P183 humming

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

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janzich
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P183 humming

Post by janzich » Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:41 am

This is my first time I bought a silent case (Antec P183), and I’m a little bit disappointed. The problem is a constant low humming sound coming from the top fan. Granted, the old case I had (Dell Inspiron, 2 years old) used to be much louder, but the only at peak times and since the case fan was smaller, the pitch of the sound was more bearable. It seems that also part of the problem is that the computer is next to my desk with the top fan now exposed to the room. Again, the case fan on the Dell case was on the back. It seems that now in our room, there are certain zones where the top fan is really annoying and some where it’s not almost audible. It must be some interesting acoustic phenomenon, because it does seem to be related to he fact whether it’s obstructed or not. In any case, I solved it by laying the case horizontally so that the fan is not now directly exposed.

I had been waiting with an upgrade of my computer for the new Mac Pro’s, but when I saw the pricing, I decided to rather invest to my current PC. I think it’s probably time to go back to the original plan. Or is there a PC case which would get close to the Mac’s, i.e. completely silent? I was hoping that the top end PC cases would be, or would be very close, but it does not seem to be the case.

Update: I’ve made some experiments and it seems that the source of the hum is not the fan itself, but the top side of the case itself. It resonates with the fan. If I put something heavy on it, the sounds almost goes away. However, it’s still audible and an annoying because of its low pitch.

How come this is not mentioned on any of the reviews? I’m considering to return it or sell it.

PartEleven
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Post by PartEleven » Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:16 am

You didn't mention what fans you are using, or what speed they are at. A general rule of thumb I go by is that any fan that's spinning faster than ~800 rpm will be clearly audible. It might not make any bearing noise, but you'll still hear the woosh of air that it is pushing. Also, the top fan mount for the P183 is clearly problematic, as there's this thin metal hub outline that vibrates with the fan. Did you read the SPCR review? This problem is clearly pointed out on page 5.

janzich
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Post by janzich » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:14 pm

I used the fans that came with the case. It seems that it was the end my problem. I should have read the review more carefully. It is indeed the top fan which resonated with the top plate. I’ve assembled back my cheap Dell, and it’s much better now. I guess it could also differ from person to person. Some people may be sensitive to certain sounds more. I have no experience with silent components. My reasoning was that if I buy a top PC case which generally gets good reviews, it cannot go wrong.

In any case, I’ve ordered a return and will buy a Mac.

danimal
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Post by danimal » Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:37 pm

you should have read more of the p183 info on this site, because that resonance noise is easily fixable.

the decision between mac vs. pc is far more complicated than just what case you are running.

ame
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Post by ame » Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:21 am

Actually a mac is exactly for the kind of person that on his first sign of a problem returns the entire machine.

Or for one that makes an informed decision before getting his first reply to his first ever question.

May Steve Jobs be with you.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


BTW a Mac isn't a bad computer at all.

janzich
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Post by janzich » Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:23 am

I'm sorry but when I buy something that is considered to be the top of the line equipment, I expect it to work. When you buy an Audi, you are not expected to fix it using duck tape. I already spent two evenings on it. One assembling the thing and the other assembling the my computer back. I have better things to do in the evenings.

Otherwise, my experience with Apple customer service is very good. I bought a MacBook Pro 5 years ago and returned it withing a week because it was getting too hot (no questions asked). Recently, I bought a new one and I'm very happy with it. Once I also broke my iPod Touch (my fault) and it was replaced on the spot (again, no questions asked).

bonestonne
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Post by bonestonne » Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:30 am

I bought a Mac. It didn't work for me right away, I had to buy a new router because it had issues connecting to my WEP encrypted router (older D-Link, no other encryption options).

$70 later, I have a new D-Link using WPA2 and my Mac works fine, but point is, they aren't perfect either. My Powerbook G4 running Tiger 10.4.11 had no issues connecting to the WEP network, so don't tell me Macs can't do WEP.

Long story short, if you're happy with buying a machine for ~$800 than it's worth, enjoy it I guess. I buy used, and pick the best deal that's around, I don't need it to be shiny and new, I need it to do a job.

