quietest desktop Dell

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Gabriel, Jul 10, 2005.

  1. Gabriel

    Gabriel Guest

    I've been looking at the new Dimension, in particular the 5100c and 9100
    Pentium D machines. (The 5100c is only offered with Pentium D at the small
    business section.) I understand these machines use the new BTX cases. Has
    anybody had any real-world experience with one of these? Are the noise
    levels acceptable? If not I'll wait until next year for the new dual core
    laptops or anything Apple offers after the switch to Intel. Any thoughts?
    Gabriel, Jul 10, 2005
    #1
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  2. Gabriel

    Colin Wilson Guest

    > I understand these machines use the new BTX cases. Has anybody had any
    > real-world experience with one of these? Are the noise levels
    > acceptable?


    Not real world experience, but the airflow is supposed to be more
    efficient and therefore less noisy than current ATX arrangements

    --
    Please add "[newsgroup]" in the subject of any personal replies via email
    --- My new email address has "ngspamtrap" & @btinternet.com in it ;-) ---
    Colin Wilson, Jul 10, 2005
    #2
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  3. Gabriel

    S.Lewis Guest

    "Gabriel" <> wrote in message
    news:vJ8Ae.189125$...
    > I've been looking at the new Dimension, in particular the 5100c and 9100
    > Pentium D machines. (The 5100c is only offered with Pentium D at the small
    > business section.) I understand these machines use the new BTX cases. Has
    > anybody had any real-world experience with one of these? Are the noise
    > levels acceptable? If not I'll wait until next year for the new dual core
    > laptops or anything Apple offers after the switch to Intel. Any thoughts?
    >



    Very quiet. Perhaps even more quiet than my Dimension 8300 which I find
    unusually quiet - (can't tell it's on many times).

    The BTX boxes have the (larger w/lower RPM) fans mounted mid-case rather
    than mounted to the rear wall of the chassis.

    Short of a bad fan, it's going to be quiet.


    Stew
    S.Lewis, Jul 11, 2005
    #3
  4. Gabriel

    Gabriel Guest

    Thanks Stew,

    I got my 8200 in late 2001. The performance was (and still is) good, despite
    the fact that it uses an ancient 1.8 GHz P4 with just 256K of L2 cache, but
    the noise was horrible. Dell replaced the fan with their better MNB model
    but the machine remained noisy. I've been stuck with this noisy thing for
    almost four years but I promised myself that I would NEVER buy another
    desktop system from Dell or anyone else unless it was reasonably quiet. If I
    need to get a "desktop replacement" laptop next time I will. As much as I'd
    love the smaller form factor of the 5100c, I'd still prefer a large tower if
    it's quieter. If Apple can build large, quiet towers and sleek, small, quiet
    desktop cases using sizzling hot PowerPC chips, then Dell should be able to
    do the same. (On the iMac G5 you can adjust the processor speed to increase
    or decrease fan speed. I believe the BTX cases allow the same thing.) And
    since Apple is switching to Intel I'll be able to run Windows (and Nero) on
    them (plus OS X). The Pentium D is drawing my attention *now* (since the P4
    has been such a good processor and I have succesfully tamed XP) but by this
    winter the dual core Pentium Ms will be here and those will result in
    quieter systems because they require less power and will run cooler.
    According to your helpful post you already own or use a PC in a BTX case
    (unless you're just assuming that it's quieter than your 8300), so I might
    go for it.

    Thanks again.

    "S.Lewis" <> wrote in message
    news:eek:HjAe.69992$...
    >
    > "Gabriel" <> wrote in message
    > news:vJ8Ae.189125$...
    >> I've been looking at the new Dimension, in particular the 5100c and 9100
    >> Pentium D machines. (The 5100c is only offered with Pentium D at the
    >> small business section.) I understand these machines use the new BTX
    >> cases. Has anybody had any real-world experience with one of these? Are
    >> the noise levels acceptable? If not I'll wait until next year for the new
    >> dual core laptops or anything Apple offers after the switch to Intel. Any
    >> thoughts?
    >>

