Our trusty old office machine can be a bit noisy at times, so it was the perfect candidate for quietening. It's fairly typical of PCs around three years old, so the quiet kit below should do a good job of quietening most PCs.
Shopping list (all items available from www.quietpc.com)
- 1 x Acoustipack 2-Layer Soundproofing - £25
- 1 x Acoustipack Acoustic Foam Blocks - £15
- 2 x Acoustifan : Dustproof 80mm Fans - £26
- 1 x Acoustifeet Soft Vibration Feet - £3.98
First is a pack of two-layer soundproofing material which can be stuck to the inside of both of the case's side panels to deaden any rattling and absorb the various noises of internal components.
The old noisy fans will be replaced by a couple of Dustproof Acoustifans which, thanks to their sealed motors should be both long-lasting and quiet.
Vibrations will be further dampened by AcoustiFoam blocks, which fit into empty drive bays and help to alleviate the sonic emissions that spinning drives add to the overall tone of a PC.
Finally we’ll fit a set of anti-vibration feet. These simple additions are made of softer rubber than most standard case feet and are designed to lessen the amount of vibration that transfers to the floor.
1. To fit the soundproofing sheets, first measure the size of the panel you are going to insulate, being careful not to cover any ventilation holes. Then it’s a simple case of removing the backing paper and gently pressing the material into place. If you make a mistake then you can remove the material straight away and try again.
2. The foam blocks are very easy to fit. The pack includes a 3.5in block and two 5.25in ones which will slide, respectively, into empty hard drive and optical drives bays. Simply open the case, and gently push the foam bricks into the relevant gaps, being careful not to snag the material on any sharp edges.
3. Unscrew your existing fans, then - using the included soft mounts - affix the new ones. Now either plug the fan into the normal 3-pin socket on the motherboard, or use the provided cable to plug into a 4-pin Molex connector from the power supply. You can then choose one of three speed settings via the coloured leads - Full (Black), Medium (Blue), Low (White).
4. To attach the feet to the bottom of the case unscrew or peel off the originals. Clean the surface and then dry to make a clean, smooth surface. Take the four new feet, remove the backing paper, and press them firmly into place for a few seconds.
With our machine back together there was a noticeable difference in the volume of noise it creates. It hasn’t become miraculously silent - to achieve more noise reduction you could forget about the foam blocks and rubber feet and put the money towards replacing the power supply or CPU cooler. However, the annoying, breathy hum under our desk is now a more serene breeze.
In fact the problem with starting a project like this is that it becomes quite addictive and already we’re eyeing up one of those fancy silent cases and a new CPU cooler.