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 Post subject: Can I Make an i7 Reasonably Quiet?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:16 am 
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My goal is to build a system that has enough horsepower for software development without spending an arm and a leg. I've already decided on the following components:

    CPU - BX80601950 [i7-950 Bloomfield][socket 1366]
    MoBo - ASUS Sabertooth X58 [full ATX]
    Mem - 3 * 2 GiBi PC3-8500
    Vid - PNY GeForce 9400GT

That's about it, other than a couple of drives. I don't plan on overclocking.

The reviews of the 9400 indicate that it is already "fairly quiet", but not so for the i7. One reviewer called Intel's fan & heatsink "junk". I've already resigned myself to getting a replacement cooler but can't afford to go overboard. My problem is that when i look at the posted list of recommended heatsinks i feel overwhelmed. After i eliminate the ones that don't fit my socket i still have too many left to choose from...

Given that the GPU is relatively modest, i expect almost all the heat will be coming from the CPU. What i don't have a grasp on is whether this prospective system will be relatively hotter or cooler than average. How much cooling should i plan on?

Bonus Question: Intel's 'Turbo Boost' essentially overclocks the CPU on the fly. Does this complicate the decision of how much cooling to provide?

Advance Thanks,

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 Post subject: Re: Can I Make an i7 Reasonably Quiet?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:38 am 
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So i found a review that claimed to measure 284 watts max for this specific CPU and MoBo. I couldn't find any published info on how many watts the GPU consumed, but an nVidia rep told me that their version should have a 300 watt PSU. When pressed, he finally gave me a figure of 50 watts. 284 + 50 is already way over 300 [i haven't even figured out if the draw for the memory and the drives is enough to be significant]. So maybe 400 watts looks good. Is there some reason the Seasonic X-400 Fanless shouldn't be my choice for PSU?

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 Post subject: Re: Can I Make an i7 Reasonably Quiet?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:09 pm 
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I would expect you main source of noise to be the Vid - PNY GeForce 9400GT and your PSU.

I would use Noctua NH-C14 CPU cooler and experiment with how many fans at what speed you need. If you aren't overclocking you will probably do fine with one fan at its lowest speed.

I would use a Seasonic PSU.

Turbo boost is a non-issue as far as your decision making.

What is the use you plan to make of it that requires the PNY GeForce 9400GT?

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 Post subject: Re: Can I Make an i7 Reasonably Quiet?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:43 pm 
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Just as a suggestion, maybe will be better to build around a Sandy Bridge, the i5 2500/2400 are $200 CPUs and very fast, if you dont benefit from hyperthreading, if you do, then i would consider the i7 2600. With a good cooler like CES suggested at stock speeds they should idle around 30C allowing your to even spin down the fans for more quiet setup, also most of Sandy Bridge mobo come with 4pin pwm heathers, and in most cases you can control the fan via bios/software to only ramp under certain conditions, if you go this route i would look for a cpu cooler that has a PWM fan included, if you want cheap Coolermaste 212+ or xigmatek 1283 gaia, if you want a little better probably Scythe Mugen 3 or if you can wait Thermalright HR02 Macho, but check your mobo for compatibility.

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 Post subject: Re: Can I Make an i7 Reasonably Quiet?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:51 pm 
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Hi, and welcome to SPCR

You didn't mention of 2 key elements: Case and PSU. Its is loud case fans and crappy PSU that make a system noisy and inefficient (hotter or more power hungry or both).
If you have no experience with building a quiet system, going for a common combo like Antec Solo Case + Seasonic PSU will get you as close as it gets right out the box. There are of course other options out there. Add a decent CPU cooler + get a low noise, or even passive cooled video card like a passive Nvdia GT 430 is about the same as the 9400 in performance.

I too recommend you consider i7 2600K + P67/Z68 combo. Its a bit faster than the hot 950 and it overclocks much higher. Turbo isn't much of an issue when you have a decent CPU cooler.

SPCR recommended heatsinks

http://www.silentpcreview.com/Recommended_Heatsinks

SPCR recommended cases

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article75-page5.html

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 Post subject: Re: Can I Make an i7 Reasonably Quiet?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:40 pm 
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Abula wrote:
Just as a suggestion, maybe will be better to build around a Sandy Bridge, the i5 2500/2400 are $200 CPUs and very fast, if you dont benefit from hyperthreading, if you do, then i would consider the i7 2600.
AGREED!

