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"Silent audio computer", ...how to build a pc for music listening
NumLOCK
post Feb 24 2003, 09:57
Post #1


Neutrino G-RSA developer


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Posts: 852
Joined: 8-May 02
From: Geneva
Member No.: 2002



Hi all,

What about sharing our personal experiences with building silent, flexible home audio/entertainment devices? wink.gif
This was my first time - and the choice of components was not easy ! Very often, you can't have both speed and silence. Here's what I did.

I've just built a PC on a following basis:
- ABIT KD7-E mainboard (VIA KT333 chipset / allows cpu multiplier setting / voltage lowering in BIOS / down to 1.1V in 0.025V increments).
- AMD Thoroughbred 2000+ 1.65V cpu (multiplier is unlocked out-of-the-box).
- flower CPU heatsink -- it rocks: depending on cpu voltage, there's no need for a fan !!
- 256MB of cheap PC266 ddr sdram
- nice black midi-tower case without PSU.
- special, ultra-quiet 300W PSU
- 7200RPM, 80GB WD HDD
- ATI Radeon 9000pro with VGA, DVI- and TV-out

The following components were modified:
- cpu was underclocked and heavily under-volted (running as 1500+ @ 1.2V). Can also run ~1200MHz @ 1.1V.
- Radeon 9000 pro was modified for passive cooling
- northbridge fan of the motherboard was replaced with passive cooling solution.
- HDD was put in silent 5 1/4'' acoustic armor.
- the case was stuffed with custom acoustic damping material.

The special components were mostly Zalman stuff, found on:
- http://www.quietpc.com/cpucool2.php (CPU flower cooler)
- http://www.quietpc.com/psu.html (silent PSU)
- http://www.quietpc.com/silentdrive.html (HDD armor)
- http://www.quietpc.com/vgamb.php (VGA and M/B heatsinks).

Results:
- there are two fans in the system (PSU & CPU), one of which can be deactivated.
- runs smoothly at 1500+, 1.2V, ~40 Celsius with big, silent 600RPM fan to blow some air into the case (no fan is fine also: ~42-55 Celsius depending on cpu voltage).
- pc is near-silent (just about "undetectable" from 30cm distance).

Additional thoughts:
- I'll add a soundcard and a LAN card (no fans, so no problem)
- I'm still hesitating about what DVD-rom drive I'll put in there.
- I've put the 7200RPM HDD because that's all I had.. but maybe I'll replace it with a 5400RPM (or lower) one.
- operating system not chosen yet.

Epilogue / What I learned:
- I'm VERY satisfied with this silent PC.
- In the future I'll be careful about the noise when buying components for other pc's.
- There's no way I'd buy a GeForce FX (think noise..)
- Silent machines need more expensive cooling components, but I think it's really worth it !

This post has been edited by NumLOCK: Feb 24 2003, 11:01


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dgover2
post Feb 24 2003, 12:24
Post #2





Group: Members
Posts: 126
Joined: 12-December 02
Member No.: 4060



Just a couple of notes, don't know if they will be useful.

Although my PC isn't silent, I did manage to remove CPU fan noise by lowering the voltage of my Athlon XP 1600+ to 1.425v, while keeping its clock speed @ 1.4ghz and then using a Tiger Miprocool II cooler. Although this cooler uses a fan (of course) you can't hear it, at all. It's also temperature controlled. My system runs between 39C - 48C, depending mainly on outdoor temperature smile.gif

I also replaced by roaring Pioneer DVD-106S with an Asus E616. The Pioneer can be speed controlled via unofficial software but then the transfer rates become quite slow (good enough for watching a movie though). The Asus is silent when watching a movie, but quite noisy when transferring data from CD's - but this is a time you are unlikely to care.

Now i just wish I could silence my GF3Ti500, its the noisiest thing in my case at the moment, I think.

