The result of my quest for a quiet(er) PC...

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Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:38 am

The result of my quest for a quiet(er) PC...

Post by fredar » Tue Jan 25, 2005 3:07 am

Hello there!

After frequently visiting SPCR for a few weeks I think it's time
to contribute with the results of my small efforts.

It all started just after christmas. One of the christmas presents
I got was a Geforce 6600 GT which was performing excellently compared
to my old Geforce 3 card. It was however equipped with a fan that made
a lot more noise than the old vga card did and this was what got me
started in the quest for silence.

Since the card is an AGP version it has an extra chip with its own
heatsink right next to the gpu's heatsink. It was this heatsink
that made me wonder if any of the eftermarket gpu coolers would
actually fit the new 6600GT agp card, the research I did on the
internet didn't give me any conclusive information and I ended up
buying the Zalman VF700-AlCu without knowing if it would fit or
After removing the original heatsink it was only a matter of
seconds to verify that it would fit and in the end it did a good
job in ending the whining noise from the original gpu fan.

Since the result of that simple cooler swap was so rewarding
I started to read about how to get the rest of the computer
less noisy.

My system at that time looked like this:

CPU: XP 3000+ Barton
CPU heatsink: Thermaltake Volcano 7+ at 2300 rpm (exchanged the thermistor for a potentiometer)
MEM: TwinMos 512 MB CL2
HDD no1: 18 Gb Ultra SCSI
HDD no2: 160Gb Wester Digital IDE
PSU: FSP Group (Fortron) 350W 120mm fan
CDRW: AOpen 52x
Chassi: AOpen "OLD"
Graphics board: Sparcle Geforce 6600GT AGP with a Zalman VF700-AlCu

This setup was running ok although a bit hot, the PSU was the only fan taking air out of the computer:
MB: 40 degrees C
CPU: 49 degrees C

My first objective was to exchange my old AOpen chassi for something
a bit more modern. I had seen chassies with the hardrives mounted
in the 90 degree angle and I decided that that was a good idea, the other
prerequisite I put up was that it should have at least 1 big fan included.

I read reviews like a madman and was seriously considering the Arctic
Cooling Silentium T2 which I thought looked very promising and if it would
have had 2 suspended hdd boxes instead of 1 this would have been my
first choice. Since I use 2 hdds there would still be the noise from one of
them and I decided to look for something else. After a lot of reading on the
SPCR website I finally decided that I'd get the SLK3700BQE chassie.

I actually ordered a BQE chassie earlier on the same day that SPCR came
out with the slk3000b review which I devoured as fast as I could. A quick
search on the net revealed that I would get the slk3000b including a
acoustipack precut(for the bqe but close enough) for the same amount of
money as the bqe so I quickly canceled my bqe chassies order and
ordered the slk3000b instead. I figured that the lack of a PSU shouldn't
be a big problem since I already had a Fortron unit in my computer.

As soon as the slk arrived I installed the acoustipack which fitted almost
perfectly. The only part I had to modify was the sidpanel with the airduct.
Once the acoustipack was in I started transferring my system into the new
chassie and since the old system looked more like a spiders nest than a
computer I put some extra effort into getting the wires hidden away as
much as possible.

When I started my computer for the first time in the new chassie I was
really satisfied with how much quieter it was than before but after running
it for a while I realized that the airduct was letting out quite alot of noise
from the Volcano 7+.

With the Volcano 7+ running at 1800 rpm the tempertures in the new chassie was:
MB: 35 degrees C
CPU: 47 degrees C

Note that I was able to lower the volcano fan speed and still have a cooler
cpu than before (thanks to the airduct). The noise coming out of it was still
to loud though.

Again the SPCR website provided me with a lot of info about heatsinks and
when I found the Thermalright slk947u heatsink for about half the money
compared to all other thermalright heatsinks I bought it straight away
together with a Zalman 92mm fan.

I did read about the problems with this heatsink and was a bit worried but
on my MB there is absolutely NO way to move the heatsink in ANY way and
my cpu runs a lot cooler with the fan turning 1250 rpm than it did with the
Volcano at 2200 rpm.

Temperatures is now:
MB: 35 degrees C
CPU: 39 degrees C

All temperatures above is taken at idle, running DOOM 3 for half an hour
increases the cpu temp by about 3 to 4 degrees.

Unfortunatley I haven't got any instruments to measure the sound
pressures but my computer is definitly a LOT quieter now than it was
before. Right now it's hard to determine if it's the hdds or the PSU that
makes the most noise.

