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 Post subject: Define Mini: NH-C14 interference? HDD decoupling? Case fans?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:31 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 3:17 pm
Posts: 61
Location: Denmark
Greetings. I've been visiting this site since 2004 and have finally decided to make use of the wealth of knowledge accumulated here. Hopefully someone can help me with a few details...

Weary of my nearly 4-year-old Toshiba laptop, I'm planning to build my own desktop. This will be the first time I assemble a PC. I need advice on the following aspects in particular:
  • HDD decoupling
  • CPU cooler clearance
  • Choice and number of case fans

Priorities for this machine:
  1. Very quiet (ideally inaudible)
  2. Stable & reliable
  3. Suitable for everything short of heavy 3D

Likely uses:
  • Web browsing
  • Photo editing
  • HD video editing
  • Light gaming (e.g. Battlefield 1942, released september 2002)
Finally, I will not be overclocking.

Components:
  • Case: Fractal Design Define Mini
  • Power supply: Seasonic X-400
  • Motherboard: Intel DH67GDB3
  • Processor & graphics: Intel Core i7-2600K
  • Memory: 8 GB 1333 MHz (brand depends largely on availability and price)
  • SSD: Intel 510 Series 120GB
  • HDD: Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB WD20EARS :?:
  • HDD mount: TBD :?:
  • CPU cooler: Noctua NH-C14 :?:
  • CPU fans: 2x Scythe Slip Stream 140 500 RPM :?:
  • Case fans: 2x Scythe Slip Stream 140 500 RPM, 4x Scythe Slip Stream 120 500 RPM :?:
  • DVD burner: Sony Optiarc AD-5260S
  • Monitor: Dell U2211H or U2311H (again depending largely on availability)
  • Keyboard & mouse TBD (need hands-on testing)
I am particularly interested in your thoughts on components marked with a :?:. Components in grey are assumed to have no influence on noise and are mostly set in stone.

The Caviar Green seems to be the quietest 3.5" drive out there. I've heard that Fractal Design's HDD mounting leaves something to be desired. I'd get some NoVibes, but I can't seem to find them anywhere in Denmark, and I'm not too sure about the German shops that carry them.

I'm not sure to what extent ordering a fan for every last opening in the case is overkill, but I don't mind spending a bit to cut noise to a minimum, and this will allow me to experiment with all sorts of airflow configurations. I'm under the impression that achieving any given airflow with many slow fans makes less noise than with fewer faster ones. I'm also assuming that minimising the noise created has a higher priority than preventing noise from escaping (e.g. by blocking the side vent).

Unlike many other high-end coolers, the Noctua is widely available in Denmark, and I like the top-down layout. I seem to remember that this cooler may overhang the edge of the motherboard, so I'd be interested in your experience using this heatsink/case(/motherboard) combination. I'm considering a swap for 500 RPM Slip Stream 140s, and since I also intend to use a pair as case fans it makes sense to order them all at once.

These are my thoughts, I hope you will share yours. Please feel free to shoot holes in all this or scare me out of building my own computer. :mrgreen:

_________________
Desktop: Fractal Design Define Mini, Seasonic X-400, Asus P8Z77-M Pro, i7-2700K, Noctua NH-C14, 16 GB RAM, Sapphire HD 7750 Ultimate, 256 GB Samsung 840 Pro, 120 GB Intel 510, 1 TB WD Caviar Green, Sharkoon Vibe Fixer, all fans Scythe Slip Stream, Dell U2412HM
Mummy's desktop: Lian Li PC-Q07A, Seasonic G-360, Intel DH77DF, Celeron G550T, Scythe Big Shuriken, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB Samsung 830, Dell U2212HM


Last edited by Jens Lyn IV on Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Define Mini: NH-C14 interference? HDD decoupling? Case f
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:42 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:15 pm
Posts: 8
Location: CA, USA
Looks like some great components that you have chosen. Your usage and priorities are pretty much in line with mine. I don't have the experience to comment on the parts that you have a direct question on, but I was wondering about your choice of CPU and motherboard. First, unless it's very important for you to have every last bit of performance possible, and your software applications support hyperthreading, you can probably get by with a 2500K processor and save $100 (in the US). The results of several test sites (eg Anandtech suggests that improvements from the 2600k are relatively minor, and that the 2500k offers great "bang for the buck." But if you don't mind spending the extra, then certainly the 2600k will be better. What kind of video editing software will you be using?

