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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All:


___I thought I would touch upon a subject that gets bantered about so often in the HT Computer forum dB output from your HTPC of choice while still maintaining HQ thermal performance is not only possible, it is sometimes less expensive than some of the other cooling solutions so many want to try. Here is just one solution although there are any number of choices to achieve the same goal while not losing the cooling performance you should never ever give away. Again, do not give away your cooling performance with the gimmicks as so many believe is the only way to achieve relative silence from an HTPC build


MB: Asus P4S533 based off the SiS 645DX chipset

CPU: 1.6 GHz Pentium 4 Northwood (1.6A) running at 2.4 GHz on 150 MHz FSB.

SDRAM:

(1) 256 MB DIMM of PC2100 Micron purchased from Crucial

(1) 256 MB DIMM of PC2700 Samsung original on a Samsung PCB

both running at 187 MHz w/ non-aggressive timings.

VC: ATI Radeon 7200 w/ passive HS

SC: M-Audio AP2496

DScaler capture: Hauppauge WinTV-Radio 401

Hi-Def card: HiPix DTV200

HD: 80 GB Seagate Barracuda ATA IV

CD/DVD-ROM: Pioneer 106S w/ Pioneers silent DVD playback utility installed and enabled

Non-modded/Off the shelf low dB output Cooling solutions.


Case: Chenming - Antec 1030B MT clone in true black

Front lower Case fan: (1) PC Power&Cooling Silencer

Rear upper Case fan: (1) PC Power&Cooling Silencer

PS: Zalman 300

CPU F/HS: Alpha PAL 8942 w/ Panasonic Panaflow L1A.



___As you can see from the attached jpg below, case temps are low, CPU temps are relatively low for a 100% loaded CPU at that amount of OC, and it works fantastic.


___This can be duplicated with any number of fan, case, modded F/HS, sound deadening material application, and even water cooling solutions. I did not even apply any felt sound deadeners to the above and it is eerily silent for the average HTPCers use. As a few more examples, replace a lousy performing GPU F/HS such as those found on most retail Radeons by removing the fan power for the std. Radeons up through the 7200s equipped with them. You can also go a passive w/ a Zalman copper finned GPU HS all the way up to a lower clocked 7500. I cannot vouch for absolute stability at retail clocks and heavy gaming use in a passive format however. For those that need a quiet forced cooling solution because of higher clocks, a ThermalTake Crystal Orb can be modded for just 5-V operation and can cool the Radeon 8500s or GeForce 2s/3s without much trouble at all. Not 7-V but 5-V for those listening. 5 minute operation tops since I just did another 2 yesterday. If you are running a board with a cheap chipset F/HS (most of them are poor performers and are also quite loud in comparison to everything else listed), you can usually remove the fan but for that little bit extra, you can install any number of large aluminum passive HSs or mod an older Intel Retail CPU F/HS to attach to the Northbridge chip directly. The 1.7 GHz AMD T-Bird my youngest uses are running some of the same tricks with the same quiet yet cool results



___Good Luck


___Wayne R. Gerdes

___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.

___ [email protected]
 

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Lovely indeed. xcel, a quick question regarding HSF combos, if I may:


for a 1.4 Athlon T-bird (non XP, the original version), are any of these sufficient?


Zalman flower (gold or whatever version) running in "silent" mode

Silverado at 6V (I have mine currently at 8 volts)

Alpha 8045 with a PC Power&Cooling Silencer, a Panasonic L1A, or a Pabst 1,500 rpm fan?


and which would be the quietest?


Thanks,


Alleria
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Mane3215:


___This is one of my main HTPC’s … I have posted similar yet even better numbers with the Celeron III-1.0A at 1.342 GHz on a TUSL2 w/ the Dynatron/funnel/Sunon CPU F/HS and the same except for Silencer on the [email protected] on my older CUSL2.


___Alleria: Skip the Zalman Flower and Silverado … For my son’s [email protected] GHz (original as well), I am using an Alpha PAL8045 w/ a Sunon KD1208PTS3. Same case as above with (2) 7-Volt modded Antec case fans in both upper and lower hard rear mounts and a PTB4 in the lower front mount. Similar temps although I am pushing 117 – 120 degrees F under the DIE on a Soyo Dragon + using that OC’ed heater of a chip named T-Bird ;) I have a non-modded Antec PP303-XP installed for his PSU and am using a 5-V modded Crystal Orb for the GPU F/HS on his GeForce2 GTS. The Northbridge is cooled passively with a modded Intel Retail HS (w/out fan) attached.


___You can cool with either a Silencer or Papst 8412NGL on the Alpha PAL8045 but for even higher frequency T-Birds, they need a little more air flow across the Alpha’s. 50 degrees C is my upper limit although there are many that will run higher than this. The Panaflow L1A or a Sunon KD1208PTB4 are very good choices for a bit more airflow without any noticeable dB increase and at a stock 1.4 GHz, you can get by with just about any HQ low RPM case fan including Silencer and 8412NGL.


