Trying to build a silent (at least while idling) gaming PC

Last time I built a PC I tried to make it fairly quiet... and failed utterly; the PC sounded like a jet taking off! So this time around, I've spent a good deal of time looking at all the parts I'll be using, but I'd like to get a second opinion. I'm going to use the antec skeleton case (open air), which means that there's no insulation between the fans and my ears anyways...

PC Power & Cooling S75CF 750W

XFX PVT98WYDFH GeForce 9800 GTX+

Scythe Zipang

I'm guessing the GPU is going to be the noisiest thing, right? Is there anything in particular I can do about it?

Thanks for any and all help/advice
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  1. To be honest, with that case choice, I think you're headed for a repeat "utterly failed".
    Have you thought about maybe an acrylic case?
    I think that Skeleton case is kinda scary - HDDs hanging outside the case, dust invasion, no barrier to foreign objects entering the MB area (think stray paper clip, or spilled coke). And expensive.
    Save $110, get a quieter case and upgrade the video card to a GTX 260/216.
  2. Want a silent PC then put it in another room .

    USB and DVI cables can be about 5 meters long so all you need on the desk is monitor , keyboard/mouse and an external dvd drive . The rest can be somewhere else .

    OR if you really like noise use an open case like the skeleton .
  3. well the sekelton will only have the 1 top fan which by itself won't produce to much noise. I think what you need to do is make sure you get a quiet hard drive. W/O walls to dampen the noise, hard drive will be very audible. If you want quiet get a antec sonata. While running a case w/o a intake fan might be a bit scary, it's not as bad as people think. the case is near dead silent.
  4. Yeah..Is this a joke?
    I recommend you try an Antec p180 for a quiet build.

    I would only recommend the skeleton for tinkering or test bed.
  5. I got an antec p180 which is supremely quiet and offers fairly decent ventilation, if you want silent or as close as possible in an antec skeleton, first you need SSD's instead of regular harddisks, at least for OS and applications.

    Next you need a motherboard with passive northbridge and southbridge - my intel 975XBX is passive, as was the 975xbx 2, the Asus P5E3 deluxe is a newer alternative and offers better CPU support and an uodated chipset. Then you need a passive graphics card, the best you can find out of the box is probably something like a xfx 7950GT, however I've seen reports of people modifying ATI 4850 and 4870 cards with an Accelero S1 cooler althought the success is very user and card position dependant.

    The main problem is finding a passive CPU cooler that will fit in the skeleton, a lot of the tower coolers dont fit, you may be forced to go with one of those fan shaped cooers and hope the top fan on your case blows enough air across it. Youll need to get the smallest architecture (highest efficiency) revision of whatever processor you're looking at getting (lowest TDP) and overclocking is pretty much out of the question.

    The other option is to go with a standard setup and then find a quiet watercooling solution and watercool everything, there will be pump noise assosciated with this, but you can disable the top fan on the case (as it wont be doing anything) and it does open up some overcloking potential.
  6. A SILENT GAMING PC!!!.... Still a distant dream i guess.. Anyway, i too give a +1 for an antec p180.. Or you can look for the antec p182 as an alternative..
  7. Sorry, I should have explained my choice in case more thoroughly. :)

    The reason I'm replacing my computer at all is because fedex trashed the one I had before. In order to ensure that doesn't happen again, I chose the skeleton case because I'll be able to take it as carryon on the plane with me (I'm a college student, I travel often). Is there any full case that is full-ATX compatible that can boast these dimension? (13"x15"x17") Or is there another case that is nigh-indestructible during travel?

    Thanks for the info on the Accelero S1, will_chellam, looks like that should work great for a 9800 GTX+. The idea of running an SSD on the OS disk is also brilliant. How much noise do the HDDs really generate while idling, though?
  8. HDD's click and whirr almost constantly, and in my experience they tend to get louder as they get older, its one of these things i completely failed to realise till I got myself one.....

    Out of interest I've ran (for the last two and a half years)

    Intel 975xbx, C2D E6600 (scythe ninja2 passive), XFX 7950GT passive, antec p180 and an antec neo he 450w psu, its got 2gb corasir xms2 RAM. A samsung dvd rom and samsung dvd-rw, initially it had two samsung spinpoint 250gb HDD's, its since been supplemented with two 750gb spinpoint F1's and the OS is now on an mtron pro 16gb SSD.

    My system has been as near as silent since day one, everything was handpicked for the purpose, its still runs crysis on medium/high settings in 1024x1280.

    My next step is to put all the HD's on a NAS or a server in the basement and i'm looking at putting a 4850 or 4870 with an accelero s1, so let me know if you do the same and how it works out....
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