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Cooling Noise: Air and Watercooling

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by O O 7, 8 Feb 2009.

  1. O O 7

    O O 7 What's a Dremel?

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    I'm thinking of getting a new PC to replace my laptop. I will probably buy it within 1 month.

    Here's what I have in mind:

    CPU: Either a corei7 260 or a Q6600 G0 (to be overclocked)
    GPU: 4870X2 (to be OCed)

    If I go air, then I'll get Noctua Heatsink and fan and also replace the PSU fan with a Noctua. So noise from CPU & PSU will be minimal.

    But what about the 4870x2? Will it be very noisy on load? Probably the most noisy piece in the rig? Any good solutions for that?

    If I go WC, I will spend about £250 to £310 on WC parts (including a 4870x2 full cover). I'll be getting a 360 rad + 3 noctua fans on it.

    In this case, I presume that the rig will be near silent with only noctua fans spinning. Probably the most noisy component will be the HDD.

    I was wondering:
    - How noisy is the 4870x2 ? Any good solution?
    - Is it worth spending £300 on WC (when WC and the noctua will both take the corei7 to 4Ghz) ?

    Thanks :D
     
  2. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    A water-cooled rig with a triple rad and 3x 120 fans is not silent... not even close... unless you under-volt the fans that is.
     
  3. O O 7

    O O 7 What's a Dremel?

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    Well the Noctua fans are near silent. I will also be using a fan speed controller. So it will be quiet.

    I'm just not sure what the 4870x2 sounds like!
     
  4. DaveVader

    DaveVader Fast Action Response Team

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    You can get pretty quiet fans and if you wish, use a fan controller aswell and thus, near silence

    the 4870x2 is apparently pretty loud! ATI's stock cooling seems to suck so yes, it may make a lot of noise (this isn't speaking from experience though)
     
  5. O O 7

    O O 7 What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks Dave.

    BTW, how is your Gigabyte EP45 DS3L ?

    I'm considering it if I go for the Q6600.

    Also, can you get *silent* custom cooling for the 4870x2?
     
  6. Diosjenin

    Diosjenin Thinker, Tweaker, Et Cetera

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    You can get waterblocks for it, if you decide to go that route. That'll quiet it down pretty quickly.

    - Diosjenin -
     
  7. DaveVader

    DaveVader Fast Action Response Team

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    Absolute dream, rock solid with plenty of BIOS options, yet not too many to make it daunting, and not too expensive either!
    Definitely recommended!
     
  8. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    Ok.. :) I am speaking from experience however... are you?


    It's not the fans that make the noise, it's the sheer volume of air that 3x 120mm fans suck through your radiator and grille that make the noise. I guess you'll find out soon enough :)


    Despite this, the GPU will undoubtedly be the loudest part of the rig, yes.
     
  9. O O 7

    O O 7 What's a Dremel?

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    As I know (plz correct me if I'm wrong), if the rad is positioned horizontally, you don't need fans, because hot air rises, and cool air will pass over the rad constantly.

    So if 3 noctua fans on their lowest speeds will cause noise (as you mentioned because of the moving air), then I guess I will turn them off when the pc is not on load.

    But I'm wondering whether I should spend about £300 on WC - mainly because of noise from the GFX...
     
  10. Xtrafresh

    Xtrafresh It never hurts to help

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    That'll not be enough air movement mate!

    I'm currently using a Zalman Reserator 1 V2 to keep my q6600 cool. It relies on passive transfer of heat, but i had to add a fan to blow extra air past the reserator to keep temps under 50 degrees idle (!) in the long run... And that is with the Q6600 (3,4 @ 1,26v) alone, with a cooler that is designed to do it this way. You are planning to use a Q6600 or even an I7, and a 4870 to boot.

    The best way for silent computing is to build a properly soundproofed airtunnel to place the rads in, and then regulate the fans as much as you can. Pookeyhead is right though, it's not the fans making the noise, it's the air "wooshing" through the radiators.

    Another great way to combat the noise without compromising performance is using fanducts. Basically, get an old 12cm fan, and tear out the fan so you only have the housing left. Screw that housing on the rad, and the noctuas on top of that, so the turbulent air coming from the fans has some room to stabilise before entering the rad... i hope you got all that :p

    Good luck!
     
