The Sounds Of Silence - Air Flow & Fans, Continued
Of course, some users are not concerned about the noise and just seek the ultimate in cooling efficiency, which is fine, but this will obviously require louder fans. This used to be okay when we were talking about 3600 RPM, but when some of these new 5400 RPM fans wind up, it may leave you looking for the door.
Your need to cool, at least in our case, has to be weighed with your need to keep from going insane due to the noise that these fans generate. If there is one area that continues to need great improvement, this is the area of fan and heat sink technology.
Of course, things are improving and companies that are making the fans are investing a lot of money into making a quieter PC a reality. Currently, a lot of work is being done in the area of fan technology. The goal of this research is to produce quieter fans that can push more air than the typical higher speed fan. Of course another school of thought is rooted in the new Y.S. TECH Tip-Magnetic Driving Fan (T.M.D. FAN), which relocates motors from traditional location of central hub to the four corners (http://www.ystech.com.tw/Tmd/tmd-0.htm ). We have not been able to test the TMD FAN, but it's claims are interesting nonetheless, and warrant additional investigation.
Another example is Vantec, which went another direction altogether with the release of their new Stealth fan, which claims to be 80% quieter than the standard case fan. We don't know if the Vantec Stealth fan is actually80% quieter, but the design of this high tech fan was quieter than the case fans that we were using. The Stealth fan has improved on these fans in such a way as to be quieter, but not move as many CFMs as other fans do. If noise reduction is your aim, then the Vantec Stealth fan product line might be worth a look.
A look at the Vantec Stealth case fans. From this picture, it is hard to tell what improvements have been made in order to achieve a more silent PC, but it was better than many case fans that we have seen (and heard).
Rounded IDE cables continue to be all the rage in many circles. The rounded IDE cables help avoid the problem of the IDE cables which block air flow with their flat surface area. The rounded IDE cables overcome this problem by the sheer fact that they are round, and therefore don't cover as much area. Using rounded IDE cables that are too long for the area that they need to cover can defeat the purpose for which they were intended. The key of course, is to use the correct length rounded IDE cable for the job.
Rounded IDE cables can help reduce the amount of flat surface area used by normal flat IDE cables. As you can see, these rounded IDE cable are available from a variety of vendors and in many different colors.
Dynamat is another idea that can help reduce case noise. We were unable to obtain any Dynamat for testing in this article, but it is based on the simple principal of applying the Dynamat material to the top and bottom of the case. The Dynamat material comes from the speaker world and uses it's advanced technology to help soak up the sound and vibration in your case that can cause noise. It is expensive, but can make a difference and help quiet your PC down.