I went with an Asrock Z68 matx motherboard in my build, which in the US is the same price as the Intel board that you have listed (don't know about the market in Denmark). The Z68 board seems to have all the features of the H67 board, but with the added features of being able to take advantage of the unlocked multiplier in the K processors as well as the option of adding a discrete GPU in the future. I know that you said you were not interested in overclocking and didn't need a video card, but if all else is equal, wouldn't it be nice to have the option open in the future?

This is especially true since you've chosen a beast of a CPU cooler, and it seems to me like overkill if you aren't going to do any overclocking. You could probably achieve great results with a single fan cooler, especially if you're going for the lowest noise. Just some simple observations!


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 Post subject: Re: Define Mini: NH-C14 interference? HDD decoupling? Case f
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:21 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 2028
Location: Guatemala
I think your build looks solid, all around good components.

Jens Lyn IV wrote:
Unlike many other high-end coolers, the Noctua is widely available in Denmark, and I like the top-down layout. I seem to remember that this cooler may overhang the edge of the motherboard, so I'd be interested in your experience using this heatsink/case(/motherboard) combination. I'm considering a swap for 500 RPM Slip Stream 140s, and since I also intend to use a pair as case fans it makes sense to order them all at once.
I think its a great cooler, but i would also consider Scythe Mugen 3 (not sure if its available in Denmark), but in my experience with the new Sandy Bridge boards (with intels) they come with 4pin PWM fans connectors, so ideally i would go with PWM fan and you can tweak it via BIOS. I bought an Scythe Kama Flex PWM for a recent build, like the Slipstream PWM fan, is a 300rpm to 1600rpm, the intel mobo at stock has it running at 291rpm (you still have the option to crack it up if you need it), to me its inaudible, so for this reason i would go with mugen as it comes with similar PWM fan, and probably better acoustically than my SFLEX.

Another great cooler with a fan is Thermalright HR-02 + Thermalright TR TY-140, the fan is also PWM, the intel mobo has it runing at 701rpm stock, also very quiet fan, i would assume the slipstream is more quiet specially since it dips down to 300rpm, this is also a very tall heatsink.

According to Fractal Define website for the Mini "Supports CPU coolers with height of ca 165mm", so the Mugen3 (158mm) or HR02 (162mm) should fit, kinda tight but if specs are true it should.

I like your choices of case fans, im also planning a build for a home server with Define R3 and going to change the frontal fans to a 500rpm slipstreams and still thinking on using 800rpm on the back with the mugen 3 cooler for the cpu, for your build i would start with only 2 (1xfront 1xback) or 3 (2xfront 1xback) 120mm slipstreams 500rpm and see from there if you need more cooling you can add more fans, the less fans you have the less noisy it will be.

_________________
GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms | Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: Define Mini: NH-C14 interference? HDD decoupling? Case f
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:48 am 
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Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 3:17 pm
Posts: 61
Location: Denmark
Oooh, opinions! :D

The Z68 boards I've found have been significantly more expensive than equivalents with H67. Maybe they're too new here... Edit: what's wrong with the x16 PCIe slot on the DH67GD?