    >
    >
    > Very quiet. Perhaps even more quiet than my Dimension 8300 which I find
    > unusually quiet - (can't tell it's on many times).
    >
    > The BTX boxes have the (larger w/lower RPM) fans mounted mid-case rather
    > than mounted to the rear wall of the chassis.
    >
    > Short of a bad fan, it's going to be quiet.
    >
    >
    > Stew
    >
    Gabriel, Jul 11, 2005
    #4
  5. This may help as alternative to a quieter machine. My older (500 MHz)
    Tower is set up as a file server under my desk with 3 other towers (KVM
    Switch-4) and a small fan keep them cool. It is still by far the noisiest
    and I had sort of grown used to it. One day after reading post about noise,
    I thought about it and came up with this solution. I snagged the acoustic
    foam from a couple of old speaker boxes the kids had trashed and glued it to
    the underside and inner sides of the desk. It insulates me from the noise
    as long as I'm using the keyboard and I only notice the noise when I lean
    back from the desk. It doesn't solve the problem per say, but it mask the
    symptoms.

    Two precautions I can see are that you need to make sure you don't push
    the case against the foam in such a way that if blocks the fan opening.
    Also that you take note of the noise on occasion and note any change that
    might warn you of a potential fan failure.

    KC

    "Gabriel" <> wrote in message
    news:fVyAe.190232$...
    > Thanks Stew,
    >
    > I got my 8200 in late 2001. The performance was (and still is) good,

    despite
    > the fact that it uses an ancient 1.8 GHz P4 with just 256K of L2 cache,

    but
    > the noise was horrible. Dell replaced the fan with their better MNB model
    > but the machine remained noisy. I've been stuck with this noisy thing for
    > almost four years but I promised myself that I would NEVER buy another
    > desktop system from Dell or anyone else unless it was reasonably quiet. If

    I
    > need to get a "desktop replacement" laptop next time I will. As much as

    I'd
    > love the smaller form factor of the 5100c, I'd still prefer a large tower

    if
    > it's quieter. If Apple can build large, quiet towers and sleek, small,

    quiet
    > desktop cases using sizzling hot PowerPC chips, then Dell should be able

    to
    > do the same. (On the iMac G5 you can adjust the processor speed to

    increase
    > or decrease fan speed. I believe the BTX cases allow the same thing.) And
    > since Apple is switching to Intel I'll be able to run Windows (and Nero)

    on
    > them (plus OS X). The Pentium D is drawing my attention *now* (since the

    P4
    > has been such a good processor and I have succesfully tamed XP) but by

    this
    > winter the dual core Pentium Ms will be here and those will result in
    > quieter systems because they require less power and will run cooler.
    > According to your helpful post you already own or use a PC in a BTX case
    > (unless you're just assuming that it's quieter than your 8300), so I might
    > go for it.
    >
    > Thanks again.
    >
    > "S.Lewis" <> wrote in message
    > news:eek:HjAe.69992$...
    > >
    > > "Gabriel" <> wrote in message
    > > news:vJ8Ae.189125$...
    > >> I've been looking at the new Dimension, in particular the 5100c and

    9100
    > >> Pentium D machines. (The 5100c is only offered with Pentium D at the
    > >> small business section.) I understand these machines use the new BTX
    > >> cases. Has anybody had any real-world experience with one of these? Are
    > >> the noise levels acceptable? If not I'll wait until next year for the

    new
    > >> dual core laptops or anything Apple offers after the switch to Intel.

    Any
    > >> thoughts?
    > >>

    > >
    > >
    > > Very quiet. Perhaps even more quiet than my Dimension 8300 which I find
    > > unusually quiet - (can't tell it's on many times).
    > >
    > > The BTX boxes have the (larger w/lower RPM) fans mounted mid-case rather
    > > than mounted to the rear wall of the chassis.
    > >
    > > Short of a bad fan, it's going to be quiet.
    > >
    > >
    > > Stew
    > >

    >
    >
    Kevin Childers, Jul 11, 2005
    #5
  6. Gabriel

    Talkin Horse Guest

    "Gabriel" <> wrote in message
    news:fVyAe.190232$...
    > Thanks Stew,
    >
    > I got my 8200 in late 2001. The performance was (and still is) good,
    > despite the fact that it uses an ancient 1.8 GHz P4 with just 256K of L2
    > cache, but the noise was horrible...


