Antec Sonata - Quiet? What a joke....

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

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davidstone28
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Antec Sonata - Quiet? What a joke....

Post by davidstone28 » Tue Oct 28, 2003 5:24 am

I can't believe that they market this case as a quiet case.

This biggest problem is the PSU which is nowhere near silent or even anywhere near what I would call very quiet. It's by far the loudest thing in the system. Makes a whoosing / sawing sound which is higher pitched than I would have expected. In fact, its just as loud (or even slightly louder) than the Aopen 300W PSU in my Aopen HX08 tower case both at idle and under load. :cry:

Anyone who thinks the Sonata is quiet (off the shelf) must have a load of Deltas installed in their machine or have spent a lifetime working with pneumatic drills.

The 120mm case fan is pretty good though - certainly quieter that the fan in the PSU. Or maybe the PSU fan is drowning it out.

As for the rest of the case, its pretty much of muchness really. I really don't think its that different from any decent quality case made by other manufacturers. The sideways 3.5inch drive base are convenient and rubber grommets are useful, but the PSU really does annoy. The "shiny black piano" finish is also a bit of an exaggeration.

Whoever said that it isn't the case that matters but the components inside that makes it silent, hit the nail right on the head.

davidstone28
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Post by davidstone28 » Tue Oct 28, 2003 5:49 am

Has anyone successfully modded the fan in the Antec PSU? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

spacey
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Post by spacey » Tue Oct 28, 2003 6:52 am

i think your power supply is defective or something. just because yours acts up, don't assume thats how they all are.

but yes, lots of people have replaced the True Power 380 fan with others, like a Panaflo L1A, or Vantec Stealth, there's a whole boat load.
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Computer is almost whisper quiet...

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Post by miker » Tue Oct 28, 2003 7:10 am

I just replaced the Antec PSU. Never bothered spinning it up.
It does sound though that if it were that loud, I would say you have a defective unit. BTW, grommeted HDD racks rule.
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Mario
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Post by Mario » Tue Oct 28, 2003 8:17 am

davidstone2B,

if it makes you feel better, same thing that I thought about the Lian-Li PC6070. I was surprised too! PSU is normal loud like a normal quality PSU, nothing quiet. I got a NX-3000.

The 3 fans are not very good either. They are ADDA ball bearing. Got 3 nexus.

No grommeted HDD and the alluminum panels everywere rattles like crazy.

Only good point the door surrounded by rubber that stops a good deal the noise from the CD. Pads on the lateral panels don't know if they make a big difference.

Marketing... bah! Good that I found this site!
Ciao

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Post by Mario » Tue Oct 28, 2003 8:17 am

davidstone2B,

if it makes you feel better, same thing that I thought about the Lian-Li PC6070. I was surprised too! PSU is normal loud like a normal quality PSU, nothing quiet. I got a NX-3000.

The 3 fans are not very good either. They are ADDA ball bearing. Got 3 nexus.

No grommeted HDD and the alluminum panels everywere rattles like crazy.

Only good point the door surrounded by rubber that stops a good deal the noise from the CD. Pads on the lateral panels don't know if they make a big difference.

Marketing... bah! Good that I found this site!
Ciao

buzzlightyear
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Post by buzzlightyear » Tue Oct 28, 2003 8:46 am

davidstone2B

I hope you just happen to have a lemon. After reading up the forum for days, I'd just placed my order for a Sonata less than 20 minutes ago. I am going to put a Asus P4G8X Deluxe mobo in it. I got both of them cheap at around the same price--$74 (the Sonata is after $20 rebate).

I have a fairly quiet Dell 4500, yes, sitting in the living room. I sure hope this Sonata will be ever quieter. Well, keeping my fingers crossed.

davidstone28
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Post by davidstone28 » Tue Oct 28, 2003 9:22 am

No, I definitely don't think its a lemon. The PSU is average to above average in terms of quietness. It's certainly alot less noisy that some generic PSU's I've used.

But think about it - all they've done is remove one of the fans from their Truepower range of PSUs and stuck it in the Sonata. There are no low noise Panaflos or Pabst fans in there.

Having read a few posts on this forum, it seems quite a few other people have removed the PSU and replaced it with something like a Seasonic and even then done a fan mod to that.

It's not loud by any means. It's just that its not particulary quiet. Certainly no way near Dell desktop quiet which was sort of what I was hoping for. I guess its all down to different expectations. For example, the loudest thing in old system was the stock fan on my Geforce Ti4200 graphics card and I thought that made a right racket.

Put it this way, the PSU in Sonata is the loudest thing in my system by some margin - the other noise making components being the TT SilentBoost, and the Sonata 120mm case fan. I'm really surprised that they should market this as a quiet case when the PSU is only average to above average in terms of noise. It kinda spoils the whole setup.

buzzlightyear
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Post by buzzlightyear » Tue Oct 28, 2003 9:37 am

davidstone28

Ooch! May be it is time to use my wood-working skill to build a wood enclosure to hide my Dell and find a new way to use the Sonata.

davidstone28
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Post by davidstone28 » Tue Oct 28, 2003 10:10 am

Don't get me wrong - its a quality case - but the PSU is just too loud for its designated purpose. If I can find a really quiet PSU or a fanless PSU, it will be perfect!

