Why not spare your hearing with Acoustic PC's Quiet Computer cooling and Soundproofing Solutions. Acoustic PC Stocks Quiet Computer Parts. Quiet PC Fans, Quiet CPU Coolers, Quiet Power Supply, Quiet Computer Cases, PC Sound Dampening insulation, Anti-vibration Noise Reduction materials such as Silicone Fan Mounts, Sorbothane Feet for Ultra Low Noise PC's. We also sell Silent PC Hardware components and Gaming products such as Fanless Silent Video Cards, SSD Drives, Profesional Gaming peripherals for serious Gamers. Audio products & more.
Why not spare your hearing with Acoustic PC’s Quiet Computer Cooling and Soundproofing
Solutions. Acoustic PC Stocks Quiet Computer Parts: Quiet PC Fans, Quiet CPU Coolers, Quiet
Power Supply, Quiet Computer Cases, PC Sound Dampening insulation, Ant-vibration Noise
Reduction materials such as Silicone Fan Mounts, Sorbothane Feet for Ultra Low noise PC's. We
also sell Silent PC Hardware components and Gaming products such as Fanless Silent Video
cards, SSD Drives, Professional Gaming peripherals for serious Gamers. Audio products & more.
How to build a quiet PC by Acoustic PC
How to Build a Quiet PC

If you work in a music studio, you already know you need a quiet PC; the reasons are obvious. What’s not so obvious is that PC
noise can be a serious problem in any workplace. According to researchers at Cornell University, even mild noise in the
workplace causes stress, which poses health risks and lowers task motivation. It may even affect workers’ decision-making
abilities. One way of reducing noise in the workplace, and the stress that comes with it, is to use quiet PCs.

This article provides an overview of the basic components of a quiet PC.

•        Quiet Computer Case
•        Quiet Cooling
•        Quiet Power Supply
•        Suggested Components
•        Soundproofing
•        Extra Precautions

Our four-part video, “How to Build a Quiet High-Performance PC” (2010) walks you step-by-step through one of many possible
configurations. Of course newer and better products are always coming out, so before you begin your build, check online to see
what’s currently available.  
>> Click here to view our 4-Part video How to build a quiet high-performance PC

Quiet Computer Case
Like a well-built house, a quiet PC needs a solid foundation. Start with a sturdy case made of steel or thick aluminum. Aluminum
dissipates internal heat more easily than steel, but steel is better at muffling noise and minimizing noisy vibrations. The case
should not only be roomy enough to accommodate all your existing components, but should allow for possible expansion as well
as proper air flow. A well-made, well-designed case is properly ventilated, won’t send air whistling through seams or poorly-
placed holes, and includes features for tucking and routing of cables so that they don’t obstruct air flow.

>> View our full selection of quiet computer cases

Quiet Cooling

Quiet Case Fan and CPU Cooler
Fans can be a major source of PC noise. Avoid this problem by installing quiet case fans and quiet CPU coolers.

Fan motors that use sleeve bearings run more smoothly and quietly than those that use old-fashioned ball bearings.
Unfortunately, they tend not to last as long, especially under extreme heat conditions. The quietest fans are those with liquid
state motors, also known as fluid dynamic bearing fans or SSO bearing fans. Because the parts of a liquid state motor fan are
never in direct contact with each other, they don’t generate friction; as a result, the fans are noiseless and long-lasting.

Blade size and design are also important. Generally speaking, when it comes to quiet computer fans, bigger is better, since
smaller blades have to spin faster to do the same work as larger blades. Well-designed blades minimize air flow loss. The
advanced design of the Noctua NF-P12, for example, makes it an especially good choice for a CPU cooler. Its pressure-
optimized nine-blade design features Vortex-Control Notches and beveled blades to reduce high-frequency hum.

A good CPU cooler should be made of copper, for efficient heat transfer. It can be nickel-plated to prevent corrosion.

>> View our full selection of quiet CPU fans                                                            >> View our full selection of quiet case fans  

Other Coolers
If your motherboard has a heatsink with a loud fan, consider replacing it with a high-performance chipset cooler. Many other
types of coolers are available, such as RAM coolers, game console coolers, and so on.

