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 Post subject: Advice on making my system quieter
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 10:34 am 
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Joined: Sat May 26, 2018 9:56 am
Posts: 3
Recently, I did a new build with a Define R6. The noise levels are greatly improved compared to my last build, but I am wondering if there is anything that I can do to further reduce the noise.

Here are the relevant parts of my system:

Case: Fractal Designs Define R6 Tempered Glass(stock fans, closed top)
CPU cooler: Scythe Mugen 5
CPU: i7-8700k
Motherboard: ASRock Z370 Pro4
GPU: MSI Radeon R9 390X GAMING 8GB
PSU: Cooler Master Silent Pro M700

Case fans and CPU fan are connected through the included fan hub. I have not yet tweaked the fan curves yet, because I am getting odd RPM readings from the fan hub. When I have the CPU fan connected directly to the motherboard, it reports around 600RPM on idle and ramps up smoothly to 1200RPM on load. When connected through the fan hub, it reports around 350RPM on idle and stays that way on load. Upon testing, I find that the RPM doesn't change between 10% to 80% power, and only ramps up to 470RPM at 90% and 860RPM ar 100% power. I don't know if this is just a reporting error, so I am waiting for a replacement fan hub from Fractal before tackling this.

Currently, in a quiet room, I hear a slight hiss noise (similar in tone to a sigh) both during idle and on load, with little discernible difference between the two, unless I open the front panel and put my ear right next to the front fans. The PSU fan has a louder low frequency tone (as noted in the SPCR review of this PSU back in 2009), but I don't think I can hear this at a few feet away. The GPU fans do not spin below 55 degrees C, and are not really audible below 1200RPM.

Overall, I am pretty satisfied with the noise performance, but after adjusting the this new normal, I am wondering if there is anything more that I can do. While my system is quiet, it is not completely silent. I read that the stock Dynamic X2 GP-14 fans are very good, but also that certain Noctua and Phantek fans are completely silent at low RPMs. Is some audible noise unavoidable, or will it be possible to significantly reduce noise compared to what I have currently?


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 Post subject: Re: Advice on making my system quieter
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 5:31 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 3321
Location: Guatemala
I would try to run all fans on the motherboard, this will allow you to control each individually and tune them to your liking.

I own AsRock Z370 Taichi, on mine, there are two headers that are switchable on the bios from PWM to DC, in my mobo are the CHA_FAN3 and CPU_OPT (or water pump), this two headers will allow you to control the two Fractal fans that came with the case. I havnet open my R6 yet to tell you what % voltage will they requiere to start, but you can figure it out by booting on bios and setting your personal curves and seeing if they run or not, just some boots into discovering how low they can reach. The past generation ran around 400rpms, my guess is this will also, i dont think you will hear much at those rpms. Change the on the customize to be binded to the CPU temp not the system.

Setting up the bios fan control is easy but takes time to get it to your personal liking, its a bunch of rebooting into the bios to change the graph, but usually what i do is fine the lowest the fans would run, and that would be my breakpoint until 50C (or you can put 55C or 60C), from there you can ramp it up, i prefer a steady but steep graph on this portion, then enter windows and stress your pc, see how it turn out, see what you like and didnt like, and then reboot into bios and tweak it until you get it to your liking, or you decide you want to add more fans or different fans.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on making my system quieter
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 10:50 am 
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Joined: Sat May 26, 2018 9:56 am
Posts: 3
Abula wrote:
I own AsRock Z370 Taichi, on mine, there are two headers that are switchable on the bios from PWM to DC, in my mobo are the CHA_FAN3 and CPU_OPT (or water pump), this two headers will allow you to control the two Fractal fans that came with the case.


Thank you for your reply!

My Pro4 is the entry level Z370 board and is a couple of levels below your Taichi. According to the manual, only the CHA_FAN3/W_PUMP header is switchable between PWM and DC, so only one of my case fans will be controllable. The R6 comes stock with three fans, so even with two DC headers like you, an additional fan controller is necessary.

Would I be able to connect the fan hub (with my three case fans) to CHA_FAN3 and my CPU fan directly to CPU_FAN? In this configuration, I will be able to control the case fans and CPU fan separately. However, only one four pin header on the Fractal hub reports RPM speed to the motherboard, and I don't know if a three pin will work or even fit.

As I mentioned above, I haven't spent time setting up a custom fan curve yet because of the RPM reporting issues with my current fan hub. The default settings are 65% speed up to 50C and ramps to 100% at 80C. With my brief testing, I didn't find a significant difference in noise between 65% and 10% (maybe 1dB, going by ear). Since the reported RPMs are the same between 10% and 65%, I don't know if the fan hub is malfunctioning or if it is just a reporting issue.