    This doesn't sound right. I've worked with Dell Dimensions at my home and
    office, and all of the models in recent years have been acceptably quiet.
    Additionally, you can muffle them a bit more by positioning them farther
    away under the desk, as long as they get good airflow. Between the new 9100
    and 5100...as someone has pointed out, the BTX design supposedly allows for
    more efficient airflow, which presumably is a good thing for quieter PCs. I
    would expect the 5100 to be slightly quieter than the 9100, since it
    generally draws less power and so has less heat to dissipate. Of course, if
    your budget allows for it, you can go looking for a fanless PC. There are a
    few; for example look at the Voodoo Eden.

    http://www.voodoopc.com/showroomnext.aspx?lineid=9
    Talkin Horse, Jul 12, 2005
    #6
  7. Gabriel

    Tom Scales Guest

    "Talkin Horse" <davidrolfen0sp&> wrote in message
    news:dYEAe.6638$...
    > "Gabriel" <> wrote in message
    > news:fVyAe.190232$...
    >> Thanks Stew,
    >>
    >> I got my 8200 in late 2001. The performance was (and still is) good,
    >> despite the fact that it uses an ancient 1.8 GHz P4 with just 256K of L2
    >> cache, but the noise was horrible...

    >
    > This doesn't sound right. I've worked with Dell Dimensions at my home and
    > office, and all of the models in recent years have been acceptably quiet.
    > Additionally, you can muffle them a bit more by positioning them farther
    > away under the desk, as long as they get good airflow. Between the new
    > 9100 and 5100...as someone has pointed out, the BTX design supposedly
    > allows for more efficient airflow, which presumably is a good thing for
    > quieter PCs. I would expect the 5100 to be slightly quieter than the 9100,
    > since it generally draws less power and so has less heat to dissipate. Of
    > course, if your budget allows for it, you can go looking for a fanless PC.
    > There are a few; for example look at the Voodoo Eden.
    >
    > http://www.voodoopc.com/showroomnext.aspx?lineid=9
    >
    >


    My 4550 sounds like a jet airliner, and that is with the new fan. It is very
    frustrating.

    Tom
    Tom Scales, Jul 12, 2005
    #7
  8. Gabriel

    Talkin Horse Guest

    "Tom Scales" <> wrote in message
    news:0xFAe.190413$...
    >
    > My 4550 sounds like a jet airliner, and that is with the new fan. It is
    > very frustrating.


    Is that main case fan the source of the noise? There's also the fan in the
    power supply, and some video cards have fans. In my experience, under normal
    operation, all of these fans are reasonably quiet. You might try to figure
    out if one particular fan, I guess other than the fan you replaced, is
    causing the sound.
    Talkin Horse, Jul 12, 2005
    #8
  9. Gabriel

    Tom Scales Guest

    "Talkin Horse" <davidrolfen0sp&> wrote in message
    news:9DLAe.4010$...
    > "Tom Scales" <> wrote in message
    > news:0xFAe.190413$...
    >>
    >> My 4550 sounds like a jet airliner, and that is with the new fan. It is
    >> very frustrating.

    >
    > Is that main case fan the source of the noise? There's also the fan in the
    > power supply, and some video cards have fans. In my experience, under
    > normal operation, all of these fans are reasonably quiet. You might try to
    > figure out if one particular fan, I guess other than the fan you replaced,
    > is causing the sound.
    >

    Main case fan. No question. Power supply fan is whisper quiet (although I
    have a new power supply just in case). Vide card can replace with an Arctic
    cooler. Very quiet.

    Tried everything.

    Tom
    Tom Scales, Jul 12, 2005
    #9
  10. Gabriel

    S.Lewis Guest

    "Tom Scales" <> wrote in message
    news:VYLAe.190471$...
    >
    > "Talkin Horse" <davidrolfen0sp&> wrote in message
    > news:9DLAe.4010$...
    >> "Tom Scales" <> wrote in message
    >> news:0xFAe.190413$...
    >>>
    >>> My 4550 sounds like a jet airliner, and that is with the new fan. It is
    >>> very frustrating.

    >>
    >> Is that main case fan the source of the noise? There's also the fan in
    >> the power supply, and some video cards have fans. In my experience, under
    >> normal operation, all of these fans are reasonably quiet. You might try
    >> to figure out if one particular fan, I guess other than the fan you
    >> replaced, is causing the sound.
    >>

    > Main case fan. No question. Power supply fan is whisper quiet (although
    > I have a new power supply just in case). Vide card can replace with an
    > Arctic cooler. Very quiet.
    >
    > Tried everything.
    >
    > Tom
    >


    Tom -

    Not an ambient air temps/circulation problem? Good airflow from room air?
    As you know, warm temps will cause the fan to run at high-end RPMs.....

    Both our 4500 and 8300 (which has a different assy. part and spec) are
    incredibly quiet, but are open to the room.


    Stew
    S.Lewis, Jul 12, 2005
    #10
  11. Gabriel

    Notan Guest

    "S.Lewis" wrote:
    >
    > <snip>
    >
    > Not an ambient air temps/circulation problem? Good airflow from room air?
    > As you know, warm temps will cause the fan to run at high-end RPMs.....
    >
    > Both our 4500 and 8300 (which has a different assy. part and spec) are
    > incredibly quiet, but are open to the room.


    Unbeknownst to a lot of users, therein lies the problem...

    Placing the CPU in a corner and/or underneath a desk, usually doesn't provide
    adequate circulation and cooling. The fan blows harder, forcing more warm air
    into the room, the room heats up, the computer heats up, the fan blows harder,
    etc.

    I just purchased a very cool (pun intended) unit, similar to a KVM extender,
    that I placed in my office, 'cause the room was heating up too much. Not only
    does it "extend," by way of a single CAT5 wire, it's also got 2 PCI slots that
    allow for future expansion, all without the heat and noise of having the CPU
    in the office. (The CPU's in the basement, and can be remotely booted up,
    rebooted, and shut down.)

    Notan
    Notan, Jul 12, 2005
    #11
  12. Gabriel

    Talkin Horse Guest

    "S.Lewis" <> wrote in message
    news:YwRAe.60545$...
    >
    > Tom -
    >
    > Not an ambient air temps/circulation problem? Good airflow from room air?
    > As you know, warm temps will cause the fan to run at high-end RPMs.....
    >
    > Both our 4500 and 8300 (which has a different assy. part and spec) are
    > incredibly quiet, but are open to the room.


    Yes, I think that's the experience of most people, that the Dells are quiet.
    Tom is reporting that his case fan is running at max speed. You've
    speculated that maybe the PC is sitting in a hot spot, thus activating the
    fan. That's a possibility. On another line, I'm wondering how the fan senses
    the temperature? Is this built into the fan itself, or is there a
    temperature sensor elsewhere in the case? If the temperature sensor is
    independent of the fan, could it be reporting a high temperature in error?
    (If it's built into the fan, then it would have been replaced when Tom
    replaced the fan, so that's not the problem -- unless he replaced a "smart"
    fan with a "dumb" (always on) one.) Or are there any software settings that
    affect how the fan reacts to temperature? As an independent question, do
    Dell diagnostics (or any other utilities) report temperature readings?
    Talkin Horse, Jul 12, 2005
    #12
  13. Gabriel

    Dennis Guest

    I have a new 8400 and it's so quiet I have to check the monitor to see if
    it's on. You should be quite satisfied with any of the new systems.

    "> business section.) I understand these machines use the new BTX cases. Has
    > anybody had any real-world experience with one of these? Are the noise
    > levels acceptable? If not I'll wait until next year for the new dual core
    Dennis, Jul 12, 2005
    #13
  14. Gabriel

    Tom Scales Guest

    "Talkin Horse" <davidrolfen0sp&> wrote in message
    news:vNVAe.4179$...
    > "S.Lewis" <> wrote in message
    > news:YwRAe.60545$...
    >>
    >> Tom -
    >>
    >> Not an ambient air temps/circulation problem? Good airflow from room
    >> air? As you know, warm temps will cause the fan to run at high-end
    >> RPMs.....
    >>
    >> Both our 4500 and 8300 (which has a different assy. part and spec) are
    >> incredibly quiet, but are open to the room.

