Why is my computer so loud?
If you’ve ever used a laptop on your knee for a while, you’ll know how warm they can get! Both laptops & computers generate heat, and so need a number of fans within them to keep them cool.
But how noisy is too noisy? And should you be concerned about an overly noisy machine?
Does noisy mean bad?
Hardware within your PC such as your CPU, graphics card and power supply all generate heat, and so to try and keep the temperature down, your computer’s fans to leap into action, forcing the hot air out of your PC and trying to draw in cool. A loud computer fan happens when your computer is generating a lot of heat and needs the fans to work harder to try and cool it.
If your fans can’t sufficiently reduce the heat inside your computer or laptop, you may start to experience a range of issues, both with hardware and software. If your computer has regularly started crashing, getting stuck in a reboot loop or even getting a ‘blue screen’, it may be that your CPU is shutting itself down when your PC’s internal temperatures get too high to avoid permanent damage.
When it comes to hardware, your CPU will self-regulate its performance to try and lower heat output, meaning that you’ll see a noticeable drop in speed and performance.
Letting air in
Sometimes, loud fans can be the norm. When putting your computer through intensive tasks — such as when playing computer games or doing a labour-intensive task. So long as the fans slow when you’re done, this isn’t necessarily something to worry about.
If your computer, in particular laptops, tends to get louder if you use it on your knee (or on the carpet or bed!) it’s usually because cool air is being prevented from cycling in to cool it down. If possible, using a laptop on a desk or a table is usually best. Quite commonly, the rubber ‘feet’ on the bottom of your laptop (or even PC) fall off or wear down – without them, air can’t circulate through the bottom of your laptop, which is something to think about when it comes to picking where to use or store your device.
Desktop PCs also need access to cool air – so if your PC is boxed in, or kept in a really small space, the fans may struggle to take in the air they need. Putting it directly onto carpet may also stop air from being able to get into the fans – where possible, try and pop your PC on a desk or shelf. You need to give the hot air inside your PC somewhere to come out of as your fans spin to try and remove it.
Keeping it clean
If your PC or laptop is well ventilated, there’s a few other things which could be causing your noisy fans.
Most commonly, it’s a bit of dirt! Dust builds up inside your computer, especially if it’s stored on the floor! As dust collects on your computer fans, they no longer work effectively and prevent the fans from cooling. Removing dust from the fans and vents to allow your computer to cool itself efficiently.
Having your computer cleaned can improve overall running, keep your PC or laptop running longer, and give the overworked components of your machine a bit of a breather.
PCs can usually be cleaned with compressed air, however if you’re not confident in doing it, we can help.
Could it be anything else?
If your PC or Laptop is generally clean inside, loud fans can indicate problems, especially if the noise persists for a long period of time. A computer fan’s job is to keep your computer cool, and excessive fan noise means they’re working harder than they normally need to.
Moving parts wear down over time and eventually break. Desktop and laptop fans that are running loud might be loose, which leads the fan to spin at a wonky angle, and bash the case it’s in. Most fans can be replaced as individual units if they’re not repairable.
The CPU is a small silicone chip which sits within the motherboard, and it’s a core component of your computer. If there’s a program eating up too much of your CPU’s resources, that can easily cause your computer to heat up fast. A computer fan making noise out of nowhere can indicate a high CPU usage.
Your PC power supply also has fans in it. A power supply or PSU is a hardware component that supplies all other components with power. Fans within this aren’t usually replaceable and taking them apart can be dangerous and so if the fan within it is particularly noisy, a replacement unit would be needed. Also, an overheating power supply may be unable to sufficiently power all the components in your computer, so upgrading to a more powerful power supply may be a better option.
So is your loud computer or laptop a problem?
Keeping your computer or laptop cool is important to protect the components within it, and dirty, broken fans can’t do that very well, so if you are experiencing excessive noise levels, it’s probably worth getting it checked out.
Software issues may also be responsible for making your computer fans so loud — either something’s not working as it should, or your hardware isn’t powerful enough to run the software you’re using.
If you’ve got concerns, or have finally had enough of your noisy machine, we’re available to help with the cleaning of your PC or laptop, or to give it a full check over to see if there’s something else which may be causing the issue.
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