Is there a difference between doing the fan curve in BIOS or using the ASRock A-Tuning utility? They appear to offer the same functionality. If I use the utility, I won't have to figure out the minimum speed for the fans to start spinning, and the utility can lower the RPMs once the OS loads.


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 Post subject: Re: Advice on making my system quieter
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 8:27 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 3321
Location: Guatemala
tangiers wrote:
My Pro4 is the entry level Z370 board and is a couple of levels below your Taichi. According to the manual, only the CHA_FAN3/W_PUMP header is switchable between PWM and DC, so only one of my case fans will be controllable. The R6 comes stock with three fans, so even with two DC headers like you, an additional fan controller is necessary.
One thing you should check out, i didnt do it, is that in the past there were only Autodetect headers (usually CPU_FAN and CHA_FAN1) and the rest were pure PWM, this generation, yours as mine, they seems to have two different headers, AUTODETECT and SWITCHABLE, i thought when i bought mine that there were only two switchable and the rest were PWM, and according to the website/manual, the rest are not only PWM but autodetect, in the past autodetect headers sense when you plug a 3pin and switch form PWM to DC, i personally didnt test it on my taichi, but seems they are like that, you dont need to do much, just plug one of the Fractal fans on the a header that its not CHA_FAN3 or W_PUMP, meaning use CHA_FAN1 or CHA_FAN2, and see if you can control it on the bios, simply enter the bios go into the HW monitor, and the search for the fans and click on customize, then go into the graph and drop the initial point to 60% (at 60C), and save the bios and reboot, enter the bios see the speed that its reporting, if its lower then its an autodetect header if it didnt then its PWM.

tangiers wrote:
Would I be able to connect the fan hub (with my three case fans) to CHA_FAN3 and my CPU fan directly to CPU_FAN? In this configuration, I will be able to control the case fans and CPU fan separately. However, only one four pin header on the Fractal hub reports RPM speed to the motherboard, and I don't know if a three pin will work or even fit.
You can plug whatever fan to whatever you want, but i suggest first do the above, and if you can leave the CPU fan on the CPU_FAN header, but in my past build, i needed the two autodetect headers to control the 3pin Silverstone AP182, so i used the CPU_FAN and CHA_FAN1 for case fans, and the CHA_FAN2 for the CPU fan (this one was only PWM), at the end it worked fine, but i would have prefered to keep with the labeling as HWmonitor is pretty good into labeling on windows, not a big deal, just nitpicking.

tangiers wrote:
As I mentioned above, I haven't spent time setting up a custom fan curve yet because of the RPM reporting issues with my current fan hub. The default settings are 65% speed up to 50C and ramps to 100% at 80C. With my brief testing, I didn't find a significant difference in noise between 65% and 10% (maybe 1dB, going by ear). Since the reported RPMs are the same between 10% and 65%, I don't know if the fan hub is malfunctioning or if it is just a reporting issue.
I would avoid using it, but do remember that the hub has one side that its 3pin and the other is 4pin, not sure if the main lead of the hub needs a PWM or 3pin signal, this could be whats causing your issue, that said i still think you can do it without it, try what i said above.

tangiers wrote:
Is there a difference between doing the fan curve in BIOS or using the ASRock A-Tuning utility? They appear to offer the same functionality. If I use the utility, I won't have to figure out the minimum speed for the fans to start spinning, and the utility can lower the RPMs once the OS loads.
I'm a mininmalist, i dislike loading software if i can, sometimes software is bloated with things you dont need and end up using out wanting to use the fan control, Asrock bios fan control is superb, up to you if you want to take the time to set it up rebooting, for me its a 30min tops and once i set it i forget it, not a big deal for me, and bios is at a lower level, meaning that its less likely that have conflicts or issues with other apps or even turn off, etc. But if you like software.... go ahead, i dont think it will be bad, simply you own what i consider the best bios fan control and to me its worth using, but to each to its own.

If you need more help with the bios let me know, ill be around.

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GameMi - Intel i7 8700K + AsRock Z370 Tachi + Asus GTX1080Ti Strix | MiniMi - Intel i7 8700K + ASRock Z370ITX + EVGA GTX1080Ti
StreaMi - Intel i9 7940X + AsRock X299 Taichi + MSI GTX1080 | WorkMi - AMD 1950X + AsRock X399 Taichi + MSI GT1030
ServeMi - Intel Xeon E3-1230 + Supermicro X9SCM-F + 144TB | StoreMi - Intel Xeon E3 1240v5 + Supermicro X11SSM-F + 42TB | CamMi - Intel i7 4770K + MSI H81i + Blue Iris


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 Post subject: Re: Advice on making my system quieter
PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 11:27 am 
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Joined: Sat May 26, 2018 9:56 am
Posts: 3
Thank you for all your advice! I will give all of this a try when my new fan hub arrives, and will report back my results.


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