Poll: How do you feel about your PC’s noise levels?

In our component testing, we put a lot of emphasis not only on how fast a given graphics card can run, for example, but also how quiet it is in the process. We like CPU coolers that balance high performance with low noise and cases that keep parts cool without contributing lots of decibels to a system's sound pressure levels. Furthermore, we're sticklers about the quality of the noise those parts produce—coolers and fans that make a broad-spectrum sound win higher marks from us than those that make whiny or growly noises.

While we're quite particular about these characteristics of PC components, we're curious how many of the system builders and PC gamers that read TR feel the same way. At least one of our writers, who shall remain nameless, thinks the rest of us are crazy for caring so much about system noise and feels completely fine about his reference-cooled Radeon R9 290X and full-tilt case fans. Perhaps he's more representative of the rest of the world than we think. Tell us how you feel about the general character of your PC's noise using the poll below, and feel free to elaborate in the comments.

Comments closed
    • Forge
    • 3 years ago

    I very rarely notice the sound, it’s quiet by my standards. Some of my true silence snob friends have said it’s a little noisy, though.

    • FuturePastNow
    • 3 years ago

    In this room, I have a mini-fridge, a window unit A/C, ceiling fan, and when I’m playing games I’m usually wearing a headset. That’s about the only time my desktop is under load.

    Even so, my bold experiment in being a cheapskate and just using the stock CPU cooler (AMD’s pre-Wraith cooler for 125W processors) resulted in a PC that drowned out every other noise in the room. Replaced that with a Hyper 212 Evo, and silence- or at least, it’s quieter than everything around it.

    I’m OK with it.

      • just brew it!
      • 3 years ago

      Yup, the pre-Wraith stock coolers really sucked from a noise standpoint.

    • Great_Big_Abyss
    • 3 years ago

    I care very much about noise, and don’t want to hear my PC under any circumstance. My main gaming PC is in the living room, and pulls double duty as an HTPC and a gaming machine.

    –My stock-clocked i7 3770K is passively cooled by a Zalman FX70 cooler
    –The stock-clocked MSI GTX 960 is semi-passively cooled with dual fans that turn off at idle and under low load, and are only on about half the time under gaming load. When on, they turn so slowly they are inaudible.
    –My RM650i is also semi-passively cooled, and under load the system doesn’t produce enough load to pass the threshold where the fans come on. The powersupply was selected for this very reason.
    –The 3x stock 140mm Corsair Case fans in the Corsair 600C are the weak link. Even at their lowest setting they produce a very low ‘whoosh’. The noise isn’t unpleasant, and is inaudible most of the time. The only time I hear it is when I put my head right next to the case, or when the house is completely empty and everything else is off. I have considered replacing the fans with Noctua 140mm fans, but the $100CAD I’d have to spend doesn’t seem worth it considering I can’t hear them from the couch anyway.

    My entire build was selected with noise output as one of the primary factors. Building a silent PC is very important to me. Seeing as I still game at 1080P, raw power isn’t a concern, which makes silent computing easy and affordable. It was easy to build a silent yet powerful PC with off the shelf components, and mainstream ones at that. It is amazing how far silent computing has come in the last 10 years, with case builders, GPU suppliers and fan makers all placing large importance on acoustics.

    For the record, I am not a fan of AIO water coolers. I’ve had a couple, from Zalman to Corsair, and I find the noise signature that emanates from them to be a little buzzy and unpleasant, even if quiet. I’m not sure if this is pump noise, or the sound signature of a fan blowing air right up against the fins of a radiator. Eliminating my Corsair H80i and going with a fully passive CPU cooler eliminated the single largest source of noise within my case.

    • Arclight
    • 3 years ago

    Never tried this but what IF one was to build it for maximum cooling, place it in a room somewhere in the house and use a dump terminal to access it via local network? Would it be doable for gaming? Would the mouse movement lag?

      • travbrad
      • 3 years ago

      You can try it with Steam if you have a 2nd PC or laptop. It causes too much input lag IMO, but then I am pretty sensitive to it (I even notice input lag differences between my 144hz monitor, my 60hz monitor, and my big HDTV)

      You could actually do a similar thing without input lag just by soundproofing a room and using some longer cables going into the next room. Really though you don’t need “maximum cooling” to get good performance anyway. My PC is nearly silent and I have my 2500K OCed from 3.3ghz to 4.5ghz with a heatsink that was $25 (Hyper 212 plus). I’ve had it up to 5ghz even but the temps were a bit high for my tastes (which a more expensive heatsink would probably solve)

      You really only need loud cooling for that last few %, which I understand if you just enjoy the challenge of overclocking and hitting the highest numbers, but you are unlikely to notice much difference.

      • just brew it!
      • 3 years ago

      You’re going to get lag on both input and output with a remote setup. So not a good idea for games requiring fast response time.

      BTW, what’s a “dump terminal”? Is that related to Google TiSP somehow?

        • Arclight
        • 3 years ago

        Meant to write dumb terminal.

      • just brew it!
      • 3 years ago

      A better approach would probably be active HDMI and USB extension cables, to allow you to get the keyboard/mouse/monitor connections long enough to reach from your soundproof room to your desk. Active USB extension cables [i<]might[/i<] also introduce a small amount of lag (not sure), but I'm guessing it would be a lot less than the alternatives.

    • End User
    • 3 years ago

    My dual X5650 server is so silent it sits next to my HDTV.

    Linux rig running an OC’ed i7-920 is silent.

    OC’ed 3770K gaming rig is near silent until the 1080 FE spins up but even then the fan noise is not intrusive.

      • Arclight
      • 3 years ago

      What PSUs did you use? If you were to buy one right now, what would that be?

      What about fans, got a favorite brand and model?

        • End User
        • 3 years ago

        Corsair AX850 in both the 3770K system and the i7-920 system. Corsair AX1200 in the dual X5650 server.

        Default Corsair fans in the cases (Corsair Obsidian 550D / Corsair Obsidian 700D). Corsair fans on the Corsair liquid coolers.

        With the above builds I was lazy when it came to the fans. I had no need to go and get Noctua fans.

        I’ve got a new build coming up (Kaby Lake) and I’m looking at getting Corsair ML140 PRO LED fans across the board.

        • Voldenuit
        • 3 years ago

        I’m using a seasonic X-650 that runs passive under 300W. Doesn’t spin up even when gaming on my 4670K and 1070. The evga GS and G2 units have been popular with users as well.

