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Silent PC articles, publications and so forth for grad work

Posted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:44 pm
by thejamppa
Hello all!

Its about that time I have to start prepearing my graduationwork from Turku University of Applied sciences. As my biggest passion and definate obsession is silent computer's its a good subject and I got approved the subject by my teachers.

I am wondering if you have any idea where to start getting articles about Silent PC's other than SPCR? I am starting to work my grad work about Silent Work Stations for my University and I am looking diversity of sources.

Web articles of papers, magazines I could get from eBay or such that feature topics about silencing and silent PC's.

SPCR is one major source definately. But if I am correct there are no actual written book about silent workstations or silent computing. ( I wonder if some SPCR staff has ever thought writing one ) so my grad work will be heavily work and performance based and less actual theory.

For theory I plan to take medical books about noise and noises affect and physics and engineering books about thermal conductivity and work behind them.

It will be a rough 6-9 months from this point on. Any help from community is greatly appreciated. I am not that good with calculating things and explain simple way for layman's about physics behind silent PC's.

I probably have to narrow it down to air cooling or otherwise my grad work will swell up for a actual book.

Posted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:31 pm
by JamieG
You might be able to find some articles on fan noise and fans on fan manufacturer websites.

As well as the usual suspects for retail silent fans (Noctua might have some decent articles, for example), perhaps have a browse around the websites of companies like ebmPapst, NMB/Panaflo, Delta, Sunon, Sanyo Denki etc.

Posted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:38 pm
by RoGuE
A lot of what makes a computer silent has to do with efficient heat dissipation. It would serve you well to understand how the heat is transferred from chips and dispersed efficiently. Any number of good heat/mass transfer books can provide you with an abundance of information on that which you may or may not understand, but at least that can be a start.

Secondly, look into what makes a good fan design. There are many fans for example which allow their blades to swipe the supports parallel and not perpendicularly. this creates a lot of excess noise that could be almost completely eliminated. Once you get a feel for what makes a good fan, look into fan placement. There are many aspects of a fan's placement on a chassis that can make it more or less effective at silent operation. This has more to do with fluid dynamics of air.

All in all, I think you're going to find that it all comes down to engineering. And like everything else that's engineered, you may pick two traits: cheap, fast (delivery of design), and good quality. It's arguably impossible to achieve 2 of those without the 3rd one being punished in some way. Building a rig which uses a lot of power is an engineering challenge to dissipate that power quietly.

Posted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:55 pm
by Tephras
Here's a really good source with a lot of information:

Posted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:09 pm
by RoGuE
Here's a great book on electronics cooling. It's an old one, but still very relevant. It has a lot of information on efficient cooling, and if you can cool your computer efficiently, it can be done very quietly (if not silently).

"Cooling Techniques for Electronic Equipment", Dave S. Steinberg, ISBN: 0471044032


Posted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:54 am
by psiu
I know time is fairly short for you at this point but maybe look into less specific noise/workplace studies (not specifically PC noise but you get the idea). Anything showing benefits of a quieter workplace vs a noisy one.

And perhaps contact some IT personnel at some corporate locations, ask if you could do a survey of their users (with their managements approval etc) make sure the survey follows whatever *good survey* guidelines there are (anonymity, short, clear etc).

Good luck!

edit: see if you can track down some help from of the silent cooling companies--Zalman Scythe etc. Either from an engineering standpoint or the sales/research standpoint.

Posted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:55 am
by thejamppa
Thank you everyone ! I'll be looking those! Steinberg's book seems very interesting and it should be available some route for me.

Posted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:04 am
by spartan117
I am currently writing mine too, though my topic is computer graphics :P

A good idea would be to brake down the topics, as silent work stations is a large area. So have a chapter on thermal conductivity, comparing between the metals / liquids(water cooling). Have a chapter on aerodynamics / turbulence and finally have a chapter on noise and resonance / dampening.

If you plan to submit for academic purposes it's much better to have references from journal articles, such as IEEE or ACM than to get from websites. good site another good site

and if you need simple explanations use wiki ;) and take the references from the bottom :roll:

Good luck :)

Posted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:49 pm
by scdr
You should definitely read The Silent PC

Covers much more in terms of benefits of quiet office machines,
standards, theory, etc. It will probably point you to some references.

SPCR is more applied, howto and reviews.

edit: Oops - somehow missed the previous post with the same suggestion.

Posted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 8:20 pm
by ~El~Jefe~
How will you deal with the fact that anything published officially is less valuable and accurate than on this website?

I think you should break it down to sound and machines, osha standards, physics crap, etc. There are many articles and manuals concerning how building vents, air ducts, fans and the like make noise and why. THis is easily translatable to a metalic case. ..... i guess?

Posted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:43 am
by capecodbackup
I cannot prove it, but I suspect that Dell and others have known quiet computers are better for a long time. Over the years, I noticed that Dell were the most popular among clients and people I knew, and also the quietest.

At least for some models. Apple recently had publicized that they had applied for quiet computer patents, so they must know something too.

HP is currently MARKETING a feature of its new desktops as Quiet Engineered or something like that. So, although many people I mention quiet computing to look at me like I have 14 heads, it is obvious to me that large multinational corporations are no stranger to the need for quiet computers, as well as quiet everything else. Dishwashers are now SILENT if you look. Vacuums have made progress but have a long way to go. Chainsaw factories and lawnmower companies simply should be nuked and we should start over or do without the abusive beasts. Notice that CARS themselves have also been marketed as QUIET much over the years.

In fairness, I look at people that have a jet engine for a computer like they ALSO have 14 heads.

So, my point is, that although I am sure you are approaching this from an engineering point of view that the marketing economic point of view cannot really be left out completely.


Posted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:14 pm
by Eyor
If you're looking to establish a link between background noise and physiological, or stress, response you might be interested in a field called Psychophysiology.

Unfortunately, this field is relatively new and 'cross-disciplinary' which means there is a lot of non-sense out there. However, they do have some established experimental techniques which could help you devise an experiment to test the link between background noise and physiological response.

A decent introductory text is:

Psychophysiology The Mind-Body Perspective by Kenneth Hugdahl (who I believe happens to be at the university of Norway).