Question I have a question for the comptuer-building community.

Oct 14, 2019
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A long-standing question I've had about computer building is most likely one of the most controversial questions to even think about bringing up. With that said, I would humbly ask you to put aside any strong emotions in the replies, as I would like an answer that is as unbiased as possible. Please do not mistake my ignorance and desire for an answer as disrespect. I simply would like to understand your thoughts on the matter.

Why must fans be quiet? Logically speaking, if you put a fan in your build, you are more than likely trying to keep your system cooler than it would be without one. Fans make noise; this is a basic fact of life we all know. Why is everyone I see manipulating settings to turn down the fans to be as quiet as possible? I've seen people talk about how fans blow "as loud as a jet engine." I have never come across a fan setup that is so loud it distracts me, and I've found some pretty strong fans in some junk parts I've brought back to life. So why are audible fans such an issue? I would like to understand why it is such a taboo subject.
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
Most people complaining about fan noise often exaggerate the noise level. Likewise, there has been this long standing misconception of 'completely silent' in terms of a powerful PC. Also, I might say nearly silent and someone else will tell me they can hear them as a loud roar. Rating in decibels would be the most ideal as this is a measurable value.

There is a lot of incorrect information when it comes to PC building and PC cooling...and many of these misconceptions continue to live on either from threads of the past bearing claims and info or the hand-me-down nature of 'I know a guy and he told me...' type of information.
 
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MisterMeow

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Jan 29, 2016
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The extra noise from any moving parts in your system is just a distraction. A lot of people don't like the extra noise. That's why noctua fans sell for 4 or 5 times what an average case fan sells for. And people are more than willing to pay.
 
There are universally accepted safe operating temps. On desktop machines, 60-75C for CPU (varies slightly between Intel/AMD and by generation), and 70-80C for GPU is what most people are comfortable with (note these aren't the manufacturer specified max temps).

Why produce undue fan noise to keep temps abnormally low? Not like it gains you anything.

Everyone's threshold for computer noise is different. Also, you'll care more about tower noise if you're using speakers compared to your friend that uses headphones.
What if your PC is in your living room and you're watching movies on it? Is that PC noise going to be distracting during quiet/talking scenes?
 
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Oct 14, 2019
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Fans do not "have" to be quiet to function. It's a preference and desirable because many users want to listen to music or games or whatever without the background noise of the fans.
I understand that it is preferential. However, I don't understand. I have relatively "loud" fans, at least according to people who take a gander at my build. I can listen to music and game just fine. As for saying that fans "must be quiet," I apologize. I was simply speaking figuratively.
 
Oct 14, 2019
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There are universally accepted safe operating temps. On desktop machines, 60-75C for CPU (varies slightly between Intel/AMD and by generation), and 70-80C for GPU is what most people are comfortable with (note these aren't the manufacturer specified max temps).

Why produce undue fan noise to keep temps abnormally low? Not like it gains you anything.

Everyone's threshold for computer noise is different. Also, you'll care more about tower noise if you're using speakers compared to your friend that uses headphones.
What if your PC is in your living room and you're watching movies on it? Is that PC noise going to be distracting during quiet/talking scenes?
I don't use headphones whatsoever. Fan noise has never been a problem for me, no matter how loud they got. I reckon I prefer maximum performance over reduction of supposed noise pollution.
 
Oct 14, 2019
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The extra noise from any moving parts in your system is just a distraction. A lot of people don't like the extra noise. That's why noctua fans sell for 4 or 5 times what an average case fan sells for. And people are more than willing to pay.
I've actually never understood that... I'm quite noise-sensitive, and I've never met any tower fan that can distract me from a good gaming session or is too loud to listen to music while I write. I specialize in "zombie builds," where I collect e-waste in my neighbourhood and reuse parts to build working Linux desktops.

At any rate, this specific preference is completely lost on me...
 
Oct 14, 2019
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Most people complaining about fan noise often exaggerate the noise level. Likewise, there has been this long-standing misconception of 'completely silent' in terms of a powerful PC. Also, I might say nearly silent and someone else will tell me they can hear them as a loud roar. Rating in decibels would be the most ideal as this is a measurable value.

There is a lot of incorrect information when it comes to PC building and PC cooling...and many of these misconceptions continue to live on either from threads of the past bearing claims and info or the hand-me-down nature of 'I know a guy and he told me...' type of information.
I appreciate your different take on this.
 
I don't use headphones whatsoever. Fan noise has never been a problem for me, no matter how loud they got. I reckon I prefer maximum performance over reduction of supposed noise pollution.
I think you're co-mingling "performance" and "temps".
I reckon everyone else wants maximum performance from their PC also. I sure do. But TECHNICALLY, as long as frequencies are unaffected, performance of a 40C system is the same as an 85C system.
Same goes for component longevity, there's a point (again fits in the "socially acceptable" ranges) where lower temps aren't going to statistically make your components last any longer.

Now, someone trying to cool the same components with 80mm case fans is going to be a lot louder than using 140+mm fans. If you have the choice, why choose the louder option?

I prefer to have my cake and eat it too. I wouldn't say I have a power hungry system (see sig), but my 4.2GHz i5-3570K runs at/below 65C and my 1300MHz RX480 runs at/below 75C under full gaming load and I can barely hear my system. My PSU fan only spins when I can sustain a peakpeak load on my CPU and GPU at the same time via power virus programs like Prime95+FurMark. Heck, my GPU fans don't even spin when playing lighter games like Warframe.

I see it as this. These days we have the tools (coolers/fans/cases/mobos) to achieve a high performance system that's also quiet without much/any added cost. Why not take advantage of that? Not too long ago, we had to live with higher temps AND louder systems unless you wanted to pay through the nose for specialized equipment.

PC quietness doesn't have a right or wrong answer. There's a median level of noise/quietness that can be achieved with little/no effort. But as decrease noise past that point, the price and/or time commitment increases. It's all about how far down the rabbit hole you want to go.
 
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