Noise levels

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Bokothor Offline
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Post: #1
Hey all

I've been thinking for quite a while about buying/building a dedicated HTPC. The only thing keeping me from actually doing so, is that i don't really know what to expect from the amount of noise the product or assembled system will produce.
Right now i'm running XBMC on an old AMD 4600+ dualcore, 2 Gb Ram and a Radeon 5560 GFX, it runs everything smoothly, but the main nuissance is that it's quite loud. Tho not quite as loud as my i7 930 + 6870 Gfx. Both were originally bought for gaming, so i only went for performance, so it's pretty much just stock coolers and such, didnt pay attention to silent components.

Now, my question is... will an A6 or A8 system, or a zotac/acer/lenovo type box, be remarkably quieter, aka near inaudible ?

[CPU+iGPU] AMD A8-3850 4x2.9GHz HD6550D FM1 100W ($135 + $0)
[MOBO] ASRock A75M FM1 CIR USB3.0 SATAIII UEFI μATX ($75 + $0)
[CASE] SILVERSTONE ML03B μATX ($60 + $0)
[PSU] SeaSonic SS-400ET 80+ Bronze 400W ATX12V ($43 + $9)
TOTAL: ($322)

--> appeals to me most, but how silent is it? Comparing to "universal" devices like for example gaming consoles, I'm fine with the noise levels of a PS3, but an Xbox 360 does bother me.

Thanks in advance for shedding some light on my situation Wink
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Mick1152 Offline
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Post: #2
That is pretty much my exact configuration, except a 380W SeaSonic PSU. I also replaced the stock APU Heatsink/fan with this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...6835185174

It is huge and silent! Because it is bigger, it doesn't have to spin as fast to move the same amount of air as smaller fans. Works great.

That being said, I also have a build with a A6-3500 that I don't have a case for yet... it is all built and running caseless at the moment with the stock heatsink/fan in my bedroom on a shelf. Even without the case, the stock heatsink/fan are pretty damn quiet. I can hear them when the volume is pretty low on the TV but at normal listening levels, the stock fan is not noticeable. I expect it to be even less noticeable once it is actually in a case.

HTPC 1 - AMD A8-3870K, ASRock A75M, Silverstone ML03B, Kingston HyperX 4GB DDR3 1866, Crucial M4 64GB SSD
HTPC 2 - AMD A6-3500, ASRock A75M-ITX, Kingston HyperX 4GB DDR3 1866, Patriot Torqx 2 32GB SSD
HTPC 3 - Intel Celeron 847, OpenELEC
RV HTPC - Intel i3-2120 Mini-ITX, 12TB Storage
3 Raspberry Pis
unRAID 5 Server - AMD Sempron 145, 4TB Parity, 16TB Storage

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Bokothor Offline
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Post: #3
alright, thanks for your reply Smile

more input is still welcome
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bluray Offline
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Post: #4
@Bokothor-

You can build a silent HTPC with almost any CPU. It's the CPU fan, case fan and GPU fan that are making the noises. If you want to build a silent A8-3850, you can opt for this "PICOPSU-160-XT" Pico PSU, this "Scythe SCBSK-2100" CPU cooler and this "ENERMAX UC-8EB 80mm Case Fan" instead......

>Alienware X51- do it all HTPC
>Simplify XBMC configurations
>HOW-TO Bitstreaming using XBMC
I refused to watch movie without bitstreaming HD audio!
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Memes11 Offline
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Location: Hong-Kong
Post: #5
you can have a look at the MC001 from ARCTIC, I am running one with Openelec, it is flawless, even 1080p movies (even though some reviews mention a lower performance there, but I guess they were using a full Windows). The only noise is the HDD (you can still buy the barebone and add a SSD Smile ). What I like the most is the Android app (but that is another story not linked to the Hardware).

Come chez memes.

Running XBMC on my MC001 with Openelec. Perfect HTPC with high WAF.
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GortWillSaveUs Offline
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Post: #6
Take a look-see at my build. This thing is completely silent.
That is unless you put your ear right on the case,..but then, that's how they would listen for train's 20 miles away right. Ha.

