Frequently Asked Questions
These are some commonly-asked questions about reducing the running noise generated by PCs. If you have any more questions which are not listed, please ask!
We also have an index of installation instructions.
Questions about placing an order with us
- What is your order cut-off time?
- How much does shipping cost?
- Do you ship internationally? What are my shipping options?
- Do you actually have the product in stock? How accurate is your website stock information?
- What types of payment do you accept and what is your returns policy?
- What warranty do you offer and how do I return a faulty item?
- Can you help me select the right product and get it to work properly?
- I like your products and would like to resell them. Do you offer wholesale pricing?
- How can I tell which is the noisiest component within my PC?
- I have just installed my new CPU cooler but my PC is not detecting a fan, what can I do?
Hard Drive Solutions
- My PC chassis uses sliding drive rails to mount drives. Can I attach these rails to your hard drive acoustic solutions?
- My hard drive has a "breather" hole which must not be covered. Can it still be used in an acoustic enclosure?
Ultra-Quiet Power Supply Units
- My brand new power supply doesn't work! Am I doing something wrong?
- Why should I buy a whole new PSU when I could just replace the noisy fan in my existing one?
- How do I know what size of wattage power supply I need?
- My new PSU came with a 24-pin connector but my motherboard needs 20 pins! Do I need an adaptor cable?
- What is PFC (Power Factor Correction)?
- Do high wattage power supplies cost more to run?
- How to choose a CPU cooler
- What does a processor's TDP mean?
- Is it possible to use a 4-pin PWM fan or CPU cooler with a motherboard which has only 3-pin fan headers on it?
- The cooler I purchased came with a variable fan speed controller. How do I know what speed to run the fan at?
Ultra-Quiet Case Fans
- I received a small cable (resistor) with my fan; what is it for?
- How can I tell which way the air blows through the fan?
- How do I measure fan size?
- I have a branded server (HP, Dell etc.) - can you make it silent?
- Do you supply any components to silence SFF (small form factor) PCs such those made by Shuttle?
- Do you supply built PCs already silenced?
- Does it really matter that my PC makes noise?
- Will I have to buy new silencing products if I upgrade my PC?
- Do you have any products for Macintosh computers?
- What do your customers think?
Questions about placing an order with us
What is your order cut-off time?
For same-day despatch, please order before 4pm. In more detail, if you place an order on our website and all items are shown to be in stock then we will send your order immediately so that it leaves our warehouse on the same day that the order is received. This is providing that the order is placed before our cut-off point which is 16:00 UK time, Monday-Friday excluding public holidays.Top
How much does shipping cost?
Delivery charges vary depending on where you live, how heavy your order is and how many boxes it will take to ship it. The easiest way to get a shipping cost is to first ensure the country is set correctly (top left corner) and then add product(s) to your basket. The cheapest shipping option will then immediately be shown on the right hand side of the screen in the shopping basket.
You can see if further shipping options are available (along with estimated transit times) by clicking the checkout button. You don't have to complete the checkout process to see shipping costs. In general, we try to offer a variety of delivery options so you can choose the best balance of cost versus speed of delivery.Top
Do you ship internationally? What are my shipping options?
Yes, we have been serving international customers for over ten years. We offer competitively-priced delivery to 90 countries worldwide, with transit times generally ranging from around 1-14 days depending on your location and service chosen. Our delivery options include regular postal services as well as couriers.
All shipping options, costs and estimated transit times are shown on the first page of the website checkout process so you can choose the service which best fits your needs. When we despatch your order, we will send you an email to let you know that it's on its way, along with tracking number if available.Top
Do you actually have the product in stock? How accurate is your website stock information?
Our website has a real-time data link to our order processing system, so stock data is always 100% up to date. If our website says we have 15 in stock, then that's how many we have!
We operate our own warehouse and don't sub-contract order fulfilment or logistics to other companies. This way, we retain complete control over our inventory and can give you the best possible service.