I would prefer PWM fans on the CPU heatsink, but since the case fans will be at the same 500 RPM as the heatsink fans, I don't think any further reduction will make much difference, and the 140 Slip Stream is not yet available with PWM. I agree that too many fans will be detrimental to noise, but I don't have to use every last one just because I paid for them... :P

I'm aware that the 2500K is better value, but I'm not put off by the premium, and hyperthreading makes the most significant difference when encoding, something I expect to dominate my CPU usage. There seems to be some amount of overkill in this list, and yet I just can't manage to mind much. :mrgreen:

I haven't settled on a video editor yet, but I'm not exactly in a hurry because I have yet to get a decent camcorder. I'm very interested in the Panasonic HDC-TM900, but I'd be stretching my budget if I were to buy it at the same time. I'd also want decent desktop audio when editing, and that would certainly be too much at once.

_________________
Desktop: Fractal Design Define Mini, Seasonic X-400, Asus P8Z77-M Pro, i7-2700K, Noctua NH-C14, 16 GB RAM, Sapphire HD 7750 Ultimate, 256 GB Samsung 840 Pro, 120 GB Intel 510, 1 TB WD Caviar Green, Sharkoon Vibe Fixer, all fans Scythe Slip Stream, Dell U2412HM
Mummy's desktop: Lian Li PC-Q07A, Seasonic G-360, Intel DH77DF, Celeron G550T, Scythe Big Shuriken, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB Samsung 830, Dell U2212HM


Last edited by Jens Lyn IV on Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Define Mini: NH-C14 interference? HDD decoupling? Case f
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:02 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 2028
Location: Guatemala
Jens Lyn IV wrote:
I would prefer PWM fans on the CPU heatsink, but since the case fans will be at the same 500 RPM as the heatsink fans, I don't think any further reduction will make much difference, and the 140 Slip Stream is not yet available with PWM. I agree that too many fans will be detrimental to noise, but I don't have to use every last one just because I paid for them... :P
Remember a bigger fan doesn't exactly mean a quieter fan by itself, i would assume a same design and same rpm, the 140mm will be noisier than 120mm, but will also push more air due to the fan blades size. Now if you going to control the rpm via fan controller, then all should fine or better, the 140mm probably can move the same amount of air as the 120mm with less rpms. Now without controlling them, i would go with 120mm over 140mm on equal design and fanblades, etc. The main reason of suggesting the Mugen3 is comes with a fan of the same singature of your case fans (not sure if this will matter much), but slipstreams are very well regarded here, and while probably going below 500rpm might not matter cause of your case fans (in the future you can also undervolt them), you also have the flexibility of going up to 1600rpm if you ever need it, and to what i remember it can ramp up depending on the conditions of the CPU (havent been able to see that with Intel H61 due that HR02 never passes 40C on load at 700rpm). Now what i don't like about the Noctua is simply the fans, not that they are bad (actually in my experience they are fairly good), but still 3pin fans, so you will have to use their connectors for lowering the rpms, but this will only dip down to 800rpm (if i remember correctly), while the mugen slipstream can dip down to 300rpm, or if you are pleased with 500 thats fine, its up to you to tweak via bios to your personal preference.

_________________
GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms | Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: Define Mini: NH-C14 interference? HDD decoupling? Case f
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:23 am 
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Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 3:17 pm
Posts: 61
Location: Denmark
Abula wrote:
same design and same rpm, the 140mm will be noisier than 120mm

Of course. If indeed 500 RPM is still too much, I can try the 9V adapters included with the NH-C14 on the Slip Stream 140s, but then the case fans would probably also bother me, at which point I might get a 6-channel fan controller like the Zalman ZM MFC1 Plus. All speculation at this point because I don't know how "bad" either 500-RPM Slip Stream will sound to my ears.

