Real silence - move your PC to another room!

The forum for non-component-related silent pc discussions.

Moderators: NeilBlanchard, Ralf Hutter, sthayashi, Lawrence Lee

croddie
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Post by croddie » Sat May 08, 2004 1:34 pm

Nebor wrote:
This site isn't about silent rooms. We don't talk about ducting our air conditioners or duct taping our cats. We talk about making our PCs quieter. Can't you see that people don't like your solution? It's not for this place. Now leave our Grail Quest alone.
But you could say, moving a computer to another room is making it quieter. Just like hard drive enclosures: the noise is still there; it just doesn't reach your ears.

wussboy
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Post by wussboy » Sat May 08, 2004 2:18 pm

Holy crap, people. How is moving your computer do a different room different from putting carpet on the inside of your case? I'm glad this solution worked for this guy. I'm glad your solutions work for you, but why jump down his throat for sharing his experience? I'm a little disappointed in people. We usually have a big love fest in here. Ralf! Pass that bong back over here.

puff puff.

Ah.... that's the shit.
Everything is exactly what it seems.

Putz
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Post by Putz » Sat May 08, 2004 2:35 pm

So, to summarize this thread (before Ralf locks it :o):

- Moving your computer to the other side of a wall is one method of reducing the amount of noise perceived by the user. Fair enough.

- Moving your computer to the other side of a wall is not a method of making the computer itself quieter. Also fair enough.

One of my flatmates shoved his computer into his closet to make it seem quieter. And he's happy, so more power to him. And more power to xg2004, if he's happy.

If anybody else is interested in this method, xg2004 was kind enough to share his experience with others via his website.

For the rest of us who don't feel that this type of solution would work for them, or who enjoy the challenge of quieting the actual computer, the rest of this site is dedicated to that cause.

See -- that was easy! No more trolling, no more flames, and no more arguing please.

wussboy
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Post by wussboy » Sat May 08, 2004 2:52 pm

Here you go, Putz. Take a hit on this!

/me passes bong.

Remember kids, just say no to drugs.
Everything is exactly what it seems.

chylld
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Post by chylld » Sat May 08, 2004 3:23 pm

*nod* well put Putz.

Putz
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Post by Putz » Sat May 08, 2004 3:33 pm

Ahhhh, wussboy, that's good stuff. Just the way I remember it....


"You remember that time when Bill Gates said '640K should be enough for anybody'?" <*laughs incessantly and uncontrollably*> <*passes out on the couch*> ...

josephclemente
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Post by josephclemente » Sat May 08, 2004 3:38 pm

I think moving the computer is an excellent idea. XG2004's web site has some great things on it. I like the power and reset switches, as well as the LED lights.

samwc912
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Post by samwc912 » Sat May 08, 2004 7:15 pm

XG2004's wrote: moving their PC to the next room is by far the best and most efficient way of silencing their PC.
Well I can't blame why people at SPCR are so irritated. You're trying too hard to convince other people wrong. I won't move the computer to another room, the noise probably won't reach me, but it will affect other family members. I don't know how big your house is, but lets say I move my pc to the hallway, that would affect the living room (or any rooms that are connected to the hallway). And there's something else to consider, it's just plain ugly having a computer case in the middle of nowhere.

And I don't know why you're trying so hard to convince people that they're wasting time by modding the computer, when you haven't even tried the suspending/or/putting on foam your hard drives.

And besides, if I was to build a computer by scratch with new "silent" components, it will come up to the same price. These "silent" components are around the same price as the standard ones.

And before you quote me and say I'm a total jerk that's not listening to what you've said. I totally agree with you that this works for silencing the PC, but it isn't the best way.

rp
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Post by rp » Sat May 08, 2004 10:52 pm

If I ever get the option, I would keep my main workstation, but move gaming rig and fileserver to another room. FS can be headless anyhow, so no need for a expensive KVM. And with the gaming rig I can live without super über crisp picture quality, so a simple extention (maybe with DVI cable) would be sufficient.

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Post by wumpus » Sat May 08, 2004 11:33 pm

Yeah, this technique would work, if it wasn't for the insane bandwidth you need to transmit a video signal (read: massive signal loss per foot of VGA cable). Moving is ideal for "headless" PCs where the video output is only minimally used, eg fileserver, webserver, something of that sort. For everything else, it's kinda marginal unless you can deal with remote desktop video speeds. Decent, but out of the question for "real" usage and especially gaming IMO.

croddie
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Post by croddie » Sun May 09, 2004 12:01 am

wumpus, what are the effects of this signal degradation? Say if you have a decent 5-10m VGA cable (DVI is better preserved?) - will the screen be full of errors? I doubt there would be a lag. But I don't know how video works.

