Here’s the right place for you if your graphics card sounds like a jet engine preparing for takeoff. Over the years, graphics cards have undergone numerous engineering improvements, becoming faster and quieter with each iteration. Still, they are not entirely silent. Graphics processing units (GPUs) are still some of the noisiest components of gaming computers.
Is there anything you can do about it? Put on your headphones to drown out the noise, don your headphones in defeat, and turn the volume up to dangerous decibel levels? Graphics cards can be quieted in a variety of ways; you just have to know-how. We’re going to talk about how to make a graphics card quieter.
Fixing Loud Graphics Cards in 5 Easy Steps
1. Reduce the Fan Speed
You can dampen the noise of a noisy fan by reducing its speed. Nevertheless, there are some important considerations to keep in mind. To start, it is important to monitor the GPU temperatures. Among the best tools for doing this is Unigine, FurMark, 3DMark, or MSI Kombuster.
As long as your fan speed is not exceeding 100%, you can leave your fan on if your graphics card reaches a temperature of over 80 degrees Celsius with its fan at 100%. In contrast, you can reduce the speed of your fan if your temperatures are consistently lower than 80 degrees Celsius.
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MSI Afterburner is the easiest way to reduce fan speed regardless of the graphics card you have, because it is natively able to reduce it for different GPUs.
|Easy to install||Overheating is possible|
|Vibrations and noise are reduced||Performance can be affected|
|Keeping an eye on the temperature keeps you safe||Probably not the best long-term solution|
|Software that is available for free|
2. Remove the Dust From the Heatsink
A heatsink that cannot adequately cool the GPU may be causing your graphics card to work overtime.
Dust build-up is often to blame for this. The best way to access all the tiny crevices on your graphics card is to disassemble its components. After that, blow all the dust away with compressed air and a toothbrush.
If you decide to follow this path, you may want to check out our guide on how to clean your graphics card.
|Easy to understand||Doesn’t work on graphics cards that are dustyDoesn’t work on graphics cards that are dusty|
|The price is very cheap||The plastic housing can make it difficult to reach the heatsink|
|Plastic fan housing can be removed for easier cleaning|
3. Downclock Your GPU
Using a lower fan speed won’t work for every PC build because it can result in unmanageable temperatures. Next, you might want to consider downclocking your GPU, if this describes your situation. If you use MSI Afterburner again, you can reduce your GPU’s memory clock and core clock, which will make your GPU cooler.
|Reduces the amount of heat produced||The performance has decreased|
|During a fan slowdown|
4. Isolating the Fan From Its Mount
This option might be right for you if you’re not afraid of a little DIY. It is actually vibrations traveling through the case that cause most of the sound emitted by graphics cards.
Even the quietest fans become much louder due to vibrations amplification caused by the screws and metal housing surrounding the GPU. If you have ever tried running the fan in isolation, you will notice that it is much more subdued.
Isolating the fan from its mount while still allowing it to perform its cooling function is a challenge. The fan can be raised with a layer of vibration-absorbing material, such as an artificial sponge.
Here’s how you do it:
- You should first remove the fan from your graphics card.
- The fan base should be covered with a small section of sponge cut using scissors. The sponge should not be too small because it must remain stable and distribute the weight of the fan evenly. Ideally, the sponge should be no thicker than 0.5 cm.
- You will mount the fan on the heatsink by applying glue to it. It is important to choose an adhesive that is compatible with the material being glued. Silicon-based adhesives, for instance, work well when glueing metals. If you didn’t want to use glue, you could also opt for industrial-grade double-sided sticky tape.
- Apply glue to the sponge then place the sponge over it.
- Attach the fan to the sponge by applying glue to the back of it and making sure the blades are centred so they won’t get caught.
|Soundproofing is important||DIY is necessary|
|Performance is not affected||Damages at risk|
|Heat output is not increased||There is some equipment needed|
5. Soundproof PC Case and Custom Fans
Antec P101 Silent Performance with soundproofing
Our options so far for reducing the noise output of your graphics card setup are budget-friendly and can be applied to most existing graphics cards. In case all else fails, you might consider upgrading your design and acquiring quieter hardware. Custom fans and soundproof PC cases are where you can see the most improvement.
As stock coolers are made from low-quality material, their performance is often lacking. You’re likely to experience this issue if you’re using a stock Intel cooler, which tends to run much hotter than its AMD counterpart. A number of gamers have pointed out that stock coolers, even relatively new ones, perform worse than older models.
Are you ready to get rid of your stock cooler? Utilizing stock coolers has many benefits; they come with no additional cost, are easy to install, and do not require socket compatibility checks.
There are, however, a number of costs associated with them that could have a negative impact on your gaming performance. For example, Intel’s stock coolers pale in comparison to AMD’s, and Intel’s stock coolers are laughably inadequate for anything above an i3.
GPUs equipped with dedicated higher-end units can have problems with the stock fans. To find the best custom fan for your graphics card, browse online forums such as gaming subreddits if you think your stock fan may be the problem.
The other alternative is to purchase a PC case that is noise-dampening. Soundwave absorbing foam is usually used in these cases. Regardless of the choice you make, it’s important to ensure that the case you choose can still provide good airflow. We should reduce noise levels, but not at the expense of our PCs melting.
In order to reduce the amount of noise generated by your graphics card, you can use the NZXT Kraken G12 with a Kraken series AIO. There is a cost associated with this as you will need both the AIO and the adapter.
Noise from your graphics card can create annoying background noises at best, or completely ruin your gaming experience at worst. The reason for this is that many games use sound to tell you where the enemy is or what’s coming next. It may be time to replace your loud graphics card if your GPU is competing with your game for attention.
You can put an end to that noisy GPU by following the tips on this list, so you can focus on what truly matters, the game in front of you.