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Step-by-Step: How to build a cheap and quiet AMD dually.

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Old 08-04-03, 09:57 PM Thread Starter   #1
cmcquistion
IT Director Senior



Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Tennessee

 
Step-by-Step: How to build a cheap and quiet AMD dually.


This is the forum version of an article published HERE. This thread is slightly more updated than the published article.

Step-by-Step: How to Build a Cheap and Quiet AMD Dually.

This article is the first in a three part series on quiet computing. This installment is an attempt at explaining, all in one place, how to build a Cheap and Quiet AMD Dually.

I will start by telling you that I am by nature, a very cheap guy. I'm also very, very picky about computer noise. It has been a serious mission for me to build an AMD dually that was both cheap and quiet.

I have built five AMD duallies in the past two years and I have learned a lot. Many times, I learned by doing research. Many times, I learned by messing up the first time (or the second time, or the third time...)

Hopefully, this guide will help you to build a very fast, cheap, and quiet AMD dually without making the mistakes I made, or making bad purchasing decisions. This is not an Intel-vs-AMD discussion. It is simply the instructions for building a cheap, quiet, and very fast dual AMD computer.

This is targeted, mainly, to people building their system completely from scratch (no case, no nothing), although the information can be just as useful to upgraders and modders.

PURCHASES

*MOTHERBOARD*

MSI K7D Master ($182) (search www.pricewatch.com for "MSI K7D Master", but do not get the K7 Master, which is a single CPU board.)

MSI K7D Master-L (has onboard LAN) ($195) (search www.pricewatch.com for "MSI K7D Master-L")

The MSI K7D Master is considered the best dual AMD motherboard for overclocking. The Asus A7M-266D holds second place.

Whenever using Pricewatch to find resellers, make sure to run every reseller's name through www.resellerratings.com. Most of the resellers listed on Pricewatch are not very good. ResellerRatings is a good way to find out who is worth ordering from, and who isn't. Personally, I don't order from any reseller who doesn't have a score of at least 8 out of 10, at ResellerRatings.

*PROCESSORS*

Two Athlon XP's (if you are content with running the default multiplier)

or

Two mobile Athlon XP's ($50-75 each)

These will require extensive modification but are the only multiplier unlocked CPU's that AMD is now manufacturing

AMD has started multiplier locking ALL their CPU's (except mobile Athlons) as of around week 39, 2003. This means that it is nearly impossible to get multiplier unlocked AMD CPU's, unless you buy mobile Athlons.) If you are interested in Applebred Durons (which will probably be locked and you probably CANNOT unlock the additional cache, but they will run in SMP,) then check out this thread for more details. For information about modding Mobile Athlons for SMP, and getting the multiplier to work right, please read this thread. Page 1 of that thread, is mostly background data and page 2 is where is starts getting interesting.

*MEMORY*

512 MB Samsung Registered ECC PC2700 ($111) (search www.pricewatch for "Samsung Registered ECC PC2700)

You can use regular, unbuffered DDR, but AMD duals REQUIRE Registered DDR if you want to use more than two sticks. I prefer the Samsung Registered ECC PC2700, because it is capable of overclocking to 150 FSB, the limit of the motherboard, at fast memory settings. This is why I suggest the Samsung, over Crucial Registered ECC PC2100. If you already have some unbuffered DDR, you can use that. All of the dual Opteron boards that I have seen REQUIRE Registered ECC PC2700. If you plan on upgrading to a dual Opteron someday, when they become affordable, you would already have memory you could use, if you got the Samsung Registered ECC PC2700.

*HEATSINKS AND FANS*

Two SK-7's, SLK-800A's, or SLK-900A's ($20-35 each) The SK-7 and SLK-800A are both great heatsinks that supported 80mm fans and worked well on the K7D. Unfortunately, both have been discontinued and are getting very hard to find. Their big brother, the SLK-900A works well on the K7D, but you have to use 80mm fans. The heatsink, itself, supports fans up to 92mm, but you can't use dual 92mm fans and have them fit, right, on the K7D. Any 80mm fan will work fine.

