Posted: July 09, 2003
Author: Jason Kohrs
Manufacturer: Quiet PC
Source: Quiet PC
Application #1: HTPC
My home theater personal computer (HTPC) happens to be an ideal candidate for QuietFeet. The system consists of a VIA EPIA M10000 motherboard installed in a Maxtop CSX-001 case (as reviewed here), with a 52x CD-ROM and a 30 GB ATA-66 7200 RPM hard drive. The entire system is relatively quiet, in general, with the only sources of noise coming from the 3 case fans, hard disk drive activity, and the spinning of the CD-ROM.
The hard drive is a little older now, and is by no means a quiet unit. During drive access (such as when I move a large movie file to the pc from across the network), and especially during defragmentation, it almost sounds like something is grinding. This noise is magnified by an oversight in the design of this case that I didn’t even notice until I began the review of the QuietFeet... the case has no feet at all. The case’s metal skin rests directly on the particle board shelf of my entertainment center (as pictured in the images below), and provides the exact effect described in the quote at the beginning of the review. The hard surfaces act to amplify the noise from inside the computer. In addition to reducing the noise produced by my system, I am also hoping that having airflow under the case may bring my temperatures down a little bit, too.
After weighing my HTPC, I decided to use the Standard size QuietFeet to support its 18 lbs. According to their data, I could have used the Micro size, but would have been at the top end of their weight range, and decided to leave a little headroom. Following the official QuietFeet Installation Instructions, I then applied the QuietFeet to the bottom of my case. Once back in position in my entertainment center, you can see how the weight of the case compresses the QuietFeet to about 2/3 the original height (below right image). Putting slight pressure on the case causes it to move, telling me the QuietFeet are ready to dampen the sounds and vibrations from the case.
After running my HTPC system for a few hours I can honestly say the hard drive noise was reduced dramatically. I still know when the drive is busy, but it sounds muted, and is far less noticeable. The noise of the case fans didn’t change, but they were faint to begin with. As far as the temperatures were concerned, the case temperature did drop a few degrees, but the cpu temperature was unchanged. The case went from 98° F to 95° F, and the cpu maintained a constant 127° F (high, but acceptable on a VIA Nehemiah processor). Not much of an improvement, but dropping a few degrees is a nice added bonus.
Application #2: DVD Player
In this application, I just wanted a solution to eliminate vibrations from reaching my DVD player. Not what the QuietFeet were intended for, but I’m hoping it solves the problem of bass sounds from my speakers occasionally causing the DVD to jump. As pictured in the below left image, the DVD player is propped up on old hockey pucks to allow airflow between it and the tuner (very ugly, I know... but effective). The pucks help keep the DVD player cool, but the hard rubber, and the wimpy foam donuts (see below right image) on the DVD player do little for vibration issues.
The Micro sized QuietFeet were installed in the four corners of my dvd player, and it was slid back into place on the hockey pucks. Notice how the weight of the 8 lb. DVD player compresses the QuietFeet to about 1/4 of their original height (below right image). I’m now glad I chose the Standard size QuietFeet for the HTPC!
Just as in the HTPC application, slight pressure on the DVD player causes it to shimmy, telling me that even though the QuietFeet have been greatly compressed, they will still provide a good deal of damping. After playing a few DVDs with incredible effects (the Fifth Element and the Matrix), I couldn’t recreate the skipping I used to experience... Hopefully it is gone for good!
QuietFeet do exactly what they are supposed to do, and they do it well. In the HTPC application, installation of the QuietFeet produced a noticeably reduced noise level, which will make regular use of the home theater that much more enjoyable. The market for QuietFeet might not be a large one, but for people serious about reducing computer noise, QuietFeet are an attractive, simple, and effective solution.
I have no complaints about the performance of the QuietFeet, and the only negative I can see is the price tag. Resourceful individuals, perhaps uninterested in the finished look of the QuietFeet, may be able to improvise something that will also reduce noise well. Can they do it effectively for less than $8.95, $12.95, or $19.95? (the respective prices of a set of Micro, Standard, and Heavy Duty QuietFeet). Maybe, but is it worth their time and effort?
4Greatly reduced hard drive access noise of HTPC
4Lowered case temperature of HTPC
4A simple solution to a potentially annoying problem
4Attractive enough to look like part of the equipment’s original design
4Price tag... May be able to improvise something for less money
Special thanks to Quiet PC for providing the QuietFeet for review!
Please drop by the BigBruin.Com Forum and feel free to discuss this review.
Page 1 | Page 2 | Review Index