Desperation

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Snover
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Desperation

Post by Snover » Thu Jun 02, 2005 3:23 pm

I'm about ready to pop my eardrums with needles. I am so tired of system noise but no matter what I do I end up with a system that is either too hot or too noisy. While I haven't done any extreme mods of the kind seen on SPCR -- the worst I've done is dremmeled out a stamped fan grille or two -- I just can't seem to get a system which will be quiet or cool with everything running at stock speeds, and I don't have the desire to attempt underclocking system components and risk instability/data corruption (unless someone who also uses the NVRAID and has the same chipset and CPU can verify that whatever settings they are using do not cause problems).

The specs:
Case: Lian-Li V-1100+ (first attempt was with a PC-6070A -- things ended up being so hot I needed to leave the case open)
Case fans: 2x SilenX 14dBA 120mm, 1x Blower (blower fan came with the case; more specs on that item available on demand but I don't feel like digging in the case for it right now)

PSU: SilenX 520W 14dBA iXtrema Pro

Hard drives: 4x Seagate 7200.8 400GB (in RAID0+1)

Motherboard: ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe w/ fanless Zalman ZM-NB47J on northbridge
RAM: 2x 512M PC3200 Crucial Ballistix RAM (2T) (stock aluminium heat spreaders)

CPU: AMD Athlon64 3500+ Winchester, CnQ OFF
CPU HSF: SilenX MCX-6400V (Swiftech MCX-6400V with SilenX 14dBA themistor-controlled fan -- fan is always running at full speed)

Video card: ASUS EN6800/TD/256 (GeForce 6800, stock noisy crappy fan)

As of right now I also have one of the stock case fans loose inside the case blowing on the northbridge heatsink because I touched it and nearly burned myself! There seems to be basically NO airflow within the case, for some reason.

Idle temperatures are 41C system, 44C CPU, 58C GPU. Load temps I haven't attempted recently. In terms of noise, from my chair, it's about the same volume as a person talking quietly in the room, which is "good", but still distracting, and there is a 'whoosh' characteristic and slight clicking to the noise which makes it particularly bad. Virtually all of the noise is escaping from the rear of the case. The loudest fans are the GPU fan and the blower fan, respectively. Amusingly, the low-frequency hum that is apparently caused by the poor hard drive mounts in the case actually helps cover up a lot of the more aggravating fan noise.
Ideally I would like to bring all temps in the system down by 6-8C and make the system no more than a nice hum in the background. Thoughts? Suggestions? Any relatively simple homebrew or commercial solutions to reduce the fan noise from the rear of the case? Advice on ducting? Should I cut holes into the nice, clean finish of the case?

Photos of the layout of the inside of the case can also be provided if you think they would help.

I really, really appreciate any help you can give, however small. Even "give it up, you freak!" would probably be useful.
[b]Colin Snover[/b]
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the_smell
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Post by the_smell » Thu Jun 02, 2005 3:34 pm

My first thought is you could replace the geforce heatsink/fan with an arctic cooling model, and undervolt it a little. This will be quieter than the stock model (even without undervolting) and you'll probably be able to remove the blower after this.

Also decoupling the hard disks would be good maybe try and get your hands on some sorbathane.

I've no experience with Silenx fans so can't comment on them apart from I prefer to have manual control of fan speeds!

Hope this is of some use! :)
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m0002a
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Post by m0002a » Thu Jun 02, 2005 3:47 pm

The reason it is nice to know your location is that we often recommend specific products and vendors to people, but the availability of these often depends on which country you are located in.

One of the best approaches to quieting your computer is to listen to your system and address the loudest component, one at a time.

I am not sure why you have CnQ turned off, since it should work great at lowering the heat generated in your system.

It sounds like you have some airflow problems, but I am not familiar enough with that case to make recommendations. You might try to open a PCI slot cover below the video card and see what happens.

Having 4 hard drives is a serious challenge to silent computing since drives generate noise and heat (for which you often need additional fans that generate even more noise).

Snover
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Post by Snover » Thu Jun 02, 2005 6:37 pm

I'm in the US.

Lian-li PC-V1100+ product info page, including animated case airflow diagram

The case comes padded with 2mm thick sound dampening foam around the front drive bays, the sides, and the top of the case, and a sturdy door on the front. (Air for the front intake fan comes from the bottom of the case.)

CnQ is disabled because of issues that I have read about where, when CnQ is enabled, data corruption may occur on the NVRAID controller. I was thinking of enabling it once I flash to a BIOS revision greater than 1007 (currently there are betas through 1012, but I am not willing to risk running a beta BIOS), since supposedly the issues have been resolved. (Actually, any potential problem has supposedly been resolved since 1006, which is the revision I'm currently using, but all the information about this issue is insanely sketchy, nVidia and ASUS are both completely useless sources of information or help, and, having had problems with the NVRAID controller in the past, I'm not willing to push my luck too much.)

