Silent Case, Help Needed & Greatly Rewarded :)

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Silent Case, Help Needed & Greatly Rewarded :)

Post by Mertz » Sat Mar 12, 2005 6:22 am

EDIT: Skip to here for an updated list of my plans.

Ok, you've all heard it before, a newbie asking for help with choice of a silent case. Well this time I am asking and I'm expecting some good answers. ;D

To make it easier to help me with the choice I've listed the components that I plan to stick into this case. ;)

CPU: A64 3200+
CPU fan: Zalman CNPS 7700ALCU (Might be changed to fit motherboard)
Motherboard: Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe (Will most likely be changed due to problems with TCCD memory when overclocking.)
GFX: Leadtek 6800 GT
RAM: 2x512MB OCZ Rev2
OS/Gaming HDD: 74GB Raptor
Extra HDD: 250GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 (More will be added later)
DVD-burner: NEC ND-3520 16x Dual Layer
PSU: OCZ Powerstream 520W

I'm also more then happy to get hardware advice. ;)

Now seeing how the components Ive choosen aren't exacly quiet I was hoping for a nice case (also Im thinking of getting another cooler like the NV5 for the GFX) to help isolate my noisy friends. ;)

Now the problem is that I've absolutely no experiance in modding so I was hoping for a case that's done or has very little left to do in terms of dampening. That's one reason that I at first thought of Lian Li PC73-SL, then I started reading a bit here and found out about the weaknesses of aliminium cases. :/ Now I guess that I wouldn't mind doing some modding but nothing way too advanced for a beginner and I would most likely need a modding "expert" to help me out step by step (over MSN/ICQ or something) :P And even if I don't end up with that kind of case I'd still love if some modding "expert" (Im not saying that you gotta be a genius, but experianced would be nice ^^) to contact me over MSN/ICQ (You can find these in my profile) since I love discussion these kinds of stuff but I prefer the kind of fast responces that aren't found easily in forums. ;)

Ohh, and for those greedy bastards that started reading this after seeing "reward" in topic, it would be endless gratitude and possible friendship. ^^

BTW I'm new here so HEY everyone. ;D

Last edited by Mertz on Sun Mar 13, 2005 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by ShockWave » Sat Mar 12, 2005 7:28 am

Welcome to the forums Mertz! I'm a new poster here myself, though I've been lurking here for ages.

Let's start with a few hardware suggestions:

Motherboard: DFI Lanparty UT nF4 Ultra-D
I used to use Asus boards almost exclusively in the past, but I then switched to Abit for their overclocking potential. DFI has since focused on the enthusiast, turning out awesome boards and making me a believer in their products (running the FSB at 300+ MHz with ease will do that to you). An SLI capable version of this board is available.
Graphics Card: Powercolor Radeon X800XL 256 MB
This card is by far the best price/performance bargain you can buy (it's faster than a 6800 GT and far cheaper), and it even creams a dual nVidia 6600 GT setup in all games released today. Unless you absolutely must have a dual nVidia card setup down the road this card is the way to go.

I'm sure some of the posters here will take issue with your choice of power supply, too, since there are much quieter options available.

Check out my thread on this forum if you'd like to benefit from all of the research I've done thus far.

You've obviously got a rather flexible budget, and if you do like the Lian-Li cases you should check out the new PC-V2000/PC-V2100. The Coolermaster Stacker is a nice roomy choice, too, though I'm not a fan of the look of it (compared with Lian-Li especially). A lot of guys here also like the SilverStone SST-TJ06, which is another roomy case.

If you want something less striking, the Antec SLK3000B was my pick from the list of recommended cases here. It's a great platform to start off with if you want to create a very quiet system.

You can also wait for the new Coolermaster cases to be released, or the new Antec P180. If you keep waiting for the best new computer case, though, you'll be waiting forever.

Hope that helped.


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Post by burcakb » Sat Mar 12, 2005 7:43 am


We'll need some detail for better assistance.

For example, how much are you going to overclock? One of the most important issues in quiet computing is undervolting. If you're going to be feeding monster voltages to your CPU for extreme overclocking, that's a totally different situation from say 25% overclocking.

Will you be going SLI?

