Budget dust and noise isolation of the old system unit

    Naked woman to attract attentionBanal situation. There is an old computer that is already outdated, but used for simple tasks. I don’t want to invest some money in the upgrade, and it’s not advisable to buy a new system unit. But I want the old PC to work silently, not warm up and not be a dust collector. And most importantly, without any investment of funds.

    This article addresses the issue of dust and noise insulation without significant cash injections.

    Before proceeding with dust and noise insulation, the system unit had to be brought into its proper form. Therefore, it all starts with cleaning the system unit.

    Cleaning the system unit

    I have not normally cleaned my system unit since 2008 (10 years). Somehow it was not necessary. During this time, all the components were covered with a layer of dust, and in some corners the dust layer reached 2-3 centimeters. It got to the point that dust was felt in the air blown out of the block. Undoubtedly, cleaning was needed.

    I have to say that the cleaning procedure turned out to be the longest for me - 6 hours.

    Used for cleaning:

    • a vacuum cleaner;
    • can of compressed air;
    • tassel;
    • wet rag.

    First of all I tried to vacuum everything. The result was not impressive - a thin but noticeable layer of dust remained on the surface, the dust remained untouched in the back streets. Then the balloon went into motion with compressed air. The result is the same.

    Simple ways ended and in the course went the brush and a damp cloth. Large open spaces were wiped with a rag, nooks and tassels. Dry with a brush with good dust and blow it away or vacuum it. As a result of such a long and laborious work, everything was cleaned of dust.

    Conclusion 1: The system unit can not be cleaned with a high-quality vacuum cleaner or dust blown off with a stream of compressed air. The quality of this cleaning is poor, the visible dust remains, the back streets remain untouched.

    Conclusion 2: It is possible to bring the dusty system unit to its original appearance.The hard work with a brush and a damp cloth allows you to completely get rid of dust and the components take on the original appearance. It all depends on your perseverance.

    In fact, for a normal cleaning of the system unit you need a brush and a damp cloth. Well, and your patience, tk. the work is really time consuming.

    Dust insulation

    After hours of cleaning the system unit, the issue of dust protection was very critical. Who would want to make a riddle of the just cleaned system unit?
    After a very long reading of articles on the Internet on this issue, I came to a number of conclusions.

    Conclusion 3: It is necessary to install dust filters on all air vents through which air enters the system unit. If you take a standard ATX-case, then these are the side vents and the front cooler running on “blowing” (if it is provided for by the design).

    Conclusion 4: All technological holes must be closed.In any case there are a number of technological openings for fasteners and connectors. Through them, the air and, accordingly, the dust get inside the system unit. We simply tape these holes with tape and the problem is solved.

    Conclusion 5: At the vent holes through which air escapes from the system unit, no filters should be installed. This is quite logical - the air flow will not allow dust to get inside the unit. If you take a standard ATX-case, then this is a power supply cooler and a system cooler on the rear panel (if provided by the design).

    The big question was caused by these dust filters. With filters under the cooler, everything is simple - there are good steel filters from China for 80 rubles. But what about the side holes? The dimensions of these vents are not standard. You can find filters for them, but for very good money (several thousand rubles). It is clear that the old computer is not worth such an investment.

    By reading the articles on this issue for many hours, a simple and effective solution was found - nylon.

    Conclusion 6: A cheap and effective dust filter can be easily made from nylon. Everything is very simple.We take a nylon stocking (my wife donated to me), cut a piece of the right size and fasten it in a slightly tense state to the vent hole with adhesive tape. You can use magnets instead of scotch. Kapron very well holds the dust, really good. After a couple of months of working with such filters in my case there is no dust particles.

    Dust insulation system unitThe photo is not very high quality, but there is a scotch tape on it that covers technological holes, and a nylon stretched over the vent hole (black spot).

    Conclusion 7: The filter from nylon practically does not reduce the air flow.On various forms where kapron filters were discussed, it was often said that such a filter would reduce the air flow and this will lead to overheating. I personally checked it myself: the air flow is about the same; in the system unit, the temperatures have not changed even a degree. So do not be afraid to put filters.

    As you can see, to solve the problem of dust insulation is quite simple, which can not be said about sound insulation.

    Noise insulation

    Noisy system unit is a really annoying problem. I want silence very much. It is clear that a good case with noise insulation and normal cooling can solve this problem, but the price of the solution is very high (several thousand rubles). Therefore, the search for a budget solution caused a lot of headaches.

    The noise of the system unit can be divided into two types:

    • high frequency fan noise;
    • low-frequency vibrations of the body.

    Accordingly, it is necessary to deal with these noises separately. The search for information on the Internet about budget soundproofing methods led me to numerous articles about pasting the system unit with various materials. The authors proposed to deal with high-frequency noises using porous materials (fabrics, foam rubber, bitoplast), which should disperse and absorb sound waves. It was proposed to fight low-frequency noises with the help of materials with a bubble structure (vibroplast, accent), which should suppress and reflect noise. The authors of the articles simply pasted around the internal surfaces of the system unit's case with these materials and obtained really good results. Confidence in their righteousness was instilled by the fact that I found a dozen articles of such "miracle craftsmen."

    In principle, the decision was objective and affordable. So I took a piece of acoustic (!) Foam rubber from my friend and bought a sheet of vibroplast for 160 rubles in an auto parts store. Having chosen a free day, I began experiments with pasting the hull.

    A small digression: there was only a Russian hybrid of vibroplast and an accent under the meaningful name “Noise Isolation” in the store. In fact, it is the same vibroplast on a bitumen basis, but with a small layer (approximately, 3 mm) of a bubbly material. This material is fully satisfied with the necessary characteristics to combat low-frequency noise.

    The first puncture was associated with foam rubber.

