Question Advice on new quiet/silent PC - budget around £2,500

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
The OP is worried about a AIO leaking so they are hardly likely to be doing a full water cooled system.

Agree after looking at it. But if you want the quietest PC, then full watercooling is the best option. But probably not for the OP.
 

Scootpb

Active Member
I use a Arctic Liquid ii 360 on my 5800X and idle it sits at 28-30 degrees and under full load hits 65-68 degrees, gaming it normally sits at 40-50 degrees

Highly recommend the Arctic AIO as it keeps things cool and is extremely quiet, the Arctic P120 fans are brilliant also it only has one connection on the whole thing which goes to the CPU header on the motherboard.
Interesting.
I've a 5800x on a custom loop, and it's toasty at idle.
 

Delvey

Distinguished Member
Interesting.
I've a 5800x on a custom loop, and it's toasty at idle.
Define toasty. Anything above 50°C and I would be concerned.
 

guest7789

Member
Here is a quick update on my journet to get a new PC. After my failure at trying to get a 3080 at a non scalped price I'm looking at getting a pre-built instead. I spoke to support at scan.co.uk who said that I can switch out stuff that isn't in their custom options for other stuff on their website. I'll list out what I'm looking to go for:

CPU: 5800x
Motherboard: Probably x570 board - need some help
CPU fan: Either D15 or D15s
Thermal Paste: Arctic Silver MX4
RAM: Any 32GB (2x16GB) 3600Mhz cl18 that's the cheapest at the time of buying
SSD: 2tb Samsung Evo Plus
Graphics Card: RTX 3080
PSU: Corsair RMx 850 Watt
Case: Will aim to pick one tomorrow
Monitor: Will post in the monitor forum tomorrow for advice
Optical disc drive: Cheap external DVD drive

I have a few questions about the above:
1) Would this be a silent/very quiet build?
2) Does anything look out of place (for example power mismatch) or get better bang for buck with switching something?
3) I've been looking at motherboards and they all look fairly similar, with some having slightly different features than others. Anything in particular to look out for here? Some main priorities I have are that the active fan is quiet/silent, it's reliable, if it has a heatsink on the m.2 slot then I don't need to remove lots of stuff to take out the ssd.
4) I know that the D15s has clearance for RAM, but is there any other differences between them? Any clear winner to go for here?
5) I was set on getting the Samsung Evo Plus, but having done a bit of research it seems like there's a lot of pci 4.0 ssd's available now. I'm looking for general performance (I don't do any/much producitivity stuff), occasionally move decent sized files around (a few gigabytes worth) and tend to have a lot of internet tabs open, quite a few with media playing plus office documents and gaming. Would it be best to go for a pci 4.0 ssd and if so which one would be good?
6) Any suggestions for good cases (ideally ones with 4 usb slots on the front) and anything in particular to look out for regarding cases? I've been watching a few gamers nexus videos of cases and was wondering if they had a hierarchy/tier list of cases posted somewhere or if there is a reliable one on another website?
7) I've never bought a pre-built PC before, anything in particular to be aware of? I'm a bit concerned about things like warranty, testing components if the system starts acting weird or even opening the case... would I need to send the whole thing back rather than being able to troubleshoot it myself?

Thanks again!
 
Last edited:

Delvey

Distinguished Member
Would this be a silent/very quiet build?
Define silent?
Anything that moves air is going to make a noise. It is down to each person to define quiet
(You'll never get a truly silent PC which has spinning fans)
 

Coulson

Distinguished Member
Here is a quick update on my journet to get a new PC. After my failure at trying to get a 3080 at a non scalped price I'm looking at getting a pre-built instead. I spoke to support at scan.co.uk who said that I can switch out stuff that isn't in their custom options for other stuff on their website. I'll list out what I'm looking to go for:

CPU: 5800x
Motherboard: Probably x570 board - need some help
CPU fan: Either D15 or D15s
Thermal Paste: Arctic Silver MX4
RAM: Any 32GB (2x16GB) 3600Mhz cl18 that's the cheapest at the time of buying
SSD: 2tb Samsung Evo Plus
Graphics Card: RTX 3080
Case: Will aim to pick one tomorrow
Monitor: Will post in the monitor forum tomorrow for advice
Optical disc drive: Cheap external DVD drive

