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Low noise for recording -considering water cooled-is my CPU fan o.k?

By tyleronline ยท 7 replies
May 7, 2006
  1. Hi there, I have a Carillon Audio P.C which is solely used for recording. The problem I have is noise from my P.C is being picked up by my microphones. I have a 3.2 GHZ P4 CPU which is cooled by a Zalman Cooler. The CPU fan is running at around 3200 rpm, is this a good speed? My CPU temp goes as high as 60 0c. This doesnt seem to high but would i notice an increase in performance if it were cooler? I have no case fans at present. My PSU is Carillon made and very quiet indeed. Would water cooling my CPU be a good option? Is water cooling very quiet as the noise of my P.C is the most important thing to me, but I also need high performance beacause of demanding performance. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  2. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,212

    3200RPM is good/normal speed for Zalman CPU cooler fan.
    60C is high side of normal for a P4 underload, you will NOT notice performance improvement if it was lower. The only time performance falls off is if the CPU gets so hot it slows the clock frequency down automatically to prevent overheating. Your temps are nowhere near high enough for that to happen.

    Water cooling can be quieter, but I guess it depends on the make/model you buy. They also can have a fan to cool the water and this is external of the PC usually setting near/beside the PC. These fans don't have to spin so fast as HSF (Zalman) so are generally quieter.

    Wait for a few others here to post/recommend a good brand, I'm not in the know on that topic.

  3. tyleronline

    tyleronline TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 66

    thanks kirock, Do you think it would be safe to run the fan at a lower speed? say around 1800? I have turned the fan down to this before and there is a big decrease in noise but I dont know what effect it would have on the CPU? I have heard that running a CPU hot all the time can reduce its life, is this accurate?I am also going to be disabling anything fancy in windows see if I can squeeze a bit more performance outta me CPU. I have a fan mate which I use to control the speed of my CPU fan so I sahll try turning it down a bit. Thanks.
  4. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 964   +8

    you do not need any fans in your water cooling setup if your processor isn't overclocked. In my system (home made), I do not use a fan, the radiator/heater core will effectively radiate enough heat without the need for a fan. Just as an example... My Athlon64 Venice 3000+ (which by the way is overclocked 200MHz higher than stock) stays below 32c under load with no fan.

    I started water cooling before water cooling kits were commercially availabe, and I have built several rigs from scratch.

    I began water cooling for silencing reasons, which is why I would recommend water cooling if you're looking for a silent PC. the quietest pumps in my experience are submerged pumps (they are generally much cheaper as well).

    I cannot recommend any pre-made water cooling kits because I have never bought one. they generally cost between $200-$300. you can easily assemble a water cooling system yourself for under $50

    You can also buy heat pipe CPU coolers that are fanless, but since you have no case fans to circulate air inside the case, I don't think it would be a good option for you.
  5. tyleronline

    tyleronline TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 66

    thanks Kingcody. Water cooling would be a last resort for me I think. I would like to try to achieve a quiter P.C with fans first. Although your cooling system does seem impressive. I shall see if I can run the fan a bit slower without causing a rise in CPU temperature. I dont understand much about water cooling, as far as I can make out you have a tank on the outside of your pc which runs to a cooler inside and pumps fluid to this cooler, drawing hot fluid away from the CPU. Is this close? Thanks for all your help
  6. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,212

    Reduce CPU life b/c of heat? You bet! Affirmative. This is how all electronics die/wear out. You can try to turn down the CPU fan speed, just keep an eye on your CPU temps though. You had it at 60C when the fan was 3000RPM plus, so if you were to go to half that speed, I'm sure the CPU will go to near 70C. Now you're getting to slow down temps. :(

    KingCody is the one to talk to about watercooling as you can see, I'm sure if he put his mind to it he could recommend a good commercial brand. ;)

    The only other thing you could try is replace your thermal paste with Artic Silver. This is the best on the market and has been known to drop CPU temps by 10C easily. This way you can keep the fan at lower speed and still keep temps in good range.

  7. tyleronline

    tyleronline TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 66

    I think I shall definetly try this I think I may have some arctic silver leftover from a GPU fan I bought! I don't know what thermal paste the CPU came with though it might allready be arctic silver? I'll try and keep the CPU below 65 oc then. Thanks
  8. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 964   +8

    there are different ways to set up a water cooling rig, one could easily be set up the way you described.

    My setup is located inside the case (the radiator is technically outside the case, but it's connections are all inside)


    P.S. in this picture I added a fan to the radiator, at full speed it reduces CPU temps by about 5c, at low speeds it only makes a 1c-2c difference but increases overall case airflow without the noise pollution.

    My point is, while a dedicated fan is benificial, it is not required.
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