        • End User
        • 3 years ago

        As far as a new PSU it would be the AX860i.

    • d2brothe
    • 3 years ago

    Given I have a fanless machine with solid state drive, I think I’m not a good one to ask this question, but I sought out such a machine because listening to whirring isn’t my idea of pleasant.

    • alexdi
    • 3 years ago

    I’m for silence at all times. It’s possible with just about any desktop configuration if the enclosure, fans, and radiators are big enough.

    Hard drives in servers are still a problem. Disk suspension isn’t possible when you’re juggling a dozen HDDs, so enclosure vibration and hum are unavoidable. The system can be quiet, perhaps even below the A/C, but not silent.

    SSDs are still two or three years from making financial sense in a file server. When they do, I’m looking forward to transitioning my server to mini-ITX and complete silence.

      • End User
      • 3 years ago

      I’ve got 10 drives in two 5 bay NAS units under my desk at home. I don’t hear them.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    Well, it doesn’t take a poll to guess that most folks (85% fall into the first two choices as of this post) will want a system that’s as quiet as a tomb or one that is pretty silent, generally speaking.

    • just brew it!
    • 3 years ago

    When I stopped gaming I switched to using lower power, passively cooled GPUs exclusively (current one is a GT 720). Getting rid of the GPU fan has eliminated one of the main contributors to PC noise, as well as what has been (in my experience) the most common point of failure.

      • Voldenuit
      • 3 years ago

      Most modern GPUs have a semi-passive mode these days.

      Obviously, you don’t need one since you’re not gaming anymore, but even gamers get to enjoy passive cooling on their GPUs at idle these days. My gigi 1070 idles at 35-40C (depending on how long since last gaming session) with the GPU fan at 0 rpm.

    • Blytz
    • 3 years ago

    I have to kick mine or stick my finger in a fan to make sure it’s even on anymore, a vast difference from my first tower case that ran on par with my vacumn cleaner for noise and cfm

    • rwburnham
    • 3 years ago

    I live in a warm climate, so the AC is running most of the year, and that thing is far louder than any fan I’ve had in a computer. Regardless, I haven’t had a CPU that was rated over 65 watts in years, and I hope to keep it that way. Also, any time I buy a video card, I try to pick one that has a fairly quiet cooling solution. I’ve had loud hardware and it drives me nuts.

    • moose17145
    • 3 years ago

    I dont mind my system making some noise while I am gaming. I am typically wearing a pair of cans over my ears when gaming, so they will drown out quite a bit. Enough so that I do not even hear the stock fanned R9 290 that I have.

    But as far as when I am not wearing my headset, the below fan controller has by far been one of the better purchases I have made… And with a bit of modding it looks REALLY nice on an Obsidian 900D as well!

    [url<]https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00A2BHC8A/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1[/url<]

    • StefanJanoski
    • 3 years ago

    It’s a difficult topic, because there’s loads of factors at play. Generally though, noise does bother me and a system that runs silently all the time would absolutely be ideal.

    I voted, however, for “I’m willing to tolerate a little noise under load, but I want silence at idle” as I am willing to tolerate some noise under loud – normally gaming, where I have audio from speakers or headphones to drown out any noisy fans.

    Also, as others have mentioned, the character of the noise can matter more than the noise levels. I don’t understand the subject very well but a quiet fan which is making some sort of ticking sound is usually more annoying than something slightly louder, but where the primary source of noise is the whooshing of air.

    • anotherengineer
    • 3 years ago

    I see your 40mm fan and raise you a couple 1 million cfm fans πŸ˜‰

    [url<]http://www.howden.com/Industries/Pages/Mining.aspx[/url<]

    • atari030
    • 3 years ago

    Not that worried about it.

    • Anovoca
    • 3 years ago

    HTPC – Option A
    Gaming PC – Option B

    I also share the exact opinion about LEDs as I do noise.

      • moose17145
      • 3 years ago

      On your gaming rigs you tolerate LEDs at load but at idle want no LEDs? Odd… but alright…

      • tipoo
      • 3 years ago

      So blue LEDs in the HTPC to make it run cooler, right?

    • GrimDanfango
    • 3 years ago

    I’m okay with smoothly running fans generating some consistent low noise. The thing that [b<]really[/b<] used to set my teeth grinding was hard-drive noise. Something about it just seemed to burrow into my brain - the endless complaining about having to seek for two different files at the same time, the passive-aggressive protesting by slowing up to a crawl. Aaaargh! I used to end up shouting at them quite often. SSDs are the greatest upgrade I've ever made! I've gone for 1TB in both my desktop and laptop, so I never need to bother with a secondary HDD again. Of course, now it's made working on family members' old dilapidated PCs even more intolerable. It's *almost* to the point of being so bad it's funny now though... it's hard to fathom how anyone can bear to turn such a monstronsity on, when you have to take a 15 minute break before using it, just to let Windows "settle down" enough that you can launch a program.

      • StefanJanoski
      • 3 years ago

      Agreed, it was lovely when I finally made my PC, in my bedroom, SSD-only. Now I have as NAS which sits in the living room and the hard drives aren’t exactly quiet, but it’s less annoying there.

    • dragosmp
    • 3 years ago

    Like many voters, I’m very keen on a silent system at idle.

    When I game I couldn’t care less – within reason. I owned an ABIT Geforce4Ti OTES, which was as noisy as I’ve ever heard a graphics card under load and it was hell. 15 years later I remember. It did OC very well and performed well above its price, so at least it have me this. Now, I would always want/search/buy a more silent card if the performance is alright – a noisy card must be faster or cheaper, otherwise no dice.

    • kmieciu
    • 3 years ago

    I love the sound of moving air. Fans, air conditioning units, heaters, wind, white noise, whatever. As long as there are no mechanical disturbances – no bearings whine, no blades rattle etc. Fans have just work and move air – the more, the louder the better.

    My PC sits always on top of the desk, case is always equipped with all the fans it can handle and the fans are always at full speed.

    I wish I could sleep in some large server room πŸ™‚

    I remember once recommending a HDD to a friend, I had two of them. When he got it he complained about the noise and asked if it does not disturb me. I replied that I do not hear them at all behind all this fans πŸ™‚

      • moose17145
      • 3 years ago

      Someone I know feels similar. He used to serve on a sub. Said he needs white noise like the sound of air moving because when he was in he said those were the sounds of everything working properly and he knew all was well. If those ambient sounds ever stopped, it meant something bad was happening.

