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May 2nd, 2012, 15:10
I cannot stand the noise either! Over a period of years I've almost become obsessive about it. But I just cannot stand the noise.

But I have finally managed to build a quiet, but well ventilated computer.

The noise basically comes from the fans. But a computer needs fans. Or the parts in the computer will die an early death (CPU, GPU, Power Supply, Hard Drives, and motherboard).

Temperature is a killer. Throughout industries of numerous types, manufacturers subject products to simulated extended aging testing because you can't test a product to 10 years of use to verify a 10 year lifetime. The primary rule in extended aging testing is test product at increased temperature. Every 10 degrees Celsius temp increase is the same as doubling the testing period time (because of rule of chemical thermodynamics that increasing reaction temp by 10 degrees C will double the reaction rate).

Which is to say, every temperature increase of 10 degrees C within your computer case will essentially cut the lifetime of everything in the case by 50%. So you've got to have fans.

So, I finally found fans that are incredibly quiet and move lots of air. I've got 6 fans on and in my computer (5 X 120 mm fans, and 1 X 140 mm fan) and there is almost no noise.

The quiet fans are Cougar Vortex Fans. They're not cheap, but you can get pretty good deals on them at NewEgg if you wait for some sort of sale.

The Cougar fans have three great things going for them: first, they use a "hydro-dynamic-bearing". It is illustrated on the link page above. Basically there is no solid-to-solid contact between rotating parts in the fan motor. You have a cylinder within a sleeve, and a sealed layer of oil between cylinder and the sleeve.

Second, the Cougar fans have specially shaped and surface textured fan blades that greatly decrease noise from air moving across the blades.

Third, and this is really important, the Cougar fans come with special rubber mounting pins (to replace the metal screws). The fans ship with both the screws and the rubber pins, but mounting with the rubber pins decreases the noise to almost nothing.

Here's a link that shows what these rubber fan pins look like. It's a little hard to figure out how they work. But basically you pull the pins through the four fan holes, from inside to outside, so that the fan exterior ends up with the long stems of four rubber pins extending outwardly from the mounting surface. Then you guide the the pins through the computer case mounting holes; pull each stem through the mounting hole so that a wide rubber bump on the stem is pulled through the mounting hole; and that holds the fan. The fan surface doesn't touch the computer case surface; and there's a small portion of the rubber pin between the two surfaces. All fan vibrations are thereby isolated from the computer case.

For CPU cooling I used a COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO, that I modified by replacing the Cooler Master fan with a Cougar fan (and I added a second Cougar fan, to give better push-pull cooling). This thing cools basically as well as water cooling with no noise.

Two of my fans are not Cougar fans. They came with the case (a Rosewill Case with lots of fan mount and ventilation areas). In order to make the two fans perform quietly, I replaced the metal fan screws with rubber mounting pins.

I cannot over-emphasize that fan noise drives me crazy! Over the years, I've tried all sorts of stuff including lining the entire computer case with a cork liner (it didn't do much except make a big mess and increase heat within the case). But although I have a hard time living with the fans, I also had to recognize that the computer can't live for long without them. The above gave me the quiet solution I have sought basically forever. Hope this helps.
Last edited by RPGFool; May 2nd, 2012 at 15:39.
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