This is how you make your PC quiet and cool again

If you buy a new PC, you can assume that the computer can hardly be heard when you switch it on. But the longer you use your PC, the more it will struggle to cool down and perform certain tasks. The result: your PC makes noise. How do you silence your computer?

Tip 01: Identification

If your PC makes too much noise, it is important to first see which part is making too much noise. You follow different steps for each part. So open your PC case, turn on the computer and investigate where the sound is coming from. Common parts that can produce a lot of noise are the hard drive, the CPU fan, the fan of the PC case, or the fans of the graphics card or power supply. It is also possible that your PC only makes noise under certain circumstances, such as when you are gaming. Then also test that situation with the PC case open. Based on what you find, follow the correct steps in this article.

Tip 02: Fabric

An important factor for a quiet and cool PC or laptop is dust – and we mean the lack of it. Dust is bad for your computer because it acts as an insulating layer and prevents cool air from flowing through the PC. Especially if your PC is on the floor, it can attract quite a bit of dust. Make sure that you regularly clean the inside of the PC or laptop. Use an aerosol compressed air for this. Shut down the computer, disconnect all cables, and flip the switch near the power cord. Move the PC case to a well-ventilated area. Then unscrew the case and make the PC dust-free with the aerosol. Keep the aerosol at some distance from your PC parts and don't forget to dust off the fans. You can also use a small, soft brush to remove any dust residue. The same applies to laptops. You can aim the can of compressed air at the fan holes and spray a few times – briefly – so that the dust comes off well. If you have a traditional laptop, you may be able to unscrew it. Consult the manual of your laptop for this. If you have an ultrabook, unscrewing it and making it dust-free becomes difficult, because those kinds of laptops are simply not made for that. It is then better to return to the manufacturer for a service.

Tip 03: Hard drive

If your hard drive is the part that makes the most noise, that doesn't bode well. The first thing to verify is whether the drive is still properly seated in the PC. If not, tighten the screws a bit. If you continue to hear strange noises, run a diagnostic test that checks to see if the drive is still OK. For this you download the software from the manufacturer or use SeaTools, for example. SeaTools includes the Acoustic Test, which stops the drive completely. Will the strange noise go away? Then you know that it is indeed coming from your disk. If possible, repair the drive using software, for example via Windows Explorer. Right click on the drive at This PC and choose Properties / Tools / Check. Then follow the steps on the screen. If the drive keeps making noises and you don't trust it, back it up and replace the drive as soon as possible.

SeaTools for Windows

Western Digital

Hitachi

You can also buy a laptop stand with a built-in fan

Tip 04: Cooling

If you listened to your PC in step 1 and determined that it is one of the fans that is giving you a hard time, then you have a couple of options depending on the fan in question. If it's the processor fan or the fan in the PC case, you can invest in a quieter fan. When buying a fan you should pay attention to the size, the noise level, the speed and which sockets the fan is compatible with. The socket is the CPU connection. In task management Bee Performance / Processor you can see at the top which processor you have. Google it to find the socket of that processor. Then you can easily buy a compatible replacement fan. In general, a fan produces 25 dB of noise. However, if the fan of your graphics card or of your power supply makes a lot of noise, then you have to either solve it with software or invest in a new part.

There are also various accessories that you can purchase to keep your PC or laptop cool. If you have a laptop, you can, for example, ensure that your laptop stand is designed in such a way that it provides cooling and good airflow. There are also special coolers that can prevent your laptop or PC from getting too hot. In this article we list some possibilities.

Water cooling

With water cooling, you cool your PC with water. You have all-in-one kits of water cooling that will get you done in one go. Such a kit consists of a pump to pump the water around, hoses, a water block that you place on, for example, the processor, a radiator and fan and a water reservoir. Water cooling works by pumping cool water around, which absorbs the heat. The fan then cools the water down again. The advantage is that water can absorb heat much better than air and that it cools a lot better. Cons? Water cooling is more expensive (between 50 and 100 euros), you run the risk of a leak and installation is difficult.

Tip 05: Uefic

Before you decide to buy new fans, you can first look in the uefi and adjust a number of settings there. What you should pay attention to is the Target Fan Speed, which is the fan speed during normal operation. You can often choose from a number of levels. For optimal silence, set it to the lowest level, but your temperatures may rise a bit. In the uefi you can also set the target temperature: the motherboard will then try not to let your processor go above that temperature. If you raise that temperature, your fans will kick in less quickly, but your PC will get a bit warmer. For an optimal lifespan, make sure that your processor does not get hotter than 65 degrees.

