When building your own PC, you can tailor every aspect to your individual needs. No matter if the PC is for gaming, editing, machine learning, or just work, customizing your new build brings the best end results. A lot of PC enthusiasts aim for a sense of calm, where the gentle hum of your fans and components is an absolute no-go.
There are many ways to achieve silence in a PC and when you bring them together you get yourself a quiet PC-build fit for even the biggest ‘whrrrrr’ haters out there. One of the biggest contributors to noise in any PC is the fans. Fans are needed to supply the internal components with cool air, bringing the ambient temperature down and keeping performance where it needs to be.
Scythe Kaze Flex
Best Quiet PC case fans
All of the fans recommended in this round-up offer excellent performance for the price while operating under 25 dBA at max noise.
The best silent PC case fan
- Excellent quality
- Low noise
- For those that respect airflow and acoustics above all else
Aside from its silent operation, the Noctua NF-A fan is a premium, high-performance model.
The fan is designed for the enthusiasts out there looking to shed as much computer noise as possible, with a max level of 22.6 dBA.
Key features include rubber, anti-vibration grommets, a unique impeller design, and high-end bearings.
The build quality of this fan is unbeatable, with performance and noise being the primary focus.
Best value Silent PC case fan
- High cooling performance
- Great acoustic performance
- Not as quiet as the Noctua unit
Another high-performance fan here only this time from Scythe. Scythe is well known in the cooling world and produces one of the quietest CPU fan coolers available.
This case fan has similar sound-dampening features as the others, including rubber grommets. It may not be as good as the best from Noctua but it is very close and half the price.
For an ideal balance of cooling and lower noise levels, this PC case fan can allow you to spend more on the internal components.
Best budget quiet PC case fan
The Arctic P12s are highly favored for their affordability, overall cooling performance, and low noise.
If you are on a budget and don’t regard silence as a priority, these are a good middle ground for any system builder.
Main considerations when buying quiet PC case fans
Choosing the right silent PC case fan can be a daunting task for those new to PC building, especially if you’re not familiar with the brands that specialize in silence. Here are some factors to consider when making your selection:
- Noise Level – The most obvious consideration when choosing a silent PC case fan is the advertised noise level. Look for fans that have a low decibel rating, as this indicates that they produce minimal noise. Fans with larger blades tend to be quieter, as they can move more air at lower speeds.
- Airflow – Fans with higher airflow are better at cooling your PC components, but they tend to be noisier. It is important to balance you needs between acoustic and thermal; performance
- Bearing Type – The type of bearing used in the fan can affect its noise level and lifespan. Sleeve bearings tend to be quieter but have a shorter lifespan, while ball bearings are noisier but have a longer lifespan. Fans with fluid dynamic bearings (FDB) are a good compromise between noise level and lifespan.
What contributes to fan noise?
Fan noise can generally range between 10dBA to 36dBA. The type of bearing used in the fan can be a cause of noise. The overall design of the fan blades and the distance of the blades from each other can be a factor of noise.
Obviously, the RPM at which the fans spin is the main factor of noise and there are many ways to reduce this rather than buying new fans.
You can read more on what makes a good fan here.
Benefits to using Quiet PC case fans in your build
Fans cool your CPU, your graphics card, PSU, and the ambient temperature of the entire enclosure. While you may think having these fans at maximum RPM may benefit your system, there is actually a fine balance that can be set.
Regardless of how optimized your fans are, some are much louder than others. Quiet PC case fans can operate under 25 decibels, making them ideal for a number of practical reasons in the work/ study environment.
Silent PC case fans often feature rubber grommets or some form of anti-vibration to reduce the rattle some builders may experience.
Do you need the quietest fans for your PC?
Quiet PC fans often come with a bit of extra expense as they tend to use additional features or materials that help with noise reduction.
They aren’t as expensive as premium RGB fans, however, the best that we outlined above are from reputable brands, well known for their work in silence.
How to reduce PC case fan noise?
All case fans are measured in A-weighted decibels (dBA) but how can you reduce it?
Whether you are buying new silent PC case fans or want to reduce the noise of your current ones, slowing the fans down is a great place to begin.
- You can reduce fan speed or set fan curves using fan controllers and software or in the BIOS.
Investing in better quality fans can also reduce noise, as cheap-to-make fans are made for one purpose: pushing air through the computer.
As mentioned earlier, the use of rubber grommets can reduce noise quite dramatically, especially if you have a fan that rattles.
Finding the best silent PC case fans is no longer the chore it once was. Many system builders use to have to tweak their own fans with techniques and materials to achieve similar effects but now you can simply add them to your build list.
Silence isn’t at the top of every PC builder’s list of priorities but if you’re using a computer for work that requires peace and quiet, you are going to want the best. All the quiet case fans in this article are of the highest quality and come with lengthy warranties too.
The Noctua is the picture of quality, however, the Scythe offers a more budget-friendly option for those that may want to include many fans in their PC.