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Poll: What's your computer's noise level?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / March 12, 2010 6:48 AM PST

What's your computer's noise level?

Very noisy (How so? Describe it for us)
Noisy (How so? Describe it for us)
Acceptable (What's acceptable?)
Quiet (Describe it for us)
Very quiet (Is it on?)
Other (Please explain)

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My Dell Dimension 9200 Has Been Noisy from Day One
by GretchenOK / March 12, 2010 9:20 AM PST

I have become somewhat accustomed to the constant whirring noise, with intermittant sounds that sound like my computer is trying to clear its throat. Dell techs have blamed the noise on the fact that I am using Vista Home Premium, a "noisy operating system," I am told. Supposedly, the OS is loud because there is so much going on in the background with data constantly being processed--but I never had all that racket with my Windows XP.

I make efforts to keep my computer updated, clutter-free and devoid of viruses, so it will likely last a long time. I have considered updating to Windows 7, but have decided just to live with the noise until the magical day when my VISTA OS becomes too hoarse to carry on--and then I'll send this computer to Computer Heaven and hope that its replacement is like every man's dream of a perfect woman (or so I've heard)--fast, but demurely quiet.

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Noise is relative and has many causes
by tfaubus / March 12, 2010 9:55 AM PST

There is no such thing as a noisy operating system.
There is good noise and bad noise and you have to determine where the noise is coming from and why before you can attempt to fix it.
Is it a fan? A case fan, processor fan, video card fan? Is it case rattle? Is is a clicky hard drive?
What are your operating conditions? Do you have power management set? Do you have high CPU usage? Is your computer clean and provided with good ventilation? Are all the fans working?
DELL 9200 is a notebook based on Intel P755M (2004) and they are hot to begin with so you're pretty much out of luck and the best thing I would recommend is a laptop cooling pad. This would provide more ventilation and no direct contact with heat sources such as your lap and will keep the notebook as cool as possible therefore allowing your internal fans to run less assuming your machine is clean and working properly. Set Vista power management to "Balanced" if it's not there already. You could also try Speedfan or another fan speed controller but it's hit or miss with notebooks and may not do anything for you. Tools like that are simple if you understand how they work, don't go playing with it if you're not willing to accept responsibility if you do something wrong like turn off your fans. Lucky for you I think all Intel chips have thermal protection so it'll just run super slow if it gets hot.
Good luck.

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Sure, it's Windows Vista's fault, blame it on Vista *smile*
by Doh_1 / March 12, 2010 9:56 AM PST

I had Vista on this computer, same noise level as any other OS, quiet. Next thing they'll be replacing the winter air in your tires with summer air *smile*. I don't know why your computer is clearing its throat, but one thing that you might try is to get some of those Antec silicone fan isolators and see if that helps. All you do is replace your fan screws with the silicone isolators and you may find that your system is quieter, or even much quieter. It can really help to isolate your fan from the chassis, which can act as resonator/amplifier. There aren't very many moving parts in a computer, and the chassis fan is often the culprit. Or the power supply fan, or the processor fan, but usually the chassis fan.

The other thing that you can do is to vacuum out the fan grill and ventilation holes, so that your fan can run less often to cool your computer.

After that, well, there's other things you can do to quiet down your computer that are more expensive to try...You don't have to accept it being noisy...Vista has nothing to do with it other than if you weren't using your computer at all then it would be turned off and that would be very quiet, wouldn't it *smile*.


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Oops silly me
by tfaubus / March 12, 2010 10:08 AM PST

Thought you meant Latitude, silly me, but yeah, what he said.

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quieter than before
by deno21 / March 12, 2010 11:51 AM PST

I unplugged the video card fan it was noisier then but left the case going. Now its quieter than it was you could talk over it easily

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Discribing Quiete for you
by netsiu / March 12, 2010 11:54 AM PST

I don't know why new AM3 MoBo, Processor and Win7 should be quieter than old AM64 939 MoBo and Win2000 in the same case, but all I hear is the fans.

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RE: What's your computer's noise level
by MYN2007 / March 12, 2010 12:01 PM PST

Mine is alright, kinda noisy. I overclock so I need a good bit of cooling and I only have fans so they are loud enough. I remember when processors where really loud but most of the time (even when I turn my fan all the way down) I can't really hear it.

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Computer Noise?
by WAArnold / March 12, 2010 12:18 PM PST

My system is a mid-tower, a Biostar 570 Mb, AMD 6000+ CPU, ATI crossfire video card, 700gig disk, 500 gig disk, CD drive, DVD RW drive, floppy drive, modem, 4 gig RAM and parallel card. I put front cooling, side cooling and rear cooling fans in this thing in addition to the CPU and PS fans. I do not like loud system and this one you could sit beside all day and hardly know it's running. I's not exceptionally quiet but is quiet.

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Quiet shhh.
by Silvertop / March 12, 2010 1:13 PM PST

I hate noise, especially the noise made by fans in a PC. So what I did first was remove both case fans and made sure they were squeeky clean. Then I went to my local computer store and purchased a 'quiet kit'. The kit made by Nexus consists of rubber feet, rubber fan attachers and rubber grommets for the hard drive. It cost me $9.99. Then I mounted both fans with the rubber attachers and my hard drive with the rubber grommets. So when I finished both fans and the hard drive were literally suspended by the rubber devices. The CPU fan came with a rubber mount for the cooling fan so I did not have to touch it at all. In my ASUS bios I enabled their 'Cool + Quiet' fan option so it only runs at full speed when the temperature reaches the preset high. Neato you can't hear a thing when the PC runs. On occasion I can just hear the CPU fan increase its speed but that too is barely audible. Long live rubber!

