I set out to make a “nearly” silent PC, in that I didn’t want to go fan-less, but I wanted it to have the fans running so slowly (or off) during normal operation that it was silent, and it was only during intensive activities that the fans would ramp up. intel core i3 And I wanted a fair amount of horse-power too so that I could effortlessly do my engineering work (mechanical part creation and PCB layout work mostly).
The key to doing that is getting both a CPU and GPU that while high horsepower is also very efficient and then cooling them with well-designed heat sinks that don’t take a large amount of airflow and fans that run quietly and allow for very granular control at low RPMs.
Introduction of intel core i3 processor
For the CPU I’m glad I chose the Intel Core i3-8100. 14 nm technology allows them to have a 4-core processor running at 3.6 GHz but still only generates 65 watts. I don’t think there’s a better combination of horsepower and efficiency on the market right now. It’s a real winner and when paired with the GTX 1050 Ti GPU, this computer rocks while not generating a lot of heat. Measured from the wall outlet, it’s usually below 100 watts total.
But it is also quiet. Pairing this CPU with a good CPU cooler (Cooler Master Hyper T2), a good fan (Noctua NF-B9) and powering it with an EVGA 650 GQ PSU in “eco mode” I have built a truly silent PC in all but the most intensive work situations.
Using my pretty sensitive dB meter, I can not detect it being on. I have to do the test in the middle of the night because even cars going by outside are detectable. But at 3 AM, it reads 21.1 dB with the PC off and 21.1 dB with it on. My stomach gurgles and the stupid thing goes up to 24 dB or I click the mouse and it goes up to over 30 dB so trust me when I say the dB meter is sensitive enough to detect pretty small readings.
About Cpu Fan
To be fair and give a caveat, to keep it silent, the fans are running at 13% on the rear of the case, 10% on the CPU and 5% on the GPU. But that’s just enough air flow with the good heat-sinks that in normal operation the system temp stays around 40 and both the CPU temp and GPU temps stay in the mid-’50s.
- Intel Core i3-8100 CPU
- MSI Z370M Mortar motherboard
- Gigabyte GTX 1050 Ti “Windforce OC” GPU (Note: Gigabyte is the only vendor with a good fan controller on their 1050 GPU. The other companies have junk 2-pin fans, see my review on that product for more details on how I modded it to be quieter.)
- 2 of 4 GB DDR4 2400 Kingston Fury DIMMs
- Samsung 960 EVO M.2 SSD
- EVGA 650 GQ PSU in eco mode