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Fan-less silent PC

computer-audiophile

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I actually enjoy building computers
I have always enjoyed building computers myself, from the earliest days of computing. Today, it's mostly limited to buying highly miniaturised barebones and completing them.
utterly computer noise allergic
Oh yes, that is what I also am. :)
A few years ago, it wasn't so easy to get a computer to be silent.
 

computer-audiophile

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This used to be a funny little box that I had built as my media-computer a long time ago. I had used a relatively large fan for cooling, which was very quiet and ran at a lowered speed. You really couldn't hear it. Fortunately, the fanless models came soon after that. I had some Mini PC's from ZOTAC, for example, who are among the pioneers in this field and still offer advanced cooling solutions today.



mini-pc1.jpg
 

Berwhale

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A few years ago, it wasn't so easy to get a computer to be silent.

I was using a passive radiator for water cooling (Zalaman Reserator) back in 2004...

Reservator & Qbic 1 (Small).JPG


It wasn't completely silent, because the Soltek Qbic barebones had a blower fan (which was actually pretty quiet)...

PICT0008 (Small).JPG


There was no fan on the Radeon 9800 PRO :)

PICT0009 (Small).JPG


I extended the cooling loop to the Northbridge later, I don't think i've got any pictures of that, but here's one after I added a temperature monitor (Jeez, that power LED was bright!)...


Front With Thermometer (detail) (Small).JPG


Actually, I do have a photo...

DSCF0271 (Small).JPG
 
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Berwhale

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And here's my home 'server' from 2004 with a very cheap Coolwave water cooling setup and acoustic foam on the side panels...

Watercooling My Server 020 (Small).jpg


Next to it's mate (Gah! More blue LEDs, you'd think they'd just been invented!)...

Watercooling My Server 021 (Small).jpg
 

pablolie

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And here's my home 'server' from 2004 with a very cheap Coolwave water cooling setup and acoustic foam on the side panels...

View attachment 323080

Next to it's mate (Gah! More blue LEDs, you'd think they'd just been invented!)...

View attachment 323082
You are a pioneer. I got interested in silent PCs around 2004 or so, when for some reason I just could not stand the ever increasing noise levels anymore. I had bought -and I recall this because it was a key moment- a top end Sony (RCV-R558DS, just looked it up) for a lot of $, and while it was a top performer, it *howled* every time it was turned on. I just could not deal with it, and have gone for silent builds ever since.
 

benanders

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I was using a passive radiator for water cooling (Zalaman Reserator) back in 2004...

View attachment 323064

It wasn't completely silent, because the Soltek Qbic barebones had a blower fan (which was actually pretty quiet)...

View attachment 323065

There was no fan on the Radeon 9800 PRO :)

View attachment 323066

I extended the cooling loop to the Northbridge later, I don't think i've got any pictures of that, but here's one after I added a temperature monitor (Jeez, that power LED was bright!)...


View attachment 323075

Actually, I do have a photo...

View attachment 323084

Oh my, oooh my…

To see another pic of Reserator in its native time and natural habitat :D
You might say I cling to the past, but I wish those remained in production.

I still use a bunch of Zalman’s 5.25” bay HDD heat pipe coolers.
Such a cool company.

Those 90° elbow tube fittings in the pics are terrifying by current standards - perhaps @Berwhale is not just a “pioneer,”

You are a pioneer. ...


but also a daredevil, ha!
 

Berwhale

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Those 90° elbow tube fittings in the pics are terrifying by current standards - perhaps @Berwhale is not just a “pioneer,”

There was around 1mm clearance between the Xice waterblock on the Radeon 9800 PRO and the side of the case, I didn't have a lot of choice with the pipework and I managed to the get a 2.4GHz P4 up to almost 4Ghz anyway :)

I think the fastest P4 at the time was 3.8Ghz which cost 4x as much as the 2.4Ghz one I ran, so the whole rig was quite cost effective, despite the Reserator costing the same as the CPU :)

I should also own up to adding forced air cooling to the reserator later on, but this was also very quiet.
 

benanders

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There was around 1mm clearance between the Xice waterblock on the Radeon 9800 PRO and the side of the case, I didn't have a lot of choice with the pipework and I managed to the get a 2.4GHz P4 up to almost 4Ghz anyway :)

I think the fastest P4 at the time was 3.8Ghz which cost 4x as much as the 2.4Ghz one I ran, so the whole rig was quite cost effective, despite the Reserator costing the same as the CPU :)

I should also own up to adding forced air cooling to the reserator later on, but this was also very quiet.

Summary being you boosted CPU speed over the line’s commercially available max while keeping cost at 50%, only tradeoff was a large passive peripheral? Awesome strategy, for ~2004 especially.

At that time I had a uni roommate who built a big fan-less Linux tower with CPU cooled by a massive old copper block. He took weeks to get that part because he set a begrudgingly low price limit for himself and kept losing to competitors on eBay. While that was well before electronic payments, buyer protection and auctionstealer, there were already folks savvy enough to code their own sniper-bid algorithms and they kept beating him by cents and seconds, if not even less…

Maybe they were all using P4’s cooled by fan-aided Reserators! :D
 

Berwhale

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computer-audiophile

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Since I don't do any computer games or really complex graphics processing at home, but only surf the internet, write texts and stream music, TV and video, I don't need such big tower computers. I think it's great that such things are getting smaller and quieter and also consume much less power.
 
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