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View Full Version : relocating my PC case outside my room for quieter computing


ynnek
12-12-06, 09:01 AM
Hey,

I've been pondering ways to quiet down my computer...

100% passive cooling is basically out of the question, because its just not feasible or very cost effective

"silent" fans, better heatsinks and such, better, but still stuff like the graphics card is still going to create lots of noise

water cooling - very tempting, but the extra cost, and the maintenance.. and i'm still leery about water cooling leaks.


Sooo, now I'm thinking just moving my case outside the room may be the simplest and cost effective way. If I close the door and stand outside, I can't hear my current case at all... I'll be putting it right outside the door, which is also conveniently at a corner of the hall.

So any of you tried this before?

Estimation, is I'll need about 15-20 feet of cabling. 5 Meters(about 16 feet) is usually the standard max spec of most cabling with digital signals though.

Power Cord: Some high quality heavy duty extension cord. Some care on watching power ratings.

DVI cable: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16882196007
This is the trickiest.. Since I don't want to degrade image quality.. Plus is the thickest cable to wedge under my door, (well maybe the power cord) 5 meters is the DVI spec. Some places say you can get away with more, on most equipment.

3.5mm audio extension cables
something like http://www.cablestogo.com/product.asp?cat_id=2002&sku=13788
worry about length?

USB repeater cords:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16812116123

Soo lets add this up real quick
DVI cable $80ish
USB repeater cords: $15x3
3.5mm audio extension cables: say $8x4 (3 audio, one mic)
Power extension cord: $20

about $180 of cords right there!
Sounds a bit expensive, but then again, this way I can stick with standard, reliable air cooling.

Any thoughts?

crainger
12-12-06, 09:15 AM
Reserator FTW!

CaptNKILL
12-12-06, 09:39 AM
Sounds like too much trouble to me. When I have the fans on my P180B set to low its almost silent. The graphics card fan is the loudest fan (obviously) but its still not that loud.

Why not just build some sort of enclosure for it? If you get a case like mine that has front to back air flow (with no reliance on a side fan) you could pretty much stick the thing in a wooden box in the corner of the room with a few vents and it'd be almost totally silent.

crainger
12-12-06, 09:52 AM
Maybe leave the PC in the room and move everything else out. :D

Vapor Trail
12-12-06, 10:54 AM
Use headphones.... ;)

ynnek
12-12-06, 10:55 AM
Sounds like too much trouble to me. When I have the fans on my P180B set to low its almost silent. The graphics card fan is the loudest fan (obviously) but its still not that loud.

Why not just build some sort of enclosure for it? If you get a case like mine that has front to back air flow (with no reliance on a side fan) you could pretty much stick the thing in a wooden box in the corner of the room with a few vents and it'd be almost totally silent.

Spending all day next to this pc is starting to drive me crazy. The noise of an idling 6800GT sometimes becomes too unbearable, to give you a reference of noise levels that are bothering me. Let alone how loud it gets during gaming or any hard work.

Especially when I'm working on music, and I'm trying to tweak some subtle details. I can turn my speakers up, but that gets fatiguing after a while too. Same goes with headphones, i hate wearing them, and for work, I'm not wearing "earmuffs" for 8 hours. besides, headphones can't touch a well placed 5.1 setup for surround position clarity for games. I was almost tempted to bring out the fx5200 to cut back the noise.

The rooms only about ? 12x14? 10x12? big. Buiding an enclosure and sticking it in the opposite corner of the room will still require those cables anyways, else nothing will reach. There is a closet that I can stick it in, and I can keep the door cracked or mod the door for vents.. But again, you still need cables to reach. So either way with an enclosure, these cables will be needed. The advantage of having the case sit right outside the room is I can totally close the door to eliminate almost all of the noise (vs noise from vents of an enclosure)

Starscream
12-12-06, 11:25 AM
I almost went this route a few years ago.

I've still got the ps2 extension cords and SCSI enclosure with cd-drive sitting in my basement. lol

In the end I was just too lazy to actually get around to doing it and just got a bunch of Zalman stuff to quiet that pc.

Daneel Olivaw
12-12-06, 11:44 AM
Ichanged the fan on my 6800xt/oc to a std 80mm fan... solved my problem. Antec overture II is pretty silent, with a 12cm fan on the cpu

using headphones is a good idea too

ynnek
12-12-06, 12:21 PM
Well, I'll be moving to a whole new system, which should include a 8800 next year and probably a e6600. New case and all with 120 mm fans too. But with a nice PSU, the 8800, and nice 120 mm fans and case, I bet its going to still be about 35 db of background noise, probaly mostly coming from the vid card and psu, and then case fans on top of it.

Headphones are not an option. I don't like wearing them for long periods, i wont' wear them when I'm just normally working(for like 8 hours straight), and I won't be using them for gaming since I like having 5.1 surround sound.

Plus, I'm looking to get a really nice set of studio speaker monitors specifically for music work. It would be senseless to spend all that money on studio monitors and an expensive audio interface.. only to have a computer sitting next to you whirlling with avg of 40 db of background noise.

Bearclaw
12-12-06, 01:31 PM
I have a mini fridge next to my desk..I have always pondered about modding the fridge and making it so i could put my PC in there and have th wires go through the back or something...Iit would be cool that's for sure..until the condensation or something killed my parts. :(

Stoneyguy
12-12-06, 02:42 PM
Maybe leave the PC in the room and move everything else out. :D

:udawg: That's great!

J-Mag
12-12-06, 02:45 PM
Why would you need a power extension cord? I would assume the room you are moving it into has an outlet unless it is a closet or something. Even then you can have an outlet on your light within the closet.

