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 Post subject: Quiet Skylake desktop shopping list
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 3:30 am 
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Hi all,
looking for any extra tips on how to get this build even more quiet than I already expect it to be 8)

* Case: Fractal Design Define R5
This one has been high on my shopping list ever since it was first reviewed. When the Define S came out later on, I saw some potential with that more simplified case as well, as I won't mount an ODD or HDD. But in the end I think I'll stick to the more versatile R5.
* PSU: Corsair RM450
450W will be way overkill for this build, and it's definitely the most expensive PSU I'll have bought so far. But this PSU has very good efficiency at low load, and the "Zero RPM Fan Mode" feature did it for me: under 40% load (180W) the fan stays off. With this build it'll never have to spin up, making it a rather cheap passive PSU :)
* Mobo: Asus Z170M-Plus
My previous builds have almost always had an Asus mobo. I'm happy with the price/quality of the brand, so I'm sticking with it. For me the choice of mobo is between the Z170M-Plus and the more mainstream board H170M-Plus, which is not that different. I found 2 differences: obviously the chipset (Z170/H170) and FanXpert 3 for the first and FanXpert 2+ for the latter.
I don't really need the Z170 chipset, as I don't intend to do overclocking. But it might come in handy for my choice in memory. More on that below.
The difference between FanXpert 3 and 2+ seems to be the lack of Extreme Quite Mode for the latter. Well, as I think to use FanXpert instead of a physical fan controller, I will need to go for FanXpert 3. The price difference between the 2 mobo's is not that big anyway.
* CPU: Intel Core i5-6600
My current desktop has an i5-3550, which runs at 3.3Ghz. So the obvious choice would be the new 3.3 GHz in the stable, which is the i5-6600. At this moment I can get the 6600K (running at 3.5GHz) at the same price, but I expect the price of the non-K CPU will drop soon as availability in stores picks up.
* HSF: Scythe Mugen MAX
The choice of CPU cooler was actually one of the tougher ones... The Kotetsu and Ninja 4 were also well received here at SPCR, so I looked up some reviews at other sites. In the end I went for the Mugen MAX, as (if I've done my research well) the stock fan is the PWM version of the new 14cm reference fan here at SPCR, the GlideStream 140-M. I hope it performs similarly. That, and I like the fact of having a 14cm fan. It's the new norm :wink:
* RAM: Kingston HyperX Fury 2x8GB
My first choice was a 2x8GB kit from Crucial, but this kit from Kingston persuaded me with their lower CL (15 vs 16 @ 2400 MHz). Both were well reviewed and can apparently easily be overclocked to 2667MHz without changing the voltage.
I'm aware that Skylake takes 2133MHz DDR4 DIMMs, so buying 2400MHz would actually mean I start overclocking the system. But the price difference between 2133MHz and 2400MHz rated DIMMs it not that big, so why not go for the higher rated kit... Whether or not I'll try running the RAM at 2667MHz I'm not sure yet. But with the choice of a Z170 chipset I will not have a problem to try that. I'm not sure how the H170 chipset would like it. Guess it would be hit or miss.
* SSD: Samsung 850 EVO 500GB
The 850 Evo is still the SSD to beat in the mainstream SATA SSD world. I'll go for the 500GB model as I won't include a HDD in my next desktop anymore. My current desktop has a 2TB HDD, but as I have a NAS to store documents/photo's/movies/music I never keep more than 200-300GB of temporary data locally on my desktop.
For now I'll stick to a SATA III SSD, as M.2 SSDs with NVMe are still too expensive. As the chosen mobo has an M.2 slot, I might upgrade when prices have come down...

So, you see I've already done quite some research :wink:
Just looking for some opinions how to bring noise levels even further down, eg by replacing one or both of the stock fans in the R5 case. Pugent apparently replaced the stock intake by a Scythe Slipstream 120 in their "Serenity" build, but have kept the stock exhaust (source: page 10).
Or any notes on Asus' FanXpert feature? So far I've used hardware to throttle down fans (Zalman Fan Mates and 5.25" fan controllers). This would be a first for me to rely entirely on software.
Would extra dampening material be overkill? I've padded my current P183 with Nexus DampTek noise absorption foam. Can't tell if it really made a significant difference though...

