COMMENT BY ADMIN: This post has been stickied upon request. It is an attempt to encapsulate SPCR -- and generally silencing computers -- in a single post. The task is just about impossible; there are over 4 years of mostly very in-depth articles written by numerous contributors. A summary like this can only begin to scratch at the wealth of detailed information that is in the 300+ articles on the main site. We encourage you not to stop here, but to use this as a starting point to delve deeper into the various topics. www.silentpcreview.com is a big, active, growing research library and there's tons of info here. There are many people frequenting and posting in these forums who have read just a fraction of the material in the main site; the advice can sometimes be spotty or incomplete. Studying all the Recommended articles alone will put you ahead of 98% of forum surfers (though it might take you a lot of time and some serious work to fully absorb.)
Thanks to Shadowknight for starting this thread and keeping it up to date even w/o official support. Please keep it up!
There are a few misc things I don't have space for here, look for another post I put up on the second page of this thread
This FAQ is broken into two halves, general background information and silencing philosophy, then the main section on recommended parts/equipment.
A) Recommend cheaper products?
Lists of recommended SPCR components can be found here.
. Each section also includes DIY projects related to each component. For example, this section also has some cheap ways to quite your hard drive:
Each section (Hard Drive, DIY systems, PSU, whatever) has articles in addition to reviews, such as swapping PSU fans, making rubber boxes to decouple and silence your hard drive, DIY elastic suspension, etc. One made a gigantic heatsink to cool their CPU, one large enough to mount a motherboard one. Thereâ€™s no end to silencing ideas published on SPCR.
Each individual recommended section have a table which sums up products and differences. It's only updated every few months, so it probably won't include comparisons with more recently reviewed products.
B) What is silence?
Silence is an absolute. You can't make it more silent. It either makes sound, or it doesn't. It's like going into the mountains where the air pressure is lower than on flatlands, and claiming that you're in a vacuum. You can make things QUIETER, but not more silent. It's POSSIBLE to make things silent, but given the amount of heat put out by modern computing components, it's not bloody likely. Also, keep in mind that you don't necessarily have to go all the way in making a quiet computer. If you have background noise going constantly, you might just want to spend enough time/money to get it below that threshold. Hard core silencers shoot for a computer that is inaudible at 1 meter (about 3 feet) away. MikeC recently posted his official stance on "silent computing" on SPCR.
There is the occasional question by overclockers who come on this site who donâ€™t understand why some people want quiet or silent computers. You can see a discussion here
C) Addiction/Sound Perception
Silencers tend to get addicted to making things quieter and quieter. As you eliminate the loudest source of the noise in your computer, the PC will initially sound â€œsilentâ€