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 Post subject: Time to start over?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:22 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2003 12:27 am
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Location: Scotland, UK
Hi all,

my rig has evolved over the past few (5ish) years. It was a light gaming machine, built around a second hand i7 920 and a Fractal Design Define R2.

It was quiet, but not amazingly so. I had a 560ti in it for the longest time.

Fast forward to today and It has cooling issues.

Its now:

Fractal Define R2
Xeon X5650@3.2ghz Gelid Tranquillo rev1
16GB DDR3
MSI Gaming GTX 970
PSU Coolermaster Silent Pro M (600watt)
Asus P6X58D-E
Asus Xonar DGX
Crucial MX100 512GB
Samsung 2TB HDD
WD 512GB HDD
DGM 27" 1440p cheapo IPS monitor

I have two 120mm fractal stock fans in the front and BeQuiet Silentwings Top 140mm (disconnected extra fractal 120mm, as it was buzzing).

An out of date photo here:
Image

Silent wings is no longer on the side, but at the top exhausting.

My main issues are:
- Insufficient cooling when heavily loaded, like with Dragon Age Inquisition (though that cooks my mates machine also, so may just be that game)
- USB 3.0 support pretty awful, even with an extra card. I just can't run an external HDD off it. Also USB2.0 is a smidge less reliable.
- Poor fan control, the -E is nothing like the old Deluxe on the SPCR test bench. I bought some Phanteks fans and had to stop using them as I couldn't knock them down to a reasonable level in the BIOS and Speedfan is ignored by the -E. (1x 140mm PH-F140HP and 3x 120mm PH-F120S_BK)
- itchy feet (at least I am honest)

Things I like:
- The X5650 even OC'd is more efficient than the 920 and really never gets too hot and nothing the Gelid can't cope with
- MSI 970 is silent on older games even at 1440p
- I got so much mileage out of system.

So one solution would be to re-shell the machine a better case, something like the RV05. Get some sort of fan controller and a guaranteed solid USB3.0/1 card.

Another is to replace the motherboard and CPU to a newer model with Asus's newest fan control, USB3.1 and house that in an RV05 and move the rest over. Probably a Scythe Kotetsu at the same time.

I'd probably consider dumping the HDD's and getting a big SSD, making cable management that much easier and the main chamber very open.

If it wasn't for Skyrim, it probably wouldn't have gotten so out of hand. :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: Time to start over?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:39 am 
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I guess it comes down to: how much money do you want to spend?

Is gaming the only thing that stresses the CPU, or are there other apps? If it's just games, then moving to a current i5 will certainly provide more gaming horsepower for less power used -> less heat. For grins, compare the single threaded Cinebench results for the i7-980X vs Haswell i5. The i7-980X is a tad faster than your OC'd Xeon. The single threaded performance is improved by ~45-50% since your Xeon came out.

FYI Skyrim only uses 2 CPU threads...It's more of a GPU hog, esp if you have downloaded the high rez texture packs. That said, the GTX 970 should do fine.

When you say insufficient cooling, what do you mean (high temps, too loud, artifacting..)? What temps do you see for CPU/GPU/drives, etc? ..and yeah, DAI thrashes Gfx cards. Especially @ 1440p.

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 Post subject: Re: Time to start over?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:01 am 
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Posts: 41
Location: Scotland, UK
Cheers for the advise.

Yeah mainly games. To be honest. I'd like to say otherwise, but I do enough work at work if you see what I mean.

I guess the issue I have at the moment is balancing idle noise, ie when using a browser and gaming noise.

I can bring down the peak noise, running the extra exhaust bringing up idle.

For Reference my single thread is 4620 in Cinebench R10, multi is 25294. 59c was max for multi, but the room is cold at the moment.

Is an i5 4670k the sweet spot these days?

I am kind of over Skyrim for now, I would imagine the next game is a bit more multi-core friendly.

I think my main issue is that gaming is just too loud to happily do without headphones, unless its something older like Dragon Age: Origins. I also get the feeling that I've taken the machine as far as it can go for now. I gave it a shot in the arm with the Xeon a year or so ago. It's never artifacted to my knowledge due to heat. Though DAI caused the 970 to start thermal throttling. I have other gameplay preference issues with DAI, so I'm not playing that at the moment.

I know there is always something better on the horizon, is broadwell worth waiting for?


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 Post subject: Re: Time to start over?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 7:22 am 
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i5-4690K is the sweet spot if you want to OC. Intel did a refresh of the Haswell line and bumped up base clock speeds.

