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    I am totally impressed by the article. The authors tries to silence his computers for decades, I am doing the exactly opposite. All my workstations in the past were equipped with large fans (not the small and noisy ones, the large ones that run slow) to generate a decent amount of white noise.

    When I am usually sitting in my room and nothing is running, I can hear the noise from the trains, cars, kids, etc outside and from my neighbours inside the house. As soon as I turn my computer on the room is filled with white noise and I can concentrate on my work. Thus, I personally would never, ever use a silent workstation :)

    Am I the only one using “noisy” computers?

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      Have you tried listening to ‘pink noise’? I don’t use it all that often as I prefer silence, but it does help me concentrate sometimes.

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        Sounds interesting. Currently, I am only having the noise generated by my noisy computer.

        How do you generate the noise? Do you use a specific hardware/tool/… ?

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          I first tried listening to YouTube videos like speps mentioned and that got me interested. I had a shell alias for it named ‘pink’ that used sox, but I don’t seem to have it on the computer I’m currently using. I’m pretty sure it was just something like this:

          $ play -n synth pinknoise vol 0.25
          

          I just start it up when I get too distracted. There’s also ‘brownnoise’ and (suprise) ‘whitenoise’. Listening to regular white noise first gives you something to compare it with. I find pink noise to sound kind of like flowing water and not at all distracting. You might be fine with the sound of your computer ;).

          $ play -n synth brownnoise vol 0.25
          $ play -n synth whitenoise vol 0.25
          

          Actually it might have been this one (sounds more like what I remember): https://askubuntu.com/a/789469

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            YouTube has videos like 10 hours of whatever noise you want.

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              I use the iOS app from https://mynoise.net. It generates various types of noises and lets you change levels, save presets, etc. They also have albums on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play. Most generators cost money but I find the free set to be good enough. Although it does “coloured noises” I prefer the “rain storm” generator.

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          For people who aren’t quite as ambitious about heat pipes, there are several nice little fanless kits from companies like Zotac that will give you a machine that’s passively cooled and only needs some RAM and an SSD.

          They’re basically the 80% lowers of fanless computing.

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            Hi, a Zotac user here. CPU is a bit slower than I expected, but overall I’m very happy with my setup. Zotac CI527 is cheap, well built, and silent!

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              It seems like the best Zotac fanless PC is the ZBOX-CI549NANO-P which uses an i5-7300u. The author of the post installed an AMD Ryzen 5 1600.

              2 cores/4 threads vs 6 cores/12 threads.

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                Thanks for the link! A few thoughts:

                Wow, Zotac is really bad at selling silent computers. They have a ton of models and I don’t see a way to see only passively cooled models.

                The silent PC crowd are all about x86 at the moment. I wonder how ARM fares here. Are all end user ARM machines like Raspberry Pi? (Its CPU is too slow and it has bad IO connectivity.)

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                    Ha! The displays are a tad small for desktop computing though. 🙂

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                For those interested in silent computing, the website Silent PC Review has a lively forum. Sadly, it has been years since the owner contributed any of his extensive reviews of CPUs, PSUs and cases.

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                  http://www.fanlesstech.com is another neat blog about silent computing.

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                  That’s rad. I didn’t even realize noise with fans and stuff was an issue until one day I took my headphones off after some gaming and realized that my wife had to turn the TV up to blast because my computer, two rooms over, was so damn loud. Should I ever find myself with both time and money, I’d love to build a liquid-cooled gaming rig.

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                    Where are these silent-pc nuts living? There’s nothing I can do that will make my Mac Pro tube produce enough noise that I can hear it over the sounds of my neighbourhood.

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                      Eliminate the moving parts (e.g. fans, HDDs) and you eliminate the noise — it’s not that complicated.

                      That’s not true. I can hear one of my mice. I can hear not-the-fan-noise from my discrete GPUs. I can hear at least one of my SSDs. I can hear my monitor. I can hear my amp. I’ve had a noisy PSU too.

                      I wonder why the author went with discrete parts especially given that they consider efficiency and are planning to move off the grid. There are CPUs in the 10W to 30W range that are significantly more efficient than the desktop chips that push a lot of heat for a modest increase in clock speed.

                      Getting a passively cooled PC doesn’t need to be an ordeal that costs thousands of dollars and lots of time trying to find parts that fit; I have a Shuttle DS57U7 and a DS437. Similar builds can be had for a few hundred bucks sans RAM or storage. If such slim PCs are not an option, well, full sized passive workstations are available too.

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                        If such slim PCs are not an option, well, full sized passive workstations are available too.

                        One can’t fault the aesthetics of this case, though! It’s available as a full build from https://www.quietpc.com/sys-db4.

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                        (Astute readers will notice they are all AMD (Socket AM4) motherboards. The whole Meltdown/Spectre debacle rendered my previous Intel system insecure and unsecurable so that was the final straw for me — no more Intel CPUs.)

                        I mean, it’s not like AMD’s that much better in that regard….

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                          Not entirely true; AMD allegedly didn’t have the bugs which allowed a process to read kernel memory, only the bugs to let users pace applications read each other’s memory. (Though that’s not exactly great either…)

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                          If you’re someone who doesn’t need a completely silent computer, but wants to reduce noise drastically, a $20 CPU fan can do a lot of good. I put a DeepCool Gammaxx 400 in my PC, and it’s gone from noisy to barely noticeable, even when pushing it hard. Probably something like $20 for an 80% reduction in noise.