What I have Learned about Computer Performance from SPCR

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

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Re: What I have Learned about Computer Performance from SPCR

Post by ces » Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:02 am

The Crucial C300 128GB SSD
figment wrote: If you're willing to trust me to condense a dozen or so reviews:
The C300 is one of the good all-around drives. The sequential read speed is better than most, but doesn't match the m4 or upcoming Vertex 3. The random 4K read speed is some of the best you'll find, but not overwhelmingly so. It's got really good read/write access times (even for an SSD), but this is due to lazier-than-normal garbage collection, so it should really be used on a TRIM-aware OS (ie: Don't use it with XP... also: Stop using XP). Its a SATA-6Gb drive, but it doesn't reach so far over the 3Gb limit that you'll feel like you're crippling it by putting it on a SATA-3Gb connector. They're some of the more reliable drives, though they aren't quite as reliable as Intel, and since Crucial/Micron makes the NAND you can be fairly sure they're not getting lower-quality binned chips from someone else. They seem to be slightly more reliable than the bulk of the Sandforce drives, but not so much that you'd really care. The only real down side here is that the drive is being discontinued and replaced by the m4/C400.

That's a whole bunch of text to say: It's a decent drive, and fast enough that most users aren't going to notice a difference with a faster one.

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Re: What I have Learned about Computer Performance from SPCR

Post by ces » Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:22 pm

Short Stature CPU Coolers
ces wrote:1. Scythe Kozuti
Actual Height with bottom fan = 40mm
Effective Height with bottom fan (no extra breathing space for fan is required) = 40mm

http://www.pcworld.fr/2011/04/08/materi ... ti/514031/
Translation: http://se.babelfish.yahoo.com/translate ... rs%C3%A4tt

2. Intel Q9550 Stock Cooler (fan diameter = 79mm)
Actual Height = 45mm
Effective Height with 12mm of breathing space = 57mm
Effective Height with 25mm of breathing space = 70mm

3. Prolimatech Samuel 17
Actual Height = 45mm
Effective Height with 25mm of breathing space for 25mm thick fan = 70mm
http://www.silentpcreview.com/gelid-sli ... h-samuel17

4. Zalman CNPS8700
Actual Height = 67mm
Effective Height with 12mm of breathing space = 79mm
Effective Height with 25mm of breathing space = 92mm
http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.c ... cleID=2243.
http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.c ... 243&page=5

(this is a real old design, but it sort of is not that bad of a cooler if you don't have a lot of heat and keep the speed on low)

5. Scythe Big Shuriken
Actual Height = 57mm
Effective Height with 12mm of breathing space for 12mm thick fan = 69mm
Effective Height with 25mm of breathing space for 25mm thick fan = 82mm
http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.c ... cleID=2425

6. Noctua NH-C14

Actual Height with one bottom fan = 105mm
Effective Height with one bottom fan (no extra breathing space required) = 105mm

Actual Height with top fan = 130mm
Effective Height with top fan with 25mm of breathing space for 25mm thick fan = 155mm

http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.c ... 562&page=1
http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.c ... 562&page=5

7. Cooler Master Geminii S
Actual Height 86 mm
Effective Height with 25mm of breathing space for 25mm thick fan = 111mm

8. Scythe Mini Ninja (no longer available)
Actual height = 115mm
Efective height = 115mm (tower)

9. NH-U9B SE2
Actual height = 125mm
Efective height = 125mm (tower)
http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.c ... cleID=1924
http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.c ... 924&page=4

10. xigmatek HDT-S963F
Actual height = 134mm
Efective height = 134mm (tower)
http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.c ... cleID=2134
http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.c ... 134&page=5
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6835233001
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6835233014
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6835233081
Short Stature Tower Cooler
lodestar wrote:
kuzzia wrote: As I remember most of the high-end CPU coolers are approx. 160 mm tall.
The only decent tower cooler is know of offhand that is 154mm or less is the Gelid Tranquillo at 153mm, from sources such as http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showprodu ... =HS-001-GD.
Last edited by ces on Mon May 23, 2011 7:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: What I have Learned about Computer Performance from SPCR

Post by ces » Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:45 am

Preventing Hard Drive Vibration:

Stretch Magic

SPCR Review of Noise Magic No Vibes III:
FrozenCPU sells them
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/7851/ ... ystem.html
See customer comments here:
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/3038/ ... stem_.html

Recommended HDD Noise Reduction Products (bottom of this page)

HDD vibration & noise reducing methods - ranked

SPCR review of Tiché PC HDD Vibration Killer
MikeC wrote:
ces wrote:MikeC / Lawrence Lee How do think the performance of these Tiché PC HDD Vibration Killer compare with that of Noise Magic No Vibes III:
Haven't done a close A/B but iirc, it's very close.
MikeC wrote:
rpsgc wrote:Need opinions on the Sharkoon Vibe Fixer. Considering it looks exactly like a NoVibes, can one assume it's as good?
MikeC wrote:
Compddd wrote:Does anyone have any recommendations for the kind of soft foam I should use to lay my HDD on in the bottom of my case?
Try a piece of the thin light open-cell foam which protects motherboards from shock in their boxes. If this is too thin, try two layers -- maybe fold one over. Putting the HDD on it upside down may help w/ cooling -- the heavier cast aluminum on the bottom dissipates more heat than the thin steel top cover.
Pierre wrote:I just came across this new "spring mounting" pattern for hard drives which supposedly "kills vibration"... What's your take on it?
http://www.rwlabs.com/article.php?cat=& ... genumber=6 Image
xen wrote:I got a Samsung HD321KJ (T series) in the mail today, and it sure vibrates a lot. A loud low frequency hum. I had also ordered a Nexus Disktwin heatsink/suspension kinda thing to go with it.
It's not a very good solution. The rubber blocks that serve to decouple the drive from the case, are much too rigid, and it took some force to get it into a 5.25 drive bay, which means the block is under pressure as well. I think it reduces vibrational hum by perhaps 40%, but it was outperformed slightly by a bed of tie wraps. Still not enough though.

I think I'll be returning it, although I could remove the rubber blocks to end up with a nice pair of heatsinks. Together with some elastic suspension it might be a good solution, although installing/removing a drive will be a menace, because you have to get the heatsinked drive past the elastics. Perhaps the bicycle-inner-tube suspension goes well with it, since the rubber rings are mounted to the harddisk rather than the cage. I'm just bit worried that bicycle tube is too rigid. I mean, it takes a lot of force to stretch it so I'm wondering if I don't end up with something that is similar to my tie wrap bed in terms of decoupling. Can you illuminate me on that, Zicko? Can you feel harddisk vibes on your case or drive cage?

I also got a Hitachi 5K160 (5400) notebook drive. I never knew notebook drives were that small! The Samsung (7200) is almost twice as fast in terms of buffered disk reads (60MB/s vs. 35MB/s). The Hitachi vibrates a lot as well, but I was thinking of just putting it on foam. It is so light that its cable connections have a big say in whether it hovers or sits, so to speak.
Last edited by ces on Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:53 am, edited 11 times in total.

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Re: What I have Learned about Computer Performance from SPCR

Post by ces » Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:00 am

Foam And Sound Absorbing Materials
MikeC wrote:For use in a PC to reduce noise, foam w/o a mass damping layer has minimal effect. None of the foam sold by this vendor -- foam for you? -- has this, so all it can do is reduce the higher frequency standing waves inside the case. Probably completely ineffective below ~500Hz, with absorption increasing with frequency. Back in the day when there were lots of high pitches noises from ball bearing hard drives and small high speed fans, foam by itself would have had more impact. Today, in any PC where components have been selected for lower noise, these kinds of noises simply don't exist, so foam by itself does very little.

