Most silent CPU fan: Silverado? Zalman?

I'm currently planning my next computer, which is going to double as a recording studio. Basically, it's my goal to have a computer that runs as silent as possible, without compromising speed. So one of the things I'm planning to get is, of course, an aftermarket HSF.

I won't be overclocking, so the noise concerns are more important to me than the HSF's cooling properties - as long as it provides good cooling, it's enough. I've read the reviews here at Tom's, but I'm curious as to what all of your opinions are, as well.

I'm looking at the Zalman flower-style copper cooler, and of course, the Silverado. Do any of you have experience with either of these? Or have you seen anything else that runs particularly quiet?
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  1. I would say the Silverado, have it myself, and it beats the Zalman in this test...

    <A HREF="http://www.amdmb.com/article-display.php?ArticleID=122&PageID=8" target="_new">http://www.amdmb.com/article-display.php?ArticleID=122&PageID=8</A>
  2. The Zalman flower-style HSF's are absolute garbage. Silverado is a good choice, but only if running a lower clocked CPU, as they cannot dissapate the same amount of heat as others. The Silverado is also completely silent from outside the case.

    If you want to balance cooling with noise, I would recommend a HSF coupled with a 80 -> 60mm adapter so get the same airflow while having less noise.

    :tongue: Have you ever tried cooking an egg on your HSF? Tasty. :tongue:
  3. Try <A HREF="http://www.quietpc.com/cpucooling.php" target="_new">here.</A> I like them. I've managed 10% oerclocking, so I'm sure they're fine.

    <b><font color=blue>~scribble~</font color=blue></b> :wink:
  4. Those are almost identical to the Zalman ones.

    Garbage for any high-heat output system.

    :tongue: Have you ever tried cooking an egg on your HSF? Tasty. :tongue:
  5. Really good advice, everyone. Here's some more details about what I have in mind...

    First off, I know that neither of these HSFs cools as well as others would. But I'm not planning on using a flamethrower of a CPU either - it's going to be a 1GHz PIII, and I'm not going to attempt to overclock it. So as far as heat goes, either of these should be fine - right?

    Boondock, you say that the Zalman HSFs are garbage. Care to elaborate on that a bit?

    There's also one other thing to consider. What it looks like, is that the fan for the Zalman HSF is actually screwed in over your cards. Right? And then it blows over the CPU? See, what I'm thinking is that if I go with the Silverado, I'm almost definitely going to have to go with a case fan, too (creating more noise, I would bet, even if I get a "silent" one). But if there's a fan blowing over the CPU and components, might I be able to get away with just that?

    The computer's going to look something like this, component-wise:

    1 GHz PIII

    512MB SDRAM

    Sound Blaster Live (But I will upgrade to the Audigy Platinum EX when I can afford it)

    Voodoo3 3000 (But will probably upgrade to a GF2 when I can afford it)

    56k hardware modem

    Two 7200RPM HDDs, with a quietpc SilentDrive for each

    So there'll be no overclocking, a relatively cool running CPU, and I would think that the video card and soundcard wouldn't generate a whole lot of heat (If I buy a GF2, I'm planning to get a Zalman heatsink so it's noiseless, but that's another set of questions).

    So would the Zalman HSF, with that fan blowing basically over everything, be enough cooling for the system? Or would it be too risky, requiring a case fan anyway (and making the Silverado the more obvious choice)?

    I realize a lot of this is subjective, but I'm really looking for some opinions here. Thanks! :)
  6. From THG itself:

    Quote:
    In particular, the South Korean manufacturer Zalman, despite its offering of fan coolers with unusual and interesting designs in all kinds of materials, the doesn't exactly emerge in glory here. When combined with a large case fan, these designer items still only provide below-average cooling performance.

    <A HREF="http://www6.tomshardware.com/cpu/01q2/010521/" target="_new">Review Itself</A>

    <A HREF="http://www6.tomshardware.com/cpu/01q2/010521/cooler-27.html" target="_new">Zalman "Butterfly"</A>

    <A HREF="http://www6.tomshardware.com/cpu/01q2/010521/cooler-35.html" target="_new">Conclusion</A>


    Interesting about what is says for the Silverado.... :smile:


    :tongue: Have you ever tried cooking an egg on your HSF? Tasty. :tongue:
  7. Quote:
    Garbage for any high-heat output system.

    So what sort of temps can I expect?

    Give a couple of examples.

    <b><font color=blue>~scribble~</font color=blue></b> :wink:
  8. Here's my system:

    PIII 1GHz
    512MB PC133 CAS 2
    Radeon 64MB DDR vivo retail
    Creative SB Live! 5.1
    2 x 40GB 60GXPs in RAID 0
    CD/RW
    CD ROM

    Quietpc:

    300W PSU
    Radial fin cooler
    4 x 80mm case fans (1 front, 1 side & 2 top)

    I don't expect the quiet pc stuff to make my system ice cold, as it doesn't need to be. I'm not overclocking it, so it runs very well at temps lower than ones people moan about in here.

