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 Post subject: sub-€ 1000 gaming PC, as silent as possible, no overclocki
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 12:31 pm 
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Location: The Netherlands
Enclosure and power supply

Should I get an Antec Solo with a Corsair VX450W, or should I get an Antec Sonota Plus 550 which comes with an Antec NeoPower 550 power supply? Both enclosures are identical AFAIK, except for the Solo not including a power supply. The VX450W is recommended by silentpcreview and produces 21/22 dBA. The NeoPower 550 has a 80mm fan while the VX450W has a 120mm fan, but according to the specs it produces less than 18 dBA. Does anyone have an idea how credible that 18 dBA figure is? Unfortunately the NeoPower 550 hasn't been reviewed by silentpcreview, and I haven't seen any noise measurements in reviews of other websites. Because I have certainty that the VX450W is quiet thanks to the silentpcreview review I'm tempted to buy it, but the NeoPower is a modular power supply and I'd prefer to buy an enclosure which includes a power supply.

Motherboard

Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3. I don't need RAID or DDR3, so this cheap motherboard is good enough for me.

CPU

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450. It's not released yet, but I can wait. Consumes less energy and produces less heat than the current Q6600.

Thermal grease

Zalman ZM-STG1 seems to transfer heat better than Arctic Silver 5, and is easier to apply.

CPU heatsink

Should I get a Scythe Infinity/Mugen, or a Scythe Ninja (SCNJ-1100P Ninja Rev. B)? At this moment I think the Ninja is a better choice. It's slightly smaller than the Infinity, according to the silentpcreview review it's better in situations with low airflow or passive cooling.

Video card

I'm going to buy a MSI NX8800GT-T2D512E-OC, one of the cheapest 8800 GT's which is clocked higher than the competition. I've had my eyes on Sparkle's passive 8800 GT, but for the price difference I could buy the MSI 8800 GT and an aftermarket cooler to cool it passively, and spend less money.

Video card heatsink
Should I buy an Arctic Cooling Accelero S1 or a Thermalright HR-03 GT? The Accelero S1 is cheap, but probably (?) won't perform as good as good as the HR-03 GT. I was thinking that if I mount the HR-03 GT backwards, i.e. in such a way that the heatsink faces the back of the 8800 GT, the 8800 GT wouldn't 'block' it's own heat as much (since hot air always rises, and videocards always face downwards to the bottom of the enclosure) and that the heat would be more easily transferred out of the case because the heatsink is closer to the outtake fan of the enclosure then. But on the other hand while the Accelero S1 is something like € 15 the HR-03 GT is something like € 40. If the HR-03 GT doesn't perform a lot better I think I'd rather save the money and buy an Accelero S1.

Fans

Will one outtake fan undervolted to 7V provide enough cooling? Is one outtake fan at 7V and one fan at 7V on the Scythe Ninja enough? Or should I put a fan at 7V on the 8800GT as well, because the outtake fan isn't enough to cool it passively? I intend to buy the Nexus Real Silent D12SL-12 120mm fans because they're one of the best according to silentpcreview, the Noctua fans are too expensive. I'm replacing the Antec TriCool included in the Antec enclosure with a Nexus. I'm going to buy the black ones of course, orange fans are ugly.

Fan undervolting cables

To undervolt the fans to 7V I think I'm going to buy the Nexus three-speed fan cable (can't post URL's in my first post, but it's listed under "Accessoires" at their website). However, that cable has three ends and if use two cables to connect them to two fans, it would probably become a bit crowded with cables. I'd also have to connect that cable to the power supply. The NRC-1000 is smaller and connects to the motherboard, I'd rather use this one, but it can only undervolt to 10V. I don't know if that would be much of a difference with 7V, but because these cables cost only 2 or 3 Euros I guess I'll just buy two of both and hear for myself. But I wonder if it useful to undervolt the Nexus fans to 7V so they produce less than 19 dBA, if the VX450W would still produce at least 21 dBA? Or is it useful because dBA's are 'cumulative', which would mean that the Nexus fans would add to the noise even if the VX450W would produce more noise than the Nexus fans?

