I have just finished upgrading my PC. I wasnt aiming for top end, just high mid range but most importantly I wanted a quiet PC. When reviewing all the different components I paid attention to the noise ratings trying to ensure a quiet PC. However now that its built Im quite disappointed, its probably the loudest PC I have built. Funny thing is with all my previous builds I made no effort to build a quiet pc's and yet they were much quieter than this.
The specs are:
Asus Crosshair IV Formula 890 FX mobo
4GB Corsair 1600mhz CL9 RAM
MSI r6870 Hawk
Corsair TX650 80+
AMD Phenom x4 965 BE
Cooler Master HAF 912 Plus
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
I went for MSI Hawk GPU as most reviews had it rated as one of the coolest and quietest cards around. I went for th HAF for good cooling which I believed would keep fans speeds down and therefore reduce the noise. I dont intend to overclock. Ive owned the PSU for a little while so I know its quiet. At first I didnt have an after market CPU cooler, I simply had the stock cooler which I know was rated as noisy in a lot of reviews. So I hoped by installing the cooler master fan it would reduce the noise. I installed it yesterday but it has not made much difference which I am really disappointed with.
The PC seems to give a loud humming noise. Even with ear phones on it can be heard. I know there are programs out there called speedfan which I assume allow you to guage current fan speed. But how do I go about reducing fan speed? Furthermore by reducing fan speed how do I know Im not affecting the cooling properties and possibly risking damage to the CPU.
I currently use core temp to monitor CPS temps but you cant do this during gaming.
Id really like to get the noise right down. I will do a reasonable amount of gaming but I also use the PC for my amateur photography and many other tasks where the noise will be a real pain.
If you wanted quality you chose poorly putting your money on the Cooler Master. With some luck their fans won't start wheezing around before another half year.
Home engineering then. I am crazy about it and i could cover pages upon pages with it. Check out case modding on youtube to get ideas. Have in mind that intense negative pressure will cause your fans to throttle because they lack the air to push. In extreme cases massive negative pressure will cause your psu to reverse it's air flow and even burn out. Balance your intake and exhaust, watch a few videos on oiling up the fans (don't use all purpose cleaning oil based on benzin because it will evaporate, use very light oils, avoid grease). Vibrations might add noise so will big thick grills. Use rubber grommets and well, since you bought that hyper 212 either change it's fan to something less noisy or tone it down via bios or a dimmer cable. The later will compromise it's already mediocre performance.
If you do choose to go down the path of case modding i will give you the first golden rule of it. REMOVE YOUR HARDWARE. A single metal shaving can kill your mobo in a heartbeat.
Thanks for your reply. Let me just start by saying Im not willing to mod the case or anything like that, I appreciate it might be fun but Im not into it.
I bought the cooler master 212 based on the many good reviews I read. It scores very well everywhere I read and is supposed to range from 13 - 30 dBa which is quite low. As a matter of interest what cooler would you recommend?
Im looking for suggestions on what I can do right now with this kit. You mentioned negative pressure, how can I tell if I have this? Also you mention balancing the front and rear fan, does this mean have them at the same RPM? If so can I do this from the bios or do I need to download some software. I dont mind lowering the fan speed if it means the PC is quieter. I live in Scotland so its gonna be pretty cold for the next 6 months so overheating wont be an issue. I wont be overclocking either.
If you want silence and performance then the Xigmatek aegir is the best around (well after the noctua which is a serious overkill). Other ok silent fans are scythe and zerotherm models. It almost doesn't matter which you pick. The zalman x10 silent is also marvelous. Kingwin XT-1264, thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme... I recommend all of them. Problem with them is that they are not always easy to acquire and perhaps on the pricey side. My favorite is the Corsair A70 but it is not silent.
Have in mind that oiling up the fans and installing rubber rings between the fan and the case isn't case modding. I am only concerned that the most noise comes from the air that hits the grills as it exhausts (that is the case if your exhaust fan fan airflow has to go through very thick grills. New cases don't suffer so much from this.)
Negative pressure is when you have more fans blowing out than you have blowing in. If you got zero fans blowing in then the fans run out of air to push and start sucking out of every orifice. While at that the bios of each component controlling the said fan only understands temperatures. If they are not dropping the bios demands from the fans to work at 100% straining and throttling them creating loads of buzzing. If as you say you aren't going to OC one intake and one exhaust is perfect. If it is 120mm fans they shouldn't be audible. If the fans are connected directly to your board you can probably dim them down from the bios. If they are not or if your bios doesn't support rpm controlling of all the fan sockets you can either use a dimming transistor diode (also called fan dimmers) or in the case of your fans powering directly from 4 pin molexes, connecting them the other way around (that's tricky) or buying a Y molex splitter that will give you 2x12v and 2x5v sockets. The best but most expensive solution is a bay fan controller. It starts at about 12euros for a 4-knobbed-one + the cables for each knob.