20141218

The Myth of the Quiet Computer (satire)

Over the past five years, I have used a computer in my bedroom. Although the noise the CPU fan is making doesn't sound loud, I decided to test how loud that noise is.

This is not a professional test but suits me because I have enough data to get an average using the technology I have: three smartphones: the Nexus 4, Nexus 5 and Alcatel One Touch Idol X.

On all of my smartphones, I have installed the Sound Meter app from Smart Tools. Additionally, I also use the Sound Meter plugin in the All in One Tool app on the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5, just in case the phone's microphone is either poorly calibrated or not pointed the right way.

In this test, I have recorded the sound level from my Linux PC which ranges from 51 to 53 dB at 0.5 metre from the nearest fan using the Nexus 5, and ranging from 49 to 51 dB using the Nexus 4. The overall average is thus 51 dB using the Sound Meter app.

Additionally I use the All in One Tool Sensors plugin has a Sound Meter that gives additional sound level data.

At the same 0.5 metre distance, sound levels recorded using the Sound Meter plugin were as low as 46.48 dB or as high as 55.85 dB on the Nexus 5 - averaging to 51.17 dB. For the Nexus 4 using the same Sound Meter plugin, the sound levels ranged from 53.32 dB to 54.62 dB - averaging to 53.97 dB. Overall average is 52.57 dB.

Finally on the Alcatel One Touch Idol X, the sound level measured with the Sound Meter app ranges from 58 to 61 dB for an average of 59.5 dB. Given the high reading, they will be excluded from my brief assessment.

Overall my PC's CPU fan is noisy at a little over 50 dB, which is as noisy as a quiet office or street.

This explains why I don't sleep well after going to bed while forgetting to shut the computer off. Usually my well slept nights happen when my computer is shut off.

After 4 years of living like this, I finally realized my insomnia was because I spent the previous 4 yrs sleep deprived due to a so-called quiet computer.

So now I sleep without the computer on.

Screen-shots of Sound Meter and All in One Tool Sensors plugin (sound sensor)

NEXUS 4


NEXUS 5


Alcatel Onetouch Idol X


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