It is currently Thu Jul 31, 2014 7:05 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: What is a realistic expectation for I7-4770K based quiet PC?
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 11:35 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 8:53 am
Posts: 6
I am planning on getting my next desktop computer. In addition to good performance, the key requirement is quiet. I am debating if I should get a Mac Mini to run OS X or build a 4770K based PC to run Windows 8.1. It would be greatly appreciated if someone can compare a Mac Mini to a quiet PC in terms of noise level.

This computer is to replace my home PC which is a 7-year old Dell Dimension E521. I have done many upgrades to keep it up. But I don't plan to continue to use it as the noise level bothers me. I am probably overly picky as the noise level from my current computer is between 30-35dB.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is a realistic expectation for I7-4770K based quiet
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 2:59 pm 
Offline
Moderator

Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 4475
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Welcome to SPCR.

As your PC is 7 years old, it's probably useful to put things in perspective and correctly size your requirements. Then, figure out the best build. Those Dells used AMD Athlon X2 CPUs, right? The X2 5000+ scores 1306 on Passmark. A Haswell i3-4330 scores 5096...nearly 4x the performance. That said, what are your applications?

_________________
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)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is a realistic expectation for I7-4770K based quiet
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 3:27 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 8:53 am
Posts: 6
Thanks and let me answer your questions. My Dell E521 has AMD Athlon 64x2 4600+ CPU with a PassMark of 1,365. I added a ATI/AMD Radeon HD 4600 GPU with a PassMark of 551. It has a Samsung 840 Pro SSD and a more powerful PSU.

Regarding my applications, I don't usually play computer games, do 3D applications, or any video editing. This is a home and work-from-home computer. The most demanding situation I can see is that I do video conferencing using WebEx/Go-to-meeting, desktop sharing using TeamViewer or join.me, lead the meeting using various MS Office applications, and use Skype to send IMs. With dual monitors, I can arrange which monitor to share view and which to send private IMs. In summary, I don't use an application that is CPU intensive. But I use a few applications simultaneously and need fast responses.

I also want a computer that can last a few years. The current candidates for my next PC are a top line Mac Mini, a base Mac Pro, or a silent/quiet Windows PC build.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is a realistic expectation for I7-4770K based quiet
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 4:44 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1777
Location: Guatemala
A 4770K build can be made quiet, although i would recommend you to analize what applications you will be using, as this is among the hotest CPU that intel has atm, and the most expensive (not considering the xeons or E editions). A dual core might do fine or even a i5 quad wihtout hyperthreading will be much easier to handle than the 4770k, but if you in fact need or will be taking the advantage of the hyperthreading, and you in fact need that much cpu power, then you can build around it.

I have no experience with the mini mac, but if you like macs, you can also do a hackintosh build. I have very little experience, as only the ipad is what i like about apple.

_________________
GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms| Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is a realistic expectation for I7-4770K based quiet
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 5:05 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 8:53 am
Posts: 6
Since I keep my computers for a long time, it may be a good idea to get a CPU that is powerful enough for at least 5 years. My thinking is as follows. Since my computer is 7 year old and I feel it is a bit slow, for my current needs, I can get by with 2X-3X improvement. A 4X improvement will probably good for 2-3 years. On the other hand, if I get one with 8X improvement, it can probably last 5 years with good performance. That is why I look at 4770K. :-)

Can you guys put the noise levels of your builds on the signatures as well? Since this is a silent PC forum, it may be interesting for others. Just a suggestion.

My Dell PC has a noise level around 35dB from where I sit, which is about 2.5ft away. The noise levels of Mac Mini and Mac Pro (from 12 to 15dB) are very interesting to me.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is a realistic expectation for I7-4770K based quiet
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 6:43 pm 
Offline
Moderator

Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 4475
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Unless you have professional grade gear (let alone an anechoic chamber), any dB measurements listed would be fairly useless.

A quote from my 2012 Mac Mini mini-review:
Quote:
Noise: It's not silent, but it's pretty quiet. In my silent house in a suburban/rural area (very little outside noise leaking in) I can hear the fans whirring softly. Character/level didn't change in any of the 7 to 22W load cases above. Disk drive (Hitachi 500GB 5400rpm) spun up is comparable to the fan noise level and seek is noticable but not loud. There were a couple of times during a GB download when the HDD clicked loud enough to make me look. The Mac is sitting on my wooden desk maybe 2.5-3ft away. Haven't had a chance to stress it to see how loud the fans get, yet.

To put the noise level in perspective, it's slightly quieter than my idling Solo build below except an octave or two higher in frequency (~2k rpm fans vs the loudest fan in my system - 725 rpm CPU fan).

The fan definately ramps up during extended game play (GW2) and can be heard in a quiet room without the audio track playing. Nice whoosh without tonality.


My current build (below) without the video card is quieter than the Solo build above.

The upside to the Mini is buy it and load yer apps and done. The downside is you have to buy the higher end unit to get access to the SSD. I don't think you'd need the i7, but the SSD is a must. Don't know if there will be a 2014 build...Apple is irregular about Mini updates. If I were them, I'd wait for Broadwell's release in Nov/Dec.

