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 Post subject: Trying to build a silent work station
PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:22 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:56 am
Posts: 2
Hi all :)

I'm trying to build a silent workstation and I would love some feedback on my current selection of parts.

I knew next to nothing about building a computer a month ago. But I've done a lot of research and especially the information on this website has been extremely helpful. So, thanks a lot for the work that has been put into this great resource :)

My use case: I'll primarily use my computer for working (programming) at home. That mostly includes non-demanding things like editing text. But it also includes some CPU bound things like compiling code and running test suites. Sometimes also running emulators and virtual machines. Besides that I'll use the PC for surfing, light 2D gaming, etc.

Below are the parts I've currently selected.

CPU: Intel - Core i7-8700K 3.7GHz 6-Core Processor ($399.99 @ B&H)
CPU Cooler: Noctua - NH-D15 82.5 CFM CPU Cooler ($88.88 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: MSI - Z370-A PRO ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($109.89 @ OutletPC)
Case: Fractal Design - Define R5 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($99.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: SeaSonic - FOCUS Plus Gold 550W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($60.89 @ Newegg)
Case Fan: 3 x Noctua - NF-A15 PWM 140mm Fan ($21.55 @ Amazon)
Total: $824.29
Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-11-05 11:40 EST-0500

Here are my comments:

CPU: I don't really need a CPU this powerful. But it doesn't hurt and since I've spent so much time researching this build I find it appropriate to also throw in some money as well :wink:
CPU Cooler: This may be overkill for my use case. If there is a cheaper CPU cooler that is as silent I'd
Motherboard: This was the cheapest motherboard for Coffee Lake that I could find. I've noted that it supports PWM fans which I've understood allows for best fan control.
Case: This case seems to be very popular and well reviewed. I've also considered the Fractal Define C case which is similair but smaller. Is there a downside to a smaller case? Is it harder to cool or does it make more noise?
Power Supply: I saw this PSU used in a low-noise build. It is semi-passive and has a 10 warranty. I've not done that much research on PSUs though so I'm not particulairly confident in this choice.
Case Fan: I choose these since I see Noctua fans recommended all the time.

I've not looked at RAM yet but I plan to buy 2 x 8GB sticks. My current laptop has 8GB and sometimes that is not enough.

Any feedback and recomendations will be much appreciated. Thanks in advance :D


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to build a silent work station
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 7109
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Welcome to SPCR.

First comment is Coffee Lake CPUs and 3xx series mobo's are recent releases. I generally recommend waiting for 2-3 months after intro before doing a build to let the bugs/firmware/driver updates settle down. If you like being a beta tester, go for it :)

CPU: If you aren't going to overclock, and you think it's overkill anyway, why not drop down to the i7-8700(non-K)? Apply the savings elsewhere. Heck, if you don't think you'll use 12 threads, you could drop to the i5-8400.

CPU cooler: Scythe Mugen 5 or Ninja 4 are solid alternatives if i7. If i5, then the Scythe Kotetsu.

Mobo: MSI makes decent boards (as do Asus, Asrock and Gigabyte). If you go farther up the stack you can get an Intel LAN and higher end audio solution (if it matters to you). You don't mention if this is a Windows build or Linux...

Case: ok. The smaller Define C with a uATX mobo is a fine alternative...there is less cooling, but...you don't have a 250W gfx card in there, so no worries.

PSU: The few reviews I've seen so far for the Seasonic Focus Gold series look good. Your stressed power load is in the neighborhood of ~130W (assuming i7-8700K). So, the PSU may run fanless for your use.

SSD/storage needs not mentioned...

RAM: Short list recommendation is to look at the mobo's qualified vendor list.

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

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 Post subject: Re: Trying to build a silent work station
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:09 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 3:25 pm
Posts: 29
I'm just about to start a similar build.

i7-8700
ASUS ROG Strix Z370-I
Silverstone NT06-Pro cooler
Silverstone Raven RVZ01B-E case
Silverstone PS-ST55F-PT power supply
Mushkin Redline 16GBx2 2666MHz
Samsung 960 Pro 512GB M.2
Radeon Pro WX3100

I'll need to see if it is quiet enough. I wanted the new Seasonic 550W supply - but could not find it.

I know I can do quieter in a full-size case - but I wanted to see if I could do good enough in a tiny case (14L)

Happy to swap notes once I get it built.


