- Go low tech - hold an empty paper towel tube to your ear and use it to isolate the prevalent noise sources.
- Benchmark your current set up's temps.
- Then, start unplugging case fans to see the effect on temp and noise (if they are already at the low setting).
I agree that the case fans need help. Here's the SPCR review
Thoughts in no particular order:
You might not need all 6 fans...the front fans in the drive cages are pretty noisy at low speed. Partly due to the fans, partly due to the restrictive enclosure. Once you've done the first steps, then you can start doing fan replacements.
I wouldn't move the radiator to the front. Better to aim for unimpeded front to back airflow. Remove the drive cages you aren't using.
Do you need the big gaming GPU? Is it used for hardware acceleration?
What's the PSU?
Do you hear any HDD case-coupled vibration or seek noise?
This will be an iterative process. Find the noisiest part, replace/reduce it's noise, move on to the next source, repeat.
No paper towel needed - it's definitely the fans. I've already removed one... Once I replace the fans with quieter ones, I only plan to have 3 in the case (two in front, one in the rear) plus one fan for the 120mm radiator. I have all the fans on low (top exhaust is a two pole switch, three front fans have knobs that are turned all the way down)
I figured placing the rad in the front will dampen the noise by a certain amount, since it would be completely enclosed by the case. I also figured pushing intake through the rad would be a more efficient way to go, as opposed to blowing recirculated air out the back. Did I figure wrong? I plan to ditch the liquid cooler at some point, but right now it's all about "harm reduction". In any case, I'm trying to install a quieter fan on the rad to cut the noise down as much as possible.
The gaming GPU is currently inaudible, actually. The third-party heatsink I installed
(with Ramsinks and VRM heatsinks as well) is running at a constant 7v. I do use it for some image and video editing, and I probably find about 1/2 hour of gaming time a week. Thwe work it does for me is worth way more that I could possibly sell it for. I'd like to keep it, and in my next build I'll be using a GPU with a passive cooler.
Power supply is a 600W Cooler Master "Extreme Power Plus". Sitting on rubber decouplers that antex were kind enough to include with the 1200 case.
As far as benchmarks go, stress testing the CPU gets me around the 70°C, and it idles at around 32-35°. GPU idles around the same, and with a furmark test it hits late 50's to early 60's, depending on how long I run it. Which is actually pretty great, as far as I am concerned.
I would like to thank you for your help, I'm glad I came across this forum.. I figured this would be, as you said, an iterative process. My intention is to first go head to head with the fan noise, and move the rad if needed. I am hesitant to undervolt or do any other more serious tooling until I get a better idea of what $80 in new fans can do for me. Pro Tools is a notoriously finicky beast, especially on PC. I am fortunate enough (and maybe my planning worked in my favor as well) to have built a machine that is a rock solid Pro Tools rig. I wouldn't want to upset the apple cart. Fans and HD placement and other things like that represent the most favorable risk:reward ratio, as far as I can tell.