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SPCR-inspired quiet gaming rig
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=65634
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Author:  Torajirou [ Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:44 am ]
Post subject:  SPCR-inspired quiet gaming rig

I haven't ordered anything yet (I'm waiting for the new fiscal year), but my choice of components is made. I'll be using SPCR recommended parts as much as possible.

From my current build, I'm keeping :

* Antec P183 (SPCR Recomended)
* Antec CP-850 (SPCR Editor's Choice): There are many quieter or even fanless alternatives nowadays, but it remains a solid choice - I don't think I'll draw more than 300W from the wall, so its noise should remain under 14dB, according to the review
* OCZ Vertex 3 120GB

I'm about to order :

* Intel i7-3770S: a bit cheaper than the K version, and 12W less TDP
* Thermalright HR-02 Macho (SPCR Editor's Choice)
* Asus P8Z77-V PRO (SPCR Recommended): FAN Xpert 2 FTW !
* G.Skill RipJaws X Series 2 x 4GB
* Asus GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II (SPCR Editor's Choice): a no-brainer, really...
* 2 x Noiseblocker Multiframe M12-PS (SPCR Recommended): installed as middle intake and rear exhaust case fans

I'm suing SPCR if it's not quiet ! :D

I will definitely post pics later !

Author:  kuzzia [ Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: SPCR-inspired quiet gaming rig

I seem to recall that the stock fan of the Thermalright Macho isn't quite that good. If this is true, you should buy another fan, preferably a PWM fan.

The only reason that the 3770s has a lower TDP is simply because the top speed has been artificially lowered in order to reach the low TDP. So the 3770s consumes the same power and dissipates the same amount of heat as a regular 3770 at idle and low-to-medium loads.

Author:  Torajirou [ Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: SPCR-inspired quiet gaming rig

kuzzia wrote:
I seem to recall that the stock fan of the Thermalright Macho isn't quite that good. If this is true, you should buy another fan, preferably a PWM fan.


I just reread the review, and it's true that the fan could be better. I'll see how it performs, but as long as it keeps spinning slowly and is more or less inaudible, I'll be happy with it. If not, I'll consider swapping it with one (or two) Noctua 140mm PWM.

kuzzia wrote:
The only reason that the 3770s has a lower TDP is simply because the top speed has been artificially lowered in order to reach the low TDP. So the 3770s consumes the same power and dissipates the same amount of heat as a regular 3770 at idle and low-to-medium loads.


I knew that but you made me reconsider: I realize that the power/price ratio is better for the K version. What's more, I would have to wait about two weeks to get the S, while the K is immediately available...

Author:  CA_Steve [ Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: SPCR-inspired quiet gaming rig

Also, make sure the Ripjaws style heatspreader will clear the CPU fan. Otherwise, look for low profile RAM. G.Skill has the Ares. I like Samsung's 1.35V RAM.

Author:  Abula [ Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: SPCR-inspired quiet gaming rig

kuzzia wrote:
I seem to recall that the stock fan of the Thermalright Macho isn't quite that good. If this is true, you should buy another fan, preferably a PWM fan.
The fan is not bad, personally i like specially over what was available two years ago on 140mm. The only issue is that now a days PWM fans can be drop down a lot, while the TR the least i seen it is 700rpm, but its decently quiet at that speed. I would recommend to use it, and see how it is with the setup built, and then decide if its worth changing or not.

Author:  Torajirou [ Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: SPCR-inspired quiet gaming rig

Everything is up and running ! :)

It's quiet out of the box, using QFan's "Silent" mode, but it got nearly silent after Fan Xpert 2 tuning :)

Now the loudest part of my build is... my screen ! (well, one of my two screens). It's a Iiyama 2403WS, and I'm pretty mad at it :evil:

I'll do some stress testing (I haven't really used the GPU yet) and I'll keep you posted about the results. In the meantime, here are some pics.

