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Quiet mid-tower recommendations

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December 6, 2006 11:23:05 PM

My turn to ask for advice.

I normally wouldn't ask about things that could be read in reviews, but I think that a general feedback is always a good idea.

I've been trying to reduce the noise from my PC, and I'm slowly going by process of elimination. My rig is based on an OC'd d805, so good airflow is a must unfortunately, and I'm forced to run fans at higher rpms... So far what I've done is :

1. Replaced a noisy Golden Orb2 by a much quiter Samurai 2 (Scythe) cooler - virtually unaudible with case closed.

2. Replaced my "no-name" 80mm fans with 2 Yate Loon quiet 120mms, undervolted to 7V, virtually unadible. Used rubber gaskets to minimize vibration.

3. Custom mounted the HD (again with a gasket).

I'm still stuck with a fairly loud ULTRA x-finity 500W PSU (to be replaced eventually by a Seasonic or quiet Antec), but right now I'm looking for a good, fairly soundproof (I dont need a side window) case. Preferably in the <90$ (roughly 100 CDN) range.

I've heard good things about the Sonata 2, some Cooler Master cases. The Thermaltakes are a little pricy.

Does anyone have any good cases to recommend, need to be able to accomodate 2 120mm fans, and dampen the sound as much as possible.

Thanks in advance

Redwing
December 7, 2006 1:05:15 AM

I'm not going to dare get into case recommendations - there are SO many out there. You might want to check silentpcreview.com and see if their reviews are useful.

What I can do however, is suggest a few more steps to reduce the noise.

First, unless you have a 1 year old child crawling around, remove or cut away all the fan grilles. If your case features swiss cheese, cut it out completely.

Install sound dampening materials. An AcoustiProducts AcoustiPack kit did wonders for my wife's GX5050. But the stuff can be pricey.

Actually that outfit does offer a case, you might want to give it a glance...

http://www.acoustiproducts.com/en/acousticase_c6607.asp

And take the dust-free thing with a grain of salt - dust can sneak in through optical drives, floppy drives, card readers, even the front ports in some cases.

-Brad
December 7, 2006 1:28:51 AM

If your willing to go well over budget the Antec p150 that includes the Antec Neo 430w psu would be your best bet. But also you can buy the black version of the p150 with out the psu for about 100bucks. And ironically that looks to be the one piece of computer hardware Canadian's are not getting ripped off on. 8)
Newegg 's price. :( 
The only thing that will suck about that case is you will likely need to pick up a quite 92mm fan or 2 for the front.
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Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
December 7, 2006 1:42:42 AM

Sonata 2 is fairly quiet.

For a quiet PSU I would recommand Corsair HX520W or any seasonic.

For fan the Scythe S-Flex I just bought are rated at 8.9db, thats a joke...the 20 dB have decent CFM and are still apparently innaudible!

too bad the Frys outpost special at 70$ is gone!!, 120$ now
That would still be my recommandation

This Chasis is built around being quiet!
December 7, 2006 2:51:50 AM

Check out the Antec P180 cases. They're quite roomy and the fans that come with it are very quiet.
December 7, 2006 3:15:24 AM

Thanks for all the advice guys. I'm leaning towards the p180, and I'm thinking of getting that soundproofing kit as well.

One downer is that I can't really buy from USA-only retailer (newegg) since the customs will literally up the price by 30-40%, not even counting the "international shipping".

I'm somewhat limited to the canadian tigerdirect, and other canadien retailers. If anyone knows some good canadien online retailers that offer a decent selection of brand name (antec,etc) cases and silent-pc related stuff, please let me know.

I couldnt really get a price/quote on the case that Brad linked, it looks like a very soundproof case but if I find out that the pricetag is 300$, thats a little out of my league in terms of what I'm willing to pay for a computer case.

Thanks again
a c 147 ) Power supply
December 7, 2006 3:52:52 AM

Let me second the recommendation for the Antec solo or the P150(same case in white with 450w power supply). The case is made of steel so it is quieter, and already has sound insulating materials applied. The two front fans are 92mm, but a pair of scythe 100 fans will fit if you reposition the mounting holes(one fits without a problem). I have also used the P180 which I thought was awkward, and not particularly silent.
Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
December 7, 2006 2:09:49 PM

I agree that the P150 is a really nice case, the Antec Neo HE 430 is a solid PSU, if you don't have power hungry vid card.

I would recommend Ncix. Depending on where you are in Canada might have other recommendation!

@geofelt: I agree with the P180 awkwardness but I find it really quiet!
December 8, 2006 8:11:26 PM

Are there any good local stores around Mtl?
Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
December 8, 2006 8:42:07 PM

Yup there is a few. I personally worked for Sohodiffusion. BTW, price are not always up to date...
Since I worked there might get you some slightly price or some early availability.

Usually they have really good price and can beat most of the price of the other stores.
Some local store hdo ave their 'specialties' and can get better price on some parts.

