A lot of your fellow readers are discovering that it’s surprisingly easy and inexpensive to achieve major— major!— reductions in PC noise. In our ongoing "Cool and Quiet" series ( http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=21401323 ), we found that it sometimes only takes a simple $10 plug-in fan replacement to make a noticeable difference. But there’s a flip side, too: Some "fixes" don’t do much. I found a couple of dead ends in my search for a quieter PC, for example. And other readers, like this one, found that,sometimes, high priced parts don’t guarantee quietness:
Fred: I read with great interest your foray into the "Silent PC" issue ( http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=21401323 ) and thought that I might share my experiences with you. I recently built my first computer from scratch and since it was designed to be a Home Theater PC (HTPC) noise was a serious issue. Unfortunately I did not know how serious at the outset. After putting the unit together, using very high performance parts, I was astonished at the amount of fan noise it created, especially since the case I used, by Coolermaster, was designed for HTPC use.
After some research I too replaced the case fan and cpu heatsink/fan with less than 20db fans. The power supply is proprietary and is not easily replaced. I did not want to risk removing the fan and heat sink from my new AIW 9800 pro card since it would void the warranty but I did consider a Zalman unit. The Asus motherboard included a program for monitoring fan performance and cpu and motherboard temperature.
Two things I also tri