Insulation and Sound Proofing

Comes In All Shapes and Sizes Now we're getting into the little more extreme (i.e. fun) areas of case cooling. Case insulation and noise reduction.

If you've ever been to recording studio or music rehearsal rooms, you'll most likely notice the walls are coated with foam padding. The padding acts as a sound insulation barrier between the audio coming out of that room and the rest of the world. Not only does this foam padding prevent unwanted audio from getting into the room, it also prevents internal sound from getting out.

Plus, it "softens" the noise inside the room, which makes it good for recording studios. For high-pitched items like Delta fans and graphics card coolers, a layer of foam padding can actively dull the noise and keep it from getting too irritating.

These same concepts can be applied to your computer case. Think of the sides of your case as the sides of a recording studio. You can pad the walls of your case to absorb the noise created by your loud fans. Good acoustical foam can be found at many online music shops, and is relatively cheap (about $20-25 to cover the insides of your case). Any kind of spray adhesive works great for attaching the padding to specific areas of the case. Just be sure to keep your expensive computer components away until you're done padding it.

Dynamat - It's Tar On a Roll!

Dynamat was originally introduced to me as a method of silencing case noise, acting as a layer of insulation on the insides of the case. Dynamat is basically a thick layer of tar that is applied to a roll, which is sticky on one side. The sticky side can be applied to the sides of your case walls without much effort. Dynamat is commonly used in cars, where Dynamat adds excess weight to the area it's applied, thus reducing vibrations from a loud speaker / subwoofer.

Unfortunately, Dynamat doesn't do much good in a PC. I know from personal experience on this one. While Dynamat can theoretically muffle some of the sound coming out of your PC, it doesn't do much. Rather, Dynamat can be useful when applied to high vibration areas like hard drive cages and around power supplies. Due to the nature of Dynamat, coating the insides of your case with the stuff will make your case MUCH heavier, but it does do its job. There are also tons of Dynamat clones out there which have the same effect, but cost a bit less.

Combining a layer of Dynamat and a layer of sound insulation is a fantastic way to lower ambient case noise, and keep vibrations down.