There are a lot of things that you should take into consideration when you are building a PC. Good airflow is crucial to keeping your PC’s components cool. Size is important especially when you don’t have too much wiggle room in the area where your PC is. However, one significant factor that often is overlooked is the noise level.
Having a silent PC is of utmost importance to me. There are plenty of people that work from the confines of home and surely, they too can attest to the significance of having a silent PC. Whether it’s to keep your mind focused on the job at hand or to not bother anyone else in the room, a totally silent PC can really help keep a room’s vibe healthy.
For a totally silent PC, you would need a silent graphics card, silent case fans, silent CPU cooler and a silent PC case. A normal PC case will not do; it can generate noise due to vibrations of its panels and because of the placement of various components inside it.
But there are some silent cases that you can check out in the market to build a silent PC, whether it’s for business, pleasure, or any other needs. These computer cases come equipped with noise reduction features like sound damping panels, silent case fans, vibration pads just to name a few to lessen noise produced by the case or by the components inside it.
So go ahead and take your time in choosing the right case. It could serve you well through a number of PC builds, therefore saving you hundreds of dollars. Pick one that doesn’t really appeal to your aesthetic sensibilities, or that doesn’t fit the GPU you decide you want a few months down the line, and you might be looking to replace it before that new case smell begins to fade.
But with hundreds of available options, you might be asking, where do you start? You’re in the right place as I went ahead and sized up the best quiet PC cases in the market right now.
However, before we get to our best recommendations for quiet PC cases, let’s first take a look at the reasons why your PC is making all these weird noises and things you can possibly do to fix these.
Table of Contents
- The Sounds a Sick PC Makes
- How to Quiet PC Noise Without Much Cost
- Quick Shopping Tips When Buying a PC Case
- The Best Quiet PC Cases
The Sounds a Sick PC Makes
Take a break and listen to your PC. If it is not saying much, you’re in luck; your PC is sporting good health. However, if your PC sounds like some kitchenware was placed in the blender, then it goes without saying that your PC has problems. I have gathered some of the noises that you should be wary of and be concerned about.
1) The Death Rattle of Your Hard Drive
With the popularity of solid-state drives (SSDs) rising, noisy hard drives are becoming less of an issue. However, the spinning platters that keep our dearest digital possessions will be around for years to come—and boy, are they noisy!
Whenever you gain access to data from a hard drive or save to it, the mechanical platters inside spin at crazy-fast speeds — anywhere between 5600 and 10,000 revolutions per minute — with a tiny magnetic head skipping all over the place. Make sure you defragment your hard drive frequently to diminish the space it has to jump.
However, if you begin to notice clicking noises, you should be concerned. The head that writes to the drive may have turned bad, and the drive could be nearing its endgame. Don’t waste any second and immediately back up your data and get into the market for a new one.
2) Your Fan is Quivering
The hum and whir that most people hear from a PC come from the case fans and coolers for its essential components. Think of these sounds like music to your ears, because these PC parts help to preserve a reasonable temperature. Too much heat, and watch as your PC’s performance tumble before your very eyes.
The modern BIOS is often able to control how fast and hard the fans spin to adapt to a change in temperature. If your PC is really pulling its weight on an existing task, it may need a little extra air to cool itself down, resulting in a louder fan noise than usual. Don’t worry though, the noise will eventually pass — unless it doesn’t. If your fans keep on trying to imitate a Boeing 747 on takeoff, it’s time to be concerned and check for some repairs.
Check inside your PC’s case around all the fans for a stray wire that may be in contact with the fan blades. This is fairly easy to do, but the sound could scare any PC lover half to death.
3) BIOS Beep Codes
The BIOS has its own means of communicating with users, and it comes in the form of melodic beeps that signify particular errors. Don’t worry about a short, single beep at boot-up. Assuming the PC passes its POST (power-on-self-test) procedure, everything is a-okay. But if your PC can’t get past the POST, and you’re catching additional beeps from the computer —not the speaker — it’s best that you pay attention as it is trying to tell you something.