Broadwell: There will be some kinda socketed 65W desktop CPU out in mid 2015. Supposedly, unlocked. But, nobody knows the specs. The last few generations have been focused on reducing power use, increasing the iGP, and adding functionality. The last huge jump in IPC performance was from your chip's architecture to Sandy Bridge. After that, it's been 5-10% bump per architecture. Based on the mobile Broadwell chip performance, the desktop will be another incremental bump over Haswell. At this point, I'd either jump now with Haswell refresh or wait for Skylake. It's estimated for August timeframe, so a safe build (after firmware revisions settle down) would be November.

Idle noise: You do have 5 case fans chugging along in there. Do you need them all? Have you tried doing without a few? What are you doing for speed control? Are you doing speed control? :D If not, you could try Speedfan.

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 Post subject: Re: Time to start over?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:24 am 
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More thoughts...

Quote:
You do have 5 case fans chugging along in there.
..or is it 6? Depending on the direction of the various fans, they could be competing against each other rather than providing airflow through the case.

The Phobya fan on the bottom...4 pin, plugged into the mobo's 4 pin case fan header....Older Asus motherboards are pretty dodgy with their case fan controls. I wonder if the bottom fan is just spinning at full speed because the mobo can really only control a voltage based fan and not a PWM fan. ..

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 Post subject: Re: Time to start over?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 2:32 pm 
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Location: Scotland, UK
Hi Steve,

I think there is some misunderstanding.

That's an old layout, I referred to it just to show what the interior is like in my machine.

Like I said "I have two 120mm fractal stock fans in the front and BeQuiet Silentwings Top 140mm (disconnected extra fractal 120mm, as it was buzzing)."

Its okay at idle now, now is just a bit under performing at load.

Like I said the P6X58D-E is incompatible with Speedfan and even Asus's own software will only control the CPU fan. The bios control has 3 modes (turbo, standard and silent) for the CPU fan and case fans.

They really locked down fan control in order to give the Deluxe and ROG versions the edge.

The Phobya fan was not great, I keep it as a spare in case anyone needs one.

Interestingly I see SPCR just released an SLI build log, very close to what I would rebuild with. I've lived with Scandinavian minimalism for 5 years, I'm probably going to chose the RV05 for the change and the massive cost savings in the UK. Raven is £80ish versus the Fortress at £130ish (though deals can bring it down).

The main disadvantages of the RV05 is that you can't buy a non-windowed version here and the lack of noise dampening material.

You are right about Broadwell. I guess another benefit is that I can keep my DDR3 ram, rather than buying DDR4 for Skylake.

I realize I have been only considering Asus here. You have an MSI z87 board, whats the fan control like?

Looks okay in the z97 MSIs http://youtu.be/g0aCbBABFaM?t=10m10s

Though this also looks pretty good: http://youtu.be/g0aCbBABFaM?t=3m53s

I'd rather do everything in UEFI and then have the machine manage it self.


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 Post subject: Re: Time to start over?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 3:08 pm 
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Yep - that's what happens when I speed read prior to coffee.

MSI and Asrock have the best UEFI fan controls. Asrock has a slight lead. My z87 board has been quite solid. The only downside is some limitations on how low you can drive the case fans. See the build thread in my signature for the gory details.

One immediate thing you can try is to remove the front fan filters. They were found to be very restrictive on airflow in the R4...I doubt they are better in the R2. With two front and one rear (and all the rest of the slots closed), positive pressure should keep a lot of the offending dust out.

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 Post subject: Re: Time to start over?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 5:20 am 
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Location: Scotland, UK
Update:

Ordered parts and was already to build, but a supplier claimed they had stock of the MSI Z97A Gaming 6, they didn't. I am now away on business next week, so I cancelled the big order.

I have a Scythe Kotetsu and slot BL writer, everything else on hold.

Would a Asrock Killer Z97 be a good option? Going to wait until some better suppliers have stock, so I want to keep my options open. I do want USB 3.1 and M.2 included. Though most seam to use the same chip for 3.1. I've just had bad experiences with 3rd party addin cards.

Just wanted to make sure you knew I wasn't pulling anyone's leg.


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 Post subject: Re: Time to start over?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:08 am 
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Gunbuster wrote:
....
It has cooling issues.
...
- Insufficient cooling when heavily loaded, like with Dragon Age Inquisition
...

What are the highest temps you see?

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 Post subject: Re: Time to start over?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:35 am 
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I can't remember off the top of my head, but it was a enough to thermal throttle my 970.

My mate had the same problem with his 780.

However in general its been pretty hard to balance the system since I started gaming more. Early on it was just a quiet system for surfing and light gaming. Then I got right back in and moved to 1440p.

The Define R2 just wasn't optimised for that kind of setup and the board I have has very basic fan control.


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 Post subject: Re: Time to start over?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 7:13 am 
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A current picture might help. -since i dont have that case, I keep referring to the pic you posted and then trying to imagine your explanation of the current layout...maybe i just need stronger coffee.

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 Post subject: Re: Time to start over?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:52 pm 
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Gunbuster wrote:
I can't remember off the top of my head, but it was a enough to thermal throttle my 970.

I'm sorry, but chatter and memories can't help to troubleshoot your current issues (if there were issues, as currently it's not certain, IMHO): usually GM114s start a soft throttling around 80°C (boost clock not guaranteed), and as a matter of fact I see lots of those cards actually running around the first throttling point: even the recent SPCR gaming rig hit 79°C with typical gaming loads (85°C under FurMark) using the R4 case, despite it was highly optimized.

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 Post subject: Re: Time to start over?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:23 pm 
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Okay maybe everyone isn't understanding. I posted an update explain my new build was on hold.

Then I get asked about the problems with my current machine, which I have already decided to scrap. My update post was done at a break at work, no where near my PC.

I reply with what I know off the top of my head. Not going into too much detail as I couldn't remember exact figures.

Then I get a message being upset that I didn't reply with exact details.

I'm sorry I'm not looking to do any more with this current setup. I just didn't want to be rude and just say not interested. I was trying to explain why I was building a new one. I last posted in March. I didn't want CA_Steve to think I was just wasting his time.

I really value CA_Steve's advice (along with everyones). I was looking to see if the Asrock board I suggested was also worth keeping an eye out for as I am being mucked about by the supplier for the MSI board. As I said I am looking for USB3.1 and M.2 included.

I have attached a photo of the current layout. Two Fractal intakes, one Fractal exhaust and another beQuiet exhaust.


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.


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 Post subject: Re: Time to start over?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:21 pm 
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Gunbuster wrote:
Okay maybe everyone isn't understanding.

Yes, I'd say that on forums it may happen, so, if I did anything wrong, I beg your pardon. :wink:


Gunbuster wrote:
Then I get a message being upset that I didn't reply with exact details.

No, I wasn't upset and I hope it didn't upset you too; you said your graphics throttles but, since Kepler, throttling is a tricky/complex matter when talking about Nvidia graphics: that's what I meant with my reply.

So you may be right, the R2 wasn't actually up to the task (and up to now I didn't understand whether you ordered an RV05, or not), but there's a chance your scenario might be actually normal, and without figures/data/details we just can't understand that.


Gunbuster wrote:
I was trying to explain why I was building a new one. I last posted in March. I didn't want CA_Steve to think I was just wasting his time.

That's right, there's no problem: I misunderstood your reply to xan_user.


Gunbuster wrote:
As I said I am looking for USB3.1 and M.2 included.

As known, the ASRock Z97X Killer 3.1, as well as the previous ASRock Haswell and Ivy Bridge boards, should have one of the best UEFI for silencers: so, set aside the maybe more gaudy/garish appearance, it should deliver what you're looking for (as a matter of fact it is a direct competitor of the MSI Gaming 6).
Frankly the only somehow serious reason to hold such a refresh is whether or not waiting 4 months more for Skylake (expected for next 15th august). :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Time to start over?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:33 pm 
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Gunbuster wrote:
Hi Steve,

I think there is some misunderstanding.

That's an old layout, I referred to it just to show what the interior is like in my machine.

Like I said "I have two 120mm fractal stock fans in the front and BeQuiet Silentwings Top 140mm (disconnected extra fractal 120mm, as it was buzzing)."

Its okay at idle now, now is just a bit under performing at load.

Like I said the P6X58D-E is incompatible with Speedfan and even Asus's own software will only control the CPU fan. The bios control has 3 modes (turbo, standard and silent) for the CPU fan and case fans.

They really locked down fan control in order to give the Deluxe and ROG versions the edge.

The Phobya fan was not great, I keep it as a spare in case anyone needs one.

Interestingly I see SPCR just released an SLI build log, very close to what I would rebuild with. I've lived with Scandinavian minimalism for 5 years, I'm probably going to chose the RV05 for the change and the massive cost savings in the UK. Raven is £80ish versus the Fortress at £130ish (though deals can bring it down).

The main disadvantages of the RV05 is that you can't buy a non-windowed version here and the lack of noise dampening material.

You are right about Broadwell. I guess another benefit is that I can keep my DDR3 ram, rather than buying DDR4 for Skylake.

I realize I have been only considering Asus here. You have an MSI z87 board, whats the fan control like?

Looks okay in the z97 MSIs http://youtu.be/g0aCbBABFaM?t=10m10s

Though this also looks pretty good: http://youtu.be/g0aCbBABFaM?t=3m53s

I'd rather do everything in UEFI and then have the machine manage it self.


Ahem.. Actually the Skylake IMC supports both DDR3 and DDR4. On the desktop side of things we'll probably see motherboards with only DDR4 and some motherboard with both and maybe few boards with only DDR3. Or something, I don't really know. Lowest end boards will probably be DDR3 only.

Also, a fun tid bit, Intel even developed a UniDimm module for supporting both DDR3 and DDR4 chips in the same module design. To please the likes of Dell and HP, laptops, market PC's and so on. It's not standardized by JEDEC but Kingston and Micron have jumped on to the UniDimm train.

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 Post subject: Re: Time to start over?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:14 pm 
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Sure, the Asrock mobo is fine. Asrock is the best when it comes to UEFI based fan control.

As for Skylake, my rule of thumb for new architectures+ chipsets is to wait 2-3 months after intro. Too many firmware updates and potentially not-fun errors to watch out for at release. Current rumored intro for Skylake Desktop is Aug - Oct timeframe.

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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, Crucial MX100 256GB, 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: Time to start over?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:58 am 
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Thanks for being understanding quest_for_silence.

I hope I didn't offend you either.

Openining up the case was good opportunity to check that the Blu Ray drive worked, but I failed to check that it used the same connectors as a full size board. Adapaters are on their way!

The supplier claimed to have stock of the MSI board for the past two weeks, whilst clearly not having any. I can see there is little stock around.

I have a few other reasons to upgrade.

I've had USB 3.0 problems on my current machine. It just can't output for the higher power needs. I bought an external USB drive, its bus powered and just won't work in USB3.0. I've tried a powered hub, a PCIE 3.0 card without any luck. It works perfectly on 2.0 and USB 3.0 on my Fritz!box. USB 3.0 is flakey even with that hub.

Hence why I want a good built in 3.1/3.0 solution.

The onboard SATA2 is faster than the marvell SATA3 on the current machine as well. Hence why I'd like a step up with SATA3 and M.2.

Lastly I had a real scare the other day, I accidently chose sleep not shutdown and it nearly didn't post again. It got back to normal, but needed a BIOS reset. Back to stock clocks on the X5650.

I know I am making excuses, its itchy feet as well. My gut response was X99, but I see that makes little sense for my priorities.

As for style, I get you. The silent crowd are usually stylish minimalists. My day job requires I work in very flat minimal styling. I think gaming kitch as some appeal, besides its going in a Raven and I have dragon on the side of my graphics card :P I plan on rolling with it. My mouse has a scorpion on it and my keyboard some sort of phantom mask thing. Too late me thinks. Maybe its a mid life crisis, 37 this year.


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 Post subject: Re: Time to start over?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 6:53 am 
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one quick tip for silent rigs;
raise it off the floor. even a little bit often helps.
less dust=better cooling. dust sticks to fan blades and makes the fans less effective, and also wears bearings out faster.
How does the GPU heatsink and fan look?

Is that HDD cage removable?

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 Post subject: Re: Time to start over?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:11 am 
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xan_user wrote:
Is that HDD cage removable?

IF I didn't misunderstand, he likely won't use anymore that case (Define R2).

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 Post subject: Re: Time to start over?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:43 am 
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CA_Steve wrote:
There will be some kinda socketed 65W desktop CPU out in mid 2015. Supposedly, unlocked. But, nobody knows the specs.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Time to start over?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:21 pm 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
xan_user wrote:
Is that HDD cage removable?

IF I didn't misunderstand, he likely won't use anymore that case (Define R2).


yeah true. im just a huge proponent of reuse, and the thread title also does have a :?: after it. -seems like the old case would work fine with the cage gone.

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 Post subject: Re: Time to start over?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:47 pm 
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xan_user wrote:
yeah true. im just a huge proponent of reuse, and the thread title also does have a :?: after it. -seems like the old case would work fine with the cage gone.

Actually there's no apparent reason (though the OP experience) why that R2 shouldn't cope with that single graphics but, hey, his will is to go with the Silverstone option, so I just wish/hope he won't be somewhat disappointed by the expected improvement in cooling prowess (as those 18cm fans are not silent beasts, IMHO).

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 Post subject: Re: Time to start over?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 3:54 am 
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Hi All,

the cage is non removable. I removed all the unneeded sleds to free up as much in the front as possible.

I could keep the case, its not in terrible condition. I just tend to build new machines in new cases and most of my old machines live on later as desktops for family.

That said its a good point, I'm planning on keeping the RAM, PSU, GPU and drives.

I did consider getting a fan controller and some new fans. I actually have a full replacement set of Phanteks fans. So if anyone knows of a really good controller I don't mind giving it a bash!

OT: Work is going down hill, I'm really starting to worry. Fixing up what I have might make a whole lot more sense than spending a load on a new machine. :-(


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