Happy New Year
It’s that time of year again… fuck, I forgot to buy 9V batteries for the smoke alarm, better got on that. No, instead, it’s time I blew all the dust out of the R510 PowerEdge, since it’s screaming a bit. That left me with only a few minutes’ downtime, which was nice.
While I’m there, what else can I do about the noise? The “sound deadening foam” I bought does exactly jack and shit. It definitely changes the pitch, so maybe you could use it to treat a room so it’s not so bright and reflective, but as far as actually quietening down a noise source, not a hope. Since some of the glue was failing already on the mesh front, I carefully peeled it off, then took the door out into the shed and… wait for it… cut a piece of MDF to fit inside of it.
Yep, I screwed it in place, sat the door back on, and that’s a huge difference. Airflow is probably somewhat muted, but I think I can live with it, I only have one server and it can draw air in from the bottom of the rack. A piece across the back of the bottom makes sure it’s not drawing it’s own exhaust, and then I already have a couple of fans in the top to help pull air out, and so far temps aren’t any different really, but I’d say I’ve knocked off somewhere around 30% of the noise level of the server at idle.
A shitty “decibel meter” app on my phone shows it as being 20dB about six inches in front of the rack with the door closed, and about 26dB the same distance in front of the rack with the door open. IIRC +3dB represents a doubling in perceived volume, but I could be wrong on that… and/or the app showing +6dB seems a bit of an overstatement. For reference, the fans during this test were at 2760 RPM per iDRAC.
But it’s definitely noticeable, and on the warm-ish days it doesn’t piss me off like it used to. On the really hot days I have the air conditioner going anyway so it’s inaudible, and on the cold days it’s whisper quiet, so I’m fairly happy with it.