Memory

Kingston KVR667D2N5K2/2G is cheap PC-5300 memory. With the Q9450 operating on a FSB frequency of 1333 Mhz, it runs synchronous AFAIK. Faster memory or a lower CAS latency isn't useful then since I don't intend to overclock, and the difference won't be much.

DVD drive

The Lite-ON LH-20A1S has a SATA connection and does well in the reviews I've read.

Harddisk

A Samsung SpinPoint T166 320 GB. Once it becomes available, probably a Samsung Spinpoint F1 320 GB which has only one platter, which means that it's probably more silent.



Summary

I'd love to hear comments on all my choices, but the choices which concern me the most are:

The Antec NeoPower 550 included in the Antec Sonata Plus vs. the Corsair VX450W.
The Scythe Ninja vs. the Scythe Infinity/Mugen.
The Arctic Accelero S1 vs. the Thermalright HR-03 GT

Thanks in advance to anyone who has replied. I'd like to say something to the people behind silentpcreview as well, thanks a lot for all the highly detailed information and reviews on the website! It's a bit of a pity though that there haven't been much reviews covering the latest hardware recently, including the power supply and the video card heatsinks I'm considering to buy. Keep up the great work.


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 Post subject: Re: sub-€ 1000 gaming PC, as silent as possible, no overcl
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 1:03 pm 
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Posts: 322
Location: Netherlands
F for Fragging wrote:
Video card heatsink
Should I buy an Arctic Cooling Accelero S1 or a Thermalright HR-03 GT? The Accelero S1 is cheap, but probably (?) won't perform as good as good as the HR-03 GT. I was thinking that if I mount the HR-03 GT backwards, i.e. in such a way that the heatsink faces the back of the 8800 GT, the 8800 GT wouldn't 'block' it's own heat as much (since hot air always rises, and videocards always face downwards to the bottom of the enclosure) and that the heat would be more easily transferred out of the case because the heatsink is closer to the outtake fan of the enclosure then. But on the other hand while the Accelero S1 is something like € 15 the HR-03 GT is something like € 40. If the HR-03 GT doesn't perform a lot better I think I'd rather save the money and buy an Accelero S1.


I think the S1 and HR03 GT are at pretty much similar performance. The HR obviously has the nice effect of putting the sink on the back of the card, which may be better when having no or a limited intake fan, or having a case like the Lian Li A05, where your VGA gets completely bypassed if it has a traditional cooling solution.

Quote:
Fans

Will one outtake fan undervolted to 7V provide enough cooling? Is one outtake fan at 7V and one fan at 7V on the Scythe Ninja enough? Or should I put a fan at 7V on the 8800GT as well, because the outtake fan isn't enough to cool it passively? I intend to buy the Nexus Real Silent D12SL-12 120mm fans because they're one of the best according to silentpcreview, the Noctua fans are too expensive. I'm replacing the Antec TriCool included in the Antec enclosure with a Nexus. I'm going to buy the black ones of course, orange fans are ugly.


I have the black Nexus fans and am very happy with them. The price/performance level just can't be beat by the Noctuas.
As for adding a fan at the bottom, you might want to take a look at my post here. It'll give a comparison of temperatures on my VGA using pretty much your setup, except the case is a p180.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 2:17 pm 
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Either way, you're gonna want some sort of fan blowing over the video card heatsink. I have an 8800GT with an HR-03 GT in a P150 and without a fan, it gets hot when I'm stressing the video. Since you can just lay a 92mm fan on top of the HR-03 GT, I'd recommend that over the S1, but I can understand the allure (cold, hard cash-wise) of the S1.

Oh, and either way, the RAMSinks that come with the S1 and HR-03 suck. Either invest in some epoxy or make sure there is plenty of clearance underneath in the event that one decides to prematurely depart the card.

-D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 12:35 pm 
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Thanks for the comments guys. But derevka, I'm not really sure... in AnandTech's review of Sparkle's passive 8800GT that videocard reached 111 °C in the worst case scenario, but it still functioned properly. And according to Arctic and Thermalright's websites, it's not essential that you use active cooling. And seraphyn's temperature of 78 °C with a fanless S1 seems ok to me.

I don't think it's a big deal how hot a passively cooled 8800GT gets, I'm not going to overclock anyway.