___Good Luck


___Wayne R. Gerdes

___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.

___ [email protected]
 

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xcel,


I am running a 1.8P4 Northwind, Radeon 8500DV, two harddrives, CD-R, DVD, Zip drive, floppy drive and multiple USBs. When I built the system, the local computer store said I need a 400 watt power supply to run the system. I use the system for gaming as well as HTPC.


Two questions: First, are there quiet 400 watt power supplies out there? Second, do you think I really need 400 watts, or will the 300 watt Zalman do the job.
 

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I'm currently using a generic (and unfortunately noisy) 300w PSU with my HCPC. It consists of:


P4 1.6 Williamette

Intel D850MV board

256mb RIMM memory

ATI Radeon 64DDR VIVO

M-Audio Delta410 soundcard

Hauppauge TV tuner card

3com NIC with onboard processor

1x4gb HDD 1x30gb HDD

1x floppy

1x DVD drive

1x CPU fan, 2x Case fans (both 24v papst's running at 12v = V. Quiet)

1x USB phonecharger


How does it run? Faultlessly. I would doubt you need a 400w as you're not running *that* much more. A decent quality 300W PSU would probably do. Maybe you should go for a 350 or 400w one to keep plenty of 'reserve' though. There are quiet PSU's but they command a premium price.
 

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I am able to maintain about the same temperatures using only one fan on the PSU coupled with a Zalman, which are apparently not terribly efficient. I'm running the PIII tualatin 1.2gHz. They are great chips manufactured on the.13µ process, and it does not take much to keep them cool. See posted pix below.


The fan runs at 1/2 speed and is silent from a few feet away.


Granted I'm not using a standard PC box But why would you want a PC by your audio rack anyhow?


It's too bad that dScaler and such are not yet ported to Unix/OS X since apple has had their iMac's and cubes running silently for a while now.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by alleria
......Alpha 8045 with a PC Power&Cooling Silencer, a Panasonic L1A, or a Pabst 1,500 rpm fan?


and which would be the quietest?


Thanks,


Alleria
Just in-case you're not familiar with the Papst fans, the models which have speed sensing to connect into your motherboard header are either the 8412 N/2GL (1500 RPM) or 8412 N/2GML (2050 RPM - the /2 signifies pulse sensor type - see Papsts downloadable 11 Mb catalogue). If you just use an 8412 NGL (or other no-sensor type), you won't be able to plug it into your motherboard and have it's speed monitored (sensing is handy to prevent parts frying should the fan seize or stop working). Forget about using inline resistors to slow down the fan, anything below 1500 RPM won't cool an original Athlon enough in my opinion - better just to choose the correct speed fan in the first place. Both of these items give excellent noise:flow characteristics, they're not the cheapest but I think they're the best.
 

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Hi Xcel,


Where can I download the Pioneer silent utility? I can't find it in www.pioneerelectronics.com. I have a noisy SCSI slot load DVD rom driver.


Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi SCM:


___A 1.8 GHz Northwood outputs just a hair under 50W at stock clocks which is easily handled by a Zalman. The rest of the HW is not going to be running at maximum power all at the same time either so a HQ 300 W PSU will suffice. This Zalman was running my son’s 1.7 GHz T-Bird (maybe 75 – 80 W) for quite some time along with a CD-RW/CD/DVD-ROM/HiPix/GeForce2 GTS without a problem … As for a quiet 400, I do not know about the latest but the older ones as well as latest can still be modded for a very quiet addition to your HTPC. I am still waiting for someone that knows what a silenced PSU sounds like to do a review of the latest TruePower Antec’s and their Low Noise technology … You can read about them here but I am not wasting $50.00 on an Antec TruePower 330/380/430 or higher myself until some one else has done so first ;)


___Jl_moped, no I have not. The problem I have seen with all the various fans I have used is that the fan spec’s are exaggerated somewhat. Remember the Papst 8412NGL? At a rated 12 dB, they have got to be kidding me … Its quiet but it is not 9 dB below that of a 21 dB Panasonic Panaflow and it does not have nearly the discharge pressure at 0 load either. Take the spec’s for what they are worth and just purchase one and see for yourself ;) I will also tell you that many MB sensing pins drop out at ~ 1800 – 2100 RPM making the onboard monitoring all but useless for quite a few of these low RPM case fans we attach nowadays. I have seen this on Asus, Abit, MSI, and Soyo boards using various chipsets.


___Videoguru, the Tualatin has been discussed to death here in this forum. Just do a search on the little animal under my sig for all the reasons why I still believe these chips are one of the best choices for an HTPC today. Darn things can be cooled passively without any ducting or forced draft whatsoever at up to ~ 700 MHz with a HQ copper or copper/aluminum combo sink attached! As for the Mac’s … You can silence an IBM-PC clone to those levels as well with an underclocked Tualatin but DScaler would not run properly under all the various algorithms on an I-MAC given its lowly performance vs. the G3’s and 4’s. The item of note is when you listen to a ducted Dell with a 2.4 GHz P4 installed. The 92 mm buried case fan in them can cool the HW installed – the PSU’s own quiet fan at a level you really have to hear to believe. This is what this thread was all about. To achieve close to same level of dB output with std. off-the shelf HW and not lose any thermal performance in the process. The Dell’s thermal performance is probably very poor but there was no way for me to measure it given the onboard monitoring chips would not let me probe the internal CPU core temps anyways.


