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Hardware Is it possible to have a whisper quiet PC and game at 4K with ultra settings?

Nickolaidas

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So you get your badass motherboard, your 3080 ti, your 128 gb memory, your intel rdna 3 whatever and you game at 4k, 120 fps and holy shit that's great.

But can you make that pc's thermals low enough that they won't kick your fans into overdrive? Because holy shit, I bought a 2500 euro pc with an 2080 super and supposedly one of the best hydro cooling stuff they got and most demanding games kick the cpu fans and the jet is flying.

What about you, people? Is your pc strong and silent? Or does it compete in noise levels with a ps4 pro?
 

rofif

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sure. Phanteks p600s case, all be quiet fans locked at 700rpm.
3080 do gets kinda loud since it's founders edition so ps5 is still quieter (which is very lol since it is cheaper than 3080).

Never run fans on auto. Just lock to 600-800rpm for 140mm fans and around 900-1000 for 120mm. No need for that shit to get going 2000rpm
 
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Knightime_X

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The stronger your hardware is generally the quieter it is.
If you push hardware fans have to work harder to keep it cool.

ps4 pro chugs while Xbox series X is whisper quiet
there's maybe a little more to it than that but all in all better hardware = less stress
I bet a 3080 is a bit quieter vs a 2080 running the same game with the same settings.
 
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Stuart360

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Sep 9, 2018
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Its all about cpu/gpu usage, so probably not.
If you are playing an older game then sure, but if you are playing a demanding game like Flight Sim etc, then dem fans are going to be blowing!. At least on the gpu anyway, you could get liquid cooling for the cpu.
 

reksveks

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As rofif rofif said, you just probably need to spend some time editing the fan curves. I have a 3080 (Asus and that's very quiet).

I need to fix the cpu fan curves one day but I have a warm server under it so happy to have it a bit louder than it needs to be.
 
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vaibhavpisal

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The stronger your hardware is generally the quieter it is.
If you push hardware fans have to work harder to keep it cool.

ps4 pro chugs while Xbox series X is whisper quiet
there's maybe a little more to it than that but

Series S is whisper quiet.

Depends on how well designed a system is.

Getting a quiet pc should be possible. Use bigger fans that displace same volume of air at lower rpm as small fans should help.
 

ZlleH

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Dec 21, 2020
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I just recently came up with a cheap solution and I am kicking myself for not thinking of it before.

I too can play PC games at 4K, HDR, max settings, and 60+ fps. But my GPU sounds like an afterburner once every minute. It doesn't do this for all games, just the demanding games.

I just lived with it, but my wife mentioned it and on the spot I came up with a cheap solution. I didn't think it would work, but figured I had nothing to lose:

1) Open up one side of the computer case
2) Went into the basement and found one of those old fashion fans that rotated or locked in place
3) Put it beside the PC pointing right at the GPU and locked the rotation in place
4) Set the speed to the lowest settings

And no more after burner sound. The fan I got from the basement is very quiet since it is not rotating and it is on the lowest settings.

This worked out so well, I might take the time to find a black small fan so it doesn't look too out of place.

EDIT: This is the type of fan I found in my basement: old fan. It's good because it has settings that you can choose the lowest settings to be quiet.
 
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Patrick S.

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I just recently came up with a cheap solution and I am kicking myself for not thinking of it before.

I too can play PC games at 4K, HDR, max settings, and 60+ fps. But my GPU sounds like an afterburner once every minute. It doesn't do this for all games, just the demanding games.

I just lived with it, but my wife mentioned it and on the spot I came up with a cheap solution. I didn't think it would work, but figured I had nothing to lose:

1) Open up one side of the computer case
2) Went into the basement and found one of those old fashion fans that rotated or locked in place
3) Put it beside the PC pointing right at the GPU and locked the rotation in place
4) Set the speed to the lowest settings

And no more after burner sound. The fan I got from the basement is very quiet since it is not rotating and it is on the lowest settings.

This worked out so well, I might take the time to find a black small fan so it doesn't look too out of place.
If you need to do this, either you have a badly designed PC case or suboptimal fans. Can you share a picture of the PC?
 

CuNi

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Depending on what hardware you buy and how much knowledge you have, you can obviously dramatically change thermal behavior of your parts.

I got a 3080 strix OC and slightly overclocked while at the same time undervolted the GPU. It's been whisper quit since then. I have a bit more trouble getting the same results with my 5900X. It's either the same at the end with OC/UV or I loose some perf when just UVing. I'm thinking of just taking that 1 or 2 fps loss but lowering thermals as ZEN3 in general gets Hella hot in some cases. Don't forget that even 90°C are in spec for that CPU. If you don't have good cooling, then those Temps will send every fan in your pc into overdrive if you leave them on auto.
 
Jan 3, 2021
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get an overpowered gpu

undervolt it hugely

if you accept %10-20 performance loss (depends on game), you can practically reduce the power consumption hugely

prime example:

i have a 3070 that consumes 220w @1.05v at stock. 220w is tough to cool so fans work hard! with these configs, it clocks around 1920-1950 mhz (in certain titles. in some titles)

at @0.85v 1700 mhz (undervolt+overclock), it consumes near 140-150w. some people are lucky and get 1800-1850 mhz at 0.85 mv. i lost the lottery on that one

when you throw 140-150w load on a cooler that is designed for 220w+, you're golden. you will be able to cool the card with quieter noise levels
 
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ZlleH

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Dec 21, 2020
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If you need to do this, either you have a badly designed PC case or suboptimal fans. Can you share a picture of the PC?
I'm not looking to change anything ;) especially when it was during the pandemic that I wanted to find a quick solution.

I'll eventually get a new PC after all this craziness is gone.

I just know that I might look for another option then the blower fan option for the GPU as unfortunately with my setup of the TV, PS5, Series X, the PC gaming rig is in the corner so has very little air flow. I can't move it to a different spot because of just how the layout is.

So this setup is good for now when I play Cyberpunk, etc.
 

Nickolaidas

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These are all very interesting ideas. The undervolt/overclock is done on the bios?
 
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Md Ray

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Which fan(s) are making that jet engine sound in your case (pun intended)? GPU or the CPU fan?
 
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nkarafo

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Well, mine is so quiet, people who enter the room think it's OFF.

Although, it's an older generation PC that would compete with the previous gen of consoles, so no 4K, but playing it's own demanding games does not increase the noise much. It's even more quiet than my XBOX 360 slim at full load.

If you buy the correct heat sinks and fans, you should be set. You don't need liquid cooling. Also, 7200rpm drives are noisy, get some bigger 5200rpm instead if you absolutely need HDDs for storage.
 

Haggard

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you can get all setups to nearly silent if you have enough cooling.
 
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Nickolaidas

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Which fan(s) are making that jet engine sound in your case (pun intended)? GPU or the CPU fan?
CPU fans (those on the top of the tower) go insane when a game uses 100% of the gpu. I installed a program which controls the speed of the gpu fans, and I came to a shocking revelation: the gpu fans by default worked really, really slow, and in result the gpu would go really hot, really fast. I think the gpu was getting so hot to the point it made the cpu activating its own fans to try and cool off the entire system.

I manually adjusted the gpu to start its own fans at 50 celcius. This caused the gpu to reach about 75 celcius at top workload (it would reach 81-82 celcius in its boxed settings). As a result the cpu fans grow less loud, but it's still annoying when your game is in a quiet moment.
 
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Nickolaidas

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Well, mine is so quiet, people who enter the room think it's OFF.

Although, it's an older generation PC that would compete with the previous gen of consoles, so no 4K, but playing it's own demanding games does not increase the noise much. It's even more quiet than my XBOX 360 slim at full load.

If you buy the correct heat sinks and fans, you should be set. You don't need liquid cooling. Also, 7200rpm drives are noisy, get some bigger 5200rpm instead if you absolutely need HDDs for storage.
My older pc had terrific cooling as well. Didn't go loud at all.
 
Jan 3, 2021
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undervolt can be easily done with afterburner

for fan control, my suggestion would be;


such a fine program, it just works. no need for "shitty" motherbard softwares. no need to go into bios everytime to make adjustments.

you can even bind GPU temperature to case fan speeds, you can set up different profiles for different occasions and change them on the fly!

for CPU, you gotta go zen 3, my dear friend. get a zen 3, get a nice cooler, and you will mostly be fine. i think Noctua is the best, they really provide cool and quiet solutions

get a 5800x or something, undervolt that shit too. you don't need every clock speed you can get. really. this is how consoles work. they could've made their CPU run at 4+ ghz or their gpu at 2.5 ghz but then thermals would go off the roof or it would be very loud!

