Any thoughts on this case idea? EDIT: REVISED IDEA

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

Moderators: NeilBlanchard, Ralf Hutter, sthayashi, Devonavar

Post Reply
morgue
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:09 am
Location: Sweden

Any thoughts on this case idea? EDIT: REVISED IDEA

Post by morgue » Sat Oct 17, 2009 8:22 am

edit3: The revised idea can be found a couple of posts below, not this one

Soundabsorbing foamlike material will hereby be known as foam :)

I have been reading here for a long time and been tinkering with different ideas and finally came up with this. I have been planning to upgrade for a LONG time now and might actually do it this time. This is just a sketch but you get the point:

Image

Basically take one of the old stackercases and almost convert it to btx standard. The only openings are at the bottom and in the back. Not shown in the figure is that I am planning to put a couple of centimeters of rubber underneath to give it clearance and shape it like this:

Image

Then foam the crap out of the entire case with some 4cm foam in each of the sidepanels and in the entire front and top, I haven't put any foam on the top in the animation. Also, the dvddrive is missing and should be in there in the foam. The sidepanels and top will be extended a bit further from the case in the backto hide cables and to direct the noise away. 4 fans in total.

Any thoughts?

edit: I can't post images or url's because i haven't posted here before so this will have to do for now, just remove the spaces [Mod: I fixed 'em...]

edit2: Have been thinking about it myself and my primal concern is that
the hdds might get hot.
Last edited by morgue on Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:44 am, edited 3 times in total.

Mr Evil
Posts: 566
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 10:12 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Post by Mr Evil » Sat Oct 17, 2009 10:10 am

I'm allowed to post images! :D
Image
Image
That'll save a lot of deleting of spaces.

MikeC
Site Admin
Posts: 12283
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Contact:

Post by MikeC » Sat Oct 17, 2009 10:47 am

Yeah, the HDDs will run hot. The airflow concept doesn't look great; the HDDs are completely isolated from airflow.

It also looks like you have way too many fans... unless you're running some kind of monster OC'd 140W CPU & similar video card.

Here's a basic tip: If your fans are quiet and smooth enough (including the one in your PSU), then your HDDs will be the only real source of noise. That foam will do little to help reduce HDD noise unless it's all airborne and midband or higher in freq. Encasing the HDDs in some kind of rubber/damped box (like the Scythe or Smart Drive) then mechanically decoupling it is the effective way to silence them. Of course, you want to start with the quietest HDDs possible.

Telling us all the component details will get you more detailed advice.

morgue
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:09 am
Location: Sweden

Post by morgue » Sat Oct 17, 2009 5:21 pm

I haven't bought them yet but I was kind of planning to use a high-end CPU and a budget GPU since I render a lot but don't play much. I think that I can cool the GPU with an accelero and an undervolted slipstream.

However thinking of pushing a i7 920 to around 4Ghz while trying to reduce the noise. YES, I know I can't get that thing silent but I would like to avoid having to wear earmuffs when working.

Really, I have a lot of demands in the cooling area but it has a lot of space, probably a cubic metre (~35.3 cubic feet for you guys) under my desk and was hoping that putting everything in foam could reduce the noise

edit: thx mike. great site btw, long time reader, not really any other site that fokuses on noise and does it as well as you do

edit2: really i have two alternatives w/o spending a fortune, the p18X which i don't think can cool the CPU i am thinking of and 1200 which sounds like a ***

edit3: okay, so 4Ghz might be too much, but still, I need the HT and the memory bandwidth så the 920 is necessary

edit4: what about placing the hhds in the airpath at the bottom of the case (of course i will be hanging them in elastic thingies that i use in my current setup, no person should ever mount them to the case)

murtoz
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2007 12:24 pm
Location: Wiltshire, UK

Post by murtoz » Fri Oct 23, 2009 3:56 pm

Not sure the 4Ghz is too much... I am typing this on my system which is running a QX9650 OC'ed to 3.92Ghz, and I cannot currently hear the fans. If I turn off my music (quietly in the background currently) AND stop typing, I can hear my fan and the woosh of air. But only if I stop to listen to it.

3x 500GB SATA HDD, suspended
TRUE on the cpu with noctua fan ducted out of the chassis.
1 More noctua fan ducted to a 8800gtx with HR-03, then out of the chassis.

Fans do become audible when gaming, but that is ok as I have my headset on then.

I don't think the system you are thinking of produces more heat. You should be able to get it quiet, although not silent. Just do what Mike says, start without the foam, and see what it sounds like. You can always add the foam later! For me the trick is to duct your airflow so you prevent hot air staying in the case.

<edit>
Just realised I hadn't posted my case - it's an intel SC5295 which is very similar to this one. It's not a very nice chassis but it does the trick for now (it was free...) I should think that a P182 should not have much trouble with my setup.

morgue
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:09 am
Location: Sweden

Post by morgue » Sat Oct 24, 2009 1:43 pm

I have redesigend it and will post an updated revised version soon, plz return to check it and comment on it

edit: thx murtoz, good to know that my setup might be reasonably quiet
Last edited by morgue on Sat Oct 24, 2009 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

morgue
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:09 am
Location: Sweden

Post by morgue » Sat Oct 24, 2009 2:07 pm

as written earlier, here is the revised idea:

Image

The same principles as earlier, shielding everything with airdirectors so there are many walls between the user and the components and all holes directed to the back and bottom of the case

Heavy insulation with foamstuff, sides will be really thick, suspended hdds

Any thoughts now?

frenchie
Friend of SPCR
Posts: 1346
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:53 am
Location: CT

Post by frenchie » Sun Oct 25, 2009 12:23 am

Too many fans in my opinion. Why don't you make 3 separate chambers ? one with the PSU, one with the CPU and one with the HDs and GPU.

