Weekend Open Forum: How loud is your computer?

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,996   +130
Staff member
Fan noise is one of the few things I'm reluctant to compromise on when building a computer. I'm not big into gaming or overclocking these days so my most recent builds have all featured low-end graphics cards and stock CPU...

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Posts: 324   +165
I really like quiet computing, all my fans are fixed RPM except the one on the graphics card and I use mostly Noctuas. The only noise that bothers me is the one produced by my case vibrating from my secondary disk drive spinning (mechanical HDD).


Posts: 315   +223
My computer is relatively loud, but not as loud as it was before I added an exhaust fan and an after market cooler. It was like a freight train.


Posts: 193   +49
Over all it's relatively quiet under normal usage. When it does start to get louder I can hear it (CPU fan) saying "I can breath... need more air..." That's when I know it's time to clean all the filters.


Posts: 4,840   +1,270
Pretty quiet. All ten fans are fluid dynamic or double ball bearing. Fan controllers keep the fans at a happy medium between rotation speed and static pressure.


Posts: 17   +2
Under full load with my case closed about 30ish Db. Got my GPU and CPU under water with 2 360mm radiators.


Posts: 1,453   +728
I have fan controller and it helps to keep it quiet. My only problem is that both gpu and cpu are cooled by 120x2 radiator so I have to have fans working on 100% when I play new games to keep my hardware at safe temp.


Posts: 12,661   +6,033
I'll just put it this way. I have a 24/7 ringing in my ear that is louder than my PC. And the ringing is not all that loud either.


You hear that sound emanating from my reply? You don't hear anything? Yeah...


Posts: 1,667   +578
My rackmount server chassis is constantly audible. The 80mm fans that came with aren't that good in the noise department but they at least move air pretty well (and tolerable after having the voltage stepped down). The the heatsink is taken from my old main computer, which is a samuel17 and a Noctua fan, so that part is silent.

My main computer is odd... when it boots up it rushes all four 120mm fans for my two radiators to 100% (American Airways flight 501, ready for takeoff) for about 5 seconds, and then drops down to silence. They become barely audible under load.


Always audible and markedly on the first thirty minutes of power up. 12-cm fan, made in china, approximately working fine for the last three years or so (aside from the audible noise)


Posts: 3,320   +2,068
I have an SLI setup - two MSI GeForce 660ti's. Most games, perfectly quiet. But a demanding game like Far Cry 3 or Civilization V? Those games can crank up some fan noise.


Posts: 603   +110
It isn't loud at all, though I used some kind of CPU cooler (Deep Cool) which makes it quite noisy when booted up.


Posts: 553   +193
The one that stays on 24/7 has passive cooling, the big one with 120 and 140 mm fans is relatively quiet even at full load.And no hardcore gaming.


Posts: 708   +100
At the moment I have a totally silent PC as there is nothing installed in the case.

I am in the process of adapting my old case. I am cutting a large hole in the base so I can install a 14 cm intake fan so that the noisy 8 cm side panel fan can be dispensed with. A filter will be installed under the fan to prevent dust entering. I will be using new legs with shock absorbing rubber. Try to use components that are quieter for example Corsair PSU.


Posts: 1,085   +675
Boy is mine loud. I have an Antec 1100 if that gives you an idea. I counted 11 fans total.

PC nerd

Posts: 317   +41
My fans are mostly Noctua silent fans. Got an NH-D14 on the CPU and an Accelero Twin Turbo Pro II on the GPU. So it's pretty quiet.


Posts: 2,948   +2,709
Have a laptop so it's not really loud at all, even when under full load. It can get hot though.


Posts: 1,415   +318
I'll just put it this way. I have a 24/7 ringing in my ear that is louder than my PC. And the ringing is not all that loud either.
if you have tinnitus, your ear needs to be examined by a general practitioner or an ear specialist.
if you have common colds, you may need to take nasal decongestants, drink lots of fluid, and avoid forceful expulsion of nasal discharges to prevent rupture of ear drums.
if you don't have common colds, you may have an impacted cerumen. have it taken out by any doctor.
if you don't have any medical/psychosomatic problem, then pardon my ignorance if I didn't get what you mean.

on topic:
my desktop computer (i3-530) is essentially quiet nowadays. previously, it is very loud due to dust build-up, I think. the noise diminished after my once-in-a-blue-moon cleanup. :)


Posts: 1,703   +172
Silent when idle/normal operation but pretty loud during gaming due to an aggressive GPU fan profile and with all the case fans turned up. But then I wear a headset when gaming which cuts out all the noise.

But the loudest and most annoying (to other people) part of my computer is probably my keyboard with MX Blues ;)


Posts: 1,383   +72
Mine is only ever really audible under load, unlike my last PC which could rival some jet engines. Right now I just use a Corsair H60i combined with 7 all round system fans (140mm most). Asus Fan Xpert pro which came with my board does a damn fine job of keeping them all running as quiet as possible though.

The fan on my EVGA 660ti can be noisy when pushed past 60%, but it never gets that far under normal conditions.

Cycloid Torus

Posts: 4,712   +1,515
120mm fans - pretty quiet. HDD is louder - constant activity from "SYSTEM PID 4" is loudest part of system. Unable to determine why LogFile$ needs so many entries or why Superfetch has to be completely reconfigured every few hours. Big opportunity for an OS which truly optomizes rather than thrashes thru every day.