Just built a new Desktop, but still too loud

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Dark Rage
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Location: Toronto, Canada

Just built a new Desktop, but still too loud

Post by Dark Rage » Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:23 am

Hi, I'm a reader of this website, but I've just recently joined up the forums and I recently built a new Desktop with the articles of SPCR in mind (my first build as well, took awhile!)

I apologize if this should be in the newbies section, but I thought posting in this sub-forum would be better since I already have a built PC already.

Anyways, here is my build (It's a silent, light gaming desktop):

Antec P182 Gun Metal Black
ASUS P5QL-EM Motherboard
Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 2.30 GHz
ASUS EN9600GT Silent 512MB Video Card
Enermax MODU82+ 525W PSU
Corsair XMS2 4GB DDR2 Dual Channel RAM (2GBx2)
Thermalright HR-01 Plus CPU Heatsink
3 Scythe Kaze-Jyuni Slip Stream 120mm fans for the case (SY1025SL12M)
1 Scythe Kama 120mm PWM fan for the CPU Heatsink cooler

I applied Arctic Cooling MX-2 thermal compound for the CPU.

I have 2 questions:

1. I'm hoping to make the PC even lower in noise, since I can't seem to lower the top case fan below 1300RPM. Unfortunately, the ASUS Q-Fan feature is very simple, with only 3 settings allowed (optimal/silent/performance), rather than choosing my own RPM rate. And I can't even tell a difference in the fan noise.

The mobo only has 1 PWM fan connector (and 2 3-pin fan connectors), for the CPU fan, and I can't seem to lower the RPM with SpeedFan.

I found this Scythe fan controller on endPCnoise, perhaps that can give me more control to the noise generated by the fans? Are there any other reasonably-priced noise-reducing parts anyone can suggest?

2. My Quad core temperatures are usually in the high 40's or 50 when I'm surfing (about 8 Firefox tabs), Winamp, and MSN Messenger. I'm not sure if this is considered loading the CPU, but I'm wondering if I did a bad job applying the MX-2 Thermal compound but are these temperature ranges normal or not?

Thanks for hearing me out, I love reading the reviews on this website!

tehfire
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Post by tehfire » Sun Jan 11, 2009 6:39 am

First of all, WELCOME TO SPCR!

Pretty good rig, although I think you have: A) Too many fans, and B) Fans that spin too quickly. I haven't used the Scythe fan controller, but I would just get a couple of Zalman FanMate 2's or something like that. Also, I would only use 1 of those Slip Stream fans (at the rear-top exhaust). Maybe have it spin around 750rpm? That should keep everything cool enough. Also, the model number that you listed (SY1025SL12M) seems to be for the 100mm Slipstream. Are these the fans you have? I'm not sure if that size mounts on a P182...

Secondly, those temperatures do seem kind of high for your Q8200. Is it overclocked? What program are you using to monitor your temps? With a highly overclocked/overvolted E6750, my temps are 38C idle. I would try using RealTemp to monitor your temperatures.

Dark Rage
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Post by Dark Rage » Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:06 pm

tehfire wrote:First of all, WELCOME TO SPCR!

Pretty good rig, although I think you have: A) Too many fans, and B) Fans that spin too quickly. I haven't used the Scythe fan controller, but I would just get a couple of Zalman FanMate 2's or something like that. Also, I would only use 1 of those Slip Stream fans (at the rear-top exhaust). Maybe have it spin around 750rpm? That should keep everything cool enough. Also, the model number that you listed (SY1025SL12M) seems to be for the 100mm Slipstream. Are these the fans you have? I'm not sure if that size mounts on a P182...

Secondly, those temperatures do seem kind of high for your Q8200. Is it overclocked? What program are you using to monitor your temps? With a highly overclocked/overvolted E6750, my temps are 38C idle. I would try using RealTemp to monitor your temperatures.
Thank you for the advice tehfire, I didn't think that I had too many fans, just the regular 3 fans for the P182 case and another for the CPU Heatsink. Do many members of SPCR usually use fewer fans for their cases? Sorry, I pasted the wrong Scythe fan model, it is the 120mm version (SY1225SL12M) from this review: http://www.silentpcreview.com/article832-page3.html

But if I intend to play some games on this computer, would I need to re-mount the fans every time if I plan to put the GPU/CPU under stress?

