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A completely silent computer
By Thom Holwerda on 2018-05-15 22:45:06

I've been trying to make my computers quieter for nearly three decades. Custom liquid cooling loops, magnetically-stabilised fluid-dynamic bearings, acoustic dampeners, silicone shock absorbers, you name it. Well, last week I finally managed to build a completely silent computer. Without further ado...

The Streacom DB4 is an amazing chassis and case, which I am considering for one of my next computer builds. This article provides great insight into building such a fanless PC, with links to additional articles about the system later in its lifespan.

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Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-20 -- 21-21
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OR...
By The Lone OSer on 2018-05-16 00:25:06
For those wanting a completely silent computer without all the cost, development and heartache.. welcome the Raspberry Pi haha
Permalink - Score: -1
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Or you know...
By MtRattlesnake on 2018-05-16 00:56:18
Put it in the closet.
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Comment by CowMan
By CowMan on 2018-05-16 01:15:36
Awesome case, lovely build, love it!!

To be fair, one could have 0 dB much easier and cheaper by going with an appropriate low power CPU. Another option is to oversize the components so any fans never kick in, i.e. I just built a 4U threadripper box full of noctua fans which is quite quiet; has a Seasonic PSU which is way oversized, 1300W, so never gets anywhere near enough load to spin the fan up in 'hybrid' mode (though I do leave it running). Similarly, the drive cages are fit with fans, but they have never kicked in either.

If the case has room, that often is a more practical (cheaper, more flexible, better reusuability) option.

Another thing to consider, large slow-turning fans are easy enough to be had which will put out less than 12dB in operation - a decent case will attenuate that below perception, which would be way more efficient cooling for 'noiseless' operation. I'd consider that a fair trade off, there is not the reliability to be gained from removing rotating parts, but really allowing for internal airflow is still 2nd class in that regard to a sealed system which would prevent dust accumulation.
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RE: OR...
By emphyrio on 2018-05-16 01:22:13
Heh, only problem is that more and more raspberrypi builds seem to be getting a fan nowadays to improve performance (by preventing heat throttling).

Edited 2018-05-16 01:23 UTC
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Comment by werpu
By werpu on 2018-05-16 07:56:52
He probably would have gotten away much cheaper by sticking to a Ryzen 2200 or 2400 APU instead of going for the 1600 with a dedicated GPU.
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Coil whine
By p13. on 2018-05-16 08:31:55
While annoying on a regular machine, it will drive you absolutely nuts on a "0db" machine like this.
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Comment by werpu
By werpu on 2018-05-16 08:45:16
He probably would have gotten away much cheaper by sticking to a Ryzen 2200 or 2400 APU instead of going for the 1600 with a dedicated GPU.
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RE: Coil whine
By yoshi314@gmail.com on 2018-05-16 10:28:29
at least it will be more noticeable and easier to locate.
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RE: Comment by CowMan
By TheForumTroll on 2018-05-16 10:32:24
A lower power CPU isn't really needed if you use good components. My old I5-2500K overclocked a bit doesn't have any fans running. Just a huge chunk of aluminum from Noctura. Only when fully OC'ed (4,5Ghz) does the single fan turn on (controlled by SpeedFan). Fanless PSU's from Seasonic are also very quiet ;)

Edited 2018-05-16 10:34 UTC
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RE: Comment by werpu
By Morgan on 2018-05-16 11:01:33
Exactly. Since he said it's not for gaming there is simply no need for a dedicated GPU. I recently built a Ryzen 5 2400G based workstation and the built in GPU is more than enough for any non-gaming task, and it also can handle light to medium gaming for all but the most inefficient game engines (Unity I'm looking at you).
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