Docstoc

Causes of loud computers

Document Sample
Causes of loud computers Powered By Docstoc
					The Build Your Own Computer Network of Sites:
Build Your Own Computer Tips :: Beginners’ Computer Tutorial :: Computer & Printer Reviews




      Quiet & Clean
                   Practical Tips To Keep
             Your Computer Dust-Free and Quiet




                                    By Robert Blackstone




Copyright 2006 by Robert Blackstone and The Build Your Own Computer Network:
Build Your Own Computer Tips :: Beginners’ Computer Tutorial :: Computer & Printer Reviews
The Build Your Own Computer Network of Sites:
Build Your Own Computer Tips :: Beginners’ Computer Tutorial :: Computer & Printer Reviews

Introduction

When I originally started this e-book, I first intended it to be only for myself. I wanted it
to be sort of guide or “checklist” to maintaining my computer. There are many programs
available to clean up your computer’s software, but I couldn’t find any type of system for
keeping the hardware in mint condition. As my manual evolved and grew, I became more
aware how everyone could benefit from the information that is contained on these digital
pages.

A computer can be compared to a car. Most people only concentrate on the outside
appearances, and as long as that car has a good wax job, everything must be A.O.K. The
truth is the engine could be overheating, the oil leaking, who knows. Most people don’t
take the time to fix anything until it’s already broken, which is generally harder, longer,
and much more expensive than maintaining things you currently have. And like a cancer,
if you don’t catch isolated problems early on, they can spread to other parts.

Ok, enough for my philosophical schpeel!

My point is, you must preserve what you have and set a schedule doing so. Have you
opened up your computer recently? My guess is probably not. All of the dust and dirt is
deteriorating your computers hardware by gunking up the circuits. The dust also insulates
your components and doesn’t allow them to expel heat properly, which can lead to
overheating of your critical components. Overheating overtime is what wrecks the most
havoc on your PC’s components and it can cause your computer to run louder. Besides
cleaning your computer regularly, I also included many tips to quiet your computer down
from a jet engine to a slight purr.

Before we go fixing anything, it’s not as important to understand what we are doing as
opposed to why we are doing them

First I’ll discuss how dirt can get into your computer and effect performance. Then I’ll
show you how to fix these problems, problem in some ways you haven’t considered.
Later on I’ll cover what causes computer noise and then how to put a lid on it once and
for all.

Now kick back with your favorite drink ( Just make sure it’s not around your computer
hardware!) It’s time to get started.

Robert Blackstone


Copyright 2006 by Robert Blackstone and The Build Your Own Computer Network:
Build Your Own Computer Tips :: Beginners’ Computer Tutorial :: Computer & Printer Reviews
The Build Your Own Computer Network of Sites:
Build Your Own Computer Tips :: Beginners’ Computer Tutorial :: Computer & Printer Reviews



So, does turning on your computer sound more like take-off then booting up?

Last year while my laptop was being fixed I decided to rebuild a junk computer I
received from work. I outfitted it with some new parts and equipment immediately! The
only probably was how loud my computer was! Because I keep my computer in my
room, I was unable to sleep because it was that loud! My temporary solution was to
simply turn it off while I slept, simple enough, right?

Well when I was studying in my room for exams the hum coming from my computer
about drove me crazy. That’s when I decided that enough is enough….I was going to do
whatever it takes to “fix” this problem.

So I went to work, reading what the sources of computer noise can be, and some
techniques used to stop them. I even researched some of the affects computer noise can
have on an individual.

Why treat it as a problem?

Sound pollution is a growing concern, especially with businesses and schools relying on
computers on a day to day basis. Or if you’re in an area such as a radio station or
recording studio, background noise must me inaudible.

Even when you’re at home, PC noise can drive you nuts! I know it does to me, especially
when I’m trying to study for a final exam, but the only thing I can concentrate on is the
hum coming from my computer. That is actually why I decided to sound proof my
computer, to minimize my distractions while studying. But everyone has their reasons,
you probably do to. Maybe you’re loosing sleep at night or can’t concentrate with the
computer sounding like it’s ready for take-off! And even with more media computers
moving into the living room, you want that silence you’re accustomed to while watching
your favorite action movie (mine’s The Matrix).

