Heatsink without a fan possible?

By maax555 · 17 replies
Feb 4, 2010
  1. Hi, I have an Intel Quad core processor with a very noisy fan. I would like to change heatsink and fan as I use my PC for recording music. recording audio through a microphone is impossible due to the noisy fan. Is it possible to cool the cpu using only a heatsink such as the Prolima Megahalems which has good reviews?
    Can anyone recommend a very quiet (silent if possible) heatsink and fan for under say £60?
    Any help appreciated.

    regards Russ
  2. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    It is very possible to build a PC completely silent.

    So yes, of course the Prolima Megahalems would be the heatsink of choice, and if you're not going completely fanless, couple it with the smallest CFM 120mm fan you can find. The smallest airflow will make a huge difference....
  3. maax555

    maax555 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    so do you think I should perhaps fit the heatsink and see how it runs?
    Whats the best way to keep an eye on the temp? There must be a program to check the temp under load? If i checked the temp from the setup screen in the bios that would not be under load.

  4. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    I've never heard of a passively cooled Nehalem nor Core 2 quad...

    Glad to see you did decide to start your own thread, so i'll just copy my last post from here:
    Exactly what CPU do you have, and is it overclocked? Keep in mind the noise may be a different fan, like your case fan. Just double check that to make sure.

    The Noctua NH-U12P SE2 120mm SSO CPU Cooler - Retail
    is the only low noise cooler I know of, it is rather expensive and I would assume there are more fitting options for you, someone else help .
  5. maax555

    maax555 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    yeah sorry about the previous thread elsewhere.
    CPU is a Q6600 which is not overclocked. The noise is def from the CPU fan there is some noise from the Power supply but its hard to tell if I wwill need to replace this also until I get the noise down on the CPU. The computer is a Packard Bell Ixtreme 2712. The noise is probably a little louder that a hair dryer on a mid setting :-(
  6. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    You don't need a passively cooled CPU to get a quiet PC.

    From experience, most of the noise will come from the graphics card (if you own a mid range-high end one).

    Its not widely done of course, but in some reviews of larger heatsinks like the the megahalem, reviewers have added a passive mode test as well. Results aren't really all the great for overclocking, but they'd run at full load without a problem. (Query particularly hot days >40C)

    Of course, that brings us to the question of reduced lifespan. Odds are good your CPU will still outlast its usefulness....
  7. maax555

    maax555 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I guess putting a 120mm small fan on wont wont make any more noise than the power supply or would it?
  8. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Start off with a quiet fan, and then put a 5V adapter to it would more or less guarantee it won't be the loudest component in your computer....
  9. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    I'd advise using a silent fan

    I use 6 of the NF-P12 fans as cooling on my watercooling radiator and they generate virtually no noise. Certainly a lot less than a PSU. THey aren't especially cheap but they work as advertised. The NF-P14 FLX is also a very good option- you'll notice that the tested figure for ultra low acoustic fanspeed is 14dB.
    If you have no objection with parting with 20 quid or so.

    Using a fully passive heatsink on a quad is possible (the Thermalright IFX-14 for example) but the heatsink and system still requires chassis cooling, which brings us back to fan noise.
  10. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Sorry, I forgot the link; Noctua NH-U12P SE2 120mm SSO CPU Cooler - Retail , it likely uses the same fan as one that dividebyzero posted, though it comes with a heatsink+fan, making it cheaper than a megahalem.

    There's also the possibility of liquid cooling, but thats messy and expensive, i'm personally lazier than that, not worth it IMO its more something you would use for high overclocking rather than sound reduction.

    oh and the Noctua NH-U12P SE2 is rated at Acoustical Noise with U.L.N.A.: 12.6 dB(A).
  11. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 443

    I use a Thermalright Ultra120 eXtreme. It keeps my E8400 cool running at 4.0GHz without my fan on doing general computing. I crank the fan up for gaming, but my sound is cranked too so I never hear it, even though it's a 98CFM fan.

    My 8800GT uses an Arctic Cooling Accelero S1 Rev. 2 with no fan and never goes above 58C at full load even during the summer ambient hot temps.
  12. atotalnoob

    atotalnoob TS Rookie

    try this =D chris.pirillo.com/top-5-tips-to-improve-computer-case-noise-2/
  13. atotalnoob

    atotalnoob TS Rookie

    or maybe liquid cooled? I don't have one, but I think they are quieter. Also I have noticed some companies like Ibuypower are starting to offer "padded" computers for noice cancelling... try something like that, maybe.
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,973   +2,527

    I ran across this Zerotherm fanless; http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835887001 But still, methinks I'd try a C2D 65 watt CPU in a no fan configuration.

