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 Post subject: Do I need a separate HSF for this HTPC build?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:20 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:53 am
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This is what I've got in mind:
Antec Solo II
SeaSonic SSR-450RM
Some H77 motherboard with an LGA1155 socket
Core i3-3220
Samsung 840 Pro + WD Green 1TB
Geforce GTX 650 Ti
Blu-Ray drive

The case is going on the floor, below a TV. I'll be sitting about 10 feet away from it. Ideally, I would not like to hear the CPU fan at all, but I can live with quiet.

Will the stock HSF be good enough, or do I need a separate one? And what would be recommended, given the above build? I have no intention of overclocking the CPU, ever.


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 Post subject: Re: Do I need a separate HSF for this HTPC build?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:40 am 
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ikantspelwurdz wrote:
Will the stock HSF be good enough, or do I need a separate one? And what would be recommended, given the above build? I have no intention of overclocking the CPU, ever.

At 10', it should be ok. I'd add a front fan for lower case temp-> lower CPU and GPU fan speeds as the Solo is a little starved for air with just the rear fan. You could make that two slow rpm fans and get positive pressure in the case (less dust build up).

If you want to play it safe, you could get the Thermalright TRUE Spirit 120m (~$40) and run it at low rpm.

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 Post subject: Re: Do I need a separate HSF for this HTPC build?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:13 am 
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I have a very similar build to your for my HTPC on my siganture in case you want to see some info, i have power consumptions and temps under watching a movie, etc.

I think your choice of the case is very good specially for having a mechancial hdd on the suspesion on the solo. I do have some suggestions though.

1) FANS
Add fans to the front, very low rpms, in my case i spin them around 300-400rpm and even under load i have very good temps (check my sig). Im using an intel motherboard, that allow the pwm fan to be spin down that low. My suggestion goes into soemthing similar, either intel motherboard or Asus that has fanxpert2. If you can find them in stock, Scythe Slipstream PWM SY1225SL12LM-P are really good case fans, thier 300-1300rpm gives you a wide range of operation, very similar to my Kamaflex2 pwm that i use. If you go with Asus board with FanXpert2, you can also control 3pin fans, so you could go with fans Noiseblocker M12-S1 (expensive but very good fan, if you can control it) or Scythe Gentle Typhoon 800rpm (very hard to get atm), both reviewed by SPCR, Fan Roundup #6: Scythe, Noiseblocker, Antec, Nexus, Thermalright. Another alternative for fans, is the clasic Nexus Basic 120mm D12SL-12, but keep in mind that you will need to undervolt it as its 1000rpm on 12V.

2) PSU
The seasonic G series is a great PSU, but it will spin from start, and the solo II has open the top, so the fan so its a opening for noise to get out, with this in mind, specially for you not to hear at least the psu i would go fanless or hybrid,

Rosewill SilentNight-500 $140, its totally fanless, 500W PSU, its a rebrand from sunflower 500w fanless, it was reviewed by SPCR recently and came out really well, Rosewill Silent Night 500 Platinum 80 Plus

Seasonic 560W 80 Plus Gold ATX 12V/EPS 12V Power Supply - X-560 SS-560KM $115 - a hybrid PSU and fully modular, that will be passive under light load and active under heavy load, but still very quiet, i have been running a X660 for two years on my gaming rig and i never can hear it even under the load of a GTX580. Its very nice PSU for the money, its out of stock atm in amazon but you can preorder it and wait a couple of week for them to ship it, @ $115 i think its the best quiet PSU for the money for you. X400/X460 are more expensive.

With that said, i just did a build for a friend an Silverstone PS07 and it also has an open top, and did it with G550 and to me under light load i cant hear it, but its not on a noise free envoirement like watching movies etc. So its your call if you go with G series.

3) Heatsink
For me i cant stand intel coolers specially under load.... but each person is different in terms of what bothers them. In my HTPC build (on my sig) i used a Scythe Mugen3 which even under load of a very similar cpu than what you want, its stays under 60C even with the fan at 300rpm, so my suggestion is to get Thermalright HR-02 macho $43, wonderful cooler for the money, check if solo has the 162mm clearance needed for the macho though, also read the SPCR review for more info, Thermalright HR-02 Macho Quiet/Fanless Cooler. The fan included on the macho is very decent for me, specially at 700rpm is very quiet, but if you want more quiet then get another scythe slipstream pwm and use it at 300rpm it should be enough to cool down the 3220 easily, you might be able to go fanless if you add the frontal fan to the hdd cage as its in line with it.... again you will have to the testing and see how are the temps for you to decide if its viable.

