Quiet ATX Gamer, R5 Version

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The main change here from last week's Quiet ATX Gaming Rig is the Fractal Design Define R5. The new case is a success, better than the R4 in many ways, but from a purely functional point of the view, the main improvements are improved intake vents and quieter fans. The ~2 dBA improvement at full load of the R5 setup over the R4 has to be attributed mostly to the new fans, though undoubtedly, the improved front venting probably comes into play as well. The final system SPL of <14 [email protected] at low load and just 16.3 dBA at maximum load was achieved by adding a single quiet front fan, and removing all the HDD drive cages so the airflow from the front fans is completely unimpeded. The end result was a slight reduction in GPU fan speed, which helped reduce the overall noise, and slightly cooler temperatures at all the sensor points.

SPCR's Silent Mid-ATX Gaming PC Component List
SPCR Build Components
Street Price
MSI GTX 970 Gaming - US$350
Intel Core i5-4670K
Intel I5-4440 - US$180
Intel Core i5-4460 - US$190
Scythe Kotetsu
Noctua NH-U12S - US$62
Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus Universal - US$33
Scythe Mugen 4
- US$50
Be Quiet! Shadow Rock Slim - US$50
Silverstone Argon 3
- US$50
Asus Z97-PRO
ASUS Z97-P - US$115
ASUS Z97-A - US$140
Kingston HyperX Genesis 2x4GB 1866MHz DDR3
Kingston HyperX Savage 8GB Kit (2x4GB) 1600MHz DDR3 - US$80
Samsung 850 Pro 256GB
Crucial MX100 256GB - US$110
Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB - US$120
Crucial MX100 512GB - US$210
Samsung 840 EVO 1TB
- US$400
Seagate Barracuda 2 TB
Seagate Barracuda 3 TB - US$100 (for performance)
Seagate Desktop 2 TB Solid State Hybrid Drive (for performance)
Western Digital Caviar Green 3 TB - US$105 (for low noise)
WD Red 3 TB NAS Drive - US$125 (for low noise, warranty)
Fractal Design Define R5
Fractal Design Define R4 - $120
Antec P280 - $90
Silverstone Raven RV05 - US$115
Corsair Obsidian 550D - US$130
Silverstone Fortress FT05S - US$180
be quiet! Straight Power 10 600W
Corsair CS 650 - US$95
Corsair RM 650 - US$110
Seasonic X-650 - US$120
Antec TrueQuiet 140
Fractal Fan from R5
Retail prices are subject to constant fluctuations. Please use the shopping links to check on current pricing; don't rely on the prices cited in non-linked text.

Again, we have to laud nVIDIA for its improvements in GPU power efficiency which makes the semi-passive cooling in the ASUS Strix GTX 980 possible. This build would be a lot more complex and expensive without the GTX 980 and the ASUS Strix cooler.

The total cost of our build should be unchanged, because the R5 case is apparently going to be selling for about the same price as the R4, though we have not received official word from Fractal. The gaming system we present here is hard to beat for performance or noise, however, unless you throw a lot more money at the build. Choose some of the more value-conscious alternatives suggested, like the GTX 970, and you can reduce the cost by about US$400 while still maintaining a high quality gaming experience.

Many thanks to Intel, ASUS, Kingston, Seagate, Scythe, Fractal Design, and be quiet! for sponsoring the components in this build guide.

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Articles of Related Interest
Quiet ATX Gaming Build Guide
ASUS Z97-PRO LGA1150 Motherboard
Crucial MX100 512GB & Samsung 850 Pro 256GB SSDs
Silent Mid Gaming PC Build Guide
Recommended Power Supplies
Recommended Hard Drives
Case Basics & Recommendations
Recommended Heatsinks

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