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Workstation TOO noisy - what solutions?

I have a workstation (tower, quad-core 3.ghz) that we recently purchased and it is incredibably noisy, intolerably so. I have been tasked to remdy this.

My options appear to be...

1) Relocate the workstation to the nearest data cupboard, which is about 25m away. This has practical problems for monitors - it is currently attached to two DVI monitors (!)

2) Replace noisy fans with quiet fans. Will the airflow be enough? How can I tell.

Any further thoughts to help me gratefully accepted, will share points for good contributions.
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garrilla
Asked:
garrilla
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6 Solutions
 
victorjones1Commented:
1 of the fans probably has bad bearings or its just huge and fast.  You should be able to adjust fan speed via the BIOS, but as it is brand new I would check with the manufacturer, as it should be under warranty.
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victorjones1Commented:
I would skip Option 1 and have the manufacturer replace the fans (or power supply) for free or do it myself (fans /power supplies are pretty cheap)
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garrillaAuthor Commented:
On the BIOS there is a setting for adjusting the fans that has 4 stations ranging from no limit to quiet, its on the quiet setting and I have tested it does work. In noisy mode its like an aeroplane landing!

We have rack servers from this manufacturer too and they are also very noisy - very reliable but very noisy. They are basically build and badge  supermicro's.

I have emailed the mfr to see what they suggest.

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skca54Senior EngineerCommented:
Rack servers tend to be noisy especially if they are 3U or below as more smaller faster running fans are required compared to less larger slower running fans in larger cases.
It is possible that if the fans are running at full tilt then you may have an over heating issue with the system.
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victorjones1Commented:
What were the fans originally set to in the BIOS.  Usually, they increase speed in response to the actual temperature of the system.  Did you use Thermal Grease when you installed the CPU?
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garrillaAuthor Commented:
@skca54

no, theres a lot of room to go in the fans, temp is good

@victorjones

the fans have two editable settings, although 1 only has a single option "tempCONTROL+1" and the other is the four choices of fan mode: 1 -Default (Maximum power); 2 - Server (Limited Power); 3 - Workstation (Nearly Quiet); 4 - Workstation (QuietMode). It was set at 4 when it arrived, I have set it to 1to check that it is operational - it is. It has since been set back to 4.

The Builders put the CPU, I would guess they did use thermal grease.

=======
The fans do not appear to be 'overworking' just noisy.

Thanks to all for your input so far.
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victorjones1Commented:
They are too loud when set to 4 - workstation(quietmode)?
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garrillaAuthor Commented:
@ victorjones1

oh yes! Intollerable. I have had to build a temporary 'wall' from boxes full of vinyl (records) to limit the noise, but its still loud.

I keep meaning to borrow a dB meter to register the loudness.

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victorjones1Commented:
Contact the system builders, and ask them why the fans are so loud.

Fan troubleshooting steps:
1. Clean the CPU fan.

2. Clean the power supply fan.

3. If the noise persists and can be narrowed down to the CPU fan, replace the CPU fan.

4. If the noise persists and can be narrowed down to the fan inside of the power supply, replace the power supply.  Due to safety concerns, it is never recommended to open the power supply and replace only the fan. I always recommend that the entire power supply be replaced instead.

5. Many fans in perfect working order will simply get louder as the system gets hotter. In this case, it may be necessary to move your PC to a cooler area.
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nobusCommented:
you can check which fan makes the noise, by stopping it for a second with a piece of folded paper
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victorjones1Commented:
If the quietest speed is too loud then the company who built them either put in used fans or the smallest cheapest fans they could get.  I would contact them and complain to see if they will fix the problem, and if that has no effect replace the fans with a higher quality low noise fan setup.

The noise could be from the power supply, CPU heat sink fan, or if you are lucky just a case fan.
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victorjones1Commented:
It is NOT recommended to stick anything into the spinning fan blades.
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victorjones1Commented:
Newegg.com allows you to pick a noise level when browsing the fans and heat sinks using their Power Search option.
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nobusCommented:
victorjones1; please read what i posted : a folded piece of paper.
iit does NOT hurt the fan blades - i do it all the time when needed.
if you only think it hurts, please try it first before posting !
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victorjones1Commented:
Accidentally dropping anything into a power supply is almost alway disastrous and should never be done.  Flammable materials and electricity = a very bad day.
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nobusCommented:
seems you are having one, lol...
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garrillaAuthor Commented:
Thanks for everyone's thoughts so far - I will distribute points accordingly in the near future.
==

the tower has
1) Front of the unit  (IN)
2) Back of the unit (OUT)
3) CPU
4) CPU
5) PSU
6) Graphics Card

I disconnected the rear and front fans (independently) the Front fan made no difference, the rear fan made much difference. I am currently operating with the rear fan disconnected.

However, it is still very noisy and the CPU fans (intel) are quite 'whiny'

Is it safe to temporarily disconnect these to see if it is one or both?

BTW, does anyone know of a untility that will allow me to see the status of the fans / temprature while im running windows XP64?
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victorjones1Commented:
I would not disconnect the CPU fan, as the chip gets very hot.  Too much heat is bad for all PC components, especially the CPU.  If it sounds whiny, I would replace it.  There are many different CPU coolers that are more effective & quieter than the generic Intel/AMD cooler that comes with the CPU.  There are even fanless versions as well as liquid cooling (both are totally silent, the latter being more expensive and usually utilized by high-end gaming rigs).  If you buy 1 it needs to match the Socket Type of the CPU.
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garrillaAuthor Commented:
Thanks all. In the end I went with option 1, but your thoughts made me think much and helped greatly.
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