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 Post subject: Best Website for Silent Computing Information
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:47 am 
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Hey guys, new to this forum and looking for some direction that I'm hoping someone may be able to assist with. We all probably have our favorite websites we follow for information, but know there are alternate sites that give another view. For example, I'm an apple fan boy so I follow both AppleInsider and MacRumors. For those of you who follow this site, are there any alternative silent PC sites that have an easier flow for information thats also updated more regularly?

I love everything this site represents but find it incredibly hard to find charts that show the best recommended cases/fans/psu's/etc. Articles I come across are two years old. I'd love to click on some Recommended page for PSU's and see a list of ATX supplies and how quiet they are.

Any thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: Best Website for Silent Computing Information
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:06 am 
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Location: Northern California.
WELCOME TO SPCR!

AFAIK other sites dont have their own sound proof room for testing, so their results are suspect. Sure they might have cool charts and sorting functions, with the latest big name products on display, but whats the point if their measurements are inaccurate?

-Mike and the crew do the best they can without becoming corporate shills. (THANKS GUYS!)

In my opinion SPCR is one of the main reasons there is now an actual segment of the computing world with silence as a focus, in fact id say computers across the board have become quieter, in part due to SPCR's early reviews and articles.

Since the advent of SSD's, fanless PSU's and silent/quiet aftermarket coolers, its very easy to build a whisper silent rig with plenty of power. There are now many prebuilt systems that are silent, something that didnt exist at all when SPCR first came online.

This site almost went offline for good at least once. Im happy to see it survive, no matter how imperfect it might be.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Website for Silent Computing Information
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:30 am 
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xan_user wrote:
WELCOME TO SPCR!


Thank you!

xan_user wrote:
AFAIK other sites dont have their own sound proof room for testing, so their results are suspect. Sure they might have cool charts and sorting functions, with the latest big name products on display, but whats the point if their measurements are inaccurate?


Ok, fair statement here. I absolutely appreciate the sound proof room to get the most accurate testing.

xan_user wrote:
In my opinion SPCR is one of the main reasons there is now an actual segment of the computing world with silence as a focus, in fact id say computers across the board have become quieter, in part due to SPCR's early reviews and articles.


I don't doubt this at all, but now because there is a market, and companies are focusing on building a quieter product, this website has so much potential to capitalize and provide serious insight to the latest and greatest products. I absolutely appreciate that this site exists, heck, it's the main reason I'm here in the first place. I've been coming here for about 4 or 5 years easy, and it's always looked and felt the same. Difficult to find information, difficult to find the true leaders in silent computing, difficult to see who Mike and his group recommend.

xan_user wrote:
Since the advent of SSD's, fanless PSU's and silent/quiet aftermarket coolers, its very easy to build a whisper silent rig with plenty of power. There are now many prebuilt systems that are silent, something that didnt exist at all when SPCR first came online.

This is EXACTLY what I want. To build a nice small form factor, hopefully mITX (mATX if necessary) that is very quiet, and has enough power to play a couple games on Ultra.

xan_user wrote:
This site almost went offline for good at least once. Im happy to see it survive, no matter how imperfect it might be.

I am also glad. I know this site caters to a niche market, I am a part of that group. I see potential this site is missing out on.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Website for Silent Computing Information
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:36 pm 
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Location: ITALY
mattyb wrote:
Any thoughts?


There ain't no such thing as a free lunch, sorry.


mattyb wrote:
To build a nice small form factor, hopefully mITX (mATX if necessary) that is very quiet, and has enough power to play a couple games on Ultra.


Which games?

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Luca


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 Post subject: Re: Best Website for Silent Computing Information
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:02 pm 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
There ain't no such thing as a free lunch, sorry.

Yea I have absolutely no idea how this relates.

quest_for_silence wrote:
Which games?

World of Warcraft: MOP and above, Diablo 3, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, maybe a first person shooter.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Website for Silent Computing Information
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:46 pm 
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Location: ITALY
mattyb wrote:
quest_for_silence wrote:
There ain't no such thing as a free lunch, sorry.

Yea I have absolutely no idea how this relates.


You have no clue about, but mind, you come here and - among some other arguments - you start saying (I'm summarizing): "That's old, that other's not good, that further thing is not enjoyable..." (and well, you may have the best intentions in the world, but they might also not sound so). As xan_user told you, actually there are no other sources which deals about silent computing reliably & trustworthy, and apparently there isn't any business willing to develop such a content provider: so, there is no easy way for the things you're looking for.


mattyb wrote:
quest_for_silence wrote:
Which games?

World of Warcraft: MOP and above, Diablo 3, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, maybe a first person shooter.