I credit everyone's help in this build and especially THIS CPU cooler.
Scythe BIG SHURIKEN 2 Rev B. 5-Heatpipe Universal Low Profile CPU Cooler (SCBSK-2100) $47.95
[Image: 41wEb189mjL._SS500_.jpg]

There are no case fans,...and the CPU cooler is set to default speed of 10.
Once you knock it down to speed 1,...you can hear a pin drop.
As far as temps,..others have documented it,..it runs so cool.
I'll be posting my own temps once I get my family off the thing. Smile
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filthycatbox Offline
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Post: #7
I've agree with others here. It's relatively easy to build an htpc which is quieter than a ps3. As long as you eliminate a loud psu with a pico. I notice how loud my ps3 is when I switch it on and it overpowers the slight fan noise of my build sitting on the shelf above it.

I also went with 2 Red Wing 80mm fans which are near silent.

So if you're fine with the ps3 noise, then check the multiple builds dotted around the forum.
(This post was last modified: 2012-05-28 20:17 by filthycatbox.)
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GortWillSaveUs Offline
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Post: #8
I dunno,...the PSU I used emits no noise,...none.
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filthycatbox Offline
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Post: #9
I guess you were lucky then, the flex psu which my case shipped with was pretty noisy.
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GortWillSaveUs Offline
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Post: #10
(2012-05-29 02:10)filthycatbox Wrote:  I guess you were lucky then, the flex psu which my case shipped with was pretty noisy.

Is there any way you could switch out the PSU?
This is the one I used: SilverStone Strider 400W, 80 PLUS, Active PFC Power Supply ST40F-ES (Black) $48.99

I was going to buy another one, but then another poster here (Eskro) recommended this one to another person, especially because the case was a Silverstone. This one may not work with your case, but there might be someone who could recommend one.
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poofyhairguy Online
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Post: #11
I have a SILENT 775 HTPC, so yes you can do it with every CPU.

As a general guide, the most silent solution is no fans. Often that will mean big. In some places that is hard to do (like my climate) so the next best option is a few large fans.

The larger the fan the quieter it is. Don't have a fan in the case smaller than 120mm if possible. That case you picked is made for 80mm fans, so it will be loud even with the best fans you can buy. I would only touch the larger SILVERSTONE model if you want silent.

Also be sure to upgrade the HSF fan. For example in one of my HPTCs I have that Scythe BIG SHURIKEN above, but I replace its thin fan with a regular size Coolermaster one that is a more quiet design. In fact never stick with the fans you get with stuff if you can, it is best to buy a set of quiet fans for the case.

Big culprits are those little GPU fans so get a fanless GPU if possible. Other problems are the PSU, but I find Seasonic PSUs have really nice fans in most cases.

Mini/Micro ITX Frontend (with SSD) + Mediaserver/NAS + Logitech Harmony + LCD/LED/Plasma TV + Nice AV Receiver + XBMC + USENET + sabnzbd + sickbeard +couchpotato

My Setup--HTPC Building Guide- Start Here--Advice on Hard Drives and SSDs--Mediaserver Guide--Harmony Guide
(This post was last modified: 2012-05-29 07:19 by poofyhairguy.)
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filthycatbox Offline
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Post: #12
Thanks for the recommendation, but I went with a pico recently anyway. For now, the stock cpu cooler and 2 silent case fans are quiet enough though I do plan to get the shuriken.

(2012-05-29 03:09)GortWillSaveUs Wrote:  
(2012-05-29 02:10)filthycatbox Wrote:  I guess you were lucky then, the flex psu which my case shipped with was pretty noisy.

Is there any way you could switch out the PSU?
This is the one I used: SilverStone Strider 400W, 80 PLUS, Active PFC Power Supply ST40F-ES (Black) $48.99

I was going to buy another one, but then another poster here (Eskro) recommended this one to another person, especially because the case was a Silverstone. This one may not work with your case, but there might be someone who could recommend one.
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