Getting a Mac Pro for your uses would be like buying a Lamborghini to pick up burgers at the drive thru down the block from your house. Your applications really don't need more than a modern dual core + SSD.

_________________
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)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is a realistic expectation for I7-4770K based quiet
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 1:30 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:12 am
Posts: 2797
Location: ITALY
vett93 wrote:
That is why I look at 4770K.


With reference to your usage pattern, there's vituallly no difference, among the Coe i7 4770K, the Core i5 4570 or the Core i3 4360, as IGP is the same, clocks are rather similar, IPC are the same, and almost no application exploit more than two cores.
And with reference to quietness, there's no way to push the 4770K really fast without getting rid of quietness.


vett93 wrote:
My Dell PC has a noise level around 35dB from where I sit, which is about 2.5ft away. The noise levels of Mac Mini and Mac Pro (from 12 to 15dB) are very interesting to me.


As already said, those raw figures, particularly when they are declared specs, are about -meaningless.
But just for the sake of you curiosity, one of my rigs which is somehow similar to you current Dell, is drowned out by a Seagate GoFlex, tested by SPCR at about 11dB, and I guess that it can be regarded as a typical result of a well built and properly configured system (as you may see, CA_Steve's one have a comparable noise output, while being way more powerful than it).

Eventually, I'd second Steve advice: so, if you don't want to carefully setup your system, or tinkering with parts, and you already have all the necessary softwares, in my humble opinion you may comfortably go along the Mini-way.

_________________
Regards,
Luca


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is a realistic expectation for I7-4770K based quiet
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 1:40 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 8:53 am
Posts: 6
Thanks all. I have pretty much decided to go with a Mac Mini or Mac Pro. For the prices they charge, it is not likely one can tinker a system close to their performance and quietness with the same amount of $$$. For a computer with a quad-core I7, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of SSD, I can get this quiet computer for around $1,100. From some tech reviews (e.g., AnandTech), it is very difficult to beat the Mac Pro either.

As a software engineer in the networking industry and car enthusiast, I am afraid I have to say that there is no such thing as computers too fast, or cars too fast, or computers too quiet, etc. :-)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is a realistic expectation for I7-4770K based quiet
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 2:30 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:12 am
Posts: 2797
Location: ITALY
vett93 wrote:
As a software engineer in the networking industry and car enthusiast, I am afraid I have to say that there is no such thing as computers too fast, or cars too fast, or computers too quiet, etc. :-)


As you work in the networking industry, current scenario is somehow like an access server with just two xDSL ports: whether it's hooked up onto either a 2,5Gbps or a 10Gbps wavelenght, it won't matter at all. :wink:

_________________
Regards,
Luca


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is a realistic expectation for I7-4770K based quiet
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:29 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:35 pm
Posts: 7
Gents,

I'm running an i7 4770K with an Asus Z87-A Motherboard - 16 Gigs of Corsair DDR3 Ram - Plextor 128 Gig SSD (I have 2 others up to 448 Gigs as plug ins for various situations) in a Ghost Case. For grins I water cooled it and it's quite quiet (relatively speaking). It too sits about 2.5 feet away from my head. (On an SPL Meter App for my iPhone it's 37.9 dB and the ambient noise 20 feet away is 36.9. - I can hear the Hard Drive spinning in our Cable Box over there. On another App called Decibel 10th it's 38 (bouncing between Avg Quiet Home & Avg Quiet Whisper) and 37 respectively (Avg Quiet Whisper). I know the iPhone is not a precise instrument, but it decent enough for comparisons.

Of course there are ways to make this Box even quieter but I do some Video Editing and what I really liked about the Asus Z87-A Motherboard is that I can tweak all of the fan profiles (and the water Pump) and set it to Auto so it throttles back on the CPU until the application requires more horsepower => then it ramps up. (Right now it's got a 3 Gig Hard Drive in a Drawer and a Gigabyte Windforce 660Ti nVidia Graphics card - not the quietest solution around.) So normally I'm just plugging along and the unit remains quiet => until I push some serious load like Video Editing while listening to tunes and surfing the web.

Using this sort of hardware, one can use a quiet Fan Cooled CPU cooler and a quiet (silent?) Video Card if those needs are light, a quiet PSU with a quieter case than mine and you'd be golden.

There's always more than one way to skin a cat. So don't give up on the Intel solution too fast. 8)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is a realistic expectation for I7-4770K based quiet
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:13 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 8:53 am
Posts: 6
I ended up getting a Mac Pro. I use a calibrated Android app to measure the noise level and get 15dB. I and my wife both have sensitive hearing and we cannot hear a thing from this Mac Pro at 2-3ft away.

I ran Virtualbox with Ubuntu Desktop and then a Python shell on top to execute some scripts. It ran very fast. With lessor machines, it is noticeably slower.

Too much is finally enough. :-)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is a realistic expectation for I7-4770K based quiet
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 6:37 am 
Offline
Moderator

Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 4475
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Congrats on your purchase - please adopt me. :D

Glad to hear it's as quiet IRL as it is to reviewers.

BTW, 15dB and "calibrated Android app" is an oxymoron. The only way you could approach 15dBA is with a lab quality microphone and an anechoic chamber. The self noise on your phone is probably in the 30dBA range.

_________________
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)


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group