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Cases Difference between a "silent" case and a regular case - how significant?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Zener Diode, 7 Feb 2015.

  1. Zener Diode

    Zener Diode User Title

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    I have a coolermaster HAF 932 and it's quite loud even when it's just idling. Realistically, 99% of the time, my pc isn't doing anything intense so I feel like I'm wasting the cooling potential of the case and putting up with a lot of noise for nothing. Skype calls all pick up the loud droning even though I've set up my mic to mitigate it. Cases like the Fractal Design Define R4 or Nanoxia Deep Silence 1 are supposed to be quiet, but how much quieter are they really? I have 4 hard drives, an evga GTX770 with ACX cooler, a titan fenrir, and a corsair psu, so all of those things will be making noise, and then there are the case fans. I find it hard to believe that a new case will really make a huge difference; is it worth it?
     
  2. Blogins

    Blogins Panda have Guns

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    A well designed case will dampen sound but not eliminate it. For instance, my Fractal R3 has rubber grommets that rest against the HDD so the sound doesn't transmit through the case. Also the sound proofing material certainly muffles the sound from fans but if the fan is spinning fast and noisily it will still be audible. In summary a good case is part of the solution to a silent PC but not the entire solution!
     
  3. CrapBag

    CrapBag Well-Known Member

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    I don't think there is any such thing as a silent case, it's the fans you put in it that matter.

    My daughter had a Haf 912 with 2 200mm fans plus a 120mm fan and it was anything but loud.
     
  4. MSHunter

    MSHunter Well-Known Member

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    Nanoxia Deep Silence fans are whisper quite. When I used on my H80 the loudest thing in my case was my WD red which is a quite HDD to begin with.
     
  5. lilgoth89

    lilgoth89 Captin Calliope

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    any case can be 'silent' simply by removing all the fans ;)

    generally changing ( or slowing ) the fans is the best way to reduce noise

    it is possible to have a 100% silent computer ( IE one that has ZERO ) moving parts
    but generally performance is abit gimped

    the first step would be to acually figure out where the noise is coming from
    usually its one or 2 singular fans ( the GPU is USUALLY a prime suspect ) and slow the fans down ( using MSI afterburner for example )

    if it indeed is the Case fans then cheap resistor cables can be a highly effective way of slowing the fans down to reduce noise
     
  6. elise_s1

    elise_s1 New Member

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    a silent case (as with noise absorbing stuff inside) will help also against noise coming from spinning HDD and DVD/blueray. For the fan(s) most modern BIOSes will provide acceptable control over their speeds
     
  7. Tichinde

    Tichinde Active Member

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    My 932 is awesomely quiet, but only since I put a fan controller in and manually set all the fans to minimum.

    The stock fans are quite loud if left to their own devices.
     
  8. Margo Baggins

    Margo Baggins I'm good at Soldering Super Moderator

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    I have a bequiet silent base 800 and it's significantly quieter than my previous case that had no noise dampening qualities. Every time I turn it on I'm impressed just how much quieter it is.
     
  9. CrapBag

    CrapBag Well-Known Member

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    ..but it had different fans right :)

    Case design can affect flow etc but ulttimately it's the fans that chnage everything.
     
  10. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    This.

    The Deep Silence is incredible for quietness.
     
  11. Zener Diode

    Zener Diode User Title

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    Thanks :D One of the harddrives is a WD caviar black, spinning that one down reduces the overall humm a lot, the other drives don't seem to contribute much. The exhaust fan is effectively silent, turning it off makes no difference. the CPU fan is throttled down as far as it will go and doesn't contribute an awful lot of noise. There are two 230mm (I think?) fans, which I don't think can be throttled very effectively and probably aren't that loud anyway. So I'm starting to suspect the GPU! but the minimum fan speed is 41% even though temps are at 29C right now.
     
  12. Qazax

    Qazax Fap fap fap

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    Drop the speed right down in afterburner/your chosen software to around 20% and see if the noise goes. You won't hurt your card if you don't leave it at that speed.
     
  13. Zener Diode

    Zener Diode User Title

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    evga locked the minimum at 41% :c Apparently it's not possible to go any lower than that
     
  14. Qazax

    Qazax Fap fap fap

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    Only way of getting past that is by extracting your cards BIOS and editing it with NiBiToR and flashing it... I would not recommend doing that as you can really really easily brick your graphics card.

    Alternatively temporarily unplug all fans you can like intake and exhaust and see if that makes much difference. Also while you have it running like that put your ear next to the graphics card and see if you can hear if that fan is the culprit.
     
  15. Zener Diode

    Zener Diode User Title

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    Thanks :) I stopped the fans on the GPU with my fingers for a moment :eek: While they do seem to be making some noise, it was far from quiet when they were stopped. I think it's just the combined effect of all of the fans that's making it loud.

