Whether you’re working with an old desktop or a custom built PC, there are a few strategies that you can use to reduce the heat and noise levels that will depend on your case, components, and your own preferences.
How Heat Affects Performance
As with almost all electronic devices, it generates heat when they are in use. All of your components - cpu processor, graphics card, mobo, etc. all get hotter as it works. The hotter these get, the harder they have to work, the louder they’ll get. If your stock or current fans are cheap and low quality, they will struggle in getting cold air through and dissipating hot air out. Improving your cooling system is the first thing you should do.
But before you do anything, give your case a thorough clean of all the dust and particle build up. If you’ve had your computer for a long time, chances are its probably collected loads of dust which makes it run alot hotter. Get some compressed air and get rid of the dust and instantly notice a slight improvement in the noise level.
Step 1: Invest in a watercooler or heatsink
If you already have one and your results are still dismal, I would invest in a better one. Your CPU and your GPU/VGA cards are 2 of the loudest components in any pc case. When it comes to aftermarket coolers, water coolers and heatsinks are the two options you have.
What are heat sinks? They’re metal constructs that direct heat away from your components through a fan in order to keep things running cool. In regards to price, they are pretty inexpensive and run anywhere from $30-$50. If you CPU or GPU is sounding like a jet taking off, don’t be afraid to shell out a few extra dollars for a more higher quality cooler.
If you’re more of a cooling extremist, then a water cooler is probably the way to go. How do water coolers work? Basically, they cool your components by running water (not literally, of course) over them and through a radiator. They’re pretty effective so they dont require too many fans running at excessive speeds
Step 2: Upgrade Your PC Fans
In a typical case, you want to bring in cold air through your components from the front and send hot air out through the back. This would require you to have intake fans at the front and exhaust fans at the back. If your case allows for a side or bottom intake fan, this will come in handy too.
Have you ever considered setting your pc fans up to produce positive air pressure? First of all, what is positive air pressure? This type of setup just means you have more intake fans than exhaust fans.
What’s the benefit of this you ask? For starters, it cools your GPU/VGA cards better, and if combined with dust filters on your fans, it will also help reduce dust and particle buildup.
Utilizing this method, you force the only air to go into your case to go through your filtered intake fans, which keeps out a majority of dust from getting in.
How many fans do you need? Well that just depends on the build you’re going after. But remember, the more fans you have, the louder but cooler they’ll be. If you’re needing to upgrade your fans, here are the three things you need to look for:
Step 3: Install a Fan Controller
These days, most quality cases should come with a standard fan controller. But if your case is an older one and lacks this function, you might want to invest in one. A controller lets you control the speed of yours to adjust to your performance needs: turn it high for extra cooling, turn it low for idle use. Some fan controllers will even include temperature monitors of your components for you, pretty neat don’t you think?
Step 4: Other Noise Dampening Features to Know
» HDD Silencers/Anti-Vibration Screws - If your drive trays don’t have these standard, investing in these might help especially if you have multiple drives running at once. HDDs can alot of airborne vibrations and without the proper buffering, can cause quite a bit of a headache. By installing these rubber grommets on your trays, they’ll help absorb some of the noise.
» Rubber/Silicone Fan Fasteners - Your fans can cause vibration. Instead of fastening them with metal screws, you can use rubber or silicone fan fasteners to help dampen some of the vibrations.
» Sound Dampening Foam - You can purchase foam to line up the inside panels of your case. But be careful, as applying this foam incorrectly can hinder or stop the airflow of your computer case.
If you really value silence at all costs, we recommend investing in truly quiet pc cases. However, we know this may not always be an economically feasible choice. For those that aren’t able to invest in a new case, I certainly hope this article provided you nice alternatives to get your case as cool and quiet as possible. If you’re someone who will be looking at a future upgrade, please keep cooling and noise in mind - the last thing you want is to have one of the baddest gaming PCs around but sounds like a dying sheep.
If this post was helpful to you, let’s help some more people! Feel free to share this with anyone who might enjoy it and also comment below and share your thoughts on creating a quiet, cooler case!