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How Do I Build a Quieter PC

September 06, 2011  |  Difficulty: Medium

How to build a quiet PC, using an air cooling system.

People working with computers every day especially at home usually prefer a PC that runs quietly. Employers often purchase quiet equipment, especially for open-office environments. Just imagine what it would be like working next to a buzzing computer after several hours. There are several components available to help adjust the sound level of a PC, but those are usually costly. The one most commonly used, which is also the most expensive, is the water cooling system. This is comprised of usually one or two large, slowly rotating fans that cool the liquid, reducing the noise level of the PC to nearly complete silence.

This article focuses on a less expensive solution, an air cooling system. For this system, the placement of every computer part is very important to ensure controlled air flow through all components. The better organized the components are, the better the air flows through more effectively and the less fans and air speed are needed. Our goal is to create an “air tunnel” inside the PC case that cools as many components as possible. Generally, place components away from corners and spots where the air is not flowing. As an example, imagine your computer as a vacuum cleaner. At one end, it intakes fresh air into the system, channels it through a tube (in this case, your PC case) and then expels it at the opposite end. This helps keep your PC cool as well as quiet. Please see the list of suggestions below which will help you build a quieter PC.


  1. Do not buy a cheap PC case as thicker plates are used, which causes more noise, less vibrations and heat to be absorbed.
  2. The more spacious a PC case is, the more air can flow slowly through the system. The slower the air flows, the quieter the PC will be.
  3. Use the largest size fans as your PC case will allow. The larger the fan, the slower it rotates, which helps create a sufficient air flow for cooling.
  4. Fill all holes and side spaces to create a properly enclosed “air tunnel”. If possible, place a fan in the front bottom panel and one in the rear top panel.
  5. Use as many passive coolers on components as possible. Fans on components are generally smaller than what is used to cool a PC case.
  6. If you use active cooling on components, such as the processor and graphic card (sometimes necessary for top performing ones), you should choose large fans with less revolutions per minute (RPM) as well.
  7. If you are buying a power supply, you should choose a passive one, or at least one with a higher maximum output power than you would need.
  8. Put a good quality thermal compound between all chips and passive coolers.

Tips and Tricks:

  • If you want to regulate the RPM of any fan, use a mechanical resistance controller.
  • For better air flow, do not place a computer on top of a carpet or blanket.
  • From time to time, vacuum the inside of the computer, especially the fan blades where accumulating dust can cause trouble for your system.


  • Do not slow down your fans too much as you should keep sufficient air flow to maintain your components at the manufacturer’s recommended temperatures. You should use software* to monitor the CPU, HDD, RAM, graphic card, chipset, temperatures, etc.
  • If the computer is unstable, it might be caused by an insufficient cooling system. You should use software* to monitor the CPU, HDD, RAM, graphic card, chipset, temperatures, etc.


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