachi is just my old media drive, where mp3's, DVD's etc are stored. The 500gig Samsung is the system and TV recording (I record a lot of TV) drive.

What brand/model is your 500gigger?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:55 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:39 am
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Location: Caifornia
yeah i totally thought that the samsungs were supposed to be the quietest. that's what i wanted to get for my new computer.


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