I have a few questions about the above:
1) Would this be a silent/very quiet build?
2) Does anything look out of place (for example power mismatch) or get better bang for buck with switching something?
3) I've been looking at motherboards and they all look fairly similar, with some having slightly different features than others. Anything in particular to look out for here? Some main priorities I have are that the active fan is quiet/silent, it's reliable, if it has a heatsink on the m.2 slot then I don't need to remove lots of stuff to take out the ssd.
4) I know that the D15s has clearance for RAM, but is there any other differences between them? Any clear winner to go for here?
5) I was set on getting the Samsung Evo Plus, but having done a bit of research it seems like there's a lot of pci 4.0 ssd's available now. I'm looking for general performance (I don't do any/much producitivity stuff), occasionally move decent sized files around (a few gigabytes worth) and tend to have a lot of internet tabs open, quite a few with media playing plus office documents and gaming. Would it be best to go for a pci 4.0 ssd and if so which one would be good?
6) Any suggestions for good cases (ideally ones with 4 usb slots on the front) and anything in particular to look out for regarding cases? I've been watching a few gamers nexus videos of cases and was wondering if they had a hierarchy/tier list of cases posted somewhere or if there is a reliable one on another website?
7) I've never bought a pre-built PC before, anything in particular to be aware of? I'm a bit concerned about things like warranty, testing components if the system starts acting weird or even opening the case... would I need to send the whole thing back rather than being able to troubleshoot it myself?

Thanks again!
Your budget means that you don't have to think quite as hard as some of us :)

But the 5800x is rarely recommend over the 5600x because it is relatively poor value and hardly any current games take advantage of the extra cores. If you start using apps that use the extra cores then fine. If you wish to somewhat future proof then fine.

If you have to have an optical drive, it doesn't make sense to buy a DVD drive only to swap it out later for a blu-ray.

You don't mention your PSU.

PCIE 4.0 components are a nice to have. But just like PCIE 3.0 it is likely to be a few years before you get any real benefit from 4.0.

I agree with others that say your OS drive should be separate. 2 1TB sticks or the NVME + big hard drive makes more sense.
 

IRobot

Well-known Member
The quietest PC I had was when I used the "Fractal Define R5" case with two 140mm fans in the front and one in the back with the top closed off. CPU cooler was D15S (D15S is angled further away from the GPU than the D15 and only comes with the middle fan. In some motherboards the D15 can interfere with the GPU).

Currently I use a Phanteks P500S which can also be very quiet with the top and front closed. But I have an RTX 3080 in it so run it with the front open and three 140mm fans in the front and one in the back with the top closed. Still use the D15S CPU cooler. Not as quiet as the old PC in this config but still acceptable.
 

eaglemmoomin

Active Member
You could research Noctua fans and coolers. Those have always been good in terms of noise. Then specify that's what you want in the machine. Maybe investigate PSU also. Corsair RM/RMx for example have fanless modes/silent operation.
 

guest7789

Member
Sorry I forgot to mention the PSU, I'm aiming to go for the Corsair RMx 850 Watt PSU. I'll edit my above post to add that.

Thanks, looks like the D15s it is. If it comes with one fan, should I buy another for it or would the one it comes with be sufficient?

Regarding the CPU, I've been looking at the 5600x compared with the 5800x and have seen the minimal gaming performance differences. However a lot of the time when I'm playing games I'll have quite a lot of browser tabs open and potentially work documents too and thought the extra cores would help with that - what do you think? Do the 1% lows tend to be higher on the 5800x in gaming?

For the SSD, couldn't I partition it into an OS and storage drives? At least previously the higher capacity drives tended to be faster/better than the lower capacity ones so thought it would be better to get that. For PCIe 4.0 SSDs, I understand that we probably won't see the full benefits from it for a while, but I've seen that there's quite a few that are cheaper than the Samsung one and was wondering whether it made more sense to go with one of them or are they only faster in their peak transfer speeds but slower in general day to day use?

I haven't had an optical drive for about 8 years, so I wanted to check all the dvds and cds that I've got lying around to see what still works, what I can use and what I can chuck out! I take it an external drive would work just as well as an internal one?

Thanks for the suggestion of the Phanteks P500S, I'll take a look at it and also getting some extra Noctua fans.
 

guest7789

Member
Currently I use a Phanteks P500S which can also be very quiet with the top and front closed. But I have an RTX 3080 in it so run it with the front open and three 140mm fans in the front and one in the back with the top closed.
You mention you already have a 3080 and it's not as quiet as before. Is it louder than everything else in your PC? My current GPU sounds like a jet engine taking off when I start playing some games, which isn't great.
 

Coulson

Distinguished Member
Sorry I forgot to mention the PSU, I'm aiming to go for the Corsair RMx 850 Watt PSU. I'll edit my above post to add that.

Thanks, looks like the D15s it is. If it comes with one fan, should I buy another for it or would the one it comes with be sufficient?

Regarding the CPU, I've been looking at the 5600x compared with the 5800x and have seen the minimal gaming performance differences. However a lot of the time when I'm playing games I'll have quite a lot of browser tabs open and potentially work documents too and thought the extra cores would help with that - what do you think? Do the 1% lows tend to be higher on the 5800x in gaming?

For the SSD, couldn't I partition it into an OS and storage drives? At least previously the higher capacity drives tended to be faster/better than the lower capacity ones so thought it would be better to get that. For PCIe 4.0 SSDs, I understand that we probably won't see the full benefits from it for a while, but I've seen that there's quite a few that are cheaper than the Samsung one and was wondering whether it made more sense to go with one of them or are they only faster in their peak transfer speeds but slower in general day to day use?

I haven't had an optical drive for about 8 years, so I wanted to check all the dvds and cds that I've got lying around to see what still works, what I can use and what I can chuck out! I take it an external drive would work just as well as an internal one?

Thanks for the suggestion of the Phanteks P500S, I'll take a look at it and also getting some extra Noctua fans.
I don't think the 5800 would make much of a difference for tabs. If your budget was tighter then the 5600x is a better value CPU, but even that is poor value when compared to the 3600 lol. Assuming you are not going Intel, you could even go all in on a 5900 series or pick up a cheap 3600/3800 (if available) for now then get a better one when everything settles down. None of these would be bad choices, it just comes down to budget and requirements. But with your budget and a 3080 your best bet would be to go for a current gen CPU.

With the reduction in price and wide availability of storage these days, I don't think partitioning is something most people do with home PCs. There's no advantage but there are potential disadvantages.

Unless you are doing specialist activities almost any modern NVME drive is fine. As geeks we prefer to get the Samsung drives, but if you can get a 4.0 drive cheaper than a Samsung 3.0 drive and it has a decent life expectancy then why not?

If your case can fit an internal drive then why bother with an external?
 

IRobot

Well-known Member
You mention you already have a 3080 and it's not as quiet as before. Is it louder than everything else in your PC? My current GPU sounds like a jet engine taking off when I start playing some games, which isn't great.

The 3080 is quieter than my old 2080 but it's much bigger and uses 100w more power and puts more heat in the case so I have more case cooling which is what makes my PC a bit louder than my old PC.
 

Delvey

Distinguished Member
You mention you already have a 3080 and it's not as quiet as before. Is it louder than everything else in your PC? My current GPU sounds like a jet engine taking off when I start playing some games, which isn't great.
Most GPU fans are louder
They are smaller and have a ridiculous amount of heat to shift than case fans.
When you are gaming, are you going to be using headphones?
 

BontaKun3000

Active Member
If you have alot of tabs open then more so more ram you want than a bigger cpu, altho 32gb for most people would be more than enough.
Honestly if anything learning to better manage tabs is way better than spending extra money to accommodate a bad habit(used to have tons of tabs open as well)

If your really set on silent as possible then gotta look at really good airflow cases, get some good fans in and set the best fan curve you can.
Undervolting gpu will go along way to helping as well, less power but keeping same performace meaning lower temps meaning lower rpm fans meaning lower noise.
 

guest7789

Member
I don't think the 5800 would make much of a difference for tabs. If your budget was tighter then the 5600x is a better value CPU, but even that is poor value when compared to the 3600 lol. Assuming you are not going Intel, you could even go all in on a 5900 series or pick up a cheap 3600/3800 (if available) for now then get a better one when everything settles down. None of these would be bad choices, it just comes down to budget and requirements. But with your budget and a 3080 your best bet would be to go for a current gen CPU.

