My wife wants her own PC, something in the £400-£500 range used for just general everyday stuff, no heavy gaming of video downloading. I have no problem with specing the machine for her with one exception - she can hear a pin drop at 500 paces and is very sensitive to what she calls noisy machines. I'm looking for something off the shelf rather than building one myself with low noise components. Any ideas pr recommendations as to who makes a quiet budget machine? Cheers
I had exactly the same problem a while back, and I simply did this:
Replaced the Northbridge fan with a near silent 40mm fan from Quietpc.com
Replaced the 60mm CPU fan, put on a plastic 60mm to 80 mm converter (about £3 from Maplins or ebay) and put an 80mm fan on - bigger and slower, so much quieter - again from Quietpc - they have a good range, pick your favourite.
Finally, I put in a 6200 Graphics Card with heatsink - no fan so no noise.
PC ended up virtually silent, and in all everything cost me about £50 and a couple of hours - well worth it.