I built a PC about 2 years ago, and it's extremely loud. I didn't care at first but I'm getting sick of it and want to quiet it down. I know it's fan noise that's bugging me, but I'm not sure what's making the most noise, so I wanted to ask for help in isolating where the noise might be coming from. Here are my specs:
Zalman CPS 9500 heatsink/fan
EVGA GTS 8800 320mb
Antec tri-cool LED 120 mm fan (on lowest speed)
Antec tri-cool LED 80 mm fan (on lowest speed)
120 mm fan that came with Lian-Li case
80 mm fan that came with Lian-Li case
What CPU and motherboard do you have? Some motherboards can control the CPU fan speed based on the CPU temp. The Zalman cooler should have also come with a FanMate speed controller. Are you using it? Do your case fans plug directly into the PSU, or do they plug into the motherboard?
All of my fans are plugged into the motherboard. I don't think my cooler came with a fanmate, but it's plugged into the motherboard too. The motherboard is an EVGA SLI 680 or something like that, and the CPU is a Core 2 Duo E6800 or something similar. (Sorry I'm not at home so I don't have the exact model numbers)
Yes it could. The simplest solution is to listen to where the noise is coming from, popping off the side cover works wonders to helping you to locate the noise, just be sure to not unplug the fans on the side cover while the computer is on, or better yet disconect them while the computer is off and unplug. And than run the comp with the cover off and listen to where the noise is coming from.
While your in there you mine as well pull out a can of compressed air and give the computer a thorough cleaning. I have an 8800gts myself and that dual slot cooler on it can conceal quite a bit of dust so hit it with the compressed air inside the fan cooler to knock it out (while the machine is off of course). With any luck that may have been the problem with the dust blocking the exhaust port and preventing it to cool properly so it spins up to 100% speed and thus alot of noise. If not go back to plan B) Locate said noise.
So I did what you suggested, and the loudest offender is by far this little chipset fan on the northbridge heatsink. Do you think it's alright to just take it off? It came as an accessory with the motherboard so I included it in my build.