It's the cleanest build I've ever done, I have to say that I'm proud 8)

Image

Image

Image

Author:  CA_Steve [ Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: SPCR-inspired quiet gaming rig

Nice :) How much clearance do you have between the Macho and the case?

Author:  Torajirou [ Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: SPCR-inspired quiet gaming rig

CA_Steve wrote:
Nice :)

Thanks :)

CA_Steve wrote:
How much clearance do you have between the Macho and the case?

Pretty much nothing !

Author:  Abula [ Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: SPCR-inspired quiet gaming rig

Nice build, btw whats the lowest that you been able to run the macho fan?

Author:  Torajirou [ Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: SPCR-inspired quiet gaming rig

Abula wrote:
Nice build, btw whats the lowest that you been able to run the macho fan?

558 RPM

Author:  Torajirou [ Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: SPCR-inspired quiet gaming rig

First impressions : I'm VERY disappointed.

Running Prime95 + Furmark for about ten minutes got the graphics card screaming, then crashing...

I cannot begin to reproduce the results of the GTX 670 review. On load, it doesn't strike me as a "quiet" card at all... :evil: :evil: :evil:

Author:  Abula [ Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: SPCR-inspired quiet gaming rig

Torajirou wrote:
First impressions : I'm VERY disappointed.

Running Prime95 + Furmark for about ten minutes got the graphics card screaming, then crashing...

I cannot begin to reproduce the results of the GTX 670 review. On load, it doesn't strike me as a "quiet" card at all... :evil: :evil: :evil:


What temps are your reaching before crashing, a HWmoitor screen would be great, with CPU/Chispset/GPU.

Author:  Torajirou [ Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: SPCR-inspired quiet gaming rig

Abula wrote:
What temps are your reaching before crashing, a HWmoitor screen would be great, with CPU/Chispset/GPU.

Last time I checked, I was around 90°C. I just tried again, same results, except that I stopped the test before crashing; the temperature gets out of control, even though the GPU fans ramp up to 85%.

Author:  kuzzia [ Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: SPCR-inspired quiet gaming rig

You can add a front fan if necessart. Isn't it possible to place a fan right behind the upper hard drive cage so that the fan runs right beside the GPU?

Author:  Torajirou [ Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: SPCR-inspired quiet gaming rig

I do have a front fan ! The GPU stabilizes around 85°C when I set the intake front fan to 100%, but it's noisy as hell !

Author:  CA_Steve [ Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SPCR-inspired quiet gaming rig

Sort of sounds like the cooler isn't mounted well on the gpu. What are you seeing for idle temps?

Author:  Spoon Boy [ Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SPCR-inspired quiet gaming rig

90c does seem way over, i have a 670 windforce and running furmark it maxes around 80c

I have a similar setup to you, same case, GPU. The only difference is i have a extra fan in the 5.25 bays but all fans are running at 800rpm.
I cant see this making a hugh difference but can you remove the middle drive bay as i found it dropped the temps of my GPU by 2c-3c

But i would go with what CA_Steve said it does seem like something maybe wrong with the graphics card possibly the mounting.

EDIT: I also see you have used the rear IO covers with vents, i don't use them myself as i try to go with a more directed air flow path from front to back.

Author:  Abula [ Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SPCR-inspired quiet gaming rig

Seems something is not right, even my GTX580 with furmark and prime95 dont pass 85C... the GTX670 should run cooler as lower arch. I used to own an ASUS G51VX-RX05, i decided to change thermal paste and i applied incorrectly and my temps went up by 15C... i reapplied it, and it went down again... so i would recommend to reapply the thermal paste and be cross check the heatsink is doing good contact (just waste an application and assemble it and dissasemble it, just to see if its correct, this is what i do every application). And i would remove the top cage just to see if there is a difference with the fan being less restricted or add the second fan on the back of the cage to see if it helps. Else my only suggestions is another aftermarket gpu cooler.

Good luck, hope it gets fixed, really liked the setup.

