A noisy PC can be very annoying, but here are a few things to try to make it run quieter
A number of modern PCs and laptops offer almost silent operations, but there are many more that can be very noisy.
The main cause tends to be the fan, which kicks in when the CPU temperature is detected too high. Of course, this is in place to protect your device, but many other components can also contribute to a hard PC.
There are many ways to reduce the noise that your PC makes, but before we start making changes to the settings and changing the hardware, it’s a good idea to try to treat the root cause of the problem before we begin to treat the symptoms.
Keep your PC cool to keep noise low
If your PC fans make a lot of noise, it’s probably because they are trying to keep the components on your system cool. You can find out how warm your components are by downloading Core Temp, which is a free application that lets you see the temperature from the Windows desktop.
Below you can see that the CPU core is between 37 and 45 ° C which is an acceptable range – if your CPU is idle at more than 60 degrees than you can have a cooling problem that can cause your fan to work overtime. It is very normal if the temperature reaches 80 or 90 ° C when playing games or doing other intensive tasks, but these numbers will depend on your CPU model and the effectiveness of the heatsink and processor cooling fan.
Note that you should read this when your machine has been idle for a while, so don’t run continuous programs like games, Photoshop or video editing software.
If you think your PC is running hot, then making a few changes to keep it cool will reduce how hard the fan needs to work, which will then reduce the amount of noise it produces.
If you haven’t cleaned the dust from your PC for a while, then this is a good place to start – cleaning the dirt from your PC fan and removing dust from the case won’t take you too long. If the room where you use your PC gets warm, then taking steps to make the local atmosphere cooler will also help – finally, make sure your PC intake fan (which is usually at the bottom of the front panel) is clear. If your machine is placed on the carpet, try placing a few boxes underneath so that the intake fan does not draw dust from the carpet.
Method 1: Lower fan speed
If you believe your PC is running at a reasonable temperature then you should be able to adjust the speed of your fan. This is done in the BIOS, most commonly, but your motherboard manufacturer might offer a Windows application that allows you to change the fan speed from the desktop. Whatever way it’s done, you will be able to make the fan run slower which will reduce noise.
The general view in today’s BIOS is a graphical fan-based control where you can set the speed based on the temperature for each fan connected to the motherboard. You can then adjust it to allow your components to run at higher temperatures with fans at lower RPMs, reducing noise.
If you can’t adjust the fan speed in your BIOS, then consider buying a fan controller, like this from Amazon.
Method 2: Change your case fan
If you believe your fans make the most of the noise then replacing it is a relatively inexpensive and easy way to get a quieter system. They are usually held by four screws and only need a few minutes to exchange.
Noctua and Shut up! making casing fans that are very strong and quiet and are the two most respected brands in the refrigeration industry. Make sure you buy the right sized fan that fits your case, and you can even check that your case has an additional fan slot that you don’t use and buy another fan – make sure your system has room for it.
Method 3: Change your CPU Cooler
The CPU cooler will be one of the hardest working fans in your system. Most CPUs will come with a standard cooler which is usually not the most effective and therefore will usually be harder than the aftermarket ones. If your CPU fan emits too much noise then replacing it with a larger aftermarket model is a good idea, again Noctua and Be Quiet! is a good choice here.
Once again, make sure you buy the correct cooler for your CPU.
Replacing the CPU cooler will be a bit involved because it might be difficult to access installs that might be on the bottom of the motherboard. And you have to clean the old thermal paste and replace it with a new one – if this is something, remember, then make sure you look at our guide on how to apply the paste.
If you can afford it, you can buy a closed loop cooler that uses a water cooler and a fan that is larger and quieter mounted to the radiator. Look at our review of Corsair H115i Platinum.
Method 4: Replace your power supply
We are now entering more expensive options but the power supply has been known to cause noise in the system. Replacing your power supply is relatively easy, but unfortunately it’s not cheap. Shut up! making some PSU runs fantastic calm by being the Corsair range being an ideal place to see too.
When buying a new power supply, make sure it is sufficient to run your components – the wattage should not be lower than your current PSU, and ideally should be a little higher.
Method 5: Change your PC’s case
Not all PC cases are made the same, with certain ones that are better designed for quiet operation. This doesn’t just mean a lot of fans: air flow is also important.
Coolermaster and Corsair both offer high quality building casing for a variety of budgets. See also our best collection of PC cases.