IsaacKuo
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Post by IsaacKuo » Sun May 09, 2004 6:02 am

With VGA, the image gets horizontally blurred, and there may be ghosting and/or misalignment with the red, green, and blue channels (resulting in colored "fringes").

With DVI, the image gets the "sparklies", where the digital signal is no longer perfectly synced up so random pixels are misdisplayed.
Isaac Kuo

xg2004
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Post by xg2004 » Sun May 09, 2004 11:16 am

wussboy wrote:Holy crap, people. How is moving your computer do a different room different from putting carpet on the inside of your case? I'm glad this solution worked for this guy. I'm glad your solutions work for you, but why jump down his throat for sharing his experience? I'm a little disappointed in people. We usually have a big love fest in here. Ralf! Pass that bong back over here.

puff puff.

Ah.... that's the shit.
Thankyou Wussboy.
I came here in all innocence thinking that this would be the best place to share my success with moving my PC. I thought it was about silence, no matter how you achieved it. And you're right - putting a piece of carpet inside your case is not so different from putting a wooden door in between you and it (like I have done!).

Anyway, just to reassure the die-hards who are totally against moving their PCs, I am MORE than interested in any ways that you silence your PCs, it's just that for me personally it was getting pointless and expensive, and I was getting diminishing returns. For those of you that have achieved silence, I'm more than interested in seeing how you did it.
I just thought it would be nice if the alternative method was made 'public', as it were.

xg2004
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Post by xg2004 » Sun May 09, 2004 11:20 am

wumpus wrote:Yeah, this technique would work, if it wasn't for the insane bandwidth you need to transmit a video signal (read: massive signal loss per foot of VGA cable). Moving is ideal for "headless" PCs where the video output is only minimally used, eg fileserver, webserver, something of that sort. For everything else, it's kinda marginal unless you can deal with remote desktop video speeds. Decent, but out of the question for "real" usage and especially gaming IMO.
My VGA extension cable is about 4.5m (I think) and my picture's fine. There are no problems with gaming (I've been playing loads of Far Cry for the past week), so I don't think it's a problem at all.

Obviously it's not for everybody, but it worked well for me, and will no doubt work well for others.

As far as quiet components costing the same as non-quiet components, this isn't the case with all components. A really quiet PSU will cost more than a cheap but noisier one. If I want a silent heatsink for a Radeon 9700 Pro, I have to buy a Zalman passive heatsink that costs about £25. Not cheap!

xg2004
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Post by xg2004 » Sun May 09, 2004 11:22 am

josephclemente wrote:I think moving the computer is an excellent idea. XG2004's web site has some great things on it. I like the power and reset switches, as well as the LED lights.
I'm glad that they were of interest to you - this was the sort of thing I would never have even considered doing a few years ago, but having done it I found it was really quite simple to do, and makes the PC setup much more user friendly. (Rushing out of the bedroom to turn off the PC, or see if the hard drive is being accessed, would have been a real pain!)

Project
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Post by Project » Sun May 09, 2004 11:35 am

i dont see how moving a computer into another room will make it more silent. I mean, you still got a noisy room. Id figure its probably a pain to have to get up and walk to another room just to play a game or watch a dvd.

wumpus
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Post by wumpus » Sun May 09, 2004 12:06 pm

My VGA extension cable is about 4.5m (I think) and my picture's fine. There are no problems with gaming (I've been playing loads of Far Cry for the past week), so I don't think it's a problem at all.
Bear in mind that video (unless you're using DVI connectors) is an ANALOG signal, so you won't get "errors" per se, just increasingly blurry output. Thus, the higher the desktop resolution you use, the worse the signal will appear over distance. At 640x480 and 60hz the VGA signal will be quite tolerant of cable length; at 1280x1024 and 85hz, much less so.

No idea how this will affect DVI cables, but I've "extended" many VGA cables in my day and very noticeable video signal degradation is all too common, unfortunately. Video is an extremely high bandwidth analog signal-- just do the math.. height x width x pixel depth x refreshrate.

croddie
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Post by croddie » Sun May 09, 2004 6:14 pm

So it only matters if you're using a CRT, as with an LCD even if it uses analog cables you can just reduce the refresh rate and get a good signal? I imagine halving the standard rate won't be noticeable on an LCD, games and movies aside.