Author:  Torajirou [ Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SPCR-inspired quiet gaming rig

CA_Steve wrote:
Sort of sounds like the cooler isn't mounted well on the gpu. What are you seeing for idle temps?


40°C

I cannot imagine how it could be not well mounted, since I cross-checked it; I don't think it's easy not to mount it well, really.

Author:  Spoon Boy [ Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SPCR-inspired quiet gaming rig

Agreed 40°C is cool compared to mine at 49°C idle
I can only think its recirculating the air its generating when it starts to get hot.

I would suggest trying to work out how the air is flowing inside the case, either using smoke or trying to feel where its drawing its air in from the out side.

EDIT: after looking more at the pictures you posted can i ask your rear fan is extracting air right? and your front fan is in the top out of the two front mounting for the fans yes?

Author:  Torajirou [ Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SPCR-inspired quiet gaming rig

Spoon Boy wrote:
Agreed 40°C is cool compared to mine at 49°C idle
I can only think its recirculating the air its generating when it starts to get hot.

I would suggest trying to work out how the air is flowing inside the case, either using smoke or trying to feel where its drawing its air in from the out side.

That's a good suggestion, and you might be right; I noticed that GPU temperature rises pretty quickly as soon as I close the chassis side panel under load.

Most intake is done via the middle front fan, but I suspect there's a little air that goes in via the 5" drive bays, as well.

The PSU cage is more or less sealed, so I think it can be taken out of the equation.

Spoon Boy wrote:
EDIT: after looking more at the pictures you post can i ask what way your rear fan is blowing ?

I double-checked that (didn't want to look like an idiot ^^) : front intake, back exhaust, as intended. As you can see on the pics above, the CPU fan blows towards the exhaust.

The more I think about my issue, the more I wonder : do I have such an exotic setup that I'm getting a bad surprise like this ? :?

Author:  Mats [ Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: SPCR-inspired quiet gaming rig

Given how hot graphics cards can be, it should be a separate chamber for the slots as well.

Just to make sure it's the case airflow that's insufficient and there's nothing wrong with the card, have you tried running it with the case open, just for testing?

Author:  Torajirou [ Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: SPCR-inspired quiet gaming rig

Mats wrote:
Given how hot graphics cards can be, it should be a separate chamber for the slots as well.

Just to make sure it's the case airflow that's insufficient and there's nothing wrong with the card, have you tried running it with the case open, just for testing?


Yep ! It's still very hot and noisy, but it's better than when the case is closed.

Author:  edh [ Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: SPCR-inspired quiet gaming rig

The expansion slot covers are all ventilated. This is possibly allowing air from the middle fan to bypass the graphics card and head straight out and for warm air from the graphics card to not be expelled instead. You could try covering them up and seeing if it makes it cooler. Then try sealing the back of the graphics card cooler to the rear of the case such that exhaust air can only go out of the back rather than recirculate.

Author:  Torajirou [ Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: SPCR-inspired quiet gaming rig

edh wrote:
The expansion slot covers are all ventilated. This is possibly allowing air from the middle fan to bypass the graphics card and head straight out and for warm air from the graphics card to not be expelled instead. You could try covering them up and seeing if it makes it cooler. Then try sealing the back of the graphics card cooler to the rear of the case such that exhaust air can only go out of the back rather than recirculate.


Will certainly do, thanks for your advice !

Author:  Torajirou [ Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: SPCR-inspired quiet gaming rig

I made some benchmarking, with various setups :

