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 Post subject: Inaudible high-end gaming computer..?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 1:47 am 
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Hi there, I am looking to build a new system, trying to make it completely silent, as close to inaudible as possible without maxing out my credit cards. I would like your input!

Intel i5 2.66ghz $210 - Probably the fastest CPU available that's not an i7. 95W TDP so it should be no trouble to cool inaudibly with a large aluminum heatsink and 5v 120mm fan setup.. but which coolers will fit this socket today? Is it different or the same mounting system as LGA 1366?
8GB OCZ DDR3 $138- That's enough memory.
Foxconn P55 motherboard $95
Antec Sonata $83 shipped - picked this because it's on sale and it comes with a 500 Earthwatts PSU. I can always replace the PSU fan if it annoys me. There are quieter setups, a P180 and power supply would be about $140..
Scythe 120mm fans $20 for 2. Will be undervolted to 5v. One to replace the case exhaust on the Sonata, the other one for the CPU.
WD Green 1.5TB $120 - Once solid state disks become just a bit more affordable, I'll replace this with a 120GB SSD and put it in a NAS. Until then I plan to strap it to the bottom 5.25" bay, with the aid of some rubber, foam and bungee cables.
DVD burner $29 I don't really expect the burner to be silent while working so this is a non-issue.

That brings me to $695, with no heatsinks (planning to buy a TRUE or similar, once I find out what fits) or graphics cards, and almost everything in the system makes next to no noise.

However I hit a wall when I was trying to decide what to do about graphics. I am looking to get at least a Radeon 4890, GTX 275 or 285. This concerns me because a GTX 285 has a rated TDP of 183, which is almost exactly twice that of the CPU I chose. Are there any 3rd party heatsinks that actually support these cards? I have looked around but haven't found much. How effective is the TRad2 when mounted on a GTX 285?

If anyone here works for Thermalright.. From what I can tell the TRad2 makes for poor air circulation with two oddly-placed 92mm fans that just recycle hot air back into the case. Why not design a GPU heatsink that is compatible with a TRUE, ie. heatpipes over to the back of the card like the VRM-2, and sits up like a TRUE (maybe in between the CPU and rear exhaust fan), so the airflow in the case makes more sense? That should mean less fans, and less noise. Here's a rough idea of what i mean:

http:// content.imagesocket.com/images/asdfsdf222137.jpg

Enabling the use of 120mm fans and optimizing airflow should give better/quieter results. I'm sure it's been thought of before, I just don't understand why it hasn't been done yet.

I've seen fancy fanless Thermalright cases too. Why not just make normal cases, but with special supports for their massive heatsinks?

In the meantime I was also considering getting a 4870. I don't suppose these cards are inaudible when idle..?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:03 am 
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Hello & welcome to SPCR,

I'll post you picture:
Image

I think that the Scythe Mugen 2 would be my choice for a heatsink.

I think you could probably go "passive" especially if you can undervolt. You can make it inaudible -- but not silent. You'll have to improve the cable management better than the picture!

I would definitely choose the Antec Solo rather than the Sonata -- the air flow into the front of the Sonata is fairly obstructed, and you get hard drive suspension in the Solo.

Are you using a 64bit OS, right?

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http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 6:59 am 
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Neil, is the Mugen 2 compatible with Socket 1156?

I'd opt for a $50-60 HDD and spend more on the case and PSU and possible replace the Foxxconn with a Gigabyte board.

8GB Ram?

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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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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:50 am 
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Hi Steve,

Here's the list of compatible CPU's from the Mugen 2 spec page on NewEgg:

Quote:
Intel LGA1366 Proessor
Intel Core i7 Processor Extreme Edition Series
Intel Core i7 Processor Series

Intel LGA775 (SocketT) Proessor
Quad-Core Intel Xeon Processor 3200 Series
Dual-Core Intel Xeon Processor 3000 Sequence
Intel Core2 Extreme processor
Intel Core2 Quad processor
Intel Core2 Duo processor
Intel Core Duo Processor
Intel Pentium Processor Extreme Edition
Intel Pentium D Processor
Intel Pentium 4 Processor Extreme Edition supporting Hyper-Threading Technology
Intel Pentium 4 Processor supporting Hyper-threading Technology
Intel Celeron D Processor

Intel Socket478 Proessor
Intel Pentium 4 Processor Extreme Edition supporting Hyper-Threading Technology
Intel Pentium 4 Processor supporting Hyper-threading Technology
Intel Pentium 4 Processor
Intel Celeron D Processor
Intel Celeron Processor

AMD Socket AM2+ Processor
AMD Phenom II Processor
AMD Phenom X4 Processor
AMD Phenom X3 Processor

AMD SocketAM2 Proessor
AMD Athlon 64 Processor
AMD Athlon 64 FX Processor
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core Processor

AMD Socket940 Proessor
Dual-Core AMD Opteron Processor
AMD Opteron Processor

AMD Socket939 Proessor
AMD Athlon 64 Processor
AMD Athlon 64 FX Processor
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core Processor

AMD Socket754 Proessor
AMD Athlon 64 Proessor
AMD Sempron Processor


I think the i7 also uses the 1156 socket, same as the i5, right?