Other combinations of beeps could imply problems with power, bad memory, a component out of place, or an expired motherboard. It’s especially crucial that you know what these things mean before you act on anything. The best resource to consult is your motherboard manual, which you’ve surely filed away safely.
4) Aspire to Have a Quiet PC
These days, the standard PC features very few moving parts, so just a handful of components could be the perpetrator behind some annoying noise. With some careful investigating, you can identify the component and soon learn how to work fix it. So keep your ears on the ready and be prepared to run to your PC’s side when it calls for help.
Curious what are recommended pc cases are? Click here!
How to Quiet PC Noise Without Spending a Lot
Over the last decade or so, PCs have gone through a lot of improvements. We have already bid goodbye to the days of Pentium 4 processors that made PCs feel and sound like they were about to lift off for the moon. But while those days are thankfully in the rearview mirror, the noise has not been completely banished. Some PCs remain an audible annoyance.
Fortunately, there are a lot of things that you can do to resolve this noise issue. With the right equipment and several invocations, you can successfully exorcise the demon howling in your desktop PC. Kidding aside, here are several ways to make your computer quieter.
1) Examine the mounting and attachments
Here is something that anyone can do. Cautiously remove the back of your PC off and assess all of your attachments. Grommets, gaskets, and screws may all be affected, and if any of them have gone loose over time, they could be vibrating and making your PC a lot louder than it’s supposed to be.
Take a look at all of them, and tighten anything that needs to be tautened, and make sure that fans aren’t shaking or unfastened. You can purchase buy mounts that include padding or gel for more vibration resistance, although that is a step that only more experienced users should take. This is the right time to check the base of your computer and to make sure the feet are rubberized and all on a flat plane to lessen noise.
And while you have access to the fan and the back of your PC, don’t forget to just clean the entire thing. Get a soft brush and a can of air, and eliminate any dust. That dust can cause your computer to overheat, as well as make your fan louder, so doing these things will really go a long way towards making your PC quieter.
2) Add sound insulation
Another area where you might find improvement is the case. Many low-cost computers come in cases that were built without taking acoustics into consideration. As a matter of fact, the case might even be amplifying sound or letting it flow freely from the case straight to your ears.
But don’t worry; this problem can be resolved with sound insulation. Usual insulation is nothing more than molded foam that can be bought for between $20 and $60 and place it inside your PC with the help of adhesive. The foam can be used to plug up unused fan mounts, or layered across the side panels. It’s fairly easy to cut and can be secured with bundled adhesive or two-sided tape bought from your local hardware store.
But you must be made aware that there are a few disadvantages to using this kind of soundproofing method. First, not all foam is made equal. Make sure you pick foam that is meant for electronics. Otherwise, you might soon find yourself dealing with a house fire. In addition, foam can lessen airflow in your PC, so make sure that you don’t hinder any operating fan mounts or vents.
3) Switch old fans with new ones
A PC that is always noisy is either compromised by terrible fans, too many fans, or even both. Check the inside of your desktop. Do you only see one or two fans? Then they’re probably cut-rate or ancient and are making more noise than they probably should.
We have good news and bad news. First, the bad news is that those fans will need to be switched up. The good news is that fans are not expensive! You will want to look for fans that provide an adjustable speed switch, or ones that support fan speed modulation through a program like SpeedFan. A couple of good fans can be purchased for $20 to $30.
Here’s something that you probably did not know: big fans are quieter than little fans! That may seem peculiar, but it’s a fact. Airflow relies on fan size and speed. A big fan doesn’t have to work doubly hard as a small one to move the same volume of air, and fan speed is the main producer of fan noise. Preferably, you’ll want to use the biggest, slowest fans that fit in your case.
4) Just remove the fans
What if you have too many fans? No problem, just remove some! Start with fans on the side or top of the case, then move on to intake fans on the front, and then finally go to the exhaust fans at the rear. Just make sure that you leave at least one intake fan and one exhaust fan.
