[ Hypnos Forum ]

MUSIC, AMBIENCE AND SOUND ART => Music Gearheads Tech Talk => Topic started by: Julio Di Benedetto on July 18, 2011, 04:20:20 PM

Title: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on July 18, 2011, 04:20:20 PM
Im in the process of moving my computer, a G5 Quad Core Mac out of my studio, well not entirely out but into a closet in the studio, your standard accordion slatted closet doors.  Right now the computer is close to my right moniter and when pushed with a lot of plugin activity the fans start to gear up and I just cant deal with what the fan noise is doing to the mid high to high frequencies when trying to mix.

What are you doing to deal with this?  Ive look at the expensive Isobox option.  Mixed reviews from what Ive read.  Seems to be an overheating issue with those boxes.  Putting the computer in an other room is not an a posibility.  Also not ready to upgrade my computer....Ive heard the newest Macs are almost silent.

Your thoughts are most most welcome.
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: mgriffin on July 18, 2011, 04:41:24 PM
It's true, the newer Mac Pros are almost silent, but there were many models of Power Mac and Mac Pro that had serious fan noise problems.

You might be able to replace the fans, or possibly build a fairly soundproof enclosure with quiet fans to ventilate the enclosure.

I ended up dealing with the problem by keeping microphones in an entirely different room until I was ready to upgrade the Powermac G4, which was very loud like your machine. And I recorded and mastered with closed-ear headphones, which still didn't quite eradicate all the noise of the old G4.
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on July 18, 2011, 06:38:51 PM
Yes Mike the idea of doing sensitive recordings in another room makes sense, most likely cheaper to move preamps and cables to accommodate the situation than than isolate the studio.

I gave my G4 to my girlfriend and each morning, several rooms away, when it auto starts it sounds like a hair drier.

I have a feeling my solution may just be an inadequate band aid to the problem but hopefully it will enable me to work without that sonic interference right in my face.

Cost wise the highest ticket item is a Gefen Dvi to Dvi booster to extend the display ...$169  Fortunately firewire repeaters and usb hubs drop way down in price.
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: mgriffin on July 18, 2011, 07:40:57 PM
I'm much happier with my Mac Pro now, or you could get an iMac which is totally silent, if your budget permits. Even a Mac Mini, which I use as a media center -- also totally silent.
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: hdibrell on July 18, 2011, 09:12:51 PM
Even a Mac Mini, which I use as a media center -- also totally silent.
Yes! My Mac Mini is very quiet.
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on July 19, 2011, 05:07:10 AM
Yes a computer upgrade is the best option......the big screen iMac looks good, other than my powercore xpress card with I only use for the VSS3 reverb I could go totally usb/firewire.  Anyway my budget for the up coming months has be slated for cd production so no big or small expensive toys right now.

 
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: petekelly on July 19, 2011, 06:31:28 AM
When I got a new machine 2 years ago, I wasn't happy with the noise from the fans, particularly the stock intel CPU fan, I did a bit of research and installed three 120mm  fans by Noctua:
http://www.noctua.at/main.php?show=productview&products_id=5&lng=en
and a smaller one on the CPU cooler. It's very quiet.

Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: LNerell on July 19, 2011, 08:47:37 AM
I've had a AcoustiLock gCab for years now. No issues with heat and it keeps everything silent, you won't hear a thing coming from that box. Mine is the G4 model, they have upgraded them a bit for G5/Mac Pros, here is a photo of mine:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v128/lnerell/studio06.jpg)

The entire side of the box (from where the door opens over to the left) is a baffle/heat exchange unit so it’s pretty wide. Also there is another door at the back where you can access the back of the computer, it has self sealing gaskets for cables etc. to slip through. Not cheap either but if you really want to get rid of the sound without moving your computer out of the room then this is the best way to go.