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Fractal Design Define R5 with stock case fans - Asus Prime X470 Pro - AMD Ryzen 5 3600 - Scythe Mugen 5 PCGH Edition - 2x 8GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3600 CL18 (@CL14) - Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030 Silent - Samsung 970 Evo Plus 500GB - Be quiet! Straight Power 11 450W


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet Skylake desktop shopping list
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 4:40 am 
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Location: ITALY
Freeco wrote:
* PSU: Corsair RM450
450W will be way overkill for this build, and it's definitely the most expensive PSU I'll have bought so far. But this PSU has very good efficiency at low load, and the "Zero RPM Fan Mode" feature did it for me: under 40% load (180W) the fan stays off. With this build it'll never have to spin up, making it a rather cheap passive PSU :)

It's going EOL, and above all it's rather questionable due to parts quality issues. I'd rather something different, you are in Europe, check the BeQuiet! Straight Power E10 400W or the EVGA SuperNOVA G2 550/Super Flower Leadex Gold 550. Another option to consider, if local pricing were favourable, is the newer Corsair RM650i while the long awaited Super Flower Leadex Titanium 550 isn't widely available.


Freeco wrote:
Pugent apparently replaced the stock intake by a Scythe Slipstream 120 in their "Serenity" build, but have kept the stock exhaust (source: page 10).

140mm fans noise is still inferior to the real good 120mm one, but without a direct experience personally I wouldn't think to swap the FD fans.


Freeco wrote:
Or any notes on Asus' FanXpert feature?

If it works, I still prefer SpeedFan, less overhead, more flexibility (though probably it has often proven less precise at temp monitoring).


Freeco wrote:
This would be a first for me to rely entirely on software.

I think you can use the BIOS too, not necessarily the SW.


Freeco wrote:
Would extra dampening material be overkill? I've padded my current P183 with Nexus DampTek noise absorption foam. Can't tell if it really made a significant difference though...

It doesn't matter at all, spare your money (I've still 2 rigs filled with similar things).

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Luca

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 Post subject: Re: Quiet Skylake desktop shopping list
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 6:05 am 
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Location: Belgium
quest_for_silence wrote:
Freeco wrote:
* PSU: Corsair RM450
450W will be way overkill for this build, and it's definitely the most expensive PSU I'll have bought so far. But this PSU has very good efficiency at low load, and the "Zero RPM Fan Mode" feature did it for me: under 40% load (180W) the fan stays off. With this build it'll never have to spin up, making it a rather cheap passive PSU :)

It's going EOL, and above all it's rather questionable due to parts quality issues. I'd rather something different, you are in Europe, check the BeQuiet! Straight Power E10 400W or the EVGA SuperNOVA G2 550/Super Flower Leadex Gold 550. Another option to consider, if local pricing were favourable, is the newer Corsair RM650i while the long awaited Super Flower Leadex Titanium 550 isn't widely available.

I have the BeQuiet on my shortlist as well. It should be efficient and rather quiet as well, and quite a bit cheaper too. But you can't beat 0dB (as long as the fan doesn't spin, that is) ;-)
I don't mind the RM450 will disappear. As long as I can still get on the coming weeks.
The questionable quality you refer to is that the RM series has mostly Chinese/Taiwanese instead of all Japanese capacitors. Honestly... the PSU comes with a 5 year warranty and as mentioned the PSU won't even break a sweat with my choice of components. I don't see it as a problem.

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Fractal Design Define R5 with stock case fans - Asus Prime X470 Pro - AMD Ryzen 5 3600 - Scythe Mugen 5 PCGH Edition - 2x 8GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3600 CL18 (@CL14) - Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030 Silent - Samsung 970 Evo Plus 500GB - Be quiet! Straight Power 11 450W


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet Skylake desktop shopping list
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:13 am 
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What's your main PC use? That will drive some suggestions. Also, I'd suggest waiting until end October to buy...let the mobo firmware/driver update settle down. The non-K parts won't be readily available until next month, anyway.

Case: Nice case, also pretty big for what little is going in there. If no ODD or HDD, there's also the Fractal Define S. (I'd really like to see Fractal update the Define Mini).

mobo: Asus moved a lot of the Fan Xpert functionality into the UEFI...at least for the Z170 reviews I've seen. You might look for H170 reviews as they come out to confirm if this funtionality is there as well. Otherwise, both boards look fine.

cooler: The i5-6600 has just a 65W TDP. So, the Mugen Max will just be more weight and more $'s over the Kotetsu rather than better performance.

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 Post subject: Re: Quiet Skylake desktop shopping list
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 11:18 am 
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Freeco wrote:
But you can't beat 0dB (as long as the fan doesn't spin, that is)

At your expected power draw any BeQuiet E10 will be quieter than all my four 0dB PSUs (Seasonic, FSP).
Don't get foolished by the fanless fantasies: fanless is pointless.


