Silent, But Deadly: Build Your Own Gaming-Ready 0 dB PC

Installing An Ultra-Quiet Fan

Is This Thing On? Noiseblocker's NB-Multiframe at 750 RPM

Let's say your passively-cooled PC does end up in a room where it gets a little warmer than you'd like every so often. Installing a fan is inexpensive insurance, and it'll give you peace of mind that your hardware isn't baking itself. Noiseblocker's NB-Multiframe M12-S1 is an excellent choice for such an application because it’s not even audible from 50 cm away in an absolutely quiet room.

This fan should be used with its included vibration isolation pad. And there’s just enough space between the CPU cooler and the back of the case to accommodate this exact model.

You can plug the NB-Multiframe M12-S1 into the system or CPU fan connector. It really doesn't matter which you choose, since the cooler doesn't support PWM, and our chosen motherboard doesn’t offer simple voltage-regulated RPM control. None of that matters though, since running full-speed at 750 RPM is perfectly fine.

BIOS Trick

If you're using a PWM-capable fan, some motherboards can turn them off when they aren't needed. The feature looks like this in the BIOS:

The platform keeps the fan from spinning until a CPU temperature of at least 55 degrees is detected. This way, you enjoy complete silence under typical loads. We don't recommend pushing a target any higher than 55, though, because AMD's APUs are more sensitive to heat than Intel's CPUs.

  • ASHISH65
    great article !!!
  • azathoth
    I was disappointed there wasn't actual stress test temperature results of the APU for the passive cooling solution.

    But otherwise it's a neat article, personally I would sacrifice dead silence to use a cheaper HDD and perhaps more of those silent fans if I were to build one myself.
  • mayankleoboy1
    Great article! Much more DIY than the usual articles on Toms.
    Much appreciated.
  • _Pez_
    Great PC !, but if it was mine I would be scared... "no fan noise .. is it burning?"
  • Nintendo Maniac 64
    As someone that also uses a semi-passive PC (fan only turns on when needed), I'm disappointed that you guys left out a few big things:

    1. undervolting the CPU and GPU

    2. underclocking and farther undervolting the GPU for 2D mode

    3. hybrid cooling setup for GPUs where the fan only turns on at a high temperature (may require GPU BIOS editing depending on GPU model)

    OPTIONAL (due to risk): removal of CPU IHS
  • dudewitbow
    no love for sapphire's passive ultimate HD 7770?
  • Madn3ss795
    Pentium G2120 + Sapphire Ultimate HD7750 would have been a better choice. And you can pay extra for a low-power Core i5 instead since it's not that expensive compared to the rest of this build.
  • ivyanev
    When i hear gaming from the TH I really expect to see something in the realm of 500$ SBM machine or at least something close. What I see here is realy nice office pc.
  • Nintendo Maniac 64
    10589934 said:
    When i hear gaming from the TH I really expect to see something in the realm of 500$ SBM machine or at least something close. What I see here is realy nice office pc.
    The main issue is the GPU, and that would require a hybrid passive-active cooling solution much like was done for the CPU, but for some reason they didn't even try such a thing...
  • twelve25
    I wonder about an i5 or i7 S or T model and crossfire 7750's. You might need a bigger case and a longer motherboard that allows gaps between cards.