See this thread for a list of heatsinks verified to fit on the K7D.

Two Panaflo L1A fans ($10 each)

These are great fans. They are very quiet and perform well on the SK-7, SLK-800A, or SLK-900A. Don't forget, when ordering, to order tails for the fans. Stock, they only come with bare leads, from some vendors. These also make good case fans and replacement power supply fans. If you would like more flexible heatsink cooling, consider the Enermax Manually Adjustable 80mm fan. It has it's own rheostat, built in, on a long cord, so you can manually change the fan speed. At low speed, it is fairly quiet. At high speed, it pushes a mountain of air.

*POWER SUPPLY*

500-550 Watt Power Supply ($20-75)

AMD duallies require a LOT of juice from their power supply. In my experience, most won't run, or will be quite unstable, on a power supply less than 450 watts. There are a few exceptions, such as the Antec True 430, but these are VERY few. I have used cheap "Power Magic" Brand PSU's, between 500 and 550 watts. They have worked just fine, for me. They are VERY, VERY cheap, but I have used them on two AMD duallies and haven't had any trouble out of them. Other well-respected Power Supplies include Antec, TTGI, and Fortron. I have used Enermax and Vantec, too, but they, like almost every other PSU, are too loud, for my tastes and I think they are over-priced. The Fortron- P530XF530W 530 Watt PSU is supposed to very good and is only $75. I have some additional recommendations here.

*CASE*

Antec SLK3700AMB Case ($68)

Optional - one additional 120mm fan for intake. ($10)

This case is sold elsewhere under the name "LX-6A19". www.coolcases.com sells it under the name "D8000" and offers several nice pre-modified configurations. After working with the Antec SLK3700 and the Compucase LX-6A19, I strongly prefer the cheaper LX-6A19. You can see my recommended case mods for this case on page 3 of this thread.

Duallies require a case with good airflow. A case with a single 80mm exhaust isn't good enough. The Antec SLK3700AMB case has one 120mm intake and one 120mm exhaust. It also comes with one Antec 120mm fan and a 350 watt Antec Power Supply. This power supply isn't enough juice for an AMD dually, but it is a great freebie that you can use on a single CPU system. There is a great review of this case, with some good pictures, here. If you have a different case (using 80mm fans) you would like to use, make sure it has at least two 80mm exhausts and two 80mm intakes.

MODIFICATIONS

*CASE MODS*

The Antec SLK3700AMB case is a great choice for quiet computing for two reasons. First, it comes with rubber grommets for mounting up to five hard drives, which lowers the amount of transferred vibration from the hard drives. This transferred vibration is a major cause of system noise. Second, it supports 120mm fans. 120mm fans, at low speed, move more air and produce less noise than two or three 80mm fans.

Here's a shot of my SLK3700AMB:



The only thing this case needs is a mod to the intake and exhaust fan grills. The intake and exhaust ports, unfortunately, are just little holes drilled into the metal chassis for airflow. This greatly restricts airflow and causes cavitation noise.

The ports, ideally, need to just be just one big 120mm hole in the chassis. I suggest either a dremel (the slow, clean way) or a jigsaw with a metal cutting blade (the quick, dirty way). You could also use a Case Cutter (Nibbler). These are available from CompUSA for about $10. Cut the port completely open. Make it one big 120mm hole, instead of that swiss-cheese look they give you at the factory. When you're doing the cutting, make sure the case sides are on because they give the case strength and stability, while you're hacking away at it. Also, it is a good idea to set the case on a towel or something, to keep it from getting marred, and put tape all around the hole, where you are cutting, to keep the chassis from getting scratched up.

The 120mm fans don't attach to the case. They actually attach to a plastic housing, which is then attached to the case. This housing also needs some work. It has cross braces all over the place. There are too many of them, and they are restricting airflow a bit, too. Grab a pair of angle-cutters and cut some of those out.

