Author Topic: Please give me some tips on soundproofing a server.  (Read 12358 times)

I_Need_Some_Help

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Please give me some tips on soundproofing a server.
« on: January 27, 2008, 06:31:13 PM »
Hi!

I was looking for some tips on how to soundproof a noisy server.

It is a HP Proliant server and you can find its general specifications here: http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/11421_na/11421_na.html

************Acoustic Profile****************
Acoustic Noise   
Listed are the declared A-WEIGHTED SOUND POWER (LWAd) and average bystander position A-WEIGHTED SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL (LpAm) when the product is operating in a 23°C ambient environment. Noise emissions were measured in accordance with ISO 7779 (ECMA 74, 7th edition) and declared in accordance with ISO 9296 (ECMA 109).

Steady-State (Maximum configuration): LWAd = 7.2 Bels, Average Bystander LpAm = 54 dBA (Note 1)

NOTE: The values listed apply to both the tower and 7U rack configurations. Maximum configuration tested included four Xeon MP processors, twelve 15K rpm hard drives, three power supplies, and four inlet fans.

*******************************


Due to proprietary nature of the server I am unable to install a potentiometers to control the fan speen and can not remove any fans. I also can not relocate the server and it has to be ~ 2 feet away from me.

The dimensions of the server case are ~20"x27"x13" and it weighs ~160lb.

It has air inlets in the front and exhaust in the back.



I would be interested in your expert opinion how to deal with my noise problem as cheaply and efficiently as possible.


Thank you in advance,

Sincerely,


Edgar


johnbergstromslc

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Re: Please give me some tips on soundproofing a server.
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2008, 08:56:31 PM »
I know you're probably asking a different type of question here and I'm gonna sound like a smartass, but the best way to soundproof a server is to build/buy a good enclosure for it. 

I_Need_Some_Help

  • Guest
Re: Please give me some tips on soundproofing a server.
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2008, 09:28:20 PM »
How to build something like that?

I will need access to part of the front of the case and exhausts are in the back.

I have no clue where even to start as far as building something like this?


I do not know any materials that would work...


lol I think this is why I posted on here...I have no clue where to start.


Please help if you can!



P.S. I'm a DIY kind of guy so I'm good at working with my hands.
 ???

Mark Daveis

  • Guest
Re: Please give me some tips on soundproofing a server.
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2008, 11:08:48 PM »
Hi,
An enclosure is not too difficult - think of a box shape to surround the machine. If its only high pitched noise then it should be easy to remove as enough mass will do the trick but bass noise needs damping such as Green Glue.
Use heavy materials such as 1 or 2 inch ply wood or mdf and you can layer with mlv too but should be fairly easy to build.
Make a removable door and so on. Most importantly when you soundproof you are building a oven so will have to have air vents for the PC. :)

I_Need_Some_Help

  • Guest
Re: Please give me some tips on soundproofing a server.
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2008, 04:47:19 AM »
I thought vents would let the noise escape...

Am I wrong?

Mark Daveis

  • Guest
Re: Please give me some tips on soundproofing a server.
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2008, 11:47:55 PM »
Hi,
make two holes for two fans for air in and air out . Use quiet fans or adjustable and you could build a mdf baffle around the fans to further reduce the noise escaping but probably wont need it at all with blocking just high frequency noise.
I have built room within a room structures which can be complex so a simple design like this should be no problem if you can do a bit of diy. Do a design on paper first then select heavy materials like mdf or thick plywood which are cheap and line with mlv if needed then go for it and build your enclosure. It should only take a few days. A little known fact is that small gaps of a few mm will not leak much sound as testing with a sound meter only shows a loss of about 1 to 5 stc and only at the gap area. So a design does not have to be fully air tight as some suggest as large amounts of noise don't go through small gaps. :)

I_Need_Some_Help

  • Guest
Re: Please give me some tips on soundproofing a server.
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2008, 11:58:06 PM »
Thank you Mark!

Would you mind if I run my design plans by you whn I finish?

I am ashamed to say that I have never build a box from scratch. I do work on cars in my spare time, but I am fairly new to carpentry. I will look on the internet for box designs.


:)

Mark Daveis

  • Guest
Re: Please give me some tips on soundproofing a server.
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2008, 12:15:26 AM »
Hi,
Yes you could show me the design. It would be 4 sides and a roof and floor and all could be separate panels which bolt together if weight is an issue and so on.
Most importantly measure the normal temperature around the PC and you would look to keep the inside of the enclosure at this temperature or less. Bigger fans are less noisy and move more air per second so choose something adequate. Cost should be fairly low as mdf or ply wood are cheap and so are large computer case fans and a low cost power unit. :)

I_Need_Some_Help

  • Guest
Re: Please give me some tips on soundproofing a server.
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2008, 04:27:32 PM »
Thank you Mark,

Is MDF better then plywood as far as sound barrier qualities?

johnbergstromslc

  • Guest
Re: Please give me some tips on soundproofing a server.
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2008, 09:08:55 PM »
Thank you Mark,

Is MDF better then plywood as far as sound barrier qualities?

Much better.  MDF is even better than drywall, density-wise.

Mark Daveis

  • Guest
Re: Please give me some tips on soundproofing a server.
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2008, 12:31:17 AM »
Hi

MDF is a bit more dense and cheaper but contains a lot of Formaldehyde unlike WBP plywood. So if you are going to be working in the same room as the PC then use plywood as I do layered with green glue or mlv in living situations.
If the PC is just going to be left in its own room without much human contact then mdf is okay. You wont most likely need mlv or green glue as high speed fans and hard drives only make high pitched sounds which can be blocked fairly easily without special treatment and 54 db does not sound like too much just annoying  and a bit above comfortable level.
My main PC is almost the size of yours and makes a high pitched whine sound - could you tell me if you are hearing any bass sounds or is it high pitched. Even high pitched alarm clocks can be stopped without too much as my field testing shows so it should not be a problem. :)

johnbergstromslc

  • Guest
Re: Please give me some tips on soundproofing a server.
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2008, 01:57:25 AM »
MDF is perfectly okay for this application - cabinetmakers use it for all kinds of things - just make sure you paint or otherwise seal it.  You'll probably want to dress up the enclosure anyway, rather than have a bare wood box sitting there.

MDF is more than "a bit more dense" than plywood or OSB.  It's almost double the weight for a given thickness.  Check it out at the home center yourself.     

Mark Daveis

  • Guest
Re: Please give me some tips on soundproofing a server.
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2008, 11:59:04 PM »
Hi,
MDF and particle board are both used in the home for cabinets and so on but this is not generally a good thing unless you use the low formaldehyde version. But for a small enclosure like you are making it would not make too much difference but personally I tend to use plywood and blockboard for my projects even though more expensive. Also hardboard is even more dense and cheap and formaldehyde free so use that if you can.
I used some plywood and a small amount of mdf in a project last year where both were cut to the same size and taking the panels up the stairs noticed that the mdf was heavier but only about 1/4 more so not much difference. MDF is about 600 to 800 kg/m3 and plywood is about 500 to about 675 kg/m3 so mdf can be slightly heavier depending on what your wood supplier gives you but I could not say you would be getting twice the mass if you bought mdf.
Hardboard is about 900 kg/m3 or more so its much heavier and safe to use and cheap so I would most likely choose this layered onto a thinner plywood enclosure.
John - they must have the heaviest grade of mdf at your home center in the USA but I havent noticed much difference when handling them here in the UK. Maybe my supplier uses the heaviest grade of plywood. :)

 

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