Sound Insulation for my Computer!?

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hi all,
I bought a new computer recently, but it came with 3 fans! -- and the fan noise is driving me a little nutty. I replaced a nice Dell, that was whisper quiet [2 fans I think].
I need some ideas for sound insulation material that I can attach to the sides, or wrap around it. I've got to try something.
Looking on the www, "open cell foam" insulation might be worth trying. I don't think a little more heat generation will hurt it, although I would monitor it. Any ideas?
thanks marc
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depending upon the machine and what's in it, you may require the installed fans. You could try disconnecting one of the case fans to see if it lessens the noise, and doesn't raise the temps to much. My guess would be that the noisiest fan is the one on the processor, especially if it's a stock Intel processor. You can go to www.newegg.com and find an aftermarket cooler for the processor that is much quieter, just read the reviews. You will however have to be somewhat comfortable working in the box, on the motherboard.
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On 1/15/2010 4:32 PM, marco polo wrote:

case on a sheet of 1" thick foam rubber eliminated almost all of the noise. I realized that I was hearing transmitted vibration and not actual fan or air noise. Whatever you do, make sure that you don't obstruct the intake and output vents on the case.
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marco polo wrote:

a fabric store. I cut pieces to fit inside both side covers, leaving any vents uncovered, attach with double- sided tape. Also a piece laying on the bottom of the case, and taped to the inside top cover when possible. Seems to help.
Bigger help is to experiment with whether you need all the case fans and whether they need to run at full speed. I make adapters that plug into power supply accessory leads and connect the (12 V) fan between the +12 and +5 wires, resulting in the fan operating at 12-5=7 volts; slower and nearly silent. You need to experiment a bit.
I added a fan speed controller to the (Intel) CPU fan on one box and lowered its speed. Was really noisy at full speed. That was a 2.8GHz single-core P4, running really hot in the olden days. I think the multi-core CPUs of today don't need so much fan.
Bryce
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Bryce wrote:

Slowing down the external fans as described helps some. A program like SpeedFan which watches the processor temp, and slows down the processor fan when when the temp is low can help even more. If the processor fan runs full speed all the time currently, this may make the difference you need.
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My ddaughters desk has a compartment for her computer. I line the inside of it with acustical ceilng tile. This helped a lot. Be careful not to block ventilation.
Jimmie
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lol That's what I used to use, but I found that it still does more reflecting than absorbing to satisfy me.
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I tried several different things to solve this problem for myself. I finally settled on one that works great, at least for me.
I built a small rectangular frame out of 2x3s for each side. I then stapled a cutout of wool blanket to seal one side. Next, I packed the cavity with as much cellulose insulation as I could cram into it. I then stapled the other side closed with another layer of wool blanket material.
I made 3 of these panels. The front side and left side of the computer are completely enclosed, but the right side leaves about a 5 inch gap to allow for air flow. This is all right up against the wall, so the left panel touches the wall. The top is open to allow for air flow.
The density of the compacted insulation absorbs most of the sound, which make a *big* difference.
Also, I would avoid anything like open-cell foam. That stuff's a little too flamable to be used near electrical equipment IMO.
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Take a look at this web site; they've got lots of stuff for quieting down a PC http://www.svc.com/quietpc.html
marco polo wrote:

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On Fri, 15 Jan 2010 13:32:53 -0800 (PST), marco polo

If you're going to to do anything like disconnect or change the voltage on a fan, you ought to put some temperature monitoring software in your computer. I'm pretty sure there is freeware available for almost all PCs now. Possibly this:
Asus Probe II http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/System-Info/ASUS-PC-Probe.shtml
This may work on non-Asus motherboards. I only have Asus so I can't test it. It really works well for me, giving the temp of the mobo and the cpu, and even keeping a history of them. Etc. It doesn't monitor the power supply in my case, because the power supply isn't set up for that. It's very versatile.
This webapage has 3 things. Asus Probe and two others less likely to be of any help if you don't have Asus. http://www.softpedia.com/progMoreBy/Publisher-Asus-38673.html
This one has 3 programs. AsusProbe, and Smart Doctor that is supposed the same sort of thing, I think, for the fan on video card (at least for ASUS ATI Series Graphics Cards and ASUS NVIDIA Series Graphics Cards, but I'm not sure (but not for ATI RADEON LE and SE)) It installed okay but didn't run on my XP installation. Said "Fail to load dlls! But my video card doesn't even have a fan, so I guess it doesn't matter much. The Help works and it's mostly for games. I don't play games either.
The help says "ASUS SmartDoctor is a powerful utility designed for three major goals. Overclocking, monitoring and cooling"
Program 3 is to update the mobo bios. If one is so inclinded.
All are freeware.
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More tips (some a bit dated) at: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9800E4D61030F930A15751C1A9629C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all
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marco polo wrote:

and you will find many fan options. I had a noisy CPU fan and replaced it with a real quiet one. Prior, it was driving us nuts. You could hear it in any room of the house. Now you can hear the quieter fans, but they are quiet enough to ignore.
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marco polo wrote:

Earplugs?
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you can quiet your computer then deal with it breaking from overheating.
noisier fans tend to move more air and extend life of computer and hard drives
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False.
Larger diameter fans can move the same amount of air at lower RPMs, resulting in less noise.
One of the most important factors in choosing a quiet fan is avoiding ones with a small diameter, which must be run at higher RPMs to move any respectable amount of air.
I have 7 large diameter fans in my PC. Combined, they make far less noise than my hard drives do. The only fan that I can hear is the smaller stock-fan that came with my graphics card.
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On Sat, 16 Jan 2010 21:53:16 +0000 (UTC), ShadowTek

I used the 120mm fans and slowed them down. That helps a lot. Also replaced the northbridge fan with a passive heat sink. There are superquiet CPU fans, although expect to pay more.
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Actually, the stock fan that came with my Core Duo E7500 is very quite, even at full speed, but the retention mechanism is a pitiful joke, so I wouldn't recommend using it.
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Insulation won't help if you keep the ventilation properly open. The noise is generated by low quality fans and coolers in the computer. Google "silent computer fans" and you will find a whole new market of computer silencer equipment. My son builds computers and cannot stand any noise. He uses silent coolers and fans in his computers but most commercial computers are noisy, which is why he won't use them.
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The design I posted earlier works well and doesn't impair ventilation. That's mainly because I leave the top open, and I have a 23cm fan in the top of my case venting up. All intake comes from the gap left in the rear of one of the side panels, and that's the panel that faces away from where I sit.
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On Fri, 15 Jan 2010 13:32:53 -0800 (PST), marco polo

Be like me. I have a noise like a fan in my right ear all the time.
So I don't even hear the computer.
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