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 Post subject: Re: Can I Make an i7 Reasonably Quiet?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:41 pm 
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ame wrote:
going for a common combo like Antec Solo Case + Seasonic PSU will get you as close as it gets right out the box.
It is hard to go wrong with that combination... unless maybe if you are planning dual graphics cards.

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 Post subject: Re: Can I Make an i7 Reasonably Quiet?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:11 am 
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I had a few i7 1366 chips, usually a prolimatech megahalens would do the trick. It depends on how hard you intend to push it, if you're not overclocking or doing a huge amount of computing, then almost any of the recommended heatsinks would work. I had a scythe mugen 2 on one, that worked fine and is fairly cheap. It depends on the case, though, be sure to get one that you can put a fairly tall heat sink in. I'm not that familiar with the gpu, but if you're not looking for something super powerful then just make sure to get one that's fanless. Might want to stick with Nvidia if you want to do any CUDA programming, and there's a few fanless cards. I think zotac makes a fanless 430, that would be good. But for those, you'll want a case with some airflow, though.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I Make an i7 Reasonably Quiet?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:15 pm 
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If you are going to have a lot of heat output from the video cards. take a look at the lan Gear cases. You will be able to cool the card or cards with just a single 120mm fan:

http://www.lan-gear.eu/langear-home

http://www.lan-gear.eu/langear-retailers

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 Post subject: Re: Can I Make an i7 Reasonably Quiet?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:41 am 
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ces wrote:
I would use Noctua NH-C14 CPU cooler and experiment with how many fans at what speed you need. If you aren't overclocking you will probably do fine with one fan at its lowest speed.


I will look into Noctua, thanks.

ces wrote:
I would use a Seasonic PSU.


Believe it or not, i was already looking at the X400.

ces wrote:
Turbo boost is a non-issue as far as your decision making.


Perfect.

ces wrote:
I would expect you main source of noise to be the Vid - PNY GeForce 9400GT and your PSU.

<snip>

What is the use you plan to make of it that requires the PNY GeForce 9400GT?


Whoah, there. The model numbers for nVidia cards are not organized anything like the model numbers on Radeon cards. The GeForce 9400 is a good basic GPU that currently costs 25$, not a brawny FPS machine. In any case, since i'm building a hackintosh, i'm selecting components that are reasonably similar to those used in real Macs. My current MacBook uses a 9400M, so i think i'll have good compatibility with the GT.

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 Post subject: Re: Can I Make an i7 Reasonably Quiet?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:11 am 
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Abula wrote:
Just as a suggestion, maybe will be better to build around a Sandy Bridge, the i5 2500/2400 are $200 CPUs and very fast...


This sounds like it will fit my needs quite well, thanks for mentioning it. Now i'm wading through a few hundred MoBos to pick my new list. There's a lot more 1155 slot setups than there are 1366 setups!

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 Post subject: Re: Can I Make an i7 Reasonably Quiet?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:26 am 
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Mobile GPU n Desktop GPU are different, they use similar desktop names to help boost their sales, but performance wise not even close. My Laptop comes with GTX460m, no where near the performance of a real GTX460, hell not even GTS450, just slightly behind. Personally i would just go without the dedicated GPU, and if you need it you can buy it after, intel sandy bridge comes with a decent dedicated gpu, it will do all good, except for gaming, 1080p is more tan capable, even with quicksync you can encode faster than with cpus. For this i would build around Sandy Bridge, whatever your budget allow, the i5 2400 seems to be a sweet point in terms of performance/price for a none ocer, but very close is the 2500K that comes with slightly higher clocks, unlocked, and with the HD3000 which is a slightly faster gpu than the HD2000 that most of the SB cpu come. The less heat you have inside, the more silent you computer can become, as you wont need to spin up the fans so much. Idk if mac supports intel build in gpus though.

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 Post subject: Re: Can I Make an i7 Reasonably Quiet?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:41 am 
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Dentrassi_BBQ wrote:
My goal is to build a system that has enough horsepower for software development without spending an arm and a leg.


Why not use integrated graphics if you are only doing SW development?

That way you don't have to have an additional component (GFX card) in your system. And you'll save some money also.

