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Building a Quiet Computer
Old 29th January 2013
  #1
Lives for gear
 
AstroZon's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Building a Quiet Computer

I'm finally going to update my computer - an archaic Pentium 4 Prescott single core. The Prescott runs hot always - like 70c, and I have to use a lot of fans to keep it cool. The fan noise interferes with my ability to hear what I'm doing, etc.

I record with Sonar 8.5, which I plan to keep on using. I'd like to build around an IvyBridge i5 mainly for its ability to run cool, but I'm open for any suggestions.

Has anyone built a computer with the goal building a quiet PC?
Old 29th January 2013
  #2
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Yeah the newer processors will run a LOT cooler. If you want to run quiet, it's possible. Just make sure the fans you get have good reviews on being quiet. Read the decibals on them, they matter. Also, get a fan controller if you want to control the speed of them. It helps. If you really want to run quiet, get a i7, runs cooler while using more power if u use it. And I really like the performance gain overall especially on a DAW machine

Then if you REALLY want cooler, water cool your setup. Only fans you need will be the rad fans. But considering you're coming from a prescott, lc is probably out of your budget? Just get some good fans. Ask around on hardware forums for advice. (Hardforum or tomshardware are good places to start)
Old 29th January 2013
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Yutaka's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
My overclocked Sandy Bridge i7 2600k @ 4.3 GHz (HT on) would stay about 32-35C during non-DAW use, and 38-45C when using DAW, cooled with Noctua C14, one top fan with ULNA adaptor. I have a Silverstone FT-02 case. Dropping the voltage for 3x180mm fans to 5v pretty much makes the machine inaudible, but I now use the regular 12v + low switch because the fans had a hard time starting @ 5v after many months of use. It is quite audible now, but quiet enough not to bother me. I have a Seasonic X-660 power supply. It works as fanless up to 40% load, and even when the fan kicks in, it's still quiet. Graphics - radeon HD5450 fanless, cheap but works fine. Seagate Barracuda, 1tb per platter models, run much cooler (more than 10C difference) and quieter than WD caviar black, while being faster and cheaper as well. RAM - I had one of those rather embarrassing looking performance memory sticks, but 1333 MHz vs 1600 MHz pretty much makes no difference.

silentpcreview.com | Everything about Silent / Quiet Computers is a good place to learn about these things. Good luck.
Old 29th January 2013
  #4
Lives for gear
 
AstroZon's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Thanks CrewXP and Yutaka, I think you've put me on the right track.

Basically go with quiet everything, fans, video card, power supply, and a possible liquid cooler for the CPU.

It may be a month in the making, but when I complete it, I'll report back to everyone.
Old 29th January 2013
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Noctua Fans ..
Old 29th January 2013
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
wearecreative's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
If you don't go the liquid cooled route, consider one of the large heat sync with 1 or more fans assemblies by CoolerMaster. I use one of theirs on my sandy bridge i7 2600k, and even at full tilt, my machine stays very quiet. Most good fans will stay under your noise floor (12-ish db). You need to remember to address ALL of the fans in your machine. If you do liquid cooling or a large heat sync with fans, it isnt the cpu fan thats going to spin up- your cpu woll keep cool- it'll be the case fans, the gpu fan etc.
Old 29th January 2013
  #7
Deleted e1b9f94
Guest
I have Coolermaster Silencio 550 case (it does have sound panels inside case to absorb case mechanical sound (HDD, etc.) and it really does help). I want to point out that previously i already had super silent PC, so sandy bridge 2600k, overclocked to 5ghz, cooled on air via Thermaltake Jing(zero stability problems), i have Thermaltake power supply (can't remember model but it is 650W with super silent 14cm cooler), passive cooled VGA card etc. My comp has been silent already but i upgraded case and now i have Coolermaster silencio 550. My pc is so silent that very often when i am back in a room and when monitor goes to sleep mode i need to look is power light really ON at my case to convince myself is it really working?? It is super silent. I mean my ambient noise is louder then this case. I guess it's because sound panels inside case really make a difference because components are same as in previous case which was from Antec.

So you should definitely look at coolermaster silencio 550 or what was my second choice Fractal Design Define R3 MIDI (not mini)..
Old 29th January 2013
  #8
Lives for gear
 
AstroZon's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I can't afford an i7 (but maybe an i5 with a used mobo.) I have a nice full tower SuperFlower case that I've had since 2004, so I'd like to stay away from micro ATX mobos. It's just easier to work on the full sized boards.

I looked at all AMD's CPUs and Intel's i3 and below (what they now call Pentium.) It's kinda sad, but the the i3s basically beat all but the top line AMDs. Heck, the Pentium G870 beat the AMD FX4300 on just about everything.

So here's what I'm thinking:

CPU: Intel i3 3220 Ivy Bridge
Mobo: ECS Z77H2
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
Case Fans: Noctua NF S12B FLX120, & EverCool EGF8 80mm
Memory: Crucial 2x4gb 1600

All from NewEgg.

I plan on using my current hard drives and Antec power supply. I'm still going to use Windows XP until I can upgrade to 7. I know that 8gb of RAM is overkill for XP, but once I install Win7 64bit, I'll take it to 16gb. I also have a Matrox P650 PCI-16 video card that I plan to use. The Matrox cards aren't meant for gaming but have the clearest text that I've ever seen.

I think that the i3 will run Sonar 8.5 just fine. I don't run too many softsynths, and when I do it's usually just one at a time. I do use plugins when mixing and mastering though - EQs, Compressors, etc, and those can be CPU intensive.
Old 29th January 2013
  #9
Gear Nut
 
Aaron Cotton's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Be careful reusing your power supply. The most significant noise coming from your computer is usually from fans close to the outside of the case. On some PSU's there is slightly noisy exhaust fans.

Here is an excellent resource for making a quiet PC:

silentpcreview.com | Everything about Silent / Quiet Computers
Old 29th January 2013 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
AstroZon's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Cotton ➑️
Be careful reusing your power supply. The most significant noise coming from your computer is usually from fans close to the outside of the case. On some PSU's there is slightly noisy exhaust fans.

Here is an excellent resource for making a quiet PC:

silentpcreview.com | Everything about Silent / Quiet Computers
Noted, and thanks for the great link.
Old 8th May 2013
  #11
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
I have Zalman TNN 500AF, no moving parts, only noise coming from prosessor.

TNN 500AF Totally No Noise Computer Case
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