(http://media.soundonsound.com/sos/jan05/images/essentialsnorengcab.l.jpg)
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on July 19, 2011, 11:38:08 AM
Thanks for posting with pictures Loren.....I had read some good things about the Noren Acoustilock gCab, nice to actual hear from a forum member that uses it.  At $1250 it is not cheap but cheaper than buying a new Mac Pro.  IF my closet experiment does not work It will be something to invest in down the road
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on July 19, 2011, 11:53:14 AM

http://www.noctua.at/main.php?show=productview&products_id=5&lng=en


Pete those fans have some pedigree......design by the  "Austrian Institute of Heat Transmission & Fan Technology ;)  Seriously though appears to be a lot of research done on the design, they must be quiet.

It seems to me that PC's are way ahead in the world of keeping a computer cool and quiet.....from silent fans to liquid cooling systems.
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: mgriffin on July 19, 2011, 12:31:04 PM
I'm convinced the severe heat output problems of the G4 and G5 may have been the biggest cause of Apple's decision to abandon Motorola for Intel chips in Mac computers.

Really if you don't have a need for add-on cards and can get by with USB outboard stuff, an iMac is a perfect studio computer.
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on July 19, 2011, 03:20:56 PM
I do have plans to drop the powercore platform next computer upgrade anyway.....I just checked  the specs on the 27" iMac, 3.1ghz quad core, that be plenty of power!   Thanks for the suggestion Mike...just might be the way to go.
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: Blackinfinity on July 24, 2011, 09:45:06 AM
Fan noise is not really a problem if you buy the right fans and cpu cooler and run them at lowest  RPM. Atleast not if you use the Core I7.
I have mine clocked at 3.5 GHZ and I still use my fan at lowest 600 rpm and is inaudible.
The problem is HDD noise and PSU and GFX.

For the GFX card there is plenty of options for passive cooled graphic cards, and you can get a quite good card
Like  Radeon HD 6850

PSU noise can be solved with using passive PSU, the PSUs with passive cooling is often low watt power, but
if you are not using a high end GFX card you do not need much watt...

For a passive PSU I recommend Seasonic X-460FL 460W.
If you need more power you can ALWAYS use two PSUs.
I think the strongest passive PSU is by sun flower with 560 w.
But I personally havea been a fan of seasonic, for me they are the
best quality brand when it comes to PSUs.

For fans I reacommend either scytche or noctua..

When it comes to hdd noise...for a audio PC it is VERY important to use a
SSD disk as systemdisk,  to run your daw on SSD is even better.

The price per GB is more expensive on SSD that is true, but the only time
you really need bigger hdds is sample libraries.  If you look deep enough for instance
on sites like silent pc reviews  you will find which hdds is the most silent.

Here you can make a compromise, do I really need a 72000 RPM hdd ?
or is 5400 enough ?

For loading samples into memory 7200 rpm will do no difference, higher RPM mainly means
faster access time, which is of no use in DAW usage.

The last but not least, make sure to buy the right case with good sound isolation...
There is plenty of options here

My point is things have changed the last years because more and more components gets passive cooling..and the fact that
you can run the system on SSD makes huge difference.. I no longer  here constant hdd noise... only when program load into memory.
The other thing is that memory size gets bigger now, 6 GB is very common now..this means more and more loads into memory which
once again leads to less hdd noise.

 The fine box that LNerell I would probably not say no to,
but I guess it is a custom made.. If you want total silence I am sure there is more flexible solutions.
But for that MAC with those components I Guess you need something like that...

But if you really want a silent pc the only thing you can do is to build your own computer.
You can always put the Apple logo on the computer afterwards if you really must have an apple at all cost.




Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: mgriffin on July 25, 2011, 08:53:03 AM
Or if you prefer a Mac, you could just buy an iMac and stick an SSD in it. No fans to replace, totally silent operation. Even if you use the stock HD it's almost inaudible.

Better yet, but a MacBook Air which comes stock with an SSD. Get an external HD for backups and file storage, and shut it down while you're recording audio. Totally silent out of the box. Only downside is max RAM of 4gb, and a small number of USB ports (though hubs are cheap).