With the reduction in price and wide availability of storage these days, I don't think partitioning is something most people do with home PCs. There's no advantage but there are potential disadvantages.

Unless you are doing specialist activities almost any modern NVME drive is fine. As geeks we prefer to get the Samsung drives, but if you can get a 4.0 drive cheaper than a Samsung 3.0 drive and it has a decent life expectancy then why not?

If your case can fit an internal drive then why bother with an external?
I was thinking of going more budget for the cpu and then upgrading, but seeing as this is the last gen on AM4, I thought the hassle wasn't worth it when I could just get something decent now.

Regarding the SSD, people were recommending to get one smaller drive for the OS and a larger one for everything else (in case I need to reformat the OS), so that's why I mentioned about potentially partitioning to solve that. What would be the disadvantages of partitioning?

There's quite a few pci 4.0 drives cheaper, I'll take a look at some.

I've seen a few cases that don't have room for an internal dvd drive, so thought it best to go for an external one to open up more choice. Would that be detrimental to go with an external one?

The 3080 is quieter than my old 2080 but it's much bigger and uses 100w more power and puts more heat in the case so I have more case cooling which is what makes my PC a bit louder than my old PC.

I'll look into getting more quiet/silent case cooling fans to compensate for this.

Most GPU fans are louder
They are smaller and have a ridiculous amount of heat to shift than case fans.
When you are gaming, are you going to be using headphones?

I use a headset, but even with that I can still hear my fans really loudly when gaming (this could be because it's an old card with dust buildup?).

If you have alot of tabs open then more so more ram you want than a bigger cpu, altho 32gb for most people would be more than enough.
Honestly if anything learning to better manage tabs is way better than spending extra money to accommodate a bad habit(used to have tons of tabs open as well)

If your really set on silent as possible then gotta look at really good airflow cases, get some good fans in and set the best fan curve you can.
Undervolting gpu will go along way to helping as well, less power but keeping same performace meaning lower temps meaning lower rpm fans meaning lower noise.

I've been trying to lower my tab usage and have it at around 50-ish now. Unfortunately I'm normally doing a few different projects at once for work which requires me to keep various tabs open concurrently.

For the case, definitely looking at airflow and front usb ports as priorities.

Regarding undervolting the GPU, it's not something I've done before - I would've thought that would nerf the performance of the GPU?
 

Delvey

Distinguished Member
I'll look into getting more quiet/silent case cooling fans to compensate for this
More fans probably won't help. GPU fans are shifting heat straight off the GPU. Case fans help expel air from the case. Yes, they will expel air quicker meaning the case is cooler, but the GPU still kicks out some heat. A better after market card over the Founders Edition will help (but you'll pay a massive premium at present)
I use a headset, but even with that I can still hear my fans really loudly when gaming (this could be because it's an old card with dust buildup?).
Which headset? I cannot hear my PC when gaming with my headset on, even when I had my PC on my desk at ear level with a Vega 64 (they run hot)
 

Coulson

Distinguished Member
I was thinking of going more budget for the cpu and then upgrading, but seeing as this is the last gen on AM4, I thought the hassle wasn't worth it when I could just get something decent now.

Regarding the SSD, people were recommending to get one smaller drive for the OS and a larger one for everything else (in case I need to reformat the OS), so that's why I mentioned about potentially partitioning to solve that. What would be the disadvantages of partitioning?

There's quite a few pci 4.0 drives cheaper, I'll take a look at some.

I've seen a few cases that don't have room for an internal dvd drive, so thought it best to go for an external one to open up more choice. Would that be detrimental to go with an external one?



I'll look into getting more quiet/silent case cooling fans to compensate for this.



I use a headset, but even with that I can still hear my fans really loudly when gaming (this could be because it's an old card with dust buildup?).



I've been trying to lower my tab usage and have it at around 50-ish now. Unfortunately I'm normally doing a few different projects at once for work which requires me to keep various tabs open concurrently.

For the case, definitely looking at airflow and front usb ports as priorities.

Regarding undervolting the GPU, it's not something I've done before - I would've thought that would nerf the performance of the GPU?
Your CPU stance makes sense, I would do the same. As for partitioning I did say there was a potential for disadvantages rather than there would be. Your choice :) An external DVD drive will be fine. I personally use an internal one connected externally by a USB to SATA cable coz it was cheaper at the time. A bit messy though lol.
 

