Are Gaming PCs Supposed To Be Loud?

Gaming models outperform other PCs in terms of performance. However, for some dedicated gamers, this increased performance comes at a cost: added noise.

Note: It is tough to keep most gaming computers cool if used in a hot room. The external ambient temperature will greatly determine your computer’s cooling results and how noisy it will be.

How Loud Is A Gaming PC Supposed To Be?

An optimized PC build should be near silent when idle or during regular use. The only time excess noise is normal is during a period of intense gaming.

However, some gamers overlook silence to keep the PC’s internal temperature as low as possible via the fans. By raising the speed of the PC fan to its maximum potential, the PC will become noticeably louder.

A loud gaming PC is causing someone to cover their ears.

Also, your processor (and how it cools) will partially impact your PC’s volume. For instance, a PC with the most powerful Intel or AMD model processor and an air cooling system would almost certainly be noisier than a less demanding model.

This sound happens because the mechanics must work harder to support enhanced graphics, thus creating more vibrations and noise.

How noisy are gaming PCs?

Except for a few typical sounds, gaming PCs are mostly quiet. Depending on the age of your computer, an audible initialization noise can occur. 

Other common, harmless noises you might hear from your gaming PC include the following:

  • Occasional fan whirls: Modern computer fans have eco-friendly features that allow them to operate almost silently most of the time. However, the fan is likely to be noisier on a humid day.
  • Hard drive hums: A stable hard drive operates with a gentle yet consistent tone.
  • Optical drive spinning: When you insert a CD into your optical drive, it’ll begin spinning, which you can hear as long as the disc is in use.
  • Internal speaker pops: When the woofers of some speakers power up, they make popping noises. You can reduce the amplitude of this sound by lowering the volume upon starting the PC. You can also avoid this by changing to a digital audio signal from your computer to your speaker system, as long as everything is properly grounded.

One way to deliver a clearer explanation using an example is by taking my personal gaming computer and sharing some observations.

I took dB readings of my gaming rig, which currently has high-end hardware. At idle, it measured an average of around 42 dB. I recorded an average of around 45 dB with the sound on my speakers turned off while gaming.

my personal computer

As you can see, there are plenty of cooling fans, yet the system is remarkably quiet.

The primary reason for this is having so many fans, which seems the opposite of what you might initially think.

Plenty of fans means they do not have to spin up as much to give me outstanding airflow through the system. The bottom line is that they can provide plenty of airflow at lower RPMs.

A good CPU cooler helps reduce the case’s heat and runs quieter than stock fans supplied with CPUs.

The best option for quiet and superior cooling is an all-in-one CPU cooler. AIO CPU coolers offer superior cooling compared to air cooling but require extra mounting space in the computer case.

Concerning noises

Don’t tolerate excessive or loud noises, as this often signals damage. If you hear any of the following sounds, it’s concerning:

  • Continuous fan whirls: This sound indicates that the computer is overheating. Also, this is a warning that your machine desperately needs a thorough cleaning. The continuous fan whirls typically appear when the air vents are blocked or you’re gaming in a hot room.
  • Abnormal hard drive noises: Dying hard disks make clicking noises as the needle component of the hard disk reader skips around. A high-pitched moaning sound often follows because the hard drive rotates unusually fast.
  • An optical drive that does not automatically shut down: There’s an issue if your disc drive is audibly turning constantly.
  • Numerous beeps: The BIOS repeatedly beeps to communicate an audible error message.

What causes the most noise in a gaming PC?

Fans and the hard drive are the two primary sources of excessive noise in a gaming PC. Fans create ventilation, allowing the heat produced by the mechanics to escape. They can become noisy if unsecured, too small, or insufficiently powered.

Hard disks generate noise when the platters rotate, and the head searches for information.

However, gaming PCs can be noisy if parts fall loose or shake against the casing. As machines mature, they collect debris, preventing fans from operating correctly and causing additional noise.

Ways to silence a loud gaming PC

If your gaming PC is abnormally loud, you might wonder how to silence it!

That’s especially true if you have an upcoming or hours-long tournament, which can put extra strain on the system, causing more noise.

And that also goes for gamers like myself, who occasionally take a whole day off work to play some of the latest AAA titles in single-player mode when a major one is released.

Here are a few tips to quiet your loud gaming PC:

Remove loud components

Mechanical hard disks, GPU cooling systems, and power supply units create significant noise.

Switching from a mechanical hard drive to an SSD can dramatically improve sound quality. SSDs are entirely silent, and they can even increase the speed of your PC.

PSUs can be very loud because of the heat generated and the large fan used for cooling. Fortunately, many PSUs are now programmed to be silent. Some even shut down their cooling fan when not in use.

A brief web search for quiet power suppliers will turn up countless results. Of course, it’s best to stick with a trusted brand when purchasing computer gear.

Your GPU also generates a lot of heat, which causes the GPU fan to be very loud when it attempts to cool your system. If changing it proves impossible, replace the whole graphics card.

When shopping for a GPU, look at vendors that have tried to minimize fan noise. If efficiency isn’t a primary consideration, consider a fanless passive model. However, I recommend this option for most systems.

You can also consider adjusting your GPU’s fan profile and replacing the thermal paste to help keep it cooler and quieter.

For your CPU, you might want to consider removing an air CPU cooler and replacing it with an AIO cooler instead.

Utilize quiet case fans

Case fans are one of the most audible components of any device. Although necessary for cooling the mechanics, they don’t have to be loud. However, the bigger the fan, the noisier it is in general. 

Fans are usually 80mm, 120mm, 140mm, and 200mm. You’ll need a case that suits your make and model. 

While the most common-sized fan is 120mm. And installing larger ones where possible contributes to less overall noise.

How? By requiring fewer RPMs to move the same amount of air. The larger fan blades will move a greater air volume, reducing the demand for higher rotational speeds.

I also discuss how to add fans to your computer if you need to know more.

Add a fan speed controller

Your motherboard controls the fan on your CPU, increasing or decreasing its speed in response to the system’s temperature.

However, not all case fans are this adaptable. Instead, they’re usually switched on and operating at the same rate regardless of the device’s temperature.

Installing a controller can help your system fans function more efficiently and quietly. By setting up a curve profile, you can achieve a harmonious balance between speed and noise using the controller’s software.

Install vibration-resistant fan mounts

As stated previously, some case fans have anti-vibration pads. These pieces can be efficient but don’t target other components that could produce loud noises.

One significant area where vibrations can be transmitted is through the mounting screws. You can effectively quiet your PC by mounting your fans on anti-vibration mounts.

Manage your cables

Cables that aren’t well-arranged can get in the way of other components. If they block airflow, your device can become hotter than necessary, requiring louder fans to remove the excess heat.

Handling your computer’s internal cables correctly can improve airflow, minimize heat, and reduce noise.

Use various zip ties, strings, or cable routing to keep all cables out of the central airflow route.