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Unread 11-28-2005, 01:22 PM   #1
pdf27
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Default Silent, watercooled TJ-06

I may as well take the opportunity to start a forum off - it isn't going to come around very often . I know this is a slightly spammy post in that I'm advertising what I built, but the subforum has to start somewhere...

Below are some photos of my new PC, Dust Puppy. It's named after a character in the Userfriendly cartoon strip (my previous PC was named Erwin after another character). One or two of you may have seen them over at SPCR, where I've already posted them.











System is an A8N-SLI running an A64 3000+, 1GB RAM, Samsung P120 HDD (suspended in the wooden apparatus at the top of the case, with a 120mm fan blowing over it), Seasonic S12, dual DVD +/- RW drives, XFX 6600GT.
Water system is Thermochill PA.160, Sunon A2123 240v fan @ 115v, 1/2" Tygon with 5/8" barbs on as many things as I could fit them to, Eheim 1048, DDen Maze 4 GPU, Little River Storm G4 & DDen Bayres. The second Sunon A2123 240v fan @115v is sucking air from the motherboard compartment, blowing it over the hard disk and then leaving it to exit through the power supply. I was originally going to disconnect the power supply fan and rely on this for cooling, but as the power supply fan never ramps up and the accoustics are totally acceptable it isn't worth invalidating the guarantee for this. I might try in a few years however to see if I can hear the difference. The entire case is lined with Accoustipack.

I'm pretty sure the 6600GT was damaged during the installation process, but by and large it still works (gives me pink spots onscreen sometimes but otherwise OK).

Accoustics are pretty good - close to white noise with no noticeable pure tones and virtually no HDD seek noise. It isn't as inaudible as I was aiming for (i.e. not drowned out by my internal organs!) but is pretty good and substantially better than my previous PC (92mm Papst @ 7v + Barracuda IV).

This was both my first watercooled system and my first PC build, which explains the mistakes I made during build to damage the graphics card. It still has the odd problem (pink spots on screen sometimes, and Rome: Total War crashes a lot) but I think they are down to mechanical damage I did to the video card when putting the jubilee clip hose clamps on the block.

Constructive criticism as always welcome, but (heresy though it may be to say it) I'm perfectly happy with the temps I've got and so am unlikely to change the water cooling system in any way except to get a major advantage in noise emitted. Being as the system is very, very quiet right now and what noise there is is not intrusive at all, I'm very happy. Thanks to all at ProCooling for giving me the practical knowledge to build it.
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Unread 11-29-2005, 11:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: Silent, watercooled TJ-06

Very Nice PDF! I have the same case (though black) and also took the silent approach, so your post has motivated me to finally register in these forums--instead of lurking--and say "Nice Job"!
This case is a great one for silence; lots of room for big fans (and hard drive contraptions), heavy steel instead of aluminum, and that front grill just screams "Place radiator here!"
As for constructive criticism, it's hard to give any when you say you are already happy with the noise levels... Loudest thing on my rig was also the PSU fan (NEO 480...wasn't loud at all, but hey, it's all relative right?) So I opened that up, put in one of those 120mm fans that came with the case (FN 121 i believe), and that was a noticeable improvement. Not sure if the cooling is any better/worse though, since the Silverstone fan stays at 1200rpm or below, the original sometimes went up to 1500. Oh well, PSU hasn't exploded yet...
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Unread 11-30-2005, 02:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Silent, watercooled TJ-06

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro
As for constructive criticism, it's hard to give any when you say you are already happy with the noise levels... Loudest thing on my rig was also the PSU fan (NEO 480...wasn't loud at all, but hey, it's all relative right?) So I opened that up, put in one of those 120mm fans that came with the case (FN 121 i believe), and that was a noticeable improvement. Not sure if the cooling is any better/worse though, since the Silverstone fan stays at 1200rpm or below, the original sometimes went up to 1500. Oh well, PSU hasn't exploded yet...
PSU is a Seasonic S12 430W. SPCR have some fairly nice things to say about it.
To give you some idea of the accoustics, sitting at my desk right now next to the computer I can also just about hear the energy saving (flourescent) light bulb 3m away.
Oh, and it's a nice change for people to pay attention to the PC itself rather than the fact I used Lian-Li drive covers in a Silverstone case
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Unread 11-30-2005, 08:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: Silent, watercooled TJ-06

