Reducing Fan Noise

By Svoboda · 26 replies
Feb 11, 2002
  1. the 80mm i have installed in the front bottom of my case is really annoying. It vibrates a lot, and sometimes becomes intolerable.

    Do any of you have any good tips for reducing fan noise/vibration?


  2. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    Oops, double post...I clicked submit reply but stopped it cuz i wanted to add more info...sorry
  3. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    Vibration? Tighten the screws. If that doesn't work much, put thick rubber O-rings where the screws come out to the head and when they go into the case. This will dampen the effect, if the vibration isn't going on inside the fan itself.
    Where is your case set up? Try moving it under your desk if its right next to your monitor.
  4. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    We can end this destructive conflict, and bring order to the Galaxy!

    I'm afraid often the trade-off with a more powerful, better cooled machine can be noise.

    I have several fans in there and a 400 W PSU. You can hear the thing going in the next room. Sometimes I think its gonna raise itself up off the desk and float in the air!

    If it REALLY annoys you, you could look into some kind of water cooling kit. There are some really good ones out. Or you could make one yourself, but I think that's dicing with death a little.

    Like Vehementi said, tightening the screws might sort the vibration out, and you could search the net for something quieter.

    I'm afraid I've just learned to live with these things. Sadly.
  5. Ai Hate

    Ai Hate TS Rookie Posts: 302

    i think you could add a variable resistor (or maybe it's called sth else) to it. but it'll lower the fan's performance (rpm)
  6. uncleel

    uncleel TS Rookie Posts: 980

    Ali is so right!

    just slow your fan down a lil' to stop the harmonic distortion & vibration, or try putting a filter on the fan!
  7. ToRN

    ToRN TS Rookie Posts: 156

    noiseblocker doesn't take the noise away, but it makes the sound bareable. The sound is lower and therefore less irritating. I have installed it and I'm very satisfied.
  8. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    I wouldn't tighten the screws but do just the opposite - use styrofoam or rubber or something to isolate the fans from the case. I also run 8-12 cm fans at 7 volts instead of small ones screaming at 12v.
  9. Ai Hate

    Ai Hate TS Rookie Posts: 302

    the only fan that bugs me is the CPU fan. :dead:
  10. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    As for me it's definitly the Blue Orb on my GF3 :dead:
  11. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    Thermaltake makes smart fans with thermistors on them, they only speed up when the air around them gets hotter. Good idea, I think. The fan on my CPU is really annoying too, its 4300 rpm's...There are worse, I know.
  12. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

  13. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    When I got my GF2Ti, the original fan was in it for about 30 seconds. Awful noise. Replaced it with a fan taken from an old PSU, it's almost silent now but airflow is still way better than before.
  14. Mudshark

    Mudshark TS Rookie Posts: 101

    What speed is the fan, a quality fan should not vibrate a lot,
    in fact, at all. it should run smoothly. If it is a very powerful fan
    its just "wind" noise, then all you can do, is slow it down a bit
    as uncleel suggests.
    I like the suggestion of placing a filter on it - kinda kill two birds
    with one stone, cleaner - slower air.
  15. Mudshark

    Mudshark TS Rookie Posts: 101

    surefire way to reduce fan noise.

    A good way to reduce case fan noise is to remove the “grill” that was made By the case manufacturer when they “stamped” the vent holes through the case.

    I bought a Dremmel tool and cut out all the fan vents in my cases, leaving just One +- 78mm Dia. Hole(for a 80mm fan) with the 4 screw holes at the edge. I then used the standard wire type guards that you can get almost anywhere for about $1.50 and voila! A LOT less fan noise.

    A word of caution! Completely remove EVERYTHING from the case before Attempting this. The iron filings created by the Dremmel tool will cause havoc. If they come into contact with ANYTHING electronic.

    Oh yes…… and clean The case very well before reassembling it.
    Not only did this simple mod reduce the noise from the fans but it increased the Air flow through the cases pretty dramatically.
  16. Laser Eyes

    Laser Eyes TS Rookie

    I have the quietest Athon XP1800+ I've ever seen. This is my system:

    Aopen midi tower HQ-45
    ASUS A7V266-E Socket A DDR Raid
    AMD Athlon XP 1800+
    Taisol CGK760092
    Enermax 350W EG365P-VE FCA
    2 x 256MB Kingmax PC2100 DDR-SDRAM
    40GB IBM Deskstar 60GXP 7200 RPM
    ASUS V8200 64MB Geforce 3 Ti500 Deluxe
    Sound Blaster Audigy Gamer
    Plextor PlexWriter PX-W2410TA 24/10/40A
    Sony 19" CPD-G420
    Iomega 250MB Zip Drive int.
    Klipsch ProMedia 2.1
    Logitech Cordless Freedom Optical
    Windows XP Home

    The only noise comes from the power supply and the CPU cooler. The psu has an adjustable fan speed. When it's turned down slow the pc is very quiet. The only drawback is it runs a little hot. If you want to reduce noise get a quiet cooler like the Taisol and one of the Enermax adjustable fan control psu.