Sandy Bridge integrated graphics should be enough for your stated computer usage, it'll even play HD video ;-)

/G

Edit: Use the money you "save" to add more memory instead.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I Make an i7 Reasonably Quiet?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:49 pm 
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Dentrassi_BBQ wrote:
My goal is to build a system that has enough horsepower for software development without spending an arm and a leg.
That's easy. Get the cheapest Sandy Bridge 4 core you can buy and a Microcenter 60G SSD

Intel Core i5 2400 LGA 1155 Boxed Processor SKU: 200170 $149.99
If, and only if you intend to overclock, then get
Intel Core i5 2500K LGA 1155 Boxed Processor SKU: 200121 $179.99
http://www.microcenter.com/search/searc ... 294945356&

Micro Center 64GB SATA II 3.0Gb/s 2.5" G2 Series Solid State Drive (SSD) With SandForce 1222 Controller SKU: 123034 $89.99
"There really shouldn't be any surprises here. Given the same controller, the same NAND and the same firmware there's no difference between SandForce SSDs. They may look different and they may be priced differently, but they are effectively the same" http://www.anandtech.com/show/4604/the- ... compared/8

Get the cheapest Asus or Gigabyte Board you can find:

ASUS P8H61-M LE/CSM R3 LGA 1155 H61 mATX Intel Motherboard SKU: 510727 $74.99
ASUS P8Z68-V LGA 1155 Z68 ATX Intel Motherboard SKU: 506204 2 new in stock $169.99 (for overclocking)

Gigabyte GA-H61M-D2P-B3 LGA 1155 H61 mATX Intel Motherboard SKU: 381129 $74.99 after rebate savings: $64.99
Gigabyte GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 LGA 1155 Z68 mATX Intel Motherboard SKU: 484964 $114.99 after rebate savings: $99.99

Then in 12 months take the money you have saved and buy a cheap 4 core Ivy Bridge. Actually there are some Z68 Gigabyte motherboards out there that are Ivy Bridge compatible today. Maybe you should pay a bit more and buy one of them for your Sandy Bridge.

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 Post subject: Re: Can I Make an i7 Reasonably Quiet?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:50 am 
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"GIGABYTE recently announced that the companies entire range of Intel 6 series motherboards are ready to support the next generation Intel 22nm CPUs (for the LGA1155 Socket) as well as offer native support for PCI Express Gen. 3 technology, delivering maximum data bandwidth for future discrete graphics cards. If you want to make sure your board is supported you can check the list we have up in the forums as there are way too many boards to list here on the front page!" http://www.legitreviews.com/news/11227/

Here is the list of these boards:
http://forums.legitreviews.com/about36115.html

There appear to be versions of these boards that have that capability:
Gigabyte GA-H61M-D2P-B3 LGA 1155 H61 mATX Intel Motherboard SKU: 381129 $74.99 after rebate savings: $64.99
Gigabyte GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 LGA 1155 Z68 mATX Intel Motherboard SKU: 484964 $114.99 after rebate savings: $99.99

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 Post subject: Re: Can I Make an i7 Reasonably Quiet?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:56 am 
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Dentrassi_BBQ wrote:
My goal is to build a system that has enough horsepower for software development without spending an arm and a leg. I've already decided on the following components:
Explain again why you would pay extra to choose this:
CPU - BX80601950 [i7-950 Bloomfield][socket 1366]
MoBo - ASUS Sabertooth X58 [full ATX]
... when you can pay less for an 1155 that will live for 2 generations into the future and likely perform almost as well today, and kick its butt in 12 months? Did I say for a lot less money?

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 Post subject: Integrated Graphics
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:47 am 
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Abula wrote:
Idk if mac supports intel build in gpus though.


Yeah, Apple has to. For a few years they made models that relied on Intel's integrated graphics, but they stopped it because it made these Macs incapable of loading just about any commercial game. My wife's old Mini is like that, can't even run 2D games like Civilization. I'm not into the First Person Shooter stuff, but i would like a little gaming from time to time.

Newer MacBooks have an interesting solution to this: the system has both integrated graphics and a discrete GPU. It then switches on the GPU as needed. Are there off the shelf motherboards that can do this?

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Last edited by Dentrassi_BBQ on Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Integrated Graphics
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:28 am 
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Grra wrote:
Why not use integrated graphics if you are only doing SW development?

That way you don't have to have an additional component (GFX card) in your system. And you'll save some money also.

Sandy Bridge integrated graphics should be enough for your stated computer usage, it'll even play HD video ;-)


Well, i never said i was going to be working around the clock. The computer will be entertaining from time to time. :D

As i stated elsewhere, i have been disappointed by Intel's onboard graphics in the past. However, you and Abula have convinced me to give them another chance. I will not purchase the GPU now, but i will make sure i have some wattage reserved in the PSU in case i change my mind.

