by Matthew Harris on July 27, 2006 in Air-Cooling
With the quiet computing push that’s becoming more and more popular today users are finding that the last hurdle in truly silent computing is the HDD. While there are many ways of quieting the noise generated by your drive some only help to decouple the vibrations generated by the drive from the PC chassis while others end up enclosing the drive so completely that it runs perilously hot. Today we take a look at one that offers decent cooling and quiet in one package.
Silent computing. I remember when it first surfaced in force on the ‘net about 5 years ago, it was a crazy fad. Especially to guys like me that are seeking to maximize performance by any means necessary. Here were these guys that were stripping the fans from their cases, putting low CFM fans on heatsinks and undervolting and underclocking their CPUs just to achieve silence or as close to silence as they could get. It was outrageous!
Fast forward to today and with the evolution in case design and HSF units for CPUs and GPUs we’re seeing the possibility of silent performance PCs. Now that we’ve got the heat being removed at a reasonable rate and we can use low RPM 120mm fans to do the work that was once done by screaming 80mm fans to evacuate the heat from our cases we’ve come to notice certain things…ROM and R/W drives are actually pretty noisy during reads and writes and HDDs make a pretty decent racket during seeks along with transmitting a good deal of vibration to our cases.
Logisys claims to have the cure for our ills in the form of the HD-Silencer. Here’s what Logisys has to say about it:
This is the ultimate solution in hard drive cooling and silencing by using the latest heatpipe technology. This product doest not only offer more cooling power but also noise reduction. The finned aluminum heat sink plus 4 heatpipes offer the very best in heat dissipation. The HD cooling silencer is compatible with all hard drive that run at 10,000 RPM or lower. Air born noise is exceptionally low because the hard drive is mounted by specially designed rubber blocks, which stop any vibration noise generated by the hard drive, and significantly reduces those annoying "rumbling" and "clicking" noises that are very common in hard drives.
- Reduces hard drive noise by over 95%
- Compatible with 1" high 3.5" hard drives (10,000 rpm or less)
- Compatible with all interface hard drives
- Does not affect drive performance
- Fits into a standard 5.25" drive bay
- Sits behind the bay blanking plate, so does not affect aesthetics
- Lasts virtually forever! Easily transferable to your next PC
- Manufactured from 100% aluminum for maximum heat dissipation
- Rubber mounted blocks for damping
- Does not work with cases using slide rails.
Right off the bat I take exception with the description, there are no heatpipes. There are four rubber standoffs that serve as isolators as you’ll see shortly but as to heatpipes, there are none. Let’s take a look at what exactly the HD-Silencer does entail.
As you can see the Silencer comprised of an extruded aluminum heatsink shell. The silencing is accomplished by the gray sheet which is a woven cloth backing covered on both sides by a silicone material. This sheet has an adhesive that affixes it to the interior of the shell. I personally think that Logisys should perform this step for the consumer since getting the sheet affixed squarely with the shell without bubbles is a time consuming step whereas they could make a jig to do it in next to no time at all.
After you’ve affixed the silicone sheet to the casing it should look something like this:
The next step is to attach the end pieces, the front piece has a thick piece of foam that holds the drive tight to the end of the enclosure. Sadly the picture I took of that step came out blurred so I have to omit it but the next image showing the drive in place in the shell will show you what I mean.
The front end piece covers the opening completely and is held in place by two counter-sunk machine screws. The rear end piece covers about 75% of the opening leaving the bottom 25% open to allow the connectors for the drive to be free for easy access.
As you can see here the milled spots in the side of the enclosure are where the four rubber isolators attach to the housing. These are where you attach the silencer to your case and this is why the silencer won’t work with rail type bays although I think that if your rails screw onto your 5.25" devices you should be in luck. A word of warning here, the screws included with the isolators are bigger than the holes in my Armor, to accommodate them I’d be forced to drill out the screw holes in my bays to fit.