About 3 and a half years ago SPCR was my main inspiration on building this silent workstation
. OK, when I say 'workstation' I don't mean a Xeon dual processor with ECC memory etc, I simply mean I use it for development, picture processing, internet etc.
Recently I shifted from Photoshop CS4 to Lightroom 2.6 and noticed my Core2Duo CPU was no longer up to modern standards. Working with LR wasn't as fluent as I'd like it to be.
So... I invested in some new hardware parts. Basically what I needed was only a new motherboard, a CPU and memory, but I've also thrown in an SSD while I was at it. And as my Ninja heatsink wasn't socket 1156 compatible and I don't want to use Intel's heatsink/fan, I had to look for a replacement for that one as well.
I read some reviews here and elsewhere, considered pricing & availibility and finally my mind was set to these parts:
* Motherboard: Asus P7P55-M ÂµATX board
* CPU: Intel Core i5 750 2.66GHz quad core
* Heatsink: Prolimatech Megahalems
* RAM: 2x 2GB Kingston DDR3 1333MHz
* SSD: Intel 80GB G2
Last December I already replaced the failing nVidia 7600GS GPU with a Club3D HD5750, and a couple of weeks ago I replaced my 500GB disk by a 1TB green disk. I also changed to 2 19" flatscreens by 2 24" 1920x1200px widescreens.
After putting everything together I noticed the old PSU was making noises
, and it finally failed after 2-3 days. I've replaced it by an Enermax Pro82+ 425W. It's a pretty solid PSU, with a higher efficiency then my previous Antec NeoHE 385W, but it has some more clutter as it doesn't have modular cables. Enermax has the MODU82+ though, but I choose availability over this modular feature.
Finally... after all the upgrades, this is how the internals of my Antec Solo case look like:
The depth of field on this picture isn't that great, but the cables are all to the back of the case as much as possible, to minimize impact on the airflow.
Talking about airflow, I further reduced the speeds of all 4 fans in the case. This CPU runs very cool, and I don't stress the GPU that often, so less airflow is OK for day to day usage.
I've measured power consumption and temperatures on idle & stressed state.
I used a combination of CoreTemp, SpeedFan & GPU-Z to have al the data. Power consumption was measured at the power outlet.
CPU fan @ 740RPM
Exhaust fan @ 6V
Intake fan @ 6V
PSU @ 520RPM
Power consumption: 75W
PSU @ 930RPM
Power consumption: 222W
My stress test consists of 10 mins of torture running Prime95 & FurMark simultaneously. I can't think of anything more intense for heating up a CPU & GPU.
I know 10 minutes isn't long enough for stability testing, but after about 3-4 minutes temperatures stagnated, and in real life this desktop won't be stressed this way anyhow.
Perhaps the temp of the GPU is somewhat on the high side, but still within margin I guess. Notice on idle the GPU doesn't throttle down completely as it has to render 2x 1920x1200. With a dual monitor setup GPU frequency stays at 400MHz in stead of throttling completely down to 157MHz, and memory frequency stays at 1100MHz in stead of lowering to 300MHz. But I really want the dual monitor, so idle temps will have to be a bit higher (about 10Â°C). Doesn't matter much...
For the rest of the temps I think all of them are quite low. 1 thing I noticed was that core 2 is always around 7Â°C 'hotter' than the other 3 cores when idle, but when stressed it was 1Â°C 'cooler'. Can really explain that
Overall, I now have this rig for about a week, have no 2nd thoughts on my choices, and I hope it will give my a lot of happy computing the coming years