The answers to the above will pretty much dictate any advice. For example, if you're going to be running stock voltage or less, I'd suggest getting a Thermalright XP90 or XP120 (I'd suggest this for any kind of setup :) ) for the CPU, or you might want to go ATI route if you're not into SLI. Plus, these will affect your PSU choise. I really don't think you'll be needing a 520W PSU unless you're going overclocked SLI and would be better served with a 430W Seasonic S12

Casewise, how important are looks for you? If 3000B can serve you, I'd argue that it's your best option as ShockWave suggested

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Post by Mertz » Sat Mar 12, 2005 8:25 am

First... THNX for the nice answers, (Im hoping for more of these) ;)

About the DFI, yeah Im considering it... only con is that I might not be able to use the CPU / GFX cooling I originaly wanted, seeing how it's rather tight.
If DFI I was thinking Zalman 7000ALCU although I read a review that said that it would cover up the 4th DIMM slot. Luckly that wouldn't be a problem currently. ;)
If the Thermalright XP120 doesn't have any compability issues with the DFI then Im all for it. ^^ In terms of GFX cooling I was thinking NV5 or Zalman VF700 if SLI configuration along with DFI (since Leadtek or NV5 cooling wouldn't fit).

At first I won't be using SLI but I was thinking it could be a nice option down the road. I prefer Nvidia over ATI, don't ask why I just do.
Although if someone could convince me of why ATI is so much better then Nvidia (Im not just talking about FPS but special functions as well) I wouldn't mind getting it. So far Ive found Nvidia to be more reliable and have better compability, but if that has changed... ;)

I have no special attachment to the OCZ Powerstream 520W, if someone could mention me a quieter one (that can handle SLI configuration & a few HDDs, unless someone convinces me to use ATI) I'd love it. ;)

Neither do I have a special attachment to Lian Li. As I mentioned I only thought of getting a Lian Li since I believed that it would bring me the best sound isolation w/o having to do any special modding (then I found out that aliminium cases are flawed due to not being able to isolate vibration, at least far worse from steel).

Also the Lian Li PC73-SL that I was considering was a bit large and even though I could somehow manage it anything over 61cm in hight would give me a few problems (can't fit it well under my desk heh). However if it would prove that a larger chassi would give me better results then a smaller one I could somehow manage it as I mentioned.

Im hoping not to wait too long for a new case, preferably be getting the system within this month. Would the P180 really be worth waiting for? I was thinking of getting the SLK3000B (but it looks like you gotta do a lot of modding to make it quiet, or?) while waiting since it's cheap and I could have some fun trying to do a bit modding. ;)

Looks are at a very low priority, as long it's not designed to be as ugly as possible I don't care (though I wouldn't mind a nice looking case). ;)

Im also not a major overclocker, but it would be nice to do some. ;)
The 25% that burcakb mentioned sounds reasonable and I have no intentions of going above that currently (possibly 30%, would feel wasteful not to overclock with a DFI board :P). Otherwise I wouldn't mind doing extreme overclocking in the future for fun but I have no needs of doing so.

EDIT: Ohh and ShockWave, I had already read your posts about your "research" before starting this topic. ;)

THNX again ^^

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Post by ilh » Sat Mar 12, 2005 8:59 am

I'm running a DFI Ultra-D with a 7000 and memory in the 4th slot. For dual channel you'll want to use slots 2 and 4. I can just finagle the memory in and out of that slot, but it is a lot easier to mount the 7000 after the memory is in place.

Several of us are using mangled NB47Js on our nF4 chipset with good temps. Look at the DFI nF4 thread in the Cool & Quiet VGA section. I'm using a VF700.

Personally, I don't really see the point of SLI. A single 6800 GT overclocked to Ultra speeds and beyond is already a lot of GPU power.

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Post by Mertz » Sat Mar 12, 2005 9:39 am

Well using a NB47J does seem to be a nice fix. Im thinking of getting a DFI board with NB47J now although Im a bit curious how it preformes compared to the original cooler in terms of temp. Also mind telling me or giving me a link to in what way you "mangled" your NB47J and why (like what's wrong with just a normal NB47J)?

While on the subject of passive cooling Im also very curious of what everyone thinks of the Zalman ZM-2HC1 Heatpipe HDD Cooler.

Yeah just one 6800 GT is already a lot of power but I do like the idea of getting another one in the future when prices fall (or when I feel the need for more power). Increasing my performance greatly with not having to pay much. At least that's the idea. ;)

And then as mentioned the VF700 does look like something Im planning on using for GFX cooling.

