PCs and high summer temperatures: how to lower noise

Posted on Tuesday, Aug 06 2019 @ 09:17 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
It’s high summer again and depending on where you live temperatures may or may not be sky high right now. Some folks enjoy baking in the sun and taking an occasional dip in the pool, while others are counting down the days until a heatwave is over.

If you’re using your computer, you may notice that the device gets hotter and makes more noise as the ambient temperature creeps up. In this article I’ll highlight a couple of ways on how you can keep things tolerable for you and your PC in your office or gaming den.

1. Clean your computer
Every once in a while, it pays to give your computer a good old fashioned spring cleaning. The longer you wait, the more dust that accumulates on heatsinks, intakes, fans, and other surfaces. Dust is bad for heat dissipation so the thicker the layer the hotter your hardware gets, which will (or should) cause fans to spin harder. Additionally, don’t forget to check your intakes and dust filters to ensure air flow is as optimal as possible.

2. Keep some clearance between walls and your case
Ensure the rear of your PC isn’t directly against a wall or another surface. Maintain some clearance so heat doesn’t get trapped between your computer and the wall. This may result in lower temperatures for your hardware, and thus lower noise levels.

3. Try not to do hardware intensive stuff
The more you tax your CPU and GPU, the more heat and noise your computer will use. Basic tasks like web browsing or light entertainment like buy Powerball lottery tickets online will use a lot less electricity (and thus produce a ton more heat) than something that puts more load on your hardware like playing a video game like Battlefield V or Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.

4. Add a case fan
If the airflow in your case isn’t optimal, it may pay to add a case fan. This may help to lower temperatures and keep your hardware at more chilled levels.

5. Cable management
Good cable management can almost be an art form. Besides giving your computer a cleaner look, proper cable management can also enhance airflow. This will allow heat to be exhausted more efficiently, which can lower the temperature of your components and thus result in lower noise levels as the fans can operate at a lower RPM.

6. Get a new power supply
High-quality power supplies can easily last over a decade so chances are that you’re still using an old model that doesn’t have the latest technology. New models are generally more efficient, this results in lower noise levels and may also result in lower noise levels as the PSU fan doesn’t have to work as hard due to the lower heat output. As an added bonus, you’ll also save money on your electricity bill.

7. Buy a new, more efficient computer
The most expensive option: buy a new computer and keep a close eye on the efficiency. Especially the CPU and GPU, as those are the two parts that consume the most electricity and generate the most heat in your computer.