-dave
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Posts in this topic
- NumLOCK   "Silent audio computer"   Feb 24 2003, 09:57
- - Hanky   Sorry but I have no knowledge at all on this, but ...   Feb 24 2003, 10:05
- - NumLOCK   I haven't tried water cooling, it should be fi...   Feb 24 2003, 10:12
- - rc55   @Hanky: I don't meant to be rude, but if you d...   Feb 24 2003, 10:28
- - wdekler   @Numlock You can get your money PSU back if you wa...   Feb 24 2003, 10:38
- - NumLOCK   QUOTE (rc55 @ Feb 24 2003 - 10:28 AM)@Numlock...   Feb 24 2003, 10:43
- - NumLOCK   QUOTE (wdekler @ Feb 24 2003 - 10:38 AM)@Numl...   Feb 24 2003, 10:58
- - AiZ   Hello everybody, As long as your hard drive suppo...   Feb 24 2003, 11:02
- - niktheblak   The following are some of my personal experiences ...   Feb 24 2003, 11:24
- - NumLOCK   @AiZ At least for my HDD, the most "disturbi...   Feb 24 2003, 11:39
- - Gabriel   I think that electrical tape means the IDE/floppy ...   Feb 24 2003, 11:45
- - niktheblak   Sorry, I didn't know the exact english express...   Feb 24 2003, 11:52
- - NumLOCK   I see.. it seems to be that ugly kind of red tape...   Feb 24 2003, 12:03
- - Annuka   I managed to silence my workstation some months ag...   Feb 24 2003, 12:06
- - n68   yup... i don`t belive in quieting each compo...   Feb 24 2003, 12:16
- - dgover2   Just a couple of notes, don't know if they wil...   Feb 24 2003, 12:24
- - KikeG   QUOTE (n68 @ Feb 24 2003 - 12:16 PM)i don...   Feb 24 2003, 12:58
- - NumLOCK   QUOTE (dgover2 @ Feb 24 2003 - 12:24 PM)Now i...   Feb 24 2003, 13:54
- - niktheblak   QUOTE (NumLOCK @ Feb 24 2003 - 01:03 PM)I see...   Feb 24 2003, 14:04
- - userXYZ   I can recommend the following components out of my...   Feb 24 2003, 14:33
- - DonP   A former employer set up the training rooms with m...   Feb 24 2003, 14:59
- - NumLOCK   QUOTE (DonP @ Feb 24 2003 - 02:59 PM)A former...   Feb 24 2003, 15:09
- - Kim_C   Here's a review of fanless ProSilence 350 PSU....   Feb 24 2003, 15:14
- - fileman   Hello everybody, I'm using a water cooled sys...   Feb 24 2003, 15:18
- - GeSomeone   QUOTE (AiZ @ Feb 24 2003 - 11:02 AM)As long a...   Feb 24 2003, 17:56
- - aabxx   I would say my solution is as good as it gets.. my...   Feb 24 2003, 18:11
- - Artemis3   This is only a reminder: Hard Disks and CD Drives ...   Feb 24 2003, 18:36
- - niktheblak   QUOTE (Artemis3 @ Feb 24 2003 - 07:36 PM)This...   Feb 24 2003, 23:25
- - Patsoe   QUOTE (aabxx @ Feb 24 2003 - 06:11 PM)I would...   Feb 25 2003, 00:48
- - ff123   I'm going to upgrading my system in the coming...   Feb 25 2003, 03:27
- - DonP   QUOTE (NumLOCK @ Feb 24 2003 - 06:09 AM)lengt...   Feb 25 2003, 03:59
- - SometimesWarrior   QUOTE (ff123 @ Feb 24 2003 - 06:27 PM)4. NVid...   Feb 25 2003, 07:30
- - SometimesWarrior   My current dual-XP1600+ machine is so noisy I can ...   Feb 25 2003, 07:45