Which monitor you're planning to use?

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 Post subject: Re: Best Website for Silent Computing Information
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:01 pm 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
You have no clue about, but mind, you come here and - among some other arguments - you start saying (I'm summarizing): "That's old, that other's not good, that further thing is not enjoyable..." (and well, you may have the best intentions in the world, but they might also not sound so). As xan_user told you, actually there are no other sources which deals about silent computing reliably & trustworthy, and apparently there isn't any business willing to develop such a content provider: so, there is no easy way for the things you're looking for.

I can see how it may come across like I'm stomping in trashing a community many hold dear. I apologize for the offense and promise none was intended. Simply looking for more information. So if no other site exists, maybe you guys know how to find recommended cases/psu's/cpu coolers/case fans easier here than I do and can educate me?


quest_for_silence wrote:
Which monitor you're planning to use?
I currently have an 6 yr old Samsung 226B 22" 1680x1050 monitor. (I could be mistaken with the last two digits of WWxHH there). I am interested in upgrading to something nicer like 1920x1080 or 2560x1440 (? I hope I got these right also).


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 Post subject: Re: Best Website for Silent Computing Information
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:22 pm 
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Welcome to SPCR.

Once you settle down to a monitor resolution, it'll be easier to discuss a gaming build. For 1080p and below, the GTX 760 is as big as you'd need to go..unless you play a resource hog like BF4. Visit the link in my signature for some benchmarking. For 1440p, it depends on how my eye candy you want turned on. WoW should be very playable with the 760 @ 1440p.

An i5 is the sweet spot for gaming. While some games (noticably Blizzards') only use 2 cores, many use 4. A few make use of hyperthreading...but...it's just not worth going for an i7 atm for gaming.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Website for Silent Computing Information
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:44 pm 
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And I really appreciate the feedback on the graphics card and the processor. I've got a pretty good idea of what I'd like to put in the machine. 8gb low profile ram, the i5-4670k should I decide to overclock, a 760 or above graphics card, z87 Mobo. But what REALLY stumps me is the case, the case fans, CPU cooler, power supply.

I've been reading this site for a while and got the impression that Noctua makes a quality, quiet fan, and unlike others, I really dig the colors. I understand that Seasonic makes a fairly quiet PSU. This is why I'm trying to find all the recommended items. I know cases are being released fairly often, some claim they are a "silent" model. Who makes the best "silent" model case? Same with PSUs and Heatsink/Fan combos.

Along with deciding the case, other items come into play like heatsink/fan size, which PSU fits, graphics card lengths. I really want to go mITX and keep a minimalist design, but am not opposed to going mATX if the case is small enough.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Website for Silent Computing Information
PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:03 am 
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Location: ITALY
It's not that simple, silent computing is not like assembling some LEGO toy building bricks, while expectations and perception rules play a major role.

Just for example is not mandatory to use a Core i5 in a gaming rig, a cheap Pentium G3420 may work well, so even overclocking won't be necessary: the less the heat, the more the quietness.

In order to evaluate whether or not you do need such a powerful CPU, when you set the resolution, you may also set the refresh rate.
So, unless you have a 200Hz 4K setup, a "standard" FHD gaming rig (1920 x 1080 @ 60Hz) shouldn't notice any substantial improvement by any minimum FPS rate above 60 frames/sec (with any given eyecandy).

In order to evalutate a minimum framerate, I guess the games you mentioned don't seems to be power hogs, particularly WoW or Diablo III. The further requirement of a future "first person shooter" seems also not well thought: which "fps" would be more useful. In a 4k setup even a GTX 780Ti might be the bare minimum when you consider games such as Crisys 3 or BF4, and a GTX 780Ti cannot be quiet, and it cannot be quiet specially in a very cramped space such as a mITX environment, due to the laws of physics (so: the more the heat, the more the volume needed; the more the heat, the more the airflow needed; the more the airflow, the more the noise; and so on).

I think you should do some homeworks: you should identify your next monitor, and you should find, among some respectable sources, the web reviewers which use (some of) your favourite games as benchmarks (to retrieve some data about).

Last but not least, to develop such a discussion, I think you should open a brand new more focused thread in the appropriate forum section.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Website for Silent Computing Information
PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:47 am 
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Posts: 518
Location: 128.0.0.1
mattyb wrote:
what REALLY stumps me is the case, the case fans, CPU cooler, power supply.

Power supply:
- Corsair RM450
- Seasonic X-560
- Enermax Platimax 500

Case fans:
I find Noctua ridiculously overpriced. Scythe is my recommendation. Which ones depends on the case you'll use: some cases have 140mm fans, others 120mm. Generally shoot for something with about 1000rpm and then choose a mainboard known to have good fan regulating software, so you can dial them down.