By the way, are you sure you can put the GPU in that slot ? Sometimes on mobos, when you are only using one GPU, you can only use the top slot. Actually I think it would be better in your case. Put the GPU in the first slot, put the GPU fan in the PCI slots, nicely ducted, and you'll have very good quiet cooling.

morgue
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:09 am
Location: Sweden

Post by morgue » Sun Oct 25, 2009 1:47 am

I have asked gigabyte and at least their mobos can use either 16x lane pcie-port. In the picture I have used an asus board and don't know if it can do the same as well however.

the case I am thinking of doing this to is an old cm stacker which has a lot of space up there so the fan actually has a little more space than I made in the piocture. The case is kind of split upp into chambers, if I use a normal psu that sucks air from the bottom there will be three separate airpaths, might do that instead.

edit: Here is a picture that shows how it will be if not put in the top slot, as you can see there is still plenty of space left:

Image

edit2: However, it all depends on wehere the slots are on the mobo but I would like to have some of them free in case I want to add something, perhaps a dedicated soundcard.

morgue
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:09 am
Location: Sweden

Post by morgue » Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:28 pm

Seriously, 677 views and 4 replies?
1 out of every 170th person replies?
:roll:

cordis
Posts: 1082
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:56 pm
Location: San Jose

just checking

Post by cordis » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am

Well, when I see something like this, I check to make sure you haven't figured out my idea. You haven't, so I'm good. Proceed as you like.

morgue
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:09 am
Location: Sweden

Post by morgue » Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:14 am

Why don't you share yours then? It might help improve it and others might build one as well and you get some experience with the design. What is bad about sharing really, you would have posted it first so it would still remain "your idea" if that is whats worrying you? Any thought on how to improve this one?

frenchie
Friend of SPCR
Posts: 1346
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:53 am
Location: CT

Post by frenchie » Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:29 am

Here is my vision (with 2 120mm fans) :

Image

morgue
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:09 am
Location: Sweden

Post by morgue » Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:37 am

So you think that the negative pressure will be enough to support the airflow then, interesting.
The only other difference is elongating the chambersepareator, or is there anything that I have missed?

Here is quite an important question that I was about to make a separate thread for:
How big is the difference between regular foam (like that made for packaging) and the one made especially for acoustic dampening?

I did some perhaps not that valid tests by wrapping a cellphone in packaging foam that campe with my new couch and it really only decreased the sound the slightest. The foam that I have is free so I would rahter use that if the difference isn't that big.

frenchie
Friend of SPCR
Posts: 1346
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:53 am
Location: CT

Post by frenchie » Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:15 am

What I did (should have explained a little bit ):
- extented the separator : the only way for the air in your upper chamber to exit the case MUST be through the GPU heatsink
- moved the 2 exhaust fans to the back of the case : no fan needed on the CPU heatsink in most cases, if the CPU HS is a good passive one, like the Ninja or the HR-01 and if there is a fan close by
- got rid of the intake fans : I really think the negative pressure will be plenty, IF your intake holes are unrestricted

As for the foam, the noise absorbption stuff if quite different that the normal foam. It usually has a hard heavy layer for mass dampening and a more open cell layer, for noise absorption. From what I understand, the goal here is not to get the foam to be as fluffy as possible (some air bubbles in an elasticlayer), but to give the sound a hard time going through (LOTS of tiny air bubbles in an elastic material).

Hope that helps.

morgue
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:09 am
Location: Sweden

Post by morgue » Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:27 am

I know about the heavy stuff, I am going to use bitumen. Specifically the foam is what I wanted to know about, have you hade any experience using both?

If someone has some accoustic foam lying around, please try to see if absorbs more sound than any other normal foam.

Regarding the fans, I have had better results by placing the fan on the cpu hs on the side closest to a hole and blowing through the hole. Also, by my own experience, two undervolted fans will emitt less noise togehter than one powerful fan so i have chosen to have some fans at the bottom.

I think that I might use your idea to elongate the separator. I have however planned to use foam around the gpu hs so air cant get past it so the reason for me to extend it is simply to direct more air through the cpu hs. Extending it up there will not do any good in my case.

cordis
Posts: 1082
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:56 pm
Location: San Jose

damn

Post by cordis » Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:31 am

So you complain that people are reading your posts and not posting, so I post to tell you why I'm not posting, and you complain about that too. There's no pleasing you! :lol:

But seriously, my last idea for my cm stacker was to cram as many mini-itx motherboards into as I could and turn it into a mini-cluster, although I've since rethought that idea. Putting fans in the bottom and foam up front, sure, give it a try, why not? With most case mod ideas, I usually prefer to prototype it first and see how it works.

morgue
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:09 am
Location: Sweden

Post by morgue » Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:59 am

Sorry about that, got frustrated :oops:
Thought I would get a lot of feedback and suggestions of how to improve it. I guess it is like you say cordis, I have to build it and test it but I would really like to eliminate any obvoious mistakes before I start building. Always hate it when you realise something when it is too late too change...

Cluster you say, interesting...
You could have a lot of performance with several low-tdp cpus that are each cooled passively since their individual tdp is low enough to be cooled passively. What you have done is to spread out the wattage of one high-tdp cpu to several heatsinks... That is actually quite interesting, but probably expensive since several cheap mobos and cpus will most likely get more expensive than good one good mobo and cpu... Also incompability issues with tasks like gaming but for rendering, sweeeeet :D

edit: I still didn't get any answer on the soundabsorbing properties of foam and "special foam", anyone know anything about this? I will ask a manufacturer of foam and see what they say...
Also, do you think that this idea can be more silent than a p18X once I foam everything?

Post Reply