Thermal fans / panels / noise etc


T

T i m

Hi All,

I have recently built my new (budget) machine (web / ng / the odd fps
game). ;-)

ASRock ConRoeXFire-eSATA2
Core2Duo 4300 (1.8G) (775)
Antec BP500U PSU
2 x 1G DDR2
XFX GeForce 7950GT
3 x 250G SATA2 in R5 (Split System / Data)
DVDRW & DVDR
Pinnacle PCTV300i
XP

All seems to be working well but there seems to be quite a bit of
background noise (not terrible but I'd like this box 'quietish') and I
believe most of it is coming from the PSU. To that end (and as a
general good idea) I've got a Tagan TG480-U01 to go in there.

I also fitted a 'quiet' 120mm rubber mounted fan in the front of the
case / hdd's and believing that was overcooling (so over noisy) I
looked for a thermostatic solution and though I found one in a Maplin
5-1/4" panel (A92FB).

http://www.silverstonetek.com/products/fp52/fp52.html

The 'problem' is the temperature thresholds are pre set and seem a bit
low to me .. ie .. (in Deg C)

0-13 = 0V=fan off
14-19 =6V= very slow
20-25 = 7.5V=slow
26-31 =9V= medium
32-37 =10V=fast
38-43 =11V= v fast
44-50 = 12V=max

So it varies the fan speed by applying different voltages so I'm not
sure how well that would regulate a range of fans in the first place?

Also the temp in the room is currently 20 deg so the fan is on 'slow'
when the machine is 'cold'? (I put my beer on the sensor and did
actually see the fan stop) ;-)

FWIW the CPU (heatsink) runs at ~ 27 deg and the video card hs ~ 30
(just doing basic stuff that is).

Lastly, the mobo / BIOS has what looks like some sort of fan / temp
control but again I've not noticed much variation on that when hot or
cold.

So questions if I may.

Would the Tagan TG480-U01 be a good choice (on a bit of a restricted
budget) for the above load?

Is there a 'fully' programmable panel / module out there where I could
actually set what I feel is an appropriate temp threshold / fan speed
etc (maybe x 3 fans)

Assuming the PSU is suitable and manages it's fans ok and I can find
something to do the front / hdd fan is there a better (reasonably
priced) solution for the CPU hs / fan (this one holds on with those
nasty expanding rivet leg things) ;-(

All the best ..

T i m (UK)
 
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F

FKS

I'll make your life easier. I built a C2D system in last November. I hate PC
noise, so I built a silent system (I had built a silent PC before, so I knew
what to do). Unless I glue my ears to the PC case, I hear no noise.

Most noises from PC come from fans. Keep in mind that the fan speed control
will not do a lot about the noise level if the fan is not silent.

Thus, I got:
1. Zalman CPU cooler for E6400 & Zalman Graphic Card cooler for an X1950XT.
2. Three 120mm Silenx Case Fans.

The Zalman & Silenx fans virtually make no noise.

3. Seasonic 550W PSU (the quietest PSU on the market).
4. Two Seagate 160GB SATA HDs --> absolutely no noise.
 
T

T i m

I'll make your life easier.

Please ;-)
I built a C2D system in last November. I hate PC
noise, so I built a silent system (I had built a silent PC before, so I knew
what to do). Unless I glue my ears to the PC case, I hear no noise.

Nice! My machines are generally reasonably quiet (mates who hear them
often can't believe they are on) but a long way from 'silent' .. so
far. My Wife's PC is particularly quiet and only using cheap
components.
Most noises from PC come from fans. Keep in mind that the fan speed control
will not do a lot about the noise level if the fan is not silent.

True. I have had success in the past though running 'std' big case
fans on 5V and that seems to make them 'much' quieter whilst moving
quite a bit of air?
Thus, I got:
1. Zalman CPU cooler for E6400

What model was that please FKS? Have you seen / tried the 'Artic
Cooling Freezer 7 Pro' ? It seems a good price (under 20 pounds) and
uses the same mounting method as the Intel HS / Fan (not very nice but
at least you don't have to take the Mobo out). On that point, do all
Mobos allow the fitting of a backplate as per some of the Zalman
heatsink kits or can components / soldering get in the way?
& Zalman Graphic Card cooler for an X1950XT.

Well in theory this 7950GT is passively cooled but I guess a bit of
through air flow will help it. ;-)
2. Three 120mm Silenx Case Fans.