For airborne noise reduction, you want blocking and absorption. Blocking generally requires lots of mass... and thickness. Which is why "premiere" PC acoustic damping material such as Acoustipack has a heavier vinyl layer close to the panel -- this helps reduce panel vibration (a big deal if there is any vibration in the case from HDDs & fans) -- as well as a top layer of soft dense foam.

I would be surprised if anyone who uses these foam-only products inside a PC actually hears much noise reduction. Just remember that there are fans and HDDs mounted at or near holes in the case. No amount of foam is going to stop the noise from coming out through those holes... though it can reduce volume and change the freq spectrum.
MikeC wrote:
fumino wrote:what about people with cases from the antec p100 series? these side panels already have a fair bit of mass, so would adding a layer of foam on top of that (like puget systems does) make much difference? they use acoustipack, but is it the foam layer or that little bit of added mass that makes the difference if you've already got heavy panels?
Yeah, it's probably a bit overkill... but the proof is in the pudding. I mean, those systems are incredibly quiet, though much of the low noise comes from using really quiet components to start with... the acoustic foam treatment has to have a cumulative effect.

It's not that little btw, at least compared to ordinary foam -- a 7mm thick acoustipack sheet for the side weighs around 1.5 kg. Coincidentally, I bought a huge bag of scrap foam from a nearby foam/mattress shop last week... for various experimental purposes (including selective damping for my TV room). Among the pieces, one of the densest, with about the same volume (about 15x15x45cm) as the acoustipack piece, weighs just 0.25 kg -- 1/6 of the acoustipack weight. When it comes to sound damping, there is simply no substitute for sheer weight/mass. There is some 600 lbs of fiberglass substitute in my hemi-anechoic chamber, in case you were not aware. In LinearX's full-anechoic chamber, over 1000 lbs of fiberglass was used.
foam for you has a lot of
F4Y: specs http://www.foamforyou.com/Foam_Specs.htm#Open Cell Foam Specs

this site sells a good base layer http://www.foambymail.com/VolaraSP.html

relevant foam links from this site:

forum posts:
this thread is GREAT: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=10514
Once people stop talking about shipping problems a discussion over different materials and even re purposing store bought foams.
hillkitler wrote:Hey, y'all.
I don't know if anyone around here has checked out Foam For You, but they have really cheap acoustic foam (~$.80 USD/sq ft.) in a variety of colors, sizes and styles (pyramid, wedge, flat sheets, etc.) Colors cost a few cents more than plain charcoal. They even have bass blocks for the corners of rooms that could be easily modified to occupy empty drive bays and such. I'm not sure if they ship internationally, though.
goatsandmonkeys wrote:holy moly. I can't find it on the site. had to google it. this is the link for future use

they also offer custom cut foam so you could conceivably measure your case and send in an order and have them do the work for you.
hillkitler wrote:I had a 6x6x6" foam block cut down and shoved into my extra drive bays (P180B). Along the dividing tray between the PSU and main chambers, below my video card I had a layer of 3" pyramid foam. 1" pyramid foam lining the top of the case and a 1/4" layer of that flat charcoal foam lining the entire PSU chamber, the side panels, outer sides of drive bays and the rear wall of the case. The side panels are also lined with a layer of eDead v.2. http://www.edesignaudio.com/product_inf ... ucts_id=51
andymcca wrote:So I see reviews of "AcoustiPack" and "Brown Bread" (now re-branded B-Quiet Ultimate) here on SPCR, as well as "SilverStone Silent Foam SF1" on Newegg.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811999222

Does anyone have a preference, and why? I have a SOLO, and plan on going crazy with whichever material I choose.
capoeira wrote:I found a list with over 450 materials listed: http://www.wsdg.com/dynamic.asp?id=reso ... absorbtion
Vinyl Floor Tiles for Case Damping

36 Sound Absorbing Materials

millsdh wrote:I needed to find the dampening material, acoustic foam, and soft case feet, but didn't want to pay a fortune. So I went looking and ended up at McMaster (if you don't know what McMaster.com is, it is an industrial supply company that basically has everything you could imagine that has to do with engineering at really good prices). At McMaster I found these products:

Sound and Vibration Damping Sheet EVA Mastic DLF=0.1, .079" Thick, 32" X 54" - 9709T39 - $16.62 -http://www.mcmaster.com/#9709t39/=ccwipk

Acoustical Polyurethane Foam Absorber Adhesive Back NRC=0.75, Skinned, 1" Thick, 12 x 54" - 5692T49 - $13.21 http://www.mcmaster.com/#5692t49/=ccwj86

Acoustical Polyurethane Foam Absorber Adhesive Back NRC=0.35, Skinned, 1/2" Thick, 12 x 54" - 5692T61 - $9.04 http://www.mcmaster.com/#5692t61/=ccwkci

Adhesive-Back Load-Rated Polyurethane Bumper 1-1/4" Dia, 5/8" Height, 5-10# Max Load - 8215K6 - $2.84 each http://www.mcmaster.com/#catalog/117/3733/=ccwkwv

Total including shipping was $70.21 and there is enough material here to sound proof at least 2 full sized ATX cases. I used these material with great results. The dampening sheets are easy to cut, have an adhesive back, weigh quite a bit, and work great; case now has a dead thump when you tap it. The foam has a nice adhesive back and is flexible and easy to cut. Absorbs high frequency sounds pretty well. The polyurethane feet are super soft and do a great job isolating the case from my hardwood floor. I recommend getting the medium-soft ones; I got the soft ones and they are really soft. End result is a much quieter computer that you can barely hear. The only noise it makes is the gentle sound of air moving (there are 6 slow moving fans in it), the faint sound of a drive spinning up, and the motor noise of the bluray drive. Overall very happy with the products I selected and the final result.
Canned rubber sound dampening - Blue Magic Bluemagic 950 Pure Rubber Coating - 15 Oz. : BlueMagic Pure Rubber Coating is a tough yet flexible paintable coating that is fast drying. Works as a sealer, sound deadener and will not bleed when applied.
Nightmarejr wrote:Anyone try a product like this?
http://www.google.com/products/catalog? ... K8BEPICMAU
Been looking for some clever solutions and have been lurking around here but cant seem to find anything on this. Basically do a base coat of rubber then foam.
Steve_Y wrote:I'm currently building a low noise Ivy Bridge system and bought an Acoustipack kit to add some extra damping. This is probably old news, but I was surprised by the changes made to Acoustipack since the last time I used it.

The "new and improved" material is thinner and significantly lighter than the old stuff. In fact, the new three layer "Ultimate" sheets aren't any thicker than standard Acoustipack used to be, and actually weigh less because of the thinner barrier mass layer. The foam layer looks and feels different too, and not just because they've changed the colour: it has a less dense structure, with larger cells in the foam.

For comparison, here are a couple of shots of the new sheets, with a leftover piece from my old kit on top:



Despite the claimed improvements, I'm a little sceptical about it working as well as the old version. After all, more mass generally equals better sound proofing. On the other hand, a case fitted with the latest Acoustipack will be a fair bit lighter, and the thinner sheets should fit in tighter spaces.

