The Silent PC

The Silent PC
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Last modified January 1, 2022


Awareness on the Increase

An increasing number of Web sites and pages, both commercial and run by private persons, focus on personal computer noise and how to deal with it. Here are some of them:

Dedicated to reviews, news and information about silent PCs and components
to make them silent.

The Silent PC Review site was the first professional site on silent computing. There you can follow the latest related news, join discussions, find valuable hints and suggestions and read interesting comprehensive reviews on the components you think on buying. - a French spoken site that features a guide to silent computing and plans for reviews related to noiseless computing.

newPCSilencioso - a site in Spanish devoted to noiseless computing. - A high quality German spoken PC hardware site, mainly devoted to quiet PCs. Translate it with BabelFish. - a German site.

Silent PC - in Japanese. One of the World's first noiseless PC sites.

Zero Fan Zone - "Dedicated in the quest for performance PC silence" - BladeRunner's impressing site with intelligent pieces of good craftmanship in copper convinces that water cooling is the future noiseless cooling solution for high performance PCs.

cold water tank digging for cold

"Project Stealth Cooling" included digging in the garden to achieve performance PC silence. Courtesy and © Zero Fan Zone "One of  most effective ways to quiet a computer is to quiet the fans. One of the cheapest ways to quiet fans is to run them at lower voltage." You will find a lot other interesting solutions on these pages.

WESPAC IV - The 9th Western Pacific Acoustics Conference was held in June 26-28, 2006 in Seoul, Korea and also covered Noise and Vibration issues in information technologies and products.

AnandTech - their valuable reviews include the acoustic aspect of ergonomics.

Tom's Hardware Guide includes levels of noise emissions as an important parameter in their initiated reviews. new"Silent, But Deadly: Build Your Own Gaming-Ready 0 dB PC" is one of their writings

ExtremeTech sometimes write on low-noise computers and parts, like here in the article Silencing Your PC: "The good news is that you don't have to sacrifice power for the sake of soothing silence. Products aimed at quieting down your PC exist, and a few upgrades in the right places can make a world of aural difference in your computing area."

Noise insulation case - shows in extreme detail how to build an advanced sound insulating wooden case for a tower PC: "I hope this my version of a noise insulation case offers you new insights and information on this hard and misunderstood art of soundproofing and acoustics." Since January, 2005, this site is both available in English and Finish.

How to Silence a Computer - "To turn your roaring beastie into a silent computer requires minimizing heat build-up, choosing the quietest cooling methods possible, then using appropriate acoustical treatment."

InformationWeek - Langa Letter: Cool And Quiet, Part 1 and Part 2 - "I recently got a new PC that was extremely well designed in most ways, except that two of the system fans made a tick-tick-ticking noise that became extremely irritating. In fact, it eventually bothered me enough that I went looking for alternative low-noise replacement fans."

Hål i väggen = Hole in the wall - On how to put your noisy system unit behind a wall. In Swedish, but the images talk for themselves.

Searching for the very silent PC - - "A small but growing niche of users fed up with office noise pollution are turning to very quiet PCs to take back the sound of computing silence."

“Cool” and “Quiet” or Anti-Extreme Overclocking Experience - is an Xbit labs article on how to make your graphic card quieter.

Apple Cube -> Mini-ITX P4 Transplant - "It operates virtually silently - in fact, it is even quieter than the original Cube which itself is known for its very quiet operation."

System X1 - "Smallest, Fastest, Cheapest and Most Silent system in existence ;-) " - "We are going to help you build a Silent Computer, step by step, with the latest products and methods available today!"

The Liquid Computer - In English and Castellano - "Every day we accept more naturally that computers make noise with their fans, and they tend to need a stronger cooling. It's quite long ago that it got me nervous having to stand these fans, so I decided to deal with the problem. The solution adopted was to cool the components that give away more heat with water and keep fans at slow rotating speeds for these components that need cooling but don't heat up much. That's how I made my silent computer."

49 Ideas of Silence - 49 Ideen der Stille - a German spoken site launched already in 1997, which makes it one of the very first silent PC sites.

The 'Convection Plant' Prototype - Who said it wasn't possible? "A working prototype fanless, pumpless, passively radiated computer running an AMD Athlon xp2000 CPU at standard core voltage."