    Two options I'm tossing up, option one is to get a new case. Fractal R4 is the cheaper option for me, Nanoxia DS1 is another option but more expensive. They have minimal amount of case fans, and the case fans are quiet. They have foam and less open meshy parts than the HAF 932. Noise should be lower.

    Option two is to get a fan controller, and possibly swap out some of the existing fans. Problem is that I'm already running the fans at low speed. the exhaust is down to like 550rpm. CPU is 1000rpm but doesn't seem to be making too much noise. GPU won't go any lower. And the 230mm fans, I suspect, won't throttle down very well. I could replace the 230mm's, or at least one of them. Front intake could be replaced with a 120mm noctua. Side fan could potentially be replaced with 2 120mm noctuas. Then I could throttle those right down when I don't need them. But that would cost almost as much as a new case.

    The thing that gets me about the cases is reviews like (referring to fractal r4): "At idle(with the right config) this case is silent, I cant hear it at all, my Sky+ box makes more noise. When my monitors go to sleep I sometimes have to check the computer is still on by checking the LED light on the front"

    But theeen, you read reviews on the HAF 932 (from bit-tech itself): "the HAF 932 was also very quiet indeed – even when stress testing, the loudest thing in the case was the CPU cooler and when we disconnected that, the hard disk drive spinning was still more audible than the noise from the HAF 932’s low RPM cooling fans. Really, we’re not joking here, the HAF was shockingly quiet, and the most you’ll hear is the low rush of air entering and exiting in the case."

    So am I just sensitive or what? xD It's hard to trust reviews when you're sitting beside a computer that sounds like a hairdryer, and reviews are telling you it's shockingly quiet.
     
  16. lilgoth89

    lilgoth89 Captin Calliope

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    well it really depends on where the noise is coming from in the first place

    a good place to start would be to put the computer into the BIOS and manually stop all the fans ( using cable ties ) to check hard drive noise ( keep an eye on temps during this process and dont forget the PSU fan )

    if all the noise is coming from your psu for instance, getting a different case really wont help matters all that much. all the noise will come from the fans and the hard drives, so if you are on a quest for quiet then it can really help finding out the noisiest bits in your PC and sorting them

    QuietPC has a good ( if a little Dated ) series of videos showing the quietening down of a computer and a good place to start
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7YunPxPqE8DHg3UcIdWRVaiSlbwD-6xb

    if its your hard drives that are making the noise, ( more common than you might think ) then upgrading them to a single large drive ( or smaller, quieter 2'5 inch drives ) could be useful
    or better hard drive mounts ( hard drives themselfs are USUALLY quiet, but can transmit vibration noise to the case ) make a world of difference
     
  17. Zener Diode

    Zener Diode User Title

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    Thanks :D I'll have to look into the PSU fan, I've kind of neglected it since it's harder to access. It's a corsair HX750 PSU, but sadly not the new type with the 0rpm fan mode. right now I have an SSD and a WD Green hdd, I unplugged the other hdds. The one remaining WD Green seems quiet.

    I managed to get a custom firmware from evga which is supposed to remove the 41% limit. I'm not sure how much it helped... before, at 41% the fan ran at 1350-1380rpm, after firmware update, at 41% it runs at 1440-1470rpm, but can be reduced to 29% which shows a reading of 1110-1140rpm. It's not noticeably quieter.

    It just seems like, with the HAF 932, it will be really hard to get it to be really quiet. Because the top, front, and one side is largely mesh, any noise that happens in there escapes.

    I need to do something quick before I do something stupid, I'm getting a strong case of gear acquisition syndrome xD Looking at these GTX970s with 0rpm fans.... :D Noooooooooo xD
     
  18. Zener Diode

    Zener Diode User Title

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    So I went with the cheaper option. I got a Noctua NF-P14 FLX for the side intake. I don't know why I needed a Noctua, but it's a 140mm with 120mm mounts which is something I wanted for some reason xD And for the front intake a Corsair SP120 quiet edition, which I'm not really happy with but I've made it work. Pulling air through the grill on the front of the case... it just makes loud humming sound. It's the proximity to the grill that's the problem, once it's separated from it a bit it works fine, but screwed into the mounts it's horrible. And it works fine pushing air through the grill, just not pulling, but it's not really possible to mount it for pushing. So I mounted it on some rubber washers to create a gap and it's quiet now with the low speed adapter, but I think that the airflow is being spoiled somewhat... oh well, system temperatures have not changed, noise has gone down. The rig is still audible and louder than I want it to be, but it's more of a gentle hum now.
     
  19. Deders

    Deders Well-Known Member

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    +1 for the Deep Silence. I can't even tell if it's on or off when I wake up.
     

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