I'm really more interested in lowering the temperatures I've already got with my current cooling before attempting to decrease airflow further to any of the components in the system. I just don't know how effective slicing a hole in the top of the case will be. I think that creating ducts might be the way to go, but again I'm uncertain of how to proceed. The case design seems to be ideal for rather good convection -- large intake fan blows over the CPU, air runs through the CPU, convects up along the RAM slots, and then is pulled out over the chipset by the blower fan. Oh, how nice it would be if this worked in real life.

Temperature get worse throughout the evening; since my last post, still at idle, System is 43C, CPU is 46C, and GPU is 59C.. I should get a thermostat in this room to measure the ambient temp, since it seems very hot (in the basement, but no air conditioning). That might be a part of the problem. (Well, aside from the fact that I can feel hot air wafting out of the case when the side is open.)

I feel like a fool, and thank you all very much for your patience. I'm sure you get people like me around a lot, and it is probably very tiresome after a while to continue to answer the same silly questions.
[b]Colin Snover[/b]
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sthayashi
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Post by sthayashi » Thu Jun 02, 2005 6:55 pm

You should play the identify game. My money is on your 4x400GB drives that are probably stock mounted in an aluminum case. I just cringed typing that.

Try turning on your computer without the drives plugged in. It won't boot obviously, but it'll give you an idea of whether they're the problem or not.

If I'm wrong, then the_smell may be right and your problem lies with the video card. Take a twist tie or cable tie and stop the video card fan temporarily. It shouldn't burn up if its stopped for only 15-30 seconds and that's enough time to tell you whether it's your main source of noise. This suggestion is applicable to all fans.

I'd look into something other than SilenX. IIRC, they don't blow for s***. Ironically, you may find that you can get better airflow and better silence with a different set of fans/heatsinks.
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drliamski
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Post by drliamski » Thu Jun 02, 2005 9:18 pm

Find out which componants are making the most noise, and what type of noise is it
It looks to me like you need more active outake of air, at the moment you only have the psu and slot blower as outake and more intake(2x120 mm)
In my opinion the air duct for the cpu fan should be extracting the heat from the cpu, can you try this?
You definately need to address heat, you cannot quiet a hot pc right.
I would think the a blowhole in the top of your case would work wonders, in my opinion nvsilencers dissapate very little heat, and the fans on them are very poor.
Also does your psu draw air from the back or from the bottom, i.e is it a 120mm fan or 80mm?
If it draws air from the back, i.e 80 mm then a psu duct from the front past all four hard drives throuhj the power supply might work.
If you dont want to pass so much heat through your power supply, How about suspending two of them in the 5 1/2 " bays and leave the other 2 in the hard drive bays.
In my
I would replace your heatsink with an xp90 amd 92 mm panaflo.
The best gpu cooler is a Zalman VF700-CU.
I think a bit more negative airflow and some better heatsinks and you should be ok.

Snover
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Post by Snover » Fri Jun 03, 2005 2:24 pm

I was also uncertain whether the 120mm fan on the rear should really be an intake or an outtake, but I eventually ended up running it as an intake, as the hard drive and power supply case sections are basically isolated from the rest of the case (there is only a hole of about 4cmx15cm for the cables to pass through). That means that very little of the air coming from the intake fan in front of the hard drives is actually passing through up into the main area of the case. I will try flipping it around again and see what kind of difference I end up with, but I'm not very hopeful since the CPU temperature is already very close to the system temperature (44C/42C respectively). Prior to replacing the noisier Adda fans that came with the case, my CPU was at times dipping below the reading of the ambient temperature.

The power supply uses an 80mm fan with the only intake vents at the rear of the PSU.

I agree that the heatsink and fan on the video card are rather pitiful, and can quite easily identify the video card fan as the loudest fan-noise in the case.

sthayashi, what would you recommend for low-noise, high-CFM fans? I know that Panaflo and Papst are favourites, but the dBA-to-CFM ratio of the SilenX fans were very good -- these fans are rated 58CFM @ 14dBA (of course we all know that numbers can lie, but most of the reviews I found gave favourable impressions and didn't indicate that they were untruthful in their ratings).
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sthayashi
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Post by sthayashi » Fri Jun 03, 2005 10:16 pm

Snover wrote:sthayashi, what would you recommend for low-noise, high-CFM fans? I know that Panaflo and Papst are favourites, but the dBA-to-CFM ratio of the SilenX fans were very good -- these fans are rated 58CFM @ 14dBA (of course we all know that numbers can lie, but most of the reviews I found gave favourable impressions and didn't indicate that they were untruthful in their ratings).
They are TOTALLY lying. Both in terms of dBA AND in terms of CFM (well, they COULD be telling the truth technically with the dBA rating extrapolated from a very high noise floor, but this is grossly unrealistic and atypical). Any other fan with the equivalent genuine CFM will blow a LOT more than the SilenX one. Any other fan (or thing really) that makes 14 dBA of noise will be quieter than this fan.

Nexus is the popular choice around here for those who can afford it. I use Panaflos myself, due to being a cheap bastard, but it seems their quality may not be what it once was.

Having the rear fan be an exhaust may help. Typical fan setups have the rear fan act as the exhaust.
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m0002a
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Post by m0002a » Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:13 am

There are different ways to conduct dBA testing for fans, so you cannot directly compare sound level ratings between manufacturers without testing them yourself (or relying on SPCR to test them). The dBA ratings are OK for comparing different fans by the same manufacturer.

