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Fanless

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May 21, 2006 9:13:17 PM

To all the fine experts in this forum...

I'm thinking about eliminating every fan in my computer in order to have an ultra quiet system, even at high usage loads. Right now I'm using an MSI Diamond Plus motherboard. I count thee fans on 4 components that need to be cooled:
1) CPU
2) North Bridge
3) South Bridge
4) Grahpics Card
(2 & 3 are shareing on fan and heat sink, connected w/ a heat pipe)

Then of course the two fans in the front and back of the case.

If I choose to go w/ a water cooling system, it raises a few questions.

While water blocks for a CPU and GPU seem easy enough to identify, are there different size or shape blocks for the north and south bridge chipes?

Can I line all these up in one long loop, or do I need seperate loops for each component (or at least more than one loop)?

Do the pump and the radiator fan create their own noise, thus defeating the whole pupose?

I will greatly appreciate any infomred comments.

More about : fanless

May 21, 2006 9:53:57 PM

Of course a radiator fan + pump are going to make noise. Ever stood next to a fish tank?

Anyway, what CPU are you using?

Water cooling systems tend to differ in power/noise from system to system. Wait for a good crossection of different user reviews before buying.
May 21, 2006 10:00:34 PM

Honestly... i think it would make more sense to get air cooling components with quieter fans... to start:

Zalman CNPS9500 for the CPU.

Zalman VF900 for the video card.

Not a lot you can do about the NB and SB fans.

For the case fans.... someone might have a better suggestion, but i turned up this 80mm case fan and this 120mm case fan

The DBA level of all of the fans mentioned are under 30 with tolorances applied (+- 10%)
Related resources
May 21, 2006 10:10:44 PM

i am not sure that it is going to be possible to cool a modern CPU silently. your best bet to get silent CPU cooling is to get a good quality heatsink+fan such as a Zalman solution, again for your graphics cards you can get specific fanless cards they are not usually very high end cards but there OK, if you already have a system what is your CPU, gfx card, zalman also make fanless northbridge heatsinks and i assume if you look hard enough you will be able to find a similar solution to your southbridge. You are definatly going to need a fan to create airflow through your case, especially without many internal fan otherwise the air will stagnate and just get hotter numbing the effect of heatsinks, get a high quality large no noise fan and you should be OK
May 21, 2006 10:12:21 PM

Quote:
zalman also make fanless northbridge heatsinks and i assume if you look hard enough you will be able to find a similar solution to your southbridge.


I didn't know Zalman made passive NB heatsinks.....

Learn something new every day i guess....
May 21, 2006 10:35:07 PM

All my systems are very quiet now.
I have changed all my overclocked pc cases (7) to aluminum (skyhawk/eagle)
& use either full copper (large) or my own modified amuminum heatsinks.
I use quiet & oversized fans & rum many of them off 5, 6 & 7 volts.
My fastest is a Venice 3200+ (@ 2.8Ghz 4200+) & the only time you hear it is when the CPU is at 100% load & its fan trip in.

The normal 12v fans can be connected in series using 2 to run them off 6v
,,,, or between the red & yellow wires of the psu to run at 7v,,,,, or to the red & black to run at 5 v..... either way its a lot less noise & the skyhawk case with good air exchange helps a lot.
May 21, 2006 10:35:12 PM

thx david... i'll have a poke around...
May 23, 2006 12:37:28 AM

Thanks all for the info on air cooling.

Quote:
Of course a radiator fan + pump are going to make noise. Ever stood next to a fish tank?

Yes I have. I've also stood next to pumps used for radiant floor heating systems that are absolutely silent. Unfortunately, I have yet to stand next to a water cooled PC. Are fish tank pumps generally used in water cooled PCs? I was under the impression that water cooled systems used something a bit higher quality, with lower noise output.

Quote:
Anyway, what CPU are you using?

My latest is an Opteron 170.

Quote:
Not a lot you can do about the NB and SB fans.