By all means, keep the opinions coming. :D

_________________
Desktop: Fractal Design Define Mini, Seasonic X-400, Asus P8Z77-M Pro, i7-2700K, Noctua NH-C14, 16 GB RAM, Sapphire HD 7750 Ultimate, 256 GB Samsung 840 Pro, 120 GB Intel 510, 1 TB WD Caviar Green, Sharkoon Vibe Fixer, all fans Scythe Slip Stream, Dell U2412HM
Mummy's desktop: Lian Li PC-Q07A, Seasonic G-360, Intel DH77DF, Celeron G550T, Scythe Big Shuriken, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB Samsung 830, Dell U2212HM


Last edited by Jens Lyn IV on Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Define Mini: NH-C14 interference? HDD decoupling? Case f
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:16 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:56 pm
Posts: 1075
Location: San Jose
Looks like you have a good set of components, but I'm curious about one thing. If you aren't planning to overclock, then why go with the i7 2600k? The i7 2600 should be marginally cheaper, and it won't have the unlocked multipler, so you won't be tempted to OC it. If you want to keep it as an option, ok, I guess that makes sense, but then you may want to think more about a z68 board. I suppose it depends on how much future proofing you feel like you need. If you want to keep the option open, get a z68 and an i7 2600k, otherwise go with an i7 2600 and an h67 board.


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 Post subject: Re: Define Mini: NH-C14 interference? HDD decoupling? Case f
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:31 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 2028
Location: Guatemala
cordis wrote:
Looks like you have a good set of components, but I'm curious about one thing. If you aren't planning to overclock, then why go with the i7 2600k? The i7 2600 should be marginally cheaper, and it won't have the unlocked multipler, so you won't be tempted to OC it. If you want to keep it as an option, ok, I guess that makes sense, but then you may want to think more about a z68 board. I suppose it depends on how much future proofing you feel like you need. If you want to keep the option open, get a z68 and an i7 2600k, otherwise go with an i7 2600 and an h67 board.

There are some people that still go for the i7 2600k for the Intel HD3000, not sure if this the intention of the OP.

_________________
GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms | Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: Define Mini: NH-C14 interference? HDD decoupling? Case f
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:22 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 3:17 pm
Posts: 61
Location: Denmark
Spot on, Abula. For some inexplicable reason, only the unlocked 'K' version has the full-blown '3000' GPU. Keep in mind that the '2000' GPU is cut in half - 6 execution units instead of 12. The fact that I would even consider any kind of 3D games, however old, makes it quite justifiable.

_________________
Desktop: Fractal Design Define Mini, Seasonic X-400, Asus P8Z77-M Pro, i7-2700K, Noctua NH-C14, 16 GB RAM, Sapphire HD 7750 Ultimate, 256 GB Samsung 840 Pro, 120 GB Intel 510, 1 TB WD Caviar Green, Sharkoon Vibe Fixer, all fans Scythe Slip Stream, Dell U2412HM
Mummy's desktop: Lian Li PC-Q07A, Seasonic G-360, Intel DH77DF, Celeron G550T, Scythe Big Shuriken, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB Samsung 830, Dell U2212HM


Last edited by Jens Lyn IV on Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Define Mini: NH-C14 interference? HDD decoupling? Case f
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:32 pm 
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8 fans - you made me :)

Think about getting a Z mobo for this: If, sometime in the future you want to add a graphics card, you still have access to Quick Sync for video encoding. Not sure you keep it w the H67 - eep my bad. there is H67 Virtu support for some cards.

_________________
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, 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: Define Mini: NH-C14 interference? HDD decoupling? Case f
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 3:23 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 3:17 pm
Posts: 61
Location: Denmark
CA_Steve wrote:
8 fans - you made me :)

Go ahead, mock my overindulgence! :P

_________________
Desktop: Fractal Design Define Mini, Seasonic X-400, Asus P8Z77-M Pro, i7-2700K, Noctua NH-C14, 16 GB RAM, Sapphire HD 7750 Ultimate, 256 GB Samsung 840 Pro, 120 GB Intel 510, 1 TB WD Caviar Green, Sharkoon Vibe Fixer, all fans Scythe Slip Stream, Dell U2412HM
Mummy's desktop: Lian Li PC-Q07A, Seasonic G-360, Intel DH77DF, Celeron G550T, Scythe Big Shuriken, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB Samsung 830, Dell U2212HM


