Just wanted to post an update, now I have finished my Lian Li build (for now at least).
4 GB Corsair XMS3-10667 DHX Series
Intel X25-M Postville G2
Zotac 1024MB 9800GT Eco Edition
Xigmatek Cobra HDT-D984 Heatpipe Cooler (with Crossbow adapter)
Noctua 92 mm NF-B9 fan
After the initial build I was fairly happy -- especially since this is my first build for many years and all the cables seem to have changed!
But I did notice that the fan that came with the Xigmatek cooler was very loud, especially at higher RPMs.
Since I don't overclock or do much heavy CPU work (hence the i5) I opted to replace the fan with a Noctua 92 mm at lower RPM. (I had even toyed with the idea of their CPU cooler, but it was really very expensive and didn't really justify the price.)
But the fan ... well, this is a quality piece of kit. It also comes with two adapters -- low-noise and ultra-low-noise -- which act as voltage reducers, I guess (the effect is to cut the RPM, also when under the control of the MB). I opted for the low noise adapter and the fan is simply inaudible, even when I do stress the CPU a bit (e.g. running [email protected]
for a while). It's actually a 3-pin fan but works fine with this Gigabyte motherboard (which can control fans either by voltage or PWM).
The loudest fan would now be the Zotac if I really stress it (modern games on high graphics) but I can live with that since when gaming there is plenty of noise from my speakers/headphones anyway. I might actually need to cool it if I game regularly since it runs pretty hot (the fan is a little on the small side to be honest).
Other than that, I also installed dust covers on the 2 120 mm fans. These were termed "Alumino Fan Filter" (at least here in the EU) and are black, slightly convex affairs. I'll make some pictures if anyone's interested, since they match the fans perfectly (and are dead easy to fix, since the Lian Li fans are just push-in/pull-out and are not secured to the case by screws). They also have the plus of ensuring the many front-side cables behind the front fans cannot now get caught in any way, which I was a little worried about.
I guess if I really wanted to go even more "silent" I could install ultra-low-noise Noctua 120 mm fans in the front, and I might just do that, since I am so impressed by the CPU fan. The spec on one of their latest fan models is as follows: 500 RPM, 5 dB(A), 38.2 mÂ³/h. You pay 20 EUR a fan to enjoy these kind of figures...
One great thing about the whole setup is the low power draw. About 60-80 W under normal usage (i.e. lots in memory but no great CPU/GPU drain).
That's all from me for now, then. As said, if anyone wants any pics or more info, let me know.