Why you need silent system?

The forum for non-component-related silent pc discussions.

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Re: Why you need silent system?

Post by ultraboy » Sun Oct 24, 2004 4:10 am

wim wrote:... i s'pose we must seem like a strange cult to some folks. i know i've had friends laugh when i groaned about their noisy machines.
Oh, wait till you see the face of saleperson in the shop I buy fans - they look quite shock everytime I 'listen' to the spinning fan rather than feel the airflow like everyone else does. :wink:

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Post by mathias » Sun Oct 24, 2004 7:43 am

Chancellor Martok wrote:My main reason for trying to quiet down my PC is so that I can keep it in my bedroom and still sleep at night. I live deep within a rather quiet suburb on the outskirts of Sydney, far away from any traffic, so it's just about silent here at night. I've had a minor obsession with not having ticking clocks around the house for a while, so in a way maybe this is just an extension of that...
Same here. My neighbourhood is nicely quiet. Ticking clocks annoy me, especially since I have two. I replaced a wall clock with a another as quiet as my alarm clock, but the half second ticks still were very annoying, synchronizing them makes them much more tollerable. But that might change some time after my next quieting order arrives.

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Post by wim » Sun Oct 24, 2004 8:29 pm

oh man.. i hate my f***ing clock :evil:

...but it's so good looking! what to do?!
i can't find any that don't TICK and digital clocks are all ugly


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Post by meglamaniac » Mon Oct 25, 2004 5:32 am

Heh, an underclocked clock.
There's the dumbest idea I ever heard :)

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Post by mathias » Mon Oct 25, 2004 5:44 am

An underclocked clock could work, halve it's speed and and it would do a full rotation every 24 hours or 120 minutes. Then just relabel it and you have a unique clock that makes half as much noise, and it would be very useful if you constantly have no idea if it's AM or PM.

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Post by wim » Mon Oct 25, 2004 7:56 am

:lol: :lol: :lol:
underclocked clock... :lol:

way OT..i am seriously going to mod this clock, if i can find any other clock with one of those motors which spins the second hand instead of ticking it.. but i've been looking for that for years now with no luck

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Post by msmrodan » Mon Oct 25, 2004 9:28 am

me? I run a home based recording studio where I do my own projects and some friends stuff..
needless to say I need the computer to be dead silent. When recording with condensor mics with a 136db range even the tiniest amount of noise slips in.

I've gone from slowing down fans and duct taping to building my own watercooling system and a zalman reserator.
Also, silence does wonders for your creative energy.. :D

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Post by Rory B. » Mon Oct 25, 2004 12:14 pm

I like quiet computers. I could never sleep with my computer running, which used a 92mm fan pushing 44 cfm, and a Thermaltake Golden Orb. when I upgraded to a 1GHz Duron (still my main computer, if you can believe that), I bought a cool-looking HSF which used an all-copper heatsink and a clear 60mm fan (back when that thing wasn't the norm) and it made plenty of noise along with my video card's fan. I also had an Enermax 320w power supply with dual fans. But it was full of noise, and I found it increasingly hard to live with. My school started buying Gateway computers with thick plastic side panels, which were mostly effective at drowning out the noise. But I was more intrigued by the challenge of silencing my computer completely. I started by buying a Chieftec Dragon case, the same design as the Antec SoHo series server case. I also bought four Vantec Stealth fans, because I thought they would be quiet. They were decently quiet compared to the screamer fans which were becoming popular at the time, but they didn't do it for me. I also bought a Tt Volcano 9 heatsink, thinking that the thermal-controlled fan would be quiet. Wrong again. But I didn't have any more money to blow on silencing. Later, I bought an ATi Radeon 9500 Pro 128MB video card, and at the same time I purchased a Zalman ZM80A-HP cooler. It was silent, but it got really, really hot. I also bought an 80mm and a 92mm L1A fan to put in my dual-fan power supply. I also pulled all the Vantec Stealth fans from my computer except for one in the hard drive bay. That fall, when I came to college, I bought an NMB 80mm fan that would run slower and smoother than the Thermaltake (Everflow) fan. I also bought three more Panaflo L1As and a Zalman fan bracket. I put two of the new L1As in the front of the computer, and one on the Zalman fan bracket to blow on the Zalman cooler for my video card. I also bought a Fortron 120mm fan power supply, and that is how I arrived at my current setup. I also during that time devloped an enthusiasm for high-fidelity sound, and built several speakers during that time. I learned that you can hear more in your recordings with a lower noise floor, and silencing the computer can be a really big step in defending your sound space from noise intrusion.