Freeco wrote:
I don't mind the RM450 will disappear.

Although you don't think the RM450 will disappear, EOL (end of life) doesn't mean you cannot find on the shelves: EOL means it's no more up to date (so there's something better for the same money around), EOL means RMA units will be refurbished or different models, and similar occurrences. If you buy a car, don't you ask for a 2015 model but rather for a 2013 one?


Freeco wrote:
The questionable quality you refer to is that the RM series has mostly Chinese/Taiwanese instead of all Japanese capacitors.

Set aside "japanese capacitors" don't exist (they are all made in China), the questionable quality refers to the PSU running passive with low temperature graded capacitors while the internal temp is hotter than normal, in enclosures which likely won't have any forced intake to feed fresh air...


Freeco wrote:
I don't see it as a problem.

It's your call, I don't mind about.

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Luca

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 Post subject: Re: Quiet Skylake desktop shopping list
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:21 am 
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I do agree not to buy right away, I'll wait at least another 2-3 weeks, probably till early October. At the moment I can make my order of the i5-6600 at 4 Dutch or Belgian webshops, but all of them still need to backorder.
It's not that I need a new desktop really quick. The current one still runs. But honestly I've been waiting for Skylake for months now, so it really itches to play around with it. You know the feeling I guess :wink:

My general use case is browsing/researching the web, running some VM's to try stuff out without messing up my actual OS, occasional video and picture editing. I'm no gamer since quite some time anymore, so I don't need a dedicated GPU at all.
I like a snappy computer, but tend to replace it every 3 years or so, so I always go for mainstream stuff. Not that all the parts go in the bin after 3 years. The 'old' desktop gets a new life: it's adopted by my wife for her work for school. She's currently using my Core i5 750.
But it doesn't end there. Her previous PC (Core 2 Duo 6600) (so my previous-previous one) I converted in an HTPC. And her current i5 750 will become a Hyper-V host. I always find new purposes for my hardware :mrgreen:
That justifies quality components, cause all of has to relive several lives with different use cases.

Yeah, I know the Define R5 is quite big for a µATX mobo without any other cards/drives attached to it. Like I said, I paused on the Define S, but as described in previous paragraph, my desktops have several lives so who knows what its future will bring.
In the end a bigger case heats up less quickly, is more versatile, easy to install, more flexible, etc. I have the space for it, so...

The price difference between the Kotetsu and the Mugen Max is only €10. I'll just go for the bulkier one. Money doesn't grow on my back, but it's not that I have to scrape every last penny together at the end of the month. Maybe it won't perform any different, but for a small premium, I'm fine with that. It's not that it's twice the money, like if I'd buy a Noctua.

@Luca, about the Corsair RM, honestly you made me doubt my memory for a moment. As it had been a while I reread some reviews for the Corsair RM series once again, just for peace of mind.
3 for 650W version, 1 specifically for the RM450:
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?na ... t&reid=363
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/80- ... 822-4.html
http://www.kitguru.net/components/power ... ly-review/
http://www.legitreviews.com/corsair-rm6 ... iew_124802
The RM range passed the test well in all 4 reviews. I feel that the criticism of not using all Japanese caps is made by non-objective PSU purist. ;-) As the reviewers say, the Chinese caps might not be as good compared to the Japanese, but they should also get the job done. All 4 reviewers say the quality is great. Only on the Jonny Guru site there's a remark about the 5V pins, but in the end on modern computers that shouldn't be a problem. And as it was an early production model, I expect that problem to be fixed in the meantime.
It might not be the best PSU out there, but it will be a good one for sure. And like I said, the semi-passive fan does it for me. You can’t beat 0 dB. I don't understand your remark about that. Apart if you mean some faint coil whine will also make some noise?
And the Straight Power 10 is also not the latest out there. It's also been on the shelves for a year now. That's how it goes in IT. There's always something new on the horizon.
I'm quite confident I'll be happy with the RM450 for years to come. And if it'd fail, there's a 5 year warranty on it.

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Fractal Design Define R5 with stock case fans - Asus Prime X470 Pro - AMD Ryzen 5 3600 - Scythe Mugen 5 PCGH Edition - 2x 8GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3600 CL18 (@CL14) - Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030 Silent - Samsung 970 Evo Plus 500GB - Be quiet! Straight Power 11 450W


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet Skylake desktop shopping list
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:07 pm 
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Too bad there aren't any DC-input mobo's released, yet. This would be a great candidate for a passive case + power brick...or one of the HDPlex/Streacom cases with a pico-psu style supply. Don't see any sockey 1151 mobo compatibility, yet.