Studies have shown that PC noise can cut productivity by 60%. So how much more work
could YOU be getting done if you had a quiet computer? On top of that, increased stress
results with constant background noise generate from computers. Could you be brining
that stress home to your family?

You’ve taken a good first step in deciding to modify your current PC to be silent or to
build an entire new computer that is quiet. That’s a rough background of what’s at stake


Copyright 2006 by Robert Blackstone and The Build Your Own Computer Network:
Build Your Own Computer Tips :: Beginners’ Computer Tutorial :: Computer & Printer Reviews
The Build Your Own Computer Network of Sites:
Build Your Own Computer Tips :: Beginners’ Computer Tutorial :: Computer & Printer Reviews

here. Manufacturers are currently working on ways to keep their machines quiet, but until
then it’s time to take things into your own hands.

Now, lets get our hands dirty and diagnose the potential sources of the background noise.
I know you’re ready!


Causes of loud computers

While your computer contains many different parts and components, only a few will
cause the noise that you hear coming from your computer. There are two main types of
computer noise, humming and rattling. Here are the areas you should check, in this order:

Power supply – My old power supply was VERY noisy, causing noise by its fan and its
electrical hum.

CPU fan – Sometimes a loud CPU fan can be just as noisy as the power supply’s fan is.

System Fans – The next biggest cause of computer noise are other standalone system
cooling fans. This also includes your video card fan, if it has one.

These two are generally the culprits of humming noise, while the following are generally
causes of rattling noises:

Loose screws – If any of your components are loose or your computer case has any loose
screws, this could cause a rattle or vibration in your computer.

Drives – Sometimes a hard drive or floppy drive will just read the disks loud. If
everything is working properly, then it’s probably that the manufacturer makes a loud
drive. But if something isn’t working as it should, then one of these components could
have a defect that causes the loud noise.

Overheating – Too much heat in your computer can cause components to perform loudly
than normal.


So where is the noise coming from?




Copyright 2006 by Robert Blackstone and The Build Your Own Computer Network:
Build Your Own Computer Tips :: Beginners’ Computer Tutorial :: Computer & Printer Reviews
The Build Your Own Computer Network of Sites:
Build Your Own Computer Tips :: Beginners’ Computer Tutorial :: Computer & Printer Reviews

Before you go tweaking things, you’ll need to determine where the noise is coming from.
The easiest way to do this is to disconnect certain components to see if the noise
disappears or remains. Please note, all of these must be performed while your computer is
off and disconnected from a power source.

First, I’d recommend disconnecting your extra system fans. Now turn on your PC. If the
noise stops, you’ve found the problem, if not, lets move on. Leave these fans
DISCONNECTED.

Next, disconnect your CPU fan. Notice any decrease or elimination of noise? I don’t
advice that you run your computer for a long time with the CPU fan off. Simply check
the noise level then turn your PC immediately off to prevent any overheating.

If there is any humming type noise remaining, the problem is more than likely a loud
power supply. Put your ear up to the cooling fan on your power supply. Does this sound
like the source of the sound?

Any clicking noise is probably a drive. You can check the drives be disconnecting them
one by one and booting up your computer. You can even disconnect the hard drive
because your PC will still boot to the BIOS screen, so you’d be able to tell if the hard
drive is the cause of a clicking noise. This is the last drive that I recommend you do,
check your CD, DVD, and floppy drives first.

Treating the problem at its source!

Now you just didn’t think I would tell you the causes of computer noise and leave you to
your own methods of solving them, did you? I’ll start from the top and work my way
down for possible methods of either eliminating these problems completely, or at least
lessening their noise level.

On a side note, there is one thing you must keep in mind when making your computer
quieter. If you go to the extra and remove all fans from your computer to prevent noise,
chances are your computer will overheat, frying your CPU and other vital components.
The point I’m trying to make is always consider the affect on temperature when making
changes to a more silent PC.


Power supply – Well you can’t necessarily get rid of your power supply, but you can do
things to quiet it down. First make sure the screws securing the power supply are good


Copyright 2006 by Robert Blackstone and The Build Your Own Computer Network:
Build Your Own Computer Tips :: Beginners’ Computer Tutorial :: Computer & Printer Reviews
The Build Your Own Computer Network of Sites:
Build Your Own Computer Tips :: Beginners’ Computer Tutorial :: Computer & Printer Reviews

and tight. This will eliminate any vibrations that may be caused. Although challenging,
but it is possible to replace the power supplies fan with a quieter one. You can even use a
larger fan if you’re willing to cut a larger hole in the back of your power supply. Most
people don’t go this route because it’s not worth the effort, so I won’t discuss it anymore.

