Noisy PCs and how to silence them?

  gdawg 22:34 25 Mar 2003

Hello to all the knowledgable types out there!

I've just purchased a new PC from Evesham, with an Athlon 2700+ and Radeon 9700 Pro, and like many people with such a system I switched it on for the first time...and wondered if it was going to fly across the room! The basic fan noise is fairly loud, and under a heavy graphics load it is even more noisy. So, I'd like to hear from anyone who knows, what products are good (eg Quiet PC have a PSU which is AMD approved - I notice a lot of PSUs don't seem to have this accolade) - I'm looking more at changing the case fan and PSU than stuffing the case with damping foam. Although I'm no novice as far as inserting PCI cards goes, I've never changed a PSU, case or CPU fan so I'd also like to know how tricky the process is? I don't want to cause my brand new jetplane (er...I mean PC! ;-) ) to blow up!

To anyone who responds - thanks for taking the time to read this and reply!

  3aspect 22:44 25 Mar 2003

click here

Have a look here for some ideas.

  VoG™ 22:46 25 Mar 2003

I freely admit to knowing sod all about this but click here

  3aspect 22:50 25 Mar 2003

Quiet fans and heaps of other stuff.
click here

  MichelleC 08:23 26 Mar 2003

If you want a quiet pc then don't get a ballbearing fan. I've got one but I don't mind the noise, but it's going to last a long time.

  gdawg 01:08 27 Mar 2003

Anybody have any ideas about the effect of changing a PSU on the warranty of a PC? I don't want to invalidate the warranty if I can help it, but I don't want to put up with the noise from the current fan setup!

  Tog 07:54 27 Mar 2003

I shoved my PC under the desk with only the drives accessible. The fans blow out into the space between the desk and the wall and by sitting it on a sheet of rubber to stop sound propagation I get a decent reduction in noise level with no intrusive changes to the PC. The older CDROM still competes with the vacuum cleaner but at least I no longer need ear plugs.

  Rayuk 18:52 27 Mar 2003

Are you sure its the power supply and not the cpu and graphics card fans that are the problem.
What case fans are installed you can buy low noise fans but from what I have seen in the past they dont offer that much.
If you are prepared to buy a new psu than maybe spending your cash on this SLK800 with 80mm fan would be a better option though its not a cheap here

  gdawg 13:30 03 Apr 2003

I have stuck my ear in the case, and the nasty fiends responsible would appear to be the PSU and the CPU cooler, the case fan is an 80mm model and doesn't appear to be too noisy by comparison. So I am considering the 300W PSU from and the Zalman Flower CPU cooler + fan. The PSU is OK but I'm not sure about the Flower Cooler, looks a bit huge and I've heard fitting a CPU heatsink can be tricky....

  €dstow 13:39 03 Apr 2003

Magic words:- "new PC". It shouldn't be unreasonably noisy. What do Evesham say about it? Is it noisier than it's supposed to be?

You can't expect a modern PC to be dead quiet but your description makes it appear OTT.

You mention a Zalman cooler. I've just fitted these to my ten machines. The problem wasn't with fitting the cooler, that's dead easy, but removing the old one - not at all easy.


  gdawg 14:04 03 Apr 2003

Given what I have read about current PC systems, in reviews and in consumer forums such as this, I doubt very much that it is exceptionally noisy by today's standards. However, the last PC I had was a P2 400MHz, bought in Dec 98, and that just had a quiet background hum. In the intervening time it seems that PCs have become faster, and subsequently hotter, requiring more cooling, leading to more noise.

As for your statement, I think it would be better to say that I cannot expect an out of the box PC to be dead quiet - I'm sure if I was to spend a lot of money I could get it silent enough! My description was meant to sound OTT as an illustration of my perception of what a modern PC sounds like compared to a few years ago.

The noise isn't so much an issue when gaming, as a)the DVD drive winds up and drowns out the fans and b) the speaker and sub system drowns out everything, just when sitting quietly surfing the net or using office apps - perhaps I am easily irritated but it would be nice if it was quieter!

Since you have fitted a few of those monsters, can you tell me what the score is with thermal paste/grease? My PC knowledge used to go as far as sticking a PCI card in the back, now I find I'm having to learn a bit more! I've read that the supplied paste with the Zalman isn't very good, and also that AMD don't recommend using thermal paste long addition to this, to me the idea that this is some kind of grease implies it has the potential to evaporate. I actually have a fair education in physics so i understand the rules of conduction etc but I'm ignorant in this particular case!

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