Also, if you want to move beyond the signal range of DVI and USB you could use a KVM over ethernet device. Although I don't know how well they work when not inside a GUI (i.e when you are playing games).

ynnek
12-12-06, 04:00 PM
I'm moving it out of the room just into the hallway... Actually, now that you mention it, there is a outlet there, so no extension cord needed, although I'd have to get another surge protector.

Closet doesn't have a light.

From what I read, DVI should be good for at least 16 feet, maybe more. There probably are DVI repeater boxes, but they are probably pricey, and I don't think I'll be going that far. They have repeater USB cables. Definantly do not want any KVM over ethernet stuff.

Oh, and about hte fridge, the moisture will kill the electronics. You'll have to figure out a way to cool without any moisture.

lightman
12-12-06, 04:08 PM
Zalman VF900Cu woudl take care of the 6800GT OC noise.

CNPS9700 or a Thermalright with a silent 120mm fan for the CPU.

Some 90mm/120mm silent fans for the case (think Nexus/Papst/SilenX/...).

And some foam padding for the case panels, not to mention some silicon interface between the PSU and the case. Oh, and mount every case fan with a silicon interface or rubber grommets and rubber screws (well, they're not really screws, but you get the idea ;)).

You can have a silent air cooled system. It all boils down to choosing the right components.

grey_1
12-12-06, 04:30 PM
Here's a great little article with some good quiet computing tips and the components he used.
http://www.nvnews.net/articles/quietsli/index.shtml

Cost effective and easy to do.

ynnek
12-12-06, 05:00 PM
Does anyone make a cooler for a 8800 though? and if they did, how much would it cost? Remember, I'm planning on building a new system in 2007.


I'm still under the impression for at least the same amount of money (at time of that writing, price of $167), its still quieter to have the case outside the room, rather than try to quiet down the box in the same room.


I'm really not concern about the noise out in the hall either. It would be far away from the other rooms not to matter.

J-Mag
12-12-06, 05:02 PM
Does anyone make a cooler for a 8800 though? and if they did, how much would it cost? Remember, I'm planning on building a new system in 2007.


The only coolers you are going to see any sort of improvement over stock on the G80 are Water Blocks.

Bman212121
12-12-06, 06:16 PM
I would agree that you'd just want to use some extension cables and move it out into the hall. I doubt you'd notice a huge loss in quality even exceeding 20 ft, as long as the cable is decent. We use 50 ft analog cables all the time in our classrooms, and the picture is still fine.

I've never really had a problem with extending audio either, it seems to be able to travel quite far without issues.

$n][pErMan
12-12-06, 08:05 PM
So why are you doing this? Just turn it off at night if its that loud... will save you money too!

ynnek
12-12-06, 08:14 PM
[pErMan']So why are you doing this? Just turn it off at night if its that loud... will save you money too!

You didn't read all the posts did you? :) Detailed music and sound listening, and just plain wanting some silence while I'm sitting in the room all day for work. I have a seperate bedroom and computer/office room.

Ah, $160 can buy alot of stuff though.

snowmanwithahat
12-12-06, 09:22 PM
dude... don't even waste that kind of money on cables... go with water cooling, it really shouldn't be as hard as it seems at first... i'm trying it VERY soon so i'll know soon enough.... but you'll never get a perfectly quiet case there's things to consider such as powr supply, which will always have a fan unless you go with a completely passive unit, or a watercooled one

Hard drives will create noise too, granted not alot, but it's impossible to have that non-audible pc you're looking for.. that is until we start using SSDD setups

Roadhog
12-12-06, 09:36 PM
dude... don't even waste that kind of money on cables... go with water cooling, it really shouldn't be as hard as it seems at first... i'm trying it VERY soon so i'll know soon enough.... but you'll never get a perfectly quiet case there's things to consider such as powr supply, which will always have a fan unless you go with a completely passive unit, or a watercooled one

Hard drives will create noise too, granted not alot, but it's impossible to have that non-audible pc you're looking for.. that is until we start using SSDD setups

not impossible.. you can go totally passive and insulate the hard drives.

ynnek
12-13-06, 02:42 AM
Remember, the goal isn't necessarily making the computer quieter.. Its making my "computing experience" while I sit in this room quieter. Moving a computer out of the room and putting a wall in between immensely cuts down on the noise levels in the room to practically inaudible levels. Then it doesn't have to be perfectly quiet.. In fact, it can be a bit on the noisy side, cause theres a wall in between me and it. I get the added bonus of not having the heat dumped into this room any more too..


Also, the added risks, maintenace, and cost of liquidcooling don't appeal to me.. Too many things can go wrong. And there still is noise of a pump and fan. and as u mentioned, CPU, and general case fan.. its all minimal, but adds up. Plus its more expensive too.

I sometimes wonder about the coolant and hoses in my car.. or the high pressure water hoses leading to washing machine(on the 2nd floor). I check the hoses on my bike before I go riding... I don't need to start wondering about water leaks in my computer.. ;)

ynnek
12-24-06, 07:36 PM
Well, I just put in the order for:

(1) 23 ft DVI digital cable
(2) 16 foot usb repeater cables
(1) USB hub (powered by a ac adapter to make sure my bus powered devices work)
(1) extra surge protector strip

(4) 3.5mm 12 ft extension cables. (3 for 5.1 sound, 1 for mic)


Around New years, I'll have update you on how it goes.

ynnek
01-02-07, 12:22 PM
ah.. silence..

When the door is open, I still can hear the computer a little, since its just relocated about 15 feet away, outside the room.. but when I close the door now, I can't hear it.. My idling laptop next to me is the loudest thing in the room now, and I have no problems turning that off. :)

I got this vine of cables through crossing the doorway though.. heh.