    • Ifalna
    • 3 years ago

    With a D14, the only thing I can hear is a little GFX-fan noise. But even that is very moderate thanks to the Windforce cooler.

    Quiet operation always has been important to me.

    • Krogoth
    • 3 years ago

    Kiddies are so spoiled these days.

    You haven’t been a computer enthusiast until you used a high-RPM Delta or Vantec Tornado fan. πŸ˜‰

    Bonus points if you happen to own a FX 5800 with stock HSF at one point.

      • K-L-Waster
      • 3 years ago

      We don’t build machines like that anymore.

      Largely because we’ve learned from experience…

      • Ochadd
      • 3 years ago

      I had two 80mm Vantec tornados in college. My dorm neighbors always knew when I was in.

      • ronch
      • 3 years ago

      No way. My FX-8350 came with a stock fan that’s as loud as a temperamental F-16 even at idle. It was the first time I ran out and got an aftermarket cooler.

      No joke, man.

      • MileageMayVary
      • 3 years ago

      I just got a used R9 290 at a good price but now I’m looking into watercooling it cause DAMN its loud!

      • LostCat
      • 3 years ago

      I’m not a computer enthusiast but I get the bonus points? Howzzat work.

        • DrDominodog51
        • 3 years ago

        GTA Logicβ„’ is how it works.

      • BurntMyBacon
      • 3 years ago

      How about 14 120x38mm Sanyo Denki 109R1212H1011 fans?

    • VincentHanna
    • 3 years ago

    I am willing to tolerate noise under load, but I want it silent at idle*

    But I picked “I am ok with a noisy system, as long as it’s fast” because I believe it better serves the intention of the poll. When I play games, I have the volume up, or headphones on, so noise doesn’t matter much.

    • rems
    • 3 years ago

    If I could afford it I’d have gone for a silent solution!

    • FireGryphon
    • 3 years ago

    15 years ago my PC was loud as a jet engine, and I liked it that way. I slept four feet from the case and the sound never bothered me.

    Fast forward to yesterday, when I heard one of my HDD spin up. It was a soft purr, that gently whisked its way to my ears, and I resolved to replace it with an SSD πŸ˜€

    Priorities change.

    • C-A_99
    • 3 years ago

    Depends on the situation.

    If I sleep in the same room, it needs to be dead silent and dark. My phone is the only thing so far that meets this requirement while turned on, although I’ve considered the Acer Alpha Switch 12 to replace the Surface Pro.

    If it’s a dedicated office/computer room for work and play, it can make a little noise as long as it isn’t too audible through my headphones.

    If it’s a server in a room I rarely frequent (like a garage or unfinished basement), I just don’t want to hear it in the next room. But then again if it’s not energy efficient, that’s also an issue since it’s the only thing I leave on overnight.

    • Kharnellius
    • 3 years ago

    Could not find the option for “I use a box fan”.

    In all seriousness I’m super annoyed my CPU fan sounds very different from the other 3 fans in my case. It has a higher pitch that is just on the edge of annoying. Annoying enough to bother me….not enough annoying to change it (plus it’s a new computer so I can’t justify the cost, yet). >:(

    • f0d
    • 3 years ago

    i wear headphones so my 6X 3000rpm scythe ultra kazes dont bother me
    [url<]http://s3.postimg.org/y6l2rmybn/P1010505.jpg[/url<]

    • egon
    • 3 years ago

    The early 2000s were hell if you wanted a very quiet PC. Back then, it seemed to be a badge of honour to own a PC that sounded like a vacuum cleaner, and while lower-end systems weren’t as loud, it was bloody hard to make them ‘practically inaudible’. Countless hours were spent in discussions on PC silencing forums chasing after that holy grail, and many dollars gambled on different components and stategies (it was unusual for hardware review sites to even comment on noise, let alone measure it objectively).

    Nowadays, it’s almost too easy.

    IMHO, alongside the advocacy role of sites like SilentPCReview, much of the credit for turning the tide has to go to the Athlon 64. While Intel were pushing the limits with the Pentium 4 along with a new form factor (BTX) intended for a future of very power-hungry desktop CPUs, AMD offered a product that was competitive peformance wise but more efficient under load, and made the first big inroads into idle power consumption by bringing clockspeed/voltage throttling to the desktop.

    • tootercomputer
    • 3 years ago

    It’s all so relative. I recall overclocking my mobile barton 2600 back in 2004 to 2.6MHz, which was pretty fast at that time, and my god, the cpu fan noise was pretty loud at all times, but it was the price one paid for a fast system. So now I am overclocking a 6700k and my CM hyper evo 212 gets a bit noisy under load, silent when at idle, so compared to whatever I used back in the day (It was a Vantec, actually), things are pretty quiet now. And I just got the Gigabyte 1070 with 2 fans that don’t even kick in until the GPS hits 50C. Amazing. And then the big slower RPM case fans work well. So all is pretty well now.

    Plus, at my age, I don’t hear that well anyway. πŸ™‚

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 3 years ago

    I live in a house that doesn’t have central A/C so my pc is but a little hmm compared to the window units.

    • FanlessTech
    • 3 years ago

    Fanless (and total silence) is the way to go!

      • Shobai
      • 3 years ago

      I’d rather have them and not need them, than not have them and need them.

    • Ikepuska
    • 3 years ago

    BLUF: The character of the sound is just as important as the volume.

    Even sounds that measure as reasonably high on the dB scale if their pitch is low and their sound relatively pleasant like how some fans and moving air can be then I’m willing to tolerate a lot more of that type of noise. It’s also something that fades into the background and gets filtered out by the brain pretty easily.

    Some people are more sensitive to changes in sound especially, so it’s the transition from low load to high load that bothers them, but after a while at higher loads it fades back out of conscious awareness.

    • Shobai
    • 3 years ago

    Count me with the not-quite-crazies: I want it dead quiet at idle and I want it cool under load.

    I’ve used SpeedFan for many years to control the CPU, GPU and case fans in my computers. I downclock and undervolt my GPU and CPU at idle to reduce the power draw and heat generation as much as possible, then they go back to stock or better when required.

      • Shobai
      • 3 years ago

      Only the ‘a little crazy’ side of the scales, though, I’m currently slowly working on a custom MCU based fan controller

    • albundy
    • 3 years ago

    i solved that noise problem years ago. my pc is a 4u rackmounted chassis in a closet. no LED lights to bother me, just quality components that are far enough to the effect that i will never hear them.

