The quietest gaming PC is just the thing for enjoying a marathon play session without the constant bother of fan noise. While some gamers will aver that the best way to get a quiet gaming PC is to build your own, that isn’t a practical or desirable option for everyone. So, in this guide we’ve collated the quietest gaming PCs available to buy fully built, ready to play straight out of the box.
We’ve put together this guide with five key recommendations. First up is our top pick for the quietest gaming PC – that is the PC we judged to be the quietest running model that is still highly specced enough to be a solid gaming option. After that, we’ve picked out four fantastic alternatives, all of which can run high-spec games while creating minimal noise.
There are many quiet and silent PCs out there – you can find a few in our-rundown of the quietest PCs for your home office. However, the majority of the PCs featured in that guide are simply not powerful enough to handle contemporary gaming processing demands.
The reason for this is that CPUs (computer processors) produce a lot of heat, and this heat needs to be dissipated safely to prevent the computer from overheating and being damaged. When you hear a PC making a lot of noise, it’s not the processor working – it’s usually the fans that are kicking into gear to keep it cool. Quiet gaming PCs use other methods to keep their processors cool – there are a few we’ll get into, including liquid cooling and passive ventilation. But for now, let’s crack straight on and reveal the quietest gaming PC you can buy.
The quietest gaming PC
High-end gaming rigs are infamous for being noisy things, so if you’re on the hunt for a quiet gaming PC, you owe it to yourself to try out the MSI Infinite RS 13th. With sophisticated liquid cooling systems for both its CPU and GPU, as well as two radiators and a nine-fan system, this rig runs at a frankly freakishly low noise level. You can boot up some crunchy, resource-intensive game like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, play it with the frame rate turned up and still marvel at how little noise you’re getting out of the machine.
Part of this is down to the sheer size of the machine, which is worth taking into account. The MSI Infinite RS 13th is a big and roomy gaming PC. While this means lots of space for the components to air-cool, it also means it’s going to take up a fair amount of space on your desk or wherever you end up putting it. The swing-out doors that allow access to internal components also have basically zero clearance from the ground, so it really needs a smooth and flat surface to sit on.
Ultimately though, with a Core i9-13900KF processor and an RTX 4090 graphics card, the MSI Infinite RS 13th is a fearsomely potent gaming machine for 2023, and the fact that it won’t deafen you with jet-engine noises just makes it that much more tempting.
More quiet gaming PCs
If the MSI Infinite RS 13th doesn’t fit the bill for you, we’ve picked out four more of the quietest gaming PCs you can buy.
CPU: Intel Core i7-12700KF
Weight: 35.3 lbs
Equipped with a sophisticated liquid cooling system, the Alienware Aurora R13 is renowned as one of the quietest gaming PCs on the market. Also, its distinctive angular design isn’t just an aesthetic choice – it’s also functional, allowing for better air flow through the chassis and thereby further cutting down on fan noise. For general gaming tasks, the Aurora R13 excels, and it should be up to the task of running your favourite games in Full HD without screaming like a jet engine all the while (it has been reported to lag in 4K). You can definitely get the cooler to kick in with a whine if you push the PC hard enough – again, this is pretty much always going to be the case. For most gaming use cases though, the Alienware Aurora R13 is an excellent – and whisper-quiet – choice.
- Generally very quiet
- Good performance at this price
- Lots of ports
- Sometimes lags in 4K
- Will get noisy if you push it
CPU: Intel Core i7-11700F
Weight: 22 lbs
While this is billed as a gaming PC for 4K, the Acer Predator Orion 3000 hits its sweet spot around 1440p, and is an especially good mid-range choice of quiet gaming PC. Even while gaming, the Acer Predator Orion 3000 remains nice and quiet thanks to a clever cooling design that emphasises ventilation. Also, in a nice touch, it comes packaged with its own mouse and keyboard – not all gaming PCs do, and it can be easy to forget to factor that cost in when budgeting for a new computer. Performance-wise, the Acer Predator Orion 3000 does fairly well, though users have experienced significant frame rate drops in 4K that mean you’re probably best off sticking to lower resolutions, as mentioned. At Full HD and 1440p, it delivers consistently smooth and quiet performance.