remember, just because you're sold a 4.7 ghz product, doesn't mean you hsave to run it at 4.7 ghz. only reason why these hardware are maxed out is because of competition.

back in the day, components had huge OC headroom, because the hardware manufecturers didn't push them to their limits. take nvidia kepler gpus for example, you could easily exert an extra 300-500 mhz out of them .that's crazy. nowadays, you can't even push 100 150 mhz above the max boost speeds. even with hydro cooling i see people getting 2.1-2.15 ghz with ampere compared to native 1.95-2 ghz which is funny! there's nothing wrong with running an ampere gpu at 1.7 ghz or rdna 2 gpu at 2.3 ghz. or zen 3 cpu at 4.4-4.5 ghz for that matter. zen 3 has such massive ipc improvements that going down from 4.7 ghz to 4.5 ghz won't hurt the performance a lot. but you will get huge power consumption reductions.

reason is simple, the more the hardware is pushed to its limits, the less efficient performance/clock speed scaling you get

even with a relatively weaker hardware in 3070, i can't simply justify running the gpu at stock. running at 0.85mv saves a tons of power and lets me use very, i mean very quiet fan profiles. i can't practically hear the computer, i very much turned my own personal pc akin to a series x. i couldn've done it at stock power consumption, that's for sure.
 
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Md Ray

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CPU fans (those on the top of the tower) go insane when a game uses 100% of the gpu. I installed a program which controls the speed of the gpu fans, and I came to a shocking revelation: the gpu fans by default worked really, really slow, and in result the gpu would go really hot, really fast. I think the gpu was getting so hot to the point it made the cpu activating its own fans to try and cool off the entire system.

I manually adjusted the gpu to start its own fans at 50 celcius. This caused the gpu to reach about 75 celcius at top workload (it would reach 81-82 celcius in its boxed settings). As a result the cpu fans grow less loud, but it's still annoying when your game is in a quiet moment.
I see. The stock wraith prism cooler that came with Ryzen 7 would sound like a jet in core heavy rendering/encoding apps and some CPU-heavy games.

So I switched to Noctua NH-U12S, the chromax one. Very impressed with it. The damn thing is extremely, I mean extremely silent even when stress testing with apps like prime95! I'd recommend Noctua CPU coolers for silent operation.
 
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Ellery

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Yup. It is a lot easier if you watercool it to receive amazing performance and temperatures/noise at the same time, but it is more costly and requires a lot more work (unless you buy a prebuilt watercooled PC then it is just giga expensive).

For air cooling you need to pick top quality fans and don't overdo it. Some people think adding 10 fans to your case will result in it being quiet and cooling well, but that ain't necessarily so.
Then you also need to manage your software profiles, because you want to manage your fan rpms.

A good isolated case can help, but then the airflow is worse compared to mesh cases which can run at lower rpms for intake fans to have good airflow.

GPU is the single biggest problem by far and it just got a LOT worse with the absolute powerhungry planetdestroying modern GPUs (especially from Nvidia). Those things are loud simply because they have to dissipate heat from a 350W+ GPU. You can probably imagine if you have a 2080 that runs at 215W.
So you basically have to pick the very best custom card that is quiet, but coil whine could still screw you and there is not much you can do about it (there are ways to help with glue, but this is advanced stuff).

I work with profiles and need my PC to be quiet most of the time, because I am using speakers and don't wear headphones that much.

So for my setup personally I slightly underclock/underpower and undervolt (if possible) my GPU . Modern day GPUs are not working at peak efficiency and running them at lower power usage only reduces performance by a very small amount. I also have fan profiles so I let my hardware run hotter than the default profile. Depending on the card the default profile tries to have your GPU at 70°C or lower so it doesn't lose the additional 13mhz from going beyond that. (For every 10°C it goes 13mhz lower or something like that for Nvidia GPUs).

Also big fans that are running slow are better than small fans that are running fast. So I have 2 intake fans that run at 30% and 1 exhaust that runs at 39% to creative positive pressure inside the case (good for blowing out the dust as well !).

Going beyond that requires a lot of money or effort. It is hard to completely eliminate noise. PC placement is also important. If it is sitting on your desk it is closer to you and on the same height compared to having it under your desk.
 