Yes, that is true with any air cooling solution I've considered. That is why I'm looking into a water cooled system.

Quote:
i am not sure that it is going to be possible to cool a modern CPU silently.

Really? Why do you think it is impossible? Because of the pump and radiator fan?

Quote:
... again for your graphics cards you can get specific fanless cards they are not usually very high end cards but there OK

That won't accomodate my design requirements. I'm trying to achieve near silence with high performance.

Right now my graphics card only a NV 7600GT, but this isn't about my current system. It's about what I can achieve, and how to go about it. I'm pretty confident that I can quitely cool a high end GPU and CPU with a water cooling solution. There's plenty of info on that around. I'm really concerned about the chipset. For example, there's this:
Swiftech MCW30 Chipset Cooling Water-block

But I still need to figure out if this works on both the north bridge and the south bridge, and if it will work on other motherboards besides the few listed.
May 23, 2006 1:09:26 AM

Quote:
To all the fine experts in this forum...

I'm thinking about eliminating every fan in my computer in order to have an ultra quiet system, even at high usage loads. Right now I'm using an MSI Diamond Plus motherboard. I count thee fans on 4 components that need to be cooled:
1) CPU
2) North Bridge
3) South Bridge
4) Grahpics Card
(2 & 3 are shareing on fan and heat sink, connected w/ a heat pipe)

Then of course the two fans in the front and back of the case.

If I choose to go w/ a water cooling system, it raises a few questions.

While water blocks for a CPU and GPU seem easy enough to identify, are there different size or shape blocks for the north and south bridge chipes?

Can I line all these up in one long loop, or do I need seperate loops for each component (or at least more than one loop)?

Do the pump and the radiator fan create their own noise, thus defeating the whole pupose?

I will greatly appreciate any infomred comments.


Here's my experience with a Silent PC build:

Antec Sonata Case which has quiet mountings for Drives etc, along with a Nearly Silent 120mm Case Fan.
Upgraded Antec NeoHE 550 low noise modular PSU.
Asus fanless Mobo (passively cooled chips)
Newer Opteron 165 with the Heat Pipe cooler that is fairly quiet.
Upgraded near-silent fan on ATI x1900 AIW card.

I keep my rig in an enclosure under my desk, and it is below the background noise about 75% of the time. I only get noticable noise when running full out. One drawback is that the cooling doesn't leave much room for OCing.

I haven't tried water yet, but I have been very pleasantly surprised with my results.
May 23, 2006 1:42:08 AM

Which chipset are you using? I know the new ATI 3200 chipsets are designed to be passively cooled.
May 23, 2006 10:01:42 AM

Quote:
Thanks all for the info on air cooling.

Of course a radiator fan + pump are going to make noise. Ever stood next to a fish tank?

Yes I have. I've also stood next to pumps used for radiant floor heating systems that are absolutely silent. Unfortunately, I have yet to stand next to a water cooled PC. Are fish tank pumps generally used in water cooled PCs? I was under the impression that water cooled systems used something a bit higher quality, with lower noise output.

Quote:
Anyway, what CPU are you using?

My latest is an Opteron 170.

Quote:
Not a lot you can do about the NB and SB fans.

Yes, that is true with any air cooling solution I've considered. That is why I'm looking into a water cooled system.

Quote:
i am not sure that it is going to be possible to cool a modern CPU silently.

Really? Why do you think it is impossible? Because of the pump and radiator fan?

Quote:
... again for your graphics cards you can get specific fanless cards they are not usually very high end cards but there OK

That won't accomodate my design requirements. I'm trying to achieve near silence with high performance.

Right now my graphics card only a NV 7600GT, but this isn't about my current system. It's about what I can achieve, and how to go about it. I'm pretty confident that I can quitely cool a high end GPU and CPU with a water cooling solution. There's plenty of info on that around. I'm really concerned about the chipset. For example, there's this:
Swiftech MCW30 Chipset Cooling Water-block

But I still need to figure out if this works on both the north bridge and the south bridge, and if it will work on other motherboards besides the few listed.

