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Case vibration

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September 24, 2011 4:04:49 AM

Hi there,

I recently finished my new build (to be found here on Google Docs, under the tab "Final Components"), and I'm generally very happy with it. However, my case fans have recently caused my case to vibrate. I had a similar problem in my last case (there, the problem was caused by the HDD), and I have read that there are vibration dampeners or similar things that help alleviate this problem.

The case in question, as linked above, is the Fractal Design Define R3 (black) (Newegg link). According to that Newegg page, the fans are 2 x 120mm Fractal Design Silent Fans.

Actually, I don't mind buying new case fans too, if that is an alternative solution.

So:
  • Any general tips to avoid case vibrations? This noise is incredibly irritating. (Plus, it can't be that healthy for the rest of the PC either, can it?)
  • Any recommendations for specific vibration dampeners or similar things?
  • Am I overlooking anything else? I.e. could some other part of my PC be somewhat responsible for the vibrations, too? (Actually, it is even possible that one of the case fans actually touches part of the case. Which would be even worse.)

    Thanks for your answers!
  • More about : case vibration

    a b ) Power supply
    September 24, 2011 6:28:32 AM

    There are small rubber studs available to mount fans, they certainly stop all sorts of fan vibrations. What you need to do is unscrew all the fans and then mount them on the rubber mounts.
    http://www.coolerguys.com/rfanmntcc.html
    http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_p...

    The PSU also has a rubber mounting frame, and that helps absorb the vibrations created by the PSU.
    http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_p...

    September 24, 2011 7:46:47 AM

    Thanks for your answer!

    Actually, I think my HDD may turn out to be the main culprit. I didn't even consider that to be a possibility - after all this case has small rubber grommets to prevent HDD vibration. But perhaps they aren't enough.

    Perhaps I'll go all out and buy vibration dampeners for both my fans and my HDD. (Actually, I have some for a HDD left over from my last case, so I guess I'll try those first.)
    Related resources
    a b ) Power supply
    September 24, 2011 9:26:35 AM

    Your HDDs shouldn't be vibrating actually.
    You ought to try and tighten them with all four screw and see if the same thing happens. What are the models of the HDDs and How are they aligned? (Orientation- Vertical, horizontal, at an angle?)
    September 24, 2011 1:42:54 PM

    alyoshka said:
    Your HDDs shouldn't be vibrating actually.
    You ought to try and tighten them with all four screw and see if the same thing happens. What are the models of the HDDs and How are they aligned? (Orientation- Vertical, horizontal, at an angle?)


    Well, I had the same thing happen with my HDDs in my last case, too, which didn't stop until I used HDD vibration dampeners.
    And in any case, doesn't something have to happen? In normal HDDs, there's a rotating disc. And according to physics, angular momentum is conserved in a closed system, or something. The HDD disc cannot simply rotate without affecting its surroundings (the case) at all.

    In any case, to answer your question: This is the case, and you can see the white HDD drive cages in one of the pictures there. I'm not insane - the HDDs are obviously oriented horizontally. The screws are as tight as I felt comfortable with (I used to regularly ruin screws by tightening them with excessive force). The HDD is a Seagate Barracuda 500 GB (ST3500630AS). As I describe in this thread, I've recently started having problems with the HDD, too. However, as I said above, these HDDs (I used to have two of them in my old case) needed vibration dampeners from the day I bought them.
    September 24, 2011 1:56:25 PM

    be thankfull you dont have a gigabyte power supply, they sound like a hair dryer

    it may only be a few months old but im going to retire it at my next upgrade
    a b ) Power supply
    September 24, 2011 2:00:48 PM

    Yeah, yeah yeah, all the physics stuff really doesn't matter here, cos, we're working with electronics and not just any electronics but micro electronics. When they design drives that have platters at RPMs of 10K or 7.2K they have gone way beyond elementary physics.
    Vibrations are taken into account, so basically, when you have the drive functioning even without anything fastening them to anything else, other then the mild spin up jerk there ought to be no movement.
    When I was in Russia, I had this Refrigerator, the first one of it's kinds that I had seen, we bought it straight from a showroom, plugged it in at night with all my hostel friends around, since it was the first communal refrigerator we had bought :)  to our surprise the next morning it happened to be in the other end of the room with it's power line ripped off the base of the floor where we'd stuck it with ducktape. Yeah, they hadn't passed their physics exams in school i guess. And luckily the HDD's ain't Russian.( No offense meant, Talking about way old tech.)

    I must have had Hundreds of Seagate and Hitachi drives starting with 64MB to now 2 TB yeah. And none have ever needed rubber dampeners.
    The actual vibrations are so minute that they should not effect anything, unless mounted on loose fasteners.

    Ok I see the White HDD Trays. Please tell me they are not mounted on the base........

    a b ) Power supply
    September 24, 2011 2:50:09 PM

    I've just installed in a define mini, and if you don't tighten the screws into the carriers too much you should be fine, if you've over tightened them you could have an issue.

    You don't have any cables that could be close the side panels do you?
    a c 87 ) Power supply
    September 24, 2011 7:07:07 PM

    Harddrives can and do transmit vibrations to the case, I'm fairly sure I have felt it with my case. Fortunately the rest of my build is so noisy that it is not the most noticeable noise in my build.
    So if the Fractal's anti-vibration HDD mounting is not adequate for you then it makes sense to try and do something about it.
    One thing I've thought about doing is putting some foam in for the HDD to rest on, which would work quite well in your case I would imagine.
    November 5, 2011 11:36:48 PM

    Same case bought one week ago (define r3); same strange rumblling noise. As a silence maniac, I like to hear sound of the wind (produced by fans) and anything else get on my nerves.
    Disconected fans, one by one : case fans, CPU fan (noctua), GPU Fan and finaly identified noise source : my two Samsung HDD.

    Fixed it this way : leave approx. 1mm free play on each of the 4 HDD screws when mounted on the rack, then mount the rack into the case on reverse side (so the HDD is suspended to it). If needed, you can use only 2 screws instead of 4. --> rumbling will desappear

    Theory is the same as for acoustic science : less contact = less parasit vibrations transmited
    !