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 Post subject: Are There any Socket 1155 MoBos That Don't Suck?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:14 am 
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One thing i can say about the socket 1366 setup i was looking at earlier is that this corner of the market is well supplied with features that i find useful. By comparison, the 1155s seem stripped down... The features they do typically offer don't seem very beneficial to me. RAID? Quad SLI/Crossfire?? Really???

Here's what i'm looking for:
  • Firewire [preferably IEEE 1394b]
  • USB 3
  • Bluetooth
  • Several boards i looked at offer only HDMI for video out. My current monitor doesn't have an HDMI input, so i'd rather get a MoBo that supports DVI than an HDMI -> DVI converter.
  • I'd like to go with PWM, but this feature doesn't even seem to be mentioned on many of these boards.

Why are all my searches coming up empty?

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 Post subject: Re: Are There any Socket 1155 MoBos That Don't Suck?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:48 am 
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Dentrassi_BBQ wrote:
One thing i can say about the socket 1366 setup i was looking at earlier is that this corner of the market is well supplied with features that i find useful. By comparison, the 1155s seem stripped down... The features they do typically offer don't seem very beneficial to me. RAID? Quad SLI/Crossfire?? Really???

Here's what i'm looking for:
  • Firewire [preferably IEEE 1394b]
  • USB 3
  • Bluetooth
  • Several boards i looked at offer only HDMI for video out. My current monitor doesn't have an HDMI input, so i'd rather get a MoBo that supports DVI than an HDMI -> DVI converter.
  • I'd like to go with PWM, but this feature doesn't even seem to be mentioned on many of these boards.

Why are all my searches coming up empty?


Firewire 800 aka 1394b is not something you will find onboard, not even on X58. Sadly the more common 1394a firewire 400 seems to be absent on many recent boards. Drop a ~30$ PCIe firewire card and your good to go.
All the rest is very common. for example Asus P8Z68 Pro has USB 3, bluetooth, DVI/HDMI. PWM CPU fan control is supported on all boards I know.

Or you could go P67+dedicated GPU. for example Intel DP67BG that has Firewire and bluetooth as well as USB3 and has PWM control of all fans. Just add a dedicated passive GPU like HD6450 for under $50.

Still cant see the advantages of the X58 platform in your case.
As of today there are only 3 reasons to get X58 over P67/Z68. 1. the higher memmory bandwidth offerd by tripple channel 2. higher PCIe bandwidth (more lanes) 3. ability to use 6 core 12 thread CPUs. All 3 points may be critical for very specific proffetional situations, but again not in your case.

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Video Edit- Antec P183, i7 2600, Intel DP67BG, Quadro 2000, Samsung 500GB system, 2*WB 1TB RAID 0, TRUE, Seasonic S12II620


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 Post subject: Re: Can I Make an i7 Reasonably Quiet?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:57 am 
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I agree with ame, i dont see much reason to go with 1366, current Sandy Bridge CPUs are much faster, the 2600k even rivals the 980X in most benches.

If you really dont like what Sandy Bridge is offering, as you see it as streep down (its more a main stream segment), which i think its the best alternative atm due to price/performance, then wait for the X58/1366 replacement which should be out before years end, X79/LGA2011, should come with quad channel memory and faster cpus (no built in gpus though), but this comes with a price, the lowest cpu will be quad core probably around $350-400, and the six cores starting around $550. To me this is a cpu meant for encoders/editing/multi gpu setups, or people that really need and will take the advantage over 4 cores. To me its a waste of money, as today Sandy bridge cpus are more than enough for 99% of the users, and even ivy bridge will only have quads still, i think this is the prime time of the quads, the six core will probably be in a couple of year, im planning switching probably around haswell, but for now, mainstream 1155 with sandy bridge and next years ivy bridge, seems the best options for value/performance.

Personally i would just go with i5 2500/2600, check for a good mobo that supports most of what you looking for (asus is my recommendation as they have very nice PWM fan management), and as ame suggested, add the extra features you need (that dont come with the mobo) via pcie cards.

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 Post subject: Re: Can I Make an i7 Reasonably Quiet?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:33 am 
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Using this german search engine, I found only one board that matched.

Chosen features are in bold, I picked: Socket 1155, USB 3.0, Firewire 400, DVI, Bluetooth.
It got 4 fan headers, but I dunno anything about their specs.

http://geizhals.at/deutschland/?cat=mbp ... DVI#xf_top

http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_ ... 8Z68V_PRO/


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 Post subject: Re: Can I Make an i7 Reasonably Quiet?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 1:53 pm 
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Abula wrote:
Personally i would just go with i5 2500/2600, check for a good mobo that supports most of what you looking for (asus is my recommendation as they have very nice PWM fan management), and as ame suggested, add the extra features you need (that dont come with the mobo) via pcie cards.