3! Should be quite a draught through there! I will look out for one of
them (at least).
The Zalman & Silenx fans virtually make no noise.

The 120mm front fan I have is an 'AKASA - ULTRA QUIET 120MM CASE FAN'
and I have found mention of 'Sound: 18.0 dB(A)'.

For the 'SilenX 120mm iXtrema Pro 11dBA Fan' .. only 11dba .. so
that's a good deal quieter (but at about twice the price).
3. Seasonic 550W PSU (the quietest PSU on the market).

Ouch and at around £100 not cheap? This Tagan is supposed to be around
22db at up to 50% load?
4. Two Seagate 160GB SATA HDs --> absolutely no noise.

Hmm, I wonder how they compare with the Samsungs I have? Because all
the other noises mask the hdd's atm I can't really tell how much noise
they make on their own. I'm pretty sure they don't whine much (at
least).

FWIW they are Samsung SpinPoint SP2504C's and it's suggested are
25-28dB?

Quite a nice review here.
http://www.short-media.com/articles/samsung_spinpoint_sp2504c_hard_drive_review

With the RAID5 setup heavy disk access make them sound like it's
(quietly) raining ;-)

All the best and thanks for the tips, I will certainly be following
them up.

T i m
 
F

FKS

T i m said:
Please ;-)


Nice! My machines are generally reasonably quiet (mates who hear them
often can't believe they are on) but a long way from 'silent' .. so
far. My Wife's PC is particularly quiet and only using cheap
components.

True. I have had success in the past though running 'std' big case
fans on 5V and that seems to make them 'much' quieter whilst moving
quite a bit of air?

What model was that please FKS? Have you seen / tried the 'Artic
Cooling Freezer 7 Pro' ? It seems a good price (under 20 pounds) and
uses the same mounting method as the Intel HS / Fan (not very nice but
at least you don't have to take the Mobo out). On that point, do all
Mobos allow the fitting of a backplate as per some of the Zalman
heatsink kits or can components / soldering get in the way?

I got a CNPS7700-cu. No problem whatsoever installing it on an Intel BadAxe
motherboard.

Since I hate PC noises, I've done some research. People tend to believe that
a low level of dB = quietness. That is only partially true. When it comes to
PC noises, the **quality** of noise is more important. That is, a 18 dB fan
noise that sounds **natural** is less audible than a 18 dB fan noise that
sounds **unnatural.** We generally perceive a noise as natural if its sonic
spectrum is close to that of white noise. Examples of natural noises are the
sound of ocean waves, gentle breeze, etc. We simply are not bothered by such
a noise and our brain filters it out.

I've read a review article that compared a Zalman fan with an Artic cooling
fan (you may locate it on the Internet). The crux of it was although both
fans' noise level was 18dB, the reviewer perceived the Zalman as quieter
because the Artic fan's noise was rather mechanical sounding.

My Seasonic PSU's fan and Silenx fans just sound like quiet low-level gentle
summer breeze. That's why I don't hear the noise.

I also have a Zalman PSU & Panaflo case fans in my 2nd PC. They are also
ultra quiet.
 
T

T i m

I got a CNPS7700-cu. No problem whatsoever installing it on an Intel BadAxe
motherboard.

And does it come with a backplate or did your mobo have that system
already?
Since I hate PC noises, I've done some research.

Ok ..
People tend to believe that
a low level of dB = quietness. That is only partially true. When it comes to
PC noises, the **quality** of noise is more important. That is, a 18 dB fan
noise that sounds **natural** is less audible than a 18 dB fan noise that
sounds **unnatural.** We generally perceive a noise as natural if its sonic
spectrum is close to that of white noise.

Ok .. and understood (thanks).
Examples of natural noises are the
sound of ocean waves, gentle breeze, etc. We simply are not bothered by such
a noise and our brain filters it out.

Yup, and further helps me with my Tinnitus.
I've read a review article that compared a Zalman fan with an Artic cooling
fan (you may locate it on the Internet). The crux of it was although both
fans' noise level was 18dB, the reviewer perceived the Zalman as quieter
because the Artic fan's noise was rather mechanical sounding.
Understood. Like I might like a thumping baseline but not the sound of
a football against my wall etc.
My Seasonic PSU's fan and Silenx fans just sound like quiet low-level gentle
summer breeze. That's why I don't hear the noise.

Sounds perfect .. and as you suggest, may save me some time ;-)
I also have a Zalman PSU & Panaflo case fans in my 2nd PC. They are also
ultra quiet.

