2 Bronze

Noisy/Loud XPS 420

My new XPS 420 is generally a loud machine and makes a high pitched noise when I browse certain web pages or do graphic intensive activities.  It is generally loud in that I can always hear a fan type buzzing sound or some sort of electronic buzzing sound.  I have read several reviews of the XPS 420 and people describe the computer as being "whisper quiet".  My XPS 420 sounds like a small refrigerator.  I contacted Dell Support about the noise level and the gentleman I spoke with had me run some fan diagnostic tests which my computer passed and the tests showed that the fans were working at the proper RPM for the low fan speed.  The Dell Tech told me that the XPS 420 was a powerful machine and that I should expect it to be loud.  However, it is the loudest computer I have ever owned and I think something must be wrong.  I believe the high pitched noise must be related to my graphics card.  The Dell Support Tech was very nice and professional, but I just feel like I need more resolution.  Has anyone had a similar experience or can you please offer any suggestions?  Thanks so much!


XPS 420
Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q6600 @2.4GHz and 8MB cache
500GB SATA HD(7200RPM)
Integrated Audio
Dell 2208WFP Monitor
128MB Radeon ATI HD 2400 Pro


Message Edited by jallie on 02-21-2008 07:18 AM
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10 Replies
3 Silver

Re: Noisy/Loud XPS 420

My XPS 420 is the quietest computer I have ever had and I have the 8800GT which I would expect to be louder then your video card.

There are not many fans in a 420, should be easy to locate.

You should not have to put up with it.

4 Tellurium

Re: Noisy/Loud XPS 420

I have the low hum, but even with that -- this is the quitest machine I have ever owned since you can barely hear the fans.


You need resolution if it is too loud for you...

XPS 420 with Vista Ultimate 64-bit - Q6700 - 8 GB 800 MHZ Mushkin RAM - 2 500 GB Samsung - 425 Watt PSU

Nvidia 8800gt - 24" Gateway LCD

2 Bronze

Re: Noisy/Loud XPS 420

What you have to remember here is that every person has their own definition of "quiet" depending on where their actual 420 is placed (near the working area, on the floor or as a HTPC) and the actual room that it is placed in.

My 420 isnt exactly silent you can hear a feint hum - i'd say the hard drives accessing data make more noise, but then again thats my opinion.

If it really is getting to you ring/email dell back and ask for a replacement but just remember for what you may think be loud to others it maybe silent.  Am not meaning to argue here but just stating a point. 🙂
Robert Moyer
4 Beryllium

Re: Noisy/Loud XPS 420


Message Edited by Robert Moyer on 02-21-2008 02:10 PM
3 Argentum

Re: Noisy/Loud XPS 420

As I put in another topic on here:


Is it a high pitch "cicada" noise? If so put your ear to the back of your comp and check its not coming from the PSU.


My HD in my XPS720 makes a low dull thudding/rattling sound (says healthy on startup though) but the PSU whines with a high pitched buzzing noise, like that ya get from a TV producing static, whenever extra power is drawn such as writing data, or scrolling and so on.


It might just be something else, but its worth checking as the noisy PSU is a known, longterm and widespread problem with these computers. Theres even a sticky topic on it for the 420's lol.

3 Argentum

Re: Noisy/Loud XPS 420


Not to disagree with a previous poster but, yeah, the 420 is with out question the most quiet machine I have ever owned, by far.  FWIW, DL rivatune, and just check to see what speed your video card is running at.  Not sure what the default fan speed of your card is, I am sure you can google and check to see quickly.

I know when I turn up the fan on my GT8800 it becomes one loud son o gun quick.  If fan is set to default 29%, I honestly have to check to make sure my machine is on when I enter my room.  Maybe another piece of equipment, but start with your video card.


Best Regards,


XPS 420


GT 8800

3 GIG 667 Ram

Vista (why bother to go back to XP)

blah blah blah

henryc folding@home (still cant figure the banner page) Go Team!




Message Edited by hccsf on 02-22-2008 12:15 AM
Not applicable

Re: Noisy/Loud XPS 420



just bought a brand new computer and this thing is so noisy it keeps me up at night...

the fans are really loud...it sounds like a plane is going to take off ( winding up)

and the 60 cucle hum is over the top...I think I am going to return it...

I can have this loud noise in a recording studio...YIKE...

other people hear it as well so it is not just me...


Dell - XPS Desktop with Intel® Core™2 Quad Processor Q8300

Model: X430-121B

3 Argentum

Re: Noisy/Loud XPS 420

I'll join the quiet crowd by saying that my XPS 420 is, without doubt, the quietest PC I've ever owned.  Quieter than my Dimension 8300, my Dimension 8100 and even quieter than my original PC - a Packard Bell with a Pentium 1 processor.


2 Bronze

Re: Noisy/Loud XPS 420

I too had a noisy fan, and it turned out it was the ATI 3650 HD graphics card.  After 4 months of very quiet operation, one day the video card fan started spinning at max speed and from then on it would always spin at max speed.  Dell replaced the card under warranty, and it's back to whisper quiet again.

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