CPU Natural Convective Water Cooling

Fan Noise Solutions

Computerschallschutz - in German on how to build a sound insulating box for your PC.

Making a silent, tiny, diskless PC

The Quiet PC - "There are thousands of people looking for "The Ultimate Quiet PC", here is my version."

Silence is Golden - Niagra Falls (In My Office) - "Constant noise is distracting. I've worked in an enterprise data center and it proves to be quite challenging to think clearly after a while. Since the NETPOOL project requires a small cluster of machines, I went all out and bought a server rack."

Electronic Musician - The Sound of Silence - "There are many ways to deal with a noisy computer, from the simple to the elaborate. As with most aspects of your studio's design, you have the choice of spending either money or time solving a problem, and you'll need to do a cost-benefit analysis of how much quiet you can afford."

Silent PC Project - extreme computer silencing. - Silence of the fans: the quest for a quiet PC.

Silence Is Golden - The Quest for Quiet Computing - "I'm a big fan of silence, whether while hiking or while computing. And certain Macs are some of the quietest computers -- perhaps the quietest -- and they always have been." - "A computer in a living room environment first and foremost needs to be as quiet as the other entertainment appliances. So you compete with the noise level of video recorders and amplifiers."

PCW, Personal Computer World: Turn Down the Volume: "Stopping PC racket at the source can be difficult because the two primary noisemakers are your PC's fans and hard drive(s)--vital components that must remain on while you work. But you can do a few things to keep them quiet." Other PCW IT noise articles: Give You a Little Peace and Quiet. PC Noise Pollution - "The Annoyance: PCs are way too loud. Their hard disks grind, their fans whine, and their cases clatter. Bothersome? Yes. Insurmountable? No way." Silencing a Chyang Fun E-Note

Creating A Silent PC

Quiet Computers - "I've been making my computers quieter, both for multimedia purposes (in the living room) and for my own sanity."

Donar's zero-noise Home Theatre PC

Silent Computer - How to make your computer not to sound that very much.

VIA EPIA M series: The Living Room PC - Dawn of a New Era: "Think about it - who wants a big ugly beige box with fans noisily whirring away in your living room? For a PC to replace and supersede a consumer electronics device, it must be small and blend in with a standard home entertainment set up." "The G4s are exquisitely designed jewels of computing÷on the outside÷and its dual processors perform complex tasks with speed. The problem is the quality control seems to be very inconsistent; many new G4s around the world are simply too noisy, generate audio hum, and incite headaches in their users."

Power Mac Power Supply Mod and Noise Analysis: "The new Apple Power Mac dual processor machines are getting to be notorious for being noisy."

A challenge for the Faster & Silent PC - Eliminate all fans for silent: "I assembled a personal computer first time 2001 summer, and was surprised at that fan noise. I was very pressed with that noise, and could not enjoy PC with comfortable feeling. In the beginning, I tried down rotation of the fan speed with big heatsink, and attached acoustic materials in the pc case. But, I knew a limit of that technique, and decided to make the Fanless PC."

University of BC Fan Noise & Airflow Research Project. An initiative by the SilentPCReview Web site.

How to build a dead silent PC - a HardcoreWare article: "I know this isn't the first time you've seen a 'Build a Silent PC' article, but I want to go a step further here. In the tradition of 'extreme overclocking' articles, I am going to take you through the steps on building a completely silent PC (or as close as we can get). I'm not talking about a Pentium 3 with a Voodoo2 video card either..."

Building a Dead Silent PC: A Slashdot follow-up discussion to the HardcoreWare article above.

How to build a silent PC: "One of the biggest complaints from users today is the noise level of PCs, due to fans, hard drives etc." A commercial page from VIA. Here is more on silent computing from VIA.

Quiet PC? Is That really Possible? How many of you turned your PC on and said here goes the old sewing machine again?

How to make your PCs quieter, a ZDNet UK Tech update article: "Manufacturers are still making PCs that are too noisy. Here's some tweaks that will bring peace to your office."

meditation | silence - "Silent 733 MHz AMD Athlon Thunderbird processor running an Athlon-optimized Linux 2.4.19 system".

"Quiet and Effective Air Cooling on the Athlon XP - Is It Possible?"

