Oct 262012

The ASRock ION 330 have been a great friend running XBMCbuntu for several years!
With the ION-chipset it handles XBMC very well, but there is only one problem: NOISE!!!

After opening the chassis I found two problems a 50mm and 30mm fans squeeeaking like hell

My solution was easy enough:
* Remove the DVD-burner (who uses that anyway?)
* Remove / disable the fans
* Add a 120mm fan to extract air
* Add a SSD-drive for less noise and more speed (I had a old 30GB spare that I used)

Here is my final result

Read more if you want check out how it fits inside and building tips!

These are the tools and stuff you need:
* A multifunction All rounder (this for instance)
* A grill (this for instance)
* One half of a SSD bracket (see picture below)
* A drill/driver + drill bits
* 120 mm fan (I used a Mist 120x120x25mm, 54.4 m³/time, 16.5 dB(A))
* SSD drive (2,5″ connection & power is ready)

First off mark the position you can fit the fan and still get the lid on, then drill 2 holes. I used the grill as template for making an internal square.
This square was then cut using the all rounder, this was the result:

120mm fan fitted on the top lid, the blue markings are me messing around with ideas

The screws goes through the grill and into the fan

Use half of the SSD brackets and mark a position under the “DVD-lip”. Drill 2 holes and attached it through the chassis (remember to fit SSD to bracket before attaching)

Here is an overview of the insides, notice that I have unplugged the 30mm fan, but didn’t bother to remove it.
The extra SATA-cable is actually attached to the SSD SATA-cable, so I couldn’t remove that.

The DVD-front was removed from the slim-drive and just fitted with duck-tape in front (not very neat, I know 🙂 )

In BIOS I have overclocked the CPU without any problem.
I have also set the fan-speed to maximum, to ensure that the 120mm fan will move enough air.
Remember: Set the GPU shared memory to 512 MB for smoother playback on the 330!

As for the noise part, try different BIOS-options regarding the speed of the fan.
A 120mm fan does not create a high pitch sound and is probably the best choice for such application.

If you are looking for just replacing the old fans with more quiet version, check out MythTV-Wiki

 Posted by at 23:05:50

  9 Responses to “How to make ASRock ION 330 lowsound (noiseless) redneck style!”

  1. Thanks. It was really helpful to replace my very old fan. The only problem is that I can’t get the new fan inside because of 2 drives… No matter, it is now an external one. Here are my temperatures :
    CPU temperatures Core 0: 35°C Core 1: 47°C
    Drive temperatures sda: 33°C sdb: 33°C

    • Thanks for your feedback. I have been running with a SSD for 4 years now and it still works great as a Kodi-box. I stream my stuff from a server so local storage is not important for me.

  2. Dear Lars,
    Thanks for the great idea. I have followed your guide, but instead of using SSD bracket I cut through original one. I still use HDD which now is the biggest noise / vibration maker. I will replace it with ssd sooner than later. What are your CPU / GPU temperatures? Mine are 45 / 67. I set fan to level 4 of 5. So far system is stable. Which version of Xbmc you are using? Windows 7,8, Linux or openelec? I am using openelec but Considering Win 8 after migration to SSD.

    • Hi Marcin,

      You’ll notice a more quiet system after you install SSD 🙂
      I’m around 46 / 68 with the 120mm fan running on auto, on high load it will spin faster and temp goes up but never critical so far.
      (Norway is a cold place you know :))

      The system is running XBMCbuntu ( http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=XBMCbuntu ) currently running XBMC 12.2.

      Regards. Lars

  3. Looks awesome! Only thing I would like to know is which bracket you used?

  4. Just finished doing this. A few difficult bits, but on the whole it seems to have worked. How are you finding the temperatures? I’m a bit worried it’s getting hot in there? Thanks for the inspirational info!

    • Check out the bios for temperatures. Also set the fan speed to max and fin a software to check temps (like CpuZ or simular). Glad it helped 🙂

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