And no, my desktop is not overclocked, after installing RealTemp, it's shown in the range of 43 to 39, so SpeedFan must be about 5-6 degrees Celsius higher than usual.

tehfire
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Post by tehfire » Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:02 pm

Well SPCR people usually have fewer fans because more fans equals more noise. I current config includes an E6750 O/Ced to 3.2GHz and a Radeon 4850 in the Mini-P180 and one fan in the back spinning at about 600rpm is all that I need. Processor never breaks 65C, and my 4850 has a Zalman VF1000 on it and that never breaks 70C. You shouldn't have to remount your fans regularly.

vertigo
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Post by vertigo » Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:27 am

But if I intend to play some games on this computer, would I need to re-mount the fans every time if I plan to put the GPU/CPU under stress?
When your PC is being stressed, the heat sources generate more heat. As long as the hot air is being removed then it doesn't really matter if hotter air is generated because it'll just get removed.

But if some hot air is being blown around inside the case, hotter air will make the case temp hotter.

If your airflow is set up right, you don't need to remount or move fans.

victorhortalives
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Multiple Fans

Post by victorhortalives » Fri Jan 16, 2009 6:26 am

If you want to have two (or more) settings for fans/heat removal, then why not get a multiple fan controller (e.g. Zalman ZM-MFC1).

Then you can run 1 fan on a quiet setting for normal use and turn a second one on (or up) for gaming use. Easier to do this from a front control than with multiple Fanmate 2s.

I have 2 PCs with this arrangement as well as NAS with a Fanmate that I don't adjust.

protellect
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Post by protellect » Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:17 am

I'd also recommend some Zalman Fanmates. I had bad luck with speedfan and any motherboard vendor provided software solution. Zalman fanmates are 4$ each, so. Well worth it I think.

BillyBuerger
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Post by BillyBuerger » Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:02 am

I'm wondering if the Q-Fan setting is only affecting the CPU fan speed? If so, it might be turning that down but the 3x 1300rpm fans are drowning it out and you don't notice any different. Try unplugging all fans except the CPU on and play with the Q-Fan settings. Also, sometimes I've seen where changing setting like this in the BIOS don't take affect until after you save the BIOS and reboot. If you can't control the other fans from the motherboard, than you should be able to use a couple fan-mates or something to turn them down to a level that is quiet yet still keeps things cool.

As for multiple fans, it's not necessarily a bad thing to have multiple fans. One exhaust fan may be able to remove the heat, but if it's not directed near the hot parts, it might just be blowing cool air through the case leaving the GPU to sit in it's own heat. Requiring that one fan to be turned up in order to move enough air by the GPU. A slow fan blowing at the GPU can mean you get good temps on the GPU without having to turn up the exhaust fan. Or you have to play with some ducting. I've had some good results as of late doing that. But in most of the builds I've done lately with fanless graphics cards, I use a front fan at a low speed to blow some air directly over the GPU otherwise they tend to get hot. Had a nVidia 6200 actually die from overheating because of this.

Dark Rage
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Post by Dark Rage » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:31 pm

Thanks for the tips guys. I was considering the Zalman Fanmate 2, but it seems sort of inconvenient since I'd be leaving a small controller inside the case (and opening and closing up the case every time to change the speed is a bit of a hassle).

I was also considering a 5.25" fan controller, such as the black one offered by Scythe, but my friend has had friends buy similar products and found out that every boot up of the PC results in different calibrations of fan speeds. I don't know if that's with just a few specific controllers or all of them. The Zalman ZM-MFC1 controller is an option, but I was thinking more about the Zalman ZM-MFC2, since it looks better with the black case (sorry to sound whiny, but the MFC1 just looks like an eyesore, IMO :( ).

Right now, I've got a hole on the top fan opening of my P182 case, but it's covered by the top grill add-on...Probably not a good idea. I've moved the loud fan inside to the inner lower 5.25" optional can location, but it's still at about 1300 RPM, not as loud as before, but I still can't sleep w/ it on.

