Quiet mid-tower case supporting Corsair H105 cooler

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by Bill, Nov 24, 2014.

  1. Bill

    Bill Guest

    I've notice some discounts in computer hardware recently,
    and that has me searching for a "Quiet" mid-tower case which would
    support the Corsair H105 CPU cooler (for an Intel i7-4790K CPU). As I
    understand it, this 240mm cooler require 38mm+25mm(fan) = 63mm of
    space. I am draw to this CPU fan because it has PWM, which means, I
    think, that it will be very quiet when the system is not under load. I
    am not a gamer, and rarely ever put my system under a heavy load for
    more than a minute or so at a time (when I am using heavy-duty math

    I noticed that the Antec P100 may meet my requirements, but reviews
    indicated it might be of lesser quality than I would choose, if I had a
    choice. I thought I would see if you folks might have any case
    suggestions. Thanks,

    Bill, Nov 24, 2014
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  2. Bill

    Paul Guest

    Start with the Newegg page. Scroll down.


    There are some Corsair-branded "compatible" computer cases shown.
    Have a look at those, see how they intend the radiator to be
    installed. Then take the dimensions of the case, and look for
    cases that are as large as those.

    You can also look in the customer comment section, for a
    mention of what computer case the buyer has fitted the thing.

    At any one time, there can be 1000+ models of computer cases
    out there, and the search/examination time for those is
    infinite. Only the person shopping, is going to be suited
    to the task, because they must fit so many compromises
    into the choice.

    Paul, Nov 24, 2014
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  3. Bill

    Flasherly Guest

    More likely the reviewers have their own considerations that needn't
    be taken as cheapening Antec products, not without a further
    justification to hone what specifics are indicative of Antec has
    fallen from the grade. Antec has done enough well in my book.
    ....Typing now from an Antec all-aluminum case that's as light as a
    beer can, as a matter of fact, I've owned probably going on ten years.
    Hate to admit it, but when I'm scanning through too many reviews, I've
    a technique I use based on subjective and grammatical considerations;-
    I'm, personally, certainly not an angel when it comes to sending out
    public messages immaculately composed;- in fact, I never write reviews
    to consider worth submitting into any formal medium, so composed to
    receive them.

    I can quickly note a level of complexity or stylistic intent in how a
    person puts together their words. I combine that between a balance of
    verbiage and actual content for spotting those whom better exhibit a
    chance of delivering pertinence with efficacy.

    Something of art, in my opinion, but given the major purveyors of
    reviews may admit a page, at one time, of ten reviews, for my eyes
    rapidly to scan through, subsequent, to identify vapid subjectivity --
    references to one's wife, say, among trite or one-sentence
    expositions, guised attempts of emulation -- in looking for certain
    stylistic, grammatical "tells," which combine both pertinence with a
    consideration for focus into a manner that convey information as a
    mature sense of assurances, quite naturally, some do possess.

    Another important facet to reviews, I find, is a helpful index of
    reviewers within reviews, and those "grades" given, judged by
    reviewers, to the greatest reviews considered, ceded among their
    ranks, as most of all outstanding;- questions generated upon a review,
    as well, may be pertinent and revealing and needn't necessarily be
    ignored for byproducts of superfluous nor ancillary import.

    'Please, do excuse me. I would have made this shorter but I haven't
    the time.' -Blaise Pascal
    Flasherly, Nov 24, 2014
  4. Bill

    Bill Guest

    I've owed some Antec cases too, but that's exactly what a review
    said--that the aluminum was so thin that it
    barely blocked the noise of the drives inside. Same review said that
    the buttons were cheap. Case was about $95
    I think.

    Bill, Nov 24, 2014
  5. Bill

    Bill Guest

    This 63mm thing is such a strange size that there don't appear to be
    many. Especially, not
    many that are designed as quiet cases--I generally try to choose all
    quiet components..I hope
    this H105 CPU cooler doesn't disappoint in that regard. I thought
    someone might be able to
    enlighten me. Looking at ASUS Z-97-Pro board, so PWM should help...

    Bill, Nov 24, 2014
  6. Bill

    Flasherly Guest

    Of course. Nothing quiet about this case (LanBoy). I've even pulled
    one of the sides (opposite the MB standoffs). It's not meant to be
    anything but beer-can light, at least for me. Nor quiet, especially,
    nor outrageously noisy. There's a large front-case fan over the
    oddball Antec drive-case rack, and another suitably mated CPU fan for
    a grapefruit monster heatsink/pipewick sitting ontop a dualcore
    Conroe/Intel setup.

    Nothing at all like the regard I initially gave it upon purchase. Now
    it's something that grown on me, over ten years, that I flip summarily
    on its side to reach inside its guts and do most anything I want.
    Pronto Tonto.

    Be sorely missed, though, if I didn't have it. In any subjective
    sense. Nor, of course, are all models of Antec the same...sold a real
    beasty of an all-steel Antec, unless it's in the next room, where I
    keep a wall of spare if not old, sometimes useless computer parts.
    Flasherly, Nov 24, 2014
  7. Bill

    Paul Guest

    My personal preference is for fixed fan speed, even if a little
    noisy. I tend to forget about it after a while. When a fan
    wanders around speed wise, it tends to attract unwanted

    If the PWM signal is not connected to anything (it is left
    floating), the fan would run at 100% speed. So if you were
    to connect the four pin fan to a three pin header, the fourth
    signal which is PWM, hangs in the air and is not connected. And
    that's one way to get 100% fixed fan speed.

    And with the usage of bog-standard square fans with
    standard sized screw holes, you also have the option
    of changing fans if you want. For example, the fan on my
    Coolermaster CPU heatsink broke (while I was cleaning it),
    and I replaced it with a Vantec Stealth. And since that's
    a relatively quiet fan, that one could run at 100% no
    problem. No need for speed control on that one at all.
    Fans come in Low, Medium, High, Ultra, where Low and
    Media tend to be 30dBa or lower. A High or an Ultra
    is too loud for computer use. I have an Ultra that
    I run at 7V, and that's still pretty loud. It was
    an impulse buy - the fan is made from metal instead
    of plastic, so I just had to buy it :) But it sounds
    like a vacuum cleaner if you run it with full 12V.

    Paul, Nov 24, 2014
  8. Bill

    Bill Guest

    On my current Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD4P motherboard, I ended up
    having to disable the "CPU Smart Fan Control", because otherwise the
    audio was detecting my mouse movement and making very annoying noises
    (sort of "following me around").
    I assume that this feature is the same as PWM. If there is anyone here
    who could
    possibly explain that phenonema, I expect it is you or Flasherly! If it
    happens again,
    then PWM is just a waste of money... FWIW, I have a Logitech corded
    mouse, but, IIRC, I tried another mouse too.

    Bill, Nov 25, 2014
  9. Bill

    Paul Guest

    PWM (Intel style) operates at 25KHz. The pulse width of
    the square wave signal varies, as an indicator of how fast
    the fan is to go.

    The 25KHz was selected specifically tn not be in the audio band.
    While it is possible to alias an out of band signal down into
    the audible range, you would need a suitable signal to do that.

    Similarly, the CCFL tubes on your LCD monitor, run at 25KHz. And
    that's another attempt to prevent things like coil noise from
    an inverter, being heard by the user.

    I've not read any posts, tracing noise to PWM. But of course
    stranger things have happened.


    Motherboard audio doesn't have a particularly clean noise floor.
    The quickest fix, is reach for a $10 PCI sound card and use that
    in a PCI slot. Alternately, you can also get a USB dongle that
    looks like a flash stick, with a couple 1/8" connectors on the
    bottom, and the green connector on that is Line Out. That's another
    way to potentially replace motherboard audio.

    If the motherboard audio (HDAudio or AC'97) runs in parallel with
    NIC drive wires (to the motherboard side of the Ethernet
    isolation transformer0, the audio can pick that up. That gives
    noises in response to packets on the NIC.

    The motherboard audio must be powered with something. If it
    were to run off +5VSB say, and the mouse runs off +5VSB, perhaps
    the sound of the mouse leaks through that way. You may notice
    a three terminal regulator on the motherboard, next to the
    HDAudio chip, which is an attempt to provide "clean" unshared
    power to the HDAudio chip. That might take +12V and make
    +5V for the audio. No other circuit should use that power.

    Some motherboards now, have decent audio performance. Older
    motherboards, audio was an afterthought. It was the appearance
    of RightMark, and audio testing, that perhaps alerted motherboard
    makers to the need to clean up their act (bad PR). Now, you can find
    pretty strange attempts at shielding. Some of which are mainly
    for show (random strips of metal with branding printed on them).
    Some of the effective solutions, are just layout changes in the
    PCB, to route audio signals away from noise sources. But bulk
    shielding has been known to buy 10dB in noise floor, so there
    is some evidence that such helps. My current audio solution
    (came with motherboard), is in a shielded box. Presumably so
    it wouldn't look like an unshielded solution.

    Another mechanism you might look into, is the CDROM audio cable.
    Some people still connect the CDROM audio cable to the white
    four pin header on their motherboard. The cable has four wires,
    and the intent was for differential transmission and reception.
    But on the motherboard end, the reception might be single ended,
    and do a poor job at common mode noise removal.

    So for that one, there are two possibilities. You listen to a
    CD, and pick up all manner of "digital" beeps and boops in
    the background. Removing the audio cable, and switching to
    digital audio extraction (packet audio from the CD drive),
    eliminated that as a source.

    But even if you weren't listening to a CD, that white connector
    could pick up noise. On the "Recording" audio interface,
    remember to "mute" all recording inputs you are not using. For
    example, any path with sensitive input (microphone in), might be
    a source of noise pickup. Right now, I'm using the
    Line In (1V RMS levels) from an external source. Which
    doesn't amplify much. And my background audio is quiet.
    My audio likely doesn't have -110dB performance figure,
    but at least it isn't beeping and booping while I work.
    Everything but Line In is muted.

    Paul, Nov 25, 2014
  10. Bill

    Bill Guest

    Your post was very interesting. However recall that disabling "CPU
    Smart Fan Control"
    completely eliminated the problem (I got the solution from an online
    forum). Does my problem suggest that the circuit which helped provide PWM
    created some sort of interfering electric field on the board, somehow
    allowing the audio to detect mouse action events?
    Obviously, I am not an EE but I am still interested in how the problem
    manifested itself.

    Bill, Nov 25, 2014
  11. Bill

    Paul Guest

    As a collector of trivia, I'm interested too :)

    The PWM signal itself is inaudible. If I coupled that
    signal into the audio, now maybe the audio doesn't have a sharp
    enough prefilter. Maybe what you're hearing is 22.050KHz sampling
    minus 25KHz signal. The difference is 2.9KHz or so (high pitched).

    The fan motor probably has some current ripple from the
    brushless DC commutation. Would that be the noise ?

    You would start with capturing a sample with Audacity,
    and Audacity has an FFT module. You could look for
    the frequencies involved in there. And maybe come up
    with a theory as to where it comes from.

    Paul, Nov 25, 2014
  12. Bill

    Bill Guest

    The noise was from the "rolling" of the mouse. No move, no noise.
    No Smart Fan Control, no noise too. Go figure.

    Go on to more important work! I'll buy some new computer components and
    bring you some real questions!

    Bill, Nov 25, 2014
  13. Bill

    Bill Guest

    Okay, I'm ready now! : )

    Am considering Consair 650D case with H105 cooler.

    This case comes with 200mm fan directing air IN on the FRONT and another
    200mm fan directing air OUT on the TOP,
    and a 60mm fan directing air out the back.

    If installed as directed (in the directions), the H105 cooler, with its
    two 60mm fans would replace the fan on top.
    Furthermore, they would be directing air IN to the case. My intuition
    suggests installing these fans so they direct
    air OUT the top of the case.

    2 questions:

    1. What do you think of this configuration?

    2. What does anyone care about "positive air pressure in the case"? I
    don't understand the significance of this.

    Thank you,
    Bill, Nov 30, 2014
  14. Bill

    Flasherly Guest

    What it implies, (to me w/out hunting it down), is you're dealing with
    powerful enough fans to overcome a design factor of the case: either
    a) too much air, or b) not enough air is being circulated, as based on
    the fan's rating for cubic/ft of air moved (inside>outside ||
    outside>inside);- It's irrespective of existing thermal conditions
    inside the case, as well, and will continue to be until such
    condition(s a&b) is brought into balance, whereupon the case is
    "tuned" for efficiency (to the fans' rated measure for air movement)
    and its inside temperature may be measured for some sort of
    coefficient common to cases. Although I've doubts such a rating
    practically should exist;- I see no reason to as well derive
    (extrapolate for) a rating for a measure cases and their filtering
    efficiency, in part based on fans, and how filthy and quickly they
    turn the case and all inside fuzzy brown and black from airborne
    Flasherly, Nov 30, 2014
  15. Bill

    Paul Guest

    Airflow is a lively topic.