Now that you’ve installed new fans, or removed some, you’ll want to see how the computer’s cooling is doing. SpeedFan can report temperatures. So can PC Wizard, Real Temp, and HWMonitor. The processor should idle at no greater than 50 degrees Celsius, and stay under 70 degrees Celsius at load. If you have a graphics card, you should try to monitor that as well. It should idle below 60 degrees Celsius and stay under 95 degrees Celsius at load.
5) Switch to an SSD
If your SATA hard drive is producing a racket when it functions, it’s worth noting that swapping it out for an SSD will instantly get rid of this noise. The “solid” in solid-state drive signifies how it doesn’t really have any moving parts — data is kept via circuits that stay where they are, and stay very quiet no matter how hard they have to operate. If you have the money to exchange your older hard drive and are keen on expanding, give reducing the noise a try while you’re at it.
Tired of a loud pc? Find out which pc cases are the quietest!
Quick Shopping Tips When Buying a PC Case
- Figure out what components you want first. Aesthetics are crucial, but before you even get to that, you’ll want to know what motherboard, graphics card, and the cooler you’ll be using, in addition to how many drives you’ll want to install. This will basically dictate the size and shape of the cases you should be getting.
- A huge tower isn’t at all necessary. Multi-card setups seem to be on the wane, storage is always getting darker and coolers are getting built to be more efficient. So unless you are constructing a component-packed workstation or you just like the looks and upgradability of a full-sized tower, something smaller will probably do just as well.
- Cooling is vital, especially in small cases that possess a lot of components. Airflow is crucial, especially when it comes to high-end components in tight spaces. Also, remember that cases with tempered-glass fronts and tops often limit airflow and may need more fans.
- Tiny cases are much tougher to build in. This is important if you’re just starting out with building PCs, but even experienced ones can find it challenging to fit components in a small Mini-ITX chassis. There’s no doubt that compact builds with powerful parts are exciting and space-saving. But remember to set aside extra time and patience—and double-check those key component dimensions—before attempting to build a tiny PC.
- Pick a chassis that you like to look at. Unless you don’t particularly care about aesthetics at all and are just going to conceal your new system under your desk, your case is likely to spend lots of time in your peripheral vision. Find something that appeals to you aesthetically, whether that be a glass-enclosed rainbow of RGB LEDs or a simple black box with smooth lines and lots of top-mounted USB ports. You really should take the time to select one that speaks to you visual sensibilities.
The Best Quiet PC Cases
Here are the best quiet PC computer cases sorted out by price point.
These days, budget-friendly PC cases can offer users fair value although they may not have the excessive RGB lighting and things of that nature. However, the build quality has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years, which means a cheap case can actually last you for many, many builds to come.
For years on end, the Cooler Master has kept its place atop the PC case hierarchy, primarily because their cases go through a lot of careful planning, even on the lower end.
The Silencio 352 is categorized as a “Mini-Tower” that measures 17.8 x 7.8 x 14.9 in), making it ideal for those that do not have large areas. This small size also means there is only support for mITX and Micro ATX Motherboards.
As the name might suggest, this case was intended to be quiet. The Silencio has foam padded front and side panels to help stifle the noise. This doesn’t mean that airflow is going to be compromised, as it has support for two 120mm front fans, a rear 120mm fan and another 120mm fan for the top. It could even house water cooling systems with radiators up to 240mm in length.
The Silencio can back graphics cards up to 14 inches in length and store up to 3 3.5” drives and 4 2.5” drives, offering you a lot of room for HDDs and SSDs. There is even space for a 5.25” drive behind the front door panel, which is suitable for a disc drive of some kind or even a fan controller. There is room for a CPU cooler of up to 6.1 inches.
The Silencio can effortlessly house a powerful PC without question, but there may be little room to play with. This is made up by the clever design that helps you get the most out of the space. This is a great small form factor silent PC case.
A lot of people trust Corsair since most of the time, their products just hit it out of the park as far as quality is concerned.