This is what the rear should look like, after you cut out the hole and trim those cross braces:



I know the picture quality is bad, but you get the idea.

The case comes with one 120mm fan located at the exhaust. It is an Antec and pretty good. If you have hot hard drives, then I suggest getting one more fan for the intake, too. The last case mod is really a fan mod. For lower system noise, mod both fans for 5V or 7V. They will still move a good amount of air, keeping the system supplied with fresh cool air for those soon-to-be-overclocked CPU's.

To see my mods to the LX-6A19, which is nearly identical to the Antec SLK3700, read through page 3 of this thread.

*MOTHERBOARD MODS*

There is one main mod to do. The K7D comes with a fan on the northbridge heatsink. It is noisy and unnecessary. I have three air-cooled K7D systems. I have removed the Northbridge heatsink fan from all of them and haven't had one problem. If you are watercooling, it is a different story, because you won't have peripheral airflow cooling that heatink. You may need to leave that fan there, if you are watercooling or replace the whole heatsink with a much larger, passive heatsink. (Zalman makes some good ones.)

No other mods are required yet. The MSI K7D Master allow multiplier change in the BIOS, up to 12.5 with CPU's that are unlocked by default. Those T-bred B XP1700's can reach up to 2 GHz or higher though, so 12.5 won't be high enough. Higher multipliers can be used. I will address this below.

*CPU MODS*

Athlon XP's can be modded to run as MP's. For all the information on this, including instructions on how to do the "L5 mod", see this sticky. The first reply includes links to articles explaining the mod with pictures! Note: if you bridge the L5's, you will need to scrape the bridges a little bit, first, to expose the copper. There is a thin coating over them. You can use a thumb tack or needle or similar to give those a little scrape, first.

For the answer to almost any non-SMP-specific question you could ever have about AMD CPU's, please see this excellent FAQ.

If you want to overclock, you can overclock up to 12.5*150=1875 MHz using the BIOS-- no mods to the chips, other than the L5 mod. If you want to overclock higher than that, then you will have to mod the multiplier. To find out which multipliers the K7D supports, please read this thread and see Xtc4u's response.

There are two main popular methods that I have used. One is called "bridge blowing" and involves popping some of the L3 bridges, using electricity. Sounds dangerous, but it isn't. See this thread to find out more about this method. Please read the ENTIRE THREAD. Personally, I prefer the 5V method. It has worked consistently, for me. [EDIT](Please note that on modern CPU's, AMD has started putting a very thick coating over all the bridges and blowing them has become quite difficult. For these new CPU's, the pin-mod, explained below, is a much better option.)[/EDIT]

The other multiplier mod, called the "pin-mod", involves modding the CPU socket, on the motherboard, to change multipliers. You just use little pieces of U-shaped wire, dropped into the appropriate socket holes, to achieve the desired multiplier. Here is the interactive diagram for the method and here are the instructions. There is an alternate method to doing this mod, here. This method has three main benefits. First, it is somewhat less nerve-wracking then blowing bridges. Second, it is easily undone, or changed. In the bridge-blowing method, if you blow bridges and don't like your results, you may have to re-mod the chip. Sometimes, this involves re-bridging a bridge you have previously blown (not too difficult, but still.) In the pin-mod method, if you change the multiplier and don't like your results, you can just remove the CPU, and remove the mod or change it. Third, this method may be better because of a new chip design from AMD. Some of the newest T-bred B's and Bartons, now have a thick coating over all of the bridges. This can make it very difficult to get to them. For the L5 mod, it's not a problem. You just scrape inside the appropriate L5 bridge pit, until you see a shiny spot, then just put some conductive paint in the pit and that will connect the bridges. For bridge-blowing multiplier modification, however, this is a problem, because it is hard to get contact with the L3 bridges. For these new chips, you will need to do the pin-mod. Don't worry, though, it is really easy.