- - ff123   QUOTE (SometimesWarrior @ Feb 24 2003 - 10:30...   Feb 25 2003, 08:10
- - Continuum   QUOTE (aabxx @ Feb 24 2003 - 06:11 PM)If this...   Feb 25 2003, 08:19
- - KikeG   QUOTE (ff123 @ Feb 25 2003 - 03:27 AM)1. Athl...   Feb 25 2003, 09:25
- - Gabriel   Hard drive considerations: A current 7200rpm driv...   Feb 25 2003, 09:31
- - Gabriel   Just found this Fanless heatsink with fluid inside...   Feb 25 2003, 09:47
- - arman68   QUOTE (Gabriel @ Feb 25 2003 - 08:31 AM)A goo...   Feb 25 2003, 09:48
- - Gabriel   PII, PIII and PPro were unable to automatically th...   Feb 25 2003, 10:15
- - Patsoe   In light of the fact that were talking audio compu...   Feb 25 2003, 14:35
- - Trelane   Nobody's mentioned laptops yet! My PC (wh...   Feb 25 2003, 15:27
- - NumLOCK   I have a japanese Panasonic T1 laptop which has no...   Feb 25 2003, 16:45
- - SometimesWarrior   Sorry for resurrecting the thread, but this site i...   Mar 6 2003, 15:32
- - JEN   OK... I have decided to join in with the cat theme...   Apr 10 2003, 20:36
- - Joseph   http://www.alienware.com has some pretty small li...   Apr 10 2003, 21:37
- - atici   I recently discovered something which I liked a lo...   Apr 10 2003, 21:46
- - cd-rw.org   I think I will switch from this server cased behem...   Apr 10 2003, 22:26
- - CiTay   QUOTE (atici @ Apr 10 2003 - 10:46 PM)I recen...   Apr 10 2003, 22:46
- - ff123   QUOTE (atici @ Apr 10 2003 - 12:46 PM)I recen...   Apr 11 2003, 02:40
- - atici   Yeah I know I think the usual brute force soluti...   Apr 11 2003, 02:56
- - fewtch   I think I'll be transplanting my PC to a new c...   Apr 11 2003, 03:03
- - SometimesWarrior   QUOTE (fewtch @ Apr 10 2003 - 07:03 PM)I thin...   Apr 11 2003, 03:34
- - wynlyndd   I was reading somewhere about how two fans placed ...   Apr 11 2003, 03:44
- - SometimesWarrior   QUOTE (atici @ Apr 10 2003 - 06:56 PM)BTW do ...   Apr 11 2003, 03:46
- - SometimesWarrior   QUOTE (wynlyndd @ Apr 10 2003 - 07:44 PM)I wa...   Apr 11 2003, 03:54
- - DonP   One of the guys on a US tv show "The Screensa...   Apr 11 2003, 04:14
- - ff123   QUOTE (SometimesWarrior @ Apr 10 2003 - 06:46...   Apr 11 2003, 04:25
- - atici   I don't understand. When I first boot my compu...   Apr 11 2003, 04:39
- - fileman   I upgraded again (in cooling, not in power ;-) Th...   Apr 11 2003, 05:12
- - ff123   QUOTE (atici @ Apr 10 2003 - 07:39 PM)I don...   Apr 11 2003, 05:40
- - SometimesWarrior   QUOTE (DonP @ Apr 10 2003 - 08:14 PM)One of t...   Apr 11 2003, 06:03
- - 12345   It's wonderful to se people put dollars, ...   Apr 11 2003, 08:07
- - JEN   QUOTE (12345 @ Apr 11 2003 - 08:07 AM)It...   Apr 11 2003, 13:48
- - DonP   QUOTE (SometimesWarrior @ Apr 11 2003 - 12:03...   Apr 11 2003, 14:42
- - CiTay   QUOTE (ff123 @ Apr 11 2003 - 03:40 AM)Wow, th...   Apr 11 2003, 14:43
