TechSpot

Silencing a Geforce 6600GT and Asus A8N-SLI (long read)

By Per Hansson
Mar 30, 2005
  1. I'm building a computer for a friend, it's using a Arctic Cooling Silentium T2 case that has the powersupply in the bottom front of the case and draws air in a way pretty different to a normal case. All in all this should be a pretty quiet case with it's four special 80mm case fans (two on PSU blowing against the natural direction of air I.e. down and two at the back of the case where a PSU would normally be) See Silent PC's review if you are interested in it.

    But when I started up the computer I got very disappointed, it sounded like a jet taking off, I stopped the fan on the mobo and the one on the GFX card and all of a sudden the computer was very quiet...

    I dug out an old Zalman NB47J Chipset cooler I had lying around and put it on the mainboards chipset, but after being in the BIOS and setting everything up and rebooting the system did not want to boot, the NB47J Chipset cooler had gotten too hot... So I had to put a very ugly 50mm fan on it's side... While being ugly it did it's job very fine, the chipset got cool as a breeze and the new fan I put on was very quiet also. I have heard others recommend this Swiftec cooler, can't speak anything for how noisy it is though.

    After this was done I thought that the 6600GT's fan just can not be so noisy, I told myself that it had to be that when windows started up and loaded the nVidia drivers for it some controller would kick in and lower it's RPM, but about an hour later when all drivers where installed I was beginning to tear my hair off due to the noise, so I put the side panel on hoping it would muffle it, no chance, the noise was just as high pitched and annoying as before...

    That did it, I right away took my car and went to a computer shop a couple miles away and bought a Zalman VF700-Cu cooler, it was about 20$ (259SEK) after mounting it and starting the fan at 5v (cable included) I was amazed at how stupid the guys that built the GFX card must have been; the fan was the reference nVidia one, this was a XFX 6600GT Gamers Edition and it simply could not be used, it was way too noisy...

    The same goes for the chipset cooler on the A8N-SLI mobo, I understand that they need a low profile cooler to not block long PCIe cards in the mobos case and in the GFX cards case to not block the first PCIe 1x slot but come on, a better solution must have been possible to make?

    This is just a warning to anyone that is considering to buy a setup like this one that they should seriously consider buying these third party fans also, because if they appreciate any kind of silence they will be very disappointed in their computers...

    So how quiet did it get when all this stuff was installed? Well, I'm kind of a silencing addict myself but I got very impressed, the case is really well built, the different direction the air takes really does pay off; the fan on the CPU does barley not spin; because the Asus mobo controls the CPU1 fan header voltage; trying to keep the CPU at the temperature you choose, and for it to manage that the fan barley has to spin...

    The heatsink that I have on the processor is made by Cooler Master and is called "Hyper 6", it's a really big copper beast with heatpipes weighting in at a total of 950grams!!! I did have to remove the fan that was included and swap it for a more quiet ADDA fan I had lying around because it had a weird sound coming from it, like if the flimsy clear plastic was not machined well enough so the whole thing was rattling.... But on second thought I think that I could do away altogether with the fan if I wanted to, because right now my ADDA fan barley spins but the A64 3500+ CPU is only 50°C (I choose 72°C in the BIOS as the target temp for the temperature controlled fan so... ;-)

    T2large.jpg
     
  2. isatippy

    isatippy TS Rookie Posts: 593

    Man when you say long read you mean lllllllllloooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggggg rrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaddddddddddd. WOW :bounce:
     
  3. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,483

    you've got great overclocking headroom there, are you going to o/c?
     
  4. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Topic Starter Posts: 1,932   +126 Staff Member

    Well, had it been my computer I would already have OC:ed it but it is not so ;-)

    But we will see, he probably will OC it but maybe not when it is as new as it is now...
     
  5. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Topic Starter Posts: 1,932   +126 Staff Member

    I spoke to soon, he called me later yesterday and asked me to OC it, the CPU is a 3500+ Newcastle (130nm) so 2,2Ghz. With aircooling and without increasing the voltage we ended at 2,7Ghz! That is a 500Mhz OC on just air, very impressive!

    We also overclocked his GFX card, it is stock at 1,1Ghz mem and 510Mhz GPU, we ended at 1,3Ghz memory and 580Mhz GPU, so yes zephead; he did have quite allot of overclocking headroom there ;-)
     
  6. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,483

    glad you put it to good use. is/was there any interest in getting high performance memory (beyond DDR400 specs)?
     
  7. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Topic Starter Posts: 1,932   +126 Staff Member

    No, it's simply running 2x 512MB PC3200 TwinMOS memories... All it's voltages and timings are set to auto...

    Furthermore the HT multipler is set to 5X so the HT bus is highly overclocked as well, I will have another look at this computer during the weekend to find a speed it will run very reliably at...
     
  8. kol_indian

    kol_indian TS Rookie Posts: 368

    Damn

    When will see systems like this in chennai, it takes lot of snooping around in tthe local computer hardware shops to find a decent cpu heatsink and fan even antec are unknown out here, these are all my dream
    what I really want is a water cooling system but that to will dream for now atleast.
     
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