Recently we have changed our method of measuring noise levels. We have built a system inside a Lian Li chassis with no case fans and have used a fanless cooler on our CPU. We are using a heatpipe based passive power supply and an Intel SSD to keep noise levels to a minimum. The motherboard is passively cooled and we use a Sapphire HD5670 Ultimate Edition graphics card which is also passively cooled. Ambient noise in the room is kept as low as possible. We measure from a distance of around 1 meter from the chassis and 4 foot from the ground to mirror a real world situation.
Why do this? Well this means we can eliminate secondary noise pollution in the test room and concentrate on only the components we are testing. It also brings us slightly closer to industry standards, such as DIN 45635.
In this instance we have no need for a system so we are using a silent power supply hooked into the fans. The room rates as 21dBa – the air conditioning unit in the far corner of the room causes this.
KitGuru noise guide
10dBA – Normal Breathing/Rustling Leaves
20-25dBA – Whisper
30dBA – High Quality Computer fan
40dBA – A Bubbling Brook, or a Refridgerator
50dBA – Normal Conversation
60dBA – Laughter
70dBA – Vacuum Cleaner or Hairdryer
80dBA – City Traffic or a Garbage Disposal
90dBA – Motorcycle or Lawnmower
100dBA – MP3 player at maximum output
110dBA – Orchestra
120dBA – Front row rock concert/Jet Engine
130dBA – Threshold of Pain
140dBA – Military Jet takeoff/Gunshot (close range)
160dBA – Instant Perforation of eardrum
All of these fans are clearly excellent products with the 120mm unit (Batwing blades) generating the least noise of all the fans we have ever tested. It was barely registering above the distant air conditioning in the room. The 140mm unit rated at under 25 dBa also which we would consider to be a class leading result. We can never achieve the same results as manufacturers, so when we see ratings of 15dBA we always know its going to be more, perhaps they measure noise from a greater distance.
The Apollish fan at lowest setting gives the same result as the TB Silence 140mm but when its cranked to full speed it becomes very noticeable. Slightly above mid way gives a rating of around 35dBa which would be perfectly fine for the majority of systems.
We are exceptionally impressed with these results which are lower than all competiting fans we have tested to date in our new sound room.