It is currently Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:14 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Recommendations sought for a quiet gaming PC (SFF preferred)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 1:29 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 1:09 am
Posts: 7
Location: UK
Hi, I'm looking to build a quiet SFF PC mainly for gaming. MMOs, RPGs and RTS games are my thing so I'd like it to be able to run at medium settings the following:

World of Warcraft
Dragon Age Origins
Dawn of War 2
Company of Heroes
R.U.S.E.
Starcraft 2

I currently have a Mac Mini which does WoW fine and SC2 on low settings. With the arrival of our newborn I had to ditch the noisy PC for evening gaming (which is 90% of my game time), but do miss the games I had on it.

So I'm totally out of touch with what is a good setup for this, and any recommendations would be very much appreciated. Bear in mind I'm in the UK so components would have to be sourced here. I've no problem in building my own, have done so for many years.

If it can be made to be as quiet as the 2009 Mac Mini that would be great. :D

cheers, Dave


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 4:45 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 1:09 am
Posts: 7
Location: UK
First attempt, anything seriously wrong here?

bah needs 3 posts to do a url...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 4:45 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 1:09 am
Posts: 7
Location: UK
dum te dum


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 4:45 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 1:09 am
Posts: 7
Location: UK
First attempt, anything seriously wrong here?


CASE (£140.98 )
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Silverst ... Full-Slots

MOBO (£111.10)
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/DFi-Lanp ... -full-spes

CPU (£135.30)
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Intel-Co ... MHz-Retail

CPU cooler (£27.00)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/Silverst ... Not-inc%29

SSD 96GB (£140.95)
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/96GB-OCZ ... e-17K-IOPS

Slim DVD (£20.54)
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Samsung- ... DVD-Writer

RAM (£72.97)
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/4GB-%282 ... -9-24-150V

GPU (£126.02)
http://www.lambda-tek.com/componentshop ... ID=B452258

Total £774.86


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 5:28 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2004 1:44 pm
Posts: 199
Location: Sweden
Looks like a great setup for gaming, you might even try the new passive 5770 from Gigabyte (just out).

As for noise, some say small cases ar hard to cool silently, perhaps someone with a similar rig could share experiences.

I'm not sure about the CPU cooler, the SG07 is pretty cramped, so that's about all that fits, but silent, I wonder?
Alternatives would be the Langear DAbox (out in October) or Lian Li's Q08.

/d

_________________
[CPU: 2.4 GHz P4 Northwood w. AC Freezer 4 (fanless-Bluefront PSU mod inspired) / MB: ABIT VT7 (Via PT880) / GPU: ATI Radeon X800XL w Zalman ZM80D-HP / HDD: Seagate Barracuda IV SATA 80GB / CD: Samsung CD-DVD combo / Seahawk ALU Case / PSU: FSP 350-THN (fan mod-Everflow connected to CPU fan header)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 5:52 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 1:09 am
Posts: 7
Location: UK
ooh thanks for letting me know about the new 5770, that would be a lot better, can't seem to find a supplier in the UK yet though.

I have an existing Antec Sonata case which I may try the GPU and SSD in first to see what noise they make. It would be nice to have a SFF but I'd certainly go for a small tower if it were quieter.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 1:53 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:45 am
Posts: 519
Location: 128.0.0.1
Looks good.

I'd try to find some SG07 reviews and see if passively cooled cards can exist there. It may be located directly next to a big side vent, but it doesn't get any direct airflow. The 5750 is not a very hot card, but still, could be problematic.

If it is, saving a couple of bucks on a factory passive card, going for a reference model and modding it with Scythe's Musashi could to the trick. It's a slim twin-fan cooler and sucking fresh air through the side vent should enable it to cool a 5750/5770 at the lowest speed setting at all times.

The Clarksdale Core i3/i5s are easy to cool. I have mine cooled by the Scythe Shuriken and a Nexus fan running at a mere 430 rpm on idle and just 600 rpm during gaming sessions. And they eliminate the Northbridge.

Small cases are only difficult to cool silently if they severely limit the choice of coolers (this one limits, but within reason) and/or don't provide enough airflow. But that goes for cases of all size.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:17 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:12 am
Posts: 2792
Location: ITALY
rizuk wrote:
First attempt, anything seriously wrong here?


CASE (£140.98 )
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Silverst ... Full-Slots

If you game at night it may be more than a bit too noisy (far from any Mac-mini), as almost every small cube-sized hig power ITX systems.

But moreover the PSU isn't modular: you mandatory need (IMO) a fully modular PSU, like Seasonic X-series, in a small sized high performance ITX system, in order to not to destruct the airflow.

If you want to stick with m-ITX form factor, the Lian Li PC Q08 (and even the smaller PC Q07) could be a viable alternative, expecially if coupled with a Seasonic X-FL PSU.

If you don't mind to go with a µATX mobo, there's even more choice: Lian Li V351/352/354 or LanGear DABox could be either good options.

However, the SG07 isn't that bad: but to me it could not be enough quiet to game at night (and it's a bit pricey for its overall quality).

rizuk wrote:

First of all, afaik DFI is dismissing its LanParty line, exiting from enthusiast/retail market.