>> View our full selection of chipset coolers

Thermal Compound
For CPU coolers, be sure to apply a high-quality thermal compound (also called thermal paste) between the CPU heat sink and
the processor. The thermal compound helps to conduct heat from the CPU to the heat sink. Using a high-grade thermal
interface material such as Artic Silver or IC Diamond will greatly improve CPU and GPU cooling performance.

Before applying new thermal compound, use a good surface cleaner and purifier such as ArctiClean by Arctic Silver. This two-
part kit includes a non-abrasive, non-flammable thermal cleaner and a surface purifier.

>> View our full selection of thermal compounds and cleaners

Silent Video Cards and Mainboards
Many video cards on the market today are silent, using heatpipe technology, which eliminates the need for a fan. Extreme high-
performance video cards, however, require a fan for cooling. Typically, the fans that come with these video cards are too loud
for a quiet PC, and need to be replaced. (In our Youtube video, “How to Build a Quiet High-Performance PC,” we replace the
stock cooler with an aftermarket VGA cooler.)

>> View our four-part video tutorial

If at all possible, avoid mainboards with cooling fans. These small fans don’t cool very well and emit a loud, whiny, high-pitched
sound. Use a motherboard with heatpipe technology and heatsinks for best performance.

>> View our full selection of silent video cards

Fanless Products
As an alternative to fans, products are now available which use heatsinks and other features to extract heat from components;
this means there are no fans to generate noise or collect dust. For example, Nofan manufactures fanless CPU coolers, fanless
computer cases, and fanless power supplies which use wickless heatpipe technology for cooling.

>> View our full selection of Nofan products

Quiet Power Supply
The power supply is the backbone of your PC. A good power supply is absolutely essential to system stability, so don’t skimp!
Poor power supplies are the number one cause of hard drive failures and blue screens.

When choosing a power supply, consider the following:
Is it powerful enough? A good rule of thumb is “Double the power.” In other words, if your components require a total of 300
watts, use a 600-watt power supply. This will keep the power supply running well under load, with the fans spinning at a low
speed. Seasonic’s “semi-fanless” design is unique in that the fan is not activated unless the power supply is operating at at least
50% load.

Is it energy-efficient? An energy-efficient power supply produces cleaner power, which is better for your components, and
requires less cooling. “80 Plus” energy-efficiency certifications include Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels. The Seasonic
XP-1000, for example, has an “80 Plus Platinum” certification.

The power supply’s main board should use Japanese-made, high-heat/high-watt, class A capacitors and resistors.

Modular cabling reduces case clutter for better air flow.

In better power supplies, the exhaust has a honeycomb design, which reduces noise.

>> View our full selection of quiet power supplies

Suggested Components

Quiet Hard Drives
Hard drives can be noisy, especially high-performance drives. Seagate’s Barracuda hard drives are top-notch high-performance
drives that provide sound levels below human perception due to SoftSonic Technology. The new liquid-state fluid-dynamic
bearings provided better performance than comparable drives, at lower decibel levels. Reviewers at CNET tested the Seagate
Barracuda 2TB and 3TB drives and stated that they are fast yet quiet and offer good value.

Read the review of Seagate’s Barracuda 2TB and 3TB

>> View our selection of quiet hard drives

You may also want to consider quiet optical drives and blu-rays, such as the ASUS QuieTrack Optical drives.

View our selection of quiet optical drives

Hard Drive Silencers
Hard drive silencers include enclosures and stabilizers. Hard drive enclosures block noise, while hard drive stabilizers minimize
vibrations that can create noise.

Hard drive enclosures can trap heat as well as sound, so extra cooling may be needed. The SilenX Luxurae hard drive
enclosure comes with heatsinks for cooling, in addition to sound-dampening foam.

View the SilenX Hard Drive Cooler / Silencer

Solid State Drives
Solid state drives, or SSD drives, have no moving parts. As a result, they’re extremely energy-efficient, long-lasting, and silent.