Nebor
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Post by Nebor » Sun May 09, 2004 8:55 pm

croddie wrote:So it only matters if you're using a CRT, as with an LCD even if it uses analog cables you can just reduce the refresh rate and get a good signal? I imagine halving the standard rate won't be noticeable on an LCD, games and movies aside.
What? No, that's not how it works at all.

xg2004
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Post by xg2004 » Mon May 10, 2004 1:32 am

Project wrote:i dont see how moving a computer into another room will make it more silent. I mean, you still got a noisy room. Id figure its probably a pain to have to get up and walk to another room just to play a game or watch a dvd.
I moved it into a cupboard at the top of my stairs, and I use a USB external CD writer if I want to burn or load any games (+ Alcohol 52% so I keep them all on my hard drives anyway!). No need to get up and walk to another room - that would kind of defy the whole point of moving it in the first place!

xg2004
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Post by xg2004 » Mon May 10, 2004 1:36 am

wumpus wrote:
My VGA extension cable is about 4.5m (I think) and my picture's fine. There are no problems with gaming (I've been playing loads of Far Cry for the past week), so I don't think it's a problem at all.
Bear in mind that video (unless you're using DVI connectors) is an ANALOG signal, so you won't get "errors" per se, just increasingly blurry output. Thus, the higher the desktop resolution you use, the worse the signal will appear over distance. At 640x480 and 60hz the VGA signal will be quite tolerant of cable length; at 1280x1024 and 85hz, much less so.

No idea how this will affect DVI cables, but I've "extended" many VGA cables in my day and very noticeable video signal degradation is all too common, unfortunately. Video is an extremely high bandwidth analog signal-- just do the math.. height x width x pixel depth x refreshrate.
Perhaps my ATI Radeon 9700 Pro gives out a particularly strong signal or something? I've set my desktop to 1600 x 1200 to test it out, and it looks exactly the same with 4.5m or no extension cables at all. I'm sure there is a maximum 'safe' distance, but for most people who are even considering moving their PC to another room, 4.5m should be long enough. Unless your house is a mansion!

p_UK
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Post by p_UK » Mon May 10, 2004 3:43 am

great way to do it. i'd like to do the same but have no spare room to do this! i thought of the garage and using some wireless connection and having a dumb terminal with no HDDs in my room, but i'm not convinced what the lag on such a setup would be.

currently, the HDD is the only noise making component in my setup.

hero
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Post by hero » Tue May 11, 2004 4:18 pm

I've thought about doing something like this, since the other side of the wall my computer sits against is a closet, but I wasn't going to go as far as trying to keep HD PWR access...good ideas there.

My main concern was heat, though. Very few closets or cupboard for that matter have AC vents, so the entire closet would eventually become like one big hot computer case recirculation it's own hot air. You'd need to run a cool air intake or leave the closet/cupboard open or just take your chances. Fine if you're a bachelor, but I'm sure my wife would eventually get bothered by the droning from the closet.

Personally, I think moving the computer to the corner of the room and surrounding it with an acoustic barrier of some sort while using a wireless mouse/keyboard and USB CD is a more practical and safer solution.

Morgoth
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Post by Morgoth » Fri May 14, 2004 7:04 pm

Moving a computer to another room to "make it silent"?
What needless hassle, just rupture your eardrums,
you'll not be worrying about computer noise after that.
:wink:

Nebor
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Post by Nebor » Fri May 14, 2004 8:55 pm

xg2004 wrote:
wumpus wrote:
My VGA extension cable is about 4.5m (I think) and my picture's fine. There are no problems with gaming (I've been playing loads of Far Cry for the past week), so I don't think it's a problem at all.
Bear in mind that video (unless you're using DVI connectors) is an ANALOG signal, so you won't get "errors" per se, just increasingly blurry output. Thus, the higher the desktop resolution you use, the worse the signal will appear over distance. At 640x480 and 60hz the VGA signal will be quite tolerant of cable length; at 1280x1024 and 85hz, much less so.

