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Quiet PC

The things I have found most effective in reducing PC noise are isolating/decoupling things that make noise, using bigger/quieter fans and putting hard drives in noise reducing enclosures. While putting a PC inside a desk reduced the noise levels it wasn't until I did the above that I got a truly quiet PC.


Switching to a well designed fan can reduce noise by 6dBA while moving the same amount of air (cfm). Switching to a larger fan can reduce noise by another 8dBA (same cfm).

80mm NMB DC3108NL 42.7cfm = 41dBA
80mm Panaflo FBA08A 42.7cfm = 35dBA
92mm Panaflo FBA09A 42.7cfm = 27dBA

Not all fans are created equal and not all manufacturers measure sound the same way. I bought a 92mm Elina fan rated @ 26dBA that was noticeably louder than the Panaflo 92mm fan rated @ 27dBA.

Decoupling/isolating the fan reduces noise even further.
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Hard Drive Enclosure

Hard Drive EnclosureThis enclosure both cools the hard drive and significantly reduces hard drive noise. The drive sides are coupled to the enclosure for efficient heat transfer. The rest of the drive is encased in dense 1/4" neoprene for noise reduction. The enclosure fits in a standard 5.25" bay and rubber mounts isolate it from the PC case. Made with aluminum rectangle (1.5 x .75 x .125") and sheet (.050").
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Power Supply Fan Adapter

Power Supply Fan AdapterReplaces the stock 80mm fan with a 92mm low speed fan. Two sided foam tape holds the fan in place while isolating/decoupling it from the rest of the PC. Here it is assembled.
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Single fan cooling

Single_fan_cooling.jpgI just built a Geexbox for friends with stuff I had around. It has a single low speed 92mm Panaflo fan for cooling (processer and power supply). The copper CPU heatsink and power supply housing/fan duct is custom. The heatsink works but currently isn't that great. (65C max. with an 800mz Duron).
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"...dedicated to reviews, news and information about quiet, low noise, noise-free and/or silent computers and components."
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Silicon Acoustics
Specializes in quiet and silent PC components including fans, heatsinks, cases, power supplies, harddrives and other parts to control and reduce computer noise

Dec 05: Product selection is down to one or two brands per category. Mostly Zalman and Nexus products...Same thing over at EndPcNoise.
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The Silent PC
The Silent PC Web site investigates the often neglected acoustic aspect of information technology

Excellent coverage of ways to reduce computer noise.
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