Quiet Workstations

It is one thing being able to build a powerful workstation that gives users all the performance you could possibly need. We do this at Workstation Specialists every day, but we don’t stop there. We know how irritating a noisy system can be and our customers shouldn’t have to put up with that. To make a quiet system seems like a simple concept but it is actually more complicated than you may think. With high performance comes high energy requirements and where there is energy there is heat. Trying to displace heat away from key components without making noise is a very big technical challenge. In this article we explain all the techniques we deploy to make our solutions as quiet as possible.

Choosing the Correct Cooling Solution for the CPU.

It is a common misconception that liquid cooled solutions are always quieter than air cooled however, this isn’t the case. Liquid cooled solutions have a pump built into them that circulates the liquid to and from the CPU that unfortunately will produce some noise. The radiator itself is also actively cooled by fans moving air through it, which again will unfortunately generate some noise. Therefore, a single air fan on a CPU can in fact be a quieter solution as there are less moving parts overall.

In certain situations, however, liquid cooled solutions can in fact be quieter than an air-cooled solution thanks to the larger radiators they provide. A larger radiator is more efficient due to its increased surface area used to cool your processor. This allows fans to run at a lower speed keeping your system quieter. As a result, during development of a new workstation we test all CPU’s on different cooling solutions to find the quietest solution for that particular processor. As a general rule of thumb less power-hungry processors require less cooling and therefore air-cooled solutions are the quietest option and as you move up the range, liquid cooled solutions become the best way to keep noise and heat to a minimum.

We Only Use High Quality Fans.

Selecting the correct fans for your workstation solution is vitally important. They not only need to be reliable, they also need to be able to move enough air at a high enough pressure to be able to cool your system adequately. Achieving this whilst remaining quiet can be a challenge, but we ensure all our fans strike a nice balance across all these factors. If ultimate quietness is key to you speak to our technical consultancy team to find out the very best fans for you.

Never Underestimate the Importance of PWM Fan Control.

PWM stands for Pulse Width Modulation which sounds like a fancy high tech system and the mechanics of it maybe, but the finished result is very simple. It enables our workstations to automatically monitor temperatures and as it gets hotter it increases its fans speed to aid in cooling. As it gets cooler the opposite happens as it slows them down to keep things quiet. The end result means that your systems fans are never going faster than what is necessary to keep your system stable and as there is only the minimum physical movement in fan speed this translates as a reduction of noise. This technique is common and you may have noticed your own computer doing it in the past but optimising this setting is essential to keeping your system as cool as possible and as quiet as possible.

Reducing Dust Build up as Much as Possible.

This one may seem a bit strange. You maybe thinking how does dust make my workstation louder? Dust build up can get into radiators making it harder for air to pass through them and therefore makes them less efficient at cooling. Components such as processors and graphics cards will get hotter and cause the PWM fans to work harder to cool the system. This all means faster fans speeds are required and more noise.

If dust can be reduced as much as possible then fans speeds can be reduced making for a much quieter workstation. We achieve low dust levels in our systems but employing a few techniques. Firstly, as mentioned above an optimised PWM fan profile keeps fans running as slow as possible which simply pull in less air and therefore less dust over time.

Next, we configure our workstations to have more fans pulling air into the system than exhausting out. You may be thinking that’s strange because we want to get dust out? It may sound strange but more intakes do in fact push more dust out the of your computer due to the positive air pressure it creates. Put simply, if there is more air moving into the chassis than the air being exhausted, air will be forced out from all the small holes and gaps in the case, pushing dust away rather than sucking the dust in. As long as your intakes are well filtered then this will dramatically reduce dust build up over time.

The final thing we suggest to customers is to regularly clean your system’s dust filters. All these techniques put together not only keeps your system nice and clean. It ensures it stays as cool, stable and quiet as possible for years to come.

Sound Deadening. Does What it Says on the Tin.

It is impossible to make a 100% silent system but that doesn’t mean you have to hear all the noise it creates. We line our chassis with specially designed sound deadening material which acts as a shield by absorbing the sound before it escapes the chassis and invades its surroundings. Anything that defends my ears from irritating humming noises sounds like a good idea to me.

Reduce Moving Components.

For those who wish to have an extremely quiet workstation we are able to configure the solution to have even less moving parts and therefore create even less noise. One simple solution is to remove your noisy optical drives and change mechanical Hard Disk Drives (HDD) for a silent Solid State Drives (SSD). Depending on the rest of your configuration we are also able go one step further and use a fully passive Power Supply that does not require a fan at all. Speak to our technical consultancy team today to find out the quietest configuration for you.

Remote Teradici Workstations.

By employing all the techniques we have described above we are able to provide our customers with some of the quietest professional workstation available today and ensure they remain quiet for years to come. We achieve this by employing several techniques to achieve one common goal. Stop components from moving as much as possible, which reduces noise. But still it is impossible to make a high-powered computer workstation 100% silent.

One solution to this problem however is simple. Remove the Workstation all together! Ok maybe not fully remove it but send it far away. By employing technologies such as those made by Teradici users can have their high-powered workstations set up far away from themselves and use a small silent thin client connected via your network or internet to control your system. See our full write of this solution for more information.

Interested in finding the quietest computer workstation for you, that still has all the performance you need? Contact Our Technical Consultancy Team Today.

Request More Information From Our Technical Consultancy Team