No idea how this will affect DVI cables, but I've "extended" many VGA cables in my day and very noticeable video signal degradation is all too common, unfortunately. Video is an extremely high bandwidth analog signal-- just do the math.. height x width x pixel depth x refreshrate.
Perhaps my ATI Radeon 9700 Pro gives out a particularly strong signal or something? I've set my desktop to 1600 x 1200 to test it out, and it looks exactly the same with 4.5m or no extension cables at all. I'm sure there is a maximum 'safe' distance, but for most people who are even considering moving their PC to another room, 4.5m should be long enough. Unless your house is a mansion!
ACtually 9700 Pros give out a particularly poor analog signal, compared to a more commercial type card, like a Fire or Quadro card, or a Matrox. I'd say the reason you don't see blurring in your situation is that you're just not able to percieve the blurriness, or it doesn't bother you. I guarantee blurring @ 15ft w/ 1600x1200@100hz from a 9700 Pro.

trodas
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Post by trodas » Sat May 15, 2004 12:43 am

wumpus - sorry to say, but if you did not see the signal degradation after adding 4.5m of VGA cable extender, is very likely that your monitor, eyes or both are simply not capable of doing so :?
Nothing to blame, I just say that I certainly see the sharpness difference over 60 and 100Hz - try it too :wink:
For me, adding 4.5m cable will cause unusable picture.
Even DVI have some limits, tough :P

About topics - no, this is not excetly silencing the PC, but as long, as helps the user, why not? :twisted: Silencing effect is gained and that is what the SilentPersonalComputers is all about, is not it? :P

/me things that there is no need for blames and flames, just accept that everyone is entitled to do the silencing by it's own way :P
"It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong." - Voltaire
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fancontrol
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Post by fancontrol » Fri Jul 30, 2004 1:29 pm

Holy smoke. In this case I almost wish I had not searched the forums first. But, here goes:

I already have a PC in my office closet (along with the cable modem & router). Cat5 runs all over the house, including to a hub on the desk that goes to my wife's PC, the printer, and any other gizmo that I need to bring home from work. I typically use a wireless laptop & VNC to the closet PC when I need to.

The PC is already quiet, it's mostly in the closet to reduce the amount of clutter on my desk. I was thinking of posting something about how I silenced the PC and solved the closet heat problem. Then I read this thread.

Lately I've been thinking it would be nice to have a 'real' connection to the PC sometimes. Some quick numbers suggested that it should be cake to get KVM signals across a dedicated Cat5 UTP cable. Google came up with these:
http://www.magenta-research.com/product ... iewPC.html
http://www.networktechinc.com/cat5.html
http://www.minicom.com/kvm_smartext.htm
http://www.ramelectronics.net/html/EXT-CAT5-2000.htm
http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProductP ... _Id=87618#
etc.

All very cool. Note that some claim to maintain 1920 x 1200 x 75 resolution video, which is way more than I would need.

But they're really freakin' expensive! Probably because they're purchased mostly by companies. I bet it won't be long before there are enough SOHOs & homes with enough computers that something like this will start to get cheap. And when it does, I'm all over it. The ideal solution, to me, would have a KVM switch on the reciever. That way I could use the head from my wife's PC on the closet PC.

Anyone have experience with these things? Anyone have better luck finding one that isn't so damned expensive? Anyone else think that the future is hardware in the closet with heads (could be a monitor & kbd, could be a home theater, could be a phone, could be a garage door opener) all over the house?

Finally, I've gotta chime in on the is-this-topic-valid debate: I've read (and enjoyed) other threads about putting storage|PSUs|servers in the basement|closet|WC that didn't get slammed. We should at least be consistent. Search the forums and go slam those threads, too.

sthayashi
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Post by sthayashi » Fri Jul 30, 2004 2:08 pm

Fancontrol, I think this turned into a flame fest because the original poster had a bit of an attitude along the lines of "Why didn't anyone think of this before? This is easily the best method ever."

At least that's my take on it.
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croddie
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Post by croddie » Fri Jul 30, 2004 2:19 pm

They'll do the job, but seem rather limited: single analog connection only. And expensive as you say.
For a workstation away from the pc you should only need:
1. A usb 2/firewire cable to a hub (if you need both usb and firewire there must be hubs that give both). This should provide adequate bandwidth for all non-video stuff. Keyboard/mouse can attach to this. Sound card also.
2. Monitor cables.

I want to move my pc to another room at college. Should be fine I think with good cables. I expect the guys who complain about signal degradation are gamers, but we'll see.

croddie
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Post by croddie » Fri Jul 30, 2004 2:30 pm

Anyone else think that the future is hardware in the closet with heads (could be a monitor & kbd, could be a home theater, could be a phone, could be a garage door opener) all over the house?
Interesting, particularly if you only need one computer which more than one user can use at once. I think we'll see networked hometheatre/phone/garage door(!) stuff, but having the computer separate from the monitor would involve a cost and complexity that would prevent it from catching on I think.

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