I'm currently planning my next computer purchase. I will try to make the system as silent as possible. This is what I had in mind:
Athlon XP 1800+
PAL 8045 with Pabst 8412 NGML 19dB, 2050 RPM, 27 CFM
Now for a video card. I was thinking of a GF4 Ti4200 of some brand. It seems though that the fans on these cards are rather loud (35-40 dB?) and seem hard to replace since they (and the HS) are in weird shapes and sizes (from pics I've seen). Would like some input from people owning or having experience of Ti4200s and their noise levels. Maybe it would be sufficient to just remove the stock fan and put a
Zalman FB 165 (http://www.zalman.co.kr/english/product/cnpsvga3.htm)
over the card?
The other issue is with the PSU. I could go for an expensive Zalman 300W ST-300BLP, but it would be half the price if I modded a cheap 300W with for example a Pabst 8412 NGML. Opinions on this? Will cheap 300W PSUs do the trick, voltage and current wise?
I don't have that much "stuff" sucking power in the case, so I'm thinking of only having one or two additional Pabst fans blowing in and/or out of the case.
I'm assuming the Pabst 8412 NGML (and NGL) run @ 12V? Anyone running one of these @ 7V or 5V? This could be an alternative for the front intake fan since it's the closest one to your ears.
Note: Panaflos are, AFAIK, not currently available here in Sweden, and I haven't seen Silencers anywhere. Any peeps from Sweden here?
After removing most of the noise from my components I have found that the loudest thing in my system now is my Hard Drive! (7200rpm 40gig Maxtor). From what i have read the Seagate Barracuda IV drives are the quietest, so if noiselessness is a priority then i suggest getting one of these.
Unfortunatly I cannot install a 'Silent drive enclosure' as my motherboard has a couple of transistors in the way preventing me from using 2 of my 5 1/4 bays (arrggh)
May I suggest a technique that was done on an enthusiast site and also is selling as a kit (although why you would need a kit is beyond me). I'd written this all over the forums before, but anyway here goes..
Gather up a ton of rubber bands and twist them around the hard drive and the holes in your drive bays so that the hard drive itself is suspended in mid-air. The rubber bands will absorb sound and vibration, and since it's suspended it won't cause any vibration whatsoever. This is neat because the other form of reducing noise levels from hard drivers involves enclosing it inside a case, where you run the risk of it overheating. Of course how effective this is I cannot tell you, but I definitely can say that the prospect of the hard drive no longer causing the whole case to vibrate is certainly nice. Your maxtor 40GB, is it fluid dynamic bearing? The new 740x FDB drives (not the ball bearing motor ones) are supposed to be pretty quiet. Some people say they cannot hear these hard drives even when they put their ear near their case. If you were to take one of these drives and do the rubber band trick with it you would have a pretty darn, well.. actually you would just have silence, which is what we want, right?
This little cathode light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine!