Quiet Your Computer... With Carpet

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Sound muffling technique – Jeff Guth

We all know that musicians blanket an entire room with carpet to dampen as much un-wanted sound as possible. Then, why can’t us hardware-geeks do the same? Well, I didn’t want to carpet my entire room, so I thought "Maybe I could just encase my computer in carpet". Now, the enchanting story that follows:

What I used:

  • Extra carpet
  • Extra wood
  • Extra-tough scissors
  • Hammer & wood nails
  • Screws and side-latch thingys

Because case size differs from case to case, I’m not going to give all the
sizing details. In fact, a lot of the material I found was free from scrounging around, so I had to do a lot of improvising. This is the setup before my project:

As you can see, my floor is hard wood with a hard wood desk; with a loud computer, you get the idea. Whenever my computer was on, my room sounded like an airport. My computer consists of a generic 5" case fan, a Dragon ORB CPU fan, and a generic chipset fan. It was very noisy and my room’s echo probably contributed a lot to it.

I first cut the wood to the size of my case plus an addition 1". Then
I cut the carpet to the same size (Note: If you can, get an actual tool that was meant for carpet cutting. Using the scissors made my hands sore for days). I then nailed both sides of every board with the carpet I found. I cut little rectangles on the sides to put the latches that connect the boards together:

I then started to connect each board together. I used wood screws in case
I wanted to take it apart later:

After all that, I was finished:

Before I put my computer inside the completed carpet-case, I got a free carpet and covered my room’s floor with it. That should help reduce echo and peripheral noise. Be sure to clean any carpet that you got for free, because you never know where it’s been. Here is the finished product:

After carpeting my floor and my computer, I noticed a substantial decrease in noise. To further reduce noise, I covered the front with a towel which almost completely eliminated the high-pitched whine my fans make. Now, you’re probably wondering "Won’t that keep heat in and make your computer hotter!?!?".

No, because the back is where all the air exits my computer. The total amount of time it took a little over five hours, but I had to spread it over a couple weeks in order to get the parts needed.

Conclusion

This method brought the noise of my computer down to a bearable level. Although it’s still louder than I prefer, I’d rather use this than water cooling (I’m not as experimental and cannot afford a mistake, as some of you overclockers).

For animal lovers, this project can also double as a cat scratching post and protect your computer from other harmful things that your pet might do. I wouldn’t recommend implementing this in a business environment, but it’s great in the home.

Jeff Guth

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