So, I'm getting sick of my Antec 300 and I want to replace it.
The hardware I've got inside:
Zalman CNPS9700 NT
2x HIS HD 5770 (CrossFire)
1x Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB HDD
Corsair VX-550W PSU
The other things don't make noise - mobo&ram. ODD noise doesn't bother me since I nearly never use CDs.
I've got a COOLER MASTER SickleFlow 120 fan on the front, and the stock Tricool 120&200 on the back and top respectively.
The Tricools are set on "Low", my Sickleflow is plugged into my Asus M4A79XTD EVO mobo and set on "Silent" in the BIOS, as well as the heatsink. My Athlon II x3 445 is unlocked to a Phenom II x4 B45 but NOT overclocked.
There's nothing on the side panel, and the whole thing's sitting on the desk next to me on the right.
I've cleaned out all the dust in side, made sure there's nothing obstructing anything from moving as it should, and have only owned all this stuff for about 7 months.
Why did I say all that? Because my computer is LOUD all the time! Maybe I'm just fussy, but its about as loud as brown noise at 25% when all I'm doing is surfing the internet... except I prefer brown noise.
Have I done something wrong here, or am I just fussy?
More importantly, do you think I'll be happy if I upgrade to a Fractal Design Define R3? Are there good quiet alternatives in the sub-$120 range?
Note, I've considered the following alternatives:
-HAF912 [its overpriced here in NZ]
-BitFenix Survivor Core [not that quiet I hear?]
-Antec 902v3 [is it quiet? overkill for my cooling needs]
-CM 690 [way overpriced here in NZ]
-CM Storm Scout [hmm.. maybe? it doesn't seem to be marketed as a 'quiet' case]
But I could be wrong about them, seeing as I have no experience with any of them.
And just to be clear, the noises are:
-Whirring fans. No clicking or anything, just a loud humming noise.
-Hard drive noises... it seems to spend a lot of time making little noises here and there as if the needle's moving. A few little noises every 5 seconds or so. I listened to the sounds here and its nothing like those at all, which makes me feel much better. It just sounds like normal hard drive sounds, but it bothers me anyway.
The 902 is good, i have one. Each of the fans is individually controllable with switches/nobs, and if you turn them right down they are barely audible (you can also just not plug them in too...).
My other suggestion is buy acoustic dampening pads for mounting any fans and hard drives or any other moving object.
Your hard drive looks in good health, it will make clicking style noises as part of it's operation, it's completely normal. If you want sheer silence, i suggest moving onto an SSD, but it's probably out of your budget.
For your processor fan, plug it into a PWM connector on the motherboard (4 pin fan instead of 3 pin) and turn it right down in the BIOS.
With any case you choose the quiet will depend on the fan noise. Try to get a case that uses fans that produce <20bB. This will reduce most noise. Another way of reducing noise is by using larger fans. A 200 mm fan can spin at half the rpm of a 120 mm fan for comparable cooling. Rubber grommets and gaskets around your PSU and HDDs help. Sound dampening foam will deaden echos and reverb, but is probably the least effective sound deadener. Also, if you have a fan controller it can help to keep it quiet for normal operations and you can crank it up for max cooling while stressing your rig.