  11. O O 7

    O O 7 What's a Dremel?

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    I thought the 3 fans should be installed to blow air AWAY from the rad?

    Also note that my triple rad. will not be inside the case, rather it will be on the top of a cosmos s. See here:

    http://forums.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?t=50100

    So it will be close to cool air.
     
  12. teamtd11

    teamtd11 *Custom User Title*

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    I find my tripple rad keeps my cpu and gpu nice and cool and its very quiet :D
     
  13. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    If your fans are nice and slow, it will be reasonably quiet, but it's all down to how cool you need it to be. How overclocked the system is, and how many components are in the loop.


    If they're blowing air away from the rad, it depends on your definition of away. Pulling air from inside the PC to outside is not a great way of doing it as the air will be warmer inside the case. It's customary to pull colder air from outside the case through the rad. Either way, the same volume of air will be moving through it... the only difference will be the temperature of that air.

    Don't misunderstand me here... it won't be "OMG" noisy.. but a triple rad with three 120 fans will be far from silent.

    Whatever you do, make sure you can adjust the fans, so in everyday use, you can have them just ticking over so it's quiet, but still able to crank it up for benching/gaming etc.

    This becomes more important when you have a GPU in the loop as well, as I found the fans just ticking over wasn't really cutting it, as both CPU and GPU were overclocked in mine.

    Don't let me put you off a triple rad install... as it's a great idea if you have the space, but also don't think you'll have the sort of PC that's quiet enough to hear a pin drop on the other side of the room either :)
     
  14. O O 7

    O O 7 What's a Dremel?

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    Pookeyhead, is your current rig WCooled? What rad. you have and what type of fans? (also on what rpm ?).

    What temps do you get on your rig on idle and load?
     
  15. clownfart

    clownfart Hardware Enthusiast

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    I have a Feser 360 rad with 3 P12s.

    Its not as loud as my Zalman CNPS9700NT, but its a little louder than my U12 with push pull. Though it cools much better, and cools my video cards with reduce the overall noise further. With shrouds and under volting I recon I could get the fans below 20dBA and still keep very low temps.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. legoman666

    legoman666 Beat to fit, paint to match.

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    I have 3 120mm Noctua fans on a 3x120mm rad. The fans are on a PWM fan controller. It's damn quiet with the fans on low. When I have them at full blast, they are audible, but it's the sound of air moving, not whiny fan motors. I'm able to keep my Q6600 G0 @ 1.55V 3.55ghz 24/7 with reasonable temps.

    With the fans on high:
    idle is ~40C, load around ~65-70C

    With the fans on low:
    idle is ~45-50C, never tried 100% on low and don't intend to.
     
  17. redders

    redders What's a Dremel?

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    On a related note I have a rather noob question about fan controllers.

    Can you link all 3 fans on a 120.3 rad to 1 channel in a fan controller?
    Also, lego just mentioned a PWM fan controller, are these better than variable resistance/voltage ones?
     
  18. legoman666

    legoman666 Beat to fit, paint to match.

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    All 3 of my Noctua PF-12's are connected to a single channel on my fan controller. PWM pulses the voltage to the fans. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulse-width_modulation has a few good pictures to explain. PWM controllers can drive much bigger loads using smaller circuitry than a regular resistance/voltage controller. The downside is that some fans don't really like PWM control. My old 120mm Scythe fans didn't. The Noctua fans work great with it.
     
  19. redders

    redders What's a Dremel?

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    Yeah I have come across PWM control before :)

    I've got 3xSharkoon Silent eagle 2000s on the way. Any idea if those are likely to function well using PWM?

    [very conscious I am hijacking a thread :oops:]
     
  20. davidfield375

    davidfield375 Hardware Mods

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    I think water cooled it the way forward, despite this I still believe that to have something properly water-cooled you have to spend a large amount of money. Cooing by way of fans, is by far the cheaper option. The pricing issue wouldn't be so bad if the water cooling system were to work with all future modifications/updates.
     

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