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 Post subject: The "Geri" Haswell 65W build
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:43 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:07 am
Posts: 18
Location: Rome, Italy
Here's my Haswell build still in process, I'm waiting for the CPU to arrive in the next days.

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The specs:
-Fractal Design Define Mini
-i5-4570S 65W
-Thermalright Macho120
-Gigabyte H87M-D3H
-16GB Crucial Ballistix VLP (very low profile and interestingly low voltage too, stock at 1,35v)
-no external GPU for now
-modded FSP Aurum 600W with a Magma fan
-Samsung 830 128GB & Samsung F1 750GB (soon to be replaced by a 1TB WD Green EARX or EZRX)

The impressions: (updating...)

The case
My previous case was a Cooler Master ATC201. 10 year old, full alluminium, super light and super noisy. The Fractal Design Define Mini for me is literally a jump into the present, or maybe the future. I like the build, it's a concrete and intelligent solution but still with a decent pricetag. Just some minor cons: the black ano screws discolor easily; the hole on the tray for access to backplate may be just as sufficient for some mobo, like mine; I didn't turned the thing on yet, but the slot covers and the fan doors may be prone to some rattling noise; build quality of the fan controller is a bit flimsy.
But as I said I like this case a lot, and I didn't find anything better in this price/silent/size segment.
Coming from a lightweight case I definitely feel the huge difference in weight, even if my ATC was full ATX. I choose a mATX because I'm not planning to fill it with lot of drives and boards, which is basically everyone does bit apparently still buy full ATX.

i5
It's a midrange 65W part of the Haswell family. I wanted to build a silent machine and 65W seems a good spot, it's the same TDP of my old E6600 Conroe before I sold it for a Q6600 (~100W) mounted on the same platform I bought in the mid 2000s (Asus P5K-E).

Macho120
Terrible, just TERRIBLE instruction manual. But excellent build quality and good price.

Gigabyte
Minimalistic board with H87. The only accessory was a pair of good SATA cable. I choosed this board over the stock Intel and Asus, a brand I used literally for ages.
Frankly I find stupid writing the features on the PCB board itself, not to mention the ULTRA DURABLE writing on the power heatsinks. Also, the heatsinks are more like CNC'd block of alluminum with no optimal surface distribution. Seems like they preferred a good shape instead for going for good cooling capability.

Ballistix VLP
Not much to say, it's just RAM, but I liked the below-spec-voltage @ 1,35v and the very low profile, which is basically not taller than the DIMM retention.

FSP Aurum 600W
This PSU is not silent and I had to switch the fan with a quieter Magma. I know, it's overpowered for my system, but it's gold rated and super efficient even at low loads.
Cons: vent pattern is useless; exagonal hole and grill: why?; pointless golden plastic accent (removed).


Last edited by silent_meerkat on Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:48 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The "Geri" Haswell 65W build
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:50 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 4479
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
I look forward to seeing more results when you power it up :) Especially interested in hearing about Gigabyte's improved fan control. What CPU cooler are you going with?

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: The "Geri" Haswell 65W build
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:07 am
Posts: 18
Location: Rome, Italy
CA_Steve wrote:
I look forward to seeing more results when you power it up :) Especially interested in hearing about Gigabyte's improved fan control. What CPU cooler are you going with?


Uh, I forgot to mention the cooler :J
It's a Macho120, which should be pretty balanced with the setup since I'm not planning any OC (not that I can do any with this setup).


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 Post subject: Re: The "Geri" Haswell 65W build
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:53 am
Posts: 1313
Location: CT
Nice and clean, good job !!
Waiting to see the final build :)

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HTPC/folder/Storage : Silverstone|E5300 with Samurai-Z|2Go RAM|GTX460@800|2x1To WD EARS|Intel X25M G2 80Go

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 Post subject: Re: The "Geri" Haswell 65W build
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:10 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:07 am
Posts: 18
Location: Rome, Italy
Here's the amost-final build, I'm still using the Intel GPU:

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Cable management 2.0. you can still see the bag under the lower drive bays with all the PSU unused cables. I'll figure something out to hide it, maybe a nice black carboard box:

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Stock vs Macho120:

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And the i5-4570S:

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 Post subject: Re: The "Geri" Haswell 65W build
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:31 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:01 pm
Posts: 167
Location: Slovenia
Great build, nice to see someone else likes Define Mini :D

Couple of questions, if you don't mind:

1) How do you like hard drive cages? Rubber grommets were very hard/stiff in my mini, so I really had to switch from older WD Green HDD to new WD Red drive. I highly recommend it for your next, it's really quiet (IMHO silent in most builds) and it vibrates much less than Green drives. Before buying Red drive, I had to use 2.5' HDD to achieve satisfactory results.

