Noise...quest for a silent computer

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Yarash
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Noise...quest for a silent computer

Postby Yarash » Sat Aug 19, 2006 7:47 am

I want a computer that will make a minimal amount of nose. I would appreciate any input from owners or people who use quiet machines, as this isn't something that there is much information on. Computers of interest:
- Mac Mini (intel version)
- Macbook
- Macbook pro
- Pc laptop? (one of those cheap $400 ones....dell I think)

Ideally I'd like something that you A) Cannot hear the fan whirring, and B) The hard drive would be as quiet as possible.

I would guess the above computers are pretty quiet, but then again, they were talking about the macbook pro at macfixit, discussing some annoying whirring sound it was making.

Problem: The desktops I have make too much noise if I leave it on overnight for a download. I have to turn it off so I can get some sleep... This might not seem like a big deal, but is important to me.

- Mike
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Postby Kifle » Sat Aug 19, 2006 9:43 am

The most you can really do is buy a solid case that doesn't have loose parts. There are fans designed specifically for noise output you can find on newegg. As for harddrives, well, they will always have some noise, but I've never had noise problems with seagate. Also, AMD processors have "cool and quiet" technology which basically gives minimal power to the chip when you're not using it (ie. sleeping while downloading) which also runs the cpu fan at a lower speed. Depending on how cold you keep your house, you could also regulate your cpu/case fan speed as you want. Gl.
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Postby Vaprak » Sat Aug 19, 2006 1:10 pm

I have a Mac mini, if for no other reason than to play around with OS X. It is extremely quiet as far as fan noise goes, but the little notebook HD is sort of noisy. It's also extremely slow, and well a mac.

If you're going to do a PC, ditto what Kiffle said with the additional information being to go with a Core 2 CPU when they are more common if you aren't interested in AMD. Also make sure your PC case has rubber shock mounts for the hard drives as this will minimize vibration. Have more case fans running at a slower speed and look into Antec power supplies. They have a couple that have such massive heatsinks that the fan hardly even spins. You'll likely also want to look for an aftermarket CPU cooler, likely one with a copper core.
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Postby Marthammor » Sat Aug 19, 2006 2:36 pm

If you go with an Intel Core 2 CPU, you likely won't need a large/loud CPU heat sink. I've seen reviews where they even unplugged the CPU fan and put the system under a full load for hours on end and it ran stable.
For quiet CPU coolers, I've always been fond of products from Zalman, tho I'm sure there are companies that make products just as good and likely cheaper.

Ditto what Vaprak said about Antec power supplies. Another reputable company that makes a quiet line of power supplies is PC Power + Cooling. Look for the Silencer series.

I'll also ditto what Kifle said about the system fans. Quite a few companies make low noise fans for people wanting silent or near silent computers (think home theater computers where noise can distract from a movie).
Also, bigger slower spinning fans move the same amount of air as smaller faster spinning fans. Because they spin slower, there isn't as much turbulence caused by the blades which is the whirring sound you hear.

Anymore, most hard drives are fairly quiet. They do have a noise level listed most of the time, so if hard drive noise is a concern look for the lowest noise level with the storage capacity you need.
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Postby Kifle » Sat Aug 19, 2006 3:05 pm

Must agree with the Antec PSU's. I love mine and I never hear the fan running. Also, the Zalman Heatsink/fan combos are very nice. Lol, if you have the money, you can go with water cooling :) I hear that's pretty quiet, heh.
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Postby Vaprak » Sat Aug 19, 2006 4:48 pm

Another thing that will eventually be an improvement on noise will be the Intel Robson technology. It's basically flash memory on the motherboard somewhere between 512MB and 4GB that is a pre-cache for the HD. This should allow for the PC to shut down the HDs most of the time, which should decrease noise. It'll also allow for less power consumption with the powered down HDs and much faster access to frequently used data.

