Quote Exalted Wombat:
Well, I'm sitting a couple of feet from a computer that uses the silencers sold by Scan. It's pretty quiet. It isn't completely silent. I don't think that's ever going to happen, unless you design a computer with completely passive cooling and SSDs. Do you HAVE to be close to it while recording? Mic cables come in all lengths.
Cheers wombat, the noise levels are great for just being in the room, when I'm sat at my desk I can't really tell the computers even on, its just that the room is quite small so my mics are generally quite close and pick up the HDD's quite easily. I try and be as far away as possible and have the mics facing away from the case but for things like acoustic guitar recording its hard to get that studio level of noise.
I've managed to get a scythe 'quiet drive' on ebay for £3, so I'll see when it arrives how much of a difference it could make. I was also thinking of putting the back-up drive in an esata caddy and just turning it on at the end of the day for back-ups.