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Quiet - except for the hard drive!
by moron51 / March 12, 2010 1:25 PM PST

After living with an increasingly noisy old P4 desktop for many years, I recently built a new machine: Intel i5 in a CoolerMaster Sileo case. The cae has acoustic foam on all the sides, a couple of 12cm fans, and the Asus motherboard has intelligent fan speed control, so under normal use the fans all run slow and quiet.
All good, and everything is remarkably quiet - except for the hard drive - a Seagate 1TB 7200.12. The drive itself is very quiet, until you mount it it the chassis. Then it seems that the rapid motion of the head assembly vibrates the frame of the drive cage. Since Windows 7 keeps the drive seeking continuously (indexing?), there's this low-level grinding noise, all the time. If I dismount the drive and lie it loose on the foam at the bottom of the case, all is quiet - but I'm reluctant to leave it like that. Frustrating!

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. . . sounds like a Mac truck!
by freesumpin / March 12, 2010 1:55 PM PST

My g3 has three fan sound levels - low, medium and like a diesel jet plane taking off and it's so bad I have it floored! On medium or high there's nothing subtle about it and it is not acceptable. The air temperature or what I'm doing doesn't appear related.
I wonder what caused that and what the solution is?

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PC Noise Level
by mmrpmitchell / March 12, 2010 3:16 PM PST

With The Chip Set constantly overheating, I needed a redical solution, I have a front fan, two extractor, 4 side bracket, plus a top FAN. The CPU has an heatsink plus another 120mm fan. Also the graphics card has two, the PSU has one and finally two RAM cooling fans. To say the least its like having an a/c unit running when the PC is turned on !!!

There must be a better solution...........

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Fairly noisy
by genie86333 / March 12, 2010 4:05 PM PST

I got a used computer from a local computer repair shop recently. (The guy was stumped about a problem on my computer so he wanted to keep it because it was bugging him that he couldn't fix it, so he traded me for a working one.)

This thing is the noisiest computer I ever heard! Sometimes it just hums a bit, about tied with our server at work, but when I really get something going on it (games on facebook, multiple web pages, or especially a video, the fan speed kicks up & it's hard to hear over it with my cheap speakers! At least if I go to sleep while watching a movie on Netflix, I don't have to worry for at least a couple of hours about hearing traffic or my neighbors or anything!

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I'm sitting here...
by rbsjrx / March 12, 2010 5:18 PM PST

...surrounded by 5 computers (Windows desktop, 2x Linux desktop, my dual-boot netbook, plus my wife's dual-boot computer at the next desk. Add to that the constant hum of the ferroresonant power conditioner and the NAS device and, yes, you definitely know everything's here. By now, I'm used to it although I'm sure it would drive some people stark raving bonkers in short order.

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3 systems, all different
by anthony f wood / March 12, 2010 5:36 PM PST

One is HP DX2000 which is used as internet and office work machine, it gets a good whoosh going on the hot days (35 deg Celsius plus)otherwise it's very quiet.
One put together w/gigabyte board and all up 7 fans, used for audio & video processing, gets a merry ol' racket going but I know it is keeping cool no matter what, and it has never crashed (somebody had to get lucky with windows...guess it was me). It also plays my loud music for me.
One also put together out of second hand bits and trash which seems to be very quiet, only 3 fans. Gets used for storage and disc burning, and games. MSI board from a computer that got thrown down a stairwell, forget where the case came from, likewise the PSU. DVD burners are new Samsung units(2).
All 3 are within a 5 foot radius and the noise level is OK, conversation and such are unimpaired.

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My Computer is VERY Quiet
by Flatworm / March 12, 2010 10:15 PM PST

I have a custom-built machine in an Antec 900 case. The high-end Antec cases result in computers that, although very well-cooled with multiple fans, are very nearly completely silent.

I am building my own high-end machine soon, and I am absolutely sold on the Antec cases and quite certain that they are the difference between a quiet and a noisy machine.

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I like white noise
by mjphilaya / March 12, 2010 11:29 PM PST

Not everyone likes the noise of a computer fan, but I don't mind it. O my home computer I had two extra fans that I put in my case, one to blow in, another to blow out. I actually like the steady "whfffff" noise and it keeps the case cool.

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depends on OS
by sensibility / March 13, 2010 4:57 PM PST

well it depends on which OS i run vista there is alot of screaming and cursing noise commming from machine. in W7 its less cursing but more blood curdling screams. in ubuntu/mint 8 i can hear the guys chevy next door rust on a quiet summer night.. LOL..
seriously its dead silent liquid cooled with water lines, fans and pumps being through wall and on outside of house.

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Noice Level Response
by avrebelsocal / March 13, 2010 9:35 PM PST

I've a Pavilion a6528p that runs with a low quiet hum even when I'm taxing it's system. . .on the other hand I've a Presario SR1210NX that USE to run with the same quiet hum and now it make an incrdible amount of noise even when it's idle. . .I've been meaning to look into this when I get a lil' free time, but I haven't really had any extra time to spare recently. . .one of these days. . .

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Fans or drives or both?
by 19Grumpah42 / March 14, 2010 2:34 PM PDT

I can echo a recent comment about disk drives dissipating a lot of noise when they are installed in the casing. I have a total of seven fans in this particular PC and 6 3.5" drives (some of which are unplugged some of the time, to save wear and tear). I can hear the fans from close by, but I would not call them noisy. The physical mounts for the HDDs vary, some are push fit into spring-loaded slots, others are hard-screwed.
Is there a generic sound-insulation device or strategy one can use for 3.5" HDDs?

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Poll: Noisy Computer
by Laurenca62 / April 17, 2010 2:14 PM PDT

The fan on computer (vista home basic) keeps kicking on and revving when I'm using computer or not. It seems to have started when I updated the BIOS.

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