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2nd-Nov-2014 04:26 pm
Since I work a lot at night, the humming of my PC was noticeable and kinda annoying. About 6 months ago I came across web pages that talk about building the “Quiet PC” - specifically from components that are made to produce very low noise.

First I tried to just replace the fan in the back of the case - which had not much effect.

So then about a month ago I decided to take the plunge and bought the following components - all German-made with quiet in mind from the outfit called quietpc.co.uk:

New case - 60
Power supply - 60
CPU Cooler -

The plan was to take all the innards from my old pc and move to the new, save for the new cooler (enormous metal contraption - 16cm tall, weighs about a kilogram) and the quiet power supply.

First Visit
Found a guy on Craigslist to come over and do the operation. He came, spent about 3 hours in my living room but in the end the computer wouldn’t turn on - the old motherboard refused to work outside the original HP case.

Second Visit
I went online and bought a new motherboard - Asus P9X79. The first guy didn’t want to come back for reasonable money, so I found another guy to do it.

He shows up - and turns out that the motherboard I got is a wrong size for the case (case is micro-ATX while the new mb is full-ATX).

Third Visit
I order a new case from Germany and return the other case.
Guy comes over - installs the MB, everything seems to work.
After he leaves I realize that Windows only recognizes 1 DIMM out of 3. I play around with various DIMMS / slots combinations and recognize that all components are fine but MB only recognizes one DIMM at a time.

Look up the issue online - turns out the pins on the motherboard CPU socket could be bent - which causes the issue. Extremely weird - as I ordered the mb new and I never heard of cpu bending the socket pins during insertion. I also expected the computer to not boot at all in this case.

I call the guy over to see if the pins can be unbent or maybe we try to reseat the CPU. Nothing works - but the pins are indeed bent, but really too small (maybe 1-2mm tall) to do anything with.

Fourth Visit
I order another motherboard. Guy comes over and installs it. Everything works. PC is so quiet I can’t hear it.

Whole process took about a month.

Cost of components - about 300 GBP (might be more if I choose to go further a fan-less video card - as that’s the only source of pc noise now)

Labor - 115 GBP

Overall the story was plagued by two unforeseen issues

1. Original HP motherboard refusing to work in a generic case
2. New Asus motherboard having bent socket pins

and one fuck-up on my part

1. Ordering a regular ATX motherboard for a micro-ATX casе

Overall I'm happy with the result. Would certainly prefer to make do with a smaller time wastage - but after all it's not that hard to watch other people work :)
2nd-Nov-2014 07:04 pm (UTC)
That's an interesting setup, just one fan for on the video board :)
I would expect if you need a fan there, then the video card takes quite a commensurable amount of power, thus the power supply needs a fan as well.

I built a low-noise mATX last year, ended up with just the CPU fan and the one from the power supply (BeQuiet), as expected, the HDDs become the main noise source when under the load. For a really quiet setup, I am not sure I'd go with completely fan-less setup (this would come to ~USD 2000 in a brick), MacBook with similar characteristics is about 3/4 of the price, and its fan does not bother me even when I put my ear close to it and concentrate.
3rd-Nov-2014 01:03 am (UTC)
No - it's not fanless at all, you misunderstood, sorry.

There are 3 fans in the case (cooltek antiphon airflow) and one on the cpu cooler - but they are extremely quiet (and spin very slow as well).

I also considered a fanless PSU - but one I got does have a fan but it is unnoticeable as well. Ie I think a long as you get 'quiet' components - they'll be fine even with fans.

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