I'm sure SPCR have higher priorities than revisiting and retesting a product that that's already been reviewed, but maybe it'd be worth noting these changes in the old article. This new version really isn't the same product it was back in 2003.
Last edited by ces on Fri May 25, 2012 5:18 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: What I have Learned about Computer Performance from SPCR

Post by ces » Sun Apr 24, 2011 1:09 am

Heatsink Selection When you have Limited Height
quest_for_silence wrote:
  • if it's up to ~80mm, go for a Scythe Big Shuriken with Universal Retention Kit 3 SCURK-3000 (if this kit fits, I think it should);
  • if it's up to ~90mm, go for a Scythe Big Shuriken with Universal Retention Kit 3 SCURK-3000 (if this kit fits, I think it should), and swapping its stock slim (12mm) fan with a regular (25mm) one;
  • if it's up to ~100mm, go for a CoolerMaster Gemini IIS with TWO fans (if they fit, they overhang the motherboard), otherwise go for the previous option (the Big Shuriken but swapping its stock fan);
  • if it's up to ~110/115mm, go for a Thermalright AXP-140 (if it fits, as it's wide: but if the Big Shuriken fits, as I expect, it should go almost flawlessly) with Thermalright AXP-140 1156 Bolt-Thru-Kit and a 140mm fan;
  • if it's at least ~140mm, go for a Noctua NH-C14 (if it fits, as it's the widest of these recommended coolers: if you have a bottom mounted PSU it should fit almost surely).

What about those recommendations? Well:
  • for the Big Shuriken suitable fans are the Scythe Kama Flow PWM DFS122512L-PWM if you have a 4-pin PWM header on the motherboard, otherwise, if you have a 3-pin header or a 4-pin header voltage-regulated (NOT PWM: check your manual), go for a Scythe Kama Flow 2 SP1225FDB12M if you use SpeedFan, or a Scythe Kama Flow 2 SP1225FDB12L if you use the BIOS to control the CPU fan;
  • for the Gemini IIS suitable fans are the same under the same conditions: you do need also a cable splitter, so for PWM fans go for the Akasa PWM Signal motherboard Cable - AK-CB002, while for the 3-pin fans go for (something like) the Akasa AK-CB001 Cable Adapter (with this one DO NOT USE the 5V outputs with the recommended fans). DO NOT USE any adapter/splitter cable which not draw DC directly from the PSU, or you may likely fry the motherboard's headers;
  • for the AXP-140 suitable fans are the Thermalright TY-140 if you have a 4-pin PWM header on the motherboard, otherwise, if you have a 3-pin header or a 4-pin header voltage-regulated (NOT PWM: check your manual), go for a Thermalright X-Silent 140mm: if you don't use SpeedFan to control fans, you might need a speed-reduction cable (9V or maybe 7V, as the 140mm fans are louder than 120mm ones) with voltage controlled (NOT PWM) fans. As I never used such a thing on PWM fans, I don't know if it may work even with those ones (I think no), but if you have a PWM header on the motherboard, then the BIOS should be able to dial down the fan;
  • the Noctua needs nothing (and as a matter of fact it costs quite a lot).

Last but not least, for TIM use either an Arctic Cooling MX-4 or an Arctic Silver Ceramique.
Nexus 120mm fan mod to the Stock Intel CPU cooler



Fan Mod to Zalman CPU Cooler

Zalman has recently updated their downdraft coolers and they look to perform rather well:
http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.c ... cleID=2657
http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.c ... 657&page=5
But there is still the nagging issue of their fans. Here is a trick you can perform on them... implanting an Nexus fan blade on the Zalman downdraft cooler:
Longbow wrote:Click for enlargement:
more pics after the link:
http://www.cloudworld.net/diary/index.p ... 2005-04-18
Kudos to Ralf Hutter's post about Zalman fan swap.
neo_tofu wrote:ok I swapped the crappy Zalman with a Nexus 120mm... Let me tell you that first of all I'm not a technically inclined kind of guy, my idea of a mod is to use some zip ties. Anyway that was quite an adventure.

First of all I didn't realize the depth of the fan at the base was different compared to the stock Zalman fan. At least by 1 cm. So If I were to simply screw the fan onto the metal bracket, the fan would have scraped the heatsink. So a trip to Home Depot I take and get some rubber washers. I stack about 4 of them and super glue it onto the fan and the bracket.

Next the screw I had was too short and another one I had was too wide lol. I got one which was a decent fit but I had to clip the tip a bit because it would have scraped the fan....

Last step was to mount the HS onto the motherboard, screw it in and voila...Took me the better part of half a day to do the damn thing. I hope the screw and super glue will keep the fan mounted onto the bracket lol...

Anyway I'm really happy with the nexus, it is one hell of a quiet fan. I think I'm going to swap out the stock case fan and also the other vantek that I have. The stock fan is actually pretty quiet at 5v, Vantek is anything but "stealth". But wow I'm a Nexus convert, this thing is reallllly quiet.

Conclusions: (a) Zalman fan sucks donkey balls. (b) Nexus fan is really really quiet, I'm impressed.
Ralf Hutter wrote: I cut the entire case away from the fan hub and just left enough of two cross pieces so I could use that to mount the fan:
Image I had nightmares about the fan falling off of the heatsink while it was running so I couldn't bring myself to tape or tie it into place. I drilled the hole pattern in the stubs so I could use some small sheetmetal screws to attach it to the Zalman mouning bracket. I then stuck some silicon washers onto the fan hub to decouple the fan from the metal bracket once I assembled it:
Image I fastened the fan to the bracket useing some more silicon washers to decouple the screws fron the metal bracket: Image Fini: Image

Scythe Kozuti CPU cooler, 40 mm tall incl fan
Mats wrote:New cooler, only 110 X 103 X 40 mm, it wouldn't surprise if we'll see a review here. :wink:
http://www.pcworld.fr/2011/04/08/materi ... ti/514031/
Translation: http://se.babelfish.yahoo.com/translate ... rs%C3%A4tt
ces wrote:I got the Scythe Kozuti CPU cooler from platinummicro.com
The are selling it for $29.99 with free shipping
I just went right now and looked and they just increased the price to $31.99 (but it still have free shipping and least right now)
Interesting. FrozenCPU.com and Heatsink Factory are selling them for 40.99 and 40.95 respectively.
The SPCR crowd should do a run on the store. Clean them out at this price. Then Mike should call them up and sell them an SPCR sponsorship. :)
Scythe Kozuti low profile cooler tested "Small, but powerful"
http://www.fudzilla.com/reviews/item/22 ... ler-tested
Orochium wrote:I purchased and installed the Scythe Kozuti inside of a Lian-Li Q11B on a Zotac Z68ITX-A-E wifi board (made a teeny tiny game box for lan gaming) and figured out a few things.

1. The Kozuti's 80x80x10mm (rather anemic) fan is not the most durable build quality. Flipping it to blow 'up' through the kozuti's fins, and thus out the PSU exhaust (since its right overtop the heatsink inside of the Q11B case) did in fact work, but on the fan I received, the fan blades were rather loose and wobbly on the center hub, sometimes it works properly, sometimes it doesn't. If you want to find an out-of-pocket replacement, check out the Evercool 80 x 10 22CFM/<27 db fan over on frozen CPU (not an endorsement, but one of the few places that carry it) as an alternative.