Armorian

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get an overpowered gpu

undervolt it hugely

if you accept %10-20 performance loss (depends on game), you can practically reduce the power consumption hugely

prime example:

i have a 3070 that consumes 220w @1.05v at stock. 220w is tough to cool so fans work hard! with these configs, it clocks around 1920-1950 mhz (in certain titles. in some titles)

at @0.85v 1700 mhz (undervolt+overclock), it consumes near 140-150w. some people are lucky and get 1800-1850 mhz at 0.85 mv. i lost the lottery on that one

when you throw 140-150w load on a cooler that is designed for 220w+, you're golden. you will be able to cool the card with quieter noise levels

I'm using 0.925 with stock (~1950MHz) clocks, it consumes usually around 190, 200w but my palit gamingpro cools it like a champ
 

Merkades

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Man, am I the only one who thought 4k max settings and quiet would require a submerged PC (in mineral oil)? I have never done that, but that would allow full power and probably full silence. I do get that it is probably a lot harder than what everyone else is suggesting, but I don't see how you will get quiet with 4k ultra otherwise.

Hmm, I doubt a Peltier cooler would work, but I admit I know little enough about TECs.
 

Armorian

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There is something very fucking wrong with your cooling op. Good 2,5 slot AIR cooler should provide quiet operations for GPUs at 2080to\3070 level, your 2080 with WATER cooling should be much easier to handle. You bought it already made or assembled yourself?
 
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Nickolaidas

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There is something very fucking wrong with your cooling op. Good 2,5 slot AIR cooler should provide quiet operations for GPUs at 2080to\3070 level, your 2080 with WATER cooling should be much easier to handle. You bought it already made or assembled yourself?
Already made by a store which prides itself on their assembled pcs.
 

psn

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Already made by a store which prides itself on their assembled pcs.
How many radiators? Can you add pics and give more details? Might be just your fan curve being completely messed up. You should also switch from CPU Temp --> Fan speed to Water Temp --> Fan speed because the heat from the CPU can't be evacuated fast enough from these small cores. If you stress your cpu, it will go up in temps within the blink of an eye. Literally just milliseconds. Nothing you can do about it.
Try to keep your water temp @45°C max, but it should still be safe to up to 60°C if you have a DDC or D5 Pump. But the cooler the better of course.

My advice: Up the temperature limits for the fan speed by a lot. I mean by a lot. 600rpm until it reaches about 70°C. From 71°C to 80°C 1000rpm, and from 81°C onwards go towards full fan speed. If the water temp gets too hot, try to up the rpm of the fans by a little until it works for you. But you really need to control the fan speed by your water temp, this is just a quick and dirty solution.
 

evanft

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Depends on what you mean by whisper and how far you can take things. Here's are my tips.

  • Place the PC far away from you. Mine is about 11 feet away tucked behind my projector screen.
  • Get a case with quiet-focused features. This will typically mean a case with lots of foam, fan controllers, rubber mounts, etc. Many modern cases have these things, though, so you don't necessarily need something marketed as being quiet. Avoid cases with a lot of tempered glass.
  • Cover large outer surfaces of the case with butyl rubber. This will prevent the panels from vibrating and thus transmitting sound. It doesn't make a huge difference, but it's a cheap and easy mod.
  • Use the biggest fans you can, and make sure they're high quality. Use 140 mm fans from Noctua or Arctic whenever possible. Skip the RGB bullshit and focus on performance.
  • Undervolt your GPU and use a custom fan curve. This will allow your graphics card to deliver the same level of performance while generating less heat/noise.
  • Buy a quiet power supply. Any Gold+ or better PSU from an established brand will likely be good, though in my experience Corsair always seems to deliver when it comes to their noise profile. Also buy one that's a level above what you need. If you think you need 750W, get 850W. This will put less stress on the PSU, which means it run cooler and quieter.
  • Customize your fan profiles using your mobo's included fan curve functions or third party fan control software.
  • Surround your PC with sound absorbers. I used some cheap egg-crate foam and a homemade bass trap in the corner that my PC sits in. I made sure to point the exhaust fan directly at the foam to try and absorb as much of the sound as possible.
 
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intbal

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Immersion Cooling.
Complicated. Expensive. Risky.
But silent.

Although it seems the gaming world gave up on that process about a decade ago.
 

BlackTron

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Jun 30, 2016
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I just recently came up with a cheap solution and I am kicking myself for not thinking of it before.

I too can play PC games at 4K, HDR, max settings, and 60+ fps. But my GPU sounds like an afterburner once every minute. It doesn't do this for all games, just the demanding games.