In addition, if we have stock on order from a manufacturer, our website will show how many are on order and when we expect them to arrive.Top
What types of payment do you accept and what is your returns policy?
We accept all major credit and debit cards. We also accept PayPal but you need to select the currency to be GBP for the PayPal option to appear. Payment is taken at time of ordering (or within 1-2 days) and goods are sent immediately if in stock. We offer a 30-day returns policy so if you are unhappy with your purchase for any reason, you can return it in good condition to us within 30 days for a full refund, no questions asked.Top
What warranty do you offer and how do I return a faulty item?
We offer a minimum 2-year warranty on all retail orders in addition to your statutory rights. Some products benefit from manufacturer-backed warranty periods even longer than 2 years, (e.g. some fans and power supplies). Generally speaking, we ask you to pay the cost of shipping the faulty product back to us, and we will pay the cost of shipping the repaired or replaced product back to you. Please contact us before sending us any faulty products so that we can authorise the return and issue you with a returns material authorisation (RMA) number.
In the event of product failure within warranty, we are happy to handle any warranty claims with you directly, rather than directing you back to the manufacturer, although of course you are welcome to deal directly with the manufacturer should you prefer. We keep records of all orders for a minimum of six years, so it doesn't matter if you have lost your original invoice or proof of purchase - just get in touch and we will always help when we can. Note that all items sold as B-Grade have a one year warranty period only which is provided by Quiet PC Ltd, and no manufacturer warranty applies.Top
Can you help me select the right product and get it to work properly?
We offer free pre-sales technical support so if you have any questions about which product would work best for you, please send us an email or call us and we will be happy to give you advice.
We also offer free lifetime technical support for as long as you own the product, so if you have any questions about how it works or how to install it, get in touch and again we will be happy to help.Top
I like your products and would like to resell them. Do you offer wholesale pricing?
Yes, we offer discounted pricing to bona fide computer businesses based on bulk purchase for resale. We are actively looking for more outlets, so if you own a shop or website and would like to resell our products with excellent margins, please download an application form. Before returning the form, we ask that you have made at least one retail purchase from our website and quote its sales order number on your account application form.Top
How can I tell which is the noisiest component within my PC?
In order to ascertain where the noise is coming from there is a very simple test you can carry out, just take a pencil or plastic pen lid and 'stop' momentarily each fan within the PC, including the PSU. If the noise stops/reduces you have located the offending component which would benefit from replacement with a quiet alternative.Top
I have just installed my new CPU cooler but my PC is not detecting a fan, what can I do?
Some motherboards have difficulty measuring low fan RPM speeds on CPU coolers. The problem can sometimes be fixed by updating the motherboard BIOS to the latest version available on the motherboard manufacturer's website. However, with some motherboards, the problem remains. Regardless, this will not affect performance. In addition, some motherboards will not boot if the CPU fan speed cannot be measured, as a safety feature. After rotating the Fan Mate speed control fully clockwise to enable booting, this feature needs to be disabled in the BIOS setup (set "CPU Fan Detect" or similar to "Disabled")Top
Hard Drive Solutions
My PC chassis uses sliding drive rails to mount drives. Can I attach these rails to your hard drive acoustic solutions?
Yes, there should be no problem attaching any of our hard drive solutions to drive rails. Just keep an eye on the temperature of the drive for the first day or so after installation, since heat dissipation from the acoustic enclosure into the PC chassis could be slightly reduced compared with mounting the enclosure directly using screws.Top
My hard drive has a "breather" hole which must not be covered. Can it still be used in an acoustic enclosure?
Most hard drives have breather holes which prevent pressure differences building up inside the drive. The inside of the drive enclosure will not form an airtight seal on the drive's breather and therefore will allow it to work as intended - to eliminate any possibility of pressure build-up. In summary - there is nothing to worry about!Top
Ultra-Quiet Power Supply Units
My brand new power supply doesn't work! Am I doing something wrong?