There is a third way to modify your multipliers, but I haven't personally used it, yet. I recently found out, here, about a product that is a new version of the classic Golden Sockets adapter. This product claims to let you change the multi on any AMD CPU to anything from 5X-24X. Looks really promising. Here is a link to the manufacturer's spec page about the product. The manufacturer does admit that you have to use CPU's that are unlocked (the L1's are not cut) to be able to use this product. Fortunately, that includes all T-breds and Bartons, as far as I know. This would be a good thing to have to test the overclockability of your CPU's. Once you know, you can blow the bridges (or do the pin-mod), set the multi, and be done. That way, you don't have to blow bridges more than once, or screw around with reconnecting bridges and such. There is a review of this product here.

*POWER SUPPLY MODS*

Every 500+ watt PSU I have ever used has been too noisy, in my opinion. I always take them apart and replace the stock fans with Panaflo L1A's. You can find a few articles that explain the process of replacing fans, here, here, and here.

INSTALLATION AND TESTING

*CPU SMP AND MULTIPLIER TESTING*

First things, first. The hardest thing about building an AMD dually, with modded processors, is modding the CPU's and making sure that they really do show up as MP's... consistently.

There is one sure-fire method, in my opinion, for getting this right and making your life easier.

First, do the L5 mod and let the conductive paint dry for a few hours.

Second, set up a stipped-down system, outside of the case. Set the motherboard on top of a non-conductive surface, such as a wooden table, or FedEx box Connect the system with ONLY the following components... Power Supply, Motherboard, one stick of RAM, and one video card. Do not plug in the PSU, yet.

Third, put your first modded CPU in the primary CPU socket. This is the one in the middle of the board. Put on its heatsink and fan. Set the FSB jumper to 100 (this is useful for initial testing, because it removes a few variables.)

Fourth, hook up your monitor and keyboard, then plug in the power supply. Boot up the system and make sure, when it shows the CPU, that is shows up as an "MP". If it shows up as an XP, then your L5 mod is bad and you need to shut down, unplug the PSU, remove the CPU and redo the mod. If it shows up as an MP, verify that it is showing the right multiplier. Your FSB is 100, so your XP1700, at stock, should be showing up as 1100 MHz (its default multiplier is 11X.) If you already modded the CPU for a higher multiplier, then verify that it is showing up properly. If you modded for 15X, then it should show up as 1500 MHz, etc. (If you plan on doing the pin-mod, wait until you have finished testing both CPU's.)

Fifth, now that you're done with the first CPU. You know that the L5 mod is good and you know that the multiplier mod is good (if applicable.) Shut down the computer, unplug the PSU, remove that CPU and put in the other one, again, in the Primary CPU socket. Test this one, individually, as you did the other.

Note, the reason for checking each CPU, individually, is that if you don't, and you have a problem, then you don't know where your problem is. Finding and fixing this can more time consuming and frustrating, then just doing it right, the first time. I have built five AMD duallies. I have learned these lessons the hard way. There is a smart way to do things, and there is a dumb/fast way to do things. Save yourself some headaches and learn from my mistakes.

Sixth, now you're done with both CPU's and you have verified that they both, indeed, show up as MP's. Now, Shut down the computer, unplug the PSU, do your pin-mod to both sockets (if applicable), then put in both CPU's and their heatsinks and fans. Boot up the system, still at 100 FSB, and verify that both CPU's are showing as MP's and the multiplier is right. Now is a good time to check to see what BIOS version you are running. The latest (as of 8/4/03) is version 1.82. You should see the BIOS version on the top of the screen, above and to the left of the CPU speed, during bootup. I suggest running BIOS 1.5, or later. Now, go into the BIOS, because there is one important thing to change, before you start upping the FSB. The memory settings on this board sometimes have problems with certain kinds of memory. The Auto settings, for some kinds of memory, are too aggressive for the system to boot at 133 FSB. This affects several kinds of memory, but most notably, Corsair brand PC2700 or higher. Set the memory settings to Manual. The best memory settings for this board are this: 16,16,6,2,2,2,3. Use those settings, if possible. If you're running PC2700, those settings should be fine, all the way up to 150 FSB (the FSB limit of the board.)