My Silent PC project: "Features include: custom built case in MDF board with dampening foam, temperature-controlled voltage regulators, bells and whistles control panel."

Temperature Controlled Fan Driver

PC-Based Multi-Media System

Building a Silent PC for the Office

Fans, noise reduction, power saving and supply, AMD, Intelotism

SMBus Hardware Hacking: "This is a quick walkthrough of how the SMBus works and how to do some of your own hardware hacking with it to add extra sensors and other devices."

Digital Explosion: Here one can read on how to build a thermal monitoring circuit. One can also download the program GL Temperature Sensor to read out the temperatures. In the future the program and circuit will be made capable of controlling active cooling according to need. On Digital Explosion can one also find out how to build a water cooled hard disk quietening enclosure. Jon Cage concludes: "One of the biggest benefits (for me) of water-cooling is that it makes your system very overclockable without deffening you!"

Computer Noise Insulation Case: "Thus only a noise insulation, which is independent of the computer itself, seemed to promise durable success."

The Dell OptiPlex GX240 "is the quietest commercial system I have ever used. This page is a short photo essay to show some of the features that make it so." Page by Michael Hipp. The page Dell proprietary (non-standard) ATX design might be of interest to those thinking on buying a Dell machine. "This is a circuit I designed to reduce the noise made by all the fans in my case."

MacPlus Web Server : "Because it has no hard disk, and no fan, because it is maybe the only floppy based web server, it is also the quieter (it makes no noise !) and one of those which consumes the less electrical power (less than 60W)."

A wood case: A Finish spoken page on the first experiments that resulted in a commercial product: "The Woodcase".

Sound proofing cabinet blueprints: Interesting ideas and drawings by Jose Grönstrand. At this point they are in Finish. He says he might translate them in to English. Here one can download Jose's Hi-End silencing solution as a .zip file, "PC-koppa2".

Leise, stabil und schnell: An interesting page with a lot of pictures of solutions made by Richard Thalmeier. Today it's only available in German, but one can translate it using BabelFish, and in the future there will be an English page.

Silent Menace: "It is when I turn my PC off or move to another room that I notice how much sound it makes, by it's soothing sudden absence... therefore I want that noise ruthlessly eliminated."

Silent Computing: "But I do not want a quiet computer -- like an iMac or a Cube. I want a silent computer. No extra background noise is acceptable to me. For a perfectly silent computer, the best option is an older PowerBook."

Still More Quicksilver G4 Noise Reduction Mods: "Like several others, I have been BIG TIME irritated by the amount of noise coming out of my new G4 867 Quicksilver. Its even worse for me, as my previous computer was the wonderfully silent Cube."

Tweak3D.Net: How to Build a Fast Air-Cooled Quiet PC

Home Cinema PCs : The Kryton Project

How I Reduced Fan Noise in my G4 Tower

Drawing on a noise-lock.

Making your equipment quieter using quieter fans and other methods

The Silent Challenge: "Some pictures about my try to make my computer silent ..." writes on hard disk noise and use it as a parameter in their hard disk evaluations.

Slashdot - Shhh! Constructing A Truly Quiet Gaming PC.

PC PowerZone: "The main reason for changing fans is noise!" - On Things Quiet: "Lars Olsen, a close personal friend, recently impressed upon me (twisted my arm is more like it) how important an issue NOISE has become to computer enthusiasts world-wide. In light of this, we decided to gather as many HSF's as we could that are specifically marketed as QUIET, or LOW NOISE. This in turn, started us thinking about the whole issue of a quiet computing environment and we discovered many products that aided in producing such an environment. It will be our aim in this study to show you some of the products that definitely make a difference and share a few tricks that we've learned along the way."

Ultra Quiet Cooling: "This article will be about extreme silencing the PC but assuring that the processor temperature wont rise to much."

OcShoot: "It's nothing new in that computers are noisy - more or less !"

How-I-Did-It - A Case to Keep a Hard Drive Cool and Quiet: "I describe with photographs an aluminium case to greatly reduce the audibility of a hard drive whilst also keeping it nice and cool.  Also, a few tips on slowing power supply and CPU fans."

Cool & Silent Hard Drive Sandwich - "A unique and inexpensive DIY hard drive noise damper also provides effective cooling. It may be an ideal solution to lower noise with high performance systems or to cool high-speed hard drives without additional fan noise."

