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musicphile 1st February 2007 10:43 PM

Anti-Wave Guide Computer Case ? Suggestions ?
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So my laptop finally died after 4 years, and not myself or anyone in town can fix it. Seeing how I used my laptop for many of my classes. I've been contemplating building a new desktop. While researching what parts to get I've pretty much come to the conclusion that all the computer cases except for the high dollar ($600 US +) are all crap. So I had the wild idea last night of building a virtually silent PC. I think I'd build the exterior case out of 1/2 inch MDF and rip the mounting hardware and such out of a lesser case. I say MDF, because noise wise it's got to be better than 1mm steel or aluminium in terms of resonance. Long story short there has to be some type of ventalation for heat and moisture to escape. This would require putting some types of holes in the case. The problem is when you put holes in the case any sound within it can escaped. So does anyone have any suggestions as far as reducing the noise ? Here's a pic of something I was thinking of. I don't know how well it would work and if it did i'm not sure how to optimize it for this application. I kinda was using the theory of how baffles in a firearm silencer work.

I_Forgot 2nd February 2007 04:19 AM

There are a bunch of web sites devoted to quiet PCs. Do a search.

My personal experience is that there are 3 main noise sources in a PC: the power supply fan, the cpu cooling fan, and the HDD.

Fans are always quieter when run slowly. The quietest power supplies (other then the rare ones that use no fans at all) have BIG fans and the speed is cotrolled by the temperature of their own electronics.

CPU coolers are quieter when they are bigger, but you can run into fit problems with some mobo/case combinations. Decent cooling fans plug into your decent mobo that senses cpu temp and adjusts fan speed accordingly.

HDDs can be quieted by isolating them from the metal case chassis either with foam pads or by suspending them using springs.

Address those three problems and you will have achievd 95% of what can be done.

Of course, you just get a Mac cube...


quickshift 2nd February 2007 06:14 AM

I use acoustic wadding as dust traps on all the air inlets on one of my PCs because it has a load of small fans which get clogged up easily. I still get reasonable airflow and board / CPU / HDD / GFX temperatures haven't risen. I just brush down the wadding every so often to get rid of the dust. It isn't designed to be quiet as such but does cut down on some fan noise with just a single flat layer of wadding.

There is no reason why you couldn't build in long inlet and outlet air vents and lightly stuff them with some wadding. You could even use air vent tubing attached to the back of the case exhaust fan and lightly stuff that to reduce the complexity of the case design.

Fans wise, you can get 8DBA (@7v IIRC) 120mm fans from (I think they ship internationally) One of them with an adapter on the CPU cooler should be pretty quiet and provide decent cooling if you have space for it. There are plenty or places selling silicone mounting kits for HDDs / fans etc.

Yes, if your board supports it it'll control the fan speed based on your settings - if not, you could get a manual fan speed controller.

Do make sure the case has adequate venting though - a single slow 120MM or 92MM should be fine.

I'm planning on doing something like this myself if I run out of projects :)

Oh, you could go watercooled - a cooling system with a double radiator and quiet 120mm fans and pump in a suitable enclosure would run pretty cool and quiet plus you'd have enough cooling capacity to use blocks on the CPU, heatsinked chipsets and GFX (if it uses a fan currently) and reduce case cooling requirements.

Nordic 2nd February 2007 06:37 AM

Some people use rubber mounts for harddrives, I love something else even better.. rubber grommets in stead of screws for mounting the fans.... I imported silent Yate Loon fans... still made a noise, until I isolated them with the grommets.. after that harddrive noise was the main culprit.

Cheap cases are getting better all the time... saw a few sub $30 cases this week even sporting 25cm fans!!!!!

Spasticteapot 4th February 2007 04:14 AM

Strictly speaking, the best solution is to buy a MASSIVE heatsink like the Sunbeam Tuniq, and use a Yate Loon fan with rubber grommets. Add other grommets throughout the case as desired.

Another trick would be to reinforce the case and kill vibration that way. Most cheap cases are a bit flimsy.

Nordic 4th February 2007 07:20 AM


Originally posted by Spasticteapot
Most cheap cases are a bit flimsy.
For throwing down a cliff, yes. Just standing there, no.

Spasticteapot 4th February 2007 01:51 PM


Originally posted by Nordic

For throwing down a cliff, yes. Just standing there, no.

While they're more than adequate in strength, the lack of reinforcement results in vibration.

It's just like a speaker box - the more bracing you have, the less it will resonate.

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