Note, if you are going to run a multiplier higher than 12.5X, then you need to leave the multiplier set to Auto in the BIOS. If you change it, the system won't boot.

*INSTALLING THE OPERATING SYSTEM*

Now that you've verified that the CPU's are showing up as MP's and their multipliers are correct, it would be a good time to install an Operating System. Keep in mind that the only Microsoft Operating Systems that support dual processors are: NT, 2000, and XP Professional. You want to install the OS, when the system isn't really overclocked, so you won't possibly corrupt system files, during installation. I suggest just leaving your FSB jumper at 100; this will let the CPU run slower and more stable, for the OS installation.

Your system should still be running, outside the case. There is a reason for this. I will get to it later. Go ahead and hook up your hard drive, CD drive, and other PCI peripherals and install the OS.

Download and install your chipset drivers. You can get them HERE and the latest BIOS HERE.

Download and install Motherboard Monitor. You can get it from here. Set the sensors to this:

CPU1: Winbond 2 2N3904
CPU2: Winbond 3 2N3904
Case Temp: Winbond 1

For testing purposes, configure it to start when the computer starts, and to open the dashboard as well.

Core 0 voltage reports your Vcore (same Vcore for both CPU's.) Core 1 voltage reports your Vmem, NOT the Vcore of CPU2. It should be around 2.5.

*CPU STABILITY TESTING*

Once the OS is installed, and your drivers are up to date, download and install Prime95 from www.mersenne.org/freesoft.htm. This is an excellent CPU testing program. For instructions on how to install and run this program on TWO processors, see my post in the thread here.

Once that is installed, shut down, move the FSB jumper to 133 and boot up.

If the system won't POST, then move the FSB jumper back to 100. Boot up, go into the BIOS, and set the Vcore to a manual value higher than the default value. T-bred B XP1700's have a default Vcore of 1.65. Try 1.675, then shut down, move the FSB jumper and try again. Repeat as necessary.

If the system does POST, but you Windows won't load, or you get a error message during bootup, then restart, go into the BIOS and give the CPU's a little more Vcore. Just take it up one notch at a time, until Windows loads.

Once Windows loads correctly, run two instances of Prime95, for at least 30 minutes, to check for initial stability. If Prime95 fails, reboot, up the Vcore a notch, and try again. If you can run two instances of Prime95, overnight, without errors, then your system is solid. An additional test is to run two instances of Prime95 and loop 3DMark2001, overnight. If that can run, overnight, then you should be pretty darn stable.

The steps, below, are optional. Burning in the system can help you overclock higher and require less Vcore to get there. Less Vcore = lower temps.

After checking for initial stability (and making sure your temps aren't too high) start increasing Vcore and running two instances of Prime95. Watch your temps and make sure they don't go too high (50-60C is ok) and let the computer chew on Prime95 for a few days to burn the CPU's in (keep increasing Vcore, until your full-load temps are too high.) After a few days of this, start jacking up the FSB, all the way to 150 (you'll probably need PC2700 to get this high, with the aggressive memory timings I listed above.) If you can get up to 15*150 with stability (tested and verified with Prime95) then start lowering the Vcore and re-testing.

Keep lowering until the system fails at Prime95 or can't boot. Keep in mind that there are two primary reason for CPU instability: CPU Overheating and Insufficient Vcore. These are opposite extremes. If your temps are too high, your CPU's could be unstable. Adding more Vcore will only make this situation worse. If your CPU needs so much Vcore to be stable that it overheats, then you shoot yourself in the foot with Vcore.

Now you will have a good idea of your CPU's MHz potential at a certain Vcore (and temp.) It is a good idea to record your stable speeds at different Vcores. If your temps are good and you have some room to play with, then consider upping the multiplier again or lowering your multiplier so you can raise your FSB (higher FSBs generally yield higher overall system performance than a higher multiplier.)


