Quieting down my PC, part II

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chad Ellinger, Mar 13, 2003.

  1. Chad Ellinger

    Chad Ellinger Second Unit

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    I recently upgraded the power supply of my AthlonXP-based system to an Antec TruePower 430W. The new PSU is great and runs quietly, but now I'm eager to quiet down the rest of my system.

    The first place to start will be my CPU. I'm running an Athlon XP 1600+, using the retail heatsink and fan, on an Epox 8K7A+ motherboard. I'm not overclocking (nor do I plan to). I know very little about using aftermarket heatsinks and fans, so I need some direction as to what I need to buy.

    Now, as I understand it, replacing a stock fan on an Athlon involves replacing the heatsink as well (since most aftermarket fans are 80 mm? Correct me if I'm wrong). I've heard good things about the Panaflo L1A fan. It looks like I need to purchase the power connection (tail?) for the fan separately. Will this plug into my motherboard like my existing fan?

    As for a heatsink, I'm up for suggestions. I know that Arctic Silver is the thermal grease of choice. Is it hard to apply? Any tips/suggestions for a first timer?
     
  2. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    I've just built two Athlon systems for myself. I can't stand noisy PCs so everything is geared up for being 'shhhhh'.

    For the heatsink/fans, I went with the Zalman copper 'Flower Cooler'. It's a slightly bizarre design and does require a certain amount of space, but it works very well. The large copper heatsink/petal assemby sits ontop of the CPU (with Arctic Silver 3 of course) then the 92mm fan is attatched to the main case via a special (supplied) bracket. They even supply the tool used to mount the HS to the motherboard. The large fan means that it can move slowly and quietly and there's a little adjustment box which allows you to increase the speed of the fan if you need to. I'm running an XP2000+ (no overclock) with the fan on it's slowest setting and I've yet to see the CPU temp go above about 38c (that particular machine tends to get long periods of high CPU use). When the case lid is on, you cannot hear the fan at all. It's a bit fiddly to mount, but not that difficult. You have to remember that a lot of the more expensive products are aimed at people who overclock already powerful CPUs and therefore require a lot of cooling. If you're running a 1600 at stock speed you shouldn't need to hear it at all.

    Arctic Silver 3 is the de facto standard thermal grease these days. Well worth the money, but it's important to apply it correctly. Many people ignore the instructions and blob it all over the CPU die. You don't need to. Follow the instructions and you use a tiny amount of the stuff but get a more effective coverage.
     
  3. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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    I would reccomend the SLK-800 heatsink and a quiet 80mm fan of choice, it's a large copper heatsink designed for high performance. Now I know when you think that you instantly think of overclocking. But the deal here is that because the heatsink performs so well you can actually get away with less air flow for the same results as other solutions which is what you want.

    for fans, panaflow does make some really quiet ones. I personally use a TT smart Case fan II, the fan is loud on full blast, very loud, but it has it's on adjuster on it that allows you to really crank the fan down, at it's lowest setting it's near inaudible. Another good fan I've been hearing about is the YsTech adjustible fan, I've been hearing that that fan is incredibly quiet at lower settings as well.

    with my current setup I run a 2400+ (2ghz) at 2.2ghz and I use the asus Q-fan (on the a7n8x, recent bios update enabled it) to keep the fan at about half it's full speed, it puts out less noise than my psu fan which and still stays around 33c with an ambient of around 22c, I am perfectly happy with this setup.
     
  4. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    I have an SLK-800 heatsink with a Panaflo 80mm ultra-quiet fan (21 db, 0.1A). Unfortunately, my Enermax 430W dual-fan with fan control power supply is still damn noisy!

    Rob G, what PSU are you using? It seems that my PSU is the main noise-maker right now.

    Now if only I could make my NEC LT240 projector quieter. I don't have the $$$ for the NEC HT1000, so I'll have to put up with the noise and the rainbows.
     
  5. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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    I'm currently using a raidmax 400w powersupply, it's quiet but it's a bit louder than I would like, I'll get around to using the rat shack meter on it to see exactly how loud everything is. I will eventually get around to replacing the fans on it nevertheless. it's a dual fan model and it does push some heat so it'll probably wait until I get the new case I have been hopeing for. my main thought is to look into using some ducting and modifying a 120mm fan to work. that way I can keep high cfm's without the noise.

    thinking of that, you can also try doing that with a heatsink to. The odd mounting method on the slk800 (uses a clip instead of a screw mount) makes it a little more of a challenge for adapter, but it's still doable with some elbow grease. then just pick up a panaflow 120mm l1a fan and viola, high cfm low noise.
     
  6. Daniel Alan

    Daniel Alan Agent

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    For the quietest and coolest of AMD systems these days the best choice is the SLK-900 (the newest version of the SLK-800). It is the Heatsink of choice for overclockers (like me [​IMG]), but also for people who want a quiet system, as it takes 92mm fans, which are quieter (as explained above). The problem is you pay for it, as it costs about $50 with out a fan. For a fan I recommend the Vantec 92mm stealth, which only puts out 20db, so you won't even hear it.

    thats my 2 cents
     
  7. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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  8. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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    the only major problem I've noticed with with the slk-900 is that it doesn't fit on many motherboards, most require some tampering like capacitor adjustments. while it's minor to move a few capacitors and bend the fins on a northbridge heatsink, I doubt few are really self assured enough to perform this.
     
  9. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Thanks guys.

     
  10. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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    hehe, I was an quick learner of "silence of the lambs" but I couldn't do much else. instructor said something about me being a genius when it came to playing the tacets [​IMG].

    I did mean this "voila" as per merriam-webster.
     
  11. Mark Giles

    Mark Giles Second Unit

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    Why not buy a water-cooled case for $250.00 and call it a day. You wouldn't hear a thing.
     
  12. Craig LeBlanc

    Craig LeBlanc Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm always tempted to quiet down my PC, but I leave it on at night and it is in my bedroom. I'd rather dear the humming of the fans over the whine of the hard drives (3 hard drives). [​IMG]
     
  13. Cameron_Peck

    Cameron_Peck Stunt Coordinator

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    For my AMD 1700+ I went with Coolermaster High Performance Thermal Compound Kit from NewEgg for $3. As for heat sink I used the Coolermaster DP5-7JD1B-0L CPU fan for $17. I started looking at Zalman and Arctic silver but I have a problem spending more for the CPU cooling than the CPU itself. I do not overclock and my system runs fine.

    PS The fan is super quiet.
     

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