Cool and Quiet

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Ducts for cooling, mousepads for quiet.–Troy Walker

I spend 3-6 hours a day at my computer “working”. UT, Half Life, etc..

I run a Slot-1 P3-700 overclocked to 1001 MHz.
Having grown weary of the sound of multiple fans trying to maintain temperature, I re-thought my case cooling scheme.
How could I keep things cool, but get rid of the noise?

Conventional wisdom dictated “more case fans is better, stuff tons of air in the case” …etc..” I wanted a more elegant and refined solution.

Here’s what I came up with:

Case

Case2

I eliminated the extra case fans, and by directly ducting incoming fresh air from outside the case, temps dropped dramatically. The duct is high heat automotive manifold ducting.

The CPU heatsink is an Agilent ArctiCooler.
For those unfamiliar w/ the ArctiCooler, it was made back around 1998 for RISC processors; this one is modified for Intel Slot1s.

Arcticooler

So, cooling taken care of, how about noise elimination?
Mouse pads to the rescue!
I used spraycan undercoating as an adhesive for mouse pads on the bottom and sides, a thin cardboard layer, then a layer of acoustic foam.

And since I was in my case anyway, maybe I should spiff up my Geforce2-Ultra a bit:

GeForce

The memory heatsinks are made from a butchered Xeon heatsink
attached with thermal epoxy. I put my bench mounted wire wheel to work to obtain the polish job.

I replaced the original green GPU heatsink with a Blue Orb,
but pulled the Orb’s original fan and replaced it with a fan from a Super Orb (both from Thermaltake).

So, was it all worth it? Results:

Temperature Drop:

Temps before ducting: Case 102 / CPU 105+
Temps after ducting: Case 95/ CPU 91
(temps taken under load, looping 3dMark2001 for 90 minutes)

Yes, CPU now stays 4-5 degrees LOWER than the ambient case temp!
The incoming cool air makes all the difference.
I was amazed at how effective this ducting was.

Geforce Overclocking, stable speed:

Before GPU: 275 Memory – 485
After GPU: 300 Memory – 500

Sound reduction:

Before : Annoying fan whine
After: Almost silent, slight whisper

So, 1½ hours, 8 mouse pads and ½ can of undercoating later,
I have a system that truly is Cool AND Quiet.

Troy Walker – Marysvile, CA

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