The way I recommend to deal with a loud power supply is to purchase a quieter one.
Generally you can find a power supply that provides a much larger wattage and less
noise. Here are things you need to look for that make a power supply quiet:

Sound level – Some power supplies that label themselves as quiet provide their decibel
level, while others do not. Personally, I trust them more when facts are provided. Keep in
mind that most will provide idle and full load decibel levels, because they do differ. Most
of the better quiet power supplies idle at 20 decibels and reach about 30 decibels at full
load. This is very reasonable because a human whisper is considered to be just above 30
decibels.


Variable speed fan – The biggest source of noise in any power supply is its cooling fan.
But thinking about this may raise the question “Why does my fan run the same speed the
entire time, even when I’m NOT using my PC?” Manufacturers have responded to this
problem with a variable speed fan that spins at different RPM’s based on the power
supplies internal temperature. This is why a difference in decibels is observed between
idle and full load of even the quietest power supplies.

Fan – Twin ball-bearing fans tend to be the quietest to work with. Also, look for a power
supply with only a single large fan rather than two smaller fans. A single fan will produce
less noise and be able to run at less RPM’s than a smaller fan because it is able to pass
more cool air over the power supply’s components.


CPU Fan – One of the next largest causes in computer noise rests with the CPU cooling
fan. This is another cooling component you can’t go without, but you can make some
changes to quiet things down. If you look at the structure of your CPU cooling, you can
find ways to make it more efficient. The grease you place on your CPU helps to transfer
its heat to the heat sink that seats on the CPU. The heat is then taken away by the heat
sink, and then dissipated by the CPU fan.




Copyright 2006 by Robert Blackstone and The Build Your Own Computer Network:
Build Your Own Computer Tips :: Beginners’ Computer Tutorial :: Computer & Printer Reviews
The Build Your Own Computer Network of Sites:
Build Your Own Computer Tips :: Beginners’ Computer Tutorial :: Computer & Printer Reviews

The easiest way to quiet things down is get rid of your CPU fan, but it’s not that easy.
You must look for a very large and efficient heat sink that is specifically made to be used
without a CPU fan.

What I recommend is to purchase a larger heat sink with a smaller fan. This is what most
manufacturers do when they label their CPU fans as “quiet.”

If you really want to mod things, you can switch to a liquid cooling system and ditch the
fan and heat sink altogether. This is generally a much more complicated process and
sometimes the water pump may be just as loud, if not louder than the CPU fan. I don’t
recommend this method to beginners.


System Fans – These are a must if you want to keep your PC cool and clean ( more on
the clean part later on). Most system fans I’ve purchased are quiet by themselves and I
find it hard justifying the price of paying $20 more for a system fan that is supposed to be
quiet. But this is not to say they aren’t quiet, they probably are, but I find it hard to pay
$20 for a barely noticeable difference.

Also don’t forget about your video card fan, if equipped. I simply look for video cards
that utilize a larger heat sink instead of a fan for cooling purposes.

Ways you can cheaply quiet your extra system fans are with rubber grommets that you
can place around your fans so the production of vibrations because of contact with the
metal computer case is minimal. Also there are plastic clips that can be used instead of
metal screws to secure your extra fans.

My thought on this is to shop wisely. I’d try a standard system fan first and see if the
results are adequate for you, if not, you can easily find someone who could use it or
you’d only be out a couple bucks at most. There are too many other elements to
concentrate on than the extra fans.


Drives – One of the last areas to check for computer noise is your drives, mainly the hard
drive. Your optical drives, such as your DVD or CD should be quiet unless while reading
files. You shouldn’t hear any clicking or scrapping noise coming from these drives; if
you do, this means your drive could be damaged. The only real solution to a loud optical
drive is to replace it with one that is labeled as quiet or is not damaged.




Copyright 2006 by Robert Blackstone and The Build Your Own Computer Network:
Build Your Own Computer Tips :: Beginners’ Computer Tutorial :: Computer & Printer Reviews
The Build Your Own Computer Network of Sites:
Build Your Own Computer Tips :: Beginners’ Computer Tutorial :: Computer & Printer Reviews

Your hard drive is probably the cause of any noise coming from the area of your drives,
mainly when data is being written or accessed. You can shop around for hard drives that
are labeled as quiet and research them.

