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The silent computer - whether it is possible?

the Computer became an integral part of a house interior today and its use in evening or night time is not something exotic at all.

And if for office personal computer noise in principle is noncritical, then in a house situation noise of fans and disks can irritate very. Therefore I was not abandoned long ago by thought of that, as if to make the computer absolutely silent. Not “less noisy“, and completely silent, having excluded in it moving parts in general. About as far as it is possible, it would be desirable to talk in more detail.

noise Sources

we Will consider noise sources in our personal computer and ways of fight against them. At once we will tell that it will be a question of the cardinal methods which are essentially excluding internal moving parts. All the rest, including pasting of the case foam rubber or other materials, installation of more expensive fans, portable regulators and other is only half measures. They, in - the first, often give only temporary effect (from personal experience, practically any fan all the same begins to rustle somewhere in half a year of use), and in - the second, all the same do not do the computer really silent.

The power supply unit

Is the most difficult part in respect of a thermal emission. In the power supply unit there are powerful transistors of the converter which disseminate a lot of heat. Theoretically cooling can be and passive - in the presence of a radiator of the sufficient size warmly quite can dissipate sufficiently naturally. But only “theoretically“, because in reality of bezventilyatorny power supply units it was not succeeded to find in sale. They, it seems, also exist, on the websites devoted to “iron“ it is possible even to find reviews of these power supply units. In names such blocks differ in fanless mark, but it seems that in the Russian shops they are just not delivered. Many sellers even of large computer shops did not hear about such (one of sellers persistently convinced me that it in general is impossible) and demand for fanless at all - blocks, is small as buyers just do not know about them.

The hard drive

With disks the situation considerably improved in recent years. On the one hand, there were memory cards and a flash - disks of rather big size (16 - 32 GB) which quite allow to install on them system and a basic set of programs. On the other hand, there were much more “full-fledged“ solid-state SSD - disks of 128, 256 and even 512 Gbytes that quite allows to collect more - the computer, less full-fledged in respect of disk space. A question only in the price which is several times higher at the same volume so far... By the way, a quite good bonus of SSD - disks is much higher speed of work, in comparison with usual.

The video card

If to speak about completely silent system, then about productive 3D - games of the last generation it is necessary to forget - all top video cards are equipped with rather powerful coolers, and even two at once... If games not to play or be limited to old “kind“ Counter - Strike and other games 3 - the 4th summer prescription, then the situation is much simpler, to find the video card with passive cooling of problems does not make.

The processor

it is difficult to b to make Here any recommendations because different models of processors can have various thermal emission. From modern good results show Intel Atom which are used usually in laptops though nobody prevents to install them and in the desktop computer, on sale there are motherboards with such processors. Among processor coolers it is possible to find passive, for example Thermaltake SonicTower, they are distinguished by a big radiator and, naturally, lack of the fan.

Alternative methods

were described by

In the above-stated methods ways of replacement of components by their more “silent“ analogs. More cardinal is replacement of all knots by more specialized, in the market there are decisions and of this kind.

Can tell water cooling to

that this method enjoys popularity among fans of various exotic. It is probable if there is a wish to combine more - less high efficiency for the game personal computer and at the same time to have low noise level, then, perhaps, water cooling will be accepted options. In other cases it is possible to manage more habitual options. And, as shows experience, in the house and there are so enough tubes, cranes and laying which periodically flow and require attention. There is no wish to add some more at all, besides, completely silent such system all the same will not be.

The supermassive case

Other approach to passive cooling of the computer - the massive case (weight about 25 kg) which at the same time is and a radiator for heat removal. The thermal tubes going in a set take away heat from the heated elements to the case. A lack of such decision - high price. For example, only one case of this kind released by the Zalman company costs more than $1000. Some fans do such cases independently that demands existence of a workshop and skills of work with metal so such way will suit not everyone.

The built-in computers

the Following decision is use of the industrial built-in computers. Such devices have the small sizes and total absence of moving parts, but, unfortunately, quite weak processor in most cases having clock frequency from 200 MHz. There is no hard drive in such computers, but there are USB - the sockets allowing to connect a flash - the card or SSD - a disk, also usually there are audioexit, network sockets and optionally wireless modules. Of course, as the house “center of entertainments“ such computer will not approach, but in quality pass - servers can quite be useful for background downloading files or work with mail. The main shortcoming - rather high price, for example Ebox computers are on sale at the prices from $200 (for younger model with the processor 200 MHz) to $1000 for more powerful models.

“Intelligent“ devices

Some devices, without being full-fledged computers, nevertheless can quite undertake part of its functions. For example, modern media - players or routers quite can “download“ in the background music or movies from torrents, working at the same time absolutely silently.

the Conclusion

As appeared

, despite the seeming simplicity, the solution of the problem of noise of the personal computer is not so trivial. In principle, all modern components of the computer can be theoretically replaced with silent. But practically it is difficult, and is accompanied or by difficulties of the order and purchase, or by too high price. As Stanislav Lem wrote, ideally the equipment should not have moving parts, but it is still necessary to recognize that mass computers did not reach such stage of development yet (but if the question financial is not important, then it is possible to receive completely silent computer already and now houses). Though, of course, recent trends of decrease in a thermal emission of processors and development of solid-state disks very please, and there is a hope that similar technologies will become cheaper.

As for my personal choice, for the next several years my compromise solution - supercompact pass - the computer using a dual-core processor of Intel Atom with low energy consumption and the passive power supply unit with power only 65 W. The noise published by such system on feelings is approximately twice lower, than from the ordinary personal computer. Such computer is only slightly more expensive than ordinary “personal computer“, but at the same time at least twice - is three times cheaper than the completely silent analogs. It is, alas, not the ideal, its noise everything is at night is heard, but is much more silent, than earlier so a certain progress really is available.

We will look that producers of computers of the next generation will offer...