CPU cooler:
Depends on the case as well. If you can use it, the Thermalright HR-02/HR-22 is my favorite. For cases that don't support tower coolers, the Noctua C14 would be my choice. If it needs to be smaller than that, Thermalright's AXP-200. However, with an overclocked i5, I'd choose a case that can fit a tower.
You should also check (i.e. google) whether or not your cooler of choice fits on your mainboard of choice, if you go ITX. Those tiny mainboard sometimes preclude using large coolers AND a dedicated GPU.

Case:
Mini-ITX, the only safe choices are the BitFenix Prodigy and the Fractal Design Node 304. Both are huge for ITX cases, the Prodigy is bigger than many Micro-ATX design, most notably the excellent Silverstone TJ-08E.
And both the Prodigy and the Node are limiting you to two-slot cooling solutions on your GPU. Generally not a problem, I find the latest Twin Frozrs by MSI and Asus' DirectCU cards to be perfectly tolerable.
But it should be noted that with most Mini-ITX towers, you don't have the option to install (most) 3rd party GPU coolers, like those from Arctic Cooling or Prolimatech, if you find your Twin Frozr or DCUII card to be too loud for your taste.

The Node 304 is one of my favorite cases, however, its PSU placement mandates using either a short NON-modular PSU, which will lead to a cable mess, or the Silverstone ST55F-G, the shortest available modular PSU (and my recommendation for that case). It also has no optical drive bay, so if you still use those, be aware.

The Prodigy is an option, however, it's way too big and it has been superceded by the Prodigy M, which is the same chassis but a mATX layout. You should look into that, as well as it's brother then Phenom M.


---
TL;DR

SMALL: Asus Z87I-Pro, i5-4670K, Thermalright HR-02/22, Silverstone ST55F-G, Fractal Design 304, ASUS GTX760-DC2.

FLEXIBLE: Bitfenix Prodigy M/Phenom M, mATX board of your choice, Thermalright HR-02/22, Corsair RM450/Seasonic X-560/Enermax Platimax 500, ASUS GTX760-DC2. Optionally put an Arctic Cooling Accelero S1 on the GPU - with a 120mm fan.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Website for Silent Computing Information
PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:01 am 
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mattyb wrote:
Hey guys, new to this forum and looking for some direction that I'm hoping someone may be able to assist with. We all probably have our favorite websites we follow for information, but know there are alternate sites that give another view. For example, I'm an apple fan boy so I follow both AppleInsider and MacRumors. For those of you who follow this site, are there any alternative silent PC sites that have an easier flow for information thats also updated more regularly?

I like http://www.fanlesstech.com/
Fanless porn at its best. ;)

Slashdot sometimes touches on interesting tech subjects.

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HTPC: ASRock H81M-ITX | Pentium G3420 | 4GB DDR3 | X25-M G2 80GB | HDPLEX H1-S | picoPSU | No moving parts | Idle 11.2W AC
Gaming: Intel DH77EB | i5-3570K | GTX 760 | 16GB DDR3 | Intel 520 120GB | TJ08-E | G-360 360W
Server: Intel DH77DF | i3-2100T | 4TB+3x3TB | picoPSU | Idle 24W AC


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 Post subject: Re: Best Website for Silent Computing Information
PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:58 am 
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Posts: 345
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mattyb wrote:
Hey guys, new to this forum and looking for some direction that I'm hoping someone may be able to assist with. We all probably have our favorite websites we follow for information, but know there are alternate sites that give another view. For example, I'm an apple fan boy so I follow both AppleInsider and MacRumors. For those of you who follow this site, are there any alternative silent PC sites that have an easier flow for information thats also updated more regularly?

None that I'd really trust. SPCR still holds the crown. :)

mattyb wrote:
I love everything this site represents but find it incredibly hard to find charts that show the best recommended cases/fans/psu's/etc. Articles I come across are two years old. I'd love to click on some Recommended page for PSU's and see a list of ATX supplies and how quiet they are.

IMO the best thing for you to do is post some focused questions on the forums here, and get replies from the clued up forum regulars. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Best Website for Silent Computing Information
PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:36 am 
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You can have great heatsinks, a good case and nice smooth fans but you won't get the best from it without good fan speed regulation.
My PC is moderately quiet as it boots but only once it's booted and Speedfan takes control of the fan speeds does it become 'properly' quiet.
The case and CPU fans get slowed to ~25% / 500rpm and the video card has had a BIOS mod to allow the fans to be dropped below 40%, to 25% also.
Some people go for a fixed approach where the fans will cool enough for any load, others like a variable approach where the fans can be speed up as the load increases. This can be with hardware controllers, BIOS control or software. Pros and cons to each method.
These days modern components idle at pretty low power, a moderate gaming PC can now idle ~40-80w for the whole system so even with only reasonably well chosen components you can achieve very quiet at idle PC just by getting the fan speeds under control... As long as the HDD(s) are quiet and soft mounted or better yet SSDs!