If budget is less of a consideration, buy a MacBook Pro with SSD and your RAM limit is much higher. My MPB has 8gb RAM and I believe the new ones can use 16gb.
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: Blackinfinity on July 25, 2011, 11:38:32 AM
Well for now you can replace hdds in macs, but I know for instance the newer Imacs they have made it impossible to upgrade to ssd, cause Apple use their own form factor and cable to connect the hdd.
Say what you want, but I really dislike how Apple wants to lock in their customers in closed systems like this.

http://blog.macsales.com/10146-apple-further-restricts-upgrade-options-on-new-imacs

Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: mgriffin on July 25, 2011, 01:19:38 PM
I recall reading that article about Apple putting not quite standard SATA connectors in their most recent iMacs, but my recollection is that Apple came out with an explanation and that there was some sort of workaround. I agree, greater openness allows for more flexible upgrade possibilities, but sometimes Apple makes changes not to screw over their user base, but to add capabilities.

Anyway, once someone has purchased a lot of software in either Mac or Windows versions, it's not trivial to switch platforms back and forth.
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: Blackinfinity on July 25, 2011, 03:13:03 PM
I am very sure that Apples glory days will be over within 3 years. The reason is more and more aggressive competition,  For instance, samsung have a very agressive
strategy and have Apple as main target, sure apple can call everyone who want to compete with their products for copy cats, but the company who bring the best product for the best
price will always win. And when it comes to price Apple will never win. Apple will never sell their products cheaps cause it would harm their trademark, and people would have the same feeling and emotion of the trademark, the high price is important to create the illusion of quality and to get a "luxurious" feeling.  Their clean and minimalistic design is easy to copy.

They are already lacking behind on the smartphone market,  they do not even have a dual core device out yet. Samsung Galaxy S2 is far far seperior.
And samsung will release soon an plus model of s2 with even better specs. Also they will soon release Galaxy Q which is a hybrid between a tablet and smartphone
and a foldable display. The rumours say the new iphone coming up in september is an desperate attempt to compete with other smartphones on the market now, cause
the only new thing will be the processor, otherwise the form factor etc will be very similar.

There is also now more completion for slim laptops... Samsung now have the slimmest laptop and has almost as good specs as Macbook air...besides 1.6GHZ cpu instead of 1.4 on the samsung, but I am sure they will release a faster version soon.

The new Lion OS has been receiving a lot of negative feedback, and once Windows 8 is released I am sure...it will be even harder for them to compete.
This is a consequence of Apple is not have their OS as their "focus" right now

I think really their fate will be seen in 2012 in Q1, this is when Apple will have the last chance now to be on the top, but I honestly think now when Apple have resigned all contracts
and collaboration with samsung in future I think it will be hard for them,  their main problem is that Samsung is keeping their amoled technology to themsleves, the Galaxy S3 will have bendable amoled display, this means you will be able to roll the telephone up in your pocket... while Iphone 5 will have a hard surface like normal phones...yeah it will be very interesting for sure, but apple really have much to work up now.

My point is, things have changed the last 2 years, cause it is very obvious, the completion have apple as main target.so things have changed in the market.. the last two years..
the completion is more and more aggressive. Before the PC manufactures have not been caring about apple cause they did no sell big enough volumes..but now Apple has really become the main threat...  Yes Apple is still the cutting edge but because the competition has changed strategy and to all cost compete with Apple I really do find it hard for them...

And last but not least, Steve jobs is dying, they are already looking for an replacement, I think without Steve Jobs..it will be even harder for them..to compete..
Apple have too many companies to compete with now... Once they lose the Iphone battle...it will go fast downhill.   Apple is still on the top in many segments but they are barly surviving now, and their strong trademark I think really is to their benefit what if samsung could call their phones Iphones too..I am very sure that samsung would sell a lot more then, cause we associate the word "iphone" with smartphones, and the word iphone has been burned in way too deep into our synapses now the past 4 years, the only thing we read and hear is "iphone iphone iphone" "iphone app iphone app" you read it everywhere.
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: mgriffin on July 25, 2011, 03:54:11 PM
This topic isn't about Mac versus PC, and I only mentioned the one versus the other because someone asked how to control the noise their Mac makes, and you told him to just build his own PC.