It's possible that the power supply may be faulty, but here are some simple things to check. Firstly, a power supply will not work if you simply plug it in and flick the switch. The power supply will only turn on if you connect it to a working motherboard and associated items (processor, memory, video card, etc). It is actually the motherboard which tells the power supply when to switch on.
Secondly (if applicable), check the voltage is set correctly to 115/230 volts depending on what country you are in. Thirdly, if possible it would be good to try the power supply in another PC to see if it works, or try another power supply in your PC to see if that works. You can then tell whether it is the power supply which is faulty or the actual PC itself. If all else fails, please contact us for further support, and/or return details.Top
Why should I buy a whole new PSU when I could just replace the noisy fan in my existing one?
Virtually all the noise generated by a PC power supply originates from the cooling fan inside it, so simply replacing the fan with a quiet fan may seem an obvious way to go. However, if you are thinking about attempting this operation, please bear the following points in mind:
- Your existing power supply will be designed to run with a specific amount of airflow in order to adequately cool the components inside and reducing the airflow may lead to overheating and damage to the power supply and/or PC.
- All PC power supplies contain very high voltages and even with the power disconnected, the voltages stored in the capacitors can be easily enough to kill. It is not recommended to take the cover off any PC power supply for this reason unless you are absolutely confident of your own ability. Because of the grave dangers involved, all PC power supplies by law carry a warning label forbidding removal of the power supply case.
- There will be no standard PC fan connector inside the power supply to use to connect a replacement fan, and it would probably have to be soldered directly into the PCB inside the power supply, or have a specialist power connector attached. This can be a tricky operation to say the least.
Please consider the above points very carefully before proceeding with an operation to replace the fan in your existing power supply!Top
How do I know what size of wattage power supply I need?
The best answer we can give to this question is to go ahead and take an intelligent "guesstimate"! There are no hard and fast rules about what size of power supply any given PC needs as a minimum. Our advice would be that if you are replacing an existing power supply, then consider a new one at least of the same wattage as the old one. In addition, if you wish to build in a "safety margin" to allow for reliable running and possible future upgrades, consider adding 100-200 watts to the rating of your existing unit.
If you are building a new PC, most customers now buy a power supply rated in the region of 500-800 watts depending primarily on the performance level of their graphics card(s) and number of drives to be installed. But in any event if you are unsure about which power supply would be best for your PC then please do contact us by phone or email and we will be happy to give you a specific recommendation based on your budget.Top
My new PSU came with a 24-pin connector but my motherboard needs 20 pins! Do I need an adaptor cable?
We receive many customer enquiries about this. In fact, most of the 24-pin compatible power supplies we sell come with special motherboard connectors which can be converted to 20-pins with no additional conversion cables. All you need to do is look carefully at the connector and you will see that the end four pins can be slid off, turning the connector into a 20-pin compatible one (see below) - easy when you know how!
Image showing how to change a power supply's 24-pin motherboard connector into a 20-pin connector by unclipping the end four-pin block
What is PFC (Power Factor Correction)?
If you are interested in being "green" and saving the planet, you might like to read a short explanation of how our power supplies can save energy using Active PFC (Power Factor Correction), not to be confused with Power Conversion Efficiency which is also very good in most of our PSUs. "Power Factor" is a measure of how efficiently electrical power is consumed. Ideally, Power Factor would be 1 (or 100%) and known as unity.
Unfortunately in the real world, Power Factor is reduced by highly inductive loads down to values of 0.7 (70%) or less. This induction is caused by equipment such as small electric motors, fans, fluorescent lighting ballasts and transformers such as those in PSUs. This is bad news for the electricity generating companies who can impose a surcharge on heavy users if they have a consistently low Power Factor, as more electricity has to be produced to make up the shortfall.
Power Factor Correction (PFC) is used in some equipment to minimise the inductive component of the electrical current. This helps to reduce the losses in the electrical supply to that equipment. Power Factor Correction capacitors are normally used to reduce induction in an electrical load, which minimises wasted energy and hence improves the efficiency of a company and reduces electricity costs.
It is not usually practical to reach unity, i.e. Power Factor 1, and it seems that most electricity supply companies accept consumers having a Power Factor as low as 0.94 (94%) without imposing a surcharge. Unfortunately most of the cheap (and not so cheerful) PSUs tend to have a Passive PF as low as 0.75 or 75% which in a large office can lead to a PF surcharge.
However, the good news is that most of Quiet PC's PSUs implement a system known as Active PFC which involves some clever electronics. This means that their power factor (PF) can be as high as 0.94 or 94% (at full load), while harmful harmonic frequencies are reduced to well below legal requirements. So by using our products, you can be happy in the knowledge that you are doing your bit to save the planet!Top
Do high wattage power supplies cost more to run?
No - the rated wattage of a power supply refers to the maximum amount of power it can deliver at full load, not how much power it uses. More powerful PSUs will consume around the same amount of power as lower powered power supplies in any given PC system, so your electricity bill will not be higher when using a more powerful power supply!
The best way to reduce your electricity bill when using your PC is to use a more efficient power supply or make your PC consume less power by removing components which are not needed, such as extra drives and expansion cards, or by choosing a cooler-running processor or graphics card.Top
How to choose a CPU cooler
What does a processor's TDP mean?
TDP stands for Thermal Design Power and this refers to the amount of heat (in watts) which the CPU (central processing unit) will dissipate when running at full load. Sometimes processor coolers are specified as being able to cool processors with a maximum TDP of a certain value. Essentially, TDP is a measure of how hot a processor runs.Top
Is it possible to use a 4-pin PWM fan or CPU cooler with a motherboard which has only 3-pin fan headers on it?
Electrically, there is no problem doing this - the fourth pin on the fan cable is used purely for PWM control and is not needed in order for the fan to run. So you can plug the 4-pin fan connector onto the 3-pin motherboard fan header, leaving the fourth pin not connected to anything. The fan will potentially run at full speed, so if you would like to reduce the speed of the fan you will need to adjust the fan speed setting in your BIOS or use fan control software such as SpeedFan in Windows.
The only other problem to consider is that occasionally, components immediately adjacent to the motherboard fan header can get in the way of the larger 4-pin fan connector, physically preventing connection. This problem also occurs if you try to use an in-line fan speed controller such as Zalman's Fan Mate or an Ultra-Low-Noise resistor cable such as Zalman's RC56. Both these components have an enclosed 3-pin fan header, so a 4-pin connector is physically too large to connect to them. A possible solution to this is to use a knife to remove the plastic enclosure around the fan header, but it isn't necessarily an easy or pretty job.
Another avenue to explore is the possibility of using a bay-mounted fan controller. Several models are available now which provide 4-pin fan headers, so this is an easy way to use 4-pin PWM fans in a PC system which has only 3-pin fan headers on its motherboards. When using this method, you may find it necessary to disable any fan warning settings in your motherboard BIOS, since the motherboard may incorrectly believe that its CPU fan has failed when the fan is connected to a fan controller rather than directly to the motherboard itself.Top
The cooler I purchased came with a variable fan speed controller. How do I know what speed to run the fan at?
When you first install your new CPU cooler we recommend that you run its fan at full speed to ensure that everything is working properly and the PC boots successfully. Then you can turn the speed controller's knob down to its minimum setting and appreciate the difference in noise level! Most people prefer low noise rather than maximum cooling for everyday computing, so clearly it makes sense to turn the fan speed controller to its minimum setting and see how it goes.
If you are running your PC in a particularly hot environment, or if you are experiencing stability issues then try turning the speed up slightly for more cooling. Generally speaking, virtually all the coolers we sell will adequately cool any modern processor at their minimum fan speed setting. However, if you want to be 100% sure that your CPU is in no danger of overheating, then you can check its temperature in the BIOS setup (press Del or F2 etc. when you first switch your PC on, then look for the CPU temperature reading in "Hardware monitor" or "PC Health Status" option or similar).Top
Ultra-Quiet Case Fans
I received a small cable (resistor) with my fan; what is it for?
The resistor cable (also called Ultra Low Noise or ULN cable) is designed to allow the fan to run slightly slower for even quieter operation. The benefit in lower running noise is significant. Although the airflow will be reduced slightly, this usually has minimal effect on PC temperature. We would generally recommend using the ULN resistor cable for best results in almost all circumstances.Top
How can I tell which way the air blows through the fan?
Hold the fan so that the round fan sticker is facing you. You are looking at the rear of the fan. When you plug the fan in, the air will be blowing towards you. If you want a fan to act as an air intake, then the fan sticker will be facing the inside of the case. Some fans also have two small arrows moulded into their plastic housing - one arrow shows the direction of airflow, and the other (at 90°) shows the direction of blade rotation.Top
How do I measure fan size?
The size of fan you need will generally be determined by the size of the fan fitting position in your PC case. The sizes of all the fans on our website are shown as measured along any one of the fan's four sides, NOT the distance between the fan's screw holes! Our most popular fan size is 120mm, followed by 80mm. This isn't really dictated by customer preference, but more by recent designs of PC cases.
As for the thickness (depth) of the fan, generally 25mm (1 inch) is by far the most common depth, although smaller fans can have shallower depths such as 15mm or even 10mm. All our fans are 25mm thick unless otherwise stated. If you have any questions about which fan you should order, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
If you know the distance between the fan mounting screw holes but don't know what fan size to order, please see the following table. Note that the mounting hole measurements shown below are taken horizontally or vertically between the holes and not diagonally.
Screw hole spacings and fan sizes
|32mm between screw holes||40mm fan size|
|40mm between screw holes||50mm fan size|
|50mm between screw holes||60mm fan size|
|60mm between screw holes||70mm fan size|
|72mm between screw holes||80mm fan size|
|83mm between screw holes||92mm fan size|
|105mm between screw holes||120mm fan size|
I have a branded server (HP, Dell etc.) - can you make it silent?
Branded servers are notoriously difficult to service using standard PC components because they generally use higher-specified proprietary items which need to be sourced from the manufacturer and which, apart from costing a lot of money, often run very noisily. You may like to consider enclosing the entire machine in an Acoustic Rack Cabinet.Top
Do you supply any components to silence SFF (small form factor) PCs such those made by Shuttle?
Due to space restrictions, silencing SFF machines is often a tricky task. Consider installing a variable fan speed controller to reduce the speed of your case fan and therefore the noise it makes. Also, you can often enjoy a significant reduction in noise level simply by installing some soundproofing material which is an easy and inexpensive course of action.Top
Do you supply built PCs already silenced?
Since summer of 2011, we have supplied complete PC systems as an alternative for customers who prefer not to upgrade their existing machines. Our computers are top quality, high performance and of course easy on the ears! You can use our website system configurator to specify your preferred choice of components, and if you don’t see exactly what you want, we would invite you to make contact and give us the opportunity to build a complete machine to your exact specification.Top
Does it really matter that my PC makes noise?
Maybe you care, maybe you don’t! Generally most people only care about the noise generated by their PC if the room is normally quiet with the PC switched off, because then they really notice the PC noise more. Of course there are other people with specific reasons for needing or wanting peace and quiet, such as musicians, tinnitus sufferers and hi-fi enthusiasts. The strange thing about background noise is that you only notice how intrusive it is when it stops.Top
Will I have to buy new silencing products if I upgrade my PC?
Probably not, because virtually all the products we sell can easily be removed and re-used. Assuming the components in your new PC are compatible, our products can easily be re-fitted for many more years of further enjoyment!Top
Do you have any products for Macintosh computers?
Macs run quieter than PCs as a rule, but if you need your desktop Mac to run quieter still, you could consider installing some soundproofing material which is an effective, easy and inexpensive course of action. Or, if you have an Apple laptop, you will find it runs much cooler and quieter if you situate it on one of our notebook coolers.Top
What do your customers think?
People here can't believe how silent my computer is, even with the case off.
Jon Hassall, UK