    I don't know about the VAT, but 60 Pounds will pretty much buy anything but liquid cooling. (About $90.00 USD, is that correct)?

    You could also opt to slightly underclock the Q6600, it would still probably carry HTPC usage.
  15. ucould2

    ucould2 TS Guru Posts: 271

    air passing fan makes sound

    Don't know if this will rate a mention :zzz: but I was reading this thread weeks ago whilst listening to the noise emanating from my machine. Recently I received a 'stool' for my tower so as to move it off the box-and-tile arrangement for (belated) a xmas present. Now (as before) the base of my tower is wedged with a block of rubber (half-inch) on one side and the other has a small stress reliever ball. This was done to reduce the residual noise vibration which gave an audible noise reduction in it's self, however now that the whole tower is sitting more level than previous I am now only listening to the GPU fan. Was actually reading about Positive and Negative Air flow case cooling when it occurred to me that you could theoretically match the sound wave with the same noise and eliminate it audibly. To test this I would suggest the exact same fan that is in your GPU blowing air out of the case (if that's the arrangement) put at the front of the tower sucking air in, and then the exact same fan as is on your CPU placed at the back of the tower blowing air out of the case. Keeping in mind that you need to have a balance of the CFM - I believe a positive case pressure would at the very least push the noise more rearwards :approve:

    If there is still money in the 'kitty' perhaps some type of dust shield (like a bug screen) at the front around all drivers and openings to control the air-flow and therefore noise more effectively ? :darth:
  16. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Okay, you're talking about something you don't completely understand there :D

    From your description, you sound like you're trying to have some sort of 'noise cancellation' thing going on. Your thing sounds good on theory, but impossible in practice, as if your fans are the same frequency, BUT just half a wavelength off, you end up DOUBLING the amount of noise produced. Unless you can figure out how to:
    a) make your fans go at the exact same frequency; and
    b) make them start making noise at the exact same time; and
    c) position your fans in the perfect position in comparison to where you're sitting so the sound waves reach your ears at exactly the precise moment for cancellation;

    this whole thing just wouldn't work. Given that I can't even figure out a consistent way to drill a hole with a hand drill at a precise point (and we're just talking about visually precise here, which isn't precise at all compared to the measurements involved with sound waves), I'd give that up as impossible.

    However, your positive and negative airflow thing is definitely interesting to me. If you've read one of my other threads, I'm building a custom case, and unfortunately for me, there isn't much space to mount fans. My 2-exhaust-fan-0-intake-fan custom case will be an ultimate negative-pressure case (which describes just about all mini-ITX cases out there I've seen). I'm designing specific intake vents for the case in hot-spots within the case, and sealing up all other spots with some foam. I'm praying to all the gods man has ever invented that this will work.....
  17. ucould2

    ucould2 TS Guru Posts: 271

    I give it up to

    I give it up to you @CMH yes you are :grinthumb correct my view is mostly conceptual although I did assume that
    (c) you were recording through a micro-phone so reverberation could be kept down by simple foam muffler over mic.?
    (b) having a computer to use as the sound wave recording device I thought that there would be a myriad of programs that would / could allow you to Edit the recorded data. You would need to record the sound (sample) that you need to remove
    (a) I was relying totally on the fact the 'Chinese' can casually manufacture two items exactly the same - everything comes from China these days! (and) a wives tale that the WW2 Spitfire pilots coated there propellers with a type of "nail polish varnish" to eliminate / reduce the 'squadron' flying sound down to a three plane resonance mission sound to enable them to get over enemy territory and avoid blanket fire from German Ack-Ack artillery.
    The bmp. image attached is a hand tool I do actually own makes a precise divot in the metal (depth relies totally on pressure applied) without the use of a hammer / pounding implement. I used it for marking car tops before fitting roof-bars / spoilers. Allows the drill end to rotate and cut inside the divot without skidding all over and scratching / damaging paint-work. Pen-like design allows the user to be able to mark through blind holes (eg.fan shrouds) and if you check before drilling to find you've messed up damage is minute and mostly undetectable :cool:
    Edit Description from caption in bmp. "Draper 13612 Automatic Centre Punch"

    Attached Files:

  18. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Me needs to buy one of those hand tooly thingies.
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