The 100R Silent Edition is a mid-tower case that comes in at 7.9 x 18.5 x 16.9 in, offering you a good mix of size and performance. This case is particularly geared to be quieter, and to help it fit in rather than stand out from the rest of the pack. The 100R Silent Edition backs ATX, Micro ATX, and Mini-ITX motherboards.
But what makes this 100R a “Silent Edition”? First of all, the addition of noise isolating materials in the side panels aids in keeping the noise down and a 3-speed fan controller is set up onto the back of the PC; the latter being something that is just seen very often, especially on a case as at this price point. The case supports two front 120mm or 140mm fans and the rear takes one 120mm fan, giving this case a lot of potential for fine top-notch cooling.
Four storage bays can be found in this case, each supporting both 3.5” and 2.5” devices letting you tailor the storage capabilities to your exact needs. There is support for GPUs up to 16.2 inches and space for a CPU cooler of 5.9 inches. On the front panel, there are two USB 3.0 ports. There is room also for two 5.25” drives.
The 100R Silent edition offers you a lot of case on the cheap, and the inclusion of the fan controller is an intriguing one for the price point and it really adds an incredible value of the case.
Mid-tier Cases for Middle-of-the-Pack Budgets
Here are some fine quiet PC cases that don’t entail having to break the bank to purchase and enjoy its features.
The 330R is a mid-tower case that comes in with measurements of 8.3 x 19.4 x 19.1 in that offers you a lot of room to play around in. The design is sleek and shiny, with clean metallic edges giving the case a sturdy and dependable look. The case supports the trio of ATX, Micro ATX, and Mini-ITX motherboards.
The 330R Blackout Edition provides you room for a three-speed fan controller, like its smaller counterpart but the resemblances end there. The sound dampening has been protracted to the whole case making for greater sound-isolation potential. There is room for two front 120/140mm fans, a rear 120mm fan, and two top 120/140mm fans, generating awesome exhaust potential for the case. There is even space for radiators up to 280mm in length.
The 330R Blackout Edition features four hard drive bays, each with support for 3.5” and 2.5” drives. 5.9 inches of room for a CPU Cooler and space for graphics cards up to 17.7 inches, that means you can fit in whatever you like in it. There is space for three 5.25” drives and two USB 3.0 ports on the front panel.
The 330R Blackout edition is an adequate choice over the much cheaper model because of the extra airflow and sound dampening that you can have with this. The cooler you keep the PC’s components, the quieter they will be and this case gives you that extra to stop the problem at its roots.
Thermaltake has really grown with their PC case products and while they may not be a household name like Cooler Master and Corsair, they truly deliver a really impressive collection and are already making a name for themselves in this crowded space.
The Suppressor F31 is another mid-tower case that measures 9.8 x 20.3 x 19.5 inches but in a somewhat more cubic nature. There is a windowed side panel for those that want to always look at the bowels of their PC, making it a fine choice for builds that you want to show off. There is support for the usual ATX, Micro ATX, and Mini-ITX motherboard form factors.
Thermaltake says that this case was tested in a semi-anechoic chamber, which really shows a lot of effort has been placed into the acoustics of their product. The Suppressor delivers a lot of different fan configurations. In the front, support for two 120/140mm or one 200mm fan. Then, over at the rear, space for one 120/140mm fan. The top has space for a mighty three 120/140mm fans or two 200mm fans. This case also has room for 2 120/140mm fans on the bottom. Aside from that, the nonwindowed side panel version has room for another on the left panel. Support for radiators is awesome because of this, supporting up to 360mm rads fairly easily. In addition to this, there is sound dampening material on all panels of the case.
There is space for as many as six storage drives, regardless of size. There are four USB ports on the front panel, two of which are USB 3.0. You can fit two 5.25” drives. CPU Coolers have 7 inches of space to play with. GPUs of 10.9 inches are supported but you need to remove the HDD rack to install GPUs as long as 16.5 inches in length!