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http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 10:24 am 
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Yep. It didn' sink in when I visited that same page b4 :D

As an aside, socket 775 and 1176 are supposed to be very similar in size...I wonder if most socket 775 heatsinks will work or if they can be easily adapted...I haven't seen the mobo mounting first hand.

Now, back to the topic at hand...

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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:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:23 am 
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Socket 1156 has a similar, but different, hole pattern to both socket 775 and socket 1366. Adapter brackets will likely be available very soon from Scythe, Thermalright, etc.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 12:42 pm 
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This is the type of performance I expect to be getting, the CPU in this system is an i7 3.2ghz (which I should be able to match in performance with a slight overclock). Take a look at the GTX 285 - the card I plan to get - playable framerates at 2560*1600 with the detail settings maxed out, 4xAA. I'll be playing at 1680*1050 max. I don't mind if the system makes a bit of noise WHILE playing games, but otherwise it shouldn't make a sound.



Thanks for the suggestions. I was thinking of going with a 500-600w PSU from Corsair that is sure to support an overclocked i5 and a GTX 285 at least, and should be quieter than a Sonata while idling, unless anyone has a better idea.

As for the case I really like the Sonata, but I see your point about the limited airflow, especially in the front. I will get a Sonata anyway, too cheap to pass up.. but perhaps for another system. Any suggestions besides the Solo, which I don't like?

I'm not looking to shrink my HDD-size because this HDD is going to be retired to a huge multi-disk NAS as soon as I can find a good deal on a nice SSD - maybe on black friday. As for the motherboard, I was looking at Gigabyte's board too, and hoping for overclocking options, so I could switch between silent operation and maximum performance. What's wrong with 8GB of RAM? It's a gaming computer, don't games use a lot of RAM these days on high quality settings?

If anyone has any concrete info on the performance of the TRad2 I'd be grateful.


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 Post subject: Re: Inaudible high-end gaming computer..?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 3:58 am 
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I would use a P183 or mini P180 if your MB is a microATX. The Sonata has only one fan and it may not provide enough cooling for you while gaming. You can get very effcient power supplies these days. Antec 650 signture or the earth watts versions are both quiet and effcient. You get extra fans with thes cases. Finally The sonata is notorious for not fiitting or barely fitting some of the new video cards. These thingsare large! I have an Sonata II and for the price it is hard to beat but it is used for normal computing, e-mail, Internet and watching an occasional movie so no high end video card. I use the onboard video. The temps on my old AMD dual core run in the low to mid 30's. I use the OEM heatsink sine quit wasn't a design requirement. For your system you will need to get a large heat sink which againmightnot fit in a Sonata.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:07 am 
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Location: Sydney, Australia
For the best choice in CPU coolers *right now*, check out the socket 1156 motherboards that have socket 775 mounting holes (EVGA and Asrock and maybe others have them).

Either that, or what for adapter plates which are undoubtedly on the way


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:16 pm 
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I've decided I'm not a man of compromise so I'll put even more money into this system to make it even quieter. It should rival SPCR's single-moving-part PC but with a gaming card.. Here's the updated build:

Intel Core i5 750 + gigabyte p55 motherboard $280 shipped @ ewiz
4GB DDR3 1600mhz $80
HP 24x DVD+R $31
2x60gb OCZ agility in Raid0 $300 (these are available now for $149 AR each, I actually plan to buy them when they are closer to $100 each and until then I'll use a spare drive.
Antec Mini P180 $70
Radeon 4890 $174

Components with moving parts:
Corsair TX650W $90 SPCR measured at 21dBA up to 250W. When placed in the bottom of the P180 it should be inaudible under normal conditions (ie not gaming). Is this good enough or is there a better choice?
Prolimatech Megahalems $60 from what I understand, most 120mm fans are inaudible at 500RPM so this shouldn't be a problem.
Thermalright TRad2 with VRM-2 and 2x92mm fans about $100 what noise level can I expect with 2x92mm fans spinning at low RPM inside the P180 case?
Lastly a 120mm exhaust fan, or 2 fans @600rpm on the megahalems in a push/pull configuration, ducted to the exhaust vent.

The total will be around $1200 including shipping. I also plan to use some sort of case dampening (is there any material I can use that is cheap/freely available?) and rubber for all the fan mounts. There are 5 fans in this system, is it possible that I won't hear it during normal usage? What changes should I make to get this system even quieter?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 3:33 pm 
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The top 200mm fan on the P180 Mini might be a source of noise - you may have to feed it 7V through a molex rather than 12V to make it truly quiet.

Also, I'm not sure if the Megahalems comes with an adaptor for socket 1156 yet - the recently released black version of this heatsink (the Mega Shadow) reportedly does.

You can always do a fan swap on the Corsair PSU later if it is too loud for your liking.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 6:58 pm 
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Looking at the various reviews, my estimate is your power draw from the wall would be 280-300W with an 85% PSU when running both Prime95 and Furmark...so, maybe a 255W draw from the PSU*. Heck you could go with the Nexus Value 430W :D


* 200W for the system running Prime 95 and the video in 2D idle. Another 85W for the running the video flat out in 3D with Furmark.

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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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