Gaming PCs and noise reduction don’t usually go together. In most cases, high-performance gaming parts make your PC as noisy as a jet engine – especially when you put those components in a large, echo-ey case.
Fortunately, building a quiet gaming PC is easier than you think. It requires a bit of money and some time spent swapping out parts and coolers, but hey, think of how much better you’ll be able to hear Call of Duty enemies sneaking up behind you.
Here are some easy things to do to quiet down your gaming PC:
Arctic Cooling is one of the most popular third-party cooling hardware companies around today. Arctic Cooling offers closed loop video card coolers which are virtually silent – even when cooling behemoths like the GTX 680.
Check out the Arctic Cooling Accelero Hybrid VGA Cooler here:
Installing a third party Arctic Cooling cooler is relatively easy. The cooler listed above takes about an hour to install. In the video, you can see exactly how to install it.
People who are serious about building gaming PCs install liquid cooling systems. Liquid cooling systems aren’t completely silent, but they’re pretty close to it. Some liquid cooling systems use distilled water, while others use deionized water, inhibited glycol, or dielectric fluids.
It’s important not to use tap water or non-distilled water because it will cause blockages and other problems in your system (including algae growth if you use tap water – gross!).
You can also add coloring to your water to make your PC look cool. A little dye won’t clog up your system but it will make everything extend the life look neat. You can also add an antimicrobial solution or anti-corrosive solution to your liquid if you want to of your system.
Ultimately, installing third party cooling systems not only makes your PC quieter, but it also helps you overclock it. If you installed an aftermarket cooler on your video card or CPU, then you should be able to slightly increase the speed and performance of your video card or CPU. Be careful while doing this and monitor component temperatures to avoid permanent damage.
Yes, they’re expensive and take a while to setup. But if you’re serious about building a quiet, cool PC, then it’s simply the best solution.
Optical drives are the loudest component on most PCs – especially when there’s a disc actively spinning in the tray. There are two ways to avoid this problem: don’t install an optical drive and install Windows from a USB; or, remove your optical drive from the startup sequence in your BIOS.
If you’re serious about building a quiet gaming PC, then you’ll need to use a sound-dampened case. Sound-dampening cases use rubber feet, sound-dampened panels, and extra room for your specialized cooling equipment. They’re incredibly effective at what they do and, when combined with some of the equipment listed above, make your PC virtually silent.
If you want to check out a good sound dampening case, then consider the Fractal Design R4. It’s a good gaming case beyond just the rubber feet, sound-dampened sides and specialized panels.
Yes, fanless CPU coolers are a thing. They’re an incredibly useful thing if you’re trying to build a quiet gaming PC.
They’re called passive coolers, to be specific, and they’re really big. With fan-less coolers like the Zalman Cube, you may have to configure some parts around in order to make everything fit, so this is definitely an option for PC builders with larger cases.
The power supply is the one gaming PC that is difficult to quiet down. You can’t effectively install an aftermarket power supply cooler – I don’t even think they exist.
Instead, the best thing to do is to simply buy a quiet power supply. Look for words like ‘Silent’ or ‘Quiet’ in the name, like the Cooler Master 720 Watt Silent Pro M2.
MaximumPC recently put together a computer with a lot of the components discussed here. This is what it looks like:
Not bad, right? Clean, neat, and extremely powerful.