    • kloreep
    • 3 years ago

    It really depends on how noisy we are talking. For me, perceptible noise in a quiet room is fine – actually, it would probably be [i<]weird[/i<] to get a totally silent computer, after so many years listening to the fans and hard drives of various machines chugging away. Where I draw the line is, if I have my speakers on for a game or video or what have you, they should pretty much drown out the computer's noise. If I can still hear my computer over the sound of my entertainment, [i<]then[/i<] it is too noisy.

    • slate0
    • 3 years ago

    My EVGA 980Ti ACX: from the reviews, it seemed like this fan had an average amount of noise. But when I got it, it was a definite issue when it whirred up under load. I would have loved to tack on a water block solution, but the board was non-standard due to ACX. Also put a damper on my hopes that the card would overclock well, which reports said that most did.

    Not going to buy another card without some noise mitigation. This is with the EVGA utility set to the “quiet” curve.

    Either I have a bad fan, or the baseline of acceptable levels of noise has gone way up in recent years. My previous card was a 680, a silent 460 before that.

    • Voldenuit
    • 3 years ago

    My PC could always stand to be:
    1. Quieter.
    2. Faster.

    Often these desires are at odds with each other.

      • icicle
      • 3 years ago

      … and smaller.

      In addition to achieving both of the above, my current endeavor is to keep a 4.9Ghz 4790K and 2050MHz GTX 1080 silent in the 11.5 liter SG13

        • Voldenuit
        • 3 years ago

        I hear ya. After several years of small mATX cases, I caved and got a big mATX case (enthoo evolved mATX), and it’s helped the noise and performance tradeoff, but I do miss having a small case.

      • willyolio
      • 3 years ago

      watercooling, my friend.

        • Voldenuit
        • 3 years ago

        [quote<]watercooling, my friend.[/quote<] Watercooling not a panacea to noise. Waterpumps can get noisy, and my CPU cooler is quieter than my GPU cooler anyways. GPU waterblocks are nice, but at upwards of $100 for a good waterblock, don't make any financial sense for me, especially since I replace my GPUs more often than my CPUs. And unlike CPU cooler mounting mechanisms, GPU cooler mounting is far from standard, so it's unlikely to be reusable.

          • Waco
          • 3 years ago

          This.

          Full cover blocks get expensive when you figure they’re in the $100-150 range additional on top of an already expensive GPU upgrade.

          I’ve been using the same CPU waterblock for years, though. The pump (D5 Vario) is also the noisiest part of my rig sans GPU…

            • willyolio
            • 3 years ago

            just about anything’s possible with more money.

          • willyolio
          • 3 years ago

          …why would you watercool and NOT put the single biggest source of heat and noise in the loop?

          that’s like saying “silent CPU coolers don’t help with noise because my video card is still 95% of the noise”

          no shit sherlock. NOTHING helps if the upgrades aren’t being used to replace the major source of noise and heat…

            • Voldenuit
            • 3 years ago

            More that i think water cooling is most effective on the GPU, but least cost effective there.

    • Noinoi
    • 3 years ago

    My computer fans blend in with the AC turned on, as that’s the loudest thing in the room by far.

    With them off, though, still, even with the fans at full blast, it’s still tolerable, and nobody minds the fans making a lot of airflow noise. Usually I set the fans to run at 40% of their normal speed/voltage/PWM (even DC fans!) while under 40C so that I get essential silence when it’s not doing much. Pretty much the only way I’d be hearing them is if I stuck my ear next to the fans…

    • christos_thski
    • 3 years ago

    I’m pretty sensitive to PC sound, I was even among the people hunting down the original Panaflo 80mm quiet fans back in 2000 or so (I think I have 4-5 of those lying around, shipping costs to Greece were so high it was a waste not buying a bunch). So it’s option number one for me. Over the years I’ve gotten a bit lazy , ie I only just recently got to change my stock intel fan for an upmarket air cooler, and what a difference it makes…! The intel heatsink/fan was tolerable on idle/low load, but it screamed like a banshee on load.

    • travbrad
    • 3 years ago

    Back in the day I ran 7000rpm delta fans that you could hear through the entire house just to get that little bit better overclock. These days I prefer nearly silent PCs, which is also a lot easier to accomplish now that we have 140/120mm case fans and giant tower heatsinks (also with huge low rpm fans). There is very little advantage to having a loud PC these days. You can achieve great overclocks and temps without a lot of noise.

    The loudest thing in my PC is probably my video card, but even that is almost silent most of the time because the cooler on it is basically overkill (and up to about 40% load usually the fan doesn’t spin at all).

    The loudest PCs now actually tend to be laptops at full load since they are still stuck with tiny little fans and limited space/airflow.

      • Starfalcon
      • 3 years ago

      Yeah back in the day I had a whole case of delta screamers. I had a heatsink with the original delta black label along with a bunch of high rpm delta 80mm fans. Mainly because my heatsink was not that good, I “upgraded” to its big brother the double deep 8k rpm 60 mm fan. Needless to say this fan was loud, it was a shrill almost 60 db and in combination with my very loud case fans, my computer started giving me a heache from the noise after about 15 mins.

      After a few months I could no longer take the noise and got both a new heatsink that was much quieter with a bigger and quieter fan. I also replaced all my delta “case” fans with massively quieter Panaflos. Ever since then I have tried to control the noise in my computer, I do not need it completely quiet, but never again on super loud fans like delta EHEs.

    • JustAnEngineer
    • 3 years ago

    I selected option #2.

    My previous system lived in a Temjin TJ08-E with Noctua fans, a closed-loop water cooler and quite a bit of tweaking of Asus’ Thermal Radar software so that it ran silently under normal conditions and only ramped up to a noticeable sound level when playing a game. My current system, in a mini-ITX case, is much noisier. πŸ™

    • synthtel2
    • 3 years ago

    I want near silence at idle, but will tolerate a fair bit of noise under load (I’ll have my headphones on anyway if gaming). Tonal noise is always really bad though. Coil whine is the worst, hard drives causing the slightest resonance are obnoxious, and my last case was really annoying in that the fan would cause a resonance at 550~600 RPM (right where I otherwise wanted it to idle). Ball-bearing fans tend to have a little whine that I could do without, and too many graphics card fans seem to develop bearing noise. If none of that is an issue, though, I’m OK with quite a lot of whoosh when I’m gaming.