If you don’t want to buy another hard drive, you do have some options. Generally the
cooler your hard drive is, the less noise it will make. The heat can slightly cause the parts
to expand, which may cause them to rub when they aren’t supposed to, generating more
noise. My advice is to put your hard drive in a bay away from your other drives, to allow
more air circulation. There are even fans you can purchase that fit into empty drive bays
to pass air directly onto your hard drive. The only thing you must consider here is that
while the hard drive may be colder and quieter, will any noise generated by the extra
cooling fan have an affect.

There are also hard drive enclosures that you can purchase which help to contain the
sound. The only thing you must be careful of is overheating of your hard drive. Make
sure the enclosure is utilizes some type of metal such as copper to draw heat away from
the hard drive. Some enclosures may actually lower the temperature of your hard drive
too, so shop around!

Other options – Some companies manufacture sound dampening material to apply to the
inside of your computer case. While in theory this works at decreasing the sound you
hear, it really doesn’t solve the source of the noise creation. In addition, these have shown
to increase internal heat temperatures of your computer’s components, which is not good
for extending their usable life.

My thoughts – I know this may be a lot of information for you to absorb, but here are
some general points.

Generally your noise will come from your power supply or CPU fan. Changing these for
quieter, more efficient models is the easiest and simplest way to go. A quieter power
supply, along with a larger heat sink and smaller CPU fan will usually dramatically lower
the amount of sound your computer produces.

Also, while shopping around, always be cautious about false claims. What determines if a
component is labeled as quiet? Be sure to do your research for decibel levels of the
product or for opinions from current users of the product.

Dirty computer hardware




Copyright 2006 by Robert Blackstone and The Build Your Own Computer Network:
Build Your Own Computer Tips :: Beginners’ Computer Tutorial :: Computer & Printer Reviews
The Build Your Own Computer Network of Sites:
Build Your Own Computer Tips :: Beginners’ Computer Tutorial :: Computer & Printer Reviews

Like everything in life, cleaning is a necessity. You probably shower every day (at least I
hope so, or that helps explain that smell!), clean your house weekly, your car, and even
wash the dog when you can trick them into going into the bathroom.

People often neglect cleaning things they can’t see: under the bed, in the closet, and even
their computer.

Just like your health, it’s easier to maintain it than to attempt to fix something once it’s
broken. As for your computer, if one thing has stopped working, then chances are some
other components may be defective now as well.


Why treat it as a problem?

Can you remember the last time your cleaned out your computer? No, I don’t mean
defragging the hard drive or even erasing all of the data. I mean the inside hardware of
your computer; its meat and potatoes! If you can’t recall the last time you opened up your
case to give it a clean, you may be inadvertently damaging your computer.

So what can all of that dust be doing? Well, most importantly it could be affecting your
health. Dust that accumulates in your computer can come out if it’s bumped the wrong
way, which could aggravate your allergies. While this is very rare to be disturbed by dust
in your computer, it is a possibility.

What’s more important is how accumulated dust can shorten the life of your computer
and slow it down while it is working. You might be asking “How is this possible, it’s just
dust?!”

Well, let me explain. After water/moisture, heat is the next biggest cause of computer
hardware failure. More specifically, heat that exceeds the manufacturers
recommendations. All computer hardware releases heat into the air, which is carried out
of your computer by your system fans and vents. The problem is, dust interferes with this
cycle.

On a clean computer, the hardware generally has only a layer of air above it which is
great at dissipating heat, but a dusty computer has particles all over the hardware. This
layer of dust stores heat better than the air does, which interferes with the cooling of your
components because the heat is trapped in them. This increase of heat causes changes in
the circuitry of your components over time, which will later rob them of their ability to


Copyright 2006 by Robert Blackstone and The Build Your Own Computer Network:
Build Your Own Computer Tips :: Beginners’ Computer Tutorial :: Computer & Printer Reviews
The Build Your Own Computer Network of Sites:
Build Your Own Computer Tips :: Beginners’ Computer Tutorial :: Computer & Printer Reviews

work properly. So now that you’ve identified why dust can be a problem, here are some
ideas to clean your computer and keep it from becoming dirty as soon.