You might have good experiences with Apple, but there are a million people would could say otherwise about them.
|Dual Intel Xeon E5-2680v2--Xigmatek SD1283 DK-II|Asus Z9PA-D8--HR-05 IFX|128gb DDR3-1600 ECC RDIMM|300gb DC SSD, 640gb, 1TB, 2TB HDDs|nVidia GTX660ti 2GB|Antec HCG-750|NZXT Source 210 Elite|M-Audio ProFire 2626|Art TubeOpto8 with Smooth Plate Tube Swap|Avid Artist Mix x2|
FartingBob wrote:A 9500GT with 1GB of RAM is the most pointless thing since NASCAR.

PartEleven
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Post by PartEleven » Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:09 am

janzich wrote:I'm sorry but when I buy something that is considered to be the top of the line equipment, I expect it to work. When you buy an Audi, you are not expected to fix it using duck tape.
Then perhaps DIY computers aren't for you then. There's two major reasons that I believe make building PCs worthwhile, and that is either for budget reasons (this is debatable; there are very affordable pre-built options now) or for the simple pleasure of building something yourself and customizing it to your needs. Building your own PC is most definitely NOT like buying an Audi where you pay more for a premium product that "just works". That's more like buying a mac. A build-your-own PC is more comparable to modding your own custom race car.
janzich wrote:I already spent two evenings on it. One assembling the thing and the other assembling the my computer back. I have better things to do in the evenings.
If you clearly don't enjoy the building process, you really shouldn't be bothering to build your own at all.

janzich
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Post by janzich » Thu Aug 19, 2010 10:02 am

PartEleven wrote:If you clearly don't enjoy the building process, you really shouldn't be bothering to build your own at all.
I do. I've built many computers. Most of them, however, 10 years or so ago when nobody cared about the noise and priorities were somewhere else. Also, with every upgrade, you got an computer with was at least twice as fast. Today, it's different. It almost does not matter what hardware you have because everything is very affordable, but over the years I've had enough of the constant computer sound, and my suspicion is that no matter how much I invest time and money into a PC equipment, it will never be dead silent which, for some reason, Apple have managed to do it.

amstel
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Post by amstel » Thu Aug 19, 2010 10:05 am

danimal wrote:you should have read more of the p183 info on this site, because that resonance noise is easily fixable.
Hi all on this great forum.

1.I would like to buy P183,so can you please tell me how to fix that resonance?
Should I disconnect the top fan or do something else?

2.Has Nexus 430W got a long enough power cables or extension is required to fit in P183?

PartEleven
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Post by PartEleven » Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:31 am

janzich wrote:my suspicion is that no matter how much I invest time and money into a PC equipment, it will never be dead silent
This is where I disagree with you. My system is effectively inaudible, as are many PCs of SPCR members here. Some members have even built truly silent computers with zero moving parts. Then again, I didn't just spend five minutes at my local computer store buying parts with the marketing slogans "silent/quiet/whisper" stamped all over them. It took time reading this site and talking to the community to find the true quality parts that got my PC to where it is now.

busybuyer888
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Re: P183 humming

Post by busybuyer888 » Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:14 pm

janzich wrote: Update: I’ve made some experiments and it seems that the source of the hum is not the fan itself, but the top side of the case itself. It resonates with the fan. If I put something heavy on it, the sounds almost goes away. However, it’s still audible and an annoying because of its low pitch.

How come this is not mentioned on any of the reviews? I’m considering to return it or sell it.
This hum has been indentified in the SPCR review for the P183.

I have cut away the fan cutout in the top fan top vent. This reduces the resonance/hum, but it is still there. The problem is the top case panel itself - when you put your hand on it, you feel it vibrate, feel the top fan motor. (I see why they put the cutout there - it covers the ugly fan sticker and black/red wires (can anyone say black electrical tape?)

Two options that I will try.

1) Isolate the top fan with rubber mounts (kind of hard with that rear clip).
2) Replace the fan. Another make of silent fan should have a motor with different resonating frequency that hopefully doesn't intereact with the case the same way.

The P183 case is very good, it silences sounds inside very well. And if you care about a quality power supply, the CP-850 is an top quality p/s at a extremely reasonable price.

Edit (1): Putting electrical tape over the silver Antec label and the support arm with the wires has returned the case top to the same look as before I snipped off the fan cutout. (Nice!)

Edit (2): [Top fan] I have put two thin silicone cabinet doors bumpers near the front screw positions and two thin scrap backings of these cabinet stops near the rear fan clips. This has reduced the hum nicely, but not 100%.

Edit (3):A hockey puck (2") in front of the the top fan grill point has eliminated the hum. (Harmonics are a tricky thing to tune-out)!

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