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 Post subject: SPCR Quiet Certified Gaming PC by AVADirect Custom Computers
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:24 pm 
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http://www.silentpcreview.com/AVADirect_Quiet_Gaming_PC

Added 15 Aug: http://www.silentpcreview.com/AVADirect ... _PC_GTX680 -- identical to previous system but for an ASUS DirectCU II OC GTX680 graphics card. Even quieter than the original at idle.

Edit: Slashgear reviews AVADirect's Quiet Gaming PC

Edit: Anandtech on SPCR Certified AVADirect Quiet Gaming PC

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 Post subject: Re: SPCR Quiet Certified Gaming PC by AVADirect Custom Compu
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:10 pm 
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Considering they went to the 'trouble' of placing the HDD in a $100 Quiet Drive enclosure I'm surprised they didn't just replace the video card's stock cooler with, say, an Accelero Twin Turbo II which would truly make this a quiet PC.


Kind of stupid if you really think about it. Adding a $100 part to silence an already quiet component (5400rpm HDD) but not a $65 part to silence (and cool) the loudest and, in this case, most important component.

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 Post subject: Re: SPCR Quiet Certified Gaming PC by AVADirect Custom Compu
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:05 pm 
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Cool. It's nice to see another PC builder stepping up to provide a solid, quiet PC.

I've helped a couple forum members with component selection at AVADirect, trying to use the "quiet pc" build table. It was hit or miss with component selection. It looks like the new build table is much more in-line with stuff I'd want to use :)

Mike, did you help them narrow down the list? Also, the system as tested meets the "quiet" certification, but what about all of the permutations/combinations that a customer can build to? Is there some baseline AVADirect is adhering to? There's a laundry list of optical drives in their table for example...

Some comments on the system tested. Glad to see NZXT updated the case for airflow. An i7-3770 is overkill for gaming - very few games benefit from hyperthreading. I would have put an i5-3570(K) in there. 16GB RAM :D While the Gainward Phantom is a GREAT card, the HD7850 uses 50W less power at load and outperforms the 560Ti for less $'s. I don't know if the HDD enclosure helped or hindered as you could hear the drive over the rest of the system. I'd can the enclosure, save the $'s and get better airflow to the HDD.

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 Post subject: Re: SPCR Quiet Certified Gaming PC by AVADirect Custom Compu
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:32 pm 
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Thanks for the comments guys. I will tell the AVAD guys to monitor this thread for hardware-savvy feedback.

AVADirect approached me and sent me the system w/o direct consultation, and I asked them to tailor the options for that model to keep the total power to no more than 10% higher than the system I reviewed. In general, there's enough headroom in most of these systems that a 10% increase would still be within the SPCR certificate spec -- all the systems I've tested recently better their respective category SPL requirements by a couple dB.

Yeah, I agree it's not exactly what I'd choose, but most people want choices, and most people apparently don't buy the system exactly as it's reviewed in the SPCR Certified pages.

This system is definitely noisier than others I've certified, but it is in a new category, in recognition of the demand for noise-reduced gaming PCs by folks who aren't hardware savvy. I hear that these days, a lot of even serious gamers are not that hardware savvy and simply go by overclockers' recommendations.

You're right that the HDD enclosure does not help seek noise that much, and it might have been smarter use of $$ to mount it conventionally with grommets, and use the $$ elsewhere. The SD always brought idle noise down but not the seek noise as much, and these WD's are so quiet at idle anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: SPCR Quiet Certified Gaming PC by AVADirect Custom Compu
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:34 am 
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If they're really dedicated on this whole 'quiet gaming pc' idea then they should really offer this card as an option:
http://www.asus.com/Graphics_Cards/NVID ... 70DC22GD5/

Apparently it's really quiet.
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS ... II/27.html

(I know their testing isn't as rigorous as SPCR's (no anechoic chamber) but it's quieter than any other card they tested, including some SPCR favourites)


One to watch out for:
http://www.techpowerup.com/167340/Sapph ... -Card.html

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 Post subject: Re: SPCR Quiet Certified Gaming PC by AVADirect Custom Compu
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:26 am 
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The juxtaposition of 1000W+ PSUs and lower end gaming cards in the selection tables is a bit puzzling. Mike tested the highest power system available - 345W AC at stress test load. Call it 315W DC with the Seasonic PSU.

