Comes In All Shapes and Sizes Now we're getting
into the little more extreme (i.e. fun) areas of case cooling. Case
insulation and noise reduction.
If you've ever been to recording studio or music rehearsal rooms,
you'll most likely notice the walls are coated with foam padding.
The padding acts as a sound insulation barrier between the audio coming
out of that room and the rest of the world. Not only does this foam
padding prevent unwanted audio from getting into the room, it also
prevents internal sound from getting out.
Plus, it "softens" the noise inside the room, which makes it good
for recording studios. For high-pitched items like Delta fans and
graphics card coolers, a layer of foam padding can actively dull the
noise and keep it from getting too irritating.
These same concepts can be applied to your computer case. Think of
the sides of your case as the sides of a recording studio. You can
pad the walls of your case to absorb the noise created by your loud
fans. Good acoustical foam can be found at many online music shops,
and is relatively cheap (about $20-25 to cover the insides of your
case). Any kind of spray adhesive works great for attaching the padding
to specific areas of the case. Just be sure to keep your expensive
computer components away until you're done padding it.
Dynamat - It's Tar On a Roll!
Dynamat was originally introduced to me as a method of silencing case
noise, acting as a layer of insulation on the insides of the case.
Dynamat is basically a thick layer of tar that is applied to a roll,
which is sticky on one side. The sticky side can be applied to the
sides of your case walls without much effort. Dynamat is commonly
used in cars, where Dynamat adds excess weight to the area it's applied,
thus reducing vibrations from a loud speaker / subwoofer.
Unfortunately, Dynamat doesn't do much good in a PC. I know from personal
experience on this one. While Dynamat can theoretically muffle some
of the sound coming out of your PC, it doesn't do much. Rather, Dynamat
can be useful when applied to high vibration areas like hard drive
cages and around power supplies. Due to the nature of Dynamat, coating
the insides of your case with the stuff will make your case MUCH heavier,
but it does do its job. There are also tons of Dynamat clones out
there which have the same effect, but cost a bit less.
Combining a layer of Dynamat and a layer of sound insulation is a
fantastic way to lower ambient case noise, and keep vibrations down.