    I have positive pressure on my current case. It's still dirty in
    there, because I absolutely refuse to use filters. Filters require
    attention, and the last thing I need it "continuous maintenance".

    And the new system, with the monster fan on the back, it's too early
    to tell how bad it'll be (negative pressure). It should get pretty dirty,
    but the old motherboard in there wasn't that bad.

    As the thread above mentions, some sort of filter would help, in terms
    of the quality of air feeding the case. But if you "do it right",
    say a hepafilter like the first one I bought for my new gas
    furnace, there will be high arrestance, and you'll need a good
    fan to drive it, and then you're going to have a "noisy vacuum cleaner
    case design". I choose to accept a bit of dust, and use Medium speed
    fans (somewhere around 35CFM a piece). Yes, my case is still noise,
    it's still slightly dirty, but it's not super noisy + super clean.
    That would drive me nuts (the super noisy part).


    The purpose of the instructions saying to arrange the fans
    on the H105 to blow *into* the case, that's an attempt to
    give the water cooling system impressive statistics. If you
    use room air, the inlet side of the H105 is 25C. The water
    experiences better cooling. Now, if you grabbed case air
    and blew it out of the case, the inlet air to the H105
    would be 35C. And the water could never be cooled below
    35C, and Corsair "wouldn't look as good". So they only
    specified such an approach, for their own interests.

    You put cooling where it is needed. You use enough cooling
    for the hard drives, so they stay under 50C. My current
    two drives are running at 31C and 25C.

    You remove enough heat from the CPU, so it doesn't throttle.

    You remove enough heat from the GPU, so it doesn't hit 105C
    or whatever the top temperature is. There have been some
    gamer cards, that would run at 90C, even with the fan on
    the card running at a noisy speed. In such an event, you'd
    want to "sweep warm air" from around the card, and that means
    adjusting the case fan configuration to achieve that objective.
    I've had one computer case, where there was a pretty bad
    cloud of warm air right around the CPU cooler, and it was
    pretty hard to move that out without a lot of noise.


    OK, if I aim for a slightly positive air pressure,
    it looks like this. That's an attempt to balance
    the 200 with the three other fans. (I didn't check
    CFM numbers, instead using pie R squared.)

    ^ ^
    | |
    +------- 120 120 -----------------+

    | Video
    | HDD
    <- PSU HDD


    If instead, I arranged them the following way, now I've
    got way too much positive pressure. The 120's and the
    200 are working against backpressure. I would need to
    remove more slot plates in the back, and 5.25" tray
    covers in the front, to let the air out. I expect
    with this setup, more air will leave via the front
    than the back, and the lower left corner will be
    "warm cloud" country. The video card temps might be
    a bit higher.

    | |
    v v
    +------- 120 120 -----------------+
    <-60 Remove -->
    Covers -->
    | Here -->
    | Video
    | HDD
    <- PSU HDD


    I'm going to have to go with the first config. It's going to
    make the H105 a bit warmer. But the lower diagram, the
    air pattern looks like it could be a bit more stagnant.
    I really really like a defined airflow (in on one side,
    out on the other). It's hard to predict how much
    worse the bottom diagram will be. The H105 will be
    heroic, and the CPU will be at 26-27C when idle, because
    room air at 25C will be hitting the radiator. I'm willing
    to trade a little CPU temp, at least until it hits
    the throttle point. If the CPU starts to throttle,
    then I have to switch to some other configuration.

    So yeah, there are some compromises involved. And
    some test cases to run.

    Paul, Nov 30, 2014
  16. Bill

    Bill Guest

    Thank you for your thoughtful and insightful answer! I (strive to)
    choose every component optimized
    for peace and quiet. The vast majority of the time, my computer is not
    working hard (like as I type this message).

    Besides for the H105 CPU fan, other components on my list include the
    (new) Gigabyte Strix GTX750ti GPU
    and Corsair RM750 power supply. I have been using their HX power supplies,
    but I recently learned about the "RM" series, optimized for quiet. For
    some reason,
    the RM750 has a much better track record than the RM650 (which
    power-wise) probably
    would have been quite adequate for me.

    Bill, Dec 1, 2014
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