How to Build a Quiet PC
There are a 1001 articles out there that give you methods for quieting your PC. Some of those methods are helpful and some are inadequate. These five simple steps are what we beliveve to be the 5 top prioritys to keep in mind when building a quiet PC or upgrading your current machine to a quiet PC.
Concentrate on the THREE BIG SOURCES of PC noise like - Power supply, the CPU fan and case fan. Once the big noises have been reduced you can address the small noises in your PC.If the small noises such as the Hard drive, motherboard fan, videocard fan, or loud CD/DVD disc drive are still a source of frustration, then you can address them or you can consider case insulating material.
The noise generated by a 'standard' PC typically varies from 30dB(A) to 50dB(A). This upper level is loud enough to be distracting and cause stress when working nearby for an extended amount of time. This problem has escalated as PCs become more and more noisy due to:
PC components have increased in speed and in the amount of heat they generate
Fans to dissipate this heat are a major source of noise
Hard disks have platters that spin at very high speeds causing noise and vibration
Badly designed cases have side panels that rattle and vibrate
Optical drives like DVD and CD-ROM can also generate noise, such as wind noise and vibration
What is a Decibel ( dBA)
The decibel is the most widely used indicator of loudness, a logarithmic ratio of sound pressure level to a reference level. The range of human hearing of sound loudness in dB will range between 0dB (which is the threshold of hearing), up to an ear-splitting 135dB for the very loudest sounds
When everything else is equal, buy a motherboard and gfx card that has a heatsink instead of a fan . However, if the particualr motherboard or video card you have your eye on does not come with heatsink but a fan you can easily replace the noisy fan. Though small fans actually tend to be noisy because of the turbulance produced whan a lot of air is pushed through a small area. Consider using a video heatpipe or silent gfx fan to replace the card fan. Consider a motherboard heatsink to replace the motherboard northbridge chipset fan.
Establish proper cooling in your PC.
Make sure your computer does not overheat in the search for quiet PC. Establish a good airflow pattern use the right products for your computer. Consider hardware monitoring many new motherboards include hardware monitoring which enable you to track your CPU's internal temperature at all times. Consider products that boost the ability of your PC to cool itself, including quiet case fans, round cables, or case which provides superior airflow by creating an tunnel within the case. Buy high quality computer silencing products as pieces get faster and faster and computer parts get noiser almost every computer cooling company is jumping on the quiet bandwagon. This does not meen that every quiet CPU fan or Quiet PSU is created equal. The parts we carry at Leftclicks are highly specialsed and are silent or ultra quiet. All of our parts usally run less than 33dBA most run at 20dBA or lower. Some of our parts are absolutly silent passive cooling (They have no moving parts).
Which way does the air blow on a fan - how can I tell?
Hold the fan, so that the round fan label is facing you. You are looking at the rear of the fan. When you plug the fan in, the air will be blowing towards you. For example, if you want a fan to act as an air intake, then the fan label will be facing towards the inside of the case. If you want a fan to act as an exhaust fan, then the fan label will be facing towards the outside of the case.
Quiet your PC by stopping the noise at the source
It is far more efficient to stop PC noise at the source of the noise rather than try and cover up but if this is not an option for you then by adding sound proofing methods such as case insulation , fan vibration mounts and insulator gaskets, rubber grommets, and noise dampening computer feet are great touches which work will in dampening noise levels.
Cooling a silent PC
Create a silent wind tunnel in your PC if your pc is pushing the heat threshold, use a silent rare exhaust case fan rather than an intake fan. We reccomend an exhaust fan because of air flow from an exhaust is much greater then which is produced from an intake fan. Also due to the location of the fan, and exhaust fan can also be noticably quiter . Because heat rises and because the power supply, CPU, Northbridge chipset produce so much heat all centrally located by the rear exhaust fan, it is reccomended that the exhaust fan be placed in the rear just below the PSU. This improves computer air flow through these essential components.
As you can see from the above diagram, the idea behind a rear exhaust case fan is in the creation of a wind tunnel. In your computer just over the components.