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Post by Inexplicable » Tue Oct 28, 2003 10:11 am

davidstone28 -- I agree with you. I was initially quite disappointed with the Sonata. For something that is marketed with the slogan "Hear the silence!*" the PSU really is quite loud. However, you can do wonders simply by swapping the fan for something quieter. I replaced the 34 dBA / 39 CFM Top Motor with a 23 dBA / 30 CFM YS TECH. While I might have picked a better fan (this one ticks a little), the improvement in the total noise level is remarkable. Instead of the rattling hum that used to drown out everything else, my computer is now a bouquet of noises. If I concentrate, I can pick out each component that has moving parts. Further improvement will require more drastic measures.

*The power switch must be set to the off position.

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Post by miker » Tue Oct 28, 2003 10:13 am

Just a word of caution. WHen you pull the Antec PSU from the Sonata, the 120mm fan will suddenly become pretty damn loud. Since it won't be getting the reduced voltage from the Antec PSU, you will have to go to other measures to low-volt that 120.
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Post by GamingGod » Tue Oct 28, 2003 10:18 am

you can 5v it but it moves very little air, but thats about what its moving now anyways.
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davidstone28
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Post by davidstone28 » Tue Oct 28, 2003 10:33 am

How do I mod the fan in the Sonata PSU? Is it a simply case of unpluggin the old one and putting a new one in or do I have to start cutting wires (which I don't really want to do)?

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Post by miker » Tue Oct 28, 2003 10:48 am

davidstone28 wrote:How do I mod the fan in the Sonata PSU? Is it a simply case of unpluggin the old one and putting a new one in or do I have to start cutting wires (which I don't really want to do)?
Well, not completely sure, but it looks like it uses a similar connector to the Seasonic. If so, you should be able to use a 3pin Panaflo L1A in it place, just by removing the fan and the white connector from the PCB of the PSU (I circled it in this picture). This is the best pic MikeC had of the internal of this PSU in his review. If anyone else knows better, please speak up.
Image
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Post by Ralf Hutter » Tue Oct 28, 2003 10:52 am

davidstone28 wrote:How do I mod the fan in the Sonata PSU? Is it a simply case of unpluggin the old one and putting a new one in or do I have to start cutting wires (which I don't really want to do)?
Here's one current thread that discusses this topic.
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Post by Inexplicable » Tue Oct 28, 2003 10:58 am

This technique also works for the Sonata PSU. If you want to retain rpm monitoring it gets a little more complicated (you probably need to do some soldering).

davidstone28
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Post by davidstone28 » Tue Oct 28, 2003 12:17 pm

Thanks for all the replies and links!

I'm going to have a go at swapping the fan.

bob670
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Post by bob670 » Tue Oct 28, 2003 6:12 pm

Hmmm, mine seems pretty quiet, in fact it is quiet enough that I was able to isolate all the other noise sources on my PC and eliminate those, I'm quite happy with my Sonata PSU, I really can't hear it unless the system is under heavy load.

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Post by aphonos » Tue Oct 28, 2003 7:21 pm

bob670 wrote:I really can't hear it unless the system is under heavy load.
davidstone28, I may have missed where you stated it, but what kind of load is your PSU under? The fan in the Antec Sonata PSU ramps up under high loads.

If you have a high load system, you will want to make sure that you swap in a fan that will provide adequate CFM/cooling.

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Post by bob670 » Tue Oct 28, 2003 7:22 pm

Nope, left 'em open, several people reported increased temps when blocking the holes. Leaving the 120mm on the "fan only" connector, using a Zalman 7000A Al-Cu with a fan mate, a passively cooled video card and the PSU (luckily) being very quiet, I don't see any reason to bother.

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Post by buzzlightyear » Tue Oct 28, 2003 9:14 pm

Hey guys. Check out these posts from another forum. This guy had successfully fixed the air flow problem inside the Sonata. The solutions include covering the side holes. Is is a four-part thread.

Yes, it is not directly dealing with the noise issue, but better air flow = lower temp = potential undervolt many noise-generating components.

The information I learned from this forum inspired me to place my order for a Sonata this morning.

http://arstechnica.infopop.net/OpenTopi ... 3370960675[/url]

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Post by Tom Brown » Tue Oct 28, 2003 9:33 pm

I have built three systems using Sonatas and they have all been about average for noise out of the box. Any new Dell system will be much, much more quiet than a stock Sonata.

Between the L1A PSU swap (and I bent the intake grill slats on the PSU to be parallel to the airflow) and undervolting the 120mm fan, my systems are pretty much silent.

Hang in there with the Sonata. They are a very nice case and can be made to run extremely quiet.
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davidstone28
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Post by davidstone28 » Wed Oct 29, 2003 12:52 am

Cavicchi - I think the thing to look at is MikeC's recommended list. It would be worth you comparing numbers to get an idea of relative quietness. The Sonata scores 6/10 for quietness. The Seasonic PSU scores 8/10 for quietness. A fanless PSU would be 10/10.

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Post by Tom Brown » Wed Oct 29, 2003 7:17 am

Cavicchi wrote:
Tom Brown wrote:I have built three systems using Sonatas and they have all been about average for noise out of the box. Any new Dell system will be much, much more quiet than a stock Sonata.
I find that hard to believe.
Please share your experience, Cavicchi. I'm always interested in how people get on with their Sonatas.
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