Look – no fans!

Fanless PC

So I finally changed the last parts in my media center to make it completely silent. I have already installed two 300w Silverstone fanless power supplies. Why two? Because one power the mainboard, graphic card and boot disk. The other one power the extra disks and the DVD drive. Now I installed a Thermaltake Sonic Tower on the CPU and a Thermaltake Schooner fanless cooler on the graphic card.

The graphic card cooler needed some horrible and very manual hacks to fit on my old Geforce 6600GT AGP. Anyway, now my system has only one fan. A 120 mm that is running very slow to push some air over the CPU cooler. I tried without any fans as well. It gave 70 degrees celcius on the CPU during 100% load over several hours. That’s a bit high. Even for my old AMD Athlon XP 3200+

With the fan (that is practically noiseless) the CPU temperature is about 50 degrees during 100% load and 35 degrees during normal use. The graphic card stays at about 60 degrees. It can manage very high temperatures, so 60 is no problem.

The result is that the media center now is completely silent and 100% stable. It can run 24/7 in our living room without anyone noticing it.

If you want to know how to mount a Thermaltake Schooner CL-G0009 on an XFX GeForce 6600 GT AGP please drop me a line in a comment. It’s ugly, but it works. Have a look at the images and you understand.

Modified GPU cooler Modified GPU cooler

And, to fit the Thermaltake Sonic Tower CL-P0071 on the CPU I had to modify the north bridge cooler on my ABIT-AN7 mainboard as well…

CPU Cooler Thermaltake Sonic CPU Cooler Thermaltake Sonic

Now I think I’ll let that box alone for a while. The next upgrade will be some kind of digital decoder to replace the Hauppauge PVR-500 card and maybe some testing of SageTV

Look – no fans!

14 thoughts on “Look – no fans!

  1. This post was the first one that I have done from Ecto on my mac. Seems like strange things happened. I have now cleaned it up. Unfortunately I don’t have a Mac where I am right now, so I am unable to test it in Safari.

    Please let me know if you still have problems.

  2. Asbjørn Ulsberg says:

    Have you ever tried the Zalman ZM80D-HP? I’ve installed it on 3 different graphic cards, and while it has taken its time each installation, it’s gone very smooth and no hacks have been necessary. It comes with blocks and screws in different lenghts, shapes and sizes so it should fit most graphic cards. Plus, it looks amazingly cool, especially with the ZM-OP1 attached. Both can be bought from Microplex (but I guess you already knew that). :-)

  3. Yes. I prefer the Zalman products. The Thermaltake cooler was something that I bought for another card. For some reason it wasn’t used and I thought that I’d give it a try on my 6600GT. The problem is that it is an AGP card. The cooler would fit on the PCI Express version of that card.

    Anyway, it works… Amazing what one can do with a saw and some cutting pliers.

  4. What is the cost of the parts you have used? I’d like to silence my Media Center PC, running GBPVR and happy with it by the way, and am on a very tight budget these days.

  5. iacob says:

    Interested in the cpu-cooler. Why did you choose to go with this one in particular, and how much room is needed above the cpu?
    Btw, what kind of cabinet fans do you have?

  6. My system is completely home-brew. The Coolermaster Stacker cabinet is stripped and placed inside another more traditional cabinet in our living room. This traditional cabinet has one fan blowing some air into it from the bottom.

    The computer inside now only have one fan. A Coolermaster 120 mm fan at very low speed blowing some air over the huge CPU cooler.

    The whole system is now dead quiet and 100% stable.

    Unfortunately I didn’t measure the height of the Thermaltake Sonic Tower. Because the original cabinet is stripped and has no walls I have huge amounts of space. The spec says it is 150 mm high. Guess you’ll need the 150 mm + something like 10-15 mm for the cpu and the socket.

  7. …and as you understand from the images I can not recommend this to anyone that’s afraid of some tools and a slight possibility for some kind of over heating and destroyed computer parts on the way to perfection…

  8. Forgot to answer this:

    Why did you choose to go with this one in particular

    …because it is the only one that I have found that could actually cool a CPU without any fans. And because they had it in stock at may favourite computer part pusher…

    In Norway I can recommend Microplex. They’re specializing in silent computer parts. However, as mentioned in this thread I bought mine at Komplett.no.

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