 View our full selection of silent SSD drives

Soundproofing can make the difference between a quiet PC and a silent PC. Even if your PC case comes with soundproofing
installed on the side panels, you may want to supplement this with other sound-dampening products, such as foam blocks for
vacant drive bays. Be sure to use fireproof materials when soundproofing your PC. Acousti soundproofing products, such as PC
case insulation sheets and foam blocks, are made in the USA from fireproof, open-cell acoustic foam. (Open-cell foam absorbs
sound better than closed-cell foam.) The acoustic sheets come with water-based glue, which is also fireproof. Our best-selling
kit, the AcoustiPack Ultimate PC Soundproofing kit, includes three sheets, which will cover a mid- or full-size tower with plenty to

View our full selection of AcoustiPack soundproofing sheets

Extra Precautions

Dust Filters
Be sure to clean your dust filters every six months at a minimum. If your motherboard is clogged with dust it will run hotter,
forcing your fans to work harder. Dust buildup can cause overheating issues and can even cause the motherboard to fail.

An example of an excellent dust filter is shown below. The Fansis dust filter/grille combo has a stove-type finger guard which
allows excellent airflow yet protects the blades of the cooling fan, as well as your fingers, from injury. It also has a special
microfiber medium which captures dust without obstructing airflow very much. The snap-on cover is easy to remove and re-
attach to extract and clean the reusable media — it lasts forever! So there’s no need for extra filters. This smart, simple,
inexpensive product can save you a lot of headaches.

View the Fansis dust filter/grille

Air Flow
Good cable management — tucking and routing cables — maximizes air flow inside the PC. Better PC cases provide routing
systems that enable you to hide your cables completely.

When installing a fan, use fan mounts or fan gaskets made of soft silicone or gel to stabilize the fan so it doesn’t vibrate.
AcoustiFeet soft silicone quiet computer feet keep your PC from vibrating against a hard floor, and protect wood floors from

(Note: Our adhesive quiet computer feet, such as AcoustiFeet, use 3M glue.)

View ultra-soft silicone fan mounts                >>  View AcoustiFeet quiet computer feet                   >> View ultra-soft silicone fan gaskets
Image shows example of a quiet computer case.
Image shows a Noctua NH-L12 quiet CPU fan.
Image shows a Noctua NF-P12 quiet cooling fan.
Image shows Arctic Silver No. 5 thermal compund and ArctiClean two part cleaner and surface purifier by Arctic Silver.
Image shows the Sapphire HD-7750 Silent Video Card.
Image shows the Seasonic X-seies Gold Certified ultra-quiet modular PSU.
Image shows Quiet Optical Drive.
Image shows Zalman Silent SSD Drive.
Image shows AcoustiPack Ultimate PC soundproofing ket by Acousti Products. The worlds best Acoustic Sheets.
Image shows the Seagate Baracuda quiet hard drive.
Image shows the SilenX hard drive cooler / Silencer.
Imaige shows Fansis Dust Filter and Grill Combo with included Micro Fiber Media.
Image showes airflow chart.
Image shows Acousti Products Acousti Fan Mounts.
Image Shows AcoustiFeet Quiet Computer Feet.
Image shows Acousti Products Acousti Fan Gasket.
This article is property of Acoustic PC.
Copyright since 2012 to-date. All rights reserved. For reprint permission contact article owner Acoustic PC
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How much can AcoustiPack reduce the noise?

Download & Listen
>> MP3 Recording (500Kb, 2'48")
This recording can be played using most audio applications, including:
About the Demo These audio clips have been taken from one of many independent
audio tests. The recordings are from 3m immediately behind a 42U AcoustiRACK™
cabinet - which is not the quietest location we could have chosen (in fact it is the
worst location)! The overall sound power level has been calculated using 6
microphones positioned on a 3m virtual hemisphere around the 19-inch cabinet.
The drop (across the sound spectrum) in sound power is 10.2dBA from 87.3 to 77.1
dBA. The fall in higher end frequencies (above 1kHz) is particularly dramatic at over
20dBA. Exactly the same digital compression processes have been applied to both
the 'before' and 'after' recordings used to create the down-loadable mp3 file, so they
can be compared.