You should look at some of the Small Form Factor PCs (also called mini-PCs) that are out there. Most of them require you to build it yourself, but I’m sure there are vendors who sell full machines, too.
The site I’d look at is www.sfftech.com. They do pretty good and consistent reviews of the offerings.
You could also look at a high powered desktop replacement notebook, if that strikes your fancy.
(works great if you got a bit of airflow in your case)
I heard the Silentmaxx cases have a good price performance ratio. Im not sure about it as I´ve never seen one in front of me. Most of my friends have CM Stackers (way bigger then your praetorian) or Lian Li´s. Lian Li PC-V1100 series is a sexy and silent case but the question is are you willing to shell out 250 dough?
I dont think you will be able to shrink it much more then your current Praetorian case.
If you got some noisy case fans, swap them for quieter ones or reduce the voltage for the fans. You could go and get some ready made resistors that shrink the voltage to 7 Volt.
Sorry – when you said make it smaller, I assumed you meant looking at new cases (isn’t that pretty much the only way to make it smaller?) :wink:
There’s a great yahoo group called silent-pc that shares lots of good info on silencing your computer, too. The four big sources of noise are your case fans, CPU fan, PSU fan, and video card fan. Try playing around with them to figure out which one(s) are the source of your greatest annoyance, and go from there.
Like Steve said, QuietPC and Directron are your friends in this endeavor. :) However, getting into quiet PCs can be an expensive (and neverending) proposition, as you’ll eventually replace just about everything in your PC in the quest for silence.!
Check out Silent PC Review. They have an extensive list of recommended parts as well as plenty of current reviews and DIY projects, if you’re so inclined.
As for silencing your current system, you will want to replace the cooler on your video card, replace your power supply, and replace your Heatsink/Fan. The Zalman cooler that was mentioned in EvilIdler’s thread would be a pretty good choice.
How many case fans do you have? If youve got the standard gaming rig component of four or five, get a fan control panel ($20 or so from Newegg) and turn them down as low as possible. I did this with mine and cut case noise by a good 60%.
$370 is probably a lot more than you want to spend, but just in case…
The Antec 480W Neopower PSU is pretty much the best PSU out there; the 120mm fan is very quiet and the modular wires make clean wire management practically a non-issue.
Mnpctech.com is the site of a custom modder that sells modded cases, not ricer, neon jobs, but built to allow for good airflow and quiet use.
I bought a case from him, no longer offered, but this SC195 mod is pretty nice. The Ultra Quiet version w/ pre-installed noise-dampening foam is closest to the version I bought. Combined w/ a quiet CPU fan and the Antec PSU makes my PC extremely quiet.
I figured it was a bit indulgent, but over time, it’ll pay off, because I really can’t foresee a need for a new case until/unless the BTX standard becomes a requirement in the next 3 years or so…http://www.mnpctech.com/SC195.html
The THERMALTAKE Silent Purepower is not a VERY noisy PSU. If you power it down with the 2 knobs (I hope you got the version with the frontside knobs?), its ok, not silent, but there are worse.
You also dont need to place a fan controller in it. You can simply plug the fans onto the 5 Volt rails of the molex connector, if you push the contacts out and exchange them (the yellow 12 V with the red 5V).
For 370 US I could build you a passive cooled watercooling system, easily.
I’ve decided to go ahead and buy a fan control from newegg. Really just because I can and found one that has different color info displays and all sort of neat stuff.
However I don’t think that is my major problem. Upon the advice, I decided one wuite evening to open up my case and start disabling things to determine where the noise is coming from. Here is what I discovered from loudest to quietest.
Hard drives. Forgot I have TWO hard drives and one of them has a high pitch whine. Sounds like a freaken fan but now its a drive. Its my secondary 160 gig so it may be replaced very soon.
CPU fan. Actually its pretty close to which is the loudest. The cpu fan or the hard drive.
DVD drive. If there is a disk in it it rumbles quite a bit. I think some padding might help.
The five case fans. Individually they are quiet. Together they put out quite a bit of noise
The videocard fan. Not really much noise at all
Power supply. Hardly hear it but since it did make some noise, I figure I should list it.
So my plan is: New heatsink and cpu fan, replace squeaky hard drive(s), pad the dvd drive, and get a fan control.
Some rubber grommets for your hard drives, dvd drives, and fans might help a good bit. It’ll be a ton cheaper than replacing any of your stuff, too.
Read up on volt modding your fans. 7 volts is almost always enough for a case fan, especially if you have 5 of them. The difference in sound is huge, too. It’s very easy to do, too.
Why do you have 5 case fans? Are you getting negative air pressure (too much out, not enough in)? That’s bad, and noisy. Looking at your specs a 7volt 120 in and 7volt 120 out should be enough. If all you have is 80mm fans use a 12 volt in and 12 volt out.
Lastly, how much money are you looking to spend? With a couple 7 volt 120mm case fans, a passive Zalman gpu cooler, rubber grommets for your hard drives and dvd drive, and the Zalman reserator you can have a nearly silent PC.
Unless you have a VERY hot machine, you really don’t need 7 case fans. In fact, you can probably get by with a single 80mm exhaust fan clocked at 7V.
I’d be leery of rubber grommets for the hard drives, they tend to heat real badly with those (the connection to the case allows the drives to dissipate heat over a much larger area). Just get a nice and quiet drive (Seagate or Samsung) and then if you’re real psycho, a SmartDrive enclosure.
Today (which was different than yesterday and likely to change tomorrow) I’m kind of leaning to building a small form factor and silent pc. Here are the cards at newegg that are reasonably powerful and are cooled with huge ass heat sinks instead of fans. Any comments about the cards below?