As for Q-Fan, the CPU PWM fan is fine, it's about about 700-800 RPM. The loud fan is actually connected to the PWR_FAN 3-pin connector. Even at silent mode, it's still the same noise and speed. Maybe that's just the way ASUS configured it to be.

I've actually been tempted to buy another motherboard with better options for controlling fan speeds, but it's quite an expensive option though.

BillyBuerger
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Post by BillyBuerger » Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:22 pm

Okay, that makes sense. Yes, it's nice to have all your fans so that they turn up when they need to but stay quiet when they don't. This is especially true for the CPU fan which is where you're good. The other fans might be able to do fine at a static speed.

You could pick up a couple of fanmates and dial in a speed that is quiet enough for you and see how hot things get. If they get too hot under load, turn them up a little bit until they keep things cool. If it's too loud at this level, then yeah you would do better with a fan controller that can adjust the speed as needed. Or an external fan controller where you can turn it up manually without having to open things up. I would think that the one rear fan should be able to remove enough heat even at a slow speed. Then one front fan blowing over the video card to keep that cool. Does the P182 let you mount a fan right in front of the video card? If so, I would think that would give you enough airflow over that even at low speeds. I think it's doable.

Another option is additional PWM fans like Artic Coolings that let you daisy chain them together. Then they could all be controlled by the one PWM fan header. Although you might want to watch for maximum current draw on that header. Two slower fans should be fine. More than that or more powerful fans might be too much. I did this on my HTPC. I had a Scyth Shruiken 100mm fan and two 80mm AC fans all running off the CPU fan header. Never had any problems. I've since removed the 100mm fan though.

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Post by FartingBob » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:00 pm

With just one of those slipstream fans on the exhuast, you should be able to take out the rest and have the CPU passive as well. I have a Q9400 in a SOLO and thats what i have (with a NINJA heatsinks, which isnt quite as efficient as your HR-01). Your GPu doesnt produce alot of heat and has its own exhuast, so wont contribute much heat to the rest of the system.

Plekto
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Post by Plekto » Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:05 pm

Something to try(note this is MESSY) is to disassemble the machine entirely and use a Dremel to cut out the fan grilles. This, as expected, leaves tons of metal dust everywhere. A small vacuum or a slightly wet wad of tissues and a lot of patience is required for cleanup.

This literally doubles airflow and removes some noise due to back pressure.

Then get a fan speed controller and nudge the voltages back to about 9-10V. This should be enough to get it to nearly silent.(voltmeter highly recommended). Turn off all monitoring for fan speed and wire the fans directly into the power supply. IMO, machines work best if they have constant airflow. Sure, during hotter periods, it gets hotter, but the difference is usually minor and for a few minutes at a time. The advantage is that there won't be the fans all going up and down in speed. It'll end up being a very quiet drone in the background that your brain will filter out in a couple of weeks.

loimlo
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Post by loimlo » Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:10 am

Image

You may consider famous 5V trick - a molex splitter with several 5V/7V/12V fan plugs - adjusting your fans. Easy, simple, and cheap if you get one in your system. I used 5V to slow down my Yate D12SM12.

danielG
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Post by danielG » Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:57 am

A Slipstream above 1000 rpm is loud. Mine run at 800 rpm and don't bother me.

The cheapest solution would be returning the 1200 rpm Slipstreams to the store and swap them for 800 rpm models if you don't want to fiddle with their speeds. If you intend getting a fan controller anyway or think you can go slower than 800, keep the 1200s, they undervolt better.

Also, a Slipstream is best used vertical and is louder when placed horizontally. A S-Flex is a better choice for the top fan.

Dark Rage
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Post by Dark Rage » Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:04 pm

The Zalman Fanmate controller seems to be the cheapest option at the moment, since it's only 1 fan that's too fast, but a 5.25" controller is pretty nice too, I only wish there were more reviews on the ones in the market, and that are actually detailed (SPCR reviews' have spoiled me :) )

The loud fan is currently at the inside of the lower 5.25" bay level, which blows at the GPU card, sort of. It doesn't really matter anyways, my video card is fanless, so I think it's ok for now.

daisy chaining the Arctic Cooling fans is an option, but I don't know what's the maximum current that the PWM connector has, and although I will be sending ASUS an email soon to ask them, I doubt that they will be willing to tell me. Maybe I can borrow/rent some volt meter to measure the amps the PWM connector has.