Last edited by Jens Lyn IV on Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Define Mini: NH-C14 interference? HDD decoupling? Case f
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:11 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:15 pm
Posts: 8
Location: CA, USA
Jens Lyn IV wrote:
The Z68 boards I've found have been significantly more expensive than equivalents with H67. Maybe they're too new here... Edit: what's wrong with the x16 PCIe slot on the DH67GD?
Oops, didn't mean to imply that you couldn't add a separate video card to the H67 board; I was referring to the discrete video card deactivating the H67 onboard graphics and Quicksync. However, like CA_Steve I just found out that Virtu does work on Intel H67 boards, so that point is moot.

Quote:
I haven't settled on a video editor yet, but I'm not exactly in a hurry because I have yet to get a decent camcorder. I'm very interested in the Panasonic HDC-TM900, but I'd be stretching my budget if I were to buy it at the same time. I'd also want decent desktop audio when editing, and that would certainly be too much at once.
I recently got a Panasonic HDC-TM90 myself (couldn't justify the extra cost of the 3-chip TM900 for what will mainly be home videos of the family). The 1080/60p mode is a sight to behold on an HDTV, and my whole purpose in building my new system was to take advantage of Quicksync to transcode that gorgeous video for uploading to Vimeo. I think you'll be quite pleased with the latest Panasonic HD camcorders!


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 Post subject: Re: Define Mini: NH-C14 interference? HDD decoupling? Case f
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 9:18 am 
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Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 3:17 pm
Posts: 61
Location: Denmark
kendalf wrote:
I was referring to the discrete video card deactivating the H67 onboard graphics and Quicksync.

Oh, well I'm not too concerned about that.

Quote:
I think you'll be quite pleased with the latest Panasonic HD camcorders!

I think so, too. :mrgreen:

Edit: Just calculated the total system cost. Including shipping I'll be paying 12,960 DKK. That converts to about $2,500 USD...

_________________
Desktop: Fractal Design Define Mini, Seasonic X-400, Asus P8Z77-M Pro, i7-2700K, Noctua NH-C14, 16 GB RAM, Sapphire HD 7750 Ultimate, 256 GB Samsung 840 Pro, 120 GB Intel 510, 1 TB WD Caviar Green, Sharkoon Vibe Fixer, all fans Scythe Slip Stream, Dell U2412HM
Mummy's desktop: Lian Li PC-Q07A, Seasonic G-360, Intel DH77DF, Celeron G550T, Scythe Big Shuriken, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB Samsung 830, Dell U2212HM


Last edited by Jens Lyn IV on Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Define Mini: NH-C14 interference? HDD decoupling? Case f
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:58 am 
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Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 3:17 pm
Posts: 61
Location: Denmark
Jens Lyn IV wrote:
  • HDD mount: TBD :?:

Update: I've found a Danish retailer of the Sharkoon "NoVibes lookalike" Vibe Fixer. itdirect.dk

I've also decided to stick to the rest of my list. I'm not buying for another month or two so I'll double check when the time nears, but major changes are unlikely.

Thanks for your thoughts, they were much appreciated. :)

Edit: Built it, gallery here.

_________________
Desktop: Fractal Design Define Mini, Seasonic X-400, Asus P8Z77-M Pro, i7-2700K, Noctua NH-C14, 16 GB RAM, Sapphire HD 7750 Ultimate, 256 GB Samsung 840 Pro, 120 GB Intel 510, 1 TB WD Caviar Green, Sharkoon Vibe Fixer, all fans Scythe Slip Stream, Dell U2412HM
Mummy's desktop: Lian Li PC-Q07A, Seasonic G-360, Intel DH77DF, Celeron G550T, Scythe Big Shuriken, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB Samsung 830, Dell U2212HM


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