I'm building a PC Rescue machine, something where I can back up data, discs, and diagnose software issues on other drives without worry about infecting a computer and any data which is actually useful (this will never be connected to the internet, I have working drivers on a flash drive ready to go). XP 64 bit edition right now, but Server 2008 will probably be going on.
Anyway, the parts I'm using so far include a 65w quad core from AMD, eight gigs of DDR2-800, onboard graphics and four low speed hard drives. All wrapped up in a $20 case. 400w PSU from FSP Group with no fan.
All this has me wondering if its actually possible to pull off a completely noiseless computer. I haven't ordered these parts yet, but I wonder, if I attach the best heat sink I can to that processor, would it be possible to run the system entirely fanless (and therefor, almost completely noiseless)?
The Scythe Ninja was originally designed to be fanless with just the air flow from the case fans giving enough air flow . It was ok with midrange cpu's a couple of years back .... and they all used more power than todays 45 nm chips .
It didnt take long for Scythe to repack the Ninja with a 120 mm fan so maybe they didnt have that much faith in the idea to start with . The stock fan is noisy , but a low powered computer might run cool with a very quiet low flow fan . Especially if you under clocked and under volted the cpu .
Another alternative is to put the computer in another room . USB and DVI cables can both be long enough to get the case and its heat and noise well away .
I know i could just move the computer to another room, but thats not what im asking. I am going to probably pack in a few fans somewhere, but my pondering is if in this day and age, with all the lower power hardware on the market, one could do without fans entirely.
You could always try it out and see what it comes down to. Try running your rig without any added fans and see what temps you get for the CPU and HHD. Also in the same line of thoughts as what was suggested, the Noctua can be used passively as heat sink. If it's not sufficient you could always add 2 low speed/low flow fan in a pull/push configuration to give some breathing air to your case. Again Noctua comes to mind but I am sure other would give other good brand. I know that some people do run some heast sink model passively but I don't think they do so without having any kind of air flow into the case.