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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to quiet down my PC case, which is the center of my entertainment setup and it's being a pain trying to quiet it down.

The case is a NZXT Switch 810, and is made of 1mm steel. As you can see from the product page, it's a very large tower case, and vibrations from the HDDs, fans, and water pump make the side panels sometimes sing. I've done my best (with what I have) to isolate the HDDs which has helped cut down on the majority of the high frequency noise and case resonance, but the water pump and fans are still causing lots of vibrations throughout the case. Luckily, I've traced the main point of noise to the edges where the side panels meet the case. Some electrical tape at those edges should cure that rattle, but the panels (both sides) still have alot of vibration, almost all in the lower frequency (as far as my ear can tell).

The side panel with the window can easily accommodate around a 1/2" thick sound deadening material without much trimming, but the side panel behind the motherboard only has around 1/4" of space to play with. Can anyone recommend any sound deadening material that would work best in those thicknesses to help cut down/eliminate those panels from vibrating?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would try the dynamat sheet they put on car trunk it should kill most vibration.
Is there specifically a trunk type? There's like half a dozen types, and different thicknesses for different purposes as well. From my brief search, all I understand is that some materials work better then others in specific situations. But what combination to go with is what I don't understand. Especially with the thinner material, as it may not prevent vibration at all (not enough mass I think) if its not the "right stuff":dontknow:.
 

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I guess you would want the one made to stop sheet metal from vibrating. If you have any car audio shop near you they should have this product or similar brand and could probably help you choose the right stuff. I believe it's quite expensive though but you might not need alot for your case.
 

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I would look into a simple butyl rubber based product, and don't worry about the thickness. You can always stack pieces to build up the thickness to get the desired effect. I've used nearly every brand in the past with exception of Second Skin (get very good reviews from my fellow competitors) and some onine only brands. I would also suggest looking into some closed cell foam (like Ensolite from Raammat) that could help with filling space between panels.
 

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I will second the Ensolite as a top coat. Use it with some sort of mass adding material. The type isn't terribly important.

If whatever you end up using calls for heat to install, then use a high quality heat gun to install. The adhesives need to fully activate and you don't want this stuff coming loose and falling into a case fan or something.

I've used both of the Raammat products and they're great. As noted don't get too wrapped up on the model, just put in as many layers as you can reasonably fit plus the foam top coat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Any resources for the butyl rubber with adhesive backing for a decent price? In my quick and simple search, I see some available from Grainger, which makes Dynamat prices look extraordinarily much more reasonable for the amount I would need to cover the panels. I'm trying to keep it simple without having to spend more on the material then what the case costs new (or for that matter even 1/4 of what the case cost. :eek:).

What about other alternative with multiple materials? A cheap, heavy rubber layer with a cheap foam layer on top as suggested? The panels aren't resonating badly now, but my ears pick up on the noise very easily with how quiet my room normally is. Hell, I was woken up by a phone vibrating this morning, a phone that was 1 floor up, if that gives you any idea how easily I pick up on annoying sounds.
 

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Go to your local car audio shop and ask for any free scraps of dynamat. A single 4x4" chunk in the middle of each panel will make a noticeable improvement. This is what most car manufacturers do in their door panels.

Craigslist is also an option if you don't have a mobile audio shop in town.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I realized I still had some foam rubber Akasa brand noise blocker (diffuser, absorber, whatever you may refer to it as its not a heavy sound dampening material) and I cut a piece along with some neoprene and used it to sit the water pump atop this cushioned pile. What a difference! There is only a very slight vibration that can be felt when touching the side panel, and certainly nothing that can be heard. I'll stick another layer to the pump to reduce the vibration even further, but it may be the vibration traveling through the tubing and motherboard that is being felt now. So it looks like I won't need any sound deadening material, though I still may try something to help cut down on fan noise.

Now the next item to try and quiet down is the fans itself, as the current controller I use with them causes a very noticeable electrical "ticking" sound to emanate from then fans.
 

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Bit of a late reply. I use Acoustipak Foam on my last 2 computer builds. It is a GREAT soundproofing material.

I also bought a Antec P182 case which is likely NOT a good candidate for a HTPC. I'd look for the Acoustipak stuff and buy the 3 layer stuff. It is easy to cut, looks nice and performs a good job.

I prefer it for a PC OVER dynamat (something about aluminum keeping the heat in bothers me).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I may not need anything for now. I decided to remove the water loop and go back to air. This eliminates the biggest culprit of vibrations within the case, as well as a couple of fans. Also, using the motherboard fan headers, I've eliminated the electrical noise from the fan controller, and the motherboard will also shut off fans at a set temperature in its control software. So in the end, the only fans constantly running are the PSU, video card, and 1 of the CPU fans. Altogether, a much quieter system. I may still use a sound absorbing material to see if it'll further cut down on any residual noise, but as it is right now, it seems the only noise left is purely that of air movement.
 
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