Causes of dirty computers

Let’s look at this from the dust’s perspective. First, how does it get into your machine?
Well, any large openings are the obvious source. This includes your vents and system
fans. That is basically the only way you can get dust and dirt into your computer, but here
are many ways to combat the problem.

Make sure you clean around your computer just as much as you clean the rest of your
house. This will eliminate most of the dust before it has a chance to get into your
computer. But be careful with a vacuum cleaner near your computer. Vacuums generate
enough static electricity to fry parts of your computer.

Now there are many methods to use to keep dust from getting into your computer simply
by the PROPER use of extra cooling fans. Naturally, most of the dust that finds its way
into your computer originates behind the computer. So if you place a system fan that
blows out of the computer in the rear, this will help prevent dust from entering.

How you can use pressure to keep your PC clean

You can also create pressure difference in your computer to keep dust from coming in.
All you have to do is have more fans blowing in your computer than blowing out. For
example, say you have two fans blowing in and one blowing out. Because you have more
air coming into your computer than leaving it, you create a positive pressure inside your
PC. This positive pressure keeps dust from entering the machine as easily. This concept is
used into virus containment facilities except in the opposite direction. A negative
pressure is created inside the building to keep any deadly bacteria or viruses from leaving
the compound.

Another idea you can easily implement is the use of filters. You can place filters over the
PC openings that have fans or just open holes in general. When using them over fans, be
careful that airflow is not restricted too much or it may cause your computer to heat up.




Copyright 2006 by Robert Blackstone and The Build Your Own Computer Network:
Build Your Own Computer Tips :: Beginners’ Computer Tutorial :: Computer & Printer Reviews
The Build Your Own Computer Network of Sites:
Build Your Own Computer Tips :: Beginners’ Computer Tutorial :: Computer & Printer Reviews

Finally, an easy way to keep your computer free from food contaminants is…… to not
have any near your computer! If you’ve ever lost all of your data because of spilling
water on it than you can relate to me. I’ve lost one hard drive to a water spill which could
have been easily prevented.

I’ll save the “water-proofing your pc” for another time!

And regardless of any of the above measures you implement, regular computer cleanings
should definitely be on your schedule! Here’s an easy way to clean your PC:

Things you’ll need:

    •   About 10 minutes
    •   Particle mask
    •   Compressed can of air
    •   Static-free wipes

First open up your computer. If you haven’t cleaned your computer in a long time, or
EVER, then take it outside (just make sure it’s not raining first).

If you have a particle mask you may want to put it on right now!

Do not shake the compressed air, turn it on its side or upside down. This may cause a
liquid to come out onto your computer hardware, potentially ruining it.

Spray everything with the compressed air. EVERYTHING. Be sure to get all of the fans
and hardware. And don’t forget above and between your DVD, CD, and hard drives.
You’ll be surprised how much dust gets into those small areas.

Once you feel like you’ve sprayed all of the dust out that you can, then its time to move
onto the static-free wipes. And I emphasize “static-free,” anything else may damage your
PC. I usually wipe down the interior case walls, mainly the bottom. I don’t touch any of
my hardware, though, just the case itself. This will help remove the dust you can’t see
that’s setting on your case.

One thing you need to take away from cleaning your computer is this. While cleaning
your car doesn’t make it faster, but it does preserve its value and prevent rust. Keeping
your computer clean may improve its response time if its coated in dust, but more
importantly, you’ll get much more usable life out of your computer.


Copyright 2006 by Robert Blackstone and The Build Your Own Computer Network:
Build Your Own Computer Tips :: Beginners’ Computer Tutorial :: Computer & Printer Reviews
The Build Your Own Computer Network of Sites:
Build Your Own Computer Tips :: Beginners’ Computer Tutorial :: Computer & Printer Reviews



I hope this guide was of use to you! The best way you can thank me is by passing this
along to your friends and family, whom I’m sure would like a quieter, cleaner, and
longer lasting computer.

All the best,

Robert Blackstone




Copyright 2006 by Robert Blackstone and The Build Your Own Computer Network:
Build Your Own Computer Tips :: Beginners’ Computer Tutorial :: Computer & Printer Reviews

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:0
posted:8/24/2011
language:English
pages:12
kala22 kala22
About