2. It works better in this case blowing up into the PSU exhaust. With the kozuti fan blowing at the base of the Heatsink, it idled around 50-52 C after I had the whole system together.

Currently it idles around 32-34C with the fan blowing up through the fins towards the PSU exhaust fan, all of the BIOS/Speedstep settings stayed the same between tests (65W Core i3-2105 used for testing).

3. Running this for a 95W CPU is not recommended, the highest I'd go in this sort of configuration is an Intel Core i7-2600S 65W Quad-core Hyper-threaded processor, as it gives you the best blend of processing power and cool/silent operation (which is my next upgrade).

4. The kozuti is quiet, until you load it, during games it gets a healthy set of pipes, so be prepared for an earful when this happens, luckily, the PWM keeps it mostly quiet when you're not really cranking things out.

Note: I was not attempting to build a perfectly quiet system when making this, but a portable LAN party system, that was both efficient and capable of handling most of the things I threw at it, it was a great success in the end, so figured I'd share my notes with you folks here.

Photos (WARNING: huge)
http://www.demonpop.com/private/7_power ... lation.JPG
Last edited by ces on Tue May 01, 2012 11:13 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: What I have Learned about Computer Performance from SPCR

Post by ces » Sat May 07, 2011 11:26 am

SSD Over Provisioning
Dr. Jim Pomatter wrote:Story:
I got rid of my WD Black 320gb drive as it was the loudest thing in my laptop. Decided to skip another generation and spent the money on an Intel 320 600GB SSD and a new name-brand battery. As I use VMs and older OS's w/o trim, I wanted to increase the spare area (AKA over-provisioning).

I tried HDAT2 on both my Thinkpad and a Gigabyte G41 board. I was able to preform a secure erase, but not able to over-provision via HPA. To be SURE that you have extra spare area you reserve space with a Host Protected Area (HPA). Each time it let me change HPA, but it was not changed when I re-booted. The Thinkpad had nothing, while the Gigabyte board added a 2 MB HPA on reboot (perhaps for its trusted platform modal). Note that I had the HPA set in non-volatile mode.

Has anyone been able to create a large HPA on their Intel 320 SSD?
1. You may want to take a look at this thread. It is not so much about how to do what you are attempting to do, but whether or not to do it... and if so what are the benefits.

SSD Extreme Overprovisioning = 5X Intel IOPS/Endurance???

If you are eventually successful, would you please leave a message in that thread indicating whether or not you are able to obtain any benefit from over provisioning... and if so what benefit.

2. In particular see this link from that thread... pertaining to Intell SSD over provisioning and all its benefits... from an Intel whitepaper.
http://cache-www.intel.com/cd/00/00/45/ ... 459555.pdf

I am not certain if it is relevant or not. It is, I believe, related to the older generation of Intel SSD. But it adds an extra step to the process that you are not using. Why not try adding that extra step and see if it makes a difference.

3. See also:

SSD Endurance - My Personal Surprise

Crucial/Micron Overprovisioning (posted by a micron employee):
http://www.micronblogs.com/2009/04/over ... get-a-lot/

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Re: What I have Learned about Computer Performance from SPCR

Post by ces » Sun May 08, 2011 6:21 pm

Silent Computer Cases
CoolColJ wrote:Image


Isobox - expensive, with thermo controlled fans etc. 30+ db reduction

very expensive

They're made for music studios. Short of having everything passive, or putting it in another room, I don't think anything else can be as effective... And you can make your PC live a bit more healthy with the fans running faster

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Re: What I have Learned about Computer Performance from SPCR

Post by ces » Thu May 12, 2011 1:10 am

world's quietest fan?
lodestar wrote:The world's quietest fan is probably the Scythe Kama Flow 2 900 rpm model SP1225FDB12L http://www.xbitlabs.com/picture/?src=/i ... gr_xbt.png. This is from http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cooler ... dup-1.html.
All things equal, among good fans... don't you think the quietest is going to be the slowest?

The 500rpm slipstream can start at 350rpm with 9 volts and go down to 170 RPM at 5 volts. At that speed, the air won't be making any noise. That leaves the fan motor and mounting. You might have to pick through a few to avoid the fan motor noise.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article83 ... html#SS-SL

The 800rpm slipstream can start and run at 420 RPM with 5 volts... and can reach down as low as 3.2 starting volts (probably a little under 300 RPM):
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article83 ... .html#SS-L

The Scythe Kama Flow... an admittedly different version than the Kama Flow 2... doesn't look like it can pull that trick (the low RPM starting voltage). While the 800 RPM slipstream can reach all the way down to 3.2 starting volts, the Scythe Kama Flow needs 6.6 starting volts... and apparently higher starting RPM:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article69 ... html#sflex

Though at these sound levels who is going to be able to hear the difference? Not me :)

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Re: What I have Learned about Computer Performance from SPCR

Post by ces » Thu May 12, 2011 1:16 am

Pretty Green Fans

thejamppa wrote:Hello everyone!

In old continent, in Europe there's new fan's in market at least in baltic and nordic countries: GreenClimber fans. Some say its Nexus GreenClimber even they are Eolo 120mm. However that would be splitting hair since both are re-branded YL's. D12SL-12 is GreenClimber 120mm's name. Same as nexus. Fan is identical with NExus Real Silents with except of sticker and fan color: Its bright green in 120mm version.

So nobody probably is not surprised when I say after testing fans they performed identically with-in sample variance. Same RPM's, same noise charasterics as Nexus fan I used in reference. Its a same fan, different color and different name.

So what's the difference? MSRP. In Finland Nexus fans sell's 7-11€ depending where you get them, sometimes nearly 20€'s. greenClimbers: MSRP 5,50- 7,50€ in Finland. They are considerably cheaper than Nexus fans but also have nothing but the fan, like old Nexuses back in days. No silicone mounts or fan screws.

I got 80mm GreenClimber too, but I don't have reference Nexus yet. However its all black and not green (which is same, I really do like this green shade) but it too is YL model but I'll let you later know how it fares. I expect to be pretty identical with Nexus RS 80.

Some pictures for you all. Images are thumbs and clicking them you get bigger version:

RealSilent 120mm Left and greenClimber on right.

Fan connectors. Nexus on left and greenclimber on right.

Open corners is good.
thejamppa wrote:Hi there are quite few retailer's in FInland alone. Also in Baltic countries and Italia too. Eolo is Italian corporation, based on Italian languange on the fan package and their websites.
GreenClimber website is located: http://www.greenclimber.com/
thejamppa wrote:
ces wrote:That website has not even a picture of a fan. But that is what is on the package, yes?
Yeah, that is correct. Package was intalian and in english. greenClimber is most likely the manufacturer and model is Eolo 120 for 120mm and Eolo 80 for 80mm fan. I found weird that their website which was branded on package were no products.
Last edited by ces on Fri May 13, 2011 6:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What I have Learned about Computer Performance from SPCR

Post by ces » Thu May 12, 2011 7:41 pm

AMD E-350 vs. Sandy Bridge
CA_Steve wrote: Asrock E-350 and mobo = $130
(Total = $130)

i3-2100T = $135
Asrock H67 mobo = $90
Total = $225
That comes to $225/$130 = a $95 differential which is a 73% increase in cost moving from the E-350 to the 2100T.