    >
    > Yes, I think that's the experience of most people, that the Dells are
    > quiet. Tom is reporting that his case fan is running at max speed. You've
    > speculated that maybe the PC is sitting in a hot spot, thus activating the
    > fan. That's a possibility. On another line, I'm wondering how the fan
    > senses the temperature? Is this built into the fan itself, or is there a
    > temperature sensor elsewhere in the case? If the temperature sensor is
    > independent of the fan, could it be reporting a high temperature in error?
    > (If it's built into the fan, then it would have been replaced when Tom
    > replaced the fan, so that's not the problem -- unless he replaced a
    > "smart" fan with a "dumb" (always on) one.) Or are there any software
    > settings that affect how the fan reacts to temperature? As an independent
    > question, do Dell diagnostics (or any other utilities) report temperature
    > readings?
    >


    Sadly, it is incredibly loud even not at max speed. Part of the problem is
    temp and I am going to experiment with location.


    Notan: Can you tell me the model of extender you bought and from where?

    Tom
    Tom Scales, Jul 13, 2005
    #14
  15. Gabriel

    Talkin Horse Guest

    "Tom Scales" <> wrote in message
    news:61YAe.229446$...
    >
    >
    > Sadly, it is incredibly loud even not at max speed. Part of the problem
    > is temp and I am going to experiment with location.


    I assume the fan is tightly mounted in place? Obviously a loosely mounted
    fan can rattle around.

    I dunno. Seems that most of us who have systems that are supposedly similar
    aren't having the problem you are. Why should that be, I wonder?
    Talkin Horse, Jul 13, 2005
    #15
  16. Gabriel

    Nick Guest

    On Sun, 10 Jul 2005 12:43:07 GMT, in alt.sys.pc-clone.dell, "Gabriel"
    <> wrote:

    >I've been looking at the new Dimension, in particular the 5100c and 9100
    >Pentium D machines. (The 5100c is only offered with Pentium D at the small
    >business section.) I understand these machines use the new BTX cases. Has
    >anybody had any real-world experience with one of these? Are the noise
    >levels acceptable? If not I'll wait until next year for the new dual core
    >laptops or anything Apple offers after the switch to Intel. Any thoughts?
    >


    New Dimension XPS 5 here: very quiet. Much quieter than the four year old
    Dim. 8100 it replaced, even when running for extended periods with the
    temperature in the mid and upper eighties due to broken air conditioning
    last week.

    --
    Nick <mailto:>
    Nick, Jul 13, 2005
    #16
  17. Gabriel

    Gabriel Guest

    Talkin Horse, it depends on the location. Obviously a PC in an office
    setting, with other PCs, printers, buzzing cheap fluorescent lights,
    staffers typing, etc. will not sound as noisy as one at home. I mentioned
    Apple because they do seem to take extra care in making sure their
    machines are quiet, with liquid cooling on the PowerMacs and voltage
    regulation on the iMac G5, although some Macusers bitch about the noise
    from the iMac. If they only knew what I've had to go through. But Dell is
    responding with the BTX cases and that's definitely a good thing. I read
    somewhere that they are planning on introducing a 'premium' line of PCs
    that will be built with quieter components and smaller form factors.
    Thanks for your comment above about the 5100c being quieter simply because
    it draws less power...that's something I hadn't considered. There is an
    "acoustic burden" imposed on the smaller 6.9 liter design, according to
    the documents on the Intel BTX site, but that should be counteracted by
    low power components like the slim, single optical drive, smaller, slower
    hard disks, fanless video cards (which I would prefer even on the tower),
    etc. On the other hand, the 12.9 liter design would allow a humungous CPU
    heat sink. I'll probably buy, but I think I'll wait for the Pentium D to
    go into wider circulation, probably this fall. Take care.

    http://www.intel.com/pressroom/kits/p4/btx/



    On Tue, 12 Jul 2005 19:11:51 -0400, Talkin Horse
    <davidrolfen0sp&> wrote:

    > "Tom Scales" <> wrote in message
    > news:61YAe.229446$...
    >>
    >>
    >> Sadly, it is incredibly loud even not at max speed. Part of the problem
    >> is temp and I am going to experiment with location.