At this point you know your system is stable, you know that your modifications are done and you shouldn't need to mess around with the CPUs anymore.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

It is finally time to put this thing in the case! I refrained from telling you to put the system in the case before for a couple reasons. For one, it is pretty hard to install the heatsink on CPU2 when the motherboard is in the case.

If you decided to remove the CPUs to further mod them sometime during the installation and testing phases, then you would have a really hard time getting the heatsink back on CPU2 (I killed a processor because of this.) Also, the sockets wouldn't be as easy to get to if you wanted to re-mod them. Another reason is that the systems temps should remain fairly stable when the system is run open air. This is useful when you're doing burn-in and running high temps on purpose.

Anyway, now you can take all your PCI and AGP cards out and unhook everything from the motherboard. Leave the CPUs, heatsinks and memory on it, though. It is SO MUCH EASIER to mount those before you put the motherboard into the case.

Put it all together again. Boot up and enjoy. Remember to keep an eye on your temps- they will likely be a little higher with the motherboard and CPUs inside a close case. This depends, largely, on the amount of case airflow.

OTHER QUIET COMPUTER PARTS I RECOMMEND

*HARD DRIVES*

Hard Drives are a major contributor to system noise. Over the years, I have discovered three hard drives that I just love. Each is quiet, and is suitable for different needs.

The Western Digital JB series of drives is just great. They are one of the few IDE drives that are still sold with a 3-yr. warranty. They have an 8MB cache, their performance is great and they are quieter than most other IDE drives (not inaudible, but better than most drives.) The weird exception is their drives below 80GB. For some reason, those below 80GB, such as the 400JB, are designed slightly differently, and are VERY loud. The WD 800JB and up are fairly good.

*EDITED for new hard drive recommendation* The new Samsung Spinpoint drive is my top recommendation for a low-noise hard drive. They come with a 3 yr warrantee, unlike most of the hard drive market, today. They are offered in 40, 80, 120, and 160 GB varieties, with 2MB or 8MB cache, and ATA133 or SATA versions. For this reason, there are a lot of different part numbers. Here is a partial list, although I can't promise exact accuracy. (SP0421N, SP0812N, SP1213N, SP1614N, SP0401N, SP0802N, SP1203N, SP1604N, SP0812C, SP1213C, SP1614C) These drives support changing the Acoustic Management properties, using programs such as the HGST Feature Tool, formerly the IBM Feature Tool. The Samsung Spinpoint has lower idle noise than the Seagate Barracuda V and goes neck and neck with the Seagate Barracuda IV (no longer manufactured.) Both Seagate drives lose to the low seek noise of the Samsung Spinpoint, though. For this reason, the Samsung Spinpoint is my NUMBER ONE recommendation for quiet computing. This is the drive I use in my Home Entertainment PC, because I don't want to hear it.*/EDIT*

The Seagate Cheetah 15K.3 is the quietest 15K SCSI drive, available. It is also one of the highest performance drives, anywhere. If you can afford to go with 15K SCSI, I highly recommend it. I think that my upgrade to 15K SCSI gave me more of a performance increase than any other upgrade I have EVER made. For a SCSI controller, I highly recommend the LSI U160. It is a great SCSI controller and only costs about $42. www.svc.com (I am no longer recommending SVC, due to their lack of acceptable customer support.) is a good place to get cheap, round SCSI/IDE/Floppy cables. On my Primary machine, I have a Seagate 15K.3 for my Operating Systems and Games partitions. I have a Seagate Barracuda V for my Files partition, where I keep backups and stuff I need permanent storage for.

A great resource for good hard drive data, including performance and noise, is www.storagereview.com. You can access their Benchmark Database here. Change the drop down menu and click "Sort" to see how drives compare in a variety of real benchmarks and measurements. They have one especially useful database just for Drive Idle Noise.

*OPTICAL DRIVES*

For CD-ROM's, my highest praise goes to the MSI 8152 CD-ROM. It is available in white or black, it is very cheap, and it is incredibly quiet.

(You can find it HERE.)

