Every case is too noisy, read this (MSI Mega PC) (1 Viewer)


Portal Pro
November 23, 2004
After several attempt of building my HTPC I want to share some experience with you.

First I had used my old spare PC, as it was old one (Athlon 1400) I had to add a actual gfx board (Geforce FX5700), after a while I found it noisy and was unhappy..

Then started to think about barebone, and as many ppl (especially here) do have the MSI Mega 180 Deluxe, I went for that one.. I have never tried Shuttle so I do not know if they are as noisy..

In the end this one was much better, but in a silent room you can pretty easily hear it. One of his 4 fans is running at >3000 (the northbridge) and also the 40mm and 50mm CPU fans are not what I would call low noise..
I read comments from Mrmario and Frodo who have these cases, flipped the fans around, polished the heat sink.. etc.. did some nice modding but in the end I think its not "perfect.."

I will sell the MSI therefore.. Before anybody argues that nothing will be perfect, here some (new) ideas that I do have...

1) The smaller the fan, the more noisy
2) The smaller the case the more difficult to cool and to handle all the heat
3) The more fans the more noise..

1) No doubt, Shuttle and MSI do great jobs building their barebones but in the end they cannot overcome physics.
2) The source of all problem is the heat which comes mainly from CPU and from gfx board.
3) It seems to be better to reduce heat at first, before trying to get rid of it. The less heat the better.. the better to control,, the less fans/ventilation needed..

Conclusion II:
1) Use the slowest possible gfx board, no active fan, no extra Mhz
2) Use a CPU that gives as low as possible heat.

Use a notebook CPU !!! Pentium M has around 1/3 to 1/4 power consumption compared to normal P4 or Athlon..

My favorietes are

The Aopen barebone EY855 with a socket for that CPU, you could use a Pentium M 1,4 Ghz (Which is almost as fast as a P4-3Ghz) or even A Celeron M.

Or .. if you are going for a bigger ATX cae.. there is a main board from Aopen and DFI for a Pentium M CPU.

What do you think? I my opinon the optimal solution.
Think about the advantage of the mobile CPU and its power savings features.. speed step, are deep sleep..
In full load it uses around 23W ( a P4 need >100W). Throttled or in sleep it uses less than 10W..

I know it costs lots of money, I would say aorund 200€ more,, but prices will go down and if you run it 24h hours as a HD recorder then you should take into acoount the power savings.

Asume 12h/day where you save approx 50W, that means 0,6KWh per day..
means 180Kwh per 300 days.. (lets asume you do not run it 365 days a year)
In germany a KWh costs around 0,20€.. Gives 60€ Euros a year..
Ok, not a really huge amount of money and maybe too optimistic calculation but there is a tendency..

What do you think? And it will be really quit..


Retired Team Member
  • Premium Supporter
  • April 22, 2004

    1) The noisiest part on the msi is the nothbridge fan. At least with the 651 case.
    I replaced it with a Zalman passive cooler (3 EUR + 3 hours work) which made it a lot more quiet. It is said that you dont need any cooling on the northbridge if you use an extra grafics card (no garantees for this tip from my side)

    2) Use a passive grafics card without fan.

    3) The msi is still too noisy in my mind. I thought about a athlon with cool & quit technology if I had to change my htpc. Power consumption and heat go down when using mediaportal and you have enough power for games or converting movies or whatever.



    Go there and read - you'll see that it you have the $$$s at least then you can get a VERY quiet PC

    Not sure I follow, I'm just under $600 on this system. How much do most people spend?


    Portal Pro
    September 3, 2004
    Home Country
    Germany Germany
    In my htpc there is only the fan in the power supply and 2 Noiseblocker S1 fans running with 1000 RPM. The size of all fans is 80mm. I use the Software CrystalCPUID to get Cool'n'Quit Support. The cpu multiplier is changed dynamically between 7.5x (1000 MHz) and 13.5x (1800 MHz) depending on the load. CPU temperature is around 40° C.

    The only thing you hear from my system is the harddisk, although Acoustic Management is enabled. But I'm working on that.


    Anyone know how noisy the nForce4 MBs are and if the onboard fans are replaceable?

    I was planning on a PCIe GFX card.

    You can now get a fanless nVidia 6600 GT solution - the Gigabyte GV NX66T128VP.


    For heat reduction think of AMDs cool and quiet technology.

    The system automaticaly ajusts the proc frenquecency.

    I have a ATHLON 64 3500 + which normal frenquency is 2,2 Ghz. Well with this system when I watch tv on a DVD the proc runs at about 900 Mhz and the temperature is really low ... sometimes the case temperature is higher than the proc one.

    The temp of the proc is usualy of 30-40 ° celsius

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