Lian Li parts in a Silverstone? Blashphemy!
Sounds like you may simply be reaching the limits of how quiet you can possibly make it. After all, even if a fan were to be truly silent, reasonable airflow alone through anything as uneven as a radiator or PSU is going to make at least a little noise. You can always do your research on a cheapie first though; look around for a cheap PSU (if you don't have one lying about), remove the fan from it and give that a quick try in the case to see what kind of noise levels you get without a PSU fan. If you can suddenly hear the previously washed-out whine of your own nervous system, then it might be worth it to remove the fan from your Seasonic.
I'm going to have to start another thread like this one for my own PC (soon as I figure out how to work these forums), they're very similar. I didn't even notice before that you had removed the entire Hard-Drive bay to make room for your hard-drive suspender and pump. I haven't removed the entire bay, (wanted to be able to keep my backup drive in it, otherwise it probably would have gone the way of yours...) but I cut some holes in the front of it so that I could run tubing straight back from the bay reservior to the pump, then the pump outlet straight down through the panel towards the radiator. Obviously you would agree that it works out nicely as far as having simple and un-restricted tube routing.


...Off to go start "Silent, Watercooled TJ-06 II"!
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Unread 12-02-2005, 10:42 AM   #5
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Default Re: Silent, watercooled TJ-06

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro
After all, even if a fan were to be truly silent, reasonable airflow alone through anything as uneven as a radiator or PSU is going to make at least a little noise.
I'm pretty sure that's exactly what the noise is. Problem is going quieter is likely to mean something close to replicating the Zalman TNN case - and that's something I would most likely have to get fabricated for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro
I didn't even notice before that you had removed the entire Hard-Drive bay to make room for your hard-drive suspender and pump. I haven't removed the entire bay, (wanted to be able to keep my backup drive in it, otherwise it probably would have gone the way of yours...) but I cut some holes in the front of it so that I could run tubing straight back from the bay reservior to the pump, then the pump outlet straight down through the panel towards the radiator. Obviously you would agree that it works out nicely as far as having simple and un-restricted tube routing.
I was originally going to park the pump inside a pump box in the bottom two 5.25" bays, but the tube routing is a nightmare with the Eheim 1048 if you do that. This dictated where the pump had to be, in turn leaving me with the choice of parking the HDD right under the res (didn't appeal for leakage reasons) or where I eventually put it. Where it is has the added advantage that it gets cooled by the second of my 120mm fans.

Modifications I would do if I were doing this again would be to get the Pump/HDD holder fabricated properly in steel, take my time on the PSU wiring (modifying all wires to the right length, cutting off any that aren't needed) and finding a better way of softmounting the radiator fan to the radiator. The current mounting is slowly creeping away from the radiator under it's own weight - one of the perils of using fans with a solid aluminium frame I'm afraid.
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Unread 12-02-2005, 03:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: Silent, watercooled TJ-06

How exactly is that fan currently attached? Are those blue fasteners rubbery pull-through type things? I can't quite tell from the pic. Originally, I had a fairly nice mount on my radiator fans, but removed it when I put the duct on. I had foam between the fan and the shroud just like yours, then these thick, soft washers on the other side of the fan holes. I think they are probably silicone. Then I used thinner-than-necessary bolts to attach back to the radiator so they wouldn't bind themselves in the fan holes. It was nothing elegant but it was indeed completely decoupled and worked quite well, really couldn't feel any vibration transfered to the shroud, and it would definitely still be sturdy enough to take that aluminum fan of yours. I don't remember where I found these washers but I'm sure you could find something like them at the hardware shop.

Come to think of it, I'm surprised that an aluminum-framed fan would have much vibration at all. I've never had one, but it seems like the mass of the frame itself ought to kill a lot of it?

And for that PSU, you could always do some DIY watercooling on it! Somewhere there was a worklog up on that, can't remember where or when though. I've toyed with the idea and will probably do it, but not until I get a better PSU that I know for sure will last a loooong time. Of course it's completely excessive for the amount of noise it would actually knock off, especially when you could just get a passive psu, but hey, it's the journey right?
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Last edited by Maestro; 12-02-2005 at 03:50 PM.
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Unread 12-02-2005, 05:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: Silent, watercooled TJ-06

The blue fasteners are EAR vibration isolators. And yes, they do gradually pull off. I haven't had my PC open for a while now to check, but last time they had pulled out a few mm. There is also some foam between the fan and the shroud.
The radiator is also softmounted to the case (neoprene tape and cable ties) so the fan probably doesn't matter. However, it's in now and might make a tiny difference... at least I keep telling myself that!
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Unread 11-24-2009, 02:04 AM   #8
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Default Re: Silent, watercooled TJ-06

Updated version of it in case anyone is interested after the motherboard died...
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File Type: jpg SPM_A0364.jpg (293.6 KB, 16 views)
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Unread 09-03-2010, 07:47 PM   #9
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Default Re: Silent, watercooled TJ-06

clean setup!
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