Help Me, Laptop: I Need a Quiet Gaming Laptop
Gaming laptops are loud and proud. It comes with the territory, after all. Powerful components create heat, and you need fans to dissipate that heat. Those fans make noise. But jbharkjr, a user on our forums, wants something quiet. It's an anomaly, but not impossible.
The first thing to look for is the quietest hardware.
"Is my best and only option pretty much the Asus ROG Zephyrus?" asked jbharkjr. I imagine that they suggested the Zephyrus because of its Nvidia Max-Q design, and that's one way to go. The Zephyrus is the most well-known, but other options include the MSI GS63VR Stealth Pro, Gigabyte Aero 15X, Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming and Acer Predator Triton 700. You'll give up a little bit of power with a Max-Q GPU, but the efficiency and heat management may be worth it.
It's nigh impossible, though, to name any other quiet gaming laptop. Even those mentioned above, while less noisy than expected, aren't completely silent.
No matter what laptop you get, however, there are ways to reduce the amount of noise, or at least avoid it.
The first is to keep your laptop cool. Any computer will run quieter when it's well-ventilated. Make sure that there's nothing blocking a gaming laptop's fans. You could even consider a laptop cooler, though that likely won't do a ton for intense gaming and though I think they're completely and utterly lame. Place your notebook on a desk or table, and don't let it sit on a bed where blankets will completely cover the fans.
Another option, if you tend to play with your laptop plugged in, is Nvidia's "WhisperMode." This setting is available on any laptop with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 or higher. The company claims this mode will reduce the sound level of a laptop's fans by up to 50 percent. This can be turned on in the Nvidia GeForce Experience program.
You could also get a nongaming laptop and attach an eGPU. That add-on makes its own fan noise (likely as loud as many gaming laptops on their own), but at least you don't have to worry about noise when you disconnect the graphics amp and take the laptop with you.
If you don't mind playing on your TV (and a bit of potential lag), you could also use something like Steam Link to play in another room. The laptop will still make noise, but hey, you won't hear it. However, that works only when you're not traveling with the laptop.
Finally, when all else fails, you can get a good pair of gaming headphones. The laptop will be loud, yes, but you won't be able to hear it. You can see our picks here.
Credit: Laptop Mag