If AVADirect offered higher performance GPUs, the DC load power budget might look like this*:

HD7850 271W
HD7870 292W
HD7950 330W
HD7970 410W

GTX670 330W
GTX 680 335W
GTX 690 455W

Worst case, you'd get a ~800W PSU just for the fan profile. But, the highest end GPU noise will overwhelm the PSU fan noise...unless AVADirect starts customizing the GPU's with the top end aftermarket coolers to meet the SPCR badge requirements.

The other case is where a customer might go for SLI or Crossfire and need higher power PSU. But, he'd still need higher performance GPUs than those in the selection table. Which leads to more fun with PSU fan profiles, calming down the GPU noise, etc.

To sum up, why are there 1000W+ PSUs in the selection table?

* power estimates based on Anandtech Bench GPU table.

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 Post subject: Re: SPCR Quiet Certified Gaming PC by AVADirect Custom Compu
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:37 pm 
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"acoustic certification: quiet pc" seems a bit vague. Different people will have different expectations of what a "quiet PC" will be able to deliver in terms of acoustic performance.

I thought something like "audible, unobtrusive, low noise" would be better. Which would be the worst acoustic performance that is still good enough to be SPCR certified?


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 Post subject: Re: SPCR Quiet Certified Gaming PC by AVADirect Custom Compu
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:12 pm 
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DAve_M wrote:
"acoustic certification: quiet pc" seems a bit vague. Different people will have different expectations of what a "quiet PC" will be able to deliver in terms of acoustic performance.

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article698-page1.html
Quote:
QUIET PC: 20 dBA@1m or lower SPL with the system in idle, 27 dBA@1m or lower at maximum load.
The idle noise level of this class of SPCR certified PC is low enough that in most environments and most workloads, it is very quiet; it may even be inaudible, like the SPCR Certified Silent PC. At full load (most notably extreme 3D gaming or extended video processing), it is still quiet, although definitely audible. This certification is designed for gaming enthusiasts who want their PC to be very quiet in normal use but don't mind a bit of noise in exchange for very high performance during game play when headphones or speakers are sounding gaming effects.

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 Post subject: Re: SPCR Quiet Certified Gaming PC by AVADirect Custom Compu
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:39 pm 
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@MikeC - I see. But that information is not available in the SPCR Certification report PDF file. Plus people won't want to research and find the information out, otherwise they wouldn't need someone else to assemble their PC for them. I just think if it could be made more clear, you will get a stronger and more valuable SPCR brand. Take the 80+ PSU certification for example. That's pretty good from a branding point of view because it's really easy to have a basic understanding of what it means without any research or reading. But that is just an example of course.


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 Post subject: Re: SPCR Quiet Certified Gaming PC by AVADirect Custom Compu
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:07 pm 
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DAve_M --

Good points. My #1 priority was to get all the info on a single sheet, and the list of components is essential to show what I actually reviewed. I guess the Certification standard could be attached on the 2nd page... which people can scan if they need/want. More work. lol!

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 Post subject: Re: SPCR Quiet Certified Gaming PC by AVADirect Custom Compu
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:23 pm 
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Quote:
The NZXT H2 case is a newer version of the one we reviewed back last year, with significant improvements to overall airflow, our primary criticism of the original. It remains a very hefty, solid, low-noise oriented case.


Does the new version have a different model number, or something in the specs or SKU to distinguish it from the old version?


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 Post subject: Re: SPCR Quiet Certified Gaming PC by AVADirect Custom Compu
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:02 am 
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Nice pre-built quiet PC but AVADirect is way over priced you could build the same at NCIX with there $50 assembly opition alot cheaper.


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 Post subject: Re: SPCR Quiet Certified Gaming PC by AVADirect Custom Compu
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:47 am 
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whispercat wrote:
Quote:
The NZXT H2 case is a newer version of the one we reviewed back last year, with significant improvements to overall airflow, our primary criticism of the original. It remains a very hefty, solid, low-noise oriented case.

Does the new version have a different model number, or something in the specs or SKU to distinguish it from the old version?

I did not notice anything but I think none of the original stock would still be around. The changes were made quite a while ago, afaik.

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 Post subject: Re: SPCR Quiet Certified Gaming PC by AVADirect Custom Compu
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:41 am 
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johnniecache7 wrote:
Nice pre-built quiet PC but AVADirect is way over priced you could build the same at NCIX with there $50 assembly opition alot cheaper.


...and I can skip the $50 and DIY....

I think there are tiers of service and price based on the customers' level of expertise and all have a niche:
- I define my system, order parts, and DIY.
- I define my system and then have someone else assemble and ship it to me (NCIX)
- I define my system within an etailer's list (based on SPCR guidelines), they assemble it and ship it to me (AVADirect).
- I define my system within an etailer's list (based on SPCR guidelines), they assemble it, fine tune it, and ship it to me (Puget).