Snover
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Post by Snover » Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:21 pm

I took a look at the list of recommended fans. It says that the Papst 4412FGL has much higher airflow at only slightly higher dBA than the Nexus 120mm fan. The ratings on the list for both the Nexus and Papst fans are spot on to what they reference on their respective sites. Papst rates 4412FGL for 55.27CFM at 26dBA; Nexus rates their 120mm fan for 36.87CFM at 23dBA.

For reference, the fans that came with the case are Adda AD1212LB-A73GL which are rated by Adda for 72CFM at 34dBA.

It seems to me that I would be better off getting one of the Papst fans...if I can find a reseller for them on this side of the pond. Don't you think?
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drliamski
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Post by drliamski » Mon Jun 06, 2005 7:33 am

What are your harddrive temps?
Smartfan is usually good at reading this.
Also what are the ambient temps?
Now from what I have gathered, the motherboard compartment has a slot blower outtake and cpu intake?
If this is the case then I imagine that the proble lies with the airflow being too turbulent, i think you would get better results if you try and get some inflow at the front and use the 1200 mm as outtake, and lose the blower fan.
Last edited by drliamski on Mon Jun 06, 2005 9:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

Edward Ng
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Post by Edward Ng » Mon Jun 06, 2005 8:10 am

If not SmartFan, use DTemp. I like this the best for HDD temp monitoring.

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Post by frankgehry » Mon Jun 06, 2005 8:23 am

The adda that you listed - AD1212LB-A73GL - is the same fan in the newer seasonics. I don't think you want to end up running fans at max cfm at which point most fans are noisy. The nexus may be an exception but it only goes to 1000 rpm anyway. You can read the comments about the adda in the latest seasonic S12 review. Someone else went with the silverstone FM-121 which may be somewhat of a compromise. Search for the comments regarding this fan. I really like the papst but I had to order one from germany. One of the faster yate loons like the D12SM-12 - sort of a medium speed nexus - might be good. I happen to like the JML 1225-12L - www.jmcproducts.com. I could go on and on about fans but I will have to look at your case later. - FG

EDIT: There are some really good pictures of your case at newegg. Does yours have the duct cover over the cpu. It looks like there is a 120mm fan blowing to rear of the case in the hard drive/psu duct at the bottom, but where does the fan get air. The front looks completely blocked off. Then at the rear, air is brought in over the cpu and somehow goes out the back. Seems like it might be better w/o the cover over the cpu. I really think you should try to post pictures because so far its not really possible to discuss things like the cpu cover, front air intakes, etc.. Newegg photos are different from lian-li site. Lian li site has no rear view. Or at least refer to the newegg photos and explain where the blower is and how your case is different/same. Everyone is guessing at this point.

Here is another thread from another user
http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewto ... lian++1100

I hate to jump to conclusions but the case is kind of wierd and w/o more ventilation I don't see how things can improve. Maybe air comes in from the back and exits through the top or visa versa. You would have to make some holes in the top and put a couple of 80's or a 120 in. You have to make a convincing air flow diagram. Lian li's diagram looks suspicious.

Search for other Lian li 1100 cases.
http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewto ... lian++1100
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Pauli
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Post by Pauli » Mon Jun 06, 2005 12:05 pm

I've got just a single 400GB 7200.8 (softmounted on Sorbothane) and it's the loudest single component in my system. 4 of them has got to be pretty loud, especially if they are not suspended or soft-mounted. Not to mention that if they are mounted close together (perhaps closer than 3/4"), they will not be very well ventilated and will be running very warm.

IMO, you really need to address this if you want your system to be cool and quiet. I'd really like to see how your system is laid out.
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POLIST8
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Post by POLIST8 » Mon Jun 06, 2005 12:26 pm

I was reading your post when I came across the GeForce 6800 with stock fan. I immediately stopped reading it.

True, the hard drives will be loud - but I can almost bet that they are nothing in comparison to that whiny GeForce fan.

The suggestion of putting the Zalman on that GeForce is also a good idea.

Or, how about a good "give it up, you freak!"



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drliamski
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Post by drliamski » Mon Jun 06, 2005 2:41 pm

Tell us your temps!
Okay, here are the steps you should take in my opinion
Free mods-
Lose slot blower
Place 2 hardrives in 5.25 bays with suspension
Put bottom two hdd on a foam bed in seperate hdd bays
Make rear 120mm fan exhaust
Mount 120 mm fan in front 5.25 bays. between suspended harddrives, make sure it has an intake.
Undervolt processor? Will reduce temps but benchmark for stability,
my 939 3000 will run on 1.35 at stock

If both compartments have there own intake and outake the you should be able to voltmodd the fans down to 7v or less for silence. Either mod a molex or use a zalman powermate.
If this is still not enough to keep your motherboard compartment cool the a top mounted blowhole may be needed.


Modifications that require some $$$
Replace geforce stock cooler with zalman.
Replace cpu cooler with thermalright xp90 and panaflo 92mm fan
Use arctic silver heatsink compound.

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