Friday, February 25, 2011

Superfluous computer ventilation

My old workstation has been re-assigned to server duty, but unfortunately, it is quite noisy. For a while I've considered various ways of reducing the noise. I tried cleaning the fans up a bit, which reduced the noise a lot, but you could still hear it across my apartment.

During cleaning, I noticed that one of the fans contributed the bulk of the noise (as I ran case less for a moment, forcing me to unplug that particular fan.) So I thought, maybe I should replace it? Fans aren't terribly expensive.

But then I started thinking, maybe I don't need it? It is after all a headless computer, and the GPU is one of the big culprits when it comes to generating heat. So I unplugged it and ran a load test (first 100% cpu on both cores, and next 100% cpu + heavy disk load).

For a moment, my heart was racing as I watched the temperatures rise in a nearly vertical incline on the plot. But then they started to settle. ... at around 50 C. Very nice. I don't think I actually need to replace the fan. It'll just stay unplugged. Unfortunately, this was not the unidentified bad fan that starts making a racket every couple of hours until you apply a spot of percussive maintenance to it to quiet it down.

I attached the load test data to the post for reference.


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