    My problems right now are that my mobo’s case fan header is voltage controlled only (so I can’t idle my pointlessly overpowered case fan below ~1200 RPM), and I’d rather my case fan were controlled by some combination of CPU and GPU load. I’ve bought the parts to build a PWM fan controller that has its own temperature probes in the case, but I haven’t got around to building it yet.

    • BigTed
    • 3 years ago

    I’ve been a bit obsessed about noise for years – I can remember mounting a Zalman passive cooler to my Radeon 9800 Pro to shut it up in 2003.

    If you’re careful about component selection you can easily put together a very quiet system these days. Currently 4970k with Noctua NH-D15, Asus Strix 970, Platinum PSU all in a Define R4 hidden under my desk. Silent idling, super quiet under load.

    Ironically, one of my monitors is the loudest component of my system – whenever I open a big spreadsheet or text document, the mass of black on white text seems to make it buzz.

    However, cars are a different story…

    • guruMarkB
    • 3 years ago

    My hatred of computer fan noise is the same as The Grinch’s hate of noise the Whos make on Christmas day, “all the noise, noise, noise…”. I must stop it from happening some how.

    The only fan noise I like is when I’m at a college football game.

    • Kougar
    • 3 years ago

    For said TR staff person: Try living with stock/reference coolers with the system under 24/7 load. It will get on your nerves eventually… and that’s before overclocking!

    Even if I never overclocked again I’d still go the CPU+GPU watercooling route just for the noise reduction under full load. Lower component temps and hardware longevity are also pluses, but noise is still the primary reason.

    • Vaughn
    • 3 years ago

    GPU fan noise when going from idle to full load is something I hate with a passion.

    So I slapped a G10+H55 onto my 7970Ghz now my whole machines stays at a constant db level regardless of what I’m doing on it which is what I wanted.

    • odizzido
    • 3 years ago

    I’d love a 100% silent PC and I do use a fanless laptop with an SSD at night. My desktop uses probably 100X the power of that system though because I want some processing power there and I have mechanical drives for lots of storage.

    I also like having an easy to pull apart PC as well which means I don’t do anything fancy. Pretty much I want a 1070/1080 class graphics card with a high end CPU that use so little power that they’re able to run fanless. Maybe in 20 years we will have something interesting there.

    • anotherengineer
    • 3 years ago

    My PC is basically silent, to very quiet under load.

    Noctua cpu cooler with a 900 rpm scythe, and two 900rpm scythe case fans, all mobo controlled. Run about 450 rpm idle, max I have seen is about 800 rpm. GPU has an arctic cooler S1 on it with 2-120mm scythe slim fans 1200rpm, usually run about 500 rpm. I can usually here coil whine from the isobar over the pc at idle.

    Personally I think the frequency is more important than overall loudness.

    • tsk
    • 3 years ago

    I have a RX480 reference and a stock intel cooler on a pentium G4400, I am pleased with the noise levels on a test bed.
    My X99 system was quite a bit louder in a Define S case.

    • Freon
    • 3 years ago

    Current system is all but silent even under load. I think I’m beginning to get spoiled by it.

    Lots of big, slow spinning case fans, somewhat reasonable selection of GPU, CPU heatsink, and PSU and this is no longer a very hard task.

    • Kretschmer
    • 3 years ago

    Living in a tiny Manhattan studio, so noise is important. My desktop is quiet at idle, with the only load noise coming from the GPU. As the latter is always associated with game audio it doesn’t pose a problem. Still, I’m always striving for silence and may add closed loop GPU/CPU coolers in my next build.

    • ebomb808
    • 3 years ago

    I feel pretty good about my PC’s noise levels. My 1080 is whisper quiet inside my sound proofed case. My processor is not overclocked and the red fins on my memory modules are louder visually than they are audibly. The only thing that is making a little bit of noise is the Diesel Engine stripped from a recalled VW, that I installed into an industrial backpack, so that I don’t trip on cords during my non-room scale Rift VR sessions. That thing is LOUD, but since I am completely immersed in my VR world, I can barely hear it; however, the Wife can, so I finally have a good excuse for not responding to her while gaming.

    • rudimentary_lathe
    • 3 years ago

    I want silence at idle.

    At load I’ll put up with a little fan noise that’s soft and consistent (so I can tune it out), but won’t put up with coil whine or any other sharp noises. Ideally I’d prefer absolute silence at load, but while you can get close with a proper setup it’s just not realistic. Besides, if my GPU is running at load, odds are I’ve got headphones on or speakers drowning out any computer noise.

    • JosiahBradley
    • 3 years ago

    My case is basically silent at idle now, and near silent during gaming. For the rare time it does go full tilt, I’m too busy gaming to notice, so meh. My first PC used 3 Delta 120mm 180CFM fans that I cranked by hand to start, so I’m used to it.

    • Shouefref
    • 3 years ago

    One of the big advantages of my HP is that it is low-noise. Once you’ve experienced that, you don’t want to go back.
    Noise is tiring.
    It’s also a atmosphere killer, which is a hindrance for some kinds of jobs.

    But I prefer to have at least a bit of noise, so that I can hear that the system is actually working.

    • KikassAssassin
    • 3 years ago

    I don’t mind some mild air whooshing noise when under load, but I want it to sound like it’s turned off at idle when I’m sitting at my chair a few feet away. Right now, by far the loudest thing in my system is my GTX 780, which is the only thing keeping it from being pretty much completely silent at idle. I need to get one of those fancy modern video cards that turn off the fan at idle and low load, then I should be good to go.

    • Chrispy_
    • 3 years ago

    Motherboard fan control is based on CPU temperatures which are often very different to GPU temperatures, whilst GPUs are responsible for the lion’s share of the heat being dumped into a case. So an idle CPU and loaded GPU means that the GPU fans are screaming as the case fans haven’t been ramped up to deal with the GPU load.

    On the other hand there are a small number of graphics cards with an external fan header, and as cool as that sounds, it has no idea what the CPU temperature is, so the same problem applies – if the CPU is working flat out but the GPU is idle, a fan hub driven by the GPU header would let the CPU roast under load because the GPU doesn’t know about the CPU sweating it’s ass off.

    The INCREDIBLY obvious solution (notably absent from the market) is a fan controller that takes GPU and CPU temperatures and applies fan control profiles based on BOTH sources of heat. If generic applications like GPU-Z can read GPU temperatures and fan speeds, why can’t motherboard firmware?

      • Freon
      • 3 years ago

      There are a few new video cards have have extra fan headers for that reason.

