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Computer Fan Quieter

Noise deadener for CPU
  (+3, -6)
(+3, -6)
  [vote for,

A small box (aprox. 1/3 the size of a shoebox), is lined with foam insulation. This is then attached over the CPU fan with duct tape. The air space inside the box provides room for circulation, while the foam absorbs the fan sound. If using canned foaming insulation, do not have the box attached to the CPU when applying the foam (I learned this the hard way). Foam "egg-crate" mattress pad works better anyway.

I've been using this on my computer for the past 2 weeks, and with the way it's been acting up lately, at least I can work on it in peace and quiet.

prune, Feb 21 2002

AMD meltdown http://www6.tomshar...7/heatvideo-05.html
[StarChaser, Feb 21 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

End PC Noise http://www.halfbake.../www.endpcnoise.com
Stop your noise at the source rather than risk overheating your CPU, there are some very quiet computer parts available to quiet your computer. [csschoenborn, Oct 04 2004]

PC Muffler http://www.overclockers.com/tips972/
Basically the same idea. [Krate, Oct 04 2004]

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       My iMac creates a heck of a noise, anything to reduce it is a bonus. I have created all kinds of songs and phrases which fit in with the fan noise, mixed with the printer I have a whole background sound track.
arora, Feb 21 2002

       Is it acting up because it is overheating? The fan uses between 6 and 30 cubic feet of air per minute.
rbl, Feb 21 2002

       when the fan gets noisy it's time to replace it. the fan bearings are probably worn out and will continue to get worse with more use. don't forget foam is a good heat insulator, so the cpu might not be cooled properly with this arrangement.
mihali, Feb 21 2002

       Just because your computer manufacturer used cheap components doesn't mean you have to make the situation worse by adding on lots of weight and insulation. Instead, just go to a techhie hardware site and order QUIET POWER SUPPLY and QUIET CPU FAN. yeah, at good sites you can rank fans according to noise level, as well as flow rates.

If you're not interested in that, just take the whole thing apart, and rebuild it inside one of those small refrigerators. They're often quieter than cheap fans.
quarterbaker, Feb 21 2002

       Yeah, as the others say, you are making your fan useless if you have the whole thing covered with an insulated box. You machine will probably start crashing if you do this for long, and you could totally kill it. You can reoil a noisy fan sometimes. They have a circular metalic sticker in the middle. You can pry this up, and put a drop of oil in the center. It would be better to just buy a new high-quality fan. If you want a really quite machine, you could get rid of the fan and rig a liquid cooling system. The pump for the cooling system can be noise insulated without causing it to overheat. Most people don't do this because it is tricky and expensive, and bad things happen if you do a bad job, but lots of sites tell you how and you can buy pre-rigged cases.
Krate, Feb 21 2002

       All of your ideas, while very good, are very expensive. My idea cost next to nothing and doesn't involve opening the case. I've had my fan for 6 years, and I bought it used! I'm not going to toss it if it's still spinning.
prune, Feb 21 2002

       Pardon, two questions:   

       Is this the CPU fan or the power supply fan we are referring to? (...doesn't invlolve opening the case....)   

       How much is the cpu, or in the case probably the power supply worth?
rbl, Feb 21 2002

       You can also buy speed controllers such that when something doesn't need a howling typhoon, it doesn't get one.   

       Krate has the right idea, I believe, a drop of oil may help.   

       Prune, your idea doesn't involve opening the case, but it will lead to a very expensive meltdown. There is a very good reason the fan is there and needs air exchange, not just circulation.   

       Tom's Hardware has some video of when it happened. When I say 'melt', I am not using hyperbole. One of the AMD chips hit seven hundred degrees. A link appears.
StarChaser, Feb 21 2002

       I'm thinking of putting a small fan on the side of my insulated box. Any suggestions?
prune, Feb 22 2002


       1) don't oil your bearings. while it may reduce the noise temporarily, the oil will break down the grease in which the bearings were packed, if there's any left, and it could leak all over you cpu or motherboard.   

       2) get rid of the foam, it prevents heat transfer from the cpu to the surrounding air.   

       3) follow rods' suggestions, if you really need a quiet pc.   

       4) if you're going to buy a fan for your insulated box, you may as well buy a new one for your cpu.   

       hope this helps.
mihali, Feb 22 2002

       I'm just talking about an inexpensive, small fan. And what about motor oil (SW-40)?
prune, Feb 22 2002

       Prune says the fan is over 6 years old, and he has already filled it with spray foam. I doubt one drop of oil would hurt anything more. But you could use a grease dab, probably, just as well, if you are afraid of spread. If the fan is making substantial new noise, it is on its last legs, and it needs grease or oil, or it needs to be replaced. Motor oil is ok, but don't pour in the whole quart, just a drop. A fan on the insulated box has the problem that multiple fans in series tend to make horrible beat-frequency noise. I knew a guy who removed the lid of the case and used a full sized room fan directed at the mo'board, if you are looking for a really bad solution. There is nothing wrong with an insulated box, as long as you use a breathable wide mesh and the fan can draw through the mesh. Lots of devices use expanded aluminum meshing to deaden noise and to block dust from intakes. Alternatively, you can make a set of baffles and a breathing path, like a car muffler. But your fan will need to get a sufficient draw through the whole device.
Krate, Feb 22 2002

       I've got four large, noisy fans in my computer with a very hot-running AMD processor and lots of other high-heat producing cards, drives, etc. I found a very simple solution to eliminating most of the noise that doesnt involve any airflow-reducing insulation. I found a very cheap 1-channel noise-canceling speaker at a local electronics store, and I connected it to a small, cheap portable radio with the sound all the way down, and it's plugged into the wall so it doesnt need batteries. All of this is kept outside the computer case, and the noise from the computer is barely noticeable, even without any other sound in the room. The whole setup doesnt look all that great, but it works better than any of these insulation ideas would and it doesnt put any extra stress (heat or otherwise) on my computer.
Bert6322, Jul 21 2002

       You did something stupid.   

       However, I would like to try this over the water-pump I'll be using for my CPUs new water-cooling system I'm building.
ironfroggy, Jul 21 2002

       how bout central air just like the AC in your home, except well, smaller...just a thought
Half-Life, Sep 03 2002


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