As a side note I wish people in general would be more accurate in their use of silent. Silent means something makes no noise at all, not just that it's quiet or drowned out but other noise. It's also an absolute so you can't have degrees of silent or something being 'more silent' than another, it's like saying something is 'more dead!'
PC's can be quiet, very quiet, more quiet, even inaudible but if it has moving parts (or whining electronics) it's NOT SILENT.
/rant

How quiet are you aiming for? How quiet is your house/room? Do you want quiet and smooth enough so it 'doesn't bother me' or do you want 'I can't hear it'? And do you want that at full gaming load or is quiet idle and moderate full load ok?
The level of background noise, and hence quietness you might want from a PC will be different in a large city near a busy road compared to a rural location.

It's easy to get hung up on the choice of case but I would suggest choosing one you like the look of and that has the potential to breath well, i.e. large unrestricted fan points. you can then fit the number and speed of fans as per your individual requirements. You can chop out restrictive fan grills and/or block un-needed fan holes if it helps choices. Noise damping is nothing like as effective as slow quiet fans that don't make the noise in the first place.

My PC is in an aluminium case (not recommended for silent builds) that didn't breath well at all. Following significant modification and carefully controlled fans (2x 92mm exhausts on soft mounts ~500rpm) it's so quiet you can't really hear it from sitting position. Not because it's drowned out by background noise, even late at night when I can't really hear anything it's still tough to pick out the noise it makes, in fact the monitor(s) are more distracting!
I guess the point from this is you can make anything quiet with enough work!
In my case: mod the case for airflow, replace 1x80mm exhaust with 2x92mm, swap the PSU fan, fit the largest CPU heatsink that would fit the case and then change the fans on it, fit aftermarket cooler to video card and change the fans on that and mod the video card BIOS, run Speedfan to control CPU and case fan speeds.

Final piece of the puzzle is hard drive(s), for me no PC with a hard mounted hard drive is properly quiet. HDDs are the hardest thing to get really quiet so I recommend SSD as system drive. I would anyway for performance reasons, they make a world of difference like nothing else. For bulk storage I have a WD Green drive in a Scythe Quiet Drive sitting on foam, but network storage would also work depending on your preferences.

For finding stuff on SPCR there is a reference section. OK some of it is out of date, if you look through a recent case/fan/heatsink review they have comparisons to other comparable recently reviewed items so you can gauge a relative standing from that.

PS don't worry too much about you choices as the way silent PC addiction goes is:
Mod or replace the loudest item, now the next loudest stands out so fix that.
Repeat till you've done everything and the first thing is now the loudest again...
So start over with ever more expensive replacements! :D

Regards, Seb

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 Post subject: Re: Best Website for Silent Computing Information
PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:38 am 
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itx case? check out the obsidian 250d! (its available in a few weeks.)


SebRad wrote:

PS don't worry too much about you choices as the way silent PC addiction goes is:
Mod or replace the loudest item, now the next loudest stands out so fix that.
Repeat till you've done everything and the first thing is now the loudest again...
So start over with ever more expensive replacements! :D



even with the same hardware as others, there are sample/lot variances. if you have sensitive ears, you can hear things most people wouldn't notice. plenty of us have had to send back, or sell individual components and replace them with the same thing, to achieve the noise level we are after.

if you want to build a system from a set list of instructions and have it be silent right off the bat, stop now and buy a prebuilt from http://www.pugetsystems.com/ , http://www.nofancomputer.com/eng/ or somewhere similar. if you dont mind fiddling a bit, swapping some parts, and possibly modding, dig right in!

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 Post subject: Re: Best Website for Silent Computing Information
PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:31 pm 
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Location: ITALY
SebRad wrote:
In my case: mod the case for airflow, replace 1x80mm exhaust with 2x92mm, swap the PSU fan


Which fan did you use on your Antec Signature?

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Luca


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 Post subject: Re: Best Website for Silent Computing Information
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 9:50 am 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
SebRad wrote:
In my case: mod the case for airflow, replace 1x80mm exhaust with 2x92mm, swap the PSU fan


Which fan did you use on your Antec Signature?


Oh well, SebRad, don't mind about it (found it).

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