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 Post subject: Re: Quiet Skylake desktop shopping list
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:59 am 
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Freeco wrote:
@Luca, about the Corsair RM, honestly you made me doubt my memory for a moment. As it had been a while I reread some reviews for the Corsair RM series once again, just for peace of mind.
3 for 650W version, 1 specifically for the RM450:
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?na ... t&reid=363
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/80- ... 822-4.html
http://www.kitguru.net/components/power ... ly-review/
http://www.legitreviews.com/corsair-rm6 ... iew_124802
The RM range passed the test well in all 4 reviews. I feel that the criticism of not using all Japanese caps is made by non-objective PSU purist. ;-) As the reviewers say, the Chinese caps might not be as good compared to the Japanese, but they should also get the job done. All 4 reviewers say the quality is great. Only on the Jonny Guru site there's a remark about the 5V pins, but in the end on modern computers that shouldn't be a problem. And as it was an early production model, I expect that problem to be fixed in the meantime.
It might not be the best PSU out there, but it will be a good one for sure. And like I said, the semi-passive fan does it for me. You can’t beat 0 dB. I don't understand your remark about that. Apart if you mean some faint coil whine will also make some noise?
And the Straight Power 10 is also not the latest out there. It's also been on the shelves for a year now. That's how it goes in IT. There's always something new on the horizon.
I'm quite confident I'll be happy with the RM450 for years to come. And if it'd fail, there's a 5 year warranty on it.

I don't want to look haughty, but at the same time I don't appreciate when some people come here formally looking for advices (even just "extra" ones), while more than once they're just looking for someone proves they're right, a confirmation of their own point of view. :twisted:

So (to paraphrase you), "I know the Kotetsu may perform better, but I'll pick the Max as I thought 'cause I like it", "I'll pick that PSU because you can't beat 0dB", "I'll pick a big mid tower for a mATX IGP setup because tomorrow who knows what the tide could bring", "those who thinks different are just overzealous or supercilious"... sorry if I'm too sincere about my thoughts, but frankly that looked like you just showed off, though I may be obviously wrong about this feeling.

Back to my own point, I clearly didn't talk about capacitors brand, but of usage pattern: as a matter of fact, the Corsair product manager who launched the RM series was actually fired (AFAIK), and a new RMi series now superseded it (to be fair, in Corsair's lineup the contemporary CS-M series is taking the RM role, addressing the low end silent computing crowd, while the RMi is definitely an higher grade PSU, probably the best 650 watter in the market, while waiting the Leadex Titanium).

Back in its launch days the RM-series was among the quietest PSUs (I actually recommended them in the past years), effectively addressing with the internal caulking the possibility of PSU coil whine (which plagues other well known platforms): and still it is. On the other hand the questionable choices made by Corsair designers/managers are still there, particularly the idea of using lower grade parts (to gain margins, mainly caps and fan) in an hotter than normal environment (cause it run fanless for a lot of power) leaves doubts, if not uncertainty, because heat is the bane of any electronics (and this is a mere fact, not sort of a purist objection).

Nowadays there are options (like the E10, for instance) which can be as quiet as the original RM (notwithstanding what you said about "0dB", sorry, that's not true, I run 0dB PSU since the venerable Antec Phantom, and my Platimax is actually quieter than my Seasonic fanless units), and which offer at the same time some better performances as well as reliability (because either they use better parts, or they run fanned and with a good fan): in the end, I don't spread fear about the RM, but personally I no longer recommend the RM series (though some are still nice units, noise-wise) over those somehow better options.

Whether you want to stick with it, it's just your call, and as I said, I don't mind about. But at the same time I won't call it the more rational/better choice, nor I'll shut up whether someone seems to say that. :wink:

Have a nice time, and enjoy your upcoming build (and, please, forgive me whether I misunderstood you)! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Quiet Skylake desktop shopping list
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:23 am 
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You're taking my remarks way to personal, Luca :D Like "non-objective PSU purist", I meant that in general and not by any means you. Let that be clear.
We'll forget the whole discussion about PSU's. I'm quite certain it'll be the RM450. If I'd change my mind, my backups are the E10 and the G-360.
More or less the same for the HSF: I had 3 in mind, probably all of them will perform very similar in this build. In the end I choose the one which I think will be best for me. It might be a bit more expensive, but if it gives me more peace of mind, then I'll be happy to pay that small premium.

