I'm new here. I recently started to read all the great reviews/articles on this and others sites
A month ago, when I started my build, I did very little research because I did not have as an objective overclocking or making a "silent" PC... but things change
So my components are not ideal, but in trying to get the most from what I have I would like some advice...
My machine is a i7-960 @ 3.84GHz 1.2375V. It runs reasonably quiet @ 35.3 dbA and not too hot -- 43.5C idle and 78C on Prime. My background noise in the room is 29.3 dbA and the ambient temp was 25.5C that day. All fans on low.
I'm looking to bring it to 4GHz, but not at the expense of making it more noisy.
I run a very quick trial earlier today. A first guess of 1.4V looked promising, but Prime brought my temps to 97-98 and I discontinued the test.
Here is my current set up:
i7-960 Bloomfield @ 3.84GHz 1.2375V
CORSAIR DOMINATOR (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 TR3X6G1600C8D
ZALMAN CNPS9900A LED
Antec Nine Hundred Two Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Extra Antec Tri-Cool fan on the side
XFX Black Edition XPS-850W-BES 850W
2 x ASUS Black 24X DVD+R
Koutech IO-RCM621 All-in-one USB Card Reader
Intel X25-M 80GB SSD
Logitech G500 10 Buttons Dual-mode Scroll Wheel Wired 5700 dpi Mouse
2 x XFX GeForce 8600GT Video Cards
4 x Western Digital Blue 250GB 7200 RPM in RAID 0+1
Here are my temps
Here are my dbA's at about 1m from the case
After some research I figure I would try the following:
1) Replace the Zalman (37C at the fins) with a Megahalems in a push (Noctua NF-P12) pull (Noctua NF-S12B FLX) configuration.
2) Replace the Antec back fan with a second Noctua NF-S12B FLX
3) Somehow add a small Noctua NF-R8 hovering over the memories (45C at the fins, 55C on the mobo left of the memory area)
4) Add a 4PST switch to turn off the HDD and front fans -- most of the time I only need the SSD. BTW, the HDD's run very cool at less than 30C, which is about the case temp.
5) Add Zener Diodes in series with the fans that remain to slow them down and make them quieter.
My main concern is:
Would the Megahalems push/pull configuration be louder than my Zalman with the "quiet" resistor. If it would be any louder I would drop #1, #2 and #3 -- just do #4 and #5 and live with the i7-960 @ 3.84GHz.
Any ideas if I should give it a try?
I want to keep it air cooled, cuz adding water starts a whole new set of challenges
Any other ideas/recommendations?