We all have the right to our brand preferences (and I like Samsung), but your assertion that Apple will be "over within 3 years" shows that you have no idea how large Apple is, how entrenched they are in certain markets, or the value of their brand and their cash reserves. Companies worth $400 BILLION don't simply drop off the map. If you suggested they were headed for a slow, decades-long decline like Microsoft, that might be reasonable.
 
 
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: Blackinfinity on July 25, 2011, 05:20:06 PM
This topic isn't about Mac versus PC, and I only mentioned the one versus the other because someone asked how to control the noise their Mac makes, and you told him to just build his own PC.

We all have the right to our brand preferences (and I like Samsung), but your assertion that Apple will be "over within 3 years" shows that you have no idea how large Apple is, how entrenched they are in certain markets, or the value of their brand and their cash reserves. Companies worth $400 BILLION don't simply drop off the map. If you suggested they were headed for a slow, decades-long decline like Microsoft, that might be reasonable.

I really think you are wrong, but I guess we will have to live and see!
But please make your self a favor and look at the company in an historic perspective, then maybe you can realize the impossible.

Much of the value is in the trademark it self...and just as facebook Apple is heavily overvalued. But Really it will be hard to convince an Apple fanboy
about Apples downfall I guess so all I say let's check back in 3 years and we will see :)
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: jkn on July 26, 2011, 08:24:03 AM
Blackfinity / Terraform - please just start a new apple bashing thread. 

Thanks!

John
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: mgriffin on July 26, 2011, 08:33:53 AM
Looks like he took his ball and went home. I guess we can get back to talking about how Julio might deal with fan noise.
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: LNerell on July 26, 2011, 08:40:25 AM
The fine box that LNerell I would probably not say no to,
but I guess it is a custom made.. If you want total silence I am sure there is more flexible solutions.
But for that MAC with those components I Guess you need something like that...

For the record, I bought that case (it wasn't custom made) for my old G4 which is now over 10 years old. When I bought my dual processor G5 about five years ago it was quite enough that I don't really need the case unless its a hot day, my picture shows how it was set up in my studio.  Also I know of several people who use PC's in their studio who also have similar cases to eliminate noise.  I forgot to provide a link to the company who makes the case I bought, here is one now:

http://www.norenproducts.com/products_acl.php (http://www.norenproducts.com/products_acl.php)
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: jkn on July 26, 2011, 08:52:25 AM
Ok - ignoring mac vs. pc altogether...

Sometimes my breathing is kinda heavy and I make noise when I breathe.   How can I eliminate that breathing noise?   Maybe there's an isolation box I can sit in?   

I might need an air tank.
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: APK on July 26, 2011, 09:28:41 AM
John
you just need some duct tape  ;)
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: hdibrell on July 26, 2011, 12:42:19 PM
Looks like he took his ball and went home. I guess we can get back to talking about how Julio might deal with fan noise.
Aww,  and it was just starting to get interesting when he called Mike an "Apple fan boy".  ;)
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: mgriffin on July 26, 2011, 12:45:31 PM
I was gonna defend myself (typing this on a Windows 7 PC at my day job where I've worked for 18 years as IT Manager of a Unix & Windows network) but... oh well.
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: LNerell on July 26, 2011, 12:56:51 PM
Looks like he took his ball and went home. I guess we can get back to talking about how Julio might deal with fan noise.
Aww,  and it was just starting to get interesting when he called Mike an "Apple fan boy".  ;)

Giving what this thread is about he should have called Mike an "Apple quite fan boy." :D

Time to grow up and get over yourself Blackinfinity. Mac vs PC rants are so 1990s.  :P :D
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: hdibrell on July 26, 2011, 01:16:04 PM

Giving what this thread is about he should have called Mike an "Apple quite fan boy." :D

   ;D ;D
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: APK on July 26, 2011, 01:34:21 PM
 ;D
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: jkn on July 27, 2011, 06:06:06 AM
He's been here before ...   he'll be back again.   Oh well.

