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View Full Version : Things to consider in order to make a quiet build?



LordBroski
04-21-2014, 12:08 PM
One of my friends wants to build a PC that can serve as a photo/video editing rig mainly, and he'll also run an hdmi out to his tv for streaming and such.

Constraints are: space (no room for a full tower ATX), and noise (small space, works late in the night, doesn't want to bother GF).

I have a very mid-range build, stock cpu cooler, stock case fans, ssd + hdd, and a cheaper case, and he said it was definitely too noisy and he wants something much quieter.

What should I be considering when giving advice? I've heard many things, but am unsure about how it'd translate into the real world, for example, use 5400rpm hdd's as they're quieter, but there may be a negative impact on the speed at which he can transfer files.

Read Noctua fans are the best, and getting a closed loop liquid cooler and swapping out the radiator fans for some would be a good idea, as well as getting a fanless PSU, but this is all unknown territory for me since I've never paid much attention to noise. I also read Gigabyte's windforce GPU's make very low noise compared to other cards' coolers.

Help a noob out.

KilaByte
04-21-2014, 12:27 PM
My PC double serves as an HTPC.

Get some quiet fans, Noctua or Corsair come to mind, don't have them spinning at 100%, you're all set. Replace the stock cooler with one that uses said fans. You don't really need an expensive 'silent' case, or a fanless PSU and the like. Don't overthink it.

I can barely hear mine until the fans ramp up while gaming and even then it's pretty quiet (ACX cooler on my GPU) and I'm the type that would get annoyed by anything more than a near silent hum when watching TV/ surfing the web.

InstantLoser
04-21-2014, 12:29 PM
One of my friends wants to build a PC that can serve as a photo/video editing rig mainly, and he'll also run an hdmi out to his tv for streaming and such.

Constraints are: space (no room for a full tower ATX), and noise (small space, works late in the night, doesn't want to bother GF).

I have a very mid-range build, stock cpu cooler, stock case fans, ssd + hdd, and a cheaper case, and he said it was definitely too noisy and he wants something much quieter.

What should I be considering when giving advice? I've heard many things, but am unsure about how it'd translate into the real world, for example, use 5400rpm hdd's as they're quieter, but there may be a negative impact on the speed at which he can transfer files.

Read Noctua fans are the best, and getting a closed loop liquid cooler and swapping out the radiator fans for some would be a good idea, as well as getting a fanless PSU, but this is all unknown territory for me since I've never paid much attention to noise. I also read Gigabyte's windforce GPU's make very low noise compared to other cards' coolers.

Help a noob out.

Use SSD's (no moving parts, less power used, less heat produced). Use passive cooling where possible (heatsink only, no fan), or use closed loop liquid cooling (ie Corsair H55, etc) to cool the CPU. Set fans in the BIOS to passive modes to remain quiet. There are some cases (Fraktal Design makes some) with noise dampening panels to further quiet the system. You can also do an ITX build to keep it small and unobtrusive. My ITX box is whisper quiet, even with the side panel removed, and I really didn't put any major emphasis on noise.

misc_brah
04-21-2014, 12:33 PM
Use a fan controller to manually control the fans

Look into bequiet fans, they even come with plastic mounts that create a small gap between the fan and the case to minimise vibration.

Could always use an SSD and a NAS stored away from the rig, it would depend on his work flow though whether that would be viable.