With the advent of affordable consumer-grade networking, both wired and wireless, more computer users have been creating extensive computer networks in their homes and small offices. By creating a centralized server for the network, clients can easily share and obtain files with much ease in addition to the abilities to stream audio and video over the network from an HTPC (Home Theatre PC). Although most any box will do for a simple SOHO (Small Office Home Office) server, in this article we're going to be trying out several different products to silence the noisy cooling devices in computers while maintaining acceptable airflow. Although these products will work in nearly any desktop system, we're focusing a majority of our attention in this article to silencing HTPCs/servers. The main areas of interest in this article are silencing our system, while maintaining appropriate airflow, through fan gaskets, silent/dust proof fans, and an optional passive CPU heatsink.
The items we'll be featuring today in this overview include two AcoustiFan DustProof Noiseless computer case fans, Anti-Vibration Silicone Fan Gasket, AcoustiFan Anti-Vibration Gel Fan Mounts, Scythe Ninja (SCNJ-1000) fan-less CPU cooler, and a variety of different products from Prime Cooler. These products from Prime Cooler include the PC-VGAC+, PC-9225L12SMA, and PC-8025L12SMA. We've decided to bundle all of these products together into a single article due to their superb level of performance when it comes to the noise level and airflow of each of these products.
For the noise testing, a majority of these components were housed inside of a small SilverStone Technology LC-14 HTPC chassis. This chassis is composed of 1.0mm SECC steel and measures in at 437 x 172 x 434mm. Luckily, there is an abundance of holes on both sides of the chassis to help airflow throughout the case. The motherboard used inside of this system was a Tyan Tomcat i7221A (S5151). Paired with the Intel Copper River motherboard was a Pentium 4 530 (3.0GHz) LGA775 processor, 2 x 512MB Mushkin DDR, and a Seagate 200GB 7200RPM SATA150 HDD. The power supply used in this setup was a Silentmaxx 580W IC-Tech, which offers a very low acoustic noise level while complying with Active PFC standards to offer greater power efficiency. This system is definitely not considered to be slow or sub par for a server status but it does manage to put out a fair amount of heat.