Help- my new computer is LOUD!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kris McLaughlin, Mar 11, 2002.

  1. Kris McLaughlin

    Kris McLaughlin Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi everyone,
    I just put together my new system last week (Athlon 1800+ XP, Geforce3ti200, 512Mb DDR, etc.), and this baby flies! The problem is that the darn thing is also really LOUD.
    The whine of the PSU fan is driving me crazy. What can I do to silence it besides buying a custom (i.e. QuietPC) PSU? (no $ left over for that sort of thing...)
    I've heard of people using soundproofing material inside the case, is this a viable option?
    Thanks,
     
  2. Masood Ali

    Masood Ali Supporting Actor

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    Very simple problem to fix. First, open up your PSU (be careful not to touch the capacitors, etc.) and unscrew the fan. Buy a fan of the same size, but with a low dB rating (between 20-30dB is good), and replace it. Should cost you about $5 for the fan, and about a half-hour worth of your time.
     
  3. Richard_s

    Richard_s Second Unit

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    I am sure alot of the noice is the heat sink fan cooling the CPU not just the PSU fan. A few things I have done.

    1) I was getting alot of noise amplification from the table top the computer was on (it acted like a sounding board). I rolled up two washcloths and placed the system on those instaed of the case rubber feet. That cut the noise down some.

    2) If the floor has carpet then put the system on the floor. You are more prone to dust build-up so you may want to "blow" it clean once in a while but my system that I did that with is silent. I don't mind bending down to reach my CD-rw and such and the dust has not been an issue and I also have a cat and that has not been an issue either.

    3) I hev not done this but many have used "cork board" generally found at Walmart type stores. very good acoustic damping material. They have built ducts to put on the PSU to baffle the noise. They also put some on the inside of the side panels to reduce vibration noise (little affect on cooling so this is not an issue. I bought the stuff just have not got around to trying it.

    Just my 2 cents
     
  4. Kris McLaughlin

    Kris McLaughlin Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks guys,
    definitely some food for thought. Now I have to look deep down inside and see if I have the cojones to open up my PSU & replace the fan...
    Cheers,
     
  5. Duncan Barth

    Duncan Barth Stunt Coordinator

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    Be careful when replacing the fan. The big round caps will still contain a rather large charge even *after* the power is disconnected.
    Its an easy operation. Just be careful and don't go poking big metal screwdrivers deep into the guts of the thing [​IMG]
     
  6. Jon_R

    Jon_R Stunt Coordinator

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    There have been some good suggestions so far but a few good tricks have been left out.
    If the power supply is the culprit, don't just change the fan, but cut out the original fan cover. This will leave a hole in the power supply. Air makes more noise flowing over jagged edges than it does smooth ones. After making that hole then get a fan guard from www.2cooltek.com to keep your fingers/cat safe.
    About your cat. If you put your PC on the floor, and it is the standard air in the front and out the back. Dust will become a real problem. If you took tip #1, then do the same for the fan in the front (if applicable). Now, to keep dust out, buy a mesh filter from www.2cooltek.com . They are cheap and barely restrict airflow.
    Make sure you use special quiet fans.
    There is also a trick called the "7 volt trick" that lowers the rpm of the fan by only feeding it 7 volts. That can significantly lower noise as well.
    Remember that any form of sound insulation you coat the inside of the case with will likely increase the temperature. That may or may not be important to you.
    If you are looking for less intrusive/involved methods to lower the noise then maybe I'll come up with some of those.
    Jon
     
  7. JasenP

    JasenP Screenwriter

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    If you are an idiot like me, you might also check that your wires are not too close to any of the fans.

    I moved my PC off of my desk and afterwards noticed a loud whine. As it turns out one of the many wires was making contact with my power supply fan. :b

    Sometimes it's the simple things....
     
  8. Rob Varto

    Rob Varto Supporting Actor

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    I agree with Richard. I have a similar system and while the PSU supply generates some buzz, it doesn't even compare to the heatsink fan.
    My suggestion? Get a good sound card and loud speakers. After a while, the noise from the computer turns to white noise. It's almost like listening to your wife all day - after a while, you only hear it when you want to. [​IMG]
     
  9. Richard_s

    Richard_s Second Unit

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    My system on the floor does have a fan blowing in at the bottom front and like recommended I do have a mesh filter in front of it. This filter does reduce air flow some but has the benefit of lowering the noise of that fan as well as catches its fair share of dust and YES cat hairs. Now if I can just keep the cat off the keyboard when I am using it. I have already had to disable the keyboard wake up feature that takes my system out of hibernate mode since my cat seems to like to turn the system on at night [​IMG] maybe he used the IM [​IMG]
    BTW: lining my case (enlight 7237 for those interested great case for the money) the internal temperature only went up by 1 deg C so there is an effect as one might expect but not much. The predominance of cooling in these systems is forced convection not natural convective heat loss through the walls of the case.
     

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