So, your CPU hs/fan is the (traditional for Zalman?) open flower
rather than heat pipe upright refrigerator (looking) type. I guess
that might take up more space but be better weight / cost / efficiency
wise?

All the best .. (and thanks again ..)

T i m
 
F

FKS

T i m said:
And does it come with a backplate or did your mobo have that system
already?
It came with a backplate and everything you need except a screwdriver. Good
lock!
 
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D

DK

Please ;-)

I can do it too :)

Antec P150 case - stock fan set to minimum speed, fanless
videocard, two Seagate 120Gb HDD, Zalman CNPS7000B-AlCu
CPU cooler, fan set to minimum speed.

The biggest source of noise in the system comes from an
old 19" CRT monitor (it buzzes a bit, kinda like most TV sets).

CPU temp is 42C idle, 47C under full load. Rock stable.

Simple, inexpensive (I bought "B stock" case - indistinguishable
from new) and had all other components.

DK
 
T

T i m

I can do it too :)

Nooo, cos if your advice is different then I have to make choices! ;-(
Antec P150 case -

Just checked some reviews of that, seems pretty nice all be it 80 quid
more than the one I'm using. However if the supplied PSU is as quiet
as this Tagan TG480-U01 ~(which is nearly silent so far) then it might
not be too bad moneywize?
stock fan set to minimum speed,

Ah, something else to offset the case price. I've had to buy a 120mm
fan for the front of the case and might be trying another when I can
get one (Silenx). The one I have in there is currently controlled by a
thermostatic panel and at certain speeds it does seem to make an
'annoying' (all be it still pretty quiet) noise (as per FKS's
description of some noises being more acceptable than others).
fanless
videocard,

Yup, same here ..
two Seagate 120Gb HDD,

These three Samsung Spinpoint SP2504C's seem pretty quiet (although I
actually bought them because they were quite cheap) and the reviews
I've since found say things like "Incredibly quiet" and " Fastest STR
I have seen from an SATA drive to date" so that can't be bad? You can
hear them spunning up but once up to speed seem pretty quiet. I'n
hindsight I might like to have mecanically isolated them and still
might be able to with the small blue grommet type mounts (the case
metal for the 3-1/2" drive area is fairly thin so might 'give' enough
to allow such mounts).
Zalman CNPS7000B-AlCu

Yep, might try the Zalman CNPS7700-ALCU (C2D - 775) as now I've
changed the PSU I can now here the stock (retail) CPU fan even more
(but that isn't *that* noisy to be fair). Well it's one of those
things where you can hear it when you unplug it ...
CPU cooler, fan set to minimum speed.

I think the Zalman comes with the FanMate but if it's a 3 wire fan I
can use my thermostatic panel. The problem with that is it ramps the
fan speeds up in small voltage steps but starting at 15 dec C? Maybe
I'll see the fans off in the winter?
The biggest source of noise in the system comes from an
old 19" CRT monitor (it buzzes a bit, kinda like most TV sets).

Hmm, I remember that. We are all TFT here now but I'm still not sure
that's a good thing? Ok they use less space and possibly less energy
but I'm not sure they are as fast for FPS games?
CPU temp is 42C idle, 47C under full load. Rock stable.

My case has a front panel temp readout and the sensor is currently
between a couple of the cooling fins on the cpu so not showing the
core temp. Pleasingly it's within .5 deg of the temp sensor / display
for the fan controller panel (I like it when that happens <g>) and
typically between 26-30 deg so far. If I lost the retail 4wire fan and
assuming the Zalman is 3 wire then I could use the panel and might use
the built in temp display for general case or video heat sink temp
(I've noticed how much hotter the video card runs when using a Linux
Live / Bart CD. Is that down to drivers then)?
Simple, inexpensive (I bought "B stock" case - indistinguishable
from new) and had all other components.

I was given some of the parts for this PC (mobo, cpu, case, as a mate
owed me a favor) so didn't have that much choice in the matter.

Talking of cases though, the front 120mm case fan sits behind a
perforated 'grille' and I guess any restriction like that (grille or
slots etc) will increase the noise levels? Having said that this
'grille' is formed outwards some ~7mm (so not laying up against the
fan etc) but as nothing else goes on behind the panel (fingers / wires
etc) I might be persuaded to cut it out completely (if I have to take
the mobo out to mount a Zalman etc). The fan is currently on the
rubber mounts but if I cut the grille out I might go for a gasket
instead as it would probably make the through flow better (helping the
video card) and pull the fan back from the hdd's a bit.

