It is currently Sun Apr 20, 2014 11:31 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Inexperienced builder - going for performance/quiet
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:40 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 1:02 pm
Posts: 8
Hey everyone -

I've only built a few machines in my life and having spent the past week doing research, I only now feel like I'm starting to climb the steep quiet-computing learning curve. I know enough to know that you all know far, far more, so here I am :). My goal is to create a high performance yet very quiet build. I work from home and this desktop will be my primary work machine. It doesn't have to be absolutely silent at idle, but I do value a low noise floor in my office and am willing to spend a fair amount to get it. For that reason, it's more important to me that it be virtually inaudible at idle than it be ultra-quiet at load. When I'm gaming or encoding, a some noise is fine.

While working, the CPU will be idle, but I need a relatively stout workstation for my personal use. My more demanding applications are Lightroom 3, Sony Vegas, Civilization V and World of Warcraft. Today, I have to use my wife's machine for the first 3 - my Core 2 Duo E6300 just doesn't cut it anymore.

So here's what I'm looking at. I welcome any and all comments. I may be underspending or overspending or just plain wrong in certain areas...I'm not sure. I'm willing to spend money, but don't want to spend it stupidly or naively.

CPU: I7-2600k ($320) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819115070
Mobo: ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 ($210) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813131790
CPU Cooler: Thermalright True Spirit ($30)...had been looking at a Noctua DH-N14 ($85) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6835608018
PSU: Seasonic X650 (already purchased)
Memory: CORSAIR Low-Profile Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) ($90) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820233197
Video Card: Gigabyte HD 6950 1GB ($250) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814125385
SSD: Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB ($209) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6822152185
Hard Drive: Still debating. See below.
Sound Card: ASUS Xonar DX 7.1 ($80) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6829132006
Case: Antec P280 ($140) When it becomes available in a couple weeks (it appears to fit the Noctua and the enormously long Video Card)
Optical: Sony DVD Burner ($20) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6827118040
Fans: Scythe SY1225SL12LM-P (x4) 120mm Case Fan ($13x4 = $52) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6835185144
Monitor: (already owned) HP24W 1920x1200 primary, LG226 secondary
Misc: Gelid Y splitter (x2) (for PWM cooling - $14) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6812718001
Misc: Logisys Rubber Fan Screw (x2) ($8) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811994036 (careful when googling for these, incidentally)


~$1,700 total

On the Hard Drive:

Seagate Barracuda 2TB: ($139) Available at my local Best Buy (http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Seagate+-+B ... 8102739460)
Samsung EcoGreen F4 ($219) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6822152245

I'm leaning toward the Seagate. Neither drive is fast, but since I'll be doing read/write intense stuff on the SSD (esp. my photo/video editing), I figure I'm better off with quiet, cool big storage. I would probably normally choose the Samsung, but for about $60 less (after tax), I think the Barracuda wins. Do you think there's a difference?

Also, I'm considering buying two and running in RAID 1. I haven't decided yet.

On the Optical: I want a blu-ray burner, but am holding off for now. I'm probably being too conservative here, but it feels like blu-ray burning isn't as mature as I want it to be. Maybe I'll get one in a year.

On the Sound Card: I have nice pair of KRK studio monitors paired with a really high end-subwoofer (the sub is temporarily relocated from my family room to keep it safe from my 2 year old). I value sound quality. I could probably stick with my ancient M-Audio Revolution 5.1 and be ok. Anyone think I'd notice the difference between the M-Audio and the Xonar DX? (and save myself $79)

About the memory: First off, $90 for 16GB of RAM? are you kidding? That seems like a steal. Second, everything I've read says that Sony Vegas and Lightroom 3 thrive on an abundance of memory, so for $90, this feels like a no-brainer. But I've been wrong before.

On the Scythe Fans: The ASUS mobo appears to have 3 PWM 4 pin connectors. I'm going to replace the existing fans in the P280 (on the assumption that the Scythe's are quieter because of PWM. If I go with the Noctua, I plan on splitting the first CPU 4-pin connector and powering the 2 fans on the heat sink (if I go with the Thermaltake, I won't split it, clearly). I'll take the 2nd CPU 4-pin connector and power the rear exhaust. I'll take the 3rd 4-pin connector, split and power 2 front intake fans (or maybe 1, or maybe 3 - depends on performance vs noise). I plan on removing the 2 top exhaust fans and covering the hole, as of now. That seemed to be a good solution on the P183 based on what I've read here, so I figure maybe it'll work on the P280. Am I right in this?

I've read conflicting reports as to the noise level of the Noctua at idle. Everyone agrees it's amazing on a loaded, OC'd system, but most of my time is spent with the machine idling (I'm programming). This is why I'm considering the Thermaltake True Spirit, which has gotten fantastic reviews, especially on its idle noise.

