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In search of the silent PC: Goodbye fans, hello passive cooling

Those who set up their own PCs look for different objectives and have different requirements, but there is a particularly suggestive market niche: that of totally silent PCs.

That is precisely what a user with a PC that offers zero noise levels achieved. Those 0 dB are achieved through passive cooling, a careful selection of components and, yes, and an investment of almost 2,000 euros in an interesting but not super powerful team.

Power is the enemy of silence

That is one of the basic principles of the construction of any silent PC: if you have very powerful components, they end up dissipating too much heat, and there are limits to what passive cooling without fans can achieve.

silent PC

Precisely is what a user explains in his blog detailing the entire construction of his silent PC? Everything in it was oriented to not generate noise, and the first of those specific components was the box used to integrate all the components, a Streacom DB4 prepared for motherboards in Mini-ITX format.

From there, the selection of components, which could not be too ambitious in terms of power. This user opted to base the equipment on an AMD Ryzen 5 1600 processor with a TDP of 65W, a more than acceptable consumption and that could be cooled passively without problems.

In fact this user made use of an ASRock motherboard with the B350 chipset that also allowed him to even opt for a Ryzen 5 1600X with a TDP of 95W more powerful to be able to force the mic through overclocking and still have temperatures under control with The optional LH6 refrigeration kit for the chosen box.

silent PC

Its construction was completed before the launch of the new AMD Ryzen second generation, something that as he said in an update would have been perfect to give the system more power and efficiency. In fact, he explained, he would have chosen the Ryzen 5 2600 if he could.

Other components such as RAM memory – chose Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB DDR4 modules – and the storage units (a Samsung 960 Evo 1TB and a Samsung 860 Evo 1TB) were not as crucial in that goal – they are already Silent in itself – but what was key was the graphic card chosen.

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The dedicated graphics can also be cooled passively

Here the user opted for a GTX 1050 Ti ASUS that was according to him the most suitable both for its small format and especially for its consumption and the ability to cool it passively. To do so, he removed the fan integrated in the card and applied the Streamcom cooling kit for this graphic card, as well as placing small heatsinks in the four VRAM chips on the graphics board to also control the heat dissipation in these chips.

silent PC

The power supply was also chosen with that goal of total silence in mind, and here once again it opted for the solution of Streamcom ZF240, a fanless source of 240W sufficient to offer room for maneuver for all components.

The result? A completely silent PC, perhaps not suitable for intensive gaming sessions but certainly perfect for long work sessions in which PC noise will shine by its absence. This type of construction is not cheap, and this user spent $ 3,000 on it.

silent PC

Silence is expensive, but we believe that the result achieved by this user is an excellent example of what can be achieved if you are looking for a PC of this type. The alternative, of course, is to opt for one of the many laptops – here is a good list – that have appeared in recent times and that offer passive cooling systems (without fans).

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