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I´ve finished a recent build which has two CM fans (top - rear) as exhaust and two non-branded A.K.A cheap fans in-front as intake.

The temps with the two front fans cooling the two HDDs are:

(min on idle and max under stress)

  • CPU: min: 35, max: 60
  • HDD: min: 29, max: 32

But the case has a lot of vibration (you know, when you put your fingers on the chassis and it begins to do a humming noise and you feel the vibration).

Without the two front fans:

  • CPU: min: 32, max: 53 (I think the thermal paste is sitting in)
  • HDD: min: 27, max: 38

And the case is vibrating a lot less (+ no humming).

Should I keep the front two fans to have lower HDD temps or remove them to reduce the case vibration?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

When it comes to it, I would rather have a cool and fully functioning computer than a vibrating case. How fast are your fans spinning? Maybe throttling them down will change the vibrations and keep your stuff cool.

I've recently had a ton of overheating issues that crept up on me when I wasn't looking. I really do recommend you keep those fans in there.

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They´re connected directly to the PSU, I can´t change their RPM. However I can buy one of those plugs that I´ve seen from Noctua coolers that decrease the RPM of the fans. – Ben Apr 20 '11 at 16:19
Yeah I'm pretty sure those are just variable resistors. Check the prices compared to buying new fans that have RPM control. – n0pe Apr 20 '11 at 16:20
The Noctua ones aren't variable - they're just fixed inline resistors. They're great, I use them all the time (but then we sell machines with Noctua heatsinks and so we have HUNDREDS of extras...) – Shinrai Apr 20 '11 at 16:23
Oh that's perfect then. I'd say give that a try and see what you get in vibration reduction. I've currently got 4 fans in my box and the vibrations are very minimal. – n0pe Apr 20 '11 at 16:24
I´ll try that, thanks. – Ben Apr 20 '11 at 16:35

Silence... I know you bought your case already, but here's my list of things noise-related:

  1. Get a case with heavier and dampened panels. Plain aluminium and thin steel will vibrate and resonate (amplify) sounds inside more. For an existing case, you can buy sheets of dampening material to stick inside your case panels.
  2. Mount all HDDs and fans with rubber grummets/gaskets. Avoid metal-to-metal screws as this propagates lots of vibration onto the case. If your case does not include them, you can acquire a kit of longer screws that leave a bit of space for grummets to be inserted between the HDD and the mount. You can also get creative and try to suspend them!
  3. Keep, but slow your fans! 2 fans running at 60% speed will be quieter than 1 at 100%. To control your case fans, you can get single or multi-fan controllers. For the CPU fan, you can use SpeedFan.
  4. Buy larger, quieter fans with speed control.
  5. More HDDs cause more noise. Consider replacing one of them with a dead-silent SSD.
  6. Last resort, there are harddrive enclosures which can kill most of the noise but require close attention to SMART temperatures and usually need 1 or 2 slow fans to prevent a BBQ and move warm air to the back of the case. I'd say the best temps with this method would be 40-45C, with 50-52C peaks on hot days.
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