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    The Quest for the Silent PC (and how my loudest component wasn’t a fan)

    by raju4224 ·


    So I finally saved up enough dough to build my quiet PC build, featuring a Fractal Design C case and Noctua NH-D15S CPU cooler. I thought I was finally entering computing bliss, until I booted.

    Maybe my expectations were too high. I didn’t splurge on aftermarket case fans after all; how good can the prepackaged fans be?

    So I put up with it, and told myself to quit paying attention to it.

    Two weeks later, I was happy with my build, except…. I couldn’t get over that noise. I had to turn my PC off when I slept (it lives in my bedroom), and I kept finding myself absentmindedly browsing replacement case fans for the stock Fractal Design fans. Every time I did, I stopped myself: Is it really worth the money? The dB ratings aren’t THAT much lower, you’re just obsessing over it, and you’ll be disappointed.

    Well today, after messing with fan curves in the bios, I snapped – opening the case and unplugging fan headers one-by-one to track down the noise. And with every fan unplugged, the noise remained.

    Putting my ear to the case, I finally got next to the shroud over the HDD cage:

    Crap. I had two old HDDs mounted in there, to free up space from my boot SSD. I’d actually been preoccupied with the new system and working on an overclock and hadn’t touched the secondary drives yet. I knew one had old pictures and other media on it, and the other was an old Ubuntu boot drive from a PC of an earlier time

    I searched the HDD cage, and sure enough, the drive driving me crazy over the last two weeks was an Ubuntu boot drive, not recognized or assigned in Windows, spinning its little heart out doing nothing. Pulled the drive and it was HOT.

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