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COMPUTER CASES

Zalman TNN-500A Fanless PC Case Review
By: Clinton
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  • Rating: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars / 24
    2004-09-22

    Table of Contents:
  • Zalman TNN-500A Fanless PC Case Review
  • He Who Whines the Loudest
  • Some of the Problems with Existing Solutions
  • The Zalman Case and
  • Zalman-Provided Test Data
  • What's Good About the Zalman Case
  • Heat Sink and Heat Pipes
  • The Disadvantages
  • Suggestions for Mark II
  • Conclusions

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    Zalman TNN-500A Fanless PC Case Review - He Who Whines the Loudest


    (Page 2 of 10 )

    The parts that make the most noise obviously get the most attention and have a range of add-on products designed to combat the noise they generate. Among components the main culprits are PSUs, hard drives, and optical drives. That's not forgetting the numerous fans inside the average PC. A typical machine will have fans on the graphics card, CPU, case body and motherboard northbridge. PCI cards and hard disk enclosures also sometimes have fans. Some fans are nosier than others but - design of blades aside - what determines how much of noise a fan makes is the size of the fan, the speed it spins at (rpm), and whether it is a sleeve/ball-bearing design. But that's not where the fan noise ends. Most fans become noisier over time as dust accumulates and slows them down..

    zalman tnnSome of the main noise control solutions currently available are Zalman's own "flower" CPU heat-sinks and VGA heat pipes, and sound absorption lining that is stuck to the body of the case. These special CPU heat-sinks  provide a much larger area for dissipation of processor heat and therefore need a much smaller/slower fan to achieve the same CPU temperature reductions. Graphics card heat sinks operate on a similar principle, like the Zalman ZM80 pictured here. Acoustic lining inside the case acts as a barrier and prevents some sound from getting out of the case. Other developments include hard disk grommets to dampen vibrations from disks, hard disk enclosures to minimize sound leak, low noise power supplies from specialist manufacturers, and motherboard heat sinks and fans.

    zalman tnn

    There are also several low tech and common sense solutions - like using larger fans. An 80 mm case fan will need to turn at a much faster rpm than a 120 mm fan to pump the same amount of air. Using slower 120 mm fans in the place of 80 mm fans will make for less noise. Ensuring your PC is stable on all four feet, and not wobbling, does help. As does making sure everything is screwed down tight and your side panels aren't vibrating against the case body. More ideas.

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