1. StoryWeaver
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    StoryWeaver Member

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    A quiet writing PC...

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by StoryWeaver, Sep 22, 2013.

    Laptops are quiet of course, but desktops not always so. I have been on a quest recently to build a quiet desktop pc to assist with writing and composing music on my desktop pc without noisy fans and drives, getting there. If anybody else has a similar quest or need i would be happy to share what i am doing (uber quiet cpu fan, silent video card, quiet case fan, silent drives); the irony is I started using computers when there were no fans on the cpu or on video cards, now PCs are so powerful their components need extra cooling. Nothing to do with writing directly, just indirectly in terms of having a quiet environment to think, or hear inspirational music while writing.
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    People still use desktops? :p
     
  3. Dresden260
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    Dresden260 Corrupt Diplomat

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    This may be overkill since I bought this for gaming but this is the desktop I type a majority of my stories.

    http://www.falcon-nw.com/desktops/fragbox
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, in fact some people use servers, desktops, laptops, tablets, AND mobiles.

    Diversity applies to technology as well as people.

    I have very quiet fans on my desktops and servers, but they move the air quite adequately. Also, those boxes need not be right next to the display and keyboard.
     
  5. StoryWeaver
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    StoryWeaver Member

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    I'll have to take a closer look at that. I need a new motherboard (to get SATA III 6Gb/s, my current mobo only has SATA II 3 Gb/s and I want to upgrade my drives to SSD 6Gb/s) and I would love to downsize from my mid-tower desktop. The problem is it feels like the search for the Holy Grail because i need a mobo that can use my AMD six core AM3 cpu, can do 32GB of DDR3 memory (so 4 slots for 8GB 240-pin memory modules), USB3, and that has space for a fanless ASUS PCI express2 video card I just ordered; if I could find a microATX motherboard with all that, that would be nice. Otherwise I guess I will just learn to put my tower case on the floor-- but it sure is running silent, except for the five year old graphics card that was whining like a tortured banshee until i silenced its fan bearings with some graphite powder and machine oil.
     
  6. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    It would be cheaper to just buy an expensive pair of noise-canceling headphones.
     
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  7. E. C. Scrubb
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    E. C. Scrubb Active Member

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    If you want something quiet, make sure you go with a low-voltage chip that doesn't need the juice and doesn't put out the heat. I'd see if I could find something like the I7-3770 (if you want quad-core). It has enough video power that you don't need a card, thus cutting away clutter and possibly more heat from a card. Go smaller on the chip if you want even, but I'd say that's the first place to start. The less heat that's produced, the less any fans will have to run to move it.
     
  8. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    How much you looking to spend?
     
  9. StoryWeaver
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    StoryWeaver Member

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    Yes I have been contemplating, seriously, downgrading from my current six-core cpu to a quad- or even tri-core. Six-core is useful for serious video compositing/rendering, but for anything else it is pretty much overkill. More important for my needs are fast SSD drives and 32GB of fast memory. And of course nice video for gaming :) The fanless silent video card I just ordered should be nice given it is both quiet and powerful for gaming during the very long cold winters here in Minnesota; has 1GB of GDDR5 graphics card memory and the HD Radeon 7750 chipset.
     
  10. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Would going with only SSDs help? I'm curious because I've been thinking of doing that.
     
  11. StoryWeaver
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    StoryWeaver Member

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    definitely. i just ordered a new motherboard that has sata III (not necessary, but will allow ssd to achieve max read/write speeds, double that of sata II motherboards) and an ssd drive to replace my current hard drive that has Windows 7 on it; once i feel like thinning my wallet even more i plan to buy a larger ssd for my data drive. my PC is running a lot quieter these days with a super quiet cpu fan, super quiet case fan (8dB), fanless silent graphics card, and now with a shift to SSD silent drives. :)
     
  12. Aled James Taylor
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    Aled James Taylor Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think what you need is a fan controller. This will allow you to turn down the speed of each fan and greatly reduce its noise. Have plenty of fans in the PC and you won't run out of cooling.
     
  13. StoryWeaver
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    StoryWeaver Member

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    The ultraquiet cpu cooling fan i installed did come with a fan controller so i keep it at minimal speed. But still, not all fans are created equal, most are very noisy even if you turn down their rpm. Quietpc.com has lots of ratings on fans.

    I bought and installed this for my case fan, one of the quietest case fans that exists, 8.5dB noise
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002IG5HFW/

    And I bought this for my cpu cooling, again extremely quiet, albeit huge!
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0093DOO34
     
  14. Aled James Taylor
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    Aled James Taylor Contributing Member Contributor

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    You could try lining the case with soundproofing material. I've never seen it done but it sounds plausible in theory.
     
  15. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    My Mac desktop has no noisy fans. It makes odd little noises telling me something inside is moving, but it's fairly quiet.
     
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  16. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, for the most part all of my Macs are silent. I hear a whir when I pop in a CD or DVD, but other than that, I have to put my ear in contact with my Mini and my iMac to hear the fan. Same with my MBPs.
     
  17. Macaberz
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    Macaberz Pay it forward Contributor

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    Like hell they do. Websites like this on run on them, even though we call them servers in that case, but those two can be the same. Laptops in general suffer from batteries that die, overheating, slower speed drives, broken cd/dvd slots, crappy displays. Moreover, once one part is broken inside that isn't RAM or the battery, components are very hard to replace. So yea, desktops will be around for a long, long time. And I haven't even mentioned performance.

    @StoryWeaver if you are going for a composing computer, then you will need quite a powerful PC (at least, I am assuming you will be using VSTI's?). If you want silent drives, that have excellent performance, SSD's are the way to go. They are quite expensive, but the MACS that are being praised here are indeed quiet because they too use SSD's/Flash storage.

    In terms of the videocard, from what I you will be using this desktop for, you would be well off to go with a videocard with passive cooling. Gaming on those cards is not something I would advise, but they would suffice for the needs you have described. Anything in the $50 -> $100 range should suffice.

    This leaves you with your power supply. These things can be quite noisy, but Corsair has some very quiet ones that are worth checking out.

    Out of curiosity, would you be willing to share the list of components that you are considering so far? I love building these things, and have done so several times now, so yea, I am interested! :D
     
  18. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    My desktop could take your laptop, turn it inside out, skin it, and wear it's facade to parties as a joke. And it could do this for less than half the cost.
     
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  19. Dresden260
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    Dresden260 Corrupt Diplomat

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    My Desktop could take both your desktop and his laptop and dismantle them. Them put them back together into a beautiful underpowered statue. For... a bit of money.
     
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  20. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    My desktop raided your desktop's village, killed its father and sold it as a slave to traders across the sea.
     
  21. Dresden260
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    Dresden260 Corrupt Diplomat

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    My desktop captured the slave ship turned it around and razed your desktop's village, killed its children and stole its sister.
     
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  22. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    You guys do realize that I was just kidding about the desktop thing, right?
     
  23. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    My Desktop thought you might try something like that, so it hid in it's sister's clothes and garroted your desktop when it's guard was down.
     
  24. Dresden260
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    Dresden260 Corrupt Diplomat

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    Grabbing the dagger it keeps for emergencies my desktop stabbed your desktop's graphics card forcing it to lose its grip. My desktop then jumps into a German King Tiger and aims it at your pitiful desktop.
     
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  25. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Funny I rather like the noise of my desktop. In fact sometimes in the middle of the night I will wake up and realize it is because my desktop has turned off due toe the electric going out, updates, or the sleep mode was reset. Then I have to get up and turn the computer back on so that I can go back to sleep.
     

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