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The last desktop I bought from Dell (Dimension XPS) was much noisier than I would have liked. I am planning on buying a new desktop soon and would like to consider noise level when configuring a system. I did not find much relevant info on dell.com.

Is there a way to judge how much noise a particular configuration will make when configuring a system on dell.com or hp.com? I'd be even OK with a way to simply compare various configurations to each other (this config is more loud) if absolute numbers are hard to obtain. I do not need the system to be super silent. I just don't want to be surprised when I plug it in.

Also, are particular product lines known to be more quiet than others (dell stuido, xps, various models of hp Pavilion)? I need something with an i7 processor and at least 8GB of memory. Everything else is not super important.

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3 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I just bought a Dell Studio XPS, core i7 (2 weeks ago, maybe) and I was surprised by how quiet it was. It does roar to life when you first turn it on, but it quickly subsides to below average levels. The fan does ramp up a little in response to increased processing levels, but the only thing I've really pushed it with was Google Earth.

In general, if you want assurances for noise level, you'll have to DIY, and for that I recommend Silent PC Review. You could mod an OEM system by buying your own PSU, upgrading your heatsink, or pasting on antivibrational dampening foam (like Acoustipack), but you're better off building from scratch.

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+1 for Silent PC Review –  MrChrister Aug 19 '09 at 21:34
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Dell does a decent job when it comes to noise with most of thier pc's. Obviously, the server grade stuff is going to be noisy, but almost all their consumer products I have experienced have been rather quiet. The slim desktops might be a little different story with the reduced size and airflow, but I haven't ran into too many noisy newer dell's. The high performance gaming ones I am sure will rev up a bit if you get them loaded down, but for normal use, most of their stuff should be decent. This is just my experience though.

That would be a great question to ask one of the higher level support technitions through dell and see if you can get official numbers or information. I suggest you call them and ask.

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+1 congrats on 3k. Now start voting to close! –  hyperslug Aug 20 '09 at 6:32
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in general, going with a SATA hard drive (as opposed to the older IDE) will reduce noice. I imagine most if not all of the computers come w/ SATA default by now.

Other than that a fan on the graphics card would generate more noise and may not be present on all systems.

If you get one and decide its to noisy, look into replacing your heatsink fan with a higher quality one.

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