    Conclusion 8: No sound insulation materials inside the case can absorb or dissipate high frequency noise.Everything to idiocy is simple. Porous materials (in my cases acoustic foam rubber) absorb scattered sound waves well. If I pasted the walls of the room with acoustic foam rubber, then I probably achieved the reduction of system unit noise. But inside the case, the intensity of the noise is so high that no porous material can disperse or absorb it. In addition, high-frequency noise sources are clearly localized - these are cooling fans. It is not possible to muffle them with any material inside the case.

    Realizing this, I carefully peeled off the foam rubber from the walls of the case, mentally cursed the people who wrote about the pasting of the case with foam rubber, and proceeded to further noise insulation.
    The failure of the foam does not stop me. First, in the pasting of the casing the vibroplast was a rational grain. Secondly, I particularly wanted to get rid of the low-frequency noise, since they “cut the ear” badly.

    I started phasing pasting with the vibroplast of the system case. I spent about 2 hours on this case, as there was a lot of fuss with the “figured” cutting. As a result ...

    Conclusion 9: Vkleyka case with vibration-proof materials gives insignificant results. That is, low-frequency noise became quieter, but quite a bit. If I knew that there would be such a result, I would never go for it.

    The embodiment of idiocyTaking this opportunity, I want to convey fervent greetings to those craftsmen who wrote about impressive results after pasting the case with vibroplast. As they say, every sandpiper praises its own swamp.

    Vibroplast did not tear off, as it is already very hemorrhoidal to scour bitumen from the hull. But, by the way, one more conclusion.

    Conclusion 10: In the heat removal from the components, the case of the system unit practically does not play any role. When discussing the pasting of the hull with different materials, it was repeatedly suggested that the materials would prevent the heat from escaping through the hull. This will allegedly lead to overheating. In reality, after pasting the case with a vibroplast (and it keeps the heat quite well), the temperature of the components has not changed at all. From here and such conclusion - the case of the system unit practically does not participate in heat removal.

    But this story does not end with noise insulation. I stuck pieces of vibroplast on the legs of the case of the system unit.

    Conclusion 11: Being on a solid surface plays an important role in creating low-frequency noise. Vibroprotection pads on the legs of the system unit significantly reduce the level of low-frequency noise. I cut out 4 pieces of vibroplast 3x3 cm and pasted them on the legs of the case. Low-frequency noise has almost disappeared.

    LegsI understand that this is stupid, but it really is. Obkleyka body did not give almost any results, and the damn strip on the legs removed all the noise.

    The result is simple. If your system unit is on a hard surface, then stick the vibroplast gaskets on the legs of the body. It is better not to buy a vibroplast, but to ask a small piece from any other motorist.

    The story of sound insulation would not be complete if you omit the question of cooling.


    We all understand well that the cause of noise in the system unit is primarily the cooling system. With her the situation is twofold. To ensure a good air flow, the fan blades must rotate quickly, respectively, creating a lot of noise. If we want to reduce the noise level, then we need to reduce the intensity of rotation of the blades, but this will lead to an increase in the temperature of the components. Finding the middle ground is not an easy task.
    It is clear that a good low-noise cooling system and the corresponding case are the best solution, but this solution requires considerable cash infusions. The budget ready solution for old PCs does not exist. Therefore, I tried to conduct a series of experiments.

    First, consider how heat is removed in old ATX packages.

    The main air flow creates a power supply fan. It should work on “blowing out”, take the hot air out of the body and throw it out. As a result, a reduced pressure is created inside the casing, which “sucks” room air through all the other openings. In ATX packages, these “holes” are typically the ventilation holes on the side wall, the holes for the coolers on the back wall (under the power supply) and the front wall (in some designs).

    So I spent the day on experiments with cooling. I unplugged / plugged in system coolers, closed / opened air vents, put guide flaps inside the case. As a result, formed the following conclusions.

    Pin 12: The air vent on the side of the case plays a key role in cooling the processor. If you close it, warm air begins to accumulate in the case. Fresh air flows from the front panel do not provide adequate ventilation. As a result, the processor cooler is forced to work in the increased speed mode, creating a lot of noise. Never close it.

    Conclusion 13: The system coolers on the front and rear panels provide only cooling to the adjacent areas. They do not affect other components.It doesn't matter which way the system coolers direct the air flow. That is, the cooler on the back helps cool the upper part of the motherboard under the power supply; cooler on the front panel blows HDD. They lower the temperature of these areas by a few degrees. They have practically no effect on the general condition inside the case. You can deploy them as you please - the result will be the same. You can disable them altogether - the overall state of the system unit will not change. In short, there is little use from system coolers on the case.

    Let me remind you that we are talking about old ATX-cases. In these cases, the largest possible cooler for installation is a 90x90 mm system cooler. Understandably, if we take a more body in which the cooling system with large-diameter coolers is already thought out, then the situation will be different.

    As you can see, my experiments with cooling did not lead to anything. There is no budget way to improve cooling in the old system blocks.


    Do not try to make a “candy” out of the old system block - this is not possible without decent money. Do not attempt to glue the case with sound and vibration absorbing materials - it is a waste of time. Do not try to "conjure" with the cooling system - better results you will not get.

    But something can be done:

    • Clean the system unit from dust. Return components to their original appearance.
    • Cover all technological holes with tape - this will improve ventilation and protects against dust.
    • Install dust filters on the air inlets for air intake. Filters can be easily made from nylon.
    • Paste vibration-proof pads on the feet of the case. They can be made from a piece of vibroplast.

    That's all. In this article, I objectively reflected the issue of the budget dust and sound insulation of the old system unit. I hope that the article will be useful to you, at least you will not make mistakes that I made.

    Also popular now: