10 ноября 2005 в 18:00

Silent cooling system in theory and practice

Computer user constantly struggles with noise. Anyhow, in unequal battle with a wind everyone practically loses, but there are some ways, allow to make a system block more silent. So, in this review we will try to give you some advises - what should you do with your PC to spare your nervous system.

Powerful PCs and other electronic equipment cause a constant noise disturbance in many offices. This noise pollution gets on nerves. Faster and more powerful PCs produced a significant amount of noise so, in the end of 90th years users faced with a sharp problem of noise. Loud background noise has a significant effect on the work productivity – a serious issue impacting on concentration, increased stress levels in a workplace - were the main reasons to begin using of fans. Firstly, fan placed on radiator of processor - was called "cooler". Then, small fans were also used on chipsets of motherboards. Everything was in such way. Evidently, such set of fans in case made enough noise. The peak of struggle against an irritable noise has fallen to the end of 2004 when the companies-manufacturers of cases has rushed on solving it. As a result - a huge amount of  "noise problem" solutions! Some of them are relevant even now. So, we go on...

Enemy! Who is he?


Root of all evil

Enemy is evident - a stream of air, but for a long time there was no any efficient idea how to cope with it. I shall remind, that an idea to make a silent  "box" was realized to an extreme  - by the acoustic cotton wool, which was used as an internal surface of the case. Yes, they have got a desirable effect, but after came a need of  very qualitative ventilation, which depends completely on fans. Is necessary to explain, that such sound insulation maximum reduced the noise of the fan on the processor and a videocard.  But PC was still not ultra-quiet and can also reduce the quality of your entertainment and gaming experience.

You want to reduce or even to avoid noise at all? Ok, but for this your should notice the main conditions at which it will be impossible to do. We shall list them:

  • close and small case;
  • not enough perforation;
  • dusty room (a carpet on the floor);

First point from this list above can be easy realized (read our reviews – about a great variety of correct cases in the market), but as for the rest – there can be problems.The 80mm fan makes twice loud noise than 120mm one. Also dirty fan rotates more slowly and soon can produce a very squeal sound.


Dusty TreeTop Alien. Two days of work!

Formerly, fans were lubricated, but now you will not find such type of fan as they were. So, the right way - to change … Most opened to injury coolers are on videocard and just this place people always forget to clean up, although to blow interiors of the case by compressed air or by special vacuum cleaner is more than enough. For sure you do not have such a special vacuum cleaner. Quite often we meet loudly roaring computers at which a cooler on a videocard can jam in any moment; in the rest everything is normal.

Cleaning of a carpet can be eternal, you can do it daily and weekly, but it will stay the same and the only what you can get will be a constant static charge on your slippers. Dust will become your constant friend! So, our advice – try to escape of carpets in the room where is your working place, where you have a computer and electronic technics.

Cooling system can be quiet!


Expensive and Quiet

People who tried somehow to resist a noise from system block outnumber of those who gave up at once. Mostly people bought device after device aspiring for better, however PC calmed down for a short time.

Whereby, first of all it is necessary to choose a big and spacious case for your computer.  Please read a review «What case to choose» - and choose the right one. After the model is chosen, you need to estimate the sizes of disaster, because a big system block will borrow lot of place in your apartment. Be convinced, that in the case it is possible to place 120 mm fans and if you plan to put  PC on a floor, look, is there a grid in front of the fan - the bottom part, forward panel of the case.

Two years ago we have got a system block Chieftec Dragon for testing in our laboratory. We have equipped it with the set of Titan coolers and have started - resembled a mini airdrome on a table, as for the system block it seemed to rise up and fly away in any moment. Coolers were absolutely new! So, make your own conclusions. Thus, we deduce a first rule for silent cooling - use only 120 mm fans.

Secondly, after fans, an optical drive and HDD can also make a noise. Though HDD are not so loud in work than modern optical drives, which are still well known for noise. Unfortunately, to cope with such misfortune you can only by means of a case with a door. But we can sat, that such decision is not super - a noise from twisted CD only muffles a little. As for other drives they do not rustle practically, but for this you need to pay, price is high, so for somebody such way of struggle against a rumble CD’s – does not give a best fit!  Second rule for silent cooling - use only expensive and qualitative periphery. This rule is strict, because not all users can pay for a DVDRW-drive about one hundred dollars. Nevertheless, we all should aspire to it – a result will surely surpass all your expectations.

Lastly, one more fan which is located in the PSU. The most of problems are just with it. PSU can be expensive and at the same time has a cheap and noisy fan. Replace it or not – it’s up to you! From our side, we can advise you an original solutions from FSP company(«Testing of PSU 'ZEN' from FSP»).
Probably, you know that cooling of PSU is realized exclusively by means of radiators.



Thus, the fan is closed completely - allows to avoid noise.

By the way, any processor or videocard can be also cooled not merely by fans. Think over all possible consequences in advance of the experiments. For example, top chips and processors are necessary to cool actively so, we shall not manage here without a fan. For simple and out-of-date products – a usual radiator will be enough. Well-known Zalman company regularly launches into the market interesting coolers with a low speed or even without it at all. Majority of motherboards come without fans, though some time back on some Abit boards has been established a small and noisy cooler.


Cooler on Abit motherboard

Here we come, a third rule for silent system - use of radiators with large dimensions. In this case you relieve yourselves of fans and as a consequence sharply reduce a noise level. Attention! Such actions can damage your computer – you should realize our advices without fanaticism or otherwise you will get some problems in the future.

Save from overheat

When everything is chosen and bought, comes a final - to collect all. Do not forget some simple laws of physics and to place fans and internal periphery due to them. So, for example, the bottom fan should absorb an air and a top one - only sniff. These two fans should be the biggest in the whole system, because they form the basic air stream through a system block. Next, all other small fans should also absorb, because their main function is to cool HDD or radiator on a motherboard. Finally, you can get an extremely efficiency from a purchase and installation  of "reobas" for regulation of rotation speed of all coolers in a system. We can recommend you any from CoolerMaster Aerogate. For making the process of cleaning more easier in the future, from any dust in your PC, please keep all loops inside the system block in order - accurately intercept by kapron all couplers.  And the last – once a year blow the system block from a dust, brush away a dirt from fan’s blades and never forget about a videocard - here dust amass first of all.


Of course, there is no need to follow all our advices. Creation of excellent and absolutely silent cases, even with the use of fans, continues and in this case a topic is very interesting, there are many aspects which deserve to be discussed over. How to create such type of system blocks, we shall review next, because the necessity to have a close look to this eternal problem of cooling will be exist always!

Автор: Ivan Volin