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re: diy isobox (Fw: Speaking of revamping PCs... (Silence) - long-ish reply)

got this from another list i'm on, hope it helps...

> Yeah there is a lot of information out there... water cooling, as someone
> mentioned previously, is the ultimate for peace and quiet. If that's too
> expensive for you or you just don't want to go there, I can share some
> experiences with you, in order of what generally makes the most 
> in noise levels:
> Power Supply
> --------------
> Two basic choices:
> Replace completely. The most popular choices are Q Technologies from
> http://www.quietpc.com or Zalman available at http://www.chillblast.com. 
> Enermax 'whisper quiet' PSUs are popular too but in my experience aren't
> really that quiet - they are available in higher wattages (350W+) though 
> dual rigs / power hungry systems.
> - OR -
> Swap the fan(s) in the PSU for something quieter. Never been tempted to 
> this myself but it is possible. Most PSUs run either an 80mm or 92mm fan.
> Make sure you know what you are doing before attempting as danger lurks
> within a PSU !
> CPU Cooler
> -------------
> Fan:
> Go for a heatsink that can take an 80mm fan. Why ? Bigger fan = can run 
> lower rpm = lower noise with same air flow (usually) as more traditional
> 60mm heatsink fans. Papst fans are acknowledged to be the best and I
> personally run the 12db and 19db models in the systems i have built. Very
> quiet. You can get these from http://www.overclockers.co.uk or
> http://www.overclockingstore.co.uk . Panaflos are also recommended.
> Heatsink:
> The highest regarded manufacturers are Alpha and Swiftech, with 
> also coming up with some good designs too now. Recommended Heatsinks:
> P3: Radial Fin cooler from QuietPC
> P4: Alpha 8492, Swiftech MCX478
> Athlon XP: Alpha 8045, Swiftech MCX462
> You can get most of these from Overclockers UK
> Beware - these heatsinks are performance-oriented, and as such are quite
> often sold with very high rpm, high-noise fans. Buy without the fan and 
> one of your choice - easy to fit, usually just screws on.
> The Zalman 'Flower Cooler' is touted as a great silent CPU cooler. it 
> quiet, no doubt, but is nowhere near as effective as any of the Athlon/P4
> coolers mentioned above and also not as quiet if you run them with a < 
> fan.
> Hard Drive
> -----------
> Two choices:
> Get a quiet hard drive. The quietest performance (7200rpm) ide drive is 
> Seagate Barracuda ATA IV. The 40GB model is a little quieter than the 
> capacity ones. You can find these almost anywhere.
> - OR -
> Use a Silent Drive sleeve. I used a few of these with IBM 7200rpm drives,
> and they definitely made a big difference. However, I then got a couple 
> Seagate Barracudas when they came out and they were *as* quiet as the IBM
> drive in the sleeve. You can get the sleeve from QuietPC.
> Graphics Card
> ---------------
> Try and get one without a fan. If you are not into gaming on your PC that
> isnt a problem as you can get the Matrox cards which are great for 2D and
> fanless.
> Unfortunately, if you are into gaming - going fanless means ruling out 
> most high performance models, but you can get a low-end GeForce 4 with
> passive cooling which still has relatively decent 3d performance. Zalman 
> a large heatsink that can supposedly replace a fan/heatsink on a graphics
> card - from what I have seen it works sometimes but doesn't offer enough
> cooling for the really high end Geforce 3 / Geforce 4 / Radeon 8500 
> Zalman themselves recommend you use an additional fan/bracket if you are
> replacing the fan on one of these cards.
> Case
> -----
> Try and get an aluminum case like a Coolermaster or Lian-Li. The case 
> actually conduct some heat and help keep things cool, but it can also 
> reduce noise as these have great build quality compared to a cheapo case
> which can rattle and resonate more raising the overall noise level. Plus
> they look cool :) You can but damping materials to line your case with 
> these can raise the temps a lil bit so it's really suck it and see im
> afraid.
> Here are a few links that are good sources for some more info:
> http://www.silentpcreview.com/
> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Silent-PC/
> http://www.zalman.co.kr/english/intro.htm
> http://forums.overclockers.co.uk