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 Post subject: Re: SPCR Quiet Certified Gaming PC by AVADirect Custom Compu
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 4:47 pm 
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I just built a system like this with a few changes a week before this article. I chose the H2 based on SPCR's review. It appears they have improved the front door air intake spaces much like Mike's modifications. Ivy Bridge processor and modern 28nm GPU power draws have made it easier to keep a smaller case cool and quiet. In addition, you will be amazed at the power conservation mode choices with z77 boards, really makes a difference in fan noise; i.e., not much to cool.

Based on the premise of limited front intake air flow, I decided to have the three heat components, PSU, CPU, and GPU have direct outside exhaust to limit interior heat to be moved. Its not silent at full load but is quiet like the system reviewed.

Regarding the H2, it is important to note that stock includes only the rear and front two fans. When you add a bottom intake and top exhaust, utilizing all the spaces, the case flow is dramatically increased. The bottom intake also blows outside air directly up into the blower intake of popular Nvidia cards. I always liked the HDD arrangement on the H2 because with a couple SSDs it is basically an empty pathway of cooling for the front two fans, not so much if you put in 8- 3.5 inch drives. It is a shame so many reviews blast the airflow when $20 more in fans complete the case and change the game.

When I had a 3.5 hard drive in it, (WD) the disk noise was louder than normal fan noise. Easily loudest component.


Image
Image

H2
NZXT LX 5 fan controller
i3570k 3.4ghz
Asetek 560LC liquid
Corsair silent pro 850 (silent at full loading on fan profile)
8g
Asus P8Z77 V-LX
EVGA GTX 670 OC
2x 128gb SSD Raid 0
500GB laptop 5400 drive in hot swap box (UBUNTU)
Fans: enermax marathon front two Silent!
NZXT stock bottom intake
Coolermaster 120mm turbine 1.8 push/ 120mm pull (PWM redundancy)
Silenx 140mm top exhaust (loudest fan unless turbine is full load on CPU test)


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 Post subject: Re: SPCR Quiet Certified Gaming PC by AVADirect Custom Compu
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:08 pm 
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i bought an avadirect computer similar to this build-although much cheaper and not quiet as silent-ed out.
There are some things to know to correct the above posters.

-avadirect is fully custom. Their dropdown lists are huge; If you don't see something on the list, you can add it from their parts area. If they don't have it, i bet you can call them and they will get it for you.
I picked a cooler and GPU not in the dropdown list for my build. Just added it to my cart and added a comment in the checkout (per their instructions).
So it is fully customizable in that regards, and not the same as puget or cyberpower or other builders which limit your choices to their shortened lists(gah can't believe i'm putting puget and cyberpower in the same bucket).

This puts it inbetween CA_Steve's tiers,
As they have the dropdowns to help you so you don't need to pick every part, but you can still fully customize if you want.
I did the math, and the configurators come out to be the same as their parts price (which is not cheapest, but also not absurdly overpriced)+$60. But the premiums/part do add up to boost the total significantly over just buying all the parts from cheapest online vendor. But then again they have to make a living and you get a warranty.

-Agree that even in my computer with the stock fans; the harddrive is the loudest item.

-Surprised that for a quiet build, they did not pick the Asus z77-V (no suffix) to get fanexpert2 capability (which was to me from another helpful poster here at spcr). but in my opinion wasted plenty of money on other quieting parts

oh well, just my 2cents


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 Post subject: Re: SPCR Quiet Certified Gaming PC by AVADirect Custom Compu
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:31 am 
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raytseng wrote:
There are some things to know to correct the above posters.

Thanks for the feedback on your experience. It's good to know you aren't limited to the pull-downs. They really need to make parts search a more friendly experience, though. For build suggestions, I've found it to be quite a slog to find alternatives on their site.

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 Post subject: Re: SPCR Quiet Certified Gaming PC by AVADirect Custom Compu
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:25 pm 
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Lately I've been really stomping my head in doubt about whether to choose between the NZXT H2 and the new Fractal Design Define R4, (which is actually not tested on spcr)

I've seen the manual of the H2 on the website of NZXT (here: http://www.nzxt.com/Download/H2_manual.pdf), and it seems to be that the current H2 also has an internal USB 3.0 cable instead of pass-through (not sure?), next to the aforementioned better airflow.