Shopping at Microcenter I get a slightly lower differential
H61M-P23 (B3) LGA 1155 H61 mATX Intel Motherboard $57.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_produ ... id=0359807
Intel Core i3 2100 LGA 1155 3.1GHz Boxed Processor SKU: 369124 $99.99 (the 2400 costs $50 more)
http://www.microcenter.com/single_produ ... id=0359809
That comes to $157.98/$130 = $28 differential which is a 22% increase in cost.

Let's assume $200 for a case, PSU and 4G-8G of memory It isn't that hard to spend $100 to $150 on just one of those items.
(and we will even assume the software is pirated) and you maintain a stock of extra keyboards, mice, fans and video displays.
How about another $200 for a current generation SSD boot drive (once you get addicted you can't go back).
That comes to $557.98/$530.00 = $28 differential which is a 5% increase in cost.

You can pick away at my assumptions. But most people will end up spending between $500 to $900 before they are done. Even if they are using parts from their personal stash... they weren't free when they were purchased. And if you have to buy a key board, a mouse and an LCD display.... those costs add up.... especially if you have refined tastes.

Bottom Line: The cost differential isn't that much in comparison to the total investment.

Color me a Sandy Bridge FanBoy :)

lodestar wrote:The E-350 boards on sale seem to have either 3 or 4 SATA ports, there's no evidence I can find of 5 being standard - at least on current retail units. But in any case the E-350 is unlikely to be much of a file server because its storage read/write performance is not very good, not even with an SSD see http://www.guru3d.com/article/amd-brazo ... u-review/7. To me, £115 for a E-350 setup is just way too much money when Sandy Bridge is only £45 more.

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Re: What I have Learned about Computer Performance from SPCR

Post by ces » Sat May 14, 2011 4:35 pm

Hard Drive Platter Size
FartingBob wrote:Does anyone have a list of single platter 320GB 2.5" drives? Or even better a site with a list of all the common models and platter count? WD has some decent spec info on their site, but it doesnt mention platter count or density.
dhanson865 wrote:
Unfortunately that database isn't up to date. It's definitely a good source but there are many newer drives that haven't been added to it.

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Re: What I have Learned about Computer Performance from SPCR

Post by ces » Fri May 20, 2011 9:57 am

Intentionally deleted by the poster
Last edited by ces on Sat Apr 07, 2012 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What I have Learned about Computer Performance from SPCR

Post by andymcca » Fri May 20, 2011 10:07 am

ces wrote:Neat tiny keyboard for HTPC
Cideko AVK-02-915 Black RF Wireless Mini Keyboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6823721001
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6823721001
(link was broken!)

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Re: What I have Learned about Computer Performance from SPCR

Post by boost » Fri May 20, 2011 11:52 am

Please sticky this thread.

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Re: What I have Learned about Computer Performance from SPCR

Post by ces » Fri May 20, 2011 6:30 pm

Oiling a Noisy Fan

Use Sewing Machine Oil:
bonestonne wrote:not machine oil, thats too greasy and it runs. sewing machine oil does the trick 100% of the time. you peel the label of the fan back looking for the fan mount, and you get just about a drop in there, give it a minute or two to get in there, and put the label back, and re-mount the fans. the result is a laster longing and sometimes quieter fan.
NeilBlanchard wrote:Slot car oil works well, too:Champion slot car oil, and the applicator is a thin metal tube which makes it easy to get it in the bearing.
lodestar wrote:If you can feel the outline of a filler port in the middle of the hub label with a finger nail the chances are that it can be lubricated. I have relubricated SlipStreams and other makes - it is fairly simple to do. Just peel back the label carefully, remove the filler port bung and add a drop of lubricant. I used a specialist fan lube product, this one http://www.noisy-computer-fans.co.uk/ - no connection with this company other than as a customer.
Tzeb wrote:Take the blades off, clean everything, lubricate with something recommended in the quotes posted by ces in his thread and it will be like new. It takes 3 minutes / fan.
How to take apart a case fan:
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to- ... /?ALLSTEPS
Here are detailed instructions for how to do it:

lubricate lubricating
Last edited by ces on Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:36 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: What I have Learned about Computer Performance from SPCR

Post by ces » Sat May 21, 2011 5:08 pm

Fan Size vs Noise Level

I was just thinking about why the Noctua NH-U9B SE2 with two 92mm fans is so quiet compared to the NH-U12P SE2 with two 120mm fans:
Factory Specs on the NH-U12P SE2 with two 120mm fans:
Acoustical Noise 19,8 dB(A) (1300 RPM)
Acoustical Noise with L.N.A. 16,9 dB(A) (1100 RPM)
Acoustical Noise with U.L.N.A. 12,6 dB(A) (900 RPM)
Factory Specs on the Noctua NH-U9B SE2 with two 92mm fans:
Acoustical Noise 17,6 dB(A) (1600 RPM)
Acoustical Noise with L.N.A. 13,1 dB(A) (1300 RPM)
Acoustical Noise with U.L.N.A. 7,9** dB(A) (1000 RPM)
**extrapolated value

Small fans are supposed to be louder than larger fans right? That's probably generally true... but at least with the factory specs here, which (whether they are high or low) are likely self consistent, that isn't what appears to be happening. Why? It occurred to me that it might be more complicated than big fan rpms being equal to little fan rpms.

I made one assumption, that sound levels are really caused by the fan blades whipping through the air... that sound must really be determined the speed of the blades as they cut through air, interact with fan struts, etc.

I did some quick calculations to determine what RPMs for what size fans produce the same tip speed as an 800rpm 120mm fan. I chose 800rpm, because that is a pretty safe speed in terms of sound levels. At 800rpm even not so good fans are fairly quiet.

Here is what I came up with. The following RPMs all generate the same fan tip speed:
80mm fan = 1200rpm
92mm fan = 1043rpm
100mm fan = 960rpm
120mm fan = 800rpm
140mm fan = 685rpm
180mm fan = 533rpm

So all things equal, a 1050rpm 92mm fan I would expect to generate the same noise as an 800rpm 120mm fan. Now of course things are never equal. But these two Noctua fans seem reasonably close in design. And the factory data seems consistent with my assumptions.

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Re: What I have Learned about Computer Performance from SPCR

Post by ces » Sun May 22, 2011 6:12 am

Windows Computer Maintenance

Tips from NeilBlanchard and others:

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Re: What I have Learned about Computer Performance from SPCR

Post by ces » Mon May 23, 2011 2:24 pm

Optimal Hard Drive Temps

According to a Google Study the coolest hard drives aren't the longest lived ones.
faustus wrote:You have some work ahead of you to determine how much cooling is enough: Load the chassis to the gills with drives and components, put it under max load and keep track of temperatures. According to the Google study 30-50 C is a good range for disk temperatures, with the optimum (lowest failure rate) in the range 37-45 C.

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Re: What I have Learned about Computer Performance from SPCR

Post by ces » Mon May 30, 2011 8:16 pm

2.5" vs 3.5" Hard Drives
MikeC wrote:1) 2.5" drives may have lower vibration, but at this point, not lower noise. The latest WD Greens are amazing in both aspects.
2) 2.5" drives are not as durable as 3.5" ones in 24/7 operation, as they are designed for use in laptops where start/stop is much more common.
3) higher density in the 3.5" drives leads to typically higher performance overall. They tend to have higher random access time as well.
4) power efficiency in 2.5" drives (1~2.5W) is the only clearly better spec -- the lowest power 3.5" drives are something like 3.5W~6W.