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to build a silent work station
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 3321
Location: Guatemala
paldepind wrote:
CPU: Intel - Core i7-8700K 3.7GHz 6-Core Processor ($399.99 @ B&H)
CPU: I don't really need a CPU this powerful. But it doesn't hurt and since I've spent so much time researching this build I find it appropriate to also throw in some money as well :wink:
Remember a 8700K will run hotter than 4 core or even a 6 core, but if you are really going to take advantage of the extra core/threads go for it. If you will be using hyperthreading go for it, else the 8600K seems like a better buy.

paldepind wrote:
CPU Cooler: Noctua - NH-D15 82.5 CFM CPU Cooler ($88.88 @ OutletPC)
CPU Cooler: This may be overkill for my use case. If there is a cheaper CPU cooler that is as silent I'd
I would recommend to go with Thermalright Macho RevB, to me tonally the Thermalright TY147 its better than noctua NF-A15, you can go Le Grand Macho if you wish to spend more, but the gains are a degree or two.

paldepind wrote:
Motherboard: MSI - Z370-A PRO ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($109.89 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: This was the cheapest motherboard for Coffee Lake that I could find. I've noted that it supports PWM fans which I've understood allows for best fan control.
To me MSI is a good choice, the mobo you chose was tested by der8uer and according to his Battle of the Cheap, was one of the best value boards atm. I prefer MSI to Asus if you wish to control your fans via bios, Asus to me shines on FanXpert, i simply dislike AI Suite so i prefer MSI or AsRock as my choice of boards.

paldepind wrote:
Case: Fractal Design - Define R5 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($99.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: This case seems to be very popular and well reviewed. I've also considered the Fractal Define C case which is similair but smaller. Is there a downside to a smaller case? Is it harder to cool or does it make more noise?
I would prefer the smaller C, unless you do need the mouting of multiple mechanical hdds. Its good to test the included fans first, i would suggest BeQuiet BL066 or BL067 over noctuas.

paldepind wrote:
Power Supply: SeaSonic - FOCUS Plus Gold 550W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($60.89 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: I saw this PSU used in a low-noise build. It is semi-passive and has a 10 warranty. I've not done that much research on PSUs though so I'm not particulairly confident in this choice
I have 0 experience on this new PSU from seasonic, but one that has worked well and gets recommeded a lot are the Corsair RM550x.

paldepind wrote:
I've not looked at RAM yet but I plan to buy 2 x 8GB sticks. My current laptop has 8GB and sometimes that is not enough.
Its best to decide on the mobo and go by the QVL List of memory. About the speed, really depends on what you are doing, but Techpowerup did a very nice analisis on the it, Intel i7-8700K Coffee Lake Memory Benchmark Analysis.

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 Post subject: Re: Trying to build a silent work station
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:35 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:56 am
Posts: 2
Thanks for all the answers. I highly appreciate them :) I'll make sure to research the alternative parts mentioned!

With regards to the CPU. I'll consider downgrading. I definitely don't need the 8700K. I just thought it would be nice to have a really fast CPU :) But, saving money is also nice ;)

CA_Steve wrote:
If you go farther up the stack you can get an Intel LAN and higher end audio solution (if it matters to you).
Thanks for the information. I'll research and see if those things are worth it for me.

CA_Steve wrote:
You don't mention if this is a Windows build or Linux...
I'll be running Linux on the machine. Please let me know if that changes anything.

CA_Steve wrote:
Case: ok. The smaller Define C with a uATX mobo is a fine alternative...there is less cooling, but...you don't have a 250W gfx card in there, so no worries.
Less cooling? Because there is less space for fans, because there is less air in the case, or something else? It is likely that I will buy a GPU later on. But I don't game much and currently I'm playing some 2D games that should run fine on the integrated Intel graphics.

awolfe63 wrote:
I'm just about to start a similar build.
Thank you for sharing. That is a really tiny case :shock: It's very cool! I did take a look at ITX but as far as I could figure it would be more expensive. I'll be having the PC under my desk so size isn't that important to me.

Abula wrote:
I would recommend to go with Thermalright Macho RevB, to me tonally the Thermalright TY147 its better than noctua NF-A15, you can go Le Grand Macho if you wish to spend more, but the gains are a degree or two.
Then I'll probably not be going with the NF-A15. Both the coolers you mention are cheaper than the A15 where I live (denmark).

Abula wrote:
I would prefer the smaller C, unless you do need the mouting of multiple mechanical hdds. Its good to test the included fans first, i would suggest BeQuiet BL066 or BL067 over noctuas
For storage I have a Samsung 850 EVO 500GB and I'd probably also like to install a HDD from my laptop (but the HDD will be off most of the time).

Abula wrote:
About the speed, really depends on what you are doing, but Techpowerup did a very nice analisis on the it, Intel i7-8700K Coffee Lake Memory Benchmark Analysis.
Great link. Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to build a silent work station
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:01 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 7109
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
linux: some mobo mfgrs provide better linux support than others...I suggest looking at the mobo model's driver downloads for linux support and also visiting phoronix.com for all things linux/pc builds.

case: for the same front to rear airflow, the R5 has rear 140mm vs Define C's 120mm...again, unless you throw a high TDP gfx card in there, the differences will be subtle.
- Define R5 comes with two 140mm and has space for 2 front 140mm fans and 1 rear.
- Define C comes with two 120mm and has space for three 120's (or two 140's) in front and one 120 in back.
- Define Mini C comes with two 120mm and has space for three 120's (or two 140's) in front and one 120 in back.

storage: ok

_________________
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

Support SPCR through these links: Amazon and Newegg


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