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Tips on How to Build a Quiet PC

If you’re a computer enthusiast who’s ready to mod your current computer with the latest and greatest computer hardware, or if you’re someone who just can’t stand the noise your computer is constantly making, you’re in luck. Below are the top five tips on building a quiet pc.

1.) Power Supply – This is the device that produces the power for your computer. Unfortunately, this is almost always the noisiest part your computer includes. It usually contains one or two fans which are used to cool the device down. Fortunately, with today’s technology, you can now buy power supplies which only use their fans when the temperature reaches a set point. This will both reduce noise, and save energy.

2.) Case Fans – The reasons for having case fans are obvious, to create proper airflow. Unfortunately, for some computers, they’re only there to create obnoxious noise. If your computer is mainly used for documents, internet, and e-mail, chances are you don’t need more than one case fan. A system used for the latest computer games on the other hand, will need proper airflow to bring internal temperatures down to a safe operating level.

3.) Disk Drives – If this is your noise issue, there isn’t too much you can do, except invest in a CD or DVD drive known for being a quieter model, or insert acoustic padding around them. If you’re having issues with floppy drive noises, I’ll just tell you now, you’re way behind in technology. A memory card reader is far faster, and is completely silent.

4.) Hard Drives – Hard drive noises are often difficult to suppress as well. The common hard drive noises are heard when the device is in use, opening a program, installing software, etc. Often the noises are the vibrations between your hard drive, and your hard drives mount. Cushioning your device with padding like silica gel can often reduce some of the noise. If you’re hard drive is making unusual and highly noticeable noises while not in use, there’s a chance it could be failing. Please consult a service technician if this is the case.

5.) Computer Case – This is often forgotten about. There are many types of cases engineered in all sorts of ways. You can even purchase a case with sound padding materials included in it. Consider the material of the case itself. An aluminum case can by flimsy, and can increase noise levels from its vibrations. A steel case however, is more solid, and is less prone to creating vibrations. The down side of a steel case would be its weight. Whichever case you decide to use, adding acoustic sound padding, silica gel, and foam blocks, will significantly reduce vibrations.

Building a quiet pc isn’t for everyone. If you own a brand name computer, you’ll likely have a hard time following the tips shown above. Modifications to a brand name computer could potentially void a warranty. I would suggest researching this first before using my tips. You must also remember that your computer must run at safe operating temperature to avoid any device malfunctions, or even failure. Testing and research is always recommended.

When Should you Give up on that Old Computer?

Computers last only so long. Sooner or later you’ll either have to do some computer repair on that old computer of yours or simply decide to abandon it. In this article I’ll give you tips to help you decide when you need to send your computer out to pasture.

How much will the computer repair cost you? What kind of repair you need to have performed on your computer and the relative cost of that repair can help you make the choice to walk away from fixing that computer. Most computer repair shops will offer you a free estimate before they perform the repair. Smaller computer shops are more likely to offer free estimates that larger shops. If the computer shop you usually go to won’t give you a free estimate, consider finding one that will.

Most software repair problems will cost you under $100 and won’t usually be a reason to ditch your computer. Keep in mind that a newer computer in and of itself, won’t stop you from getting a virus, or some nasty spyware and such. You still need to have anti-virus software installed and up to date. One exception to this advice though is if your computer is running an older operating system because it won’t / can’t run the latest patched operating system out there. In that case, buying a new computer would in fact help you avoid software related problems in the future.

Sometimes, it isn’t the one repair that is expensive but the need for multiple repairs over a short period of time. I have an old Thinkpad 600X that is over seven years old. At first, I reasoned that I only needed a few repairs (which I was able to do myself). I replaced the battery, I added new memory and I replaced my keyboard. All of this cost me about $200. Now my hard drive has developed some problems and I’m looking at another $100 or so to replace it. Last Thanksgiving, I would have been able to get purchase a brand new laptop for as little as $400. This new laptop had many features lacking in my old computer laptop like a DVD player, more memory, a larger LCD screen and more. Sometimes, it makes more sense to purchase a new computer than to keep repairing an old one.

At the end of the day, only you can decide whether that computer repair makes sense or whether you need to look at buying a new computer. Many different factors can come into play but ultimately, it’s about getting things done with a computer whether your old one or a new one.