    Boondock. Now you know my system, you can blah all you want, but facts are facts. Just because tom doesn't say its best, doesn't mean its the worst. Remember this site is a place where overclockers like to hand out. I believe the question submitted stated "I don't plan to overclock", or words to that effect.

    Do you own one?
    Do you run it with a CPU that its supposed to handle?
    Is that CPU overclocked?

    How is the noise in your room?

    There's no noise at all in my room!

    <b><font color=blue>~scribble~</font color=blue></b> :wink:
  9. I posted after he posted his system specs, but I did not catch it, as I was typing a post.

    He said he was building a new system, and asked about two general Socket A cooling solutions, and I expected he was going with AMD. For any higher clockspeed AMD chip, the Zalman type coolers are not worth it, considering there are others out there for about the same noise level that provide much better cooling.

    :tongue: Have you ever tried cooking an egg on your HSF? Tasty. :tongue:
  10. Yeah - I love innovation and competition, so I'm a big fan of AMD (and Apple). But for a recording computer, AMD is just not a good solution (more than a few producers would disagree with me here, though). The PIII strikes me as the best choice, because it seems to have the best combination of great speed and (relatively) low temperature. I could probably even get away with a Celeron, but you use a lot of DirectX plugins when you're recording. And my guess is that they're really cache-dependent. I'm not positive on that, though.

    Camie's system looks a heck of a lot like what I want to put together, and he's right - I really don't need to think about the overclocking angle. I have a CPU currently that overclocks really easily with just the included HSF - and it was fun for a while, until one of my hard drives overheated. I thought it had died, but I put it back into my computer recently and it's working fine. Point is, I just don't see much reason to overclock these days. If $100-ish can get you a supercooler or a faster CPU, I'd rather have the faster CPU and a computer that doesn't rumble. :)

    So what I'm getting, pretty much, is that either cooler is basically going to be silent, but the Silverado cools much better than the Zalman.

    But, even if I go with the Zalman, one or more case fans will still have to be part of my plan. Yes? And Camie, even with FOUR case fans, your computer is extremely silent?

    I was also curious as to whether one of these HSFs "whirrs" at a different frequency than the other. As an example, my computer's case fan is kinda high pitched, so my microphone picks it up really well (unfortunately).

    Or am I really thinking too much about this? What it's sounding like to me is that either cooler isn't going to be heard above the power supply or case fans, anyway.
  11. well, to make it completely silent, you could run a pentium 90, and have a passive heatsink, like on a video card..hehe
    overclock it to 133 or something, and you would have the fastest pentium 90 system...and it would be silent....and any powersupply would work and put out enough juice...
    but then again, for recording purposes, i dont think that a pentium 90, even overclocked would put out enough megahertz to record on the fly..but maybe...hehe


    -DAvid

    -Live, Learn, then build your own computer!-
  12. I'm thinking... probably not. ;-)
  13. Heh!

    Well, what can I say. Firstly, the four case fans are all 0.6W-0.9W, so they are very quiet. I decided to have many, because I get more effective airflow than just one fan pounding on. To get the same level of airflow, I'd need a more powerful fan = noise!!!

    The other main reason for the multifans was to have a good set of well positioned fans performing seperate (but equally important) tasks.

    Fan 1: Intake at front/bottom of case. Draws in air which would be cooler over the PCI cards, but mainly just to keep a good constant rate of airflow.

    Fan 2: Intake on side. Draws air directly over CPU and gfx card. Both components have their own fans, but as they are usually the hottest parts, they benefit from extra airflow. This fan also moves air over the memory & chipset.

    Fans 3 & 4. Both on the top of the case, exhausting hot air out. Any heat rising needs to escape, and with my HDDs and CDs just below, this is a decent idea.

    All these fans give one main contribution. They keep hot air from building up in the case = lower temps. The result being; I don't need a super cooler on my CPU.

    Add to that the internal positive pressure of intake vs exhaust and the case fan filters, I have next to no dust = cool.

    At the moment the side (with the case fan) is off, so the airflow is not going to work, and my temps are:

    General mobo temp: 24C
    Chipset temp (probe): 41C...This comes down by about 6C when closed.
    CPU temp: 35C...This also comes down by 3-6C.

    ----------------------------------------

    I have no way of measuring noise levels, but it is at least half as quiet as my PII 300. When I first had it running, I asked people about it and the answers were "I can't hear anything!" PM me if you want anymore indepth info on this, cause I check that bit of the forum first.

    <b><font color=blue>~scribble~</font color=blue></b> :wink:
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