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Old 4th April 2004, 11:58 AM   #1
Thomas is offline Thomas  Denmark
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How many of you are bothered by your computer making a lot of noise? Have you tried to install 'noiseless' fans and mounted your harddrive suspended in rubber bands? Did it help? - Probably, but not enough? This is a great problem, particular for those of us living in the same room as the computer (dorm rooms etc.) and for those of us who want to listen to some quiet music while the computer is on. Not to mention, using the computer as a jukebox.

For quite a while i have sourght to solve this problem. I live in a dorm room, use my computer to play music, use my computer to run a server and have to sleep less than three meters from it. So, after about a half year or more tinkering with various solutions, i finaly came up with this idea.

From the beginning, it was clear to me the right way would be watercooling. The basic watercooling system is easy to install, and will not be described in detail here. They can be bourght realatively cheap. A basic watercooling system will do a lot to the noise. It will remove the need for a CPU fan and probably also a cabinet fan, if the system has a radiator external to the cabinet. But, it will also introduce some noise. A small waterpump will make a little noise. Also, the radiators used in commercial (and most homebuildt) watercooling systems are the heater matrix from a car, requireing a fan to remove the heat (fin spacing to narrow for natural convection).

So, we are still left with quite a few problems to solve:

- Noise from PSU fan
- Noise from harddisks
- Noise from water pump
- Finding a suitable radiator that don't require a fan

Descriotion of my system:

To begin with I bourght a lot of the basic stuff for the system and got it running with no problems at all. A good homebuildt system are described in great detail here: http://www.webx.dk/oz2cpu/homemade-pc-main.htm

My own system are:

- Waterpump. I use the Eheim 300l/h pump almost nomenclature in watercooling. The pump is dampened.(See picture posts below)
- CPU waterblock. I did'nt build my own, but got th one from Asetek Waterchill instead.
- Harddisks. I build the watercooler for harddisks, as described in part 1 in the link above. This alows the harddisks to be totaly insulated from their suroundings, without going warm. More about this later.
- PSU Modified the same way as in part 2. Only difference my water runs un a 'U' instead of straigt thrugh.
- Radiator was sourced at the local scrapyard for less than 15$. I think it was part of a large industrial aircondition system as there was mounted gas valves and a thermostat at the mountings. The fins are spaced at 1.5 cm and should be exelent for natural convection without a fan. I got three bars of 2x2x50 cm aluminum stok included in the same deal.

I will follow with a series of picture posts with some description of each component. First however, I will describe the performance of the system. Two things must be said here: Noise and temperature.

The noise is hardly notisable. The only "mechanicly active" components are harddisks and the pump. The harddisks are so well dampened, you can't hear them at all! Not even when windows is booting and making a lot of rattle. The pump is also very quiet, sounding something like a small transformer. Tucked away in the corner, I'm not hearing anything. The faint "flickering" noise from the 20" monitor is the only thing I hear from my computer now.

As for temperature: The CPU runs between 38 to 41 deg C depending on load. The harddisks are about 30-35 depending on load. Water temperature is about 30 and ambient temperature is 22 deg C. All temperatures are taken from Speedfan 4.11, exept water and ambient temperature, which were taken by thermometer. An ambient rise of only 8 deg C and harddisks runs only 5 deg over that under load and CPU core about 10 deg C over. - I'm happy with that.

Now for the pictures:
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Old 4th April 2004, 11:59 AM   #2
Thomas is offline Thomas  Denmark
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Here is a picture of the CPU waterblock. Nothing special here.
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File Type: jpg cpu.jpg (59.6 KB, 131 views)
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Old 4th April 2004, 12:02 PM   #3
Thomas is offline Thomas  Denmark
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Here is a picture of the powersuply. No noise here.
Edit: The PSU is on and the fan is unplugged.
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Old 4th April 2004, 12:11 PM   #4
Thomas is offline Thomas  Denmark
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Here's a picture of the two harddisks. They reside in a aluminum casing filled with grey acrylic mass (7 tubes of it to be exact). This makes the whole case so heavy, none of the high frequent noise gets thrugh. If I put my ear next to the case, I can just hear they are running. The harddisk are protected inside a plasic bag. The advantage is, that acrylic mass never cures except for a few mm.'s so it will be possible to remove the harddisks again.
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Old 4th April 2004, 12:13 PM   #5
Thomas is offline Thomas  Denmark
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Inside this box is the pump. It is dampened the same way as the harddisks.
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Old 4th April 2004, 12:21 PM   #6
Thomas is offline Thomas  Denmark
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Last one:

Here's the picture of the radiator and the 'cola' water reservoir. Ofcourse the radiator needs to be cleaned and have straigtned a few bruces and dents, the hoses sorted out and shortened and i may change the reservoir to something more 'prof' looking. But, this is basicly the system as it will be.
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