Silencing The SOHO

Written by Michael Larabel in Peripherals on 14 July 2005. Page 3 of 5. Add A Comment


To mount these AcoustiFan DustProof fans, QuietPC also provided an Anti-Vibration Silicone Fan Gasket for the 92mm fan and then two sets of the Anti-Vibration Gel Fan Mounts (4-pack). Over at QuietPC, the 4-pack of gel fan mounts currently sell for $4.25 a pack while the 92mm fan gasket sells for $6.45.

For mounting the fan gasket, we used it in combination with the AcoustiFan DustProof 92mm fan that we mounted in the plastic cage at the front of the computer chassis. For the two packs of the QuietPC Anti-Vibration Gel Fan Mounts we used them to assist in reducing the vibrations made by the two fans on the rear of the LC-14 case. Attached to the two exhaust fans were the stock SilverStone 60mm fans rated for 23dBA @ 3000RPM.

On to cooling of the actual CPU: the first product we have is the Scythe Ninja. Ever since Thermaltake released the Fanless 103 for P4 and K8 processors, more manufacturers have been looking at ways to eliminate fans from CPU coolers so they can have an entirely passive CPU heatsink that still manages to effectively cool the core. The Scythe Ninja is just one of the few passive CPU heatsinks currently on the market.

This CPU cooler measures in at 110 x 110 x 150mm while weighing a hefty 665 grams. To make this zero decibel design feasible, Scythe uses 12 copper heat pipes that extrude from the copper base and then are all re-directed into the 24 aluminum fins. If more aluminum fins were to be implemented, there would be theoretically a greater dissipation of heat but with the fans spaced, any closer together would impede the airflow, as there is no fan to actively blow the air between the fins. However, Scythe does offer mounting clips for those interested in mounting a 120mm fan to the unit.

Although this unit is quite large we experienced absolutely no faults when we went to install it on our LGA775 Pentium 4 processor. However, due to the SilverStone chassis we were using we ran into some difficulties. As this heatsink extends rather high, the top of the heatsink was actually greater than the top of the HTPC case. Thus, we were unable to close the top of the SilverStone chassis due to this obstruction. We attempted to resolve this situation by lapping a few millimeters off the copper base but the heatsink remained marginally too high. To fix this situation, we turned to one of our low-profile active heatsinks. The Pentium 4 heatsink we ended up choosing for this situation was the CoolJag JAC16EC, which is designed for 2U servers. The heatsink utilizes a large copper base and 27 copper fins. However, the stock fan included with this heatsink was a rather noisy 60mm fan. To fix this noise issue, we used the 60mm AcoustiFan DustProof fan. As for the performance, difference between the large passive heatsink and small active heatsink was nearly identical. We found the fan-less Scythe Ninja to provide nearly the same CPU cooling as the CoolJag heatsink with silent fan, within three degrees Celsius.

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