For CD-RW's, and DVD-ROM's, I have always had good experiences with Lite-On drives. Mine have always been inexpensive and quieter than most other manufacturers' drives.

(You can find them HERE and HERE.)

*EDIT* Dustin emailed me with a recommendation for CD-RW/DVD Combo drives. He said that the LG Electronics GCC-4480B is a great, quiet Combo drive and it is only $66 at Newegg. I have since then bought several of these drives and I have been very impressed with their low noise. They are quieter than almost any optical drive I have ever used.

*INSULATION*

I have used a product called "Akasa Pax Mate" on many of my computers. It is available from SVC It is a thin foam insulation that you put on the sides, top and bottom of your case. It is supposed to absorb some sound and make your computer quieter. I don't know if it really works or not. I do know that it makes your temperatures higher, since some of the heat inside your case can't radiate through the metal sides.

This should be considered a luxury item for the truly noise-picky who aren't afraid to have slightly higher temperatures.

*UPDATE*

My recent experience has been MUCH better with a combination approach. I use roofer's tape (an asphault-based, aluminum backed tape available from hardware stores, such as Lowe's) on all the interior metal surfaces, then stick thicker foam, such as acoustic foam or carpet foam to the side, bottom, top, and anywhere else I can fit some foam. This approach works very well and is far more effective than the Akasa Pax Mate I previously used. The roofers tape acts as a vibration dampener and the foam acts as a sound absorber.

*UPDATE 2* I've now found a another effective sound and vibration dampening combination. I now use Polymeric Mastic (70 mils, part number 9709T19, from www.mcmaster.com) on most of the interior surfaces of the case (sides, top, bottom, parts of the front and back). This is a vibration dampening material that is rubber-based, with an adhesive back. You can cut it with scissors. On top of this vibration dampening material, I affix Sculptured Convoluted Sound Absorbing Foam (Egg Crate, part number 9710T44 from www.mcmaster.com). This is held on using spray adhesive. I use 3M Aerosol Adhesive #77 Multipurpose (part number 7610A11 from www.mcmaster.com) for this. This is the best multi-purpose spray adhesive I've ever used.

You can minimize transferred fan vibration, by using EAR fan isolators. You can buy these several places, but www.mcmaster.com has the best deal. Their part number is 5801K6 and they sell them in bags of 20, for $9.71. This is much cheaper, than other retailers. These are suitable for most fans with standard flange thickness. Thicker flanged fans, such as 120x38mm Panaflo L1A's will require 5801K8. Many thanks to Ralf Hutter of SPCR forums for this information of fan isolators.

CONCLUSION

I hope you have found this article enlightening and I wish you many years of happy, quiet, and thoroughly overclocked computing.

The published version of this article can be found HERE. You can find Part Two of this series, "Step-by-Step: Building a Quiet PC from the Ground Up." published HERE and the forum-version HERE. You can find Part Three of this series, "Step-by-Step: How to Quiet those Hard Drives" published HERE and the forum-version HERE.

Since I have the ability to update my forum threads, I have made some edits and updates to the forum-versions of the articles.

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Step-by-Step: How to Build a Cheap and Quiet AMD Dually.
Step-by-Step: Building a Quiet PC from the Ground Up.
Step-by-Step: How to Quiet those Hard Drives.
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Last edited by cmcquistion; 11-01-04 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 08-04-03, 10:04 PM   #2
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wow. I'm floored.

I wish you had written this a few weeks ago, it would have saved me a mountain of forum searching!

Best SMP post ever!
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Old 08-04-03, 10:43 PM   #3
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Old 08-05-03, 12:31 AM   #4
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def sticky...always quality posts from cmc ...will be digging this thread up when i go duallie
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Old 08-05-03, 12:50 AM   #5
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perfect timing cmc

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Old 08-05-03, 12:58 AM   #6
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I was kind of wondering when you would get tired of sending everyone to various threads.... Now there's just one nice one that covers it all. That will be a great article!
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Old 08-05-03, 04:29 AM   #7
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Very good guide, might make me jump over to make a dualie, thanks alot.
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Old 08-05-03, 07:16 AM   #8
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Btw I forgot to add, this would work well as a sticky
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Old 08-05-03, 07:56 AM   #9
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Great post .....
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Old 08-07-03, 11:48 AM Thread Starter   #10
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*EDITED* With additional content, links, and a few pictures.