  1. Idle / Side panel closed:
    • CPU: 34°C
    • Motherboard: 35°C
    • GPU: 40°C
    • CPU fan speed: ~600RPM
    • Case fans speed: ~400RPM
    • GPU fan speed: ~1000RPM
  2. Idle / Side panel open:
    • CPU: 27°C
    • Motherboard: 28°C
    • GPU: 32°C
    • CPU fan speed: ~600RPM
    • Case fans speed: ~400RPM
    • GPU fan speed: ~1000RPM
  3. Prime95 / Side panel closed:
    • CPU: 47°C
    • Motherboard: 35°C
    • GPU: 40°C
    • CPU fan speed: ~700RPM
    • Case fans speed: ~450RPM
    • GPU fan speed: ~1000RPM
  4. Prime95 / Side panel open:
    • CPU: 42°C
    • Motherboard: 28°C
    • GPU: 32°C
    • CPU fan speed: ~600RPM
    • Case fans speed: ~400RPM
    • GPU fan speed: ~1000RPM
  5. Furmark / Side panel open:
    • CPU: 36°C
    • Motherboard: 37°C
    • GPU: 82°C
    • CPU fan speed: ~600RPM
    • Case fans speed: ~400RPM
    • GPU fan speed: ~2500RPM

Running Furmark with the side panel open was stable, but much too loud.

Running Furmark for a few minutes with the side panel closed got the GPU up to 95°C and then it crashed.

I tried installing a home-made cardboard fan duct to focus the flow from the intake fan onto the GPU and set the intake fan speed to a constant 800RPM, but it had little impact (a few degrees at best). I aslo tried sealing the expansions slots, but it didn't make much difference either.

Now, I'm pretty desperate. I can either try to get a replacement (and hope it will be better) or go for an aftermarket cooler like the Prolimatech MK-26, but it's precisely what I wanted to avoid by buying this card.

I can still look at the bright side : my CPU is very well-behaved (compared for instance to the Puget Serenity Pro)... :?

PS: It's a shame that BBCode does not allow tables ;-)

EDIT : I just reread the Serenity Pro review and I was amazed to read that the GTX 670 fans at 2220RPM only produce 16dB. I'm running them at the same speed right now, and there's NO WAY IN HELL that they only produce 16dB, even with all the AcoustiPack in the world...

Author:  kuzzia [ Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SPCR-inspired quiet gaming rig

Have you tried raising the fan speed of the exhaust fan? I could image the heat would be trapped below the GPU area. Perhaps it would be good to remove this heat.

Author:  ghia [ Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SPCR-inspired quiet gaming rig

I agree with kuzzia.
It seems like the hot air is not being exhausted. It happened to me in an Solo II.
The fans in the GPU spin like crazy but it looks that hot air recirculates again and again.
Try raising your exhaust fan to cca 700 rpm and retest. You should look into the front fan. At that rpm it probably does not intake enough fresh air from outside.
Bottom line: your GPU is hot and the heat it produces needs exhausting. Your fans intake/exhaust the same amount of air at idle and load. For them to cool your 170 W gpu under load they need to spin faster. It should not be noticeable in terms of dBA to rise the fans to around 700 rpm. Test it again.

Author:  CA_Steve [ Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SPCR-inspired quiet gaming rig

When you see that type of temperature differential with the door opened and closed, it's an airflow problem. Start with the case fans: 400 rpm is probably well below the point of where a dog could hear them and they aren't contributing any appreciable airflow. Raise the rpm to where you can barely hear them and then redo your tests.

Author:  Torajirou [ Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SPCR-inspired quiet gaming rig

I tried with both case fans running at 1000RPM. It got better (Furmark wouldn't make it crash), but it was still much too loud. The GPU fans were running at 3000RPM and the temperature almost reached 90°C.

I'm starting to think that the case fans are crap, CFM-wise. I'll give it a shot with my good old (non-PWM) Nexuses and see what happens.

Anyway, I feel like I'm embarking on a long journey to shut this build up, but I WILL shut it up !

I still have a lot of options :

  • Try different case fans
  • Make sure my graphic card doesn't have an issue
  • AcoustiPack my whole case (I have 4 unused sheets lying around, so I should be doing it anyway)
  • After-market GPU heatsinks
  • ...

I'll keep you posted, but this thread will DEFINITELY have a happy ending (though it's likely to cost me much time, energy and money) ! :D

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