I agree. I just built a system around the 2600K and the Intel DP67BG motherboard. The board very nicely supports PWM fan control. In fact, I am so pleased with the temperature and fan control in the BIOS that I no longer have any need for a dedicated fan controller. My PC is silent, but has enough power for most of my applications. Here's a quick link to my post: http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=62962&p=547048


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 Post subject: Rough Draft Shopping List
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:37 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:10 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Redlands, California
Alright, here's what i've got so far:

  • MoBo ASUS P8Z68-V PRO
  • CPU i5 2400 [using integrated graphics]
  • PSU SeaSonic X series SS-400FL [also considering the SeaSonic S12II 380B]
  • case Antec Solo
  • cooler Noctua NH-C14
  • optical HP 16x DVD-RW
  • memory 2 * Crucial 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600)
  • drive SAMSUNG EcoGreen F2 HD103SI 1TB 5400 RPM SATA [A decent-sized SSD is too costly; the slower spindle combined with Antec's grommets should keep things from being too loud.]

I estimate my current draw to be around 140 watts, so 400 is overkill. Is the SS-400FL any more energy efficient than the S12II?

I've seen some mention of using a small SSD to cache for the magnetic drive. Does this require any support in the OS, or does it all happen on the hardware level? That's a feature i may consider adding later.

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 Post subject: Re: Can I Make an i7 Reasonably Quiet?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:27 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:35 pm
Posts: 488
Location: Israel
Looks good to me. Swap the Solo's exhaust fan to keep noise levels down to minimum. Slipstream 800 or similar slow fan will work

The 400 FL is better choice and more efficient than the S12.

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DAW - Antec P150, i7 2600K @ 4.4 GHz , Intel DP67BG, Crucial C300 SATA 3 SSD, Passive Geforce 8500GT, Samsung F1 1TB audio drive, Seasonic S12II520, TRUE+AC PWM@500RPM, Noctua 120@700 RPM
Video Edit- Antec P183, i7 2600, Intel DP67BG, Quadro 2000, Samsung 500GB system, 2*WB 1TB RAID 0, TRUE, Seasonic S12II620


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 Post subject: Re: Rough Draft Shopping List
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 12:16 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:08 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Sweden
Dentrassi_BBQ wrote:
Alright, here's what i've got so far:

  • PSU SeaSonic X series SS-400FL [also considering the SeaSonic S12II 380B]
  • case Antec Solo


Have you bought these component and started using them?

I'm wondering how your PSU temps are.

The PSU is in the top of the Solo, and there aren't any exhaust ventilation _on top_ of the case.

Since the SS-400FL seems to be designed to vent heat upwards I'm wondering how this will work in this setup?
I'm going to buy the same PSU for my new rig and I'm currently looking at cases that have ventilation on top or where the PSU is situated on the bottom.

If you've yet to by the components have you looked at CPU i5 2405S. Lower TDP and HD3000 Graphics.

Regards

/G


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 Post subject: Re: Rough Draft Shopping List
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:35 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:10 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Redlands, California
Grra wrote:
Have you bought these component and started using them?


Actually, i'm still in the budgeting stage. I'll probably buy a component or two each paycheck until i can put it together.

Grra wrote:
I'm wondering how your PSU temps are.

The PSU is in the top of the Solo, and there aren't any exhaust ventilation _on top_ of the case.

Since the SS-400FL seems to be designed to vent heat upwards I'm wondering how this will work in this setup?
I'm going to buy the same PSU for my new rig and I'm currently looking at cases that have ventilation on top or where the PSU is situated on the bottom.


First off, i'll be glad to post some data once i have things going. Second, since both of these are "Editor's Choice" components, i would be surprised if i was to be the first to try this particular combination. Perhaps SPCR veterans can chime in here? If there is likely to be a problem, i still have plenty of time to make changes. I guess the S12II also wants top mounting? Elsewise i could change the case to an Antec NSK 6582.

Grra wrote:
If you've yet to by the components have you looked at CPU i5 2405S. Lower TDP and HD3000 Graphics.


1) I already stated i won't be doing 3D with this, so i'm not convinced that i would see any benefit from the HD3000.

2) Even if i knew i could use the HD3000, i don't think it would be worth slowing up the main processor by nearly 20% [from 3.1 GHz to 2.5 GHz]. Before i make that sacrifice i would go back to using a cheapie discrete GPU.

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