I’ve asked for your “Top 5” tips and tricks. We’ve all had problems with loud computer noises at times, so when I got this email I had to share it. Here it is in its entirety:
I’ve read that you are always looking for top 5 top tips for various issues, so here are mine.
Like many people, I have my computer located in my bedroom, and like many people, I also have it on 24/7. Now, as you probably know, as the components in a PC get older, they tend to get progressively noisier. This becomes a problem when you’re trying to sleep.
Now, if you don’t have a screwless atx case,a relatively “old” PC like I do, and you have a noisy computer which doesn’t let you fall asleep, here are some tips I’ve gathered along the years to help you diagnose and reduce computer case noise:
- Make sure all the screws that hold the drives, motherboard and cards are tight You don’t want them too tight, as you might damage the screws. Also, when you install a drive check all screw holes, it may seem that two screws are enough to hold it in place but most of that “metal rattling” noise comes either from loosely mounted drives, cards or the case’s side lids. If the lids in your case are the “sliding lock” type, make sure they are aligned perfectly and put the screws on the back! I know it’s easier to leave them out if you’re constantly opening your case, but as you do this the lids get looser and eventually there’s that metal rattle again. So keep it tight.
- Get a quality power supply. This is usually one of the components where manufacturers cut costs, so stock PSU’s tend to be cheap and noisy. It’s also one of the most critical components in your system, so not only are you’re reducing the noise your computer generates, you’re also reducing the risk of frying it because of a low quality PSU. Believe me, it’s not that uncommon. There’s some great brands out there so just pick a good PSU that suits you, and your wallet. They are a bit more expensive than a generic PSU, but in the long run it’s worth it.
- Replace the stock fans on your case. Again, stock case fans on a “regular” PC are as cheap and noisy as they make them. A good low db fan is inexpensive (8-10$ range) and less prone to getting noisier as they age. Also, a neat trick is to put some rubber rings between the fan and the case, as that absorbs some of the vibration that is transmitted.
- Check the connectors from your peripherals. This was more common when COM and Serial ports were popular because most of the connectors were plastic cases with screws instead of molded plastic. Some ports in modern computers as VGA and DVI are still “COM like” ports and can buzz when they are loose, so make sure they are firmly inserted and the screws are tight. It’s not that common with USB or Firewire because of the nature of the pin connectors, but some USB ports have a thin metal foil between the connector and the port, and when it’s loose it can sometimes produce some buzz.
- Don’t install a giant CPU cooler just because it looks cool. If you aren’t into do serious overclocking with your computer you don’t really need it, and if you do want to overclock and are inexperienced in handling hardware, ask for help from someone who is. When wrongly installed, these “monster” heatsinks can produce some serious buzz and rattle.
That’s it. I know that cases where you have to “screw” everything are becoming a thing of the past, but many people still have them so I hope you find this helpful.
Helder from Portugal
SC_Thor also joined me for this discussion. Who knew he had a PH D in computer case noise reduction? Just kidding, Allan. Here are a few more tips from him:
- Use a bigger fan. It will turn slower, but push the same amount of air. This will cause the fan to be quieter.
- When buying a new computer, check the dB (Decibles) and the CFM (Cubic Feet Per Minute) .
- Purchase a fan with a temperature sensor. This sensor will automatically slow down or speed up the fan, depending on the temperature of the computer.
- Look into getting Heat Pipes. Heat pipes are self-contained, phase-change cooling devices that take advantage of changes in heat to convert a liquid – called the “working liquid” – into vapor and then back again. When a liquid changes phase to a vapor, the vapor absorbs heat, is transported away from the heat source, and then releases heat when it condenses back into liquid. The heat released is dissipated and the cycle repeats.
There you have it. Not the top 5 tips… more like the top nine or so! Keep sending me your top 5 lists of computer tips and tricks. You never know when yours will end up in a video!
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