If you're from Quebec it's worth watching, otherwise with shipping it's hardly worth it.
December 8, 2006 9:34:12 PM

Quote:
Thanks for all the advice guys. I'm leaning towards the p180, and I'm thinking of getting that soundproofing kit as well.


Smart choice. There's no other case for under US$200 that I'd even consider for best silence & cooling. You may find that after you build the machine that you don't really need the soundproofing too - the case is made for quiet operation with it's plastic/steel/plastic layering. It's around US$130 shipped, so you should be able to find it somewhere for around $150CDN.. it's worth the higher price.
December 10, 2006 3:56:29 PM

Thanks again to everyone for the help.
Thx labbby , that's a pretty decent store - prices beat tigerdirect and I don't have to pay for shipping :) 

I'm somewhat swarmed now ,but I'll buy the p180 around Xmas, re-assemble my PC, and post the results here. Hopefully most of the distracting noise will be somewhat attenuated.

On a similar topic : what's a quiet HD? I would be satisfied with average performance if it's near silent. I've heard good things about the Samsung liquid bearing drives, are they really as silent as they claim?
Currently I'm using some WD's - they're not bad, but under heavy read/seek they can become annoying and I assume it'll only get more pronounced when the rest of my PC is quiet.
Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
December 10, 2006 4:10:06 PM

You from Montreal RedWing? if so what the hell are you do with such a nickname :D 

I heard that samsung were the quietest.

I find the 7200.10 to be really quiet, but I am really not that sensible to noise. And these drive are among the top performer...

Review of some samsung drive really quiet, don't know how up to date that is, just something to follow =)
December 10, 2006 4:40:30 PM

I owned 3 seagate hard drives right now, and must say they're the quietest. I've owned a Maxtor and Western Digital. Both drives, for me at least, are loud and the Western Digital that I have has a messed up temperature sensor, at least I hope so. My other Western Digital works great, but is extremely loud! You know it's bad when you can hear it over 5 case fans!

IMHO, Seagate has very quiet and efficient hard drives and you can't beat the 5 year warranty.

My $.02
December 11, 2006 6:50:25 AM

The Samsung's are the quietest drives at the moment, some of the Seagate Barracuda's are also quite but the quietest models of Seagate drives are hard to find now and are were only available in low capacity's . Samsung drives are quite due to most of them only use 2 platters and they all use fluid dynamic bearings.

The Samsung Spin Point P series (the one that is recommended for quite drives) is getting a good reputation for being inexpensive and a reliable hard drive , but Seagate overall is still considered the better brand for reliability. Even tho they are worth it for there performance, I would avoid the Seagate Perpendicular Recording Technology drives due to people have reported they make more noise then the regular Seagate drives.

But a quick FYI my Samsung drive did not have acoustic management enabled when I got it, but you can enable it through Samsung's diagnostic software.
Oh and if your looking for a quite OS Ubuntu is nice. :D 
December 13, 2006 3:39:51 PM

Quote:
The Samsung's are the quietest drives at the moment, some of the Seagate Barracuda's are also quite but the quietest models of Seagate drives are hard to find now and are were only available in low capacity's . Samsung drives are quite due to most of them only use 2 platters and they all use fluid dynamic bearings.

The Samsung Spin Point P series (the one that is recommended for quite drives) is getting a good reputation for being inexpensive and a reliable hard drive , but Seagate overall is still considered the better brand for reliability. Even tho they are worth it for there performance, I would avoid the Seagate Perpendicular Recording Technology drives due to people have reported they make more noise then the regular Seagate drives.

But a quick FYI my Samsung drive did not have acoustic management enabled when I got it, but you can enable it through Samsung's diagnostic software.
Oh and if your looking for a quite OS Ubuntu is nice. :D 


Quite and quiet are two different things there mate. Btw, I have two Seagate hard drives, both with PRT, and they are by far inaudible, especially compared to my noisy Western Digital Drive!

Want a quiet computer, go Dell :p 

No, not really, just live with the noise or use headphones :twisted:
December 13, 2006 4:21:00 PM

Seagate it is. Picking up 2 * 320Gb 7200.10's for raid0 this weekend.
December 13, 2006 4:55:59 PM

Quote:
You from Montreal RedWing? if so what the hell are you do with such a nickname :D 

I heard that samsung were the quietest.

I find the 7200.10 to be really quiet, but I am really not that sensible to noise. And these drive are among the top performer...

Review of some samsung drive really quiet, don't know how up to date that is, just something to follow =)


I used to be a huge Detroit fan back when Yzerman, Fedorov, Kozlov & co were playing. Their offense was so fun to watch.
I love the habs, and I'm slowly becoming a hardcore habs fan ... but their style is more defensive and somewhat less exciting to watch (typical of most eastern conference teams). They have been playing so much better lately and I have to admit they're putting a lot of energy & heart into it, so the games have really been great for the most part.
!