This thread is now more updated then the published article version.

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Step-by-Step: How to Build a Cheap and Quiet AMD Dually.
Step-by-Step: Building a Quiet PC from the Ground Up.
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Last edited by cmcquistion; 08-16-03 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 08-15-03, 05:43 PM   #11
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Good lord this is thorough. Great work! I am getting the dualy itch lately and this has made it 10x as strong hehe.
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Old 08-15-03, 09:36 PM Thread Starter   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Deathknight
Good lord this is thorough. Great work! I am getting the dualy itch lately and this has made it 10x as strong hehe.
Thank you. It took a while, but I tried to answers a lot of the questions that are asked around here a lot, and give some advice to those that have "the itch."

I have two more articles I'm working on, now. One on building a quiet single-CPU computer and one on building a shock-mount hard drive rack, compatible with almost any case, that significantly lowers hard drive noise.

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Old 08-15-03, 09:54 PM   #13
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Great and thorough post. I've been considering going dually and your post answered a lot of my questions. Thanks.
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Old 08-20-03, 02:46 PM   #14
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Good write up. It helped me alot. Lots of good info and links too.

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Old 08-20-03, 10:24 PM   #15
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Just thought I would share something that I learned regarding the slk3700 case. Its basically a case design that Antec has bought the rights to use. The same basic case is also available elsewhere as the LX-6A19. Directron has it for $39.00 without PSU(a good thing if you are going to remove it anyway).

http://www.directron.com/cslx6a19bl.html

As far as I know it does not come with the grommets for the HDs but it does have the dual 120mm fan mounts. It also comes in black which is a plus for many.

Anyways just figured I would share. If someone was looking to shave a few bucks off the price of their dually and liked the slk3700 this is a good option.
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Old 08-20-03, 11:54 PM Thread Starter   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by Deathknight
Just thought I would share something that I learned regarding the slk3700 case. Its basically a case design that Antec has bought the rights to use. The same basic case is also available elsewhere as the LX-6A19. Directron has it for $39.00 without PSU(a good thing if you are going to remove it anyway).

http://www.directron.com/cslx6a19bl.html

As far as I know it does not come with the grommets for the HDs but it does have the dual 120mm fan mounts. It also comes in black which is a plus for many.

Anyways just figured I would share. If someone was looking to shave a few bucks off the price of their dually and liked the slk3700 this is a good option.
WOW! Good find. That is the exact same case. It shows the rubber grommets and all. It is exactly the same, as far as the pictures show, except they offer it in black or silver and it doesn't come with a power supply.

Thanks!

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Old 08-21-03, 03:15 AM   #17
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thanks alot for the case find!

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Old 08-23-03, 11:09 AM   #18
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the paxmate apperantly isnt very good.
if you do care about noise reduction foam get the foam from
http://www.acoustiproducts.com/en/acoustipack.asp
http://www.quietpc.com/

i got the delux stuff and it makes such a difference!

and my I remind veryone of this article

http://overclockers.com/tips1049/

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Old 08-31-03, 09:14 PM   #19
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Quote:
I have used cheap "Power Magic" Brand PSU's, between 500 and 550 watts. They have worked just fine, for me. They are VERY, VERY cheap, but I have used them on two AMD duallies and haven't had any trouble out of them.
Anyone have a link to a good online store that carries these cheap, reliable 500 watt power supplies?
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Old 08-31-03, 09:35 PM   #20
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Wow!! Nice article...very thorough. I learned a lot from that, almost convinced me to build a dual system, but I have no money. Maybe you should get this posted on the home page of overclockers, or at least a sticky.

Matt

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