Mirar, one of the regular contributors on the Yahoo Groups Silent-PC mailing list, has posted his experiences in building a silent PC. Much of Mirar's work focuses on building a custom case, designed to reduce noise as much as possible. To quote:
I decided to design and build a case that would address this. The needs would be:
- Silence. It would need to be heavy and dampening enough. A thin metal case is not the way; perhaps with heavy dampening mats.
- Cold. It would need air ducts wide enough to handle lot of air without turbulence, and lots of spaces for fans.
- Space. It should be easy to work in; not much screwing and pulling out irrelevant cables to remove a hard disk. Or a PCI card.
- Simplicity. I should be able to build it. And I'm not /that/ handy with tools.
The result is very effective, if not all that pretty. :) Lots of pictures and explanations -- definitely worth a read.