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Products /Techniques to Reduce Computer Noise


slingshot

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I just scrolled through about 500 threads looking for some discussion of this subject and some recommendations.

 

I have a Rain Recording Ion, no longer manufactured, with an aluminum case, good processor (3.06GHz Intel "Bloomfield" Xeon Quad-Core [8MB Cache]) fine for streaming music, numerous USB connections, PCI slots, etc. Although it was designed as a DAW, I find it noisy. It was a gift from one of my brothers about four years ago. I have installed a SSD and 22 GB of RAM to use with JPLAY so I can play Hi Rez files and an inexpensive video card with HDMI.

 

The power supply fan which is identified as an 850 Watt ‘Silent’ Power Supply (80 Certified) has a button which makes it either sound loud or less loud. There is something in the front of the computer that also makes some noise. Even at the lower level, the noise can be heard from where I sit during low passages albeit not that loudly.

 

I am wondering if there any cost effective measures, “biggest bang for the buck” to quiet it down or would it just be a waste of my money. Don’t mind spending some money on it, if it would help.

 

A website named Acoustic PC has all sorts of products including:

1. PC Case Insulation

2. PC Sound Damping

3. CPU Coolers

4. Replacement fans.

5. Seasonic XP-860 Power Supply

 

The first four are relatively inexpensive.

 

I may purchase a new computer in the future when the Intel Skyline chips come out with wireless connection capabilities or buy an Aries bridge but for now I will probably keep it. I am awaiting Chris’s two reviews of the Intel NUCs as C.A.P.S.

Roon software, Lenovo TS 440 server, IPad Air 2 for remote control and Dell 2340T display, Dell Latitude 7140 tablet (Windows 8.1, 256 SSD and 8 GB RAM) with Dell docking station, Aqua Hifi LaScala mk ii DAC, Allnic L 5000 DHT preamp, Shaker Logic Attune with two outputs for the amplifiers, Vitus SS-101 mk ii amp, Bosendorfer VC-7 speakers and Focal Sub Utopia Be subwoofer.

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The things that make noise in a computer are fans and HDDs. Since you already got the SSD, you are probably left with 2-3 fans.

 

One sits on the CPU cooler, one inside the PSU, and there may be another one (or even two) inside the computer case itself.

 

The cheapest way is by far getting better quality fans, which are more quiet than the $1 variety you probably have. You may use the included voltage reduction adapters (so called ULN adapters) to further to reduce the noise by reducing the RPM.

 

More expensive option would be getting a fanless PSU (like the Seasonic X-560 for example) and a bigger cooler.

 

Depending on the amount of heat your CPU is outputing, you may even be able tp run it with no fan altogether, or a single, big (120-140mm), low RPM fan in the computer case.

 

Without seeing how your computer is build, it is difficoult to make specific recomendations, as many things depend of the case size/shape/fan mouting options.

Adam

 

PC: Hot rodded CAPS v4 Pipeline: Teradak ATX linear PSU, MojoAudio super regulator, Pink Faun Ultra OCXO USB card

Digital: Lampizator Pacific DAC

Amp: Dan D'Agostino Momentum Stereo

Speakers: Magcio M3

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For one of my rigs I needed silence, but the CPU is such that I could not go fanless. I did 5 things at which point now the power conditioner toroidal hum is the loudest noise source.

 

1. Seasonic fanless PSU

2. Replaced all fans with SilenX running at 8 Db

3. SSD and noise dampening enclosures for spinners

4. Hung the HDs from elastic/bungee cords

5. Noise dampening rubber material for extra noise blocking

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For one of my rigs I needed silence, but the CPU is such that I could not go fanless. I did 5 things at which point now the power conditioner toroidal hum is the loudest noise source.

 

1. Seasonic fanless PSU

2. Replaced all fans with SilenX running at 8 Db

3. SSD and noise dampening enclosures for spinners

4. Hung the HDs from elastic/bungee cords

5. Noise dampening rubber material for extra noise blocking

 

Thank you Elberoth & Tranz for your responses .

 

The chassis is huge. 17 inches wide, 22 inches deep and 7 inches high so plenty of air circulation plus the chassis has vents on both sides near the front. I think the fanless PSU would do the most good with quieter fans. Do you think that would work?

 

Interesting, after I mentioned Chris' reviews of the Nucs, he published them about four hours later. That may be the way to go instead of trying to quiet mine. I want to install a Pink Faun 12S card in the computer to use with an Aqua DAC and I'm not sure if it will fit into the NUC. Trying to find out from the manufacturer.

Roon software, Lenovo TS 440 server, IPad Air 2 for remote control and Dell 2340T display, Dell Latitude 7140 tablet (Windows 8.1, 256 SSD and 8 GB RAM) with Dell docking station, Aqua Hifi LaScala mk ii DAC, Allnic L 5000 DHT preamp, Shaker Logic Attune with two outputs for the amplifiers, Vitus SS-101 mk ii amp, Bosendorfer VC-7 speakers and Focal Sub Utopia Be subwoofer.

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Thank you Elberoth & Tranz for your responses .

 

The chassis is huge. 17 inches wide, 22 inches deep and 7 inches high so plenty of air circulation plus the chassis has vents on both sides near the front. I think the fanless PSU would do the most good with quieter fans. Do you think that would work?

 

Interesting, after I mentioned Chris' reviews of the Nucs, he published them about four hours later. That may be the way to go instead of trying to quiet mine. I want to install a Pink Faun 12S card in the computer to use with an Aqua DAC and I'm not sure if it will fit into the NUC. Trying to find out from the manufacturer.

 

It could work but depends on the CPU and harddrive heat levels, and the level of cooling circulation. There are programs that monitor your temperatures of CPU, mobo, HDs which I suggest you use to see how much cooling you need. A bit of trial and error, but careful to not fry it.

 

Your CPU might also have a fan which usually are very loud and I removed all fans and am running two small 8dB ones instead that are physically far enough from sensitive electronics and NOT powered by the motherboard plugs.

 

- CrystalDiskInfo software for HD temp monitor

- Asus has motherboard monitoring software

- HD enclosure: SilenX LXDSS HD silencing solution - $17 or Grow Up Japan Smart Drive Classic $99

- Auralex has noise dampening mats and foam

- Fans: NoiseBlocker M12 series and SilenX

 

NUC is also a nice option if you prefer something simple.

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Please also remember, that (in general) bigger fans are more quiet, as they spin much slower to displace same amount of air.

 

In one of my builds, I have had a 140mm 600RPM fan in the case and it was completely inaudible from my listening seat. That was the only fan I run on that build.

 

My build featured Intel i5-2405S, 65W max TDP CPU, Seasonic fanless PSU and a huge Thermalright HR-02 cooler (with no fan):

 

Product | Thermalright Ultimate CPU Cooling Solutions! USA

Adam

 

PC: Hot rodded CAPS v4 Pipeline: Teradak ATX linear PSU, MojoAudio super regulator, Pink Faun Ultra OCXO USB card

Digital: Lampizator Pacific DAC

Amp: Dan D'Agostino Momentum Stereo

Speakers: Magcio M3

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