My current system:

CPU: XP 3000+ Barton
CPU heatsink: Thermalright SLK947U with a Zalman at 1250 rpm
MEM: TwinMos 512 MB CL2
HDD no1: 18 Gb Ultra SCSI
HDD no2: 160Gb Wester Digital IDE
PSU: FSP Group (Fortron) 350W 120mm fan, running at 5V permanent
CDRW: AOpen 52x
Chassi: Antec SLK3000B with AcoustiPack
Graphics board: Sparcle Geforce 6600GT AGP with a Zalman VF700-AlCu

Here's som pictures:

Empty chassie with PSU and CDRW drive installed:

The cables hidden on the back of the MB plate:

MB with heatsink installed:

A closer look at the CPU, PSU, VGA mouting and wiring:

The finished computer 1:

The finished computer 2:

The finished computer 3:

With this I have achied an acceptable level of noise but the future
still holds a few more mods for tis rig.
The first thing I'll do is to exchange the PSU fan for a quiter one, the
Yate Loon fan installed is spinning quite fast even though I'm running
it at 5V.
Secondly, I'll put some effort in suspending my harddrives.

But that's for the future...

That's it for my first post in this forum...

Mikael Fredar / Sweden

Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:38 am

Update: Same rig with suspended harddrives...

Post by fredar » Tue Jan 25, 2005 9:55 am

When I got home today I disconnected my harddrives in order
to see how much noise they actually produce...

Ooops! :oops:
I didn't realize that they were that loud.

I ran off to the closest "sewing shop"!?!? and bought myself
some rubberbands covered with nylon, the same kind as the ones in
jacket hoods and the like.

The result:

The Antec SLK3000B is excellent for suspending the harddrives.
All I did was to remove the hdd and fdd case and install the rubberband
in one piece. When the rubberband was installed I used the hdd screws
for rubber grommets supplied with the case, this time without the rubber
grommets. This gave me a good way of looping the rubberband around
the screw and thats all that was needed.

I hope someone finds this useful...


Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:38 am

The final result

Post by fredar » Tue Jan 25, 2005 10:01 am

It's done:

One of the walls in my computerroom has an airvent, this vent
makes more noise than my PC does so now I'm satisfied.

I strongly recommend suspending the hdds, compared to the
rubber grommets the difference if HUGE!!!

Posts: 24
Joined: Fri May 07, 2004 8:24 am

Post by ravenray » Thu Jan 27, 2005 12:56 pm

Sweet, now I guess I could do my setup the same way. I had built my system about 6 months ago (compare to the jet engine I had before). And I finally can hear my drives when sleeping.

Posts: 380
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 12:44 pm
Location: UK

Post by meglamaniac » Fri Jan 28, 2005 2:04 am

That's very nice, and your drive suspension looks good and sturdy.
Great wiring too.


Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2004 5:41 am

Post by zardoz » Tue Feb 08, 2005 5:29 pm

nice work, you have inspired me to get this case. i have a couple of questions you might be able to help me with.

did you cut out the front grill or did the case come like that?

i take it you can still put in your fd cage and keep hds suspended?

Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2004 5:41 am

Post by zardoz » Tue Feb 08, 2005 5:33 pm

oh yeh could you post a picture of your hds suspended but with a little more brightness by anychance :D

Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:38 am

Post by fredar » Mon Feb 21, 2005 8:43 am

Hi zardoz

Sorry it took so long to resopnd. My job has kept me away
from home for the last few weeks so I haven't been checking back
here as I should.

About the fd cage...
I have pulled the rubber band through existing holes in the fd cage
support and tied knots to keep the rubber bands in place. This takes
to much space to be able to press the fd cage in...
It doesn't bother me much since I dont use a floppy anymore...

I'll se what I can do about the pic when I get home from work...
Hope I'm not to late... ;)


Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:38 am

Post by fredar » Mon Feb 21, 2005 12:00 pm

Hdd susp. pics. Hopefully a bit better...




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Location: California, US

Post by SometimesWarrior » Mon Feb 21, 2005 12:36 pm

Thanks for the write-up fredar, success stories are always nice to hear. I was anticipating the effectiveness of each of your mods as you wrote about them. "Did he get lower CPU temps? ...YES, 39°C and slower fans, yesss!" :)

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Location: Illinois - USA

Post by elasticdog » Mon Feb 21, 2005 1:40 pm

Great writeup and awesome pictures. This definitely gives me some ideas to try on my new machine. I'm in the building/testing process right now and am also considering HDD suspension...I like that yours attaches the the top and bottom of the case. Very clean setup!
[size=75]System 1: [color=green]Athlon XP-M 2500+ | DFI Lanparty NFII Ultra B | SI-97 | Gigabyte GeForce 7600GS | Seasonic SS 350W | Evercase 4252[/color][/size]

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