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Fan Noises

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Well I love my current rig completely, but there comes a point in every gamer's life where if you don't feel comfortable with headphones and use speakers, fan noise may start to annoy you in low processing web surfing situations. (And gaming situations at times). So I'm testing the waters to see if anybody here has been able to experience especially quiet 120mm fans. Any discussion on reducing fan noise would also be appreciated. I recently purchased a fan controller which is waiting to be installed to supplement the 3 speed control in my Antec 300 case, and my friends think I should get noise dampeners (which don't seem to be worth the work and minimally effective) I could be wrong though. Tell me what works for you. smile.gifparty.gif <--and is it just me or is that a party hat from RS?
post #2 of 5
My computer is realitvely quiet because I put it into a large enclosure in my desk. However, due to air flow problems, I don't recommend doing this. But, this solution implies two things: (1) external extra material will reduce sound, and (2) providing acoustic "outs" away from you reduce sounds you hear. Perhaps these two points would be useful.


As for fans, I've been pleased with two companies, Noctua and Cougar. The Noctua NF-P12 which provides excellent cooling at reasonable sound levels. My experience is limited to the 140mm fans, all of the Vortex HDB fans should have size relative performance; in which case, they should all be very quiet. I recommend both of these companies and their fans; both are made with low noise and mind and that is noticable.
post #3 of 5
Hey Bob,

well, it depends on your specific situation what will work or wont work.

Lets first start with your case. Let's assume you're like most people and keep your tower at your desk on floor or on a lower shelf. If you want a quiet computer, it start with your case.

Your Antec 300 case is nice, but its not known for being a quiet case. You have several fan slots, none of which seem to be covered by default. This allows a lot of sound leakage. (I've been there, had the classic Antec 900). So not only will you hear case fans, you'll hear almost every other component in your system as well (GPU fans, Harddrives, and anything else that hums/moves).

So Lets say you're dead set on your case (not my recommendation... usually cheaper/less hassle to replace a case than to mod one, usually have sound dampening and have indirect sound pathways), You first need to determine your air flow and number of fans you want to use. My personal recommendation is no more than 4 case fans (At most) and 1 cpu/heatsink fan. In your case, I would use 1 rear exhaust fan, 1 side panel intake fan, 1 front intake fan (upper), and 1 HSF.

As I haven't a clue which Heatsink you're rocking or the amount of internal space you have (due to components), I'll assume you have lil to no room for fan shrouds. So not only will the fan choice matter, but other things as well. Now, if money is no option, I'd recommend 3 of these (Noiseblocker NB-Multiframe M12-PS 120mmx25mm Super Ultra Silent PWM Fan - 600-1500 RPM) - FrozenCPU and other places carry them. They do cost about $30 a pop, so its not cheap, however their mounting design really helps with vibration. Corsair stole their design and incorporated it into their own fans. (which can be found for a bit cheaper). You want fans that decouple the motor from the mounting... while rubber silencer CAN help reduce vibration... you typically have a screw that connects the fan to the case... which still transmits vibration. I still have to replace one of my case fans with noiseblockers/corsair fans. They are worth the investment.

For your HSF, if you want to change that out (trust me, you do if you're asking about quiet fans). I'd recommend a Gentle Typhoon (GT-14) if you want a continuous speed fan that's quiet (I have two of them myself), or if you want a fan that can be PWM controlled, then I'd recommend Noctua NF-P12 120 x 25mm PWM Fan (P12 PWM).
The GT is about $20 shipped and the Notctua PWM fan is about $27 shipped. Pick your poison.

Ok, now that chosen your replacement fans, now what. Well, typically fans the 25mm variety (most fans in a computer), force air out in all directions and it is not in one directed movement. This causes a lot of air turbulent noise, ESPECIALLY if you have a fan attached to a heatsink or case grill. Typically, you get around this limitation by adding a fan shroud at the cost of extra space. You can 'buy' fan shrouds, but typically I just tear down an old/defunct fan. Now I've already assumed you don't have space for shrouds, so what do you do? Simple... take some tin snips and cut out the Antec 300 honeycomb grills. This will allow air to flow freely into the fan.... but wait! You're probably thinking 'um, I don't want my fingers to get chopped off for one, and it looks ghetto for two. Add your own wire grill back to those fans (Side & Rear) for the most part. Use a WIRE circular grill. (not a laser cut one).

As for your front grills... probably best to leave them as is, unless you want to purchase some magnetic filter grills which can be washed. That should reduce your case / hsf fan noise by a significant amount.

(Like I said, buying the right case is easier / cheaper than modding)

Now, your next big noise maker will either be your PSU or GPU. If your PSU is out of warranty... replace the fan in that with an appropriate Gentle Typhoon fan or Noiseblocker fan. If it is in warranty... and it has a removable grill, remove the grill w/o tearing open 'warranty void if removed sticker'. Corsair PSU's are a good prime example of this.

GPU fans... well, those are a PITA. Thermalshaman... or now closed loop water cooling is an option.. but pricey.

Hope this helps!
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Stripe
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 2600K Maximus IV GENE-Z NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 G.Skill 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Crucial M4 SSD Western Digital Black 2TB  Liteon BD-R Corsair H60 
OSKeyboardPowerCase
Windows 7 Professional Microsoft Sidewinder X4 Corsair 750AX Fractal Design Define R3 
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post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Great advice. I was thinking about getting a new case to reduce noise, but was just trying to see what other people had to say about making a noisy case quieter. When I built this computer I was on a budget of around $1000 usd, but since then I started waiting table at a local restaurant and have quite a bit more cash to spend on better components. The antec 300 is the budget gamer's dream, but obviously not the best case performance and noise wise. I already bought a fan controller to reduce the fan noise slightly when not under load, but the problem lies in the design, not the temperature in the case causing high revving components. I'm running a hyper 212+ cooler which hardly revs up at all to keep the cpu cool, I have a ssd in there so it isn't too noisy, but the case fans and the gpu are loud. Like playing empire total war, the gpu is a constant loud humm which keeps the card around the high 50's. Chances are, I'm getting a new case before the end of summer, I already was thinking about it anyways and all the mods seem annoying. And probably a full size case, although I have a surprising amount of room in the 300. With a full size then I could run another gtx560 on sli, then even less revving and it wouldn't make it cramped. thumb.gif
post #5 of 5
Well, my recommendation if you're going to go to a new case, there are only two options:

Option A: Fractal Design Define R4 ($100-$120) pretty good, now can use 140mm fans.

Option B: Silverstone FT02 ($200-$240) best quiet case there is. Should be getting myself one at the end of the month with any luck.
Stripe
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 2600K Maximus IV GENE-Z NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 G.Skill 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Crucial M4 SSD Western Digital Black 2TB  Liteon BD-R Corsair H60 
OSKeyboardPowerCase
Windows 7 Professional Microsoft Sidewinder X4 Corsair 750AX Fractal Design Define R3 
MouseAudio
Logitech Marble track man  Onboard and Mbox2 
  hide details  
Reply
Stripe
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 2600K Maximus IV GENE-Z NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 G.Skill 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Crucial M4 SSD Western Digital Black 2TB  Liteon BD-R Corsair H60 
OSKeyboardPowerCase
Windows 7 Professional Microsoft Sidewinder X4 Corsair 750AX Fractal Design Define R3 
MouseAudio
Logitech Marble track man  Onboard and Mbox2 
  hide details  
Reply
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