What do you think, worth doing for better airflow / lower noise?


All the best ..

T i m

p.s. My (cheapo) case http://tinyurl.com/2tmvxw

p.p.s. Years ago I bought some sound deadening panels (for use in a
car) and did use them on a server years ago to great effect. I might
try them on this case.
 
D

DK

Nooo, cos if your advice is different then I have to make choices! ;-(

Just checked some reviews of that, seems pretty nice all be it 80 quid
more than the one I'm using.

Buy Antec's "B stock". I did and it came in the condition totally
indistinguishable from new. 60% off!
Talking of cases though, the front 120mm case fan sits behind a
perforated 'grille' and I guess any restriction like that (grille or
slots etc) will increase the noise levels? Having said that this
'grille' is formed outwards some ~7mm (so not laying up against the
fan etc) but as nothing else goes on behind the panel (fingers / wires
etc) I might be persuaded to cut it out completely (if I have to take
the mobo out to mount a Zalman etc). The fan is currently on the
rubber mounts but if I cut the grille out I might go for a gasket
instead as it would probably make the through flow better (helping the
video card) and pull the fan back from the hdd's a bit.

What do you think, worth doing for better airflow / lower noise?

Antec P150 case comes wil back 120 mm fan but no front one.
Temperatures I have totally satisfy me so I never bothered
installing from fan. Less fans = less noise.
p.p.s. Years ago I bought some sound deadening panels (for use in a
car) and did use them on a server years ago to great effect. I might
try them on this case.

Antec P150 comes with sound deadening panels preinstalled in it.

DK
 
T

T i m

Buy Antec's "B stock". I did and it came in the condition totally
indistinguishable from new. 60% off!

So I read you did .. after I bought this case of course (well, like I
said, it was sort bought for me).
Antec P150 case comes wil back 120 mm fan but no front one.
Temperatures I have totally satisfy me so I never bothered
installing from fan. Less fans = less noise.

You have measured the temperature of the hdd's and GPU?
Antec P150 comes with sound deadening panels preinstalled in it.

So I read, but I don't have a P150 and I do have a pack of (high
quality) sound deadening panels. ;-)

From what I saw on the web they look like a form of high density foam
which I guess just stops the sound reflecting off the inside surfaces.
The stuff I have is quite heavy so really deadens the various panels
(when you pick the case up it actually 'feels' dead).

Thinking of the front / rear fan thing .. if I just wanted to have
one, is it best to push or pull?

My thinking is that if both the PSU fan and case fans are 'pulling'
they might interact negatively?

All the best ..

T i m
 
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D

DK

You have measured the temperature of the hdd's and GPU?

Nope, I did not. For one simple reason: The chipset and CPU
temperature is lower in the new case. The same setup in the
noisy and less efficient old case was just as rock stable as it
is now.

Actually, now I do seem to remember that at some point I run
Seagate diagnostic utility that reports, among other things,
temperature. I think it was something along the lines of 50C.
Thinking of the front / rear fan thing .. if I just wanted to have
one, is it best to push or pull?

With one, I'd imagine it's pull. That's what I have now - one
case fan in the back and one PSU fan. Did not compare directly
though.

DK
 
T

T i m

Nope, I did not. For one simple reason: The chipset and CPU
temperature is lower in the new case. The same setup in the
noisy and less efficient old case was just as rock stable as it
is now.

So the HDD's and GPU *could* be running very hot but they aren't
showing any problems (hypothetically)?
Actually, now I do seem to remember that at some point I run
Seagate diagnostic utility that reports, among other things,
temperature. I think it was something along the lines of 50C.

Hmm, and that was sorta my point. On my new PC the HDD's are nearer
30C (quite a difference) possibly because of the front case fan. Not
that I'm not suggesting that is an issue and your observations seem to
suggest it isn't, at the moment at least. This old box here (full
height tower) has also run faultlessly for the 3 mobos (upgrades) it
had in it over the last few years but possibly more by luck than
judgment. It does have a front case fan running on 5V (I assume it's
still running <g>) but also has the 2 IDE HDD's in plastic removable
caddies with their noisy fans removed.

FWIW I've just checked with SpeedFan 4.32 and one drive is 39C and the
38C (but they have been creeping up slowly for the last hour+).
With one, I'd imagine it's pull. That's what I have now - one
case fan in the back and one PSU fan. Did not compare directly
though.

