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 Post subject: I have a build list, help me cut back.
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:52 pm 
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I'm replacing my C2D rig from 2007. Although I made great strides with the noise level by going with the Antec Solo Original and a Corsair HX520, I hope my new rig would be superior acoustically.

Below are a quick list of components I came up with:

Case: Antec Solo II (or Fractal Design Define Mini)
PSU: Seasonic X-660
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme 4
CPU: Intel Core i5 3570K Ivy Bridge
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8GB
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 2TB
Optical: LG CH12LS28 12X Blu-Ray

I also have just got a AMD 6970 donated to me. It's one huge video card that won't fit in my current rig. AMD recommends a 550W PSU for the card.

I'm looking for areas where I can scale back a bit and looking at the list, it seems the biggest areas would be the case and PSU, followed by the motherboard. What should I replace without adversely affecting the noise level too much?

Furthermore, how easy/safe is overclocking these days? If I forgo it, I can scale back to a H77 motherboard instead. I do need one that has optical output though.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: I have a build list, help me cut back.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:31 am 
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With the CPU you selected or the previous generation, moderate overclocking is pretty easy/safe as long as you don't want the best reliability. It can in principle have subtle effects on stability which requires non-trivial testing to weed out. But most people wouldn't care.

It seems to me that if you want to cut back, the first question you ought to ask yourself is: do I really need so much power? You could cut back aggressively and you'd still have a much better computer than your old one.

ChaoZ wrote:
I also have just got a AMD 6970 donated to me. It's one huge video card that won't fit in my current rig. AMD recommends a 550W PSU for the card.

These recommendations are usually nonsense. I bet a less powerful PSU would be fine.

It's nice to get a free card but this is SPCR and old graphics cards run hot and can be noisy. Do you know how noisy this one can get? If you want a quiet PC, basing it around this card might not be the wisest choice.


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 Post subject: Re: I have a build list, help me cut back.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:40 am 
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Haha, yeah, I realize the wattage recommendations are for the cheapo power supplies out there. Still, I wouldn't want to finish assembling everything only to find out I don't have enough power. I'm also looking at the fanless designs or at the very least, ones that do not run the fan until a certain wattage.

As for the 6970, it's a powerful card released at the start of 2011. My gaming habits definitely can take advantage of it.

I don't really mind the noise when I'm gaming, it's just the idle noise I want as low as possible.

I've also started looking at other cases and I really like the design of the Silverstone Temjin TJ08-E as well. There's certainly a lot more choice in the market than back in 2007!


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 Post subject: Re: I have a build list, help me cut back.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:03 am 
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ChaoZ wrote:
Still, I wouldn't want to finish assembling everything only to find out I don't have enough power.

You'd probably be safe with a 400W PSU if you overclock moderately. Have you found a measurement suggesting otherwise? Most of the best PSUs are more powerful anyway. Just don't pick a more powerful model if you have a choice.

ChaoZ wrote:
I don't really mind the noise when I'm gaming, it's just the idle noise I want as low as possible.

Even so, you're probably going to want some kind of aftermarket cooler if you want to keep this card (assuming there is such a product out there). Otherwise there probably wouldn't be much point in worrying about the noise of the other components. I wouldn't spend serious money on a PSU which shuts down its fan at idle for isntance when the noise would be drowned out by the graphics card anyway.

Bottom line: get reliable data (idle noise, power consumption) on this card before building a system around it.


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 Post subject: Re: I have a build list, help me cut back.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:59 am 
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If you desperately want to keep the 6970 then you could install an aftermarket cooler. Arctic Cooling and Thermalright is usually the way to go.

The cases mentioned are not ideal places to cut back. The PSU however is a bit overkill in terms of wattage. I'd recommend something in the 450-500W area, even if you intend to overclock the CPU. But if the X-660 doesn't cost much more than, let's say the X-440, then it doesn't really matter.

Overclocking is easy nowadays with the Sandy Bridge/Ivy Bridge. For beginners, the best bet is to only change the CPU multiplier. '

And you have not mentioned any CPU cooler at all. The stock cooler will not cool the CPU quietly, so you'll need to invest in an aftermarket cooler.

Do you mean cutting back the expenses when you simply say "cutting back"?

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 Post subject: Re: I have a build list, help me cut back.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:39 am 
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Your power draw while gaming will be in the 300W DC range. 200W gpu, 77W CPU, mobo, other bits...Here's an example with a i7-2700 and power draw from the wall @342W AC with a 90% efficient PSU. If you plan to overclock, 400W might be cutting it close.

The things to look for in your PSU:
- how quiet is it at my gaming load?
- does it have the connectors I need?
- how important is $ vs efficiency vs noise?

The noise level vs power charts on this review page can give you an idea. You could just re-use your Corsair PSU. If the fan noise annoys you, then replace the fan.

