The Ultimate Single HD Cooler.....

Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

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Bluefront
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The Ultimate Single HD Cooler.....

Post by Bluefront » Sun Sep 17, 2006 7:54 am

IMHO, of course. Here is the final tweaked version that I will be using in my latest project. It's made out of 1/2" plywood sections, two solid wood strips, some 4mm foam strips, a Sythe 120mm from a Ninja package, a set of Nexus Disk Twin heatsinks, and a cut down Nissan Xterra cabin filter.

That's a 320gb WD HD.....idles a few degrees over ambient. At max usage (an hour long defrag), the drive reached 34C with the fan at 800rpms. Ambient temp was about 28C.

The entire setup is sitting on soft foam, and the drive itself is further decoupled by sitting on two foam strips. In my setup, the drive is not attached to anything, as it's a tight fit in the case, centered by foam strips on the heatsinks which touch the case. If needed the whole drive could be just suspended over the fan by elastic. I didn't need to do that though.

The intake to the fan is from under the case, through the stand. There are a set of openings at the rear for the intake. At the slot opening of the fan, there is an aluminum air deflector, which can be aimed at the video card heatsink. The filter comes out the side....easy for maintenance.

With large hard drives so cheap these days, I don't need more than one internal drive any longer. This setup runs silent for me, up to about 10V...never need to go higher. This HD assy is installed in a positive pressure case....so this fan performs as a lower intake.The whole assy plus the drive, pulls right out if need be. This is like a 8 hr project....you need a jigsaw and a drill, maybe a bench saw to cut the plywood. Easy project for me.....

:D

What isn't so obvious in these photos is the airflow through the rear heatsink (opposite the slot opening). There's about a 1/4" gap between the HD/heatsinks and the fan. This allows some airflow out and up between the heatsink fins. The assy is right up against the case (with a foam spacer), so the airflow has only one exit...through the fins.

Also...IMHO, with the section cut out of the fan frame for the slot opening, this fan runs quieter at any speed than when the fan frame was intact. Seems so to me anyway. One day I'll have to try this mod with a faster fan....maybe an aluminum frame fan.

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Last edited by Bluefront on Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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DanW
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Post by DanW » Sun Sep 17, 2006 10:08 am

That looks great. I espically like the fact that you've gone for cool & quiet. I can't see how you've quietened down the HDD except for decoupling it from the case (if that's all the new WDs need then that's excellent news :) )
[size=75]Main Rig - mobo: AV8-X cpu:4600+ psu:Phantom hsf:fanless scythe ninja case:P180 gpu: 7800gs (7900 chip) (almost silent except for the HDD)
Server Rig - cpu:2000+ psu BeQuiet ATX1.3 450w hsf: AeroCool HT-101 gpu:GeForxe MX440 (now near silent). Too many hard-drives that make it loud, and an immense amount of ducting that brought temperatures down by 20 degrees.

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Bluefront
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Post by Bluefront » Sun Sep 17, 2006 10:26 am

Actually those two big heatsinks are rather heavy....and add enough mass/weight to the drive to quiet whatever noise there might be. And this setup has no openings for intake from the front. There is no intake noise audable, unless you put your ear to the rear opening. I filled up the 1" space behind the front bezel with acoustic foam. Don't hear any drive noise either...
[size=75]"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child - miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill disciplined, despotic, and useless. Liberalism is the philosophy of sniveling brats." - P.J. O'Rourke[/size]

DanW
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Post by DanW » Sun Sep 17, 2006 11:58 am

have you had the drive in the same case hard mounted before you tried this? I'm just thinking, in the lower chamber (or even the upper) the drives are soft mounted. I can't see how the rest of the drive noise would have been eliminated, if there wa any in the first place. But from what you're saying there wasn't any? What about seeks? Or are you not worried about that?
[size=75]Main Rig - mobo: AV8-X cpu:4600+ psu:Phantom hsf:fanless scythe ninja case:P180 gpu: 7800gs (7900 chip) (almost silent except for the HDD)
Server Rig - cpu:2000+ psu BeQuiet ATX1.3 450w hsf: AeroCool HT-101 gpu:GeForxe MX440 (now near silent). Too many hard-drives that make it loud, and an immense amount of ducting that brought temperatures down by 20 degrees.

[/size]

Bluefront
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Post by Bluefront » Sun Sep 17, 2006 12:08 pm

This drive was never hard mounted...it's only been in the case as you see it. This is a tight steel case, with layered panels. There is a outer plastic cover, a heavy steel liner, and a layer of acoustic foam. With the case closed up.....the drive is silent to me. No seek noise....

Inside this case, with no front intakes, almost anything would be quiet... :lol:

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[size=75]"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child - miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill disciplined, despotic, and useless. Liberalism is the philosophy of sniveling brats." - P.J. O'Rourke[/size]

mg2plus
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Post by mg2plus » Wed Sep 20, 2006 2:30 pm

Whats that material that you used for air filter?
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nici
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Post by nici » Wed Sep 20, 2006 2:58 pm

A Nissan Xterra cabin filter, it's in his post :wink: Though i only noticed that after i searched the thread for "nissan" to confirm my guess :P

Very inspiring work as usual, makes me want to do something similar :) And i have no trouble believing that the drive is inaudible, in a case with no front opening and some damping in the right places a drive is very quiet if not inaudible. The plastic skin on that case would also help.

Bluefront
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Post by Bluefront » Thu Sep 21, 2006 2:36 am

This Nissan filter was a natural for this project. It's the right width and only a little too long. I cut off about 2" and glued the end piece back on. You have to cut off some plastic to make it look like the photo. I left four tabs to help pull it out.

Also....the filter is slightly less than 1/2" thick. So I could easily make a slot for it using the 1/2" plywood. There are three layers of this plywood.....the center layer forms the slot for the filter.

IMHO.....your computer will never be as quiet as possible, as long as you use intakes in the front or sides. There is no way to prevent noise from escaping when you have vent holes in the front. Also.....the relatively heavy, felt backed door that flips down, further blocks noise from the front, including noise from a optical drive. The front bezel part of this setup used to form the only intake for this Gateway E series case.....now it's filled with acoustic dampening foam.
[size=75]"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child - miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill disciplined, despotic, and useless. Liberalism is the philosophy of sniveling brats." - P.J. O'Rourke[/size]

Tzupy
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Post by Tzupy » Thu Sep 21, 2006 6:34 am

Could you tell me please if the Nexus DiskTwin is an effective cooling solution without much airflow?
Like in a 5.25" bay of a P150 - to get rid of the two 92 mm fans in front. I'm just preparing for the build.
I can choose between DiskTwin, Drive-a-Way (expensive), Zalman ZM2HC2 (poor quality reports) and Xtor Silencer (expensive).

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Post by Bluefront » Thu Sep 21, 2006 1:27 pm

By itself without much airflow, that heatsink pair is not much good. It does a fair job of eliminating vibrations when mounted in a bay....that's about it.

I used them because they were the right size for this project....plus I had some. They do transfer heat from the drive since they always measure about the same temp as the drive itself (the edges).
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Post by nici » Thu Sep 21, 2006 3:14 pm

Tzupy, check my thread about enclosures in the user reviews section for info on the drive-a-way and the xTor.

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Post by Tzupy » Fri Sep 22, 2006 3:18 am

Thank you both for the information.
I read the review but found no reference to the Xtor Silencer (branded AC Ryan, which make the worst possible fans, according to madshrimps).
If I would have found the Scythe Quiet Drive in Bucharest, I would have mentioned it, but... no luck.

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