Does anyone have any thoughts on the value of this product? I don't want to spend much on quieting my computer if I can help it, but at least quiet it enough to sleep in the same room. Has anyone got any thoughts or solutions along these lines?
Anything you put in the airflow path of a fan is going to reduce it's ability to cool a system and may in fact make it louder when "cavitation" results from the blades being unable to draw enough air and they spin faster, in turbulent air.
If you are serious about quieting your system there are several very low cost things you can do...
1) Slow all your fans down a little bit.
This is easily done by adding a 10 ohm 5 watt resistor in the red wire of each fan. It will take about 5% off the speed of the fan (a 4300 rpm fan typically ends up at 3800) which won't have any big effect on cooling but it will quiet them down quite noticeably.
2) Put your case fans on rubber mounts.
Insert a rubber grommet into the case's screw holes for your fan, put a smaller bolt through the grommet and bolt the fan in. The part sequence for mounting with a grommet is... Bolt head, washer, grommet, fan, washer, nut.
3) Use fewer fans.
By improving the air intakes on your computer case you can often eliminate one or more cooling fans, especially those pushing air in from the front. In one case I eliminated 4 fans and gave my customer a cooler system at the same time, simply by enlarging the air intakes at the front of his case. Airflow should be from case front to case back... with adequate intake area at the front you only need exhaust fan(s) at the back.
4) Cover all unused fan openings at the back of the case.
This will both improve front-to-back airflow and reduce the noise from exiting the back of the case. This is easily done... just bolt plastic or metal plates over the unused fan openings.
5) Replace the power supply fan with a temperature controlled one.
This is a bit of surgery but it's not that complex. If your PSU doesn't already have temp-controlled fans, get one of the thermaltake ones and install it into the powersupply. It will only spin up to full speed when things get hot, reducing the noise output from the back of the case.
6) Put hard disks in padded drive bays.
Half of so called "fan noise" often comes from hard disks. This is fairly simple. Get some double sided carpet tape (the thin stuff, not the stuff with the foam in it). Peel one side and press it down on soft fabric (the heavy cotton used for T-Shirts works well) cut the resulting cloth covered tape to the height of your disk drive and the length of your drive bay. Put the drive in, mark the bay and remove the drive. Peel the other side of the tape and apply it to the inside of the drive bay along your marks. Open the mounting holes with an x-acto knife, instert the drive and hold it in place with plastic screws.
7) Line the metal panels of your case with vinyl.
Vinyl is a very good sound deadener. The .7mm frosted stuff they use on bathroom windows works very well and has no effect on cooling.
I've done these things to my own computer... It's about 2 feet from my left ear and I can barely hear it running...
Also, I'm sure the others can add a lot of helpful suggestions to this short list...
The muffler certainly reduces noise, but then you've got a 6 - 10 inch thing on the back of your computer. I know in my computer desk and most others I've seen, this would cause a problem (case sticking out way too far)
You've seen a silent PC, but a quiet PC is usually enough. I mean, anything under 30db at 1 meter shouldn't disturb you at 2 meters, even when you're sleeping. Unless you're a truely horrible sleeper. My suggestion is, if fans bother you, get quieter fans!
<font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>