The great pc quieting and cooling game…

by on Jan.09, 2010, under Computer

For a while now my Pc’s been stupidly noisy, I tracked the noise down to the cpu fan and it just wouldn’t slow down as it couldn’t keep my processor cool.

On top of the noise I’ve been having a few crashes in games for a while, always just put it down to either the cpu or gpu getting too hot.

So off I went to quieten my cpu fan, decided to buy a Zalman CNPS9900-led Cpu Cooler, and all I can say is wow its huge! Maybe I should have realised that it’d be a little on the large side when I saw it had a 12cm fan built in. And just to make sure I had the sound sound levels sorted I got myself a Fractal Design Define R2 Computer Case in black, a case with acoustic dampening material already in, and it comes with 2 12cm fans too, all made to run pretty quiet.

With these changes the high pitched fan whine has gone 🙂 to be replaced with the noise of air flow and a very quiet low hum, and its really noticeable how loud my hard drives are when they’re accessed, next on the cards is a 1TB drive to pull them all together and hopefully be quiet too.

As for my crashes, well the cpu cooler can hold my cpu at about 42 degrees at idle, and the temperature never passes 60 even under load so far, they say the thermal grease works best after a week and its not had that long so I guess there may be improvements to come. My gpu seems to like running hot, it tends to idle around about 50- 60 degrees and under load can reach about 80, seems hot to me but I’m not sure this is a problem, and the automatic fan isn’t running at full speed so it can’t be that bad.

That doesn’t really show what’s causing the crashes and after working from home due to the snow and a few crashes that really looked like they were thermal, and at the time my gpu was idle as I wasn’t doing anything that needed it and my cpu was running pretty cool, my system doesn’t really find my work hard to keep up with 🙂  I’d gone the whole day on Wednesday with maybe 1 or 2 crashes but as soon as I tried playing BioShock it crashed within 10 minutes, restart and crash each time. Then Thursday it crashed while I was working then an hour later again while I was working, effectively ruling out the cpu and gpu being the cause of the problem.

Opening the case and probing with my fingers (nice and safe from static there…oops) my memory felt a bit hot, this is 4 1gb sticks with heat spreaders, they’re right next to each other so not really any room for the air to pass between them. My temporary solution has been to take one of the silent 8cm fans from my old case and balance it on my graphics card so it blows into the memory allowing the heat spreaders to cool and bring the temperature of the ram down.

Since this cooling “hack” I’ve had my PC on all Thursday evening, with 4 hours of Bioshock, and all of yesterday, including a gaming session after work, and in this time I’ve had no crashes, I’ve installed Boinc and set up Seti@home and afew other projects and had that run at full power on all 4 cores and my gpu, no problems at all 🙂

As balancing a fan on my graphics card doesn’t seem a good idea, next on my shopping list is a Zalman Ultra Quiet Ram Cooler which should stay quiet and do the job properly.

Hopefully it being so much quieter now no one can complain about it and once I’ve finished upgrading I’m just going to leave it alone, putting your hands in side a pc case is like putting them in a box of hedgehogs, my hands are covered in small cuts and scratches from the move over. And really why does my PC have so many wires?


4 Comments for this entry

  • pkryder

    @StephenShutt running SETI@home cpu at 86 degrees that can’t be good :S

  • Lorraine

    I read all that am acctually quite proud that i understood some of it 😀 your lucky to be able to fix your pc like that is loads i would love done to mine but i dont even know how to open case never mind work inside it, must be nice to be so smart :P… hope your hands are ok be careful with em

  • Stephen

    you know them screws at the back? you loosen them, then pull the side off 🙂
    It really easy, everything either has a label or are colour coded so just so long as you’re careful you can’t get it wrong, and most things only fit in the slots made for them 🙂 I mean its really hard n we use black magic to make it work 😉
    Hands are fine, just maybe should be slightly more careful around the sharp pointy bits on the backs of the circuit boards.