        • Chrispy_
        • 3 years ago

        Yeah, I mentioned those in the second paragraph, along with why they’re not the whole solution.

      • MrDweezil
      • 3 years ago

      Isn’t the obvious solution for case fans to work based on the temperature inside the case, CPU fan to work based on the CPU temp, and GPU fans to work based on the GPU temp?

        • Chrispy_
        • 3 years ago

        Yes and no.

        If the point of fan control is to reduce noise, then overall noise is definitely going to be lower if your fan controller starts improving case airflow to the GPU before it gets hot, spins up the GPU fans and dumps a lot of extra heat into the case.

        Eventually, in a completely stable synthetic load like Furmark, the system you’re proposing and the system I’m proposing would reach the same result, but case temperature measurement is feedback at the last point in the chain, introducing lag and high hysteresis to the system, which will oscillate both quieter and louder than a more stable feedback loop. Not only that, but real world GPU loads are nowhere near as stable as furmark.

        The GPU fan(s) are usually the noisiest thing in a PC under load, so getting cold air to the GPU as quickly as possible once it starts heating up is the priority. Waiting for it to overheat and then reacting to that failure is the problem we have at the moment, because once the silicon is hot, it’s less efficient (higher resistance) and therefore dumps even more heat into the case, exascerbating the problem. This is why the Radeon Fury X was watercooled; Lower temps = much better performance/Watt.

          • synthtel2
          • 3 years ago

          A part doesn’t tend to be at full temperature the second you put it under load (there’s lots of thermal mass around it that isn’t a core part of the cooling system), but it spits out plenty of heat immediately. If there are well-placed temperature sensors (near the exhausts of the heatsinks), the case fans can respond plenty quick enough for the CPU or GPU temperature to not overshoot. Oscillation isn’t a big issue to start with, but if it is, fan controller programming can fix it.

          I haven’t got around to putting it together yet, but I’ve bought parts for a fan controller that works on the basis of temperature probes around the case, and I’m optimistic about it. I plan to implement Nvidia’s thing where the faster a fan is going, the less it likes to change speeds. That should let most of the cooling kick in quickly, but make audible hunting a non-issue. When I build it, I’ll let everyone know how it turned out in the forums.

      • Shobai
      • 3 years ago

      If you can handle setting up the fan speed curves yourself, this is exactly what I’ve been using SpeedFan to tackle, since the early 2000s.

      • synthtel2
      • 3 years ago

      If you’ve got a GPU with an external fan header, the only other bit needed would be a mixer box that takes two PWM fan control signals and outputs a third, and that’s not difficult. If nobody’s already making such a thing, then I spy a business opportunity.

    • Horshu
    • 3 years ago

    My desktop is pretty quiet, and it’s an open-case i7 with a stock fan. On the other hand, the server in the closet behind me is like a jet engine. The PC fan is pretty quiet, but the NAS unit is ridiculously loud, and if I turn the fan on for the rack, it’s more than twice as loud.

    • Mikael33
    • 3 years ago

    My rig with a 6700k and an Asus Strix 980 ti is nearly silent at idle, can barely hear my case fans(3 140MM fans and 2 120MM ) if my A/C isn’t running and there’s nothing playing on my PC, I did lower the overclock on my 6700k it so I could then lower the voltage so my CPU fan(212 evo in push pull config) wouldn’t spin up as much when simply browsing the internet but I managed to significantly lessen that by switching back to FF, Chrome it seems hits the CPU much harder.
    During intensive gaming where something pegs my GPU like The Witcher 3 I can hear my 980 ti during the quieter moments which can be a bit annoying but the noise profile of the GPU fans being more of a lower pitched sound, it’s more of an awareness that they’re spinning up a bit and less of something like “Oh my God, is that a leaf blower running?”
    A Noctua D15 is on my list of things to buy though to lower the noise profile and enable an higher overclock.

    • BIF
    • 3 years ago

    I voted the first option, but unfortunately Folding generates heat and noise, no matter how I’ve tuned my fannage.

    Edit:

    About 10+ (15?) years ago, I was feeling tired and lethargic. I didn’t know why, but it was shortly after I built my dual Opteron rig.

    Well, about 6 months later I decided to tune the fans. Then…silence! The lethargy went away within just a few days. The fans were on full-blast, and even though I didn’t consciously notice it, the noise was having a fatiguing effect on me whenever I was in the same room with that box. And that was before I started Folding.

    The CPU is on water now, which still uses a push-pull fan configuration on the radiator. Still quieter, but that only goes so far because the GPUs are still on air.

    • TwoEars
    • 3 years ago

    All noctua pwm fans + asus fan xpert + extra sound dampening – mechanical harddrives + GPU which shuts down at idle + PSU which shuts down at idle = Total silence at idle

      • LostCat
      • 3 years ago

      I should get sound dampening kit. Been meaning to a while. Probably when I build my next box.

    • bfar
    • 3 years ago

    We’ve a couple of very small children in the house now, so i have to play at a low volume so i don’t wake them and i can hear them when they do. I’ve become very conscious of fan noise as a result. I’ve found Asus’s fan control on their latest motherboards to be very effective. My gpu, while not loud by any means, changes fan speed frequency and abruptly, and i find that far more irritating.

    • windwalker
    • 3 years ago

    I loathe noisy equipment and always try my best to build and work with low noise computers.
    Besides fan noise, I would also highlight coil whine as far more irritating and more expensive to eliminate.

    • Aranarth
    • 3 years ago

    My machine has 8 case fans 6 140mm and 2 120mm,
    (plus 2xPS, 1x cpu, and 2x gpu fans)

    You get a nice whoosh sound with your head inches away from the case but at 2-3 feet away the machine is silent at top speed.

    This a noticeable difference compared to my old athlon xp 2500mhz machine with water cooling where you could hear the 120mm radiator fans, 80mm case fans and water pump all going at top speed

    • geniekid
    • 3 years ago

    Noise is important to me. It doesn’t have to be silent, but I don’t want to feel like my machine is generating a superb visual experience at the expense of an auditory one.

    • K-L-Waster
    • 3 years ago

    It doesn’t need to be silent, but if I can hear it over the game / video / music player while using speakers, it’s too loud.

    • chuckula
    • 3 years ago

    I like my high performance machine to be quiet although a non-annoying low level whir is OK since I have a case full of fans. Any music or other noise in the room drowns it out easily and it’s just loud enough to tell the system is on but not annoying.

