March 16th, 2004, 05:08 PM
seeking cooling vs. noise advice
I'm a newbie at this, having built my first computer a year or two ago. I didn't install the CPU, instead purchasing a motherboard/CPU combo. The Chip is an Athlon XP - 2000, I think (I'm not at that computer right now). The MB is an ASUS.
First thing I noticed after I built the thing was that it was LOUD. Way louder than any computer I'd previously had. When it's on I can hear it from across the condo with the door closed.
So I've tried to quiet it down. I bought a funky Zalman copper fan-like heatsink, which kind of worked except the CPU got hotter and I had to turn the case fan up to compensate.
I should say that this is a balancing act, as if my CPU goes over a certain temp (approx 65C) the computer bluescreens. The trouble is that summer is coming, and last summer was a hot one, and I couldn't have my computer on at all during a hot day or it would crash right away. I can deal with the noise, but my job will suffer if I can't use the computer during July and August.
I'm looking to fix this problem. What are my options? I could just fork over the cash for a Dell or something, which would be easy but pricey and I'd hate to ditch all the components I bought for this machine. Would a new CPU (ie, a P4) help matters? Do they run cooler? How much do cases matter? Has anyone else run into this?
March 16th, 2004, 10:59 PM
It is indeed a trade-off. I like zalman for quiet and performance, are you sure you installed yours right? Some high quality thermal paste, like arctic silver, can also drop cpu temp a couple degrees vs what comes packaged with the heatsink. Newer cpu's for the most part are hotter, so thats no help. Your case does affect cooling, particularly in how many and what size fans. Be sure you have as many fans as possible, and as large as possible. Vantech stealth fans are quiet. If you really need cooling, try just taking the side of the case off and running a room fan at it. Not too loud, and good airflow.
Originally Posted by deolmstead
If you have a good amount of money to spend, also look into watercooling (quite cool, nice and quiet, pretty expensive) or even a vapor cooling setup like prometia (very cold, quiet, very expensive)
March 17th, 2004, 01:08 PM
It sounds like your CPU temps went up after you changed CPU fans? I don't know much about the Zalman fan but it should work better than the fan that came with your CPU/Mobo combo. If indeed your temps went up with the new fan, then you probably didn't install it correctly. To reinstall it, get some good thermal paste and follow the directions to spread it out very thin and even. Do you have a case fan to blow the hot air out of the case?
I have a thermalsensor CPU fan and a thermalsensor case fan. They are a rumble at idle and a loud rumble at full speed.
March 19th, 2004, 01:37 PM
Please offer up a bit more info about your system, especially the case it's in. For now I'll assume it's a mid-tower case with an 80mm case fan on the bottom front. I'll also assume you do not have an exhaust fan on the back, only the power supply is blowing out.
First, I'd get a PCI slot fan and mount it a slot or two away from your video card, if you have the space available. Try to make sure to get a fan that sucks from the side that will be facing the video card. This will help remove some of that hot air.
Next, try to figure out the performance specs for the current case fan, stuff like air-flow and noise. Google the manufacturer and the model number listed on the hub sticker. Then go online to see if you can find a case fan that flows more air at a tolerable noise level.
If you have a hole in the side panel for another fan, by all means get one. You might also consider getting a power supply with two or three fans. I did the same in my case and it helped quite a bit.
Adding fans might sound like everything will get louder but if you make the case less restrictive to airflow all those fans will be straining less to push or suck air. I drilled out the holes on the front of my case (from 5/64 inch to 7/64 inch) and it helped.
The other suggestions sound like they'll work well, too.
Keep us posted...
March 21st, 2004, 02:47 PM
This is my case:
I got it for free, otherwise I probably would have picked something else. I've learned to like it though since I figured out how to mount it under my desk - no tower to clutter my desk or to get in the way underfoot.
I'm using the front fan that came with the case, a Zalman copper-fin heatsink with a big ol' fan that kind of floats above it (mounted to the PCI holes). I didn't use Arctic Silver when I installed the sink, which I think is the first mistake to rectify. I'm thinking of getting an entirely new heatsink - this one seems to be highly recommended (Thermalright SLK-900A):
Examining my system while it's running, I discover that the only place I can feel air exiting the case is the Power supply fan in the back. There are venting holes on the right side of the case and also in the back pretty much right above the CPU (see pictures in link above), but I don't feel any air moving when hold my hand in front of them. So I suspect I can do better, although space in there is a bit of an issue. Can anyone recommend a case fan system for either (both?) of these venting areas? Quieter is definitely better, but most importantly I want my PC to work through the summer.
March 21st, 2004, 03:15 PM
I have same kinda situation, want PC to be quit when nothing cpu intensive is going on but dont mind it being loud when im playin games.
You need to get a fan speed controller and some reasonably powerfull fans, with the controler you can change the speed (and noise) of the fans, when they need to be faster you can turn them up, but you can turn them down so they are quiet when you dont need as much cooling.
Hope this helps
March 21st, 2004, 04:04 PM
March 21st, 2004, 10:28 PM
ok, so the plan is to get some Arctic Silver and redo the Zalman hsf, get an 80mm case fan to mount next to the hsf and a fan controller so I can turn it all down when I'm not gaming or it's a cool day.
I took a pic of the inside of my case, check it out here:
Looking along the top and back of the case, there are also three horizontal vent areas that look like they'd be perfect for a slot-like fan. nosing around, however, I can't find anything that would fit the bill. PCI slot fans have that right-angle bracket that wouldn't work here. Has anyone seen any fans out there that might do the trick? What are they called?
March 22nd, 2004, 08:06 AM
Great picture, it helps a lot.
Go with the 80mm fan in the rear of the case. And I see there is a place to mount another (80mm?) fan in the rear left side. Add one there, blowing in.
I wouldn't bother with the slots in the back. If you really want to add fans by those slots, though, you could simply cut off the right-angled part of the PCI bracket and drill holes to match the mounting holes in your case.
Between a 140mm fan blowing in in the front, an 80mm fan blowing in on the left side, and an 80mm fan blowing out in the back you should be set.
I thought you meant this hsf:
Now I see which hsf you mean. You probably should keep an eye on the temps of your cpu after you redo the thermal paste. If the above mentioned steps don't help cool off your CPU you probably will need a new hsf.
Otherwise, I think you'll be set with adding two additional 80mm fans and a controller for the three case fans (2x80mm + 1x140mm).
Keep us posted.