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 Post subject: Fractal Design Define Mini/R3 vs NZXT H2
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:12 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:32 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Mexico
Hello guys!
I'm new not only in this forum, but also in custom PC building. I've always wanted to build my computer for myself and now I have the chance to do it.
I'm an electronic dance music producer, so I will be using my rig mainly for that purpose. I want a very quiet yet powerful PC.

I'm kind of a total newbie in this kind of stuff, have learned some stuff reading reviews, forum posts, etc.
After some research, I decided to go either for the Define Mini/R3 or NZXT H2 cases.
So, I have a couple of questions:

1. Is the R3 superior to the Mini in cooling/silence?
2. What about either Mini/R3 against the NZXT H2?
This is a difficult point for me. I can get the H2 in my country for about $120, and I could order the Mini over the web for $170 incl. shipping. ($186 for R3) Aesthetically, I prefer the R3, but the Mini is smaller... and the H2 is cheaper hahah so I'm really confused. I want to know which case is the most silent / best cooling of these three. I've found contradictory opinions on this.
3. Components: I NEED ADVICE HERE.

Right now, I'm planning to get:
Processor: Intel i7 2600k
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-G1. Sniper M3 Z77
Pioneer Blu-Ray drive (won't be using really often)
and that's about it! haha I know obviously need more stuff, like the power supply, hard drive and RAM memory.
Hard drive I want to get 1 TB or maybe 2.
RAM, 16 gb
So what could you recommend me? Brands, models... keeping silence as a factor.

Also, what about the cooling stuff? CPU cooler + heatsink, fans, etc.
Here are some approximate price ranges that I'd like.

CPU cooler: $50-$150
Fans: $15-$25 each
PSU: $100-$200
Hard Drive: $100 -$200
RAM: $200 max for 16 gb

Anything else missing?

I want product recommendations in that price range, keeping very nice performance and silence as major factors.
I really hope you guys can help me out! And excuse me if my english is bad, it's not my native language heheh :)
Feel free to ask any questions you have. :D

 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define Mini/R3 vs NZXT H2
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:45 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:59 pm
Posts: 115
Location: Canada
1. The cases should perform more or less the same for cooling and silence.

2. The H2 doesn't have very good airflow without modification, and even then it's not really impressive

3. Components:
CPU cooler: Something like the Scythe Mugen 3 or Noctua NH-U12P should work well for you.

Fans: I like the Noctua NF-S12B ULN fans because they run at around 700rpm at 12 volts, so they've basically inaudible without the need for fan control. I got mine in a bundle of two for $25, otherwise I think they're around $20/ea retail. Scythe Slipstreams are also nice if you get grab the 800rpm models. They're much cheaper as well.

PSU: Not sure if you'll be using discrete graphics or not, but regardless the Seasonic X-560 PSU works great at a good pricepoint of around $110. The fan won't spin up unless the system is under a heavy load with a discrete GPU.

Hard Drive: I'd recommend using a SSD for your OS and apps and then a HDD for mass storage. A 120GB Intel 320 SSD runs about $150 and for the HDD you could use something like a 1TB WD10EARX for around $100.

RAM: Any reliable brand should work fine for RAM. I use Kingston RAM as I've never had a problem with it. You can find a 16GB kit of Kingston HyperX RAM for around $125.

All prices I listed are in CAD. Also, the motherboard you listed seems like serious overkill unless you plan on doing major overclocking or something. I would recommend a basic H77 board like the ASUS P8H77-M Pro unless you need to overclock, in which case a basic Z77 would work well.

 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define Mini/R3 vs NZXT H2
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:37 am 
Friend of SPCR

Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:41 am
Posts: 709
Location: Denmark
I own a NZXT H2 and I wouldn't really recommend it. The only things better than the R3/Mini is that the H2 has three 5,25" bays versus R3/Mini which both have only two 5,25" bays. And then the H2 has more room behind the motherboard tray for cable routing, but if you plan your cabling carefully then the limited space behind the R3/Mini should be no problem. The H2 has many small problems that you can read about in my signature link.

I also choose the H2 over the others because it had a built-in fan controller. But automatic fan controlling via motherboard is much easier IMO.

The R3 and Mini should perform roughly the same. They both have two fans and the same amount of ventilation if I remember correctly. The NZXT H2 perform noticeably worse though. So I wouldn't worry about the thermal performance of the R3 or Mini.

I'd pay more for the R3 or Mini - though 50$ is a lot, you are going to use the case for a long time. I'd also choose the Mini. The fans, together with the included fan controller can run quieter than the fans + fancontroller from the R3. It's also smaller (which is convenient) and I don't think you need the extra PCI-e slots from an ATX board.

CPU Cooler: Scythe Mugen 3 (usually 50 USD) can easily cope with the 2600k (why not Ivy Bridge?) and the fan is fantastic (and silent. you just need to have good PWM-control, but all motherboards have that).

Harddrive: A 3,5" Western Digital green is usually the most quiet hard drive you can buy at the moment.
the cheapest RAM you can find (from a reliable brand: Kingston, Corsair, G.Skill etc.)

RAM: Unless your applications require great RAM performance, then I'd recommend that you simply stick to

Cooler Master Elite 341, Athlon II X3 425, Radeon 5750 (passive, fan zip-tied on), Crucial M4 64 GB.
Cooling: AC Alpine 64 Pro, rear exhaust Scythe Slipstream 800 rpm @ ~5 V

"SSD's: The difference between a casual jogger and a dog chasing a ball"

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