Scootpb

Active Member
Most air-cooled builds will be substantially louder than a custom water loop. ~
I have a 5800x and FTW3 3080 in my system.
Prior to water-cooling the GPU, the fans would ramp up under load and peak around 52db measured using a phone app, from half a meter away. Now that I've the whole system water-cooled, I peak at 40db under load.

Given, it's only a phone app. But right now the only noise I can audibly make out is the pump running, and that's because it's set to max.
 

Delvey

Distinguished Member
Most air-cooled builds will be substantially louder than a custom water loop. ~
I have a 5800x and FTW3 3080 in my system.
Prior to water-cooling the GPU, the fans would ramp up under load and peak around 52db measured using a phone app, from half a meter away. Now that I've the whole system water-cooled, I peak at 40db under load.

Given, it's only a phone app. But right now the only noise I can audibly make out is the pump running, and that's because it's set to max.
I have an AIO and the only thing that I can hear is the pump.
The GPU fan never goes beyond 50% so that is inaudible. Temperatures peak at around 67°C so well within limits.
CPU never hits above 60°C as well so I can keep the fans low as well.
The Vega 64 I had previously was louder but I couldn't hear it with headphones on
 

guest7789

Member
More fans probably won't help. GPU fans are shifting heat straight off the GPU. Case fans help expel air from the case. Yes, they will expel air quicker meaning the case is cooler, but the GPU still kicks out some heat. A better after market card over the Founders Edition will help (but you'll pay a massive premium at present)

Which headset? I cannot hear my PC when gaming with my headset on, even when I had my PC on my desk at ear level with a Vega 64 (they run hot)
I use a Steelseries arctis pro wireless headset.

I'm looking at getting the asus tuf 3080 card.

Your CPU stance makes sense, I would do the same. As for partitioning I did say there was a potential for disadvantages rather than there would be. Your choice :) An external DVD drive will be fine. I personally use an internal one connected externally by a USB to SATA cable coz it was cheaper at the time. A bit messy though lol.
I wasn't sure what disadvantages there could even potentially be, happy to learn!


Most air-cooled builds will be substantially louder than a custom water loop. ~
I have a 5800x and FTW3 3080 in my system.
Prior to water-cooling the GPU, the fans would ramp up under load and peak around 52db measured using a phone app, from half a meter away. Now that I've the whole system water-cooled, I peak at 40db under load.

Given, it's only a phone app. But right now the only noise I can audibly make out is the pump running, and that's because it's set to max.
Unfortunately I don't know how to do a custom water loop and I would be a bit worried about it too in case it leaked and broke everything. 52db is really loud.
 

Cloysterpeteuk

Distinguished Member
Don't ever stand next to a jet engine then if you think 52 db is loud🤣

That’s a very similar noise level to what the PS4 Pro runs at and that machine is super obnoxious, I gave up playing God of War because the row from the machine was too distracting. Thankfully PS5 and Series X are much quieter, 38db to 41db.

Naturally with an infinite number of configs a PC can be quieter or louder, but I would say the acoustic are even more important for PC players as the machine tends to be placed far closer to us than a console would be.

I’m pretty lucky with my pc, I can hear it but it’s not loud enough to bother me at all so it’s good enough, I don’t wear headphones either so there’s nothing blocking out the sound, it’s probably because I don’t have a super high end system I’d imagine.
 

Scootpb

Active Member
Unfortunately I don't know how to do a custom water loop and I would be a bit worried about it too in case it leaked and broke everything. 52db is really loud.

Believe it or not, It's actually really easy to set up a water-cooling system.
Flexible tubing is more forgiving than hard tube to set up, and is a great setting off point.

The only issue really is budget. You can sink a small fortune into loops before you know it.

If it was something that you'd consider entertaining for the ultimate silent pc, I'm sure there's enough of us on here who could help, combined with the various youtube sources etc.
 

WildeKarde

Well-known Member
For the AIO I was going to suggest deepcool. They have what they call anti-leak on the cooler and I think they back it up with warranty.
They are on amazon and similar prices to other AIOs
 

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