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Post by pangit » Mon Oct 25, 2004 6:53 pm

I think the original poster has long gone, but it's quite a good topic nonetheless, with the usual high standard of discussion (one of the reasons that keeps me coming back here)

Like many people here, I had upgraded my PC gradually over time, adding extra fans heatsinks as needed without giving much thought to noise. When my Dad heard it one day (he had an old quiet Dell P133 at the time) he asked how could I stand such a racket, and I grinned and made the same sort of comment as z_unit did, saying it was cool having a noisy, powerful rig. I simply hadn't thought about it before, and had accepted it as an inevitable part of a modern powerful PC.

Then I started thinking about it and did some internet searches, finding several good sites (including SPCR of course, then in its infancy) and discovered there was a way to make it quieter without sacrificing performance . I did a few of the usual mods which made a huge difference in noise, and since then it's been a never ending quest (with ever decreasing returns of course :wink: )

Of course once you have a reasonably quiet PC you can't go back, and it's only then that you realise what you were putting up with. But a majority of non-SPCR enthusiasts simply haven't made that first connection yet - you can have perfomance and quietness at the same time.

It's also to do with age - we get more intolerant as we get older. I would guess a majority of us in here are in their 30s or older (I'm 35), whereas a lot of OC'ers are younger than that (that's just a complete guess BTW). I highly doubt a lot of the z-units of the world will stay that way forever. They'll come and join us, just give them a few years!! :lol:

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Post by Edward Ng » Mon Oct 25, 2004 7:21 pm



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Post by Dirge » Mon Oct 25, 2004 7:48 pm

I cant believe I ever put up with screamers like the fop32 I used to OC my duron back in 2001.

I want a quiet pc that I can work on and not hear the wine of fans. I often leave my machine on at night and need it to be dead quiet as I am a light sleeper.

Well so far I have not achieved a silent pc but its allot quieter than when I started.

I guess it has become a bit of a passion, these days I am particularly sensetive to noise.

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Re: Why you need silent system?

Post by Sigbjørn Lund Olsen » Tue Oct 26, 2004 1:17 am

z_unit wrote:I kinda dont understand why do people here want silent systems, why preformance is not matter to your you only want it to be as silent as possible?
I myself have fan with 6000 RPM on CPU and its noise level is 55 DB and its fine you will stop notice it in couple of days using it.
If you intend to work with music and/or video, you simply *cannot* have a tempest roaring under your desk. Furthermore, if your PC is *also* your TV, Radio, CD and DVD player then you don't want noise. At least not any more noise than you'd have with a normal TV/stereo (and those are generally very silent indeed). That's my motivation at any rate.

Besides, having a really bleeding edge system and being able to silence it can be done. You can see on the homebrew page on the site there's silenced overclocked P4s, silenced dual Athlon-MP systems etc etc. There's really no contradiction.

Why settle for bread when you can have butter too?

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Post by Sigbjørn Lund Olsen » Tue Oct 26, 2004 1:39 am

mathias wrote:Also, putting some heavy books on an (aluminum) case might reduce the vibration significantly. Can anyone think of any other good ways to let people try out a bit of quiet?
You know, I'd recommend people (if they asked) to try out having the computer in a second room for a day and set up the monitor and peripherals on the other side of it, just to see if they like it better without the computer noise. Obviously, having the computer on either side of a door is going to be inconvenient more often than not, so silent modding ahoy...

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Post by Denorios » Tue Oct 26, 2004 1:42 am

I simply can't ignore a noisy computer. I can't sleep in a room with a computer that makes that much noise.

If you only use your computer for gaming, then noise doesn't matter so much, but if you are trying to listen to music, or watch something other than an action movie, it is an enormous distraction. If you have your computer on 24/7, crunching numbers or downloading, then 55dB would intolerable - I'd go nuts! :evil:

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Post by JazzJackRabbit » Tue Oct 26, 2004 4:24 pm

Well, several reasons for me...

First and most important is that I hate noise. It's really hard for me to concentrate on my studies with the constant whine coming from computers, it's almost impossible to read a book too. I can't read a book in a noisy room at all, I mean I can read it, but it's really hard to absorb the material - I always keep coming back rereading several sentences before because they just don't stay in my head. You probably know the feeling - hey, did I just read that? Why the heck I don't remember it? It's also hard to write a paper/code a program at 12AM at night, wanting to go to sleep as soon as possible and there is this damn box making this goddamn awfull noise distracting from the thought process. Second reason is audio and video. I do everything on my PC, my entire audio library is on my hard drive - it's just more convenient to have the entire music library at your fingertip (hey, why do you think they make those 100-300 CD jukeboxes?). I also don't have a standalone DVD player and my TV is only 13" big, so I watch all my DVDs on my PC. And as it already has been mentioned, having constant whine from harddrives/whoosh from fans does not help at all.