But I'd really appreciate some advice on the choice between the Corsair VX450W and the Antec TruePower 550 which comes with the Antec Sonata Plus 550. Could anyone please comment on how credible their figure of less than 18 dBA is for a power supply with a 80mm fan? I've searched all over with Google, but I didn't find any measurements, I would really appreciate a comment on this.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 1:29 pm 
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Posts: 169
Location: Denmark
I have a somewhat similar setup as you have en mind.

Ninja Plus with stock fan @ 700rpm
Intel E6750 @ 1,2V stock speed
Gigabyte P35 S3
Scythe S-Flex @ 700rpm
Antec Solo
Samsung T166 (using the elastic mounting system of the Solo eliminating all vibration)
Geforce 8800GT with Accelero S1 (43C idle, havent stressed it yet, but I can report the highest temp I reach if you like)
Corsair HX520

I'm very happy with the setup, it's very quiet, but not silent, I think the harddrive and PSU are the noisiest components now :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 1:51 pm 
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Personally, I'd ensure some forced airflow across the vidcard. An 8800GT produces a lot of heat, some of which will end up affecting the CPU and motherboard components as well. A quiet fan isn't going to add much noise; your HDD and PSU are the limiters, and they will hold you no lower than 21-22 dBA at best, so what's another half db or so?

The VX450 is better than the stock Antec. That 18 dBA spec is very hard to verify; I don't believe it.

My #1 choice among fans these days is the Scythe SlipStream. They are less tonal and blow more air at the same RPM. Sometimes this means slightly higher wind noise. Conversely, less noise for the same cooling. They beat the Nexus by a small margin. (And no, this does not mean Nexus gets displaced as reference fans in tests -- because reference is simply a benchmark to compare -- both below and above. Not changing the benchmark as long as possible gives us a bigger database of comparable test results from reviews.)

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Last edited by MikeC on Fri Dec 14, 2007 6:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 3:21 am 
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Thank you sorenbro, good to hear that you are satisfied with your config. The 43 °C temperature your reached with the Accelero S1, is that with or without active cooling? And if you could post your stressed temperature of the 8800 GT, please do.

MikeC, I'm glad to see the man behind the website comment on my post :D. Thank you for your comment. I've been able to make a decision, I'm going to buy the following:

Antec Solo
Corsair VX450W
Scythe Ninja
Arctic Cooling Accelero S1
3 x 800 rpm Scythe Slip Stream to replace the stock outtake fan of the Antec Solo, to replace the stock fan of the Scythe Ninja, and to place on the Accelero S1, all without undervolting because 800 rpm will be quiet enough

I had to search a bit for the Scythe Slip Stream fans, and so far I've only been able to find one internet shop selling them in my country (The Netherlands). But at € 6,90 it seems to be a very good deal, lowest price I can find for the Nexus is € 6,50. The figure of 40,17 CFM at 800 rpm seems to be quite good in comparison to 35 CFM at 850 rpm for the Nexus fan. Only the figure of 10,70 dBA which Scythe specifies on their website seems to be unrealistically low, but it will probably be under 20 dBA at 1 meter I assume?

If the Slip Stream fans are your favorite, I assume you'll publish a review about them? I'm also wondering how Noctua's new fans will perform, even if they are a bit too expensive for my taste. But you seem to be working on it already.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 2:25 pm 
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MikeC why would you attach a fan to the GPU? That would only propel the heat upwards, which is the way it will go on its own.

Just stressed the 8800GT with an hours Need for Speed Pro Street, and the highest temp i achieved was 59celcius, so not bad at all. And this is totally passive cooling, system has one 120mm Scythe @ 700rpm exhaust and one Scythe 120mm @ 700 on the Ninja, and of course the Corsair PSU 120mm.

F for Fragging
I would say that you can hang onto the stock Scythe fan that comes with the Ninja, it's almost as quiet as the S-Flex.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 8:09 am 
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sorenbro wrote:
MikeC why would you attach a fan to the GPU? That would only propel the heat upwards, which is the way it will go on its own.

You misquote me. I never said anything about attaching a fan or what direction it should blow. What I said was...
Quote:
Personally, I'd ensure some forced airflow across the vidcard.

In the cases the OP is considering, the obvious position for a fan to help cool the GPU is at one of the front intake closest to the card.

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