4) Motherboard
I would recommend to go with Intel or Asus (only with fanXpert2), get one that has the 1st pcie slot as 1x, so the 16x pcie is the second, this will allow you to install large heatsinks like the HR02-Macho or even super big twin tower coolers like noctua NH-D14. (whatever you go check the clearance with the solo II).

5) GPU
If you follow the above, this imo is what going to end up as the biggest noise, so chose carefully what you go for, i went with fanless GTS450 and i strapped a 120mm fan to it (300rpm and its inaudible). In the past many have liked the MSI design on this cards, i never have tested them but you can search spcr forum for others opinion, MSI NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti. As an option if you were to consider AMD, they also have 7790/7850 fanless models.

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DESKTOP >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4770K | Thermalright HR-22 + TY150 @550rpm | Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme III | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @225rpm | SeaSonic X-660
Other builds -->> Server | HTPC | Download Station


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 Post subject: Re: Do I need a separate HSF for this HTPC build?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:53 am
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I'm not completely sold on Fan Xpert2. I can get a mini ITX H77 motherboard for about $100. A brief look at motherboards on Newegg with Fan Xpert2 shows items costing over $200. I'm not really sure what that extra $100+ gains me, especially since the total cost of my build is breaking the $1000 barrier as it is. Considering that midrange stuff is going in the box, and that I'm not going to overclock any of it, what would be the practical downside to just having the fans run at a constant RPM? Or is there a purpose to Fan Xpert2 that I'm unaware of?

This is the motherboard I'm considering, mainly for its integrated wifi:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813128567

I know it hasn't got much (if anything) in terms of fan control, but again, I'm not really sure why I need that.


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 Post subject: Re: Do I need a separate HSF for this HTPC build?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:35 pm 
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i believe you can put fanexpert2 on some of the boards that only come with fanexpert+. i thought i saw an article on republic of gamers.... but cant find it now.

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Last edited by xan_user on Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Do I need a separate HSF for this HTPC build?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:05 pm 
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Location: Guatemala
ikantspelwurdz wrote:
what would be the practical downside to just having the fans run at a constant RPM? Or is there a purpose to Fan Xpert2 that I'm unaware of?
FanXpert2 is just a piece of software that will allow you to control your fans, even past below what the bios restrict in most cases, it can control PWM and 3pin fans, there is other software that can do this, like speedfan (as long as it can see the sensors). Specially if you don't wish to control your fan under conditions, then disregard it totally, there is no value to you into what fanXpert2 can give. Just buy whatever fans you feel they are good enough, and run then 12V, if its noisy undervolt them.

But for me is extremely important, what fanXpert2 will give me is a quieter setup when i do care about noise, let say working (2am) or watching a movie, as it will decrease the fan speeds depending on the conditions, and when i dont mind the extra fan noise, like gaming/listening to music with my heaphones, then ramp the fans up and give me better temps.

Remember there are other tools like speedfan, or even your motherboard might come with some, like gigabyte has easytune (to what i remember was not that good), for you to play around. On the worst scenario, if your 3pin 12V fans are too loud and you cant control them via software/bios then just get a fan controller and call it.

Now if you find it worth it... but its the price you are not willing to pay, then wait a couple of months for Haswell dual cores to arrive. Asus has placed fanXpert2 on more entry level boards (before was as you said on $200, now its more like $100), there are motherboard that are not meant for overclocking that are cheap like ASUS B85-PLUS $99 or ASUS H87-PLUS $109 if you want/need HDMI.

Image

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DESKTOP >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4770K | Thermalright HR-22 + TY150 @550rpm | Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme III | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @225rpm | SeaSonic X-660
Other builds -->> Server | HTPC | Download Station


Last edited by Abula on Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Do I need a separate HSF for this HTPC build?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:11 pm 
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The primary diff between Fan Xpert2 and Fan Xpert+ is the former can be set to turn the fans off at low temps. With Fan Xpert+, you can just set a minimum rpm.

As for which Asus mobo to buy, wander Newegg and look at the feature sets as well as the reviews. There's a year's worth of reviews and some of the boards appear to be better built (less returns) than the others.

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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)


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 Post subject: Re: Do I need a separate HSF for this HTPC build?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:39 pm 
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Why look at mini-ITX boards when your case supports m-ATX? To much money to spend?