- - KikeG   QUOTE (DonP @ Apr 11 2003 - 02:42 PM)Most of ...   Apr 11 2003, 14:59
- - DonP   QUOTE (KikeG @ Apr 11 2003 - 08:59 AM)Anyway,...   Apr 11 2003, 16:02
- - KikeG   See my previous edit.   Apr 11 2003, 16:12
- - Patsoe   QUOTE (JEN @ Apr 11 2003 - 01:48 PM)Interesti...   Apr 11 2003, 16:21
- - JEN   QUOTE (Patsoe @ Apr 11 2003 - 04:21 PM)QUOTE ...   Apr 11 2003, 17:58
- - DonP   QUOTE (JEN @ Apr 11 2003 - 11:58 AM)So, maybe...   Apr 11 2003, 18:44
- - JEN   I just installed the Silent Drive Housing for the ...   Apr 17 2003, 16:02
- - JEN   I have an xp1900+. I tried unlocking it some time...   Apr 17 2003, 23:58
- - SometimesWarrior   QUOTE (JEN @ Apr 17 2003 - 03:58 PM)I have an...   Apr 18 2003, 17:32
- - JEN   How do I find out which Athlon XP 1900+ I have?   Apr 18 2003, 20:49
- - Delirium   I'm a bit late on this thread, but I'll ad...   Apr 19 2003, 02:53
- - SometimesWarrior   QUOTE (Delirium @ Apr 18 2003 - 06:53 PM)On t...   Apr 19 2003, 03:43
- - SometimesWarrior   QUOTE (JEN @ Apr 18 2003 - 12:49 PM)How do I ...   Apr 19 2003, 04:05
- - JEN   QUOTE (SometimesWarrior @ Apr 19 2003 - 04:05...   Apr 19 2003, 10:14
- - CiTay   QUOTE (JEN @ Apr 19 2003 - 11:14 AM)there is ...   Apr 19 2003, 14:12
- - SometimesWarrior   QUOTE (CiTay @ Apr 19 2003 - 06:12 AM)QUOTE (...   Apr 20 2003, 05:25
- - SometimesWarrior   QUOTE (JEN @ Apr 19 2003 - 02:14 AM)QUOTE (So...   Apr 20 2003, 06:00
- - JEN   Thanks for all the advice everyone especialy Somet...   Apr 20 2003, 10:20
- - JEN   What would be better? 1. modding the PSU with 2 s...   Apr 21 2003, 21:27
- - CiTay   QUOTE (JEN @ Apr 21 2003 - 10:27 PM)1. moddin...   Apr 21 2003, 22:13
- - JEN   QUOTE (CiTay @ Apr 21 2003 - 10:13 PM)QUOTE R...   Apr 23 2003, 11:14
- - CiTay   QUOTE (JEN @ Apr 23 2003 - 12:14 PM)Is this t...   Apr 23 2003, 13:24
- - spoon   QUOTE So, my question is, if I leave the vcore @ 1...   Apr 23 2003, 14:54
- - ff123   QUOTE (CiTay @ Apr 23 2003 - 04:24 AM)QUOTE (...   Apr 23 2003, 15:58
- - Annuka   QUOTE (SometimesWarrior @ Apr 19 2003 - 04:43...   Apr 23 2003, 17:04
- - bodhy   Hi all... Maybe some of you will be interested in ...   Apr 23 2003, 22:22
- - JEN   Is the Seagate Barracuda 80Gb 7200rpm UDMA100 Hard...   Apr 26 2003, 17:22
- - CiTay   QUOTE (JEN @ Apr 26 2003 - 06:22 PM)Is the Se...   Apr 26 2003, 17:48
- - ff123   QUOTE (JEN @ Apr 26 2003 - 08:22 AM)Is the Se...   Apr 26 2003, 17:52
- - JEN   I am planning on making a CPU exhaust duct to the ...   Apr 30 2003, 23:22
- - SometimesWarrior   QUOTE (JEN @ Apr 30 2003 - 03:22 PM)As the ca...   May 1 2003, 02:35
- - SometimesWarrior   QUOTE (Annuka @ Apr 23 2003 - 09:04 AM)QUOTE ...   May 1 2003, 02:52
- - ff123   Today I put isolating screws on my case fan, and s...   May 1 2003, 06:03
- - Delirium   QUOTE (ff123 @ Apr 30 2003 - 10:03 PM)Today I...   May 1 2003, 06:08
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