I just lived with it, but my wife mentioned it and on the spot I came up with a cheap solution. I didn't think it would work, but figured I had nothing to lose:

1) Open up one side of the computer case
2) Went into the basement and found one of those old fashion fans that rotated or locked in place
3) Put it beside the PC pointing right at the GPU and locked the rotation in place
4) Set the speed to the lowest settings

And no more after burner sound. The fan I got from the basement is very quiet since it is not rotating and it is on the lowest settings.

This worked out so well, I might take the time to find a black small fan so it doesn't look too out of place.

EDIT: This is the type of fan I found in my basement: old fan. It's good because it has settings that you can choose the lowest settings to be quiet.

lol 10 years ago I had one of those square window box fans up against the side of my PC with the side off. It was actually a pretty good fit! Too bad it wasn't a black colored one to match my PC case but hey, the dirty white one is what was laying around.

It WAS super effective, but not at being quiet.
 
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I see. The stock wraith prism cooler that came with Ryzen 7 would sound like a jet in core heavy rendering/encoding apps and some CPU-heavy games.

So I switched to Noctua NH-U12S, the chromax one. Very impressed with it. The damn thing is extremely, I mean extremely silent even when stress testing with apps like prime95! I'd recommend Noctua CPU coolers for silent operation.
Like the way you think
 
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Trimesh

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Man, am I the only one who thought 4k max settings and quiet would require a submerged PC (in mineral oil)? I have never done that, but that would allow full power and probably full silence. I do get that it is probably a lot harder than what everyone else is suggesting, but I don't see how you will get quiet with 4k ultra otherwise.

Hmm, I doubt a Peltier cooler would work, but I admit I know little enough about TECs.
They don't really help with noise - the problem is that they generate their own heat in addition to the heat generated by the device being cooled. If you're ultimately dumping that into an air-cooled heatsink then you end up needing more airflow, not less.

For low noise, the best approach is to use large low speed fans since they can generate lots of airflow - watercooling can help too since the radiator typically has more surface area than a conventional cooler and hence you don't need as high an air velocity for a given amount of heat transfer.
 

BigBooper

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Get giant fans. They move more air with fewer rpm. Also, pray you don't get some kind of coil whine. Only use SSDs. My pc is silent from where I sit with the exception of the gpu fan when it's running 100%.
 

Bonfires Down

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I set very relaxed fan curves with ArgusMonitor and MSI Afterburner. Temps probably go pretty high but I don’t care as long as it’s quiet.
 

Armorian

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Already made by a store which prides itself on their assembled pcs.

What exactly is your GPU? Is it with water cooling from producer or WC was added by the store you bought it from?

For start try undervolting your gpu

 

SlimySnake

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Feb 5, 2013
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I just recently came up with a cheap solution and I am kicking myself for not thinking of it before.

I too can play PC games at 4K, HDR, max settings, and 60+ fps. But my GPU sounds like an afterburner once every minute. It doesn't do this for all games, just the demanding games.

I just lived with it, but my wife mentioned it and on the spot I came up with a cheap solution. I didn't think it would work, but figured I had nothing to lose:

1) Open up one side of the computer case
2) Went into the basement and found one of those old fashion fans that rotated or locked in place
3) Put it beside the PC pointing right at the GPU and locked the rotation in place
4) Set the speed to the lowest settings

And no more after burner sound. The fan I got from the basement is very quiet since it is not rotating and it is on the lowest settings.

This worked out so well, I might take the time to find a black small fan so it doesn't look too out of place.

EDIT: This is the type of fan I found in my basement: old fan. It's good because it has settings that you can choose the lowest settings to be quiet.
lol I used to do this with my PS4 Pro. I can say it definitely helps.
 

Setsuna Mudou

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May 29, 2020
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Didn't read all the posts so someone might have said it already but hey, here ya go:

Yes, get a watercooler for your gpu and cpu.
Also, you're not going to 4k 120fps any modern AAA game, much less with a 2080, those gpus are hot garbo.
With DLSS on and shit, yeah, you'll be gold. Get an rx 6800 or rtx 3080 though.
 

Braag

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Yes it is. I have x8 140mm fans on my case (which is kinda pointless but why the hell not) they're all PWM Noctua fans, 4 intake and 4 exhaust. My CPU fan is a Noctua D15. My PC barely makes a sound and stays very cool, sometimes you hear the fans increase speed slightly if I'm playing through a very graphically intensive part of a game but usually it's incredibly quiet.
I only have a 2080TI however so I play most of my games at 1440p.