    Laser Eyes
  17. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    LE, you must have the stock 10mm fan that came your TaiSol. What temperature does your CPU run at? I'm sure its about 50C...
    I've heard they're nice.
    As for the PSU's, Enermax makes VERY quiet ones. Their Whisper line, some even have dual fans, run very quiet.
  18. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    My solution was to buy new fans. I have 3 ultra-quiet Panaflo fans. My case stays nice and cool, and so does everythign else. I can barely hear them too.. I think each one is rated at around 26CFM and less than 21Db in noise, which is considered noisless by PC standards.

    My PSU is a switching 365 Enermax VE.. It's really quiet too.

    And lastly, my CPU fan is a 4500 RPM Coolermaster. My processor stays fairly cool too (Althon XP 1500+). Even insanely overclocked, I stay in the sub 50*C range for my CPU, so it is more than enough to keep my system running decently during normal speeds.

    If you have the money, I suggest replacing your case fan(s) with a Panaflo.
  19. Laser Eyes

    Laser Eyes TS Rookie

    You are right. I am using the stock 10mm fan that comes with the Taisol CGK760092. Here are some reviews of it.

    There is a B version of the Taisol that has a 25mm fan. I have thought of getting the B version and swapping the fan for the 10mm one that I am using. You can read about the B version here:

    The CPU will usually run at about 50 C at rest and can get up to about 55-60 at full blast. I think the warm room adds a few degrees to that. On a warm day and playing a demanding game the hottest I have seen it get up to is 61 C.

    Laser Eyes
  20. Wolfridr

    Wolfridr TS Rookie

    As much noice comes from vibrations...

    Did you know you get almost as much noise from vibrations of the fan rattling inside your case as you do from the movement of the fan blades and air?? An easy fix for this is to use Neoprene lined washers you can find at any home depot. They made a huge difference in residual noise in my system.

    You can find them in the washer aisle. The are called Neoprene Arandelas, Bonded Neoprene Washer. The code on the box of 100, which is only $2 is 3/8OD - #8 Scr, and the stock number is H#35018. Use 8 for each fan with full 2 or 2.5 inch #8 screws instead of the tiny fan screws, they really kind of stink. Use a screw that goes all the way through both sides of the fan, not just one. And use all four screwholes, not just cheat and use the 2 diagonal from each other, cut down on the vibrations of the fan, and you will cut back on noise. Not much, but, defintely enough to NOTICE a difference for the $5 you will spend on real screws and washers...

    Be COOL! :grinthumb

  21. Elcarion

    Elcarion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 169

    I agree with Rick that the best way to have a quiet PC is to purchase quiet fans. When it comes to quiet fans, you can't beat Panaflo. Before you buy fans make sure you find out their rated db @ cfm. Good resellers will include this information in the product description.
  22. ldogg

    ldogg TS Rookie Posts: 33

    The cheapest way to quite down your fans is to rewire the negative wire of the fan to the red 5 volt power wires from your power supply. It's kind of hard to explain exactly how to do it, but I saw an article about it in some site somewhere. When you do that it cuts the power to your fan down to 7 volts so that it's slower and moves less air but it makes it quiter. It's a good solution if you're not too concerned with airflow and you don't want to pay any money. I've done it myself and it works.
  23. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    That's what I've done to every fan I have. It only works with ATX PSUs, however.
  24. Faust

    Faust TS Rookie

    I have a GlobalWIN WBK-38 and the thing makes resonating noises in my case. Tightening the screws up would probably help, but usually I rest a CD spindle or something on the top of my computer (hammer on there right now) and all that's left is the GlobalWIN's high pitched 44 db while I'm trying to sleep. I tried a Rheostat, but from what it seemed like the thing overheated. I come upstairs with my friend because we were messing with the computer, he opens the case and the fan STOPS. Luckily it didn't hurt anything but since then I've dealt with the high pitched whine. So in any case screwing the screws tighter or resting something on your case would help against the resonating if that is what annoying noise it's making.
  25. SilvrNBlack

    SilvrNBlack TS Rookie

    I have the super high fan noise coming from my HSF. As for the Intake fan, definately use some sort of gasketing technique to separate the hardware of the fan from the case to dampen the vibration transfer noise. cutting out an old mousepad to use as a gasket works pretty good too.
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