    However, I have a safety gauge: On my CPU liquid cooler I have one variable RPM fan that only tools up to an annoying level when the CPU goes into super heavy use mode (I’m talking all cores pegged in AVX calculation torture test mode). It starts to make some noise at high but not insane workloads, but it’s not annoying unless the system is really being railed. It’s a nice safety mechanism to tell me if the CPU is being pegged when I don’t expect it to be pegged. Then I can open up top to find the offending process.

      • tipoo
      • 3 years ago

      Intel even forces a lower clock in AVX2 because it’s so high power, don’t they?

        • chuckula
        • 3 years ago

        Only on Xeons.
        Trust me, I can get all 4 cores railing AVX2 at 4.7GHz.

      • Waco
      • 3 years ago

      Ditto, although my GPU is the thing that spins up. The CPU has a nice thick 360mm radiator with 6 fans running at low speed. Even a torture test won’t make them spin up.

      The GPU, though, does make a noticeable whir, but I’ll tolerate that since it only spins up when I’m gaming.

    • SuperSpy
    • 3 years ago

    My system is heavily overclocked (4790k@4.8) so load noise is almost unavoidable, but the machine had better be dead silent when it’s just sitting there, or doing something trivial like playing a movie.

    That said the cry of 2 140mm fans trying the keep the now 150w+ cpu cool is a bit much for me so I may tone it down a notch. In the summer it’s fine with the air conditioning raising the noise floor, but in the winter I have a feeling it will be much more noticeable.

      • travbrad
      • 3 years ago

      Just open the windows in the winter. Drop those ambient temps!

    • wingless
    • 3 years ago

    A little fan noise is fine for a high power machine. What I absolutely cannot stand is coil whine, resonance, or buzzing caused by any sort of vibration. It is abhorrent and I have a zero-tolerance policy for it. My spinning hard drives and fans have to have rubber vibration isolation. My PSU has to be of the highest quality to eliminate coil whine as well.

    Thank God for JonnyGuru.

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      The other one that falls into the same category is something resonating with a fan or disk. Cases need to stop being cheap flimsy steel made by the lowest bidder, I remember when cases weighed double what they do now and could be used as stepladders.

      When it comes to phasing, sometimes you get a couple of fans that are being run at very slightly different RPMs but connected to the same piece of flimsy case panel. Neither fan vibrates enough to rattle the panel individually but the oscillations of their cheap Chinese bearings phase slowly in and out of phase which drives me completely nuts. We buy larger fans so we can get away with spinning them slower, but that just makes them heavier and the imbalance more noticeable. The concept of a non-Chinese bearing has sadly long vanished from the PC case fan industry πŸ™

    • Arvald
    • 3 years ago

    I got into water cooling to keep my PC quiet.
    I replaced all case fans with quieter ones.

    This is mainly due to there are 2 machines in the room and if both were not near silent it would be very loud.

    I do have a friend who puts up with his PC sounding like a jet engine… I could never let my machine get that loud.

    • tipoo
    • 3 years ago

    My laptops fan very rarely becomes audible, rMBP 15″. During web browsing only once or twice in its life from a runaway tab. Under sustained CPU/GPU load it can be very loud despite the asymmetric fan whatever, and also it hovers right by the tJunctoin Max of 100C which doesn’t entirely set the mind at ease.

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 3 years ago

    Being deaf has it advantages!

      • flip-mode
      • 3 years ago

      What?

        • SomeOtherGeek
        • 3 years ago

        Exactly!

        • ronch
        • 3 years ago

        Um, are you using text to speech to read posts here?

      • CScottG
      • 3 years ago

      Oh God, I couldn’t take that. I just *need* something to drown-out the voices..

      • Aranarth
      • 3 years ago

      Yup!

      I can always TURN YOU DOWN!

      Works wonder’s with the wife…. πŸ˜€

    • I.S.T.
    • 3 years ago

    I like a quiet but not silent computer, which really isn’t in the poll. Unless I can hear the fans at a low volume with my headphones off/not playing any sound, I don’t feel comfortable. Who knows what could be broken?

    • Redocbew
    • 3 years ago

    I don’t even want to know it’s running. In years past I’ve done all kinds of crazy mods aimed at reducing noise. One such project involved a series of extension cables for the mouse, keyboard and monitor so I could put the tower in the next room and shut the door. Fortunately it’s mostly a solved problem these days if you pick the right parts.

    Ambient noise of just about any variety has always been like that for me, but I don’t have a problem with listening to hard rock and heavy metal for hours on end while coding. Go figure.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 3 years ago

      I know people who can listen to music while working, but if I crank up the tunes I can’t concentrate. I’m too busy singing or humming or drumming on the table…

      …or getting lectured by my wife about making so much noise. :p

        • Redocbew
        • 3 years ago

        At my last job we had Nerf guns for exactly this purpose. If we couldn’t get someone’s attention while they were plugged in we’d fire a Nerf dart in their general direction. That usually did the trick.

        At least, that’s how it worked in my department. It never quite caught on outside the ecomm group…

          • derFunkenstein
          • 3 years ago

          That’s really awesome. Working form home I miss out on that stuff, but the office I was in up until it closed had a max of like 5 people the last couple years it was open – all the hiring in my division was done at the main office in St. Louis. The division president was basically just waiting until the lease was up to close it. So no Nerf guns, sadly. :-/

    • derFunkenstein
    • 3 years ago

    Noise is a huge differentiator for me. I like it quiet, and I don’t really care to hear it under load even. My Skylake system is quiet except under a gaming load, because the fans on my eVGA GTX 970 do spin up, and I can deal with that. Under a heavy CPU load without the graphics card going means I’m probably doing something related to editing audio or video, and I appreciate/need silence.

    • emorgoch
    • 3 years ago

    The white noise from my system is like so many other noises in a busy city: you don’t notice it’s there until you turn the system off and get the direct contrast between it and real silence.

    • siberx
    • 3 years ago

    A bit of noise at load is acceptable, but with modern components consuming so little power at idle there’s no excuse for a noisy idling system except unintelligent fan speed management.

    A couple weeks ago I finally got around to figuring how to work Speedfan to control my RPM sensor lacking radiator fans using PWM curves; the program is a UI disaster, but it’s great having my system [i<]exactly[/i<] as loud as it needs to be for the current load, based directly on GPU and CPU die temperatures with no external peripherals or fan buses.

    • Mentawl
    • 3 years ago

    Quality of the noise matters more than the absolute level for me. As long as it’s smooth and relatively low in pitch, all good.