Supposed to come out with the Core 2 motherboards are prevelent, but I"m guessing that it will only be on the Extreme series boards and various other high end boards from the likes of Asus at first.
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Postby Yarash » Sat Aug 19, 2006 9:22 pm

Wow, these are some really great ideas...really, really great. Thanks guys :)

- Mike
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Postby Ruxur » Sun Aug 20, 2006 8:20 am

mike, ive built many many systems, and the quietest case that i have found is the antec sonata 2. this is the case i currently use, and it muffles alot of the sound that a computer puts out.
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Re: Noise...quest for a silent computer

Postby Sarvis » Sun Aug 20, 2006 3:48 pm

Yarash wrote:I want a computer that will make a minimal amount of nose.


Here you go:
Image


*ducks*
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Postby Shar » Sun Aug 20, 2006 4:33 pm

Rofl Sarvis!
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Postby Pril » Sun Aug 20, 2006 4:46 pm

Those things are actually pretty loud with all the hitting of wood on wood.
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Postby Oghma » Sun Aug 20, 2006 8:44 pm

Pril would know all about the sound of wood on wood.
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Postby Pril » Sun Aug 20, 2006 9:07 pm

Oghma wrote:Pril would know all about the sound of wood on wood.


You're absolutely useless, you may actually have a decent answer for his question and instead you chose to rag on me.
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Danila group-says 'afk, koala bear trying to mount my car'
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Postby Sarell » Mon Aug 21, 2006 10:48 am

The loudest thing in my computer at the moment is the fan on the video card. I'm making a new media centre PC and are going to go for a ASUS 1600XT with silent pipe I think... no fan....

Laptops are a good bet too I reckon, also they generally use less electricity if you are going to leave it on all the time, and they have a built in UPS of sorts!
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Postby Yarash » Mon Aug 21, 2006 12:57 pm

Sarell wrote:Laptops are a good bet too I reckon...and they have a built in UPS of sorts!

Hey, that is a good point :)
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Postby Ubek » Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:18 pm

Put the PC in another room. Use a USB hub to bring all your devices to you, ie your burner.
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Postby Ruxur » Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:21 pm

this is not nessessary, if you use the right hardware, you should be able to get it down to a whisper. the gigabyte graphics cards with silent pipe are great btw, you just cant get a card with cutting edge performance without active cooling.
Last edited by Ruxur on Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Ruxur » Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:40 pm

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Postby Kifle » Mon Aug 21, 2006 10:41 pm

^^ what? No 7.1 compatible sound card?
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Postby Ruxur » Tue Aug 22, 2006 12:37 am

was thinking of cost, if yer an audiophile, then you know what to do to get great sound.
Cofen group-says 'wtf, why am i missing a cursed khanjari?'

Alendar group-says 'i r rednek i can only afford the monitor i have mud on and the broken monitor under it'

Nonox tells you 'i think someone casted 'power word gay' on pril'

Malacar ASSOC:: 'must... mp...soon...underwear...cringing...at...oncoming...onslaught...'
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Postby ssar » Tue Aug 22, 2006 11:12 am

Pril wrote:
Oghma wrote:Pril would know all about the sound of wood on wood.


You're absolutely useless, you may actually have a decent answer for his question and instead you chose to rag on me.
Mike


Bleh, Oghma's is a standout highlight post in the entire thread!
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Postby teflor the ranger » Tue Aug 22, 2006 3:26 pm

The issue with buying from large fabrication shops is that they buy fans in bulk off the market from whatever vendor is least expensive. Whirring and other such noises are not a major consideration at it is a factor that most consumers are willing to overlook (nor do they even ask. 'it's 2.0 ghz you say? excellent').

If you want a quiet computer, I can suggest that you avoid looking at laptops, as generally those are hit and miss depending on the luck of the fan they happen to stick into your machine.

There are quite a few shops dedicated to building quiet PCs, however, and there are many vendors that manufactuer fans to specific noise production characteristics. The same goes for hard drive manufactuerers.

If you're looking for vendors of quiet devices, I can suggest you just google it... that should turn up a few brands that make quiet products. I can also suggest that you dive into the specifications of these machines in depth (the ones they post where you can't really find them). Often times they may post information like operating noise level, etc.
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