Now, can anyone point me to some documented studies about ambient noise and fatigue/health problems? I wanna show them to my dad, who exclusively uses ball-bearing WDs... :roll: Thank you.

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Post by krooton » Wed Oct 27, 2004 10:20 am

I initially started as I wanted to be able to leave my machine on overnight whilst I slept, and it's snowballed from there.

I am shocked how much a quieter computer has improved my general enjoyment of pc use, I have been using pc's since I was 6, so 16 years now, and I have had a fascination with them for ages. The fact that I can now leave my xp2500M@2.43Ghz on overngiht and still sleep.

Creative modding, good components and advice from sites like these all lead to this, and I can honestly say if I was to make a decision between say 300mhz and silence, I'd pick silence everytime :)

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Post by Cerb » Thu Oct 28, 2004 9:41 pm

I had a PC in my room for several years. No biggie.
Then I got a Duron 800, overclocked it to 1Ghz, with a noisy Enlight PSU.
Then I got a Geforce2 GTS, with an itty bitty 40mm fan.
Then I got a 5400RPM WD HD Caviar. Whine, whine, whine.

I began in AT, and actually adding fans helped, but then that was too much...it was lower in pitch, but there. I'm in the same room as the PC. I should be able to to have a PC that performs well, but has no more sound than my old K6-II junker did, with a quiet CPU fan and slow PSU fan. If I don't go passive (or water), I doubt I'll sleep near it on, but it will be nice to listen to music with good range and not hear the Panaflo and Fortron PSU resonating with the case.

And don't be fooled into thinking you are used to it. You might tune it out consciously, but do some Googling. Even people who don't consciously hear the sounds are affected like those who can't tune them out.

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Post by silvervarg » Fri Oct 29, 2004 3:18 am

Even people who don't consciously hear the sounds are affected like those who can't tune them out.
This is very true, and several posts have pointed this out before. Ralf, Halcyon and Edward Ng wrote really good posts.
It is normal to be about 20% less effective over long time due to this disturbance, so any sensible company will have desktop or laptop machines that are fairly quiet. It simply costs too much to have people produce 20% less results.
In the same analogy companies put servers in a server room so noise does not matter. This is cheaper than it is to make them quiet.

For private use the connection between time and money is not as clear, but it should still be considered. So assume that you spend 20 hours a week infront of your computer. Lets say you do something usefull half that time. That still means that you gained 2 hours every week by having a silent computer.
Now figure out how much it is worth to spend on silencing that rig to gain 2 hours a week. Can you really afford to run a loud machine?
Still there is some point where the diminishing returns should stop us from silencing the rig, unless silencing has turned into a hobby, like it has for most of us.
As you know anything classified as a hobby does not have to be rational anymore ;-)

Wim wrote that he could not find a good looking wallclock that dind't tick.
The simplest trick is to use clock mechanics without seconds. With most mechanics it is just the seconds that tick noticably.
Ofcourse you should keep that nice looking clock that you like.

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Post by wim » Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:42 am

The simplest trick is to use clock mechanics without seconds. With most mechanics it is just the seconds that tick noticably.
Ofcourse you should keep that nice looking clock that you like.
i haven't been able to find this.
i've listened to several clocks which have no second hand (there was even a model looking exactly the same as mine minus the second hand) but they still tick. :? it would seem counting off the seconds is part of the mechanism for keeping time, regardless..

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Post by pangit » Tue Nov 02, 2004 7:16 pm

That's because most modern clock mechanisms are quartz, which advance the time one second each time the quartz crystal oscillates X number of times. You'll have to get an old wind up one or pre-quartz electrical. A friend of mine has on old wall clock powered by the mains which has a sweeping second hand and doesn't tick. Not quite as accurate as quartz, but quieter.

Alternatively, put some accoustic padding around the mechanism on the back of the clock! :lol:

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Post by ActionAttackJohn » Tue Nov 02, 2004 7:41 pm

I tried undervolting my clock but it kept losing time :cry:

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Post by sthayashi » Tue Nov 02, 2004 7:50 pm

ActionAttackJohn wrote:I tried undervolting my clock but it kept losing time :cry:
Reminds me of the time I actually underclocked my clock :D. Note to remember: USA uses a 60Hz power cycle while Tokyo uses a 50Hz cycle.

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