But let's go back to my opening post. Read my last paragraph: I've done quite some research on the components. It's not all set in stone yet, but I'll need very good reasons why option X is better. And I know I can be hardheaded at times :P
The reason of the post is 3-fold: any tricks to bring noise even further down (eg replace stock fans), any pointers on Fan Xpert (cause I never used it) and would extra dampening material be overkill (linked to the first question I guess)

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 Post subject: Re: Quiet Skylake desktop shopping list
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:50 pm 
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Freeco wrote:
You're taking my remarks way to personal, Luca :D Like "non-objective PSU purist", I meant that in general and not by any means you. Let that be clear.

Don't worry, actually that's not such remark, it's how I perceive your general attitude (sort of stubborn behaviour, a preventive "you won't ever be able to persuade me otherwise").
But as said, I really don't mind, any of us is free to act as he thinks best. :wink:


Freeco wrote:
The reason of the post is 3-fold: any tricks to bring noise even further down (eg replace stock fans), any pointers on Fan Xpert (cause I never used it) and would extra dampening material be overkill (linked to the first question I guess)

Already addressed in my opening post, I think: but as you said, maybe you're hard headed even on that. :twisted:
All in all, there's no problem, even so: at worst, you'll just waste some more money than needed, getting some more personal satisfaction. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Quiet Skylake desktop shopping list
PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 12:08 pm 
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I have SpeedFan on my systems for quite some years now, but didn't use it for throttling down the fan speed. As mentioned earlier, I used FanMates and in my last build a 5.25" controller.
I use SpeedFan occasionally for sensor readings, but it's not my sole source for that. Plenty of other tools that can do that. My problem with SpeedFan is that it's not that user friendly to control fans, or maybe just not that intuitive. Perhaps it just needs some RTFM :)

I think I'll just try the Fan Xpert software. See what it does. If it's not what I expect it to be, I can still deep dive into SF, and if all else fails I'm not throwing away my trusty fan controller. The Define R5 can accommodate it, the Define S can't.

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 Post subject: Re: Quiet Skylake desktop shopping list
PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 12:50 pm 
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It might be worth seeing what that BIOS fan configuration and tuning facilities can do first. Generally with Asus boards simply selecting the BIOS Silent option for both the CPU and case fans should yield the lowest idle speeds. But the later versions of Fan Xpert can normally reduce these speeds even more, with the R5 case fans for example down to a minimum of around 500 rpm.


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet Skylake desktop shopping list
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:00 pm 
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Excuse me for blowing a bit of dust off this thread :wink:
I've been using this build for the past 3 months now, and I'm absolutely happy with it. Noise-wise I was content with my previous P183 build, but this even takes it to a whole other level.

Asus' Fan Xpert 3 feature really comes through.
For stock case fans this pair of Fractal Design Dynamic GP14 really positively surprised me. No need to replace these.
The Scythe Mugen Max also does its job keeping the CPU cool very well.

The 14cm intake spins up when the CPU reaches +35°C. So most of the time this fan is stopped.
With the computer at idle state the other 2 14cm fans run at a slow 325/500 RPMs. Inaudible from 1m away! I didn't even have to use silicone grommets to mount them.
Even fully stressed (Prime95+Furmark) I really have to focus to hear these fans running. Fan speeds gradually increase as the CPU temp goes up. Max CPU temp while stressing was 47°C (27°C over ambient) which translates to these fan speeds: Intake @ 575, CPU @ 420, Exhaust @ 690 RPM.
And as the max measured power consumption of the whole build is only 90W, the fan in the Corsair RM450 doesn't spin up... ever... :)
Idle power consumption is 19W, btw.

Looking forward to my next little project: my HTPC is up for replacement. The parts are on the way 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Quiet Skylake desktop shopping list
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:45 pm 
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Very nice. :) 19W idle is very good. I expected it to be higher since you're using an Asus board as well as a normal ATX PSU.

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Main: ASRock B85M-ITX | i3-4330 | 16GB DDR3 | Intel 730 240GB | HDPLEX H1-S | picoPSU | No moving parts | Idle 13.9W
HTPC: ASRock H81M-ITX | Pentium G3420 | 4GB DDR3 | Intel 535 120GB | HDPLEX H1-S | picoPSU | No moving parts | Idle 11.2W
Gaming: Intel DH77EB | i5-3570K | GTX 1060 6GB | 16GB DDR3 | TJ08-E | RM750X
Server: ASRock N3150-ITX | ~30TB | G-360 | Idle ~25W


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