    For reference my main system is an Antec Solo 2 with Corsair SP120 quiet edition fans running at 7v, an MSI 1080 and a mildly overclocked 4670k with a TRUE120 with a PWM-controlled quiet fan on it. Only a single spinning disk so it’s nice and smooth sounding.

    • Rand
    • 3 years ago

    At idle there is no reason why it should make any real noise at all, typical desktop hardware isn’t especially hard to cool at idle.

    Under full load, I’ll tolerate some noise but it shouldn’t be so much that’s it’s obtrusive in any otherwise quiet room.
    An unobtrusive whoosh of fans that can settle into the background is fine, when both processor and GPU are running full tilt. I don’t expect complete silence then.

    Any ticks, or whining is a complete no.

    • smilingcrow
    • 3 years ago

    I run a fully passive system these days; a Dell Latitude 11 5175 tablet sitting in a dock with a full keyboard that turns it into a laptop so a proper 3 in one.
    Core M Skylake is fine for me.

    • kmm
    • 3 years ago

    > I’m willing to tolerate a little noise under load, but I want silence at idle

    By “a little noise” I mean like the equivalent of a typical, decent quality 120 mm fan or two at ~1000 rpm that has little tonality. This is for sure below the testing capabilities of most review sites (would show up pretty much as the noise floor).

    • Thrashdog
    • 3 years ago

    I’m okay with some unobtrusive whooshing when the system is a full tilt in a game or the like, but I only barely tolerate fan noise at idle. I actually just replaced a Corsair fan that came with my AIO cooler, because even after I had set some very aggressively slow fan control curves it had an obnoxious tonal growl.

    Which is odd, because I have terrible tinnitus and you’d think I’d want that drowned out as much as possible, but there you have it…

    • DrDominodog51
    • 3 years ago

    I CANT HEAR YOU OVER MY 1U SERVER

      • Thrashdog
      • 3 years ago

      LET THESE 13,000 RPM DELTAS SING YOU THE SONG OF THEIR PEOPLE

        • DrDominodog51
        • 3 years ago

        Tell me, O Delta, of that ingenious hero who travelled through countless directories after he had looked at the cron logs.

          • Thrashdog
          • 3 years ago

          Delta: [b<]"VREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE"[/b<]

        • f0d
        • 3 years ago

        lol i have a 13,000 rpm 60mm delta for my vrms
        thankfully it can be turned down to a manageable 4000rpm with ease

        • ptsant
        • 3 years ago

        I just looked up what Delta can offer me at the popular 120×120 dimension.

        Apparently, I can get a 240CFM fan that rotates at 4200 /min and only produces 62db (!!).
        Most interestingly, the thing consumes 30W.
        [url<]http://partner.delta-corp.com/Products/FANUploads/Specification/AFB1212GHE-CF00(REV00).pdf[/url<] So, yeah, I need 4 of those to cool my living room.

          • CuttinHobo
          • 3 years ago

          The fan consumes 30W?

          Yo dogg, I heard you like fans so I got you a fan to cool your other fan. πŸ˜›

          • RAGEPRO
          • 3 years ago

          The infamous auxy (formerly of these boards) has four of these:
          [url<]http://partner.delta-corp.com/Products/FANUploads/Specification/PFB1212UHE-F00(REV02).pdf[/url<] She used to run two of them bolted to her NH-C14 running nearly full blast 24/7. And you guys thought I was hardcore for running my 290X full blast. πŸ™‚

            • w76
            • 3 years ago

            Formerly of these boards? (β—Β΄βŒ“`●)

            • DrDominodog51
            • 3 years ago

            Who is going to give us our daily dose of those weird emoticon things now? πŸ™

            • RAGEPRO
            • 3 years ago

            [quote=”I, in another post,”<]She's doing well; she quit coming around because she got banned from the forums and comments here, and while I think she's unbanned now she decided not to come back since she's a maven of melodrama and blames all of her conflicts on other people. Heh. Well, I think there was also something about trying to be on the internet less than 16 hours a day; I don't know. We talk (via IRC and Steam) every day, but in the process of filtering out her verbal diarrhea I lose some signal in the noise. :)[/quote<]

            • modulusshift
            • 3 years ago

            Wish her well for us!

            • just brew it!
            • 3 years ago

            Holy crap, 4 of those would consume as much power as my entire system at full load!

            • RAGEPRO
            • 3 years ago

            Yeah, that was when she was living with two other girls in a trashed-out five-bedroom house out here and she had a separate room for her computer. I recall that you could literally hear the PC from the front lawn if the front door and bedroom door were open. And the PC was in the back of the house.

            I will say that the house had hard floors, hard ceiling (tiled ceiling, the weirdest stuff; a tile fell off at one point and smacked ME on the head, and I didn’t live there), and wood paneling on the walls, so ANY noise in that house traveled far. I think she took that rig apart when she got married because I know her PC lives in the bedroom now, and I know her wife, and I know she would not put up with that nonsense. πŸ™‚

            • Krogoth
            • 3 years ago

            You don’t need that run that many of those fans in a normal desktop rig even most high-end gaming rigs could get by the output of one of those fans.

            Those fans were designed for single exhaust port for a 2U box.

      • crabjokeman
      • 3 years ago

      USE YOUR INSIDE VOICE! OH, WAIT…

      • DrDominodog51
      • 3 years ago

      On a more serious note, I want to buy one of [url=http://www.digikey.com/product-search/en?lang=en&site=US&WT.z_homepage_link=hp_go_button&KeyWords=thb1224b&x=19&y=16<]these[/url<] if I ever watercool. Getting 24V to it might prove difficult, however,

    • Concupiscence
    • 3 years ago

    A lot depends on the role of the system. If it’s a home theater PC, I don’t want it any louder than my air conditioning, and the more quiet fans and passive cooling I can get away with, the better. If it’s a high performance gaming box, a whoosh as a large system fan and CPU/GPU fans kick on is all right, but shrill whine is unwelcome. If it’s a server in the closet, I don’t care as long as it doesn’t sound like some part of it’s dying.

    • general_tux
    • 3 years ago

    A moderate “whoosh” is acceptable (like a Noctua NF-P12) but no harsh sounds or ticking are allowed.

    • PrincipalSkinner
    • 3 years ago

    Gigabyte Radeon 380X is how I feel.

    • Gippy
    • 3 years ago

    If it’s louder than my desk fan (Rowenta 12″), it’s too loud.

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