Speaking of the Antec P280, I'm picking that over the Fractal Design R3 because it's roomier. The Gigabyte 6950 doesn't appear to fit in the R3 (it's too wide by like 5mm). The True Spirit and Noctua both appear to fit fine in the P280, too.

Ok, so having said all of that...do you think this will do what I want it to do? Am I going completely overkill by replacing the Antec fans with the Scythe fans and insisting they all be connected via PWM 4pin connectors? Will the Gigabyte Radeon 6950 be too loud for me at idle? (reports say the 3 fans on it are really quiet at idle, but quiet is relative - but the fans have to be able to spin slowly, and I'm not 100% sure they can!). I've only put an aftermarket heat sink on a video card once before and would prefer to avoid doing so again if the 6950's HS is good enough (though I'll do it if I need to). Will this all fit comfortably in the P280?

Finally, I'll overclock this only if I can do so quietly. People report great OC'ing with this CPU and mobo combination, but if it makes things appreciably louder, I'll stick with the base configuration. Also, if the 2500K is only marginally slower than the 2600K for Lightroom/Photoshop, I'll probably do the 2500K.

Of all my questions, the video card loudness is my greatest unknown, followed by which PSU makes the most sense for me. If I end up with a different graphics card, I might switch to a Fractal Design R3.

Thanks so much in advance.

Hauser


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inexperienced builder - going for performance/quiet
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:52 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:35 am
Posts: 1
This is almost the exact same sysytem I am contemplating. I will also use it for the same jobs as you , including audio production.
The differences are (briefly):

I heard/read good stuff from the asus DCII 6950 , so this card has my attention now.
I'd skip on the soundcard, and use the integrated sound. Saves you some bucks, and with monitors like that I'd probably go for an outboard audio interface, which does not generate heat (in the case) or sound.
For the PSU I marked down the Antec CP850 because of it being on the recommended list (still figuring out if it will fit the 280 case, but that comes out in afew weeks so I still have some time).

good luck


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inexperienced builder - going for performance/quiet
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:50 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 1:02 pm
Posts: 8
So in doing some additional reading, it looks as if a P67 board would probably be sufficient for me, if I could just find one that had the PWM 4-pin connections I'm looking for.

I don't have the links handy, but it seems the P8Z68-V's only have 2 real PWM 4-pin connections. There's apparently a CHA_FAN1 connection that is a 4 pin connection, but it doesn't appear to really be PWM controlled. Combine that with a minimum PWM speed of 60% and I'm not sure that board is the right board.

I just want a reliable board that will help me keep my case quiet and power a 2500k or 2600k (which I take to mean appropriate heat sinks on the bridge, design that enables me to use good coolers, sufficient PWM connections). It would be really nice if it could auto-overclock as well. Is there anything that fits the bill?

I'm looking into that ASUS board. Also, I'm going to leap into finding aftermarket coolers for a 6950 to see if that might be my answer.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inexperienced builder - going for performance/quiet
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:09 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2006 3:44 am
Posts: 12
Teh Noctua Coolers are incredible at keeping your CPU cool, but they have 3 pin fan connectors. They include a dongle that will reduce your fan speed but no 4 pin PCM feedback for speed control. Now from personal expierence running these things at the 9v setting is more than adequate and even at full speed you may not hear them if your video card is not a silent type. So looking for PWM CPU fan on your MOBO is not necessary. This might widen your search somewhat. Also there are limitations on SATA 3.0 ports in the Z68 chipset. I tink it comes with only 2. Most MOBOs add extras.

_________________
Silent pc neophyte


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inexperienced builder - going for performance/quiet
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:11 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:15 pm
Posts: 218
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
I'm considering buying two and running in RAID 1

I've experienced very annoying noises from a RAID 1 system and would suggest using WD Green drives.

In any case for a quiet build I would suggest using WD Green drives.


Last edited by Arbutus on Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inexperienced builder - going for performance/quiet
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:30 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:15 pm
Posts: 218
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
virtually inaudible at idle than it be ultra-quiet at load. When I'm gaming or encoding, a some noise is fine.

It has been demonstrated many times that push-pull fan configurations give very little improvement over single fans whether on the CPU cooler or on the Chassis. If you decide to go for a positive pressure system then perhaps blocking the 2 fan positions on the top of the chassis and using 2 fans on the front of the chassis and on fan on the CPU heat sink will be sufficient. The air will exit out all the unblocked holes on the back of the chassis. Those Scythe fans don't use very much power and you can safely run 3 of them from the CPU fan header using the PWM Y-splitters.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inexperienced builder - going for performance/quiet
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:25 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 1:02 pm
Posts: 8
Arbutus wrote:
virtually inaudible at idle than it be ultra-quiet at load. When I'm gaming or encoding, a some noise is fine.