The ©Box is a series of beautiful and extreme designed computer cases, where cool running and quietness are important goals. At their site one can download instructions on how to build one.

My Quest for Quiet: "One of my most treasured freedoms is the freedom to choose what I am listening to."

Sound absorbing cupboard for 4 PCs: "I went nuts from the irritating noise made by the 3 PCs in my livingroom."

Silent PC Guide: "This guide is meant for people who already have a noisy computer, and want to make it more silent. If you're looking to buy a new, quiet computer, you should probably look elsewhere."

The Kuutio is a Finish solution to minimize hard disk noise. At this point the originator wants to be anonymous, and he has no intention to update his page in to English, but this is what he says on his interesting project: "Concrete is the best material for a hard disk noise dampening box. It has got a good heat conductance and at the same time good sound insulation properties. The computer equipped with the concrete hard disk box is now in 24h/day use and the hard disk surface temperature stays between 37-40 degrees of celsius. The hard disk is one in the IBM 5400rpm series, 7200rpm disks will become too hot to use in this box. The concrete box sound reduction level is somewhere between 30-50dB. You will need a die to make the concrete box. I spent one weekend making it. I think that the best material is plywood. I used 5 mm plywood and 22 mm lumber. Sheathe the die with some plastic material, it will make it easier to release the concrete from the die." - "Silentium 566 - Noiseless PC Project"

Quiet PC the really cheap way: "My box may be ghetto, but it is nice and quiet."

The silent computer project, or: How to get rid of those damn fans!

The Quest for Silence: An attempt at eliminating computer generated noise. - How to Make a PC Quieter: "Just about every PC is noisy enough to get on someone's nerves over time. If not during the day, it definitely gets annoying when everything is shut off for a good night's sleep, and the PC really seems to get noisy. But it's okay... we'll shut that PC up yet!"

EuroGamer - Sounds of Silence: "The first step toward acoustic bliss is to work out just what is causing all the noise."

Cliff's Fanbus: not exactly on quiet PCs, but you can learn something on cooling and controlling fans.

Temperature Controlled Fan Circuit Guide

Build your own fan controller

GamePC Technology Guide : Making a Silent PC, Part One
GamePC Technology Guide : Making a Silent PC, Part Two

The damping box: Ken Ehrsson has built an advanced sound insulating box for his PC and shows how. In the future he will rewrite it in English.

Less noise is good "There are multiple ways in which you can cut down on noise that a typical PC emits, some are more effective than others, and usually more costly as well. This document shows how to cut down on noise cost-effectively.

Simple PWM controller - On how to build a fan speed regulating electronic cirquit.

No Noise Computer Systems "Noise pollution has become a major issue when dealing with computers, the faster the CPUs or hard disks, the more cooling they require. Fans seems the cheap-n-fast solution, but it ignores ergonomic requirements of the humans using these machines."

Silent Thin Client "The ideal desktop is one called the "local nothing".  No data stored there.  No configuration specific to the machine is held inside it.  No moving parts.  The "no moving parts" issue is the one that is addressed specifically in this how-to."

Noisy Computer "We have had some irritating noise from the computers in our home, caused by resonance from the processor fan. It was hard to get rid of the problem, though I tried different models of fans. The solution was my own invention which I present at this page."

"Shut that damn thing up!" - "How to minimize or eliminate PC noise"

Quiet and Silent PCs "With a little bit of effort, an experieneced user can pick out and put together quiet components to build a quiter PC. A neophyte must pay a premium, but may be able to find manufacturers that build quiet PCs." "Ways of quieting a computer (digital audio workstation) in a recording environment".

Larry Mingus "Over the years many times I have said, "Some day I am going to figure out how to make this computer quieter". This computer referring to whatever computer I owned at the time. Finally after years of bellyaching about the noise I got ambitious enough to try to do something about it."

The Hi-Fi PC  "What is the point of getting high quality digital sound out of the PC if there is a constant humming noise from the various fans?"

Eric Brasseur "How I make PC's become silent"

My sound-absorbing computer box

My quest for silence "Over the past six months I have made a few purchases from NoiseControl (NC)."

The Swedish flag - click to come to Tyst Dator Tyst Dator - on noiseless computing in Swedish.

Here are some more resources.


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