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Re: What I have Learned about Computer Performance from SPCR

Post by ces » Tue May 31, 2011 7:09 am

A Cheap and Silent Build

ist.martin wrote: * I do not want to hear this system. It will be on the floor beside my desk, in a very quiet room, in open air.
* General usage. Some software development. Some 2-channel audio recording. DVD playing. No gaming.
* The HDD will house media. Silence is not as important when it is in use. I assume Windows 7 will insure it is not spinning when not in use?
* Audio interface will be external, over USB.
* Will run 24 * 7, since the media drive will house audio that will periodically be streamed over the network
* I am a 'build it and leave it alone' person. Once set up. I'd like to leave it there running for 4 years without thinking about it!

My current thoughts:
Gigabyte H67N-USB3-B3
Scythe Samurai Zz
Lian Li PC-Q11A
Crucial RealSSD C300 64GB 2.5IN SSD
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64BIT
Western Digital WD20EARS Caviar Green 2TB
Mushkin Enhanced Silverline Stiletto 8GB 2X4GB PC3-10666 DDR3-1333
Liteon 24X DVD Writer SATA IHAS324-98

Total of this is $850 CDN, from NCIX locally. Is that as low priced as you can get when you want silence, an OS, a SSD and a media drive?
HFat wrote:I don't know what your background noise is but if you can hear a quiet, slow fan you can hear a 2T drive. So if money is tight, you might as well use a couple of fans to spend less on passive cooling parts.
In order to get zero noise, you'd need to set up the drive in another room at which point going as close to passive as your budget allows makes sense. And your budget seems to allow a fully passive system...
ist.martin wrote:Total of this is $850 CDN, from NCIX locally. Is that as low priced as you can get when you want silence, an OS, a SSD and a media drive?
Of course not. You could probably get a fanless system with an SSD, a optical drive and an OS for about 30% of that price or maybe a bit more if gear is made more expensive by taxes in Canada. But I don't think that's what you're trying to do.
So here are a few ways to make your build cheaper without making it cheap (assuming you're not aiming at zero noise):
-drop your RAM to 4G which is overkill already
-replace the 2100 with a G620T (cheaper and lower power consumption) and the Samurai with a cheaper heatsink
-get a cheaper case, possibly with an integrated PSU
-replace that pico with a cheaper one (or use the PSU which comes with the case if you pick a different case)
-replace Windows with a free OS since you're not going to game

And here's a bit of advice which would make your build more expensive instead: if you're going to pay for Windows, get the full version and you'll be able to reuse it on other computers or resell it down the road. If you're not going to abide by Microsoft's licensing conditions, you might as well get Windows for free.
Windows 7 is going to last a long time and will retain its value much better than the hardware. It would be a long-term investment.

Something else: if you're going to spin down the hard drive, keep in mind that some systems return from standby about as fast as it takes a 3.5'' drive to spin up so you may be able to save electricity by having the box go into standby automatically. A perfectionist might set up standby on idle and use a program which prevents standby when clients are connected but it would be much easier to schedule standby at night and/or when people are typically out of the house. You can wake most systems from standby over the network.
systemlayers wrote:+1 vote for HR-02 I have one and did a lot of research on it before hand.

While the Noctua D14, Thermalright Silver Arrow and Venomous X are all big good coolers that cool pretty quietly HR-02 is the best cooler around with one single low rpm fan. In my Silverstone case with the 3 180mm fans @ 500rpm and one single (essentially inaudible) scythe gentle typhoon @ 500rpm i can still keep the HR-02 within safe temperatures with my 2600k overclocked to 4.4ghz. Just barely though 78c under artificial prime load. In my case I also have another 800 rpm fan I turn on when under load that keeps it under 72c.

However with an i3 I imagine one could run a single fan system with the HR-02 (one single fan as exhaust since the HR-02 sits pretty close to exhaust as it is). A p183 with covered top port would be a good solution.

I wouldn't go all passive, SB is much more efficient so I don't think your board temps would be that bad but SOME sort of air has to move across your components. If you go all passive might as well go open air.

Don't get a hard drive. Just don't no matter how green it is if you have sensitive ears you will hear it. By far the loudest component of my current system (albeit a WD black) is the hard drive out of 5 fans + a 12" video card. That's what makes the most noise. I recommend Intel as they have the least controller problems/lowest failure rate %.

Also of note apparently plextor makes quieter dvd/blu-ray drives with some sort of vibration reduction.
Abula wrote:
HFat wrote:With a huge heatsink like the HR-02, I bet you could run a dual-core Sandy Bridge fanless (no HSF, no case fan, no nothing). But you'd probably need a case with a large and efficient vent on the top (or a large case) to keep temperatures at reasonable levels.
Idk if you could run it completly fanless, in my seutp im runing 3 fans given that it doesnt pass 40C (i know overkill on the fans), but without any case fans or air moving inside the case, might be risky, specially since cpus like 2100T only has 65.0°C limit, the i3 2100T idles very low but also climbs very fast. Personally i think the front case fan should be enought though, because of its placement, probably will end up right in front of the cooler, so should be enough with Thermalright HR02, something like Thermalright X-Silent 140mm x 25mm Stealth Silent Fan for the front and undervolt it.
MikeC wrote:A couple points about the OP's proposed system:

1. w/o an ATX PSU in the way, you could go with a more efficient tower cooler & possibly eliminate the front fan, which is surely not that quiet (judging by other Lian Li case fans). The case width is nearly 200mm; there are many good tower HS 150~160mm, which should fit.

2. There's no way to make a WD Green completely inaudible in this case. You have the lower density of aluminum panels and only partially effective damping for HDD mounting working against you. At idle it might be pretty much inaudible, but when it is seeking/writing, you will hear the drive in this case. OTOH, if you use it only to store media files, turn off indexing (and any other background scanning software), then seek noise might only occur when you have media playing and the audio should mask any HDD noise. (This holds true for my HTPC). I might opt for a 1TB notebook drive (WD), which is pretty quiet, and its small size should make some kind of HDD suspension possible. Or go for an external FreeAgent 1.5TB Seagate with USB 3.0 interface. These are super quiet drives & USB 3 is about as fast as SATA. I reviewed a USB2 version a while back -- http://www.silentpcreview.com/Seagate_FreeAgent_Go

3. 8GB might be overkill.

4. You may need a hardware fan controller.

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Re: What I have Learned about Computer Performance from SPCR

Post by ces » Tue May 31, 2011 7:43 am

Thermalright HR-01 Plus vs. the HR-02

Interestingly, SPCR has found that for PURE passive use, the smaller HR-01 Plus performs better than the much larger HR-02. Though apparently (reading between the lines) once you add even a slow fan, the HR-02 pulls ahead.
MikeC wrote:
systemlayers wrote:Mike do you plan to review the HR-02? Or only if someone happens to donate one to you for review?
We actually have had one in the lab... but we found it is not quite as good as the HR01 for truly fanless cooling, this is no surprise given the tighter spacing of the fins... and Thermalright asked us not to post our findings. It is very good with a fan at low speed or with a peripheral fan nearby, like so many quality TR heatsinks, but as I've mentioned many times in the last few years, I would not recommend a fanless system except for unusual, exceptional circumstances. Just a wee bit of forced airflow improves cooling so dramatically... (typically >10C for either CPU w/ half decent HS or HDD) and possibly doubles VRM life. Inaudible = silent in 99% of conditions, and a quiet enough fan (or 2 or 3) is inaudible.