It has been demonstrated many times that push-pull fan configurations give very little improvement over single fans whether on the CPU cooler or on the Chassis. If you decide to go for a positive pressure system then perhaps blocking the 2 fan positions on the top of the chassis and using 2 fans on the front of the chassis and on fan on the CPU heat sink will be sufficient. The air will exit out all the unblocked holes on the back of the chassis. Those Scythe fans don't use very much power and you can safely run 3 of them from the CPU fan header using the PWM Y-splitters.


That's great info. It means that I'm leaning toward the Thermaltake True Spirit and that I don't really need very many PWM fan connections. I'm still trying to find the perfect motherboard, though (one that allows PWM to go less than 60% on a few connections sounds perfect). Based on what you said (assuming I understand it properly), I could just split the 2 CPU PWM connections on the ASUS p8Z68-V and power the CPU and 3-4 fans and be fine. I do want a positive pressure box, incidentally. I hear they're better for dust management, if nothing else.

What motherboards would you recommend for what I want?

ratsatna wrote:
I heard/read good stuff from the asus DCII 6950 , so this card has my attention now.


Someone forwarded me a link to this review (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/rad ... 41-16.html), which shows that the HIS 6950 IceQ Turbo X is a very quiet, cool running card. I'm going to look at it further when I get more time and see what others are saying.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inexperienced builder - going for performance/quiet
PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:54 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 1:02 pm
Posts: 8
Ok - I did end up buying pretty much all of these parts. i'll post pics at some point, but here are my comments.

First, the P280 is a great case, but difficult to maintain positive pressure because of all its exhaust fans. I ended up adding 2 scythe fans to the front and removing the 3 stock Antec exhaust fans (which are pretty quiet in low mode, but definitely not silent). The 2 front fans are attached to CPU header (alt) and the one top fan is split from my Thermalright True Spirit (the other top fan slot is empty). The rear exhaust is currently on the chassis fan. I think to make it truly silent I'd need to remove the upper fan entirely and cover the upper vents somehow, then connect the rear fan to the CPU's PWM fan speed via a splitter. As it is now, my system is audible in a really silent room, but the sound is almost low enough to be completely unnoticeable.

I bought the Radeon HIS 6950 turbo x card (2GB), which is incredible, really. If the fan speed is less than 30%, you can't hear it. When it ramps up upon load, you can clearly hear it, but the tone is a nice whoosh without any high frequency annoyances at all.

I'm using an old HD until hard drive prices drop, but I don't hear it inside the case.

I'm really happy with the motherboard, processor and everything else. It's a great combination.

I hope this helps....the graphics card was a tough call for me, but I couldn't be happier with how quiet it is. My only comment is that the newer, high-end cards will produce more heat when running multiple monitors, by default. The system temps are in good shape, however, so the fact it runs at about 49C idle doesn't bother me.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inexperienced builder - going for performance/quiet
PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 9:24 pm 
Offline
Moderator

Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 4244
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Congrats on your build. I expect the 6950 is serious overkill for your apps (I get 60fps in WoW at 1920x1080 with a 5770) - nice that's it's inaudible at 30%. Try fixing the fan at <30% in CCC and see if the temps are ok. Multi-monitor and gfx cards - yeah, it's a pain that will be around for a while. Probably 30W adder for you.

_________________
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: Inexperienced builder - going for performance/quiet
PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 5:17 am 
Offline
Friend of SPCR

Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:41 am
Posts: 708
Location: Denmark
Nice to have a report on how a video card model performs acoustically.

_________________
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"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inexperienced builder - going for performance/quiet
PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 8:24 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 4:46 am
Posts: 206
CA_Steve wrote:
Multi-monitor and gfx cards - yeah, it's a pain that will be around for a while. Probably 30W adder for you.


It should be around forever - if a second monitor doesn't increase power draw, it means that the graphics card is wasting energy when only driving a single monitor. Why would you want that? Driving a second monitor is more taxing, period.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inexperienced builder - going for performance/quiet
PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 9:32 am 
Offline
Moderator

Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 4244
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Scrooge wrote:
It should be around forever - if a second monitor doesn't increase power draw, it means that the graphics card is wasting energy when only driving a single monitor. Why would you want that? Driving a second monitor is more taxing, period.


Well, not really. The power "tax" for driving a second monitor that might only be doing idle/2D work is due to GDDR5 issues and TMDS. Here's a quote from Anandtech:

"On that note, for anyone who is curious about idle clockspeeds and power consumption with multiple monitors, it has not changed relative to the 6970. When using a TMDS-type monitor along with any other monitor, AMD has to raise their idle clockspeeds from 350MHz core and 600Mhz memory to 350MHz core and the full 5.5GHz speed for memory, with the power penalty for that being around 30W. Matched timing monitors used exclusively over DisplayPort will continue to be the only way to be able to use multiple monitors without incurring an idle penalty."

_________________
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