Best to research something, before you attempt it(bonus of the web).

Here is a great website that takes quiet PC's really seriously. They review

many parts, and how they relate to noise....Very informative. Give it a

look-see. Check as many articles as you can, it'll help you decide.

GL :wink:

http://www.silentpcreview.com/index.php
May 23, 2006 11:10:30 AM

I am currently running a three fan machine which even at 100% load is near-silent. Only at night when ambient noise levels drop can it be heard as a very faint whisper. It is quite cheap to get it to be nearly silent. Here is what I am running:

A64-3200@2.2 GHz, passively cooled (Thermaltake Sonictower), in an Asus A8N Premium. I replaced the whiny Northbridge fan with a passive cooler from Zalman (it runs quite hot, but a little airflow will sort that). Graphics is a Sapphire X800GTO, runs silently enough to not be heard (there is a fan on it) and delivers quite good performance. There are currently two case fans, both blowing into the case from the back. I can recommend Pabst's 8412N/2GLLE, they never get above 9 DB (according to the documentation. Can't hear them!). Run a fanless PSU as well and harddrive suspended in rubber-thingies. On top of all this the case is insulated with foam.

The various silent bits that weren't stock came to about $200 including the PSU.

DeskJockey
May 23, 2006 12:16:31 PM

:D  Hey Im into this Silent Stuff too, I really like listening to music, (SONY ES 6.2 (150W RMSx6 + 150Wx2 SW)) so, I need the less noise possible.-
I have a ThermalTake sonicTower with a 12cm low RPM Fan, to cool my 2.4 Overclocked X2 3800
One heatSink on my MOBO, and the new VF1 Plus Formula to cool my Overclocked 7900GT (it rocks)no perceptible noise under 100% load.-
And One Chasis 12cm low rpm Fan to take the hot air out, I have my Case under my desk too, so I only listen to it deep in the night, When I go to sleep.-

cheers! :) 
a b K Overclocking
May 23, 2006 4:24:30 PM

It is possible to build a completely fanless PC. But you need to make some sacrifices like no overclocking and accept the fact that you must make do with a GeForce 7600GT. Anything faster than that will emit too much heat.

If you are really interest, then just respond to my post and I'll piece togther something for you.

If you want more info on quiet / silent parts then goto:

www.silentpcreview.com
May 23, 2006 4:35:17 PM

Are there no PC manufacturers that make a Mac Mini-style Laptop/Desktop hybrid?
May 23, 2006 9:45:12 PM

I meant more in terms of a PC that's basically a laptop in a 'proper' (albeit reduced size) box, with all the advantages of a laptop (lighter, MUCH quieter - pretty much silent 99% of the time, smaller size etc...) but as a 'fixed' solution.

That AOpen/Evesham has the size thing, but it's noted for being noisy. Mac Mini is noted for being the opposite.

£699? You can get a BETTER Mac Mini for that price! And who says Apple are overpriced!
a b K Overclocking
May 23, 2006 11:52:07 PM

Quote:
I meant more in terms of a PC that's basically a laptop in a 'proper' (albeit reduced size) box, with all the advantages of a laptop (lighter, MUCH quieter - pretty much silent 99% of the time, smaller size etc...) but as a 'fixed' solution.





Do you mean like this Mac Mini????

If so then the AOpen MiniPC is basically the same in terms of dimensions.

Or something more inline with the maxed out mini?

May 24, 2006 8:56:47 AM

im trying the same thing, but using a duron and they dont get very hot, but also you should take out the PSU fan if its noisy, i learnt this trick for the psu you have wire up the fan for 7v (goole it) it has slighly less airflow but totally silent cant hear a thing (literally). id say use good heatsinks on everything, zalman passive NB cooler, a cpu cooler on the gfx card and im no good with cpu coolers, so ask someone else on here.
!