Silent cooling challenge
Written by: tzzsmk - 10:16 Jul-05-2020

Hey friends,

I decided to try "silent cooling" setup tweaks, especially now during summer months when ambient temps go higher, posing a bigger challenge,
means, adjust the non-PWM fans through BIOS to provide noiseless (=zero rpm) operation when doing just light tasks, and kick back in only when needed during workloads and gaming,


my STRIX 1080 Ti and Noctua NH-U14S proven to be capable of fanless cooling, so gpu and cpu should be safe anyway, also I started using SSDs only, so there's no additional noise introduced from spinning HDDs,

so now it's time to take a look at case fans (2x 14cm front intakes, one 14cm back exhaust, one 12cm bottom intake), so far I cut intakes off when cpu temps go below 50°C and exhaust cuts off when cpu temps go below 45°C,


any tips for the fan speed curves and balance ratio between 3 intakes and 1 exhaust?


I'm also hoping for some improvement regarding dust accumulation in the case, due to the lower airflow at cost of negligibly higher temps,

are you also using custom-tweaked fan curves to maximize cooling efficiency and/or least noise? let me know and let's discuss!


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Misread the title as "Silent coding challenge".
F

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I'm not fussed about absolutely miniscule things like HDD noise, so I can't help here xD

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good for you :D
one of my other ideas was to try how far I can push my PC away, but I read somewhere that G-Sync doesn't properly work on long DisplayPort cables, any thoughts on that? I could totally have 10m usb 3.0 and DisplayPort for monitor/peripherials…

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Again, I've got a normal setup, so I wouldn't know whether things do or do not work over a long distance. I wouldn't want to speculate on something I've not tested.

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You plan on putting any fan/dust filters on the case?

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just the stock ones on Define R5 case already present there (front and bottom),
perhaps the non-filtered holes will serve as additional dust intakes, which I'd maybe tape over later

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With your current set-up the only thing left is undervolting and underclocking.


Otherwise, the other option is to go for 2x 360mm radiators on the front and top and 1x 120mm on the back, 1x 120mm on the side panel with a quiet water pump would be more than good enough to cool down your PC passively I think with next to no noise, and pretty much no noise when you close your case.


Or you can put some silent fans on all of the radiators and run them at 800rpm.


The best way nowadays is to get those 200mm case fans and a case that you can put them in. They are really quiet as they work on really low RPMs, but they push so much air its unreal.

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hmm I don't think undervolting+underclocking is the path to go right away,
since I have Define R5 case, I'll be testing with and without front panel, perhaps it may turn out having passive front intake unobstructed by front noise-dampening panel will be more silent than fans spinning behind the panel..

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I tested it out with my define S, it made no difference.

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Didn't check for the sound though.

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there's definitely difference in perceived sound,
as you pointed about 20cm fans, usually bigger fan generates lower frequency hum, which is less annoying to human ear, hence why I always prefer 14cm fans over 12cm ones (if they fit),
I've watched some YouTube reviews on Define vs Meshify series, and surprisingly not having front panel to obstruct airflow resulted in pretty nice thermal performance at reasonable noise levels..

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Well I guess it doesn't help when my CPU consumes like 40W in games and my old GPU was undervolted and consumed 120-130W and my "new" GPU consumes 100-110W.


And yeah 14cm fans are absolutely so much nicer than 12cm fans. My next case in the future will support 20cm fans for sure and it will have a mesh isntead of a flat surface for the front panel for sure.

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I haven't found any case with 20cm fans I'd like so far,
will you go DIY way, or is there some model you'd pick?

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Well I'd go DIY with all the current 20cm fan cases out right now, unless I've missed some.


TBH I pretty much want Fractal Design to release a proper 20cm fan case as I just love how they make their Define series of cases. Tons of room for storage on the back of the motherboard, super clean inside and simple and effecient design with tons of fan spaces.


The only good case that has 2x 200mm fans is the Cooler Master Master Case H500, which is good, but more to be desired. The rest are some low quality, very few features/slots/options, "gaming" cases.

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years back when I was picking a case, PHANTEKS Enthoo Pro was within my top 3 choices, but that time wasn't available anywhere,
it's the only modest case with 20cm intake in front afaik :)

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Yup, but I don't want the cages on the front personally. I want 2x 20cm fans.

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hmm it would be cool if there was a RACK case with 2x20cm fans, could be my studio rig for sure

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