I'm also just thinking of covering the top hole with a mesh instead, to allow better airflow instead of a non-moving fan in it's place. Pantyhose, anyone? lol.

As for the drilling idea, I don't think I'm gonna do that, they'll pretty much make it pointless to buy the case, I really like their noise-dampening side panels.

And danielG, I'm not sure what you mean by replacing the 1200 rpm Slipstreams with 800 RPM models. I thought that any fan I plug into the PWR_FAN connector will spin at about 1300 RPM regardless.

I actually never knew that the S-Flex's are quieter as a horizontal fan, I just avoided them since the SPCR said they were at a much higher pitch for sound.

danielG
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Post by danielG » Fri Jan 23, 2009 6:19 am

Usually, in any motherboard, only CPU_FAN, CHA_FAN1 and CHA_FAN2 throttle the fan. PWR_FAN does not throttle the fan connected to it, it only supplies full 12V -> about 1200 rpm with SY1225SL12M.

You might have have too many fans. Before you buy any more stuff, experiment a bit. The less fans, the less noise, even if they are silent.

Which hard drives do you have in the bottom chamber? If they are recent, you might not need a bottom chamber fan. Disconnect it and check if the hard drive temperatures go over 45ºC. If they don't, you don't need the fan there and you can connect another fan to that CHA_FANx header.

You can also check if you really need two fans in the upper chamber. Disconnect the intake fan and check if temps stay at acceptable levels under heavy load (eg: gaming).


Also, fans are sold with different maximum speeds:

Slipstream, 1200rpm@12V: SY1225SL12M
Slipstream, 800rpm@12V: SY1225SL12L

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article832-page1.html

Dark Rage wrote:I actually never knew that the S-Flex's are quieter as a horizontal fan, I just avoided them since the SPCR said they were at a much higher pitch for sound.
They are higher pitched, but my Slipstreams become very clicky when horizontal. I tolerate the higher pitch better than clicky fans, which drive me nuts.

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Post by victorhortalives » Sun Jan 25, 2009 7:45 am

Dark Rage wrote:Thanks for the tips guys. I was considering the Zalman Fanmate 2, but it seems sort of inconvenient since I'd be leaving a small controller inside the case (and opening and closing up the case every time to change the speed is a bit of a hassle).

I was also considering a 5.25" fan controller, such as the black one offered by Scythe, but my friend has had friends buy similar products and found out that every boot up of the PC results in different calibrations of fan speeds. I don't know if that's with just a few specific controllers or all of them. The Zalman ZM-MFC1 controller is an option, but I was thinking more about the Zalman ZM-MFC2, since it looks better with the black case (sorry to sound whiny, but the MFC1 just looks like an eyesore, IMO :( ).

Right now, I've got a hole on the top fan opening of my P182 case, but it's covered by the top grill add-on...Probably not a good idea. I've moved the loud fan inside to the inner lower 5.25" optional can location, but it's still at about 1300 RPM, not as loud as before, but I still can't sleep w/ it on.

As for Q-Fan, the CPU PWM fan is fine, it's about about 700-800 RPM. The loud fan is actually connected to the PWR_FAN 3-pin connector. Even at silent mode, it's still the same noise and speed. Maybe that's just the way ASUS configured it to be.

I've actually been tempted to buy another motherboard with better options for controlling fan speeds, but it's quite an expensive option though.
A word of experience. I bought a Zalman ZM-MFC2 and quickly resold it. Unless you are at eye level with this turkey, it is almost impossible to see what it is doing.

I see you have a P182. I have 2x P182s, with the door closed where's the sore eyes ?

Regarding Zalman Fanmate 2, most posts I have seen put it on the back of their case (it comes with a piece of double sided tape) and run the wire back in through any old hole. I have one on my NAS that runs back through where the power socket would have been. I replaced the PSU with a Pico. (Antec 1380)

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