The Suppressor F31 is truly one heck of a case. The sheer amount of fans that can fit inside such a small area will do wonders for keeping your machine’s components cool and most importantly, quiet.
Fractal Design has gained quite a reputation for sleek, small and feature packed PC cases. And although they are more on the expensive side the quality they offer is truly top notch.
The Define C is colossal in design, a minimalistic front panel giving an understated layer to the case. This may be another mid-tower case that measures 11.42 x 21.38 x 19.06 inches but it is more skyscraper-like in its dimensions. Supported are ATX, Micro ATX, and Mini-ITX motherboards.
The Define C offers “industrial-grade” sound dampening in the front and side panels. There are lots of spaces for fans, on the front, three 120mm fans or two 140mm fans. The rear can fit one 120mm fan, the top has slots for two 120/140mm fans and the bottom has space available for one 120mm fan. This also means radiators of up to 360mm can be put in, giving it great cooling potential.
There are three 2.5” dedicated drive bays for your SSDs and two for 3.5” drives. There are two USB 3.0 ports on the front panel. CPU Coolers are supported up to 6.7 inches and GPUs of 12.4 inches or less. A nice little feature is the PSU and HDD cover that really helps make a build look a lot cleaner.
The Define C is definitely a feature-packed case that has a lot to offer. Great design and carefully thought-out innards really make this particular case stand out above the rest
The quality and the nice little touches that are applied in the cases at this price point, are what really make these expensive products stand out and make them worth your pretty penny.
The Define R5 is one huge big case, measuring 23 x 21.5 x 13 inches and is one of the more popular cases in the market. It has the distinguishable Fractal Design look to it but the bigger insides are really taken full advantage of. The case supports ATX, Micro ATX and Mini-ITX motherboards.
The Define R5 was made for silent computing from the beginning and as such, included is high density noise-dampening material, while not conceding the thermal capabilities of this particular case. There is support for no less than nine fans, two 12/140mm fans in the front, one 120/140mm fan in the rear, three 120/140mm fans up top, two 120/140mm fans on the bottom and one 120/140mm fan for the side. Not only that it comes with a three step fan controller, found on the front of the case, that supports up to three fans. Radiators of up to 420mm can be set up in the Define R5, giving you a lot of room for a full water-cooling setup.
When it comes to storage, there are eight storage bays that store both HDDs and SSDs and two dedicated to the latter, for a grand total of 10 bays. Additionally, two 5.25” drives can be put in. CPU coolers no higher than 7 inches are supported and GPUs shorter than 12.2 inches will fit well. On the front panel there are two USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports. There is also a windowed side panel available for this case.
The Define R5 is really a masterpiece at this price range because of the sheer amount of equipment it can store and just how great it looks while doing so. If you are looking for a case you’ll never have to replace or upgrade from, you cannot go wrong with the Define R5.
Nanoxia is a German company that is not that well known, but that might change soon enough with the quality of the PC cases they are producing.
The Deep Silence 3 is very minimalist in design, which makes for a very clean and professional looking case. The case is a mid-tower that comes in at 17.95 x 8.14 x 20.47 inches and supports ATX, Micro ATX and Mini-ITX.
Nanoxia claim that their principle is to have a silent case operating with low system temperatures. As is standard with these kinds of cases, which are designed and made for quiet computing, the Deep Silence 3 comes with sound-insulating materials. The HDDs are placed in the case using rubber suspensions that reduce annoying vibrations and background noise. There is space for six fans, two 120mm fans in the front and one in the rear. Both the top and bottom have space for 120/140mm fans, two spaces for the former and one for the latter.
The Deep Silence 3 has room for eight drives in all, three of those being made for 2.5” drives. The maximum height for CPU coolers is 6.5 inches, GPUs must be shorter than 13.5 inches. There are three USB ports on the front panel, two of which are USB 3.0.
The Deep Silence 3 has a lot of features for its price point. It is a solidly built and a full featured mid tower for those that are short on space. This lets you come up with a powerful PC, that is well cooled and quiet, in a good looking and space conscious case.