Quiet that computer!
February 17, 2001 2:15 AM   Subscribe

Quiet that computer! This site offers some great tips on reducing the noise produced by your computer. I just got a new Power Mac G4 and a couple of external FireWire drives to go with it, and was appalled at how loud the setup was -- particularly the fans in the FireWire drive cases. Mike Breeden at Xlr8yourMac.com has a great tip on reducing the fan noise on the G4 itself, which I applied to the FireWire drives with good results (haven't tried it on the G4 yet). If your computer (Mac, PC, or otherwise) is loud enough to be heard over your MP3s, maybe these pages will help.
posted by kindall (8 comments total)
I would like to see offices designed with in-wall vacuum systems (like those old in-wall vacuum-cleaner systems). You would use a short length of flexible hose to connect your PC to the system, which would centralize the fan noise in some central place, maybe the roof. (You could design bundled hose+cable setups.)

PCs would be much quieter and have no fans that could fail, and the heated air from the PC would be sucked out of the room instead of recirculated. To ensure portability, each PC could be equipped with a fan that would automatically start when the PC is not connected to a central vacuum system.
posted by pracowity at 5:40 AM on February 17, 2001

The problem with PCs (especially laptops) isn't the fan... it's THE HARDDRIVE!! There's a company in Sweden that sells specially sound insulated computers. Something like one of those will be my next machine. Until then, I ain't buying.
posted by muppetboy at 9:29 AM on February 17, 2001

Do you have a link for that company muppetboy?

Good call pracowity, except that I would like to centralise all computing functions in the attic or basement, and simply have on-wall screens and/or laptops in every room.

Fujitsu have the quietest HD's available so far as I know. Having used one for the past 2-3 years, I'm planning to buy another. My last Fujitsu drive died last December, and I had to get a Western Digital because I couldn't source a replacement in a hurry. It's faster, but quite discernibly noisier. Planning to replace it with another Fujitsu as soon as I can.

I'm not sure how recent this review is, but it discussed the technology. To be honest my last FJ drive didn't survive past it's warrenty, but the company gave me a cash refund, and I'm putting it towards getting a larger drive, same brand.
posted by lucien at 1:21 PM on February 17, 2001

IBM's drives are pretty quiet too. I was amazed some time ago when I got one of the first Ultrastars; I thought at first the drive was defective because I couldn't hear it running. I had had Quantums before.
posted by kindall at 3:30 PM on February 17, 2001

Check these out...



posted by muppetboy at 10:44 PM on February 17, 2001

No offense muppetboy, but what's wrong with making those actual links?

More ontopic: I have a couple of very old external SCSI drives in my office, and the fans in both their cases have developed a horrible rattle. To stop the noise, I simply jammed a straightened paper clip in each fan to keep them from spinning. Ah, much quieter now. They've been that way for over year, and they haven't overheat yet. However, even with no fans, these drives are not totally silent. As muppetboy pointed out, the harddrive itself still makes a lot of noise. I wish HD manufacturers would use more insulation -- especially in drives meant for desktop systems where the extra weight won't be such a big deal.
posted by Potsy at 12:12 AM on February 18, 2001

The 7volts site suggests using rubber grommets to mount your hard drives, reducing the amount of vibration transmitted to the chassis that ends up as noise.
posted by kindall at 12:43 AM on February 18, 2001

No offense muppetboy, but what's wrong with making those actual links?

Sorry, I'm not bright enough and currently I'm too drunk.
posted by muppetboy at 11:31 PM on February 20, 2001

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