___Flying Kiwi: No doubt the Papst fans are the best of the bunch because of the quality build but add 4 of them to your own HTPC. You are looking at $80.00 + just for the fans for most and the lower RPM rated ones do not have the output needed to keep your thermal performance at a level I find acceptable. Even a 2 wire to 3 pin Panaflow can be picked up in 20-lots for just $25.00 + shipping nowadays. Is the Papst worth it? Again, you get a balanced fan with a HQ sleeve bearing for the real quiet ones out of the box but it takes the second generation you described to achieve the dB, flow, and monitoring needed to cool a T-Bird at high frequency. Guess what you lose when you hit the ~ 2000 + RPM barrier with one? The same dB output as a Panaflow but the Panaflow is for all intents and purposes 1/10th the price. As for monitoring, I have built a ton of boards that cannot see

___CKL, if you own a Pioneer 106S, this should take care of your needs ;)


___And to add a bit more to the thread … I have used Fiberglass, foam, felt, and even various types of rubber matting but nothing compares to the sound deadening capabilities of the foam used in those acoustically silent rooms found in universities and govt. labs? Here is a small pic:

http://www.4beacon.com/images/tilepic.jpg


___This stuff is about the best going and can really do a number on dB output although it takes a while to install in all the cracks and crevices… You can find it reasonably priced at Beacon Direct on their Acoustic Foam ordering page. You have got to love the Anandtech’ers for finding this stuff at a somewhat reasonable price …


___Finally, quiet cooling in this thread was done using an OC’ed P4 punching out 60 + W in probably the best designed (minimal air flow restriction although it is rather bulky) case available to us today. The Chenming 1030 style cloned cases are designed out of the box for quiet case fans to move outside air across the HW and out again with an unimpeded shot across the cards/through the case. The problem arises in the miniscule but good looking HTPC DT cases we are all still looking for. I believe in this instance in particular, the Tualatin based CPU’s with the silent cooling solutions are most appropriate. Anyone that has placed a T-Bird or a HiPix in these thermally challenged DT cases available to us today knows exactly what I am talking about. If the case manufacturers would only listen to us end users for 10 minutes, we would have better overall setups than anything we can purchase today. I can see improvements even in the 1030 clones by burying the fans in maybe 3†(the fan cages are already in a an ~ 3†deep metal enclosure!) from the outer edges (both front and rear) as well as using maybe just (2) low RPM 92x92 mm case fans instead of (4) 80x80’s in the case of the MT’s. In a DT ATX 2.x form factor, the same buried 92x92 mm intake/exhausts with angled and slatted openings in the front for low air flow impedance as well as the buried 92 mm in the rear and a 92x92 mm low RPM equipped PSU fan as well. I can always hope, can’t I ;)


___Good Luck to you all.


___Wayne R. Gerdes

___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.

___ [email protected]
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by xcel



___Flying Kiwi: No doubt the Papst fans are the best of the bunch because of the quality build but add 4 of them to your own HTPC. You are looking at $80.00 + just for the fans for most and the lower RPM rated ones do not have the output needed to keep your thermal performance at a level I find acceptable. Even a 2 wire to 3 pin Panaflow can be picked up in 20-lots for just $25.00 + shipping nowadays. Is the Papst worth it? Again, you get a balanced fan with a HQ sleeve bearing for the real quiet ones out of the box but it takes the second generation you described to achieve the dB, flow, and monitoring needed to cool a T-Bird at high frequency. Guess what you lose when you hit the ~ 2000 + RPM barrier with one? The same dB output as a Panaflow but the Panaflow is for all intents and purposes 1/10th the price. As for monitoring, I have built a ton of boards that cannot see
Wow they cost that much over in the US.... no wonder you're looking at the Panaflows instead, I would too at 1/10th the price. Here in the UK the Panaflows are slightly cheaper but nowhere near that much cheaper. I have 1500 RPM Papst case fans working off my Tyan Motherboard (a rev 2 S2460) and the BIOS detects the speeds fine - Tyans monitoring software doesn't go down that low yet though. As you say, it will just be a matter of time before they realise that people want that capability. I've already emailed Tyan about it so hopefully they'll fix it in the next version. Anyone considering doing the low speed fan thing can email the board manufacturer and find out the minimum monitored RPM - no guarantees they'll get a knowledgable reply though.
 

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Thanks Xcel for the link. My DVD rom is not 106s but the utility works. I think every Pioneer DVD rom user should try this program.


After setting the DVD rom to be quiet mode, it shows the speed to be 2.03X. It is quieter than before but still noisier than my 6x Panasonic DVD rom (tray loading). I guess slot loading is noisier than tray loading because the noise comes out from the slot.
 
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