Our favourite silent PSU is the Be-quiet andt he Xilence range as they are especially helpful in producing this wind tunnel. In fact when using these versions of silent PSU you should not need a case fan at all. This is because they inc a 120mm silent fan located on the bottem of the PSU pulling air out of your case and through the psu and out the back. the Be-Quiet PSU also provide plenty of power stays cool and is truely silent.
Most CPU coolers use a cheap aluminium heatsink with noisy higher speed fans. The high speed fans are required by standard coolers in order to move enough air past the aluminium heat sink to keep the CPU cool. In contrast to this the quiet CPU coolers are made from more expensive but much more conductive copper.Copper is twice as efficent of conducticing heat than aluminium. The more heat today's newest computer processors generate the more efficient the CPU coolers must become in order to avoid using a noisier, higher and higher speed fan to cool them. All of the coolers we carry exceed this challenge: they not only keep your CPU cool, but the coolers themselves are extremely quiet
All you have to do now is figure out which cooler is the correct one for your computer's processor. We have quiet CPU coolers for virtually every CPU. Our quiet CPU coolers come in all sorts of varieties: from all copper, to copper and aluminum; from small coolers that will fit any setup to huge heatsinks which will generously cool your hottest CPU; from straightforward cpu coolers to sophisticated watercooling solutions.
Use Quality Thermal Compound An important component of superior cooling of the silent PC is the use of high quality thermal compound when attaching heatsinks. For improved CPU cooling and performance, we recommend Arctic Silver 5, which alone can drop your CPU temperature from 3-12 degrees Celsius when switching from standard thermal compound. Since creating a silent PC involves using large, efficient heatsinks and silent, slow-moving fans as your only source of cooling, proper installation of your CPU cooler and the use of high-quality thermal compound is imperative.
Organize Your Cables Making sure all wires and cables are routed and bunched out of the way so as to not block airflow, is another very important key to proper computer cooling in the silent PC. Use cable ties and the like to bunch cables out of the path of the airflow "wind tunnel". For IDE and Floppy Cables, we recommend Rounded Cables since they not only look cool, but are easier to move and bunch out of the way of your case's airflow.
Leave Some Room Try and leave slots near intense heat producing cards (for instance video cards) open for better airflow around the card, and therefore improved cooling of that computer component. A Silent Video Fan is an excellent alternative for silently cooling your high-end video card.
Your Silent PC Needs To Be Clean Keeping your silent PC free of dust helps ensure proper PC cooling. Dust causes computer components to hold in their heat, thereby contributing to their wear and even causing them to overheat (and therefore die). You can start by keeping your computer in as clean an area as possible. If your computer has dust in it, use a can of compressed air to clean out all fans and the inside of your computer. Make sure not to tip the can of compressed air upside down, as this will cause the can to spray out a frozen liquid that can damage your computer. Keep in mind that canned air is all that should be used to rid your computer of the unsightly dust that is heating up your computer. Water and solvents can damage components, and a vacuum should NEVER be used on your computer unless it is a specialized computer vacuum. Normal vacuums have huge static electricity build-ups and can instantly kill various computer parts.
Air filters over the case front/rear airflow vents can slow down airflow into and out of your case (especially if they are dirty), thus reducing computer cooling. On the other hand, the use of dust filters may help you keep your computer clean and therefore reduce overheating, especially in a dusty environment. If you use air filters in your silent PC, make sure to clean them on a regular basis.
Xilence Come in a range of sizes 80mm 92mm 120mm 3 pin and 4 15dBA and 1500rpm LED versions available.
Be-quiet Come in ranges of sizes Ball bearing 3 pin and 4 20dBA 1850rpm
sharkoon come in 80mm and 120mm 9dBA 1000rpm
zaward come in 80mm and 120mm 17dBA 2000rpm LED versions available.
Arctic cooling great cpu coolers for AMD and pentium heatpipes easy fitting great airflow and very quiet.
Aerocool great fans and vga coolers try the new passive VM102 can move up to 70W of heat.
Revoltec great range of coolers from gfx to fans and chipset cooling modding lights and fans.