EDIT: Just found out that the NB47J is a bit to large at normal size. How does the "mangling" effect the cooling?
Also would there be a major difference (in temp & noise compared to NB47J solution) if I simply reduced the fanspeed?

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Post by ilh » Sat Mar 12, 2005 11:33 am

Here is my mangled NB47J. Without the bending and trimming, there is no way it would fit under the video card. If you're only going to be using a single video card, with the Ultra-D you can run it in the bottom 16x slot at 8x with about a 1% performance hit. In that case you could leave the NB47J unmodified.

Having the VF700 blowing through my NB47J helps keep temps as good or better than they were with the stock chipset cooler. If you don't use a VF700, you might need to add a fan in the case to keep some air moving through it.

Others have had similar results.

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Post by nici » Sat Mar 12, 2005 1:16 pm

I can confirm the NB47J works well on the chipset, and the fins are really easy to bend. My current idle chipset temp is 35c, im not finished with cabling and fan placement yet though so theres a lot of cable clutter, i have the case side open and a 120mm Nexus fan on the table blowing on the chipset :lol: Because i run Watercooled GPU too, i have to have some kind of fan in there to keep the shipset temps down.. The "mangling" doesnt affect the cooling much, i doubt cutting away one row of fins makes any noticeable difference. with some airflow, its definately better than stock, the stock cooler is a screamer.

I would also recommend the ATI x800XL over 6600GT if you do gaming, it is as fast as the 6800GT, faster in som e games and slower in some so its quite even but the ATI is cheaper. I have it in Club 3d flavor with Dual-DVI and VIVO, it cost me 340€, and it OCd from 400/500 to 460/555 easily :shock: Thats still with a safe margin, i think i could get at least 10mHz more fromt the core but its plenty fast as it is :lol:

The zalman HDD heatpipe cooler... Well, its not exactly great, the heatpipes dont do much really, the nexus disktwin is a similar but better solution temperature wise. An enclosure like silentmaxx or smartdrive would be better still. Also look in "Silent Storage" for different ideas on suspending and cooling drives :)

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Post by Mertz » Sun Mar 13, 2005 3:45 pm

A little update of the list...

CPU: A64 3200+ w/ XP120 & Nexus 120mm
Motherboard: DFI SLI-DR w/ NB47J
GFX: Leadtek 6800 GT w/ VF700 in PCI-E 8x slot (to avoid modding the NB47J)
RAM: 2x512MB OCZ Rev2
OS/Gaming HDD: 74GB Raptor
Extra HDD: Unknown (Considering Seagate & Samsung, more then 1 extra HDD in future)
DVD-burner: Unknown
PSU: Seasonic SS 400/460W (Possibly considering the S12 series instead)
Case: Antec SLK3000B w/ 2x Nexus 120mm

First Im curious about the XP120 compability with DFI SLI-DR... does it fit without problems?

Then Im also curious to find out just how useful are the Raptors... It's going to be a gaming PC (as well as a LOT of DLing movies and such so a few Extra HDDs would be nice), but prehaps I would do just fine with 2x Samsung 160GB (assuming I manage to find the once with Nidec motors) instead. Anyone know where I can get Samsung drives and be sure that they go with Nidec motors and not JVC?
Kinda been considering the Seagate 7200.7 & 7200.8 as well for "Extra HDD", comments?

Now when it comes to the DVD-burner I just got no idea... Price really doesn't matter in this case, I prioritise my DVD-burner to be reliable, stable and have high compability with as shorts of DVD-discs and so on.
I mentioned the NEC ND-3520 earlier but that was just an example, so it would be nice if someone could tell me of a REALLY good one that fits my needs. ;)

PSU, not sure about the noise difference between the 400W & 460W models, though Im most likely going with the 460W between these 2 unless someone it makes far worse noise (though it might make even less noise so that's why Im asking).
Now considering that Im going with a PCI-E system with possibly SLI in mind for the future I was wondering if the S12 models would be a better pick. Or is it a lot wiser to stay with SS 460W and get some adapters for the 6-pin connectors.

Any other advice about the hardware would be greatly appreciated as well. ;)

Now back to the case (which I haven't gotten a lot of responces on) would the SLK3000B be the "best" choise for this system (price not taken into account) ?

