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It goes without saying that even a moderately fast CPU these days requires a fast-spinning (read noisy) fan to avoid the risk of overheating. Combine that with a PSU fan, GPU fan, chipset fan and one or more case fans and your average PC can so easily become a major distraction. And it’s not just the sound from fans that can cause annoyance. A high proportion of the noise created by PCs can also emanate from the hard disk(s), particularly while ‘seeking’, or from any optical drives that have been installed. Just imagine then trying to follow the dialogue in your favourite DVD movie with the constant din of your computer in the background.

It doesn’t even have to be a particularly loud sound to be distracting - a relatively quiet noise containing a strong tonal component such as a high frequency whine or a low frequency hum can be just as irritating to some people. Fortunately, there are now numerous noise elimination products available to purchase, either as add-on components or devices that replace the existing cooling fans in your system – these components are designed to reduce the sound of a noisy PC to barely a whisper.

Sounds too good to be true? Well, specialist component supplier QuietPC certainly doesn’t think so and has provided us with a range of silencing products for testing. The effectiveness of each noise-reducing component has been assessed subjectively based on the different acoustic features in each instance, and also from noise measurements taken using a high-quality sound level meter.

So, if you fancy the idea of creating your own near-silent PC but are unsure of the best place to start, or are just keen to learn what the latest IT noise control technology has to offer, you should find this feature interesting.

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