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Re: What I have Learned about Computer Performance from SPCR

Post by systemlayers » Tue May 31, 2011 10:36 am

This is a realy fantastic thread ces. I have learned so much from SPCR in such a short time. I can't even remember when I discovered it but it's been a true savoir coming from my first custom build with a evga 680i (incredibly noisy chipset cooler it revd up to 3500rpm no matter what you did it seemed) and 8800gt (single slot cooler) and bright blue lights. I might have to post some findings of my own here.

One thing i've learned - this place is a haven - practically every other hardware review site just plain doesn't get what quiet or silent mean. Neither do graphics card manufacturers or cpu cooler manufacturers. SPCR is the only place i can get consistent reliable information. If I go on overclock.net they'll say 2150rpm fans are quiet!

Another i've learned is that similar to your first post. More ghz does not mean much. Get by on less. That's a clear philosophy at spcr i've learned. Less noise, less heat, less power consumption. When we push for this and push for it in the marketplace i think we do have an effect. Look at all the great cpu cooler options and fans we have nowadays. Look at how nvidia tried to revise their gpu coolers in the 500 series.

Also thanks for posting the HR-02 information I was surprised by that post :) . I think it and the venomous x are the best high end silent coolers around right now.

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Re: What I have Learned about Computer Performance from SPCR

Post by ces » Tue May 31, 2011 4:04 pm

Flexible 120mm in Diameter Air Duct
renedc wrote:The air duct put me in mind of another I'd seen for sale in only one place, in case you or anyone reading this should ever need such a thing:
This comes in both 120 and 80 mm sizes. It's definitely a nice addition to anyone's "silent cooling arsenal".
Both ends of the tube are caped with plastic 120mm fittings for attachment of standard 120mm fans.
Available in two lengths:
Small: 27cm to 61cm (10.6 inches to 24 inches)
Large: 66cm to 152cm (26 inches to 60 inches)

For shorter size flexible 120 mm ducts see:
http://www.thermalright.com/new_a_page/ ... _duct.html
(the red one is the shortest one)

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Re: What I have Learned about Computer Performance from SPCR

Post by ces » Fri Jun 10, 2011 2:37 pm

Fixing PSU Whine
Green Olive wrote:Running Prime95 seems to completely stop the noise while it's running. As soon as I stop it, the noise returns (if the offending applications are open). The system gets louder with Prime95 since the fans rev up, but the electronic noise stops (actually stops, not just masked by the fan noise).

Another thing that induces the noise is running Flash video content in Firefox/Internet Explorer ('normal' pages are generally OK). It continues even if I navigate away from the Flash containing site, only stopping once the browser is closed/restarted.
MikeC wrote:OK, P95 is a high load on the CPU, which gets its power mostly from the 12V line. This suggests that the whine happens when...
1) the 12V load is low
2) there is some load on 5V and 3.3V lines.

Just try adding some component that draws a bit more power from the 12V line -- an old HDD or 2 will do. Each will pull only 4-6W on the 12V line, but it might be enough. See if that gets rid of the whine.

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Re: What I have Learned about Computer Performance from SPCR

Post by ces » Sun Jun 12, 2011 10:34 am

Quiet CD/DVD Players
systemlayers wrote:Also of note apparently plextor makes quieter dvd/blu-ray drives with some sort of vibration reduction.
lodestar wrote:One of the quietest combo Blu-Ray players DVD writers is/was the Samsung SH-B083L. But it's an internal drive. However if you could find one at this sort of price http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Samsung-SH-B083L- ... 27b7a7ec2c and combine it with your own external USB 2.0 enclosure such as this one http://www.amazon.co.uk/MY-Link-5-25-En ... _pr_sims_t it could be exactly the combination you want.

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Case Size Chart

Post by ces » Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:33 pm

Case size comparison chart
miahallen wrote:I wanted to create a place where you can easily reference and compare various case sizes. So, I've created this simple spreadsheet with tabs for various case sizes from smallest to largest. If there is a case you think should be added to the list, please post up the dimensions, and a link to the manufacturer's product page, and I'll add it to the list :cool:

http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key= ... =100&h=500

If there is a way to embed the spreadsheet in the OP I'm all ears :cool:

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Re: What I have Learned about Computer Performance from SPCR

Post by ces » Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:59 pm

The Best Fan Filters - Two Reviews
Sooty wrote:Just found a VERY useful filter shootout, here 8)

Some of those meshes would do (if I can find them), or the Alu Mesh Filter. I could try to squeeze 2 x 120’s onto my P150's 200mm x 120mm plastic filter holder. That means trimming 20mm off each, but I’ll end up with 50% more filter surface area, compared to 2 x 92 filters. But before doing anything, I’ll be checking restriction with that simple test. If they fail that, I’ll be going without.

Those same alu mesh filters are used at this fan review site http://atreview.net/en/casefan.html where they average about 20% restriction, compared to the 11% by ScottAllyn. But we’re in the right ballpark now, as was the FilterRight at 17%.
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/sho ... ll-Testing...

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Re: What I have Learned about Computer Performance from SPCR

Post by ces » Sat Aug 06, 2011 6:09 pm

140mm Fans

tanassi wrote:Ok here it goes:
Apparently a side intake fan is quite hard to find, if you want a quiet one. I think it has to do with vibration of the panel (not at hinges or "teeth" but the whole plate) and the backdraft banging into the intake mesh. Here is my impressuin and how it went (all tested at 7V)

Alpenfohn Wing Boost PWM 140mm, 1100rpm
Lovely build quality, I really liked the rubbery construction and the solidness. It did have the low pwm click at low voltage. Outside of the intake panel it was near silent and gave just a suble whoosh, in the frame it rumbled. Still, a lovely fan, great looks. I tried it as an extra front intake but it didnt add anything, but it was quiet, only a tiny bubbly sound. Take note: this is a 4 pin PWM fan and I'd think this is a great addition to that segment.

Akasa AK-195BL Ultra Quiet Emperor Blue - 140mm
Yucky cheap construction, Not quiet and not my cup of tea.

Noiseblocker BlackSilent XK1, 140mm
Dissapointing. Not so quiet in or outside the sidepanel. Started with a horrible noise that gradually dissapeared but never totally went away.

Noiseblocker BlackSilentPRO PK-2, 140mm
Wow, dead quiet outside the case, but noisy inside... Even as a front intake it was noisier than the Alpenfohn. I have no clue why. Looked lovely but as an intake it give a vibration sort of whine. As an extra front intake it wooshed too loud. Maybe it moved too much air? Also, the rubber square frame to fit on is a great idea but ended up as a big frustration. One of the most annoying assemblies in my computer life ever.

Scythe Slip Stream 140mm, 800rpm
Didnt start up at 7v :/ Next.

Noctua NF-P14 FLX 140mm Fan, 750-1200rpm
Once again, opening Noctua packaging, you instantly feel the crafstmanship. Installed it and it was... the quietest. I am not a fanboy but I ended up with 3 Noctua's in my case now. They just sound and cool the best, in my case (pun intended). I still hate the colour and the price, but they come up as a clear winner every time, no matter what other reviewers say.

Just to make the round up complete, the BeQuiet 140mm Silent Wint USC is doing a splending job as a top blowhole and all in all I am impressed with this fan. But alas, this one also didnt pass the side panel test.