- Solid gaming PC
- Reliably quiet performance
- Plenty of room for upgrades
- You’ll want to upgrade the SSD
- Can lag in 4K
CPU: Intel Core i9-12900K
Weight: 17.3 lbs
While this rig will set you back a bigger cash outlay than the others in this guide, the Corsair One i300 ticks all the boxes for a quiet gaming PC. It performs like a dream, able to run games nice and smoothly even when cranked up to their highest settings – 4K 60p is easily within reach, and you can push things further if you want to. Powered by a high-end Intel processor, the Corsair One i300 is also pleasingly compact, with a substantially lighter overall weight than the Alienware Aurora R13. Graphical performance is excellent thanks to the GeForce RTX graphics card – really the only potential stumbling block is the fact that this is an unquestionably expensive PC.
- Compact form factor
- Runs nice and quietly
- Excellent gaming performance
- Very expensive
CPU: Intel Core i9 11900K (11th Generation)
Weight: 28.4 lbs
For the level of power the HP Omen 30L is packing, it’s amazing just how quietly it runs. Plump for one of the liquid-cooling configurations (there is a cheaper air-cooled option available) and you’ll be amazed by how hard you have to push it before you start getting some real noise. It’s not completely silent, naturally, and if you crank your games to the highest frame rates and resolutions, you’ll get a fair amount of sound. But this is simply a reality of physics – a completely silent high-end gaming PC doesn’t really exist – and for day-to-day operation and general-purpose gaming, the HP Omen 30L ticks along with only the barest whisper of ambient white noise.
- Much quieter than similar PCs
- Impressive gaming power
- Sleek looks and design
- Some pre-installed bloatware
What to look for in the quietest gaming PC
Why would you want a quiet gaming PC?
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While the reality is that a quiet gaming PC will probably appeal to basically anybody who doesn’t like feeling like they’re sitting next to an industrial fan, there are a few specific practical reasons for getting one.
One big one is streaming. If you like to stream games, or plan to start in the future, then you’ll likely also want to have a way to record your reactions and commentary – check out our guide to the best USB microphones to get started. However, even if you’re using a decent directional mic, a loud, whirring gaming PC can still interfere with your audio and make your streams a less pleasant experience for your audience. And if you’re wearing headphones, as streamers commonly do, you might not even notice unless someone in the chat is good enough to point it out.
In general, gaming on a quiet PC is a calmer and more pleasant experience. If you use your gaming PC for group games or online play for others, you don’t want it to be constantly whirring away. Then there’s also the fact that you may well be sharing your gaming and living space with others. Does your partner or roommate necessarily want to hear a PC’s fans screaming away frantically trying to keep the CPU cool until the early hours of the morning while you try to nail down the final few achievements in Elden Ring? Go ahead and ask if you want (but the answer is no).
What are the trade-offs of a quiet gaming PC?
Like anything in life, a quiet gaming PC comes with trade-offs. The fact is that PCs, and gaming PCs in particular, aren’t making all that noise just to be obnoxious. They’re running fans and other cooling systems keep the CPU and GPU from overheating, and protecting components from excess heat build-up is a huge, huge consideration in PC design. Some PCs have silent running modes that prevent the fans from kicking in – however, these will monitor the CPU temperature and throttle it if it gets too high, which will slow down performance.
There are other ways around this, but they come with trade-offs of their own. For instance, the MSI Infinite RS 13th we picked as our number-one choice for the best quiet gaming PC is a powerful machine that can play games at high resolutions and frame rates, but it’s also an absolute hulk of a machine (in part because there’s lots of space in the machine for air-flow to keep components cool).
Of course, one way to keep your gaming rig quiet is to make your peace with not having the settings cranked up to maximum at all times. Granted, if you’re playing the latest Call of Duty online competitively then you probably need the fastest frame rate you can get, and sometimes playing at maximum resolution is the only way you can appreciate the graphical splendor of something like Dying Light 2. But not everyone needs this, and if you’re happy dialing down the settings a little, you can have a much more tranquil gaming experience.