2) What temperatures are you getting on your CPU? I'm just guessing, but I think that if you won't be overclocking you could even run it passively. I run my 3770 passively with a bit bigger HR-02 with 450 RPM fan in the back, so I guess it wouldn't be problem with your faster Fractal fan.

3) Do you control both fans via motherboard? How low can you drop your RPM of Fractal fan? I couldn't get it below 700RPM.. otherwise it was a good fan, but just too fast for me.


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 Post subject: Re: The "Geri" Haswell 65W build
PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 7:52 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:07 am
Posts: 18
Location: Rome, Italy
axee wrote:
Great build, nice to see someone else likes Define Mini :D

Couple of questions, if you don't mind:

1) How do you like hard drive cages? Rubber grommets were very hard/stiff in my mini, so I really had to switch from older WD Green HDD to new WD Red drive. I highly recommend it for your next, it's really quiet (IMHO silent in most builds) and it vibrates much less than Green drives. Before buying Red drive, I had to use 2.5' HDD to achieve satisfactory results.

2) What temperatures are you getting on your CPU? I'm just guessing, but I think that if you won't be overclocking you could even run it passively. I run my 3770 passively with a bit bigger HR-02 with 450 RPM fan in the back, so I guess it wouldn't be problem with your faster Fractal fan.

3) Do you control both fans via motherboard? How low can you drop your RPM of Fractal fan? I couldn't get it below 700RPM.. otherwise it was a good fan, but just too fast for me.


Thanks :j

1) I'm using a pretty loud Samsung F1 750GB drive with 3-4 years on the back of the motor. It's loud and it's the motor hum is pretty audible. I don't know how much improvement I could get with suspension (I got ton of bike tubes to experiment), but a good benchmark would be a test with a modern WD Green or Red, not this noisy HD. Which is something I'm planning in the near future.

2) I think there's a very small OC margin with this CPU-mobo combo, but it's mainly a workstation so I don't even bother. In my experience temperature reads heavily depends on calibration, that's why I learned to not care much about the absolute value of temperature, but more about the delta between idle and load.
SpeedFan tells me I have the core between 27-30°C. The heatsink on touch is BARELY warm, even in this hot pre-summer day.
This is with case fan @ 500RPM and CPU fan @ 777RPM
With prime95's torture test, T goes up to 47°C. Case fan @1300 and CPU @1200 RPM.

3) I'm powering all the fans thru the mobo, all controlled by SpeedFan. The reason is EasyTune won't install, and Gigabyte support still has no solution for this problem. I know this is a platform with a dozen day of life on the market, but if it wasn't for SpeedFan this could have been a tragedy, at least for me. Another solution could be just using the SILENT active profile on the BIOS, but for a SPCR user it's too loud.
The lowest I can go with the Fractal fans is 500RPM, and this is my base setting. Everything below that will turn them off, and with this speed you got almost zero noise.


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 Post subject: Re: The "Geri" Haswell 65W build
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:34 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:01 pm
Posts: 167
Location: Slovenia
Thank you for your answers!

Interestingly, my Asus board can only reduce Fractal to 700 RPM (AI Suite), must be "safety" feature to be sure fan turns on. PWM fans go much lower. I highly suggest PWM fans for future upgrades, they are much more flexible, they go down to 300 or even 280 RPM in my case. I was always buying Asus mobos just for fan control. Back when I was building PC's, Gigabyte always had too RPM aggressive fan profiles, even in quiet/silent mode. I guess that hasn't changed much..

You are getting very low temperatures, and quite high RPM's on full load, so there's a lot of room to improve, if needed 8)


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