Mentioning my goal yesterday of having my next PC be near-silent set me off to
see if I could quiet this one down in the meantime. What was getting to me was a
little higher pitched than typical fan noise, so my initial thought that this
might be coil whine that I was not going to be able to do anything about.
Looking at some diagnostics and monitors, however, showed me these two little
"assistant fans" on my ASUS Sabertooth motherboard were working their little
asses off, and sure enough, reducing their speed made all the difference in the
world. The funny thing is these hardly make a difference in temperatures, so
slowing them down seems harmless, and I compensated by cranking all three of my
case's 120 MM fans to 100%, which increased their noise not at all, so now all I
hear is the gentle whoosh of the larger fans. I did have a funny moment when I
grew concerned that my USB 3.0 chipset was running 10 degrees hotter than my
CPU, but then I realized that 46ºC is only around 115ºF, which is obviously nothing
to worry about. I just checked and it's currently at all of 40ºC while the mildly overclocked CPU is at 30ºC, so this PC is just one cool cat. I should
switch these things to the more American-friendly Fahrenheit, but Celsius seems
so much more cool and sciencey that it would feel like a downgrade.