Take note: every case is different, every compontent is different and every rig's layout is different. Just order a great bunch of fans, install them, listen with your own ears, experiment with voltage and placement and take your pick. RMA the rest for a refund. Also: too much fan will destroy your airflow. Don't go overboard, in my case the tipping point was 2 intake/2exhaust. More fans didnt add anything or gave higher temps.

So there you have it. Thanks for reading and cool luck on your personal silent cooling quest!

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Combined PWM and Voltage Controllers for Non-PWM fans

Post by ces » Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:58 pm

Combined PWM and Voltage Controllers for Non-PWM fans
ces wrote:Get a sunbeam rheostat instead. You can switch the fans from PWM to variable manually controlled voltage as you need to.

http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/ ... s_id=30056

http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/ ... s_id=30058

http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/ ... s_id=30057
Abula wrote:+1 ces suggestion, i think the new sunbeam rheostat fan controllers are very versatile with their options of PWM or manual. A little cheaper, SUNBEAMTECH PL-RS-6 RHEOSMART 6 FAN CONTROLLER $31.99 free shipping.
Abula wrote:Just to back up CES, check this video, the start the PC with no fan on, Sunbeamtech Rheosmart 6 PWM Fan Controller BIOS Setting Tutorial

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Re: What I have Learned about Computer Performance from SPCR

Post by ces » Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:11 am

Currently available (2011) really worthy mini-ITX enclosures
quest_for_silence wrote:

Code: Select all

 L  x  P  x  H (cm)   Model 
18    25     7    A-Plus CS-Cupid 1 
25    26    10    Yeong-Yang C582 
18    29    10    Silverstone LC12 
22    33    10    Antec ISK 300 (JUST FOR REFERENCE PURPOSES) 
26    20    11    Lian-Li PC-Q09 
26    20    12    Lian-Li PC-Q09F 
23    30    15    LanGear Infinity 
20    36    16    Codegen MX31-A2 
22    28    18    Silverstone SG05 
22    29    18    Silverstone SG06 
22    22    19    Nexus Psile 
22    35    19    Silverstone SG07 
23    34    27    Lian-Li PC-Q08 
19    21    29    Lian-Li PC-Q07 
20    26    33    Lian-Li PC-Q11 
ces wrote:Habey EMC-800B Black Aluminum Server Chassis with 12V DC power supply 120W 9.0" x 8.0" x 3.0" - at new egg
Habey EMC-600B Black Aluminum Server Chassis with 12V DC power supply 120W 9.0" x 8.0" x 2.25" - at new egg

M350 Universal Mini-ITX Case - even smaller than the Lian Li PC-Q09
WHD= 192mm, 62mm, 210mm) 7.55 x 2.44 x 8.27 inches:
The Samuel 17 cooler appears to fit within the 2.44 heigth.

ARK Mini ITX Cube PI-01 - W 8.00; H 7.00; D 12.75;

Sugo SG05* W 8.74; H 6.93; D 10.87; (only ITX)
Sugo SG06* W 8.66; H 6.97; D 11.26; (only ITX)

Apex MI-100^ W 8.70; H; 5.10; D 11.80; (only ITX)
Apex MI-008 (like the MI-100 but looks nicer)
See: viewtopic.php?t=53612

Thermaltake Element Q W 8.66; H 5.12; D 13.00
quest_for_silence wrote:A somehow convenient list from Intel: http://www.intel.com/cd/channel/reselle ... 394803.htm.

I forgot to answer, ces: AFAIK (and so I mean for) the so-called KOZ, Keep Out Zone, is the space right above the CPU socket, so the one available for a CPU cooler.
ces wrote:
merlin wrote:I'm looking for a good Mini-itx case to house a sandy bridge Core I3-2100 with mini-itx htpc myself, the Antec ISK-300/310-150 would be perfect except the rather poor psu and I'd prefer not to go picopsu if possible. Plus who wants to pay for a second psu? :) I wonder if antec would come out with a quieter high efficiency psu model...
Consider a Lian Li q-07 or q-11 with a small FSP Group FSP300-60GHS-R 300W Micro ATX / SFX 80 PLUS Certified Power Supply mounted as an ATX to make room for a larger cpu cooler (the ATX mount comes with the PSU)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817104075

LIAN LI V351 W 10.98; H 10.31; D 14.69; (ITX? & MATX)
BGEARS BG01206 W 11.20; H 9.00; D 14.70; (ONLY MATX)
APEVIA X-QPACK II W 11.25; H 9.00; D 14.50; (3 WINDOWS) (ONLY MATX)
APEVIA X-QPACK W 11.2; H 9.00; D 13.80; (3 WINDOWS) (ONLY MATX)
LIAN LI PC-Q07 W 7.60; H 11.02; D 8.19; (ONLY ITX)
LIAN LI PC-Q08 W 8.94; H 10.70; D 13.58; (ONLY ITX)
ARK MINI ITX PI-01 W 8.00; H 7.00; D 12.75;
SUGO SG05 W 8.74; H 6.93; D 10.87; (ONLY ITX)
SUGO SG06 W 8.66; H 6.97; D 11.26; (ONLY ITX)
SUGO SG07 W 8.74; H 7.48; D 13.78; (ONLY ITX)
SUGO SG02F W 10.6; H 8.30; D 15.50; (ONLY MATX)
SUGO SG03B-F W 7.87; H 14.17; D 12.28; (ONLY MATX)
APEX MI-100 W 8.70; H; 5.10; D 11.80; (ONLY ITX)
APEX MI-008 W 8.70; H; 5.10; D 11.80; (ONLY ITX)
LIAN LI PC-Q09 W 7.85; H 3.86; D 7.85; (ONLY ITX)
ANTEC NSK1380 W 10.60; H 7.90; D 13.20; (ONLY MATX)
ANTEC NSK 3480 W 7.87; H 13.78; D 13.98; (ONLY MATX)
ANTEC NSK 3300 W 7.80; H 13.80; D 13.80; (ONLY MATX)
ANTEC NSK 4400 W 7.80; H 16.50; D 16.60; (ATX & MATX)
ANTEC NSK 4480 W 7.80; H 16.50; D 16.60; (MATX & ATX)
LIAN LI PC A03 W 7.40; H 14.49; D 17.60; (ITX & MATX)
LIAN LI A05 W 8.27; H 15.00; D 19.29; (MATX & ATX)
LIAN LI PC-A06F W 7.36; H 14.76; D 19.29; (MATX & ATX)
ANTEC SOLO W 8.10; H 17.00; D 18.50; (ITX, MATX & ATX)
CENTURION 590 W 8.27; H 17.32; D 20.08; (MATX & ATX)
ANTEC ELITE 341 W 7.28; H 14.37; D 15.75; (ONLY MATX)
SHUTTLE SG41J1 W 8.46; H 7.48; D 12.79;
LAN-GEAR.COM W 11.4" X H 8.6" X D 14.6" (ONLY MATX) (they have a forthcoming ITX version)

Unhappy Lan-Gear owner
faugusztin wrote:
midiman wrote:Of that list, I think my favorite is from Lan Gear.
Well, let me just say if you ever get some of their cases, you will have issues. On my now unused case from them (yes, i unfortunately bough it) the power button broke, front panel LED's are not really secured well and what is the worst of all, the top/side cover (it is one piece) doesn't flush well to the front panel, and it is lot of work to put it back.
Last edited by ces on Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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