    >
    > I assume the fan is tightly mounted in place? Obviously a loosely mounted
    > fan can rattle around.
    >
    > I dunno. Seems that most of us who have systems that are supposedly
    > similar
    > aren't having the problem you are. Why should that be, I wonder?
    >
    >




    --
    Using Opera's revolutionary e-mail client: http://www.opera.com/mail/
    Gabriel, Jul 13, 2005
    #17
  18. Gabriel

    Tom Scales Guest

    "Talkin Horse" <davidrolfen0sp&> wrote in message
    news:X6YAe.7252$...
    > "Tom Scales" <> wrote in message
    > news:61YAe.229446$...
    >>
    >>
    >> Sadly, it is incredibly loud even not at max speed. Part of the problem
    >> is temp and I am going to experiment with location.

    >
    > I assume the fan is tightly mounted in place? Obviously a loosely mounted
    > fan can rattle around.
    >
    > I dunno. Seems that most of us who have systems that are supposedly
    > similar aren't having the problem you are. Why should that be, I wonder?
    >


    It may be what I use it for. It is not only my primary desktop, used
    heavily all day every day, but a Media center machine hosting considerable
    storage. I suspect some of the problem is air flow and will try moving it.
    I suspect a BIG part of it is 3 hard drives. May have to move one or two
    out.

    Tom
    Tom Scales, Jul 13, 2005
    #18
  19. "Tom Scales" <> wrote in message
    news:z2%Ae.192190$...
    >
    > "Talkin Horse" <davidrolfen0sp&> wrote in message
    > news:X6YAe.7252$...
    >> "Tom Scales" <> wrote in message
    >> news:61YAe.229446$...
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> Sadly, it is incredibly loud even not at max speed. Part of the problem
    >>> is temp and I am going to experiment with location.

    >>
    >> I assume the fan is tightly mounted in place? Obviously a loosely mounted
    >> fan can rattle around.
    >>
    >> I dunno. Seems that most of us who have systems that are supposedly
    >> similar aren't having the problem you are. Why should that be, I wonder?
    >>

    >
    > It may be what I use it for. It is not only my primary desktop, used
    > heavily all day every day, but a Media center machine hosting considerable
    > storage. I suspect some of the problem is air flow and will try moving
    > it. I suspect a BIG part of it is 3 hard drives. May have to move one or
    > two out.
    >



    Tom,

    My 4550 now sits on my work bench replaced by an Optiplex GX280, but when it
    was in use here beside my desk in the family room, it had 4 hard drives and
    was used for a myriad of things from photo editing and TV watching to
    running MS's Virtual Server (I sometimes had 2 or 3 virtual systems going at
    the same time.) The system ran very quiet considering the work it was
    doing. It's location on the floor gave plenty of ventilation both in front
    and behind, however, with two dogs in the house it was a dust collector so
    I'd completely clean it out every couple of months or so.

    My 4550 is a 2.GHz P4 with 1gig of RAM. It had 4 80+ IDE drives along with
    a WinTV card, Modem, and ATA133 IDE controller card in it. My GX280 has a
    3.GHz P4 and similar setup as above. Both are very quiet.

    Neither have a vid card with a fan. If you have one this very well may be
    the source of the noise.
    --

    Rob
    Robert R Kircher, Jr., Jul 13, 2005
    #19
  20. Gabriel

    Tom Scales Guest

    "Robert R Kircher, Jr." <> wrote in message
    news:...

    > Neither have a vid card with a fan. If you have one this very well may be
    > the source of the noise.
    > --
    >
    > Rob
    >
    >

    OK, it's time to try moving it and see what happens. No fan on the video
    card. The room is generally too hot though.
    Tom Scales, Jul 13, 2005
    #20
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