Thereafter, as every LanParty it is not particularly power efficient: besides being fairly hot, it could also turn out to be incompatible with your PSU (it's a rather common issue with DFI boards, even if Silverstone is a brand their support service recommend and the SG07 PSU declare 3A on 5Vsb which is the minimum for most of current DFI boards).

It should has a very good BIOS, if you overclock/tune your systems.

For a quiet PC I mean there are better alternatives, generally speaking.

rizuk wrote:

If you don't mind Turbo Mode, the i3-560 should be nicer.
If you mind, the i5-661 also should be nicer.
If you overclock, the i5-655K is the way to go.
If you aren't in hurry and likely won't overclock, it could be advisable to sit and wait for the forthcoming Intel 1155 (Sandy Bridge, there's an interesting preview on AnadTech).

rizuk wrote:

There are surely far better performers among quiet heatsinks: several Scythes, some Thermalright, give a look in the cooling section of SPCR.

rizuk wrote:

It's the old one, and in fact it comes at a discount price.

Moreover, probably it isn't enough big to act as the only drive in town, and too big to find better performing (more modern) alternatives (such as Corsair Force, OCZ Agility 2, OCZ Vertex 2 Extended) at comparable prices.

All that also means it could be a decent trade off.

rizuk wrote:

If you'll find, a PowerColor Go Green more probably that not will heat up less your system (as it does not sport the PCI-E connector).

But in a very cramped space I probably won't get a passive card, but things such as the MSI 5770 Hawk, or the MSI GTX460 Cyclone: expecially if you stick up with the SG07 I bet that you very hardly will ever hear them.

Regards,
Luca


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 7:04 am 
Offline
*Lifetime Patron*

Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 1:39 am
Posts: 1922
Location: Finland
I considered the same CPU, but went with the i5-760 quadcore instead. I'm glad I did - after trying quad out, I don't want to go back to dual, and quads are the future. Even if the performance figures suggest an i3 is adequate and an i5 dual is good, you can't beat 4 physical cores.

It is not a big leap financially: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/Intel-i5-760-S1156-Lynnfield-Quad-Core-28-GHz-8MB-Cache-Core-Ratio-21x-95W-Retail (note the 95W - if you ABSOLUTELY put cooling before performance and bang for buck, consider alternatives)

If you're going 1333 MHz RAM (default for non-OC gaming), go for CL7. It shouldn't cost much more (talking individual pounds here) and it'll be that little bit faster - better value for your money. Also, go low-voltage, as there is good selection in those kits now, but make sure you consult your mobo's compatibility lists (I didn't and had to change kits once :().

I personally find ITX unworkable, way too cramped to fit anything nice in there comfortably, not to mention performing maintenance. mATX is plenty small, and even then I would say a modular PSU is a must for comfort and cooling.

_________________
Case: FD Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K @stock, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, G.Skill 2x4/1600/CL9 DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, m4 128 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, Ducky kb, SteelSeries m, Synology DS213j NAS
idle & load: CPU 32 °C & 44 °C @ 300/600 & 600/800 RPM, GPU 35-65 °C @ 1200-1650 RPM


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 6:46 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 1:09 am
Posts: 7
Location: UK
Thanks all for the excellent advice. The SSD and GPU arrived yesterday and I've gone for a Scythe Mugen 2 CPU cooler which should be here on Monday; also added an additional 120mm quiet fan to the front of the case. All in my old Antec Sonata II case, which when the current CPU fan is neutered is now very quiet that the Raptor drive has been removed. Hoping the Scythe CPU cooler will not be too noisy and spoil things when the system gets hot in a gaming session.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:47 am 
Offline
*Lifetime Patron*

Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 1:39 am
Posts: 1922
Location: Finland
Good stuff - a hi-performance, well-regulated Scythe CPU cooler will not disappoint. :P

Also, one more reason to go mATX: expansion slots. I could not live without my sound card.

_________________
Case: FD Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K @stock, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, G.Skill 2x4/1600/CL9 DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, m4 128 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, Ducky kb, SteelSeries m, Synology DS213j NAS
idle & load: CPU 32 °C & 44 °C @ 300/600 & 600/800 RPM, GPU 35-65 °C @ 1200-1650 RPM


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:49 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 1:09 am
Posts: 7
Location: UK
In the end I've managed to get it quiet enough to use at night, mainly by using Speedfan to set the 120mm fans to run at a base of ~900RPM (there's little audible difference between 900RPM and 0RPM) and only ramp up when the CPU cores get too hot. Which when running SC2 with high video settings they don't anyway. It's still much much louder than the Mac mini though, which is practically silent.

I could replace the PSU with a quieter one (it's the loudest thing in the case now), but with headphones on while gaming I can't hear it anyway and it's quiet enough not to wake the little one at night, so doubt I'll bother.

Thanks all for the help, most appreciated. :D


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:58 am 
Offline
Moderator

Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 4472
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Does the Sonata II have the sideways HDD cage that blocks airflow? You could try removing it for lower temps at lower fan speeds. Also, you could try underclocking/undervolting the 3D settings on your video card. The CPU does most of the heavy lifting for SC2.

_________________
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  [ 13 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] 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