My question really is, what made the guys from AVA direct make the decision to take the H2 instead of an R3/R4? If I knew, it would surely help me in making a final decision :)

Also, I have posted a question on NZXT's site, about whether I should worry about getting an old version of the H2 after ordering, since I live in The Netherlands and order the case there. I will keep you informed if there's any response.

Or I could just wait until SPCR reviewed the new R4? :P


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 Post subject: Re: SPCR Quiet Certified Gaming PC by AVADirect Custom Compu
PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:58 pm 
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Endurance wrote:
My question really is, what made the guys from AVA direct make the decision to take the H2 instead of an R3/R4? If I knew, it would surely help me in making a final decision :)


My guess: They got a really good deal on pricing. Other e-tailers are selling the H2 for ~$100+. Ava is selling it for $87. Other e-tailers are selling the R4 for ~$110+, Ava is $157.

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 Post subject: Re: SPCR Quiet Certified Gaming PC by AVADirect Custom Compu
PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 5:14 pm 
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It seems indeed, that pricing was probably the main factor, not that strange. NZXT has a name to uphold...surely after all the fuzz with certain reviewers that really made mashed potatoes of the H2. I do have to say that I think the H2 get's way less credit than it deserves actually. Regarding the budget AVA Direct wanted to spend on the project, the H2 fits perfectly with the rig that AVA Direct has put together.

I´m going a little off-topic now, but I think I'll go for the R4. Following my own preferences, it seems a more future-oriented, durable case with better build quality. For €15,- more, I have:

-2 USB 3.0 + 2 USB 2.0 on the front (internal header).
-great stock cooling, since it´s the first time I´m gonna build my own rig, I really appreciate the fact that I can save money, and optionally buy extra fans later.
-removable and rotatable HDD cage to please both gaming and silence enthousiasts
-improved cable grommets, and more space on the back for cable management than the R3, so now it meets up with the advantage the H2 used to have over it.

Still, I would really like to see it sound and air-tested by SPCR, before actually buying the thing. Especially since Fractal ramped up the size from 120 to 140 mm and decided to use silent series R2 fans instead of their most quiet fans (which however only run at 800 rpm) It´s probably gonna take a week or 3 before I´m done selecting all the parts, so I still have some waiting time.

I want to thank you people for helping me across the good old bridge of choice. :P


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 Post subject: Re: AVADirect Quiet Gaming PC with GTX680
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:23 pm 
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I was just thinking the other day that SPCR ought to review either the ASUS GTX670 or 680 DirectCU II! :)

It seems it's really as quiet in idle as I thought it would be.

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 Post subject: Re: SPCR Quiet Certified Gaming PC by AVADirect Custom Compu
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:45 am 
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Pricing aside (I cannot tell whether this is good value or not), this is a pretty high end spec. The Smart drive neo... phoar! There is true hate for hard drive vibration, it appears. If I remember correctly, the Green drives has around 15dba max from the spcr recommended hd page, below the 16dba minimum for the system. I think they should try looking at the system again without the smart drive to see if there is any practical difference in sound.
The 3770k is certainly a tad overpowered for gaming. If I was to buy this, I would ask to downgrade to the 3570k.
Also, as the pc gets quieter, it becomes as loud as the loudest component. I am pretty sure they can work on the graphics card cooling somehow.
As for the power supply, the 660w x-series is probably as good as it gets, though i am tempted to swap that out with the fanless x-460w. I made the mistake of going overkill with the x760w and there is that lingering regret.

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 Post subject: Re: SPCR Quiet Certified Gaming PC by AVADirect Custom Compu
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:21 am 
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How come the CPU gets so much hotter with Prime95+Furmark over just Prime95? Shouldn't Prime95 generate max heat by itself?


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 Post subject: Re: SPCR Quiet Certified Gaming PC by AVADirect Custom Compu
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:31 am 
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Olaf van der Spek wrote:
How come the CPU gets so much hotter with Prime95+Furmark over just Prime95? Shouldn't Prime95 generate max heat by itself?

Prime95 results in ~125W total in the box. With Prime95+Furmark, the total thermal/power ends up >310W. The extra heat is from the VGA card, which is only an inch or 2 below the CPU heatsink. Naturally, this increases the "ambient" temp of the air beling blown into the CPU cooler. Hence the increase CPU temps.

IIRC, when the test was done at 25~26C, the CPU temps was much lower -- around 75C tops. Increasing the room temp to 30C really stresses the system quite a bit more than you'd think -- the efficiency of all the parts falls a bit because of the higher temps which means more heat, and at the same time, the cooling effect of airflow is reduced due to the air being hotter to start with.

