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Building a new puter. Must be cool & silent ;)

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Jan 24, 2002
Toronto, Canada
Hey All,

I own 2 rigs right now, And I need a 3rd one. This new rig, will be my network server that will be on 24/7 untill it dies, or I throw it out. I tried this using my existing rigs, but I had trouble sleeping, since I was in jail, charged for using a weed-wacker at 3 in the morning. Just kidding, but seriously my existing rigs sound like a deisel engine at 8500 RPM.

I want the new rig to be fanless, nice and slim, since I want to put it in the cabinet with my existing DVD player, SAT receiver, AMP and so on, near my TV. I was thinking using a 1U Rackmount Case, but after seeing the price (500+CAD), I decided I can make my own one.

So here is the thing, I wanna know what CPU can run with passive cooling? To date I only know 2. The first Pentiums (and Pentium PRO) and the recent VIA Giga PRO CPU. The VIA chip is made on .15 micron archetecture, and runs at 733mghz. VIA is proud of it, cuz it can run on passive cooling. Does anyone know any other CPU that can run on passive cooling? Maybe an AMD XP1900+ underclocked to like 800 mghz? I dont know why but I am very iffy about the via chip ;) Although I can get it and the mobo with audio/video on it for like 90 bucks.

My new rig will never run any games, although I might use it to browse the net, late at night, when I dont wanna wake up the neighbors. And integrated audio/video/ethernet is cool because I cant put any AGP/PCI cards inside the rig since it will be about 1.5-3 inches thick.

Here is the last part of the problem. PS's make sound too. Anyone ever heard of a fanless power suply? ;) Or could I grab a 85 watt PS, open it up, and disconect the fan? I mean how hot can an 85 watt PS get ?

Here are the components so far:
Home Brewed 1U Rackmount-like case
VIA Gigapro all integrated mobo
733mghz gigapro cpu
100gig maxtor 5400 rpm hdd (its vewy vewy quiet ;)
some 85watt 12 dollar power supply.
CD Drive

I just wanna sum up my questions, what cpu will run on passive cooling, and how bad of a fire hazzard is the fanless power supply?

PS: To the mods, Sorry guys, but I had no idea where to put this post, since what I am making is herassy, so alternate modding should be ok ;)
Im running a Celeron 500 or something like that (hehe I dont even remember) in my file server, and you cant hear it at all. It sits in my living room in one of those black Hydraulic cases. Minimal fans, one 80mm slower fan in the front, and one 60mm in the back, all very quiet. Not sure what temp its all running at, but it never gets very hot.
I'd scrap the no fan idea, if you're going to be using it as a network server. I'd also scrap the idea of having it quiet. That being said, what exactly is your idea of a "network server"? Did you want to run it as a internet proxy server? There is a huge diference between the two.
CM, I am thinking 2 things, a comp, on which i can strore all my junk, like mp3s, avi's and so on. And also an FTP. I dont need it as a proxy since i got a router.

What If i buy one of those "90% quietter" power supplies, and use the giga pro cpu? I mean via sais it can run on passive cooling...

Also I would make holes in the case, like in a VCR, on top, so hot air would escape.... I mean G4 Cube is fanless :( but I cant afford it, plus its no longer being sold.
via is a "good" cpu for cool projects

i think the 600 doesnt require a fan at all

i belive there up to 950 mhz for liek 75 bucks

here is a good small computer that has most everything intrgrated
and one pci slot

just throw a quiet powersupplie inthere and a hdd that doesnt sound like a rocktumbler and you should be set

edit: doh might need that link

if i buy the gigapro mobo cpu, and the silly thing dies from heat, i only loose 99 bucks lol. I know you are all cautious, but I really wanna try fanless.

I am thiknig making a switch. Day fans go on, nite fans go out...
Well I think shuttle has a barebone system that is small. However it will have two fans. It has onboard LAN, VGA, TV Out, etc. I was thinking about getting one. It is made for celeron processors I believe. I've seen them at newegg.com under the barebones section.

XL thnx, but that system comes with the case, I dont need it.
It comes with the Shuttle-FV24 mobo, its 1 pci small and very tiny. looks impressive. But i dont think cely's will run fanless ;(
you could just try it with a little PS fan in the back, where you wouldn't even hear it. I mean, if I disconnect my [donno who makes it] jet engine case fan, I can't even hear the PS fan. Just try finding one and making it a case fan.
i was thinking about this

to do fanless your going to have to basicly have a old 486 and even they had a fan for the case and the psu

option 1 water cooled but since you dont want to break the bank

and to be perfectly honest i have a new comptuer i built with two 80mm fans on it + the psu

i wanted to test just the fans before i put on the mobo and cpu

i had trouble telling it was on



get to big fans like 120mm or something put one in the front blowing in and one in the back infront of the cpu and psu

and put the biggets passive heatsinks you can find on both

and pray that it works


i cant help but point out you want this computer to work 24/7 with no interuption and are from the start throwing sand in the gears

its like that saying


pick any 2
i know u dont want a fan but! my dads comp was a 333celeron and it juz had a heatsink no fan never realy got hot........ 2 when his psu broke i got a compusa 250 to replace it and no joke the fan in the lil generic compusa psu was alot quieter than the harddrive i mean when the hard drive went to sleep u could not tell the comp was on!!!!:eek: i mean i would have to check the leads to see:eek: if it was on!!!

so what im sayen is, 1 the 333celeron does not need a fan [big woop:p ] 2 the compusa 250watt psu is hella quiet!

hope this helps

im pretty shure u will need a fan for somthen!
thnx for all your replies guys.

I did some homework and here is what i found out

Via C3 Chip @ 866 Mghz =55 bucks US.

The Via chip will work in any socket 370 mobo. And doesnt need a fan.

For powersupply the Zalman Noiseless ZM-ST300BLP seems nice, since it is only about 70 bucks. There is also a fanless power supply called Sparkle FSP300-60GT (Reviewed Here ) But I cant seem to find it anywhere, since it is an old model. And new models include a fan.

Silicon Acoustics, also carry flower heatsinks, that will allow an undervolted Athlon XP chip to run completly fanless.

So in the next few days I am gonna have to decide if i want VIA or an undervolted AMD...
Just a thought, what HD's are you going to be using in that system. I mean often, in standard computers with no extra fans, the disks are more noisy than the PSU fan
ive never noticed the hdd being that loud

i mean i can tell if there accessing but its never bothered me

if you get a good gig of ram up in there it should really reduce the amount of access to the hdd
I agree with crash, I always disable virtual memory (swap file). So you only hear the HDD while booting up.

Also last month I purchased a 5400 RPM HDD, and good lord is it quiet or what. I mean I run defrag on it, and I simply cannot hear it, and my case is open. However it is a completly different story for my 7200RPM drive. ROFL, and if you wanna talk loud, my friend owns a 15000RPM SCSI ;)