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 Post subject: Re: Do I need a separate HSF for this HTPC build?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:23 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 11, 2013 8:33 am
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I've run an i3-3220 with a Xigmatek Gaia and it ran in the high 50's/low 60's when stress testing at 100% CPU load.

Any way, pretty much any heat sink using a 120mm fan will give very good temperatures with a CPU that generates so little heat.

The Intel heat sink is quite small but in terms of noise it can't compete with a low rpm 120mm fan so a $20 heat sink like the Gaia seems like the sweet spot to me, hard to go cheaper and spending more has severely diminishing returns unless you're trying to go passive which doesn't seem to work out nearly as well (huge, heavy, expensive heat sinks that block ram, no MOSFET cooling for the motherboard and high temps).


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 Post subject: Re: Do I need a separate HSF for this HTPC build?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:21 am 
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Quote:
But for me is extremely important, what fanXpert2 will give me is a quieter setup when i do care about noise, let say working (2am) or watching a movie, as it will decrease the fan speeds depending on the conditions, and when i dont mind the extra fan noise, like gaming/listening to music with my heaphones, then ramp the fans up and give me better temps.

I do care about noise, but why not keep the fans at low RPM all the time? I know it means higher temps, but here's my thinking about temps (and please correct me if I'm wrong) - there's a safe threshold, and either you're below it or above it, and you're fine as long as you're below it. I've had my current desktop for about six years now, the case fans are Antec TriCools running at low RPM and the CPU cooler is a tower-style metal block with a large fan, and I haven't given temperature a thought since I built it.

Quote:
Now if you find it worth it... but its the price you are not willing to pay, then wait a couple of months for Haswell dual cores to arrive.

I will probably do that. I'm not likely to buy the parts for a few months anyway, and I didn't know Haswell dual cores were coming.

I don't need HDMI, since I'm getting a GPU separately, but this seems to be standard on the Hx7 boards anyway.

Quote:
$20 heat sink like the Gaia seems like the sweet spot to me

A $20 heat sink seems very attractive, but how quiet is it, compared to the $80+ ones? Actually, does the heat sink itself make any difference in terms of noise, or is it just the fan? If a $20 heat sink is going to be just as quiet as anything, then I guess there's not much reason to spend extra - I figure any heat sink is going to be at least as good at cooling as the stock, which itself should be good enough for stock speeds.


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 Post subject: Re: Do I need a separate HSF for this HTPC build?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:43 am 
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ikantspelwurdz wrote:
A $20 heat sink seems very attractive, but how quiet is it, compared to the $80+ ones? Actually, does the heat sink itself make any difference in terms of noise, or is it just the fan? If a $20 heat sink is going to be just as quiet as anything, then I guess there's not much reason to spend extra - I figure any heat sink is going to be at least as good at cooling as the stock, which itself should be good enough for stock speeds.


It is mainly the fan, if the cooler has a solid base construction. 80$ coolers do not necessarily have better fans, but most do. The main difference is that a 20$ modell will not be good enough when using extreme OC.

My personal choice would be Gaia or CM 212+ EVO to start with. If the noise isn't what i'd expect, a 10-15$ fan will outperform the stock fan noisewise.


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 Post subject: Re: Do I need a separate HSF for this HTPC build?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:40 pm 
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I read that Haswells run hotter than Ivy Bridges. Will a Gaia or Hyper 212 EVO still be good enough for a stock clocked Haswell?


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 Post subject: Re: Do I need a separate HSF for this HTPC build?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:32 pm 
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Heat pipe technology is pretty weird but the heat pipes work incredibly well compared to a solid copper heat sink.

The Gaia (and 212 I think) uses direct touch heat pipes that are swaged flat for good CPU contact and its bigger than a 92mm tower heat sink and those work fine too.

If you push enough air flow through a Gaia, I doubt you could find a CPU that would run too hot with that heat sink. Stress testing a Sandy Bridge i7 with the stock fan might get a bit warm for some but add a second fan or a single high performance fan and it should cool down at the expense of some noise.

That's always the tradeoff. Big expensive heat sinks just give you a little less noise and/or slightly lower temps if all else remains equal.

With an i3, you can't get much quieter because the Gaia fan isn't very loud and you don't need lower temps because low 60s are fine and you can't over clock an i3 any way.

There is nothing wrong with running a $$$ heat sink but it just won't improve your PC very much if at all.

There is nothing wrong with running the box heat sink either but I like the budget upgrade because in my opinion a $20 heat sink gives 95% of the benefit of a $60 heat sink unless you are heavily over clocking things.


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