So... Mike's an Apple Fan Boy?    I've seen those black turtlenecks buddy!   

...got a couple myself.
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on July 27, 2011, 08:29:56 AM
Thanks everyone for your suggestion.....regarding macs and pc, I am on the mac platform because of one thing...Logic! If microsoft bought it from apple then I would switch.  one machine is not better than the other.

I am new to SSD, that is I have seen them mentioned around the web but dont know much about them....need to find out more.

I have finally got all the necessary cables ready to move the computer into the closet, will do it tomorrow.  Let you know if it works out.
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on July 28, 2011, 01:07:42 PM
Well after a hour or so fiddling with cables the computer is in the closet and acting like a cage rabid beast trying to get outl :o  It is actual a slight improvement but that has more to do with it not being right under my nose, sorry ears.  The one positive thing is the dvi booster has really improved the displays resolution, not what I was after though, oh well.  Isolation box or new computer.. isolation box or new computer... isolation box or....Im going to say this a lot to myself over the next few days. 
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: mgriffin on July 28, 2011, 01:21:42 PM
Sorry about the frustration. I remember it well! I also remember what a relief I felt when I finally replaced the G4 with the MacPro as my studio computer. Of course NOW isn't always the perfect time for an expensive upgrade.
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: LNerell on July 28, 2011, 09:08:01 PM
More food for thought in case you are running some legacy software, with the new Tiger OS anything that was written for G5s or below will no longer function unless it has been rewritten for intel Macs. This has kind of thrown a wrench into my plans for a new upgrade, I'm going to have to rethink my plans and consider all my tools to see what will pass and will not and if it will still be worth moving up.
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on July 29, 2011, 04:56:22 AM
Yes Loren, this has been on my mind.....I recall you tell me that logic 9 works on your G5,  yesterday I checked the specs on Logic 8 which is what Im on and the intel core duo or intel xeon processor are "highly recommended" according to apple.  Logic 8 is solid, running on OSX Leopard 10.5.8....as to the other big cats that have come on the scene recently, it is a concern and I really dread all the software upgrades, reconfigurations and ilok issues that come along with a new machine, not to say the expense as well.  Im going to see how all this settles and struggle on with the beast in the closet in the interim.

p.s.  Really enjoying "Intangible" Loren......thank you
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: bongo on August 14, 2011, 10:52:45 AM
Eliminate fans if possible.  If not replace the existing fans with Noctua fans.
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: Scott M2 on August 15, 2011, 09:03:22 AM
Caution - Eliminating fans may lead to reduced CD sales.         :o
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on August 15, 2011, 12:24:34 PM
  ;D
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: bongo on August 18, 2011, 03:14:51 PM
Do you know how many Noctua's there are in the world??? ;)
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: El culto on August 23, 2011, 01:04:22 PM
Ive heard the newest Macs are almost silent

Yep, especially the Mac Mini....you donīt hear it AT ALL. But not sure if it has enough power for you
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: El culto on August 23, 2011, 01:14:18 PM


If budget is less of a consideration, buy a MacBook Pro with SSD and your RAM limit is much higher. My MPB has 8gb RAM and I believe the new ones can use 16gb.

Not a good choice if it comes to noise! Especially if you use heavy cpu processes....the fan starts very quickly and its anything else then quiet. Have a new MBP (2011) and with heavy projects the fan is constantly on. Also, it gets very hot.
Title: Re: Computer Fan Noise....How do you handle it?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on August 27, 2011, 05:05:16 PM
Thanks Tomas for your MBP insight....seems strange that the iMacs are supposed to be very quite, yet the MBP's not so.  I say that because of the "slim" technology involved. Actually its hard to imagine a fan in a laptop come to think of it. 

Funny, not so long ago one of the main concerns of studio recordings was tape hiss from the multi tracks. looking back it seems it was a worthwhile trade for the inherent & much desired tape saturation today....anyway back to not so worthwhile fan noise.

Happy to say Im deep into cd graphics at the moment..... nevertheless, the beast is still misbehaving in the closet!