As mentioned Im not going to do any extreme OC but Im considering a 20% OC on the CPU (however with vcore below stock) and possibly 6800 GT @ Ultra Speeds (both if I choose SLI). And of course a decent amount of OC on the OCZ Rev 2 but not above 2.9v. (I can't just get the DFI board, a winchester CPU and OCZ Rev2 but then not do any OC, that would just feel wasteful :P).

Hoping for nice comments and great advice.

THNX in advance.

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Post by Mr_Smartepants » Sun Mar 13, 2005 10:05 pm

That's going to be quite a setup there when it's done.
The 3000B is a nice case. You might also want to consider a variant of the compucase LX-6A19 (D8000, etc.) or an Evercase 4252 (there are dozens) depending on availability in your area.
Or if you can wait, the P180 looks promising.

For PSU, I think the S12 series looks really nice. Dual 12V rails and silent running! Someone correct me but don't SLI boards need dual 12V rails for stability?

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Post by OmegaZero » Sat Mar 19, 2005 11:53 pm

Mertz wrote:Now when it comes to the DVD-burner I just got no idea...
I mentioned the NEC ND-3520 earlier but that was just an example, so it would be nice if someone could tell me of a REALLY good one that fits my needs.
I can recommend the Plextor PX-712SA... I've had it for a while now and it's fast, quiet, and doesn't seem to have any compatibility issues. It's SATA too - not that it really performs any faster because of this, but at least you won't need any IDE cables blocking airflow. It's a good unit, and you can get it pretty cheap now. Plextor is usually a safe bet.
Mertz wrote:Now back to the case (which I haven't gotten a lot of responses on) would the SLK3000B be the "best" choice for this system (price not taken into account) ?
Recently I have been looking into a new case for my system rebuild, and I can say that after extensive research I have also decided on the SLK3000b. It looks like a very well designed piece of gear, both for airflow and ease of use\install. I think with a pair of Nexus 120's and an S12 (my setup also) it'll be pretty slick. The fact that it's half the price of the other cases I have looked at doesn't hurt either...

Sorry, just noticed you were looking for a Dual Layer DVD. I'd still recommend the PX-712SA, but it's only single. Plextor recently came out with the PX-716SA which is DL. I haven't used it personally, but if it's anything like its little brother it is worth every penny.

Dual layer DVD take SO long to burn! Get a single layer and use DVD Shrink :D

B Bennion
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Post by B Bennion » Thu Mar 24, 2005 12:54 am

I just finished "quietizing" 2 computer systems (listed on my sig. below...more or less)

Most cases can be insulated to keep sound at reasonable levels-- provided your components are quiet. Both my Sonata and stock Gateway cases responded nicely to Damptex insulatoin.

On system #1 I used an Antec Sonata case. The Sonata is available with pre-cut sound insulation that I found a breeze to install. I covered all the side holes towards the user, and half those on the oposite side. The Zalman 7000, using a fan-mate to cut the RPM's, is nearly inaudible. My only case fan is the 120MM in the Nexus 400 W PSU (I stongly recommend replacing the Antec PSU that comes with the case with a Seasonic, Nexus 400W, etc. (Nexus claims the 400W is approx. 3 dB quieter than the 300 W, at 16.2dB). I removed the 120mm case fan that comes with the case (you can always replace it if things get too hot) and placed Damptek on the wall behind the backside. For Graphics I recommend considering a passive Gigabyte card (6800, 6800GT, and the ATI 800something) are all available with passive and massive heat sinks (
The AMD 64 3200 on the system runs just dandy with no case fan, and overheating of anything has not been a problem with DOOM 3 fests.

The system runs sub 25 dB at 12" with the greatest amount of audible noise coming from the Dual 120 GB Samsung HD's. Consider a 5.25" smart drive HD enclosure for your speedy Seagate.

My second case is stock Gateway XL700. I used Damptex insulation (cut and stick) and a Smart Drive enclosure to kill the noise (quite effectively) from the old WD 120MB HD. (suspended) After a quick PSU exhange and screwing a 80mm Nexus fan into my unremovable/glued-on stock heat sink, the system measured out at about 29dB at the case, (could'nt test at 1M as ambient room noise was at 28dB)-- again, not quite perfectly inaudible, but very close. I don't believe the choice of case was nearly as important as the #!%% WD HD. (Again, no heat troubles using only the CPU and PSU fans-but no overclocking here).
My Moto- Lots of insulation and as few fans as possible, running as slow as possible. If you've got to have screeming speed and min. noise/heat, consider the Pentium M desktop options. And's only money

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