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Topic: Simple Steps to a Quieter PC

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    Simple Steps to a Quieter PC

    Computer noise can have an adverse affect on recording and music-making in a studio. I ran across this article that you may find informative and helpful. Big Bruin/Geeks.com sponsored some Tech Tips on reducing noise in PCs in their article: "5 Simple Steps to a Quieter PC".

    Although there are costly solutions, this collection of tips offers advice on reducing the noise from your PC on a minimal budget. The author suggests "Before starting on any sound reduction upgrades, analyzing a system to pinpoint the areas in need of the most attention will help determine the best course of action and the best way to spend any money." The author discusses reducing noise in Cooling Fans, Cases, Fan Controllers, Power supplies, and Noise / Vibration Isolators.

    If anyone has tany thoughts, ideas or suggestion on reducing computer noise, please list them on this thread. Also, if you know of any products to combat noise please let us know. Perhaps we can gather many of these tips and make a tutorial.

    Gary Garritan

  2. #2

    Re: Simple Steps to a Quieter PC

    My favorite resource is http://www.silentpcreview.com

    I'm currently running...

    1) No case fans. (I cracked my case open to help let the hot air out.)

    2) No fan on my video card. (ATI Radeon 9200 SE)

    3) No fan on my motherboard. (Asus A8V-Deluxe)

    4) A power supply with a fan that barely moves. (Seasonic 400W SuperSilencer. If it moved more air, I probably wouldn't need to crack the case open. But it's the quietest PC PS I've ever heard.)

    5) The most efficient heatsink I could get. (Thermalright XP-120 heatsink and Vantec Stealth 120mm fan at 8 volts.)

    6) Quiet hard drives. (Seagate 7200 RPM jobs.)

    I'd like to plumb a tube from the top of the heatsink fan to the outside of the case as a free exhaust fan. Then I could close the case again.

    If I had more money, I'd have gone for the Zalman Reserator. That looks like a killer way to get the heat out of the PC with almost no noise.


  3. #3

    Cool Re: Simple Steps to a Quieter PC

    I've got an Antec Sonata computer case. It is highly recommended by Toms Hardware and based on their recommendation I bought it. Good prices can be found on eBay. It has all the bells and whistles for a quiet PC. Rubber feet/gaskets, quiet power supply fan, etc. I've seen many others on the Cubase forum who love the case also.

    I added a few Zalmann fans (ultra quiet) to keep the system cool and they are quiet. However, I want to go for near silent, so I'm considering a few water cooled systems and some of the Artic Cooling solutions. This is probably overkill, but what the heck. I can say this with the current box. When I record vocals, I get no background computer noise, its that quiet. But I'd like silent.

    The quietpc.com site is addictive, so be careful. No two machines are the same, so you have to be thorough on verifying that a cooler is compatible with your CPU, etc. It is great fun and for relatively little cost you can get a very, very quiet PC.

    Or.... you can build your own silencer box. It will take time, but I've seen plans on the Web for doing so. I'm just to lazy to do it.

    That SilentMaxx Fanless power supply unit is so tempting it hurts. No matter what, I've found the power supply to always be the number one source for sound. Internal fans? Easy. Get Zallmans and put some isolation foam in the box. Done. Hard drives. Rubber feet and quiet drives will do the job. CPU fan? There are many, many alternatives. The PSU is the stickler.

    Sorry if this rambles, I've sat down three times to finish this.

    We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams …
    24" 2.4 Ghz iMac, OSX 10.4.10, MOTU 828 MKII, 2 Glyph 250 Gig external drives, Logic 9, Finale 2008 GPO, JABB, Strad, Gro, Reason 4, EWQL Storm Drum, Adrenaline, Symphonic Choirs, SO Gold,All Arturia Synths, Many NI Synths, Spectrasonics Synths, KH Strings, VEPro on a Windows 7 4x 2.8 Ghz 12 gig of RAM

  4. #4

    Re: Simple Steps to a Quieter PC

    Nice info LFO.

    Regarding hard drives, Seagate has been the leader for low noise for some time. Recently Western Digital has started down the quiet path. Check this out:



  5. #5

    Re: Simple Steps to a Quieter PC

    I bought a Antec quiet case and supply at best Buy for $80. It's quieter than the Roland VS-2480 DAW that's the main recorder in the studio. All in all the overall background noise level in the studio is all you could ask for without getting into BIG buck solutions.

  6. #6

    Re: Simple Steps to a Quieter PC

    Definetely some good suggestions here and on the website.

    A couple of things Ive done;

    - all my slave daws are in another room and are accessed via remote desktop over the network.

    - my host machine is in my studio it has;

    a matrox P650 video card (no fan)
    Seagate hard drives (generally quieter than other brands)
    Vantec stealth case fans (80% quieter than a normal fan)
    Antec quiet True power supply

    I also has some acoustic foam panels at the back of the daw, buffering the sound coming out there. (I left a gap at the top for the heat to rise.)
    - SCA - Sound Studios -

  7. #7

    Re: Simple Steps to a Quieter PC

    Anybody running a WD Raptor drive? How's the noise?
    I have one at work but I can't tell how quiet it is because the office environment is noisier than my home studio.

    I'm going to be getting a Raptor as my dedicated audio drive, I need the fastest performance I can get for all the GPO sample loading and synth freezing.

    Right now I only have 1 drive, a 160GB Hitachi, which is very quiet but I don't want to use my OS drive for audio work.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    West Seneca, NY

    Re: Simple Steps to a Quieter PC

    Currently, I'm in the process of upgrading or even getting another PC. Hard drive is one main concern. Any of you use and external HD for back up or dedicate to your samples? Anyone use Glyph Externals?

  9. #9

    Re: Simple Steps to a Quieter PC

    Actually for samaples Im running a 200gb Seagate IDE drive. It outperforms SATA in benchmarks tests and is not far off a raptor either.
    - SCA - Sound Studios -

  10. #10

    Re: Simple Steps to a Quieter PC

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