Ways toVoid Your Warranty
Ways to Void Your Warranty
Welcome to Void Your Warranty! Advisory: following the following may void your warranty.
At VYW you are encouraged to cut, splice and modify just like all the warning lables, well...warn you not to. The ultimate void is the overclock; which, here was not done because extra speed was really not necessary, for today we are building a storage server.  The goals are stability and silence. This project which I am sharing is about building a machine to act as a backup and storage facility on a LAN or small network. I wanted to be able to backup without burning lots of CDs, etc. This idea is commonly used in large networks. Actually this is how data is stored at my job, and I really don't worry about them losing my data. The key concept is to setup a redundant array of hard drives (2), so if one goes down not all is lost, and still having the convience of drag and drop copying. I also tried to do this on the cheep, while maintaining a sense of style. 
So let's summarize:
Multiple Hard Drives--RAID!!
Stable system
Low cost
Very quiet Machine
As Small as Possible
That's all-- and with the droping cost of computer components I should be able to maximize #7 for a minimum #3.
This build was inspired by a mod/review   of the Chilli Professional case con by Miasma at virtual-hideout.net. Go and search reviews under Chilli.
Here's the box.. Anodized aluminum. See all the allen head screws. Functional.  All sides are plates that come off independently. This is a Chilli Professional 1/4" case. It is a bit pricey, but it looks great and has a very small footprint of about 14"x 10"x 7" (hdw)!!! That is the smallest I could find for mATX and ATX boards with a respectable build. Note the cover for the disk drives. This machine is sealed and left on for months, displayed on a high shelf, connected to the my LAN.
The back: For quier cooling these pressed metal fan bars create noise when the fan is blowing. Replace it with a screw on grill. Less turblance and noise. I have drawn a line to cut. Ane to the right is the finished back.
The intake in the base is too small and restrictive, plus I need a filter I can remove. The lines are to be cut. The base is plastic.
Here the metal filter is in place. Note: since it is in the base it keeps the front of the case  nice and clean looking. I also attached little feet to elevate the case so air can get to the vent. This should be included.
You want quiet, you have to mount the hard drives with grommets to minimize vibration noise. Available at RadioShack.
So here is the empty case with the drive holders (included), and the case fan(not included). The fresh air comes in the bottom and exits the top back. It should flow right over the CPU heat sink. This should allow me to not  install a heatsink fan, which is usually one of the noisiest components of any computer..
This is an enermax power supply. I chose it because it has two fans and one will be directly over the CPU heatsink. Again the idea is to get the most case cooling with the fewest fans. Acutally, total case cooling is probably more important than CPU cooling here since this machine won't do much processor intensive tasks. But it will have two 7200 rpm hard drives that will generate heat. I replaced the origional fans with two panaflows, and wired them to 7 volts. This slows the rotation, but eliminates more decibels.
Ok, check this out. It is a biostar mini-atx motherboard. It has all the outputs such as video off the board,etc. This is fine since this machine won't even have a monitor hooked up to it. It's only connection to the outside world will be an ethernet jack. All functions will be controlled by remote client/server interface.
Look at the CPU heatsink.A radial fan design. Thin blades.  It is a copper Zalman. It is so efficient it needs no fan. It is a
must for the quiet computer.Dynamat is even behind the MB. Which leads us to insulation.
Sound insulation is the way to quiet all the hard drive whine and the noise from the fans. I have used two layers here. A thin layer of Dynamat for the tight spaces and a commercial sound foam everywhere I could put it. This stuff dampens vibration too. Tap the case empty and it sounds like a drum. Tap it after the insulation and all you hear is a muffled thud. The close up below is to show how tight you can get this stuff.
I opted for black compontents. Even so, when the face plate is on they are hidden. Only a few bucks more for style.
This is kind of a busy picture. Look how small this box is! Almost no spare room. It shows the power supply in place. Just on the other side of it is it's Large fan, and next to that is the heatsink, and just below is the air intake vent. So the cool air comes in at the floor and flows over the heat sink in two directions: out through the two power supply fans, or up and out the case fan. Note every inch of the inside is covered with insulation. The cables are folded and out of the way of air flow. This is really important when you put so much sound insulation inside; for you also make it thermally insulated and the box must cool. You can see a RAID controller card and an ethernet card. Those are the only PCI additions.
Conclusions:  The Duron CPU runs in the 50s, centigrade, which is totally acceptable, it is very quiet. You only notice it in a quiet room, and then it really matters if the back is facing you or away from you. The point being,  is that all the noise is from the fans in the back of the case.  When closed up it is just a gold box, and so small people wonder what it's doing. Just because it is so compact does not mean it is light, so carting  it around  might be a pain.To get a much smaller and quiet item you would need the Mac Cube or use a special MoBo.

Behold the finished product. Go ahead...touch it...
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The Most Helpful Build Links:
Virtual Hideout
7 volts
PC Mods
The Wallpc,The construction of a wall pc, or how to hang your computer on the wall. Another of my mods.
Quiet PC.com
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