I was trying to think what was going on in the case re airflow. Say
you just had the PSU and CPU fans. The CPU fan would just blow air
round the CPU HS and that area of the case in general. The PSU being
at the top (in most cases anyway) would take the warm air from the
case and extract it out the back, leaving a net negative pressure in
the case. This means air would have to be drawn in from wherever
possible and with this new case that would be the front panel grille,
a grille at the bottom at the back over the PCI slots and the rear
(vacant) case fan grille. Sooo, if all this takes the path of least
resistance then that could mean that the exhausted warm air could be
drawn back into the rear grille rather than the front? (On this new
case there are also side grilles over the CPU and PCI slots that would
also allow air to be drawn in bypassing the front to back flow thing).

With your setup the case fan and PSU fans are both trying to extract
air from the case and as long as there were plenty of inlets elsewhere
I guess they wouldn't be in competition. If there wasn't enough easy
airflow I wonder if it was possible for the case fan to actually (say)
overpower the PSU fan and pull air back the wrong way through it (my
new PSU moves air very slowly indeed)?

All the best ..

T i m

p.s. According to SpeedFan I also have a Temp1 and Temp2 and they are
a constant 29C and 42C (This is an AMD Sempron 2600+ in an Asrock
K7VT4A+ 1.0x)
 
G

Guest

T i m said:
So the HDD's and GPU *could* be running very hot but they aren't
showing any problems (hypothetically)?

Hmm, and that was sorta my point. On my new PC the HDD's are nearer
30C (quite a difference) possibly because of the front case fan.

Drives running at 50C are in for a very short lifespan.
 
D

DK

Hmm, and that was sorta my point. On my new PC the HDD's are nearer
30C (quite a difference) possibly because of the front case fan. Not
that I'm not suggesting that is an issue and your observations seem to
suggest it isn't, at the moment at least. This old box here (full
height tower) has also run faultlessly for the 3 mobos (upgrades) it
had in it over the last few years but possibly more by luck than
judgment. It does have a front case fan running on 5V (I assume it's
still running <g>) but also has the 2 IDE HDD's in plastic removable
caddies with their noisy fans removed.

FWIW I've just checked with SpeedFan 4.32 and one drive is 39C and the
38C (but they have been creeping up slowly for the last hour+).

OK, just out of curiosity I downloaded "Hard drive termometer"
and it shows 34 and 32C for the two drives. Thus, I take it that my 50C
recollection is either wrong or refers to the older case.
With your setup the case fan and PSU fans are both trying to extract
air from the case and as long as there were plenty of inlets elsewhere
I guess they wouldn't be in competition. If there wasn't enough easy
airflow I wonder if it was possible for the case fan to actually (say)
overpower the PSU fan and pull air back the wrong way through it (my
new PSU moves air very slowly indeed)?

The case is well-designed and there are a lot of air inlets in front.
I just did a "match test" (lighter, in fact) and I can see flame leaning
toward case. That's actually where the two HDD are suspended in
the air (and I put them as far aside from each other as possible to
miximize cooling). So I take it all is good. :)

DK
 
T

T i m

OK, just out of curiosity I downloaded "Hard drive termometer"
and it shows 34 and 32C for the two drives.

Nice ..
Thus, I take it that my 50C
recollection is either wrong or refers to the older case.

Ok ..
The case is well-designed and there are a lot of air inlets in front.
I just did a "match test" (lighter, in fact) and I can see flame leaning
toward case. That's actually where the two HDD are suspended in
the air (and I put them as far aside from each other as possible to
miximize cooling). So I take it all is good. :)

Sounds like it ;-)

However I guess it would be quite difficult to demonstrate that the
system was fully balanced with that setup (two fans extracting).

With a fan pushing air in at the front and the PSU pulling air out at
the back but a bit slower the front fan may actually be pushing air
through the PSU and you know they wouldn't be fighting each other.
With two fans extracting one *could* actually be working against the
other (depending on how many holes where were in the case etc).

Obviously your system seems to be running ok as is, but you don't
know if it might run 'easier' in a different configuration <shrug>.

All the best ..

T i m
 
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F

Frank McCoy

In alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (e-mail address removed) (DK)
wrote:
OK, just out of curiosity I downloaded "Hard drive termometer"
and it shows 34 and 32C for the two drives. Thus, I take it that my 50C
recollection is either wrong or refers to the older case.

Thanks.
Never heard of that utility before.
Just loaded it; and is running now.
;-}
 

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