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Review: Silentmaster Guide

by Gordon Handley on 23 July 2002, 00:00

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Welcome to project Silentmaster, this has been a fun modding experience. I took one Coolermaster ATCS-110 and attempted to make it as quiet as possible along with a few other mods to make it look much nicer. This guide will show you what I did , along with some alternative techniques.

Please note some of the mods contained in this article are very dangerous . takes no responsiblilty for any damage or injury sustained as result of this guide.

The Case.

The case I chose for the mod was my Coolermaster ATCS-110. This is the best case bar none, it is the top of the range Coolermaster case. It screams quality from all angles. It is very solidly built case (All aluminum) . Cooling is provided by:

  • 2 x 80mm intake fans at the front
  • An 80mm exhaust blowhole at the top
  • An 80mm exhaust blowhole at the rear

A full review of the case can be found here.

What to silence?

There are many noisy components inside today's computers, these include

  • Case fans
  • PSU fans
  • Heatsink fan
  • Graphics card heatsink fan
  • North bridge heatsink fan
  • Hard discs
Now there is no point in silencing two or three of these parts as although your system will be quieter the effect won't be as noticeable. I will start off with the case fans.

Case fan silencing.

The modern pc case has at least two or three case fans , usually 80mm in size. Now cheap case fans can be very noisy. The commonly found YS tech fans knock out around 30 plus db of noise. This is two much for most people and with cases having upwards of four fans the noise created can cause many problems. This problem can be attacked in two ways

  • Swapping the case fans for quieter versions
  • Altering the voltage of the fan to make it run slower.

Quiet fans.

There are many manufacturers of fans nowadays. It is very hard to compare one fan and another other than by looking at the manufacturers claimed db(Noise level) levels and cfm(Amount of air moved by the fan). I tend to take these figures very much with a pinch of salt as they are generally recorded in ideal situations and depend on lots of outside factors. Now the favored fan of the moment for those seeking a quiet fan are the one made by Papst PLC. They have two quiet models for the 80mm fans found in the Coolermaster ATCS-110.

  • 8412 NGL: 19.4cfm, 12db.
  • 8412 NGML: 26.5cfm, 19db
I choose the NGL fans as I want as silent as system as humanly possible. I am not interested in overclocking and the cooling attributes of the case will allow for much slower quieter fans than many cases.