Tip 06: Laptop stand

The problem with a laptop is that the bottom gets very hot. So make sure that the heat can go away. Because most laptops have small feet or a minimal rise at the bottom, it helps if you put it on a flat, hard surface. This allows some air to circulate. Preferably do not place your laptop on a pillow or on your bed (because that only insulates more). If you work a lot at your desk, you can also use a special stand. With a laptop stand, more space is freed up and the heat can spread better. You can possibly buy a laptop stand with a built-in fan, such as the CoolerMaster SF-17. You could also buy a cooling mat instead of a standard. Such a mat is made of a special material that conducts the heat well. There are also cooling mats with a built-in fan.

Tip 07: Underclocking

If you lower the clock speed of your processor, it gets less warm and the fan does not have to spin as hard. Modern PCs and laptops continuously vary the clock speed, but if you use the PC intensively, it will work at its maximum. If you underclock, you reduce that maximum clock speed. In order to underclock, it is necessary that your processor supports it. When changing the clock speed, two factors play a role: the base clock and the multiplier. The base clock controls, among other things, the CPU frequency and the RAM frequency. So if you lower the base clock, your internal memory will also be slower. The multiplier times the base clock gives you your clock speed. If you lower either of those two, you are underclocking your PC. You can only adjust the multiplier if your Intel processor has a K in the type designation. You can search your uefi for the term CPU Multiplier or CPU Ratio or Base clock and set it a little lower. Then test in Windows whether everything still works stable and whether you get any blue screens.

Tip 08: Windows Settings

You can set Windows yourself to save energy. For that you go to Control Panel / System and Security / Power Options. Then choose a suitable energy scheme, for example Energy-saving or Balanced. If you click Change the plan settings / Change advanced power settings you can dig deeper into Windows settings. Flip the option Processor power management from. You can then join Maximum processor status choose the maximum percentage of computing power that can be used. If you set that percentage lower, your PC or laptop will become quieter. You can also choose between passive and active cooling (see box).

Tip 09: SpeedFan

If you've already tried slowing down the fans with the uefi, but want even more control, you can check out SpeedFan. As the name suggests, this tool is dedicated to the fans. Download the program and run it. click on I Agree / Next / Install. Open the program after the installation and click away the hint at the first start. You can see the current temperatures of your processor and the various sensors in your motherboard in the middle right. On the left you see the current speed in rpm (revolutions per minute) of the fans in your PC.

Sometimes SpeedFan may not be able to read the data from your motherboard or display strange data, such as extremely low or extremely high temperatures. To let SpeedFan automatically manage your fans, check Automatic fan speed at. However, that is not enough. click on Configure. On the tab temperature are all your PC parts. By clicking on an item, you can set the desired temperature and the warning temperature at the bottom. When you unfold a part, you can select which fan should turn on if that part gets too hot. You can manage the fans in the tab fans and set the speeds on the tab Speeds. If you don't know which label belongs to which fan, switch the speed of a fan on or off for a while and see which one it is in your PC case. Keep in mind that SpeedFan is advanced software, so handle it with care.

Lowering the clock speed of your processor will make it less warm

Passive vs. Active Cooling

Passive cooling slows down the processor before increasing the speed of the fans, unlike active cooling where the fans do spin faster. In other words, not much happens with passive cooling. The advantage of this is that the fans start less quickly and sometimes not at all. Some Intel chips, the Intel Core m3, m5/i5-Y or m7/i7-Y, are passively cooled. That means they don't need fans, but automatically drastically reduce their clock speed if they get too hot. The disadvantage is that your performance then deteriorates somewhat, but as a home garden and kitchen user you probably won't notice it as quickly.

Tip 10: Programs

A loud computer with the fans running continuously can also be caused by your PC being constantly busy. It can help to open Task Manager and keep an eye on which program is using so much computing power. You can easily sort by processor usage per program in Task Manager. It can also help to disable unnecessary programs. For that you can open Task Manager and then go to the tab Startup to go. Then find the programs from the list that you hardly use or that do not have to be switched on continuously. Select one from the list and click on the bottom right Switch off to prevent the program from starting with Windows. It is also advisable to regularly remove programs that you do not use. To uninstall software, go to the app Institutions and then System / Apps & Features. Scroll through the list and delete what you no longer use.

Tip 11: Other OS?

Windows 10 is a relatively heavy operating system and if you have a loud PC or laptop then you may not have the latest hardware. So it may be worth considering looking at another operating system. For example, you can opt for CloudReady, which is based on Chromium OS. With the handy tool from CloudReady you have made a USB stick to test Chromium OS. click on Download 64-Bit CloudReady and extract the *.bin file from the zip. Then download the Chromebook recovery tool from the Chrome web store. Open that and click on the gear at the top right. Choose Using local image and select the bin file. Plug in your USB stick and click Next one. Wait a while while the USB stick is being created. Then click Complete. Connect your USB stick to the PC or laptop that is making a lot of noise and boot from the stick. You may have to change the boot order in the uefi first. You can then choose to test Chrome OS first. To do this, follow the steps on the screen, such as choosing a language and connecting to a network.

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