Do-It-Yourself Systems

Quiet Mini-ITX Gamer Build Guide

Do-It-Yourself Systems | Silent PC Build Guides
A quiet system in a smaller form factor is our followup to the Quiet ATX Gaming Build Guide posted in the last couple of weeks. It is another high performance rig, one quiet enough to be just about inaudible even atop your desk. Your family will never know that you're gaming on this machine unless your sound effects are on speaker and they can see the action on your monitor.

Quiet ATX Gamer, R5 Version

Do-It-Yourself Systems | Silent PC Build Guides
The new Fractal Design Define R5 arrived in our lab while we were finishing our original Quiet ATX Gaming Build Guide article. Lacking time to do a full case review, we swapped the R5 in place of the R4 to get a practical assessment of the improvements the new case brings. In the process, we managed to drop the full load noise of our Quiet ATX Gamer to under 17 dBA@1m.

SPCR's Quiet ATX Gaming Build Guide

Do-It-Yourself Systems | Silent PC Build Guides
The first of our quiet gaming build guides is an ATX tower featuring the highly efficient NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980. Join us as we plan, build, and stress test this beast, while trying to keep it quiet enough to satisfy our own high standards. A preview: We managed to keep it under 20 dBA@1m under all test conditions!

Gigabyte GA-F2A85XN-WIFI Mini-ITX Motherboard

CPUs|Motherboards | Do-It-Yourself Systems
The GA-2A85XN-WIFI from Gigabyte offers a nice feature-set for a reasonable price and the best energy effiency I've seen out of an FM2 motherboard. Our first in a series of DIY articles on mini-ITX motherboards for small system options.

Build the Perfect Lab or Office Workstation

Do-It-Yourself Systems | Silent PC Build Guides
A tutorial on building the perfect (quiet!) workstation for your office & lab by new contributor Bartek Plichta, a specialist in acoustics and linguistics.

Fanless Power Supply PC Build Guide

Cases|Damping | Do-It-Yourself Systems | Power | Silent PC Build Guides
A high efficiency fanless PSU is a great starting point for an ultra quiet yet powerful modern PC. In our latest system build guide, we explore case and configuration options, share our observations about how a fanless PSU changes PC airflow, and walk you through the fine details of a full fledged PC build with a fanless Seasonic X series PSU.

Miika's DIY Silent Aluminum-frame HTPC

Do-It-Yourself Systems
Miika's monolithic HTPC is the result of classic old-time DIY ingenuity and savvy, which seem in decline in silent computing as quiet off-the-shelf solutions proliferate. DIY initiative can still vye with all the gleaming new high efficiency computer technology today.

Silent Mid Gaming PC Build Guide

Do-It-Yourself Systems | Silent PC Build Guides

The relentless downward pressure on PC component prices has made it possible for enthusiasts to assemble ever more powerful yet inexpensive systems. In our hands, $1,000 is enough to assemble a PC capable of pretty high performance game play at astonishingly low noise levels. We showed you how to assemble a Silent SFF Gaming rig a few weeks ago; this time, it's a mid-budget gaming system in a mid-tower case that is even quieter, at least at lower loads when you care most about the noise.

Silent SFF Gaming PC Build Guide

Do-It-Yourself Systems | Silent PC Build Guides

Gaming PCs consume more energy, put out more heat, and run louder than mainstream machines. There isn't much we can do about the power and heat of high-end gear, but we can certainly help gamers build quiet system to fulfill their needs. Since they are typically louder to begin with, gaming systems have the most benefit from SPCR know-how. For our first gaming system guide, we show you how to build a small factor gaming system that is well cooled and impressively quiet yet powerful enough to run modern PC titles smoothly at high resolutions.

Silent Home Server Build Guide

Do-It-Yourself Systems | Silent PC Build Guides

You've seen system build guides on other tech web sites before. They are usually shopping lists of components recommended for the "Ultimate Gaming Rig" or "Mini PC" or what have you. There's nothing wrong with these types of guides — otherwise we would not be proposing to do them ourselves — but there's no question they can be improved. The unique selling proposition (to borrow a phrase from marketing 101) of our Silent System Build Guides is that not only will we provide suitable lists of up-to-date recommended components for a particular type of computer, but we will actually build these computers, and run and test them acoustically under tough actual-use conditions in our anechoic chamber.

Single Moving Part PC in Silverstone TJ08

Do-It-Yourself Systems | The Silent Front
Another month, another silent PC. This time, in a handsome presentable case with just one moving part: A 120mm fan spinning at 500rpm. The SMPPC combines an Intel X25-M 80GB SSD, a Cool'n'Quiet AMD Athlon 64 2X processor, high efficiency DC/DC power conversion and DIY modding on a heatpipe heatsink in a Silverstone TJ08 for a system that is immeasurable even in an 11 dBA anechoic chamber.

Silent PC with No Moving Parts

Do-It-Yourself Systems | The Silent Front
A PC without any moving parts has been the Holy Grail of Silent Computing for years. It's a quest that has led some individuals to fabricate their own cases, massive heatsinks turned inside out, with the components bolted inside them. The final moving part to go is the spinning hard disk drive. A new PC for our anechoic chamber uses a Samsung SSD to eliminate all moving parts for truly silent performance.

Quiet Media PC made from Junk

Do-It-Yourself Systems
Edward McKeating's project started not as an exercise in reuse and recycle but because he wanted to move his media PC into the living room to watch TV and videos more comfortably. The problem was that the PC was ugly and very noisy. He decided instead to modify what he had with some of the junk cluttering his garage. The end result is a unique and successful DIY media PC that cost only a can of paint and some time and effort.

Bill's Recycled, Fanless, Silent Woodbox Computer

Do-It-Yourself Systems
An English electronic engineer who likes making things, Bill Todd made many modifications, and created a new wood case to take this modest old Pentium III system far along the road to silent nirvana. His ingenious journey involved recycling and creating of all kinds of parts including old electronics heatsinks, home-made damping gel packs, scraps of plywood, and even wheels from an old scooter. Two years after he first assembled this passively cooled system, it's still working silently away, even after a leak in a gel pack next to the hard drive.

Superquiet Superclocked DIY Core 2 Duo System

Do-It-Yourself Systems
Chris Thomson returns with a Core 2 Duo upgrade of his quiet PC, greatly overclocked with carefully chosen high performance parts, modified judiciously, and meticulously ducted for maximum airflow and cooling with minimum noise. It's another magnum opus on the current state of DIY, enthusiast, air-cooled, high performance, silent computing.
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