RAM - big heat spreaders might not be compatible with your un-named aftermarket CPU cooler. Samsung has a new series of low power RAM w/o spreaders.

Case: On the cheaper end - the revised NZXT H2 or the Fractal mini. The Fractal Define R3, too. While the Solo II looks good and has improved features, I'm still put-off by the power button's build. Sure, they reinforced it, but guess what was broken when I went to check it out at Fry's? :D

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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)

Support SPCR through these links: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg


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 Post subject: Re: I have a build list, help me cut back.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:40 am 
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kuzzia wrote:
And you have not mentioned any CPU cooler at all. The stock cooler will not cool the CPU quietly, so you'll need to invest in an aftermarket cooler.

Do you mean cutting back the expenses when you simply say "cutting back"?


Cutting back in terms of money spent, yes. In essence, I'm just trying to make sure I'm not overspending in any one area.

Any suggestions for CPU coolers?


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 Post subject: Re: I have a build list, help me cut back.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:47 am 
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CA_Steve wrote:
Your power draw while gaming will be in the 300W DC range. 200W gpu, 77W CPU, mobo, other bits...Here's an example with a i7-2700 and power draw from the wall @342W AC with a 90% efficient PSU. If you plan to overclock, 400W might be cutting it close.

The noise level vs power charts on this review page can give you an idea. You could just re-use your Corsair PSU. If the fan noise annoys you, then replace the fan.

RAM - big heat spreaders might not be compatible with your un-named aftermarket CPU cooler. Samsung has a new series of low power RAM w/o spreaders.

Case: On the cheaper end - the revised NZXT H2 or the Fractal mini. The Fractal Define R3, too. While the Solo II looks good and has improved features, I'm still put-off by the power button's build. Sure, they reinforced it, but guess what was broken when I went to check it out at Fry's? :D


PSU: I did not realize I could get by with 400 or 440W. Overclocking is not a priority for me.
In contemplated reusing the Corsair HX520, but I think I'll be keeping the existing system as it is.

RAM: Good advice about heat spreaders. Didn't really think about that and I'll look into the low profile ones.

Case: I'm now really leaning towards the Silverstone Temjin TJ08-E. Unfortunately I can't get see a Fractal Design Define Mini in person locally. As for the Solo II power button issue, it probably won't be a factor. I run my rig 24/7. I use the button my Solo I maybe twice a year.

P.S. I wish we had Fry's up here, it sounds like heaven.


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 Post subject: Re: I have a build list, help me cut back.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:01 am 
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You configuration seems well balanced. I don't think you are going to save much money except by going to lower quality components.

If you want to overclock, and you are using a video card, you might consider a Sandy Bridge CPU. The Ivy Bridge chips have some thermal issues. I don't think that is going to save you much money though.

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 Post subject: Re: I have a build list, help me cut back.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:04 am 
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There are two noticeable drawbacks about the Temjin TJ08-E.

1) The hard drive cage. It is prone to vibration so the hard drive will make more noise than necessary. I believe the Mini has a better hard drive mount (the cage is sturdier, rubber grommets to reduce transportation of vibration), though the suspension in the Antec Solo II is perfect acoustically.

2) It uses a 180 mm fan. I've read reports that the front 180 mm can't be run virtually silent. There are also not many aftermarket 180 mm fans, if you want to replace the fan. If you fancy the design of the TJ08-E then you should definitely consider the Silverstone PS07. It is practically the same as the TJ08-E, except it uses 2x 120 mm front fans instead of a single 180 mm fan (so they are replaceable!) and the front is a bit different. The price is also lower. Otherwise, the two cases are practically identical.

So do consider the Silverstone PS07. If you truly want silence, then you'll also need to suspend the hard drive.

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Cooler Master Elite 341, Athlon II X3 425, Radeon 5750 (passive, fan zip-tied on), Crucial M4 64 GB.
Cooling: AC Alpine 64 Pro, rear exhaust Scythe Slipstream 800 rpm @ ~5 V


"SSD's: The difference between a casual jogger and a dog chasing a ball"


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 Post subject: Re: I have a build list, help me cut back.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:13 am 
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Revised config:

Case: Silverstone Temjin TJ08-E (or PS07, once I've seen both)
PSU: Seasonic X-460 Fanless
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-M Pro
CPU: Intel Core i5 3570K Ivy Bridge
GPU: AMD HD6970 2GB
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8GB Low Profile
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB
Optical: LG CH12LS28 12X Blu-Ray

Still looking for suggestions on CPU coolers that will fit the case. Are there any instances where the heatsinks of a motherboard's chipsets interfering with aftermarket CPU coolers?


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 Post subject: Re: I have a build list, help me cut back.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:24 am 
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Well, you CAN use