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Low-Noise PCs
Continuum
post Jun 14 2002, 14:28
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In another thread some board members showed their interest in reducing the noise-volume of their PC. As I'm interested in this myself, I thought it would be a good idea to start a thread where everyone can share his thoughts about this topic and the tricks he applied to achieve a more silent PC.

My CPU is a Duron 700. I removed the (very loud) fan, and got the following temperatures (measured with Motherboard Monitor (freeware, "must-have"):
Idle: ca. 50C
Web-surfing, low activity: 53-60C
full activity: >75C

To prevent overheating of the processor I installed VCool. This program can throttle down the CPU, when a specified temperature is exceeded. With VCool the temperature doesn't go above (e.g.) 70C, thus avoiding risk for the CPU. (Of course, performance of e.g. MP3-coding is very low)
You can keep your fan but reduce its speed with the following program: SpeedFan (not tested myself)

Another thing is the CD-rom: most newer drives are extremely loud, although this is not necessary in most (audio-related) cases. I found a program named CD-Bremse (CD-brake, download), that reduces the turning speed of most drives. (especially handy combined with CD-Reader for Winamp)

Next are Harddisks: They are a lot louder than one would believe. Although there are programs which can reduce the noise made while reading and writing (like HDD Acoustic Manager 1.1.4), I have found no other way to reduce their overall volume than to turn them off. Windows (or the BIOS) can do this automatically after a specified amount of time in the power management options. Of course, no data can be read from disk then. (I use this, when I am listening to music from CD or over my LAN-network; or watching a DVD)

I have a graphic card without fan (Geforce 2 MX), so the only components still making noise are the power supply fan (a temperature controlled Papst-model) and - you wouldn't believe it - the monitor.

More links:
www.virtual-silence.com
Diskless Windows 98 (not reachable at the time of writing)

I hope this is of help to others and that some members will post their ideas as well.

Continuum
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