Dell precision 390 silent


I already got rid of the ridiculously loud graphics card that came with the system and work with a silent one (here's mor info) but the machine is still way too loud, both from the psu and the cpu cooling. I use this dell just for writing and internet-stuff, so it should suit me well for the next years, but I need it to shut up in order to concentrate on my work..

With the dell motherboards having quite a special design, I know that there's not everything suitable for this type.. maybe some of you have recommendations from your own experiences - what parts would you recommend to get the noise level down most effectively?

thanks for answering!
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  1. first of all i would replace the power supply, easy enough to do, just make sure that the one you order has the correct MoBo power cables and the correct number of molex/sata power cables. after that you are moving into harder territory of changing the processor cooler. have you checked for dust and blown the box out with compressed air? also, something that i have found tends to help is to make sure that the PC is on the latest BIOS.

    Let me know how it goes!
  2. Hi phate, thanks for your answer,

    I had it open, listened to the noise sources closely and both the cpu cooler and the psu seem about equal in their level. The psu replacement is quite straight forward, but what I just don't know are my options with the other.. Maybe, if should be harder or more time-consuming to replace, I am not going to fiddle around with it and just leave it or take another one. Adding to this my plans to try to convert it into a hackintosh system, as windows and me ain't no friends any more. for hackintosh I know- more time, more risk, more fun hopefully, but that's another topic.

    so, does anyone know a straight and proven method to replace the cpu-fan of this workstation..? and yes - I vaacume cleaned the dust (but without the compressed air cleaning)

    thanks again.
  3. changing the CPU cooler can be done with relatively little hassle, but more risk if you get it wrong (not enough TIM/badly positioning can lead to overheating and damage your processor). the motherboard on that PC has an IBT layout, which means you will find it extremely difficult to find a CPU cooler that will fit (it's not the socket type that is going to be the problem, but the layout of the components). the fan itself is built into the shroud and there aren't any fans i can think of that will fit into it. sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
  4. the first question to determine is what is causing the noise, it'll be either:
    case fans
    cpu fan

    if you are just doing light duty work then try unplugging the case fans

    if the cpu fan is shrouded then i'd suggest that is not the issue.

    if you've a smart phone, download a sound meter app and slowly move it around the case and see where it is noisiest.
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