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 Post subject: Re: SPCR Quiet Certified Gaming PC by AVADirect Custom Compu
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:18 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
Olaf van der Spek wrote:
How come the CPU gets so much hotter with Prime95+Furmark over just Prime95? Shouldn't Prime95 generate max heat by itself?

Prime95 results in ~125W total in the box. With Prime95+Furmark, the total thermal/power ends up >310W. The extra heat is from the VGA card, which is only an inch or 2 below the CPU heatsink. Naturally, this increases the "ambient" temp of the air beling blown into the CPU cooler. Hence the increase CPU temps.

I guess that's the disadvantage of an open air cooler on the GPU. Ideally the GPU shouldn't affect the CPU so much.


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 Post subject: Re: SPCR Quiet Certified Gaming PC by AVADirect Custom Compu
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:14 pm 
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Olaf van der Spek wrote:
I guess that's the disadvantage of an open air cooler on the GPU. Ideally the GPU shouldn't affect the CPU so much.

If you refer to the reference style cooler where the exhaust air is blown out the back, the problem there is that the only way current high end GPU cards can be cooled adequately is with very high -- and noisy -- fan speed. The tight impedance of the exhaust vent on the card really limits the airflow/cooling efficiency as load increases.

But as already mentioned in the review, this is an issue only with high ambient temperature stress testing. Even if you're playing a demanding 3D game at 30C, I doubt very much you'll see the kind of CPU temps recorded in my test.

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 Post subject: Re: SPCR Quiet Certified Gaming PC by AVADirect Custom Compu
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:46 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
If you refer to the reference style cooler where the exhaust air is blown out the back, the problem there is that the only way current high end GPU cards can be cooled adequately is with very high -- and noisy -- fan speed. The tight impedance of the exhaust vent on the card really limits the airflow/cooling efficiency as load increases.

Doesn't the heatsink itself have far more impedance than the exhaust vent?

I was thinking about some thermal zoning to separate the CPU and GPU. Maybe some carton above the GPU to prevent the CPU from taking in hot air?


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 Post subject: Re: SPCR Quiet Certified Gaming PC by AVADirect Custom Compu
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:17 am 
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Olaf van der Spek wrote:
Doesn't the heatsink itself have far more impedance than the exhaust vent?

I was thinking about some thermal zoning to separate the CPU and GPU. Maybe some carton above the GPU to prevent the CPU from taking in hot air?


You would need to have two different airflows to avoid either zone from overheating.

But the laws of physic simply tell us to ramp up the case fans or accept higher temperatures come summer, as Mike pointed out.


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 Post subject: Re: SPCR Quiet Certified Gaming PC by AVADirect Custom Compu
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:20 am 
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This had me recall an interview I read a few days ago on Hardware Secrets. Gabriel interviewed Magnus Huber, Managing Director, Arctic Cooling:

"...When ATI and NVIDIA adopted our Direct Heat Exhaust System (DHES) and pushed air with a blower from the back across the GPU toward the bracket, it became evident that we have not done everything wrong. Usually, such a confirmation from a third party is not necessary since your sales figures confirm it earlier – and so they did in this case. Despite the popularity of our DHES, we had soon learned about the limitations in cooling efficiency and that this architecture would not allow quiet high performance coolers – a problem AMD and NVIDIA are still facing."

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 Post subject: Re: SPCR Quiet Certified Gaming PC by AVADirect Custom Compu
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:45 am 
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This line just... grinds my gears.

Quote:
True to form, the AVADirect Quiet Gaming System is, indeed, quiet. I can't verify the certification by SPCR; most sound meters don't read below 30dB, so testing to see if those figures are accurate just isn't possible.


No, just because you aren't able to, doesn't mean it's not possible.



That and saying it isn't really quiet because his own computer sounds quieter... oh, did I miss the part where he actually measured it? Oh, what's that? He didn't? He's simply stating opinion as facts? Nice.

Quote:
at the time a 4GHz Intel Core i7-990X cooled with a CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ and a pair of Scythe low speed fans, inside a SilverStone FT02


What, no video card? Yeah, totally fair comparison.


Furthermore I'd really love to know how is it that his CPU (a six-core beast @ 4GHz) idles at just 24C with a simple Hyper 212+ yet his computer is sooooo much quieter than the AVADirect. Oh, the magic of merda taurorum


It's Anandtech, what did I expect?

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