I’m putting together a high performance but ‘silent’ PC build for image editing (Photoshop and looking forward to desktop browsing of image files including RAW preview with the latest Windows video codec update) and watching HD video as well on a screen such as the NEC Multisync PA271W 27" monitor (2560x1440resolution). Chosen the NEC because I'm a keen amateur photographer and want a large, very high quality, high gamut monitor that I can colour calibrate (I have a Monaco Optix Pro puck) so I can soft-proof photos prior to sending to commercial printers. No PC gaming.
The build I have in mind is as follows:
Case: Silverstone Temjin TJ08-E
CPU: Intel Core i7 2600K 3.4Ghz GPU 850Mhz, 8MB cache, 95W, LGA1155
CPU cooler: Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme Rev.C + fan (Nexus 120mm PWM Real Silent Case fan D12SL-12 PWM)
Motherboard: Micro ATX Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z motherboard (great review here
RAM: 8GB 1,600Mhz DDR3 (the mind boggles as to the choice – any recommendations?)
SSD: OCZ vertex 3 240GB SSD
PSU: Seasonic X-650
GPU: PowerColor SCS3 AX6850 1GBD5-S3DH Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5
Optical drive: Lite-On iHBS112
I used a PSU calculator here
with the above parameters and adding a little bit of headroom in terms of devices (extra HD’s, fans, USB devices, maybe a PCI-e x4 or x8 card) and got back a recommended wattage of 471 watts, so hopefully a 650W PSU is appropriate.
No plans to install any more HD’s at the moment, I carry around a 2.5” external mechanical drive for security reasons. No plans to overclock the CPU but going for the ‘K’ model so I can get the best integrated graphics (thinking down the line maybe when I want to upgrade and throw this CPU into a case without a graphics card – I like having choice
Plan to have a duct connected to the back of the case for the CPU cooler exhaust using a technique I saw on a thread on here
My chief concern and reason for the post is I’m wondering if the PowerColor card will stay cool enough with this setup? I thought about strapping a slim 120mm Scythe fan onto the heatsink like here
(in German language, but has pics). But in the Silverstone case the fan would be horizontally mounted and it has sleeve bearings (no good says SPCR). After some research I don’t think there are any slim 120mm fans around without sleeve bearings. According to the Silverstone's case manual, an empty drive cage acts as an air guide so that should help things.
Otherwise any suggestions on alternative passive GPU cards that could stay cool enough in this setup? Want it as powerful as possible to drive the NEC. Failing that what’s the most powerful and quiet fan-driven card out there I could use that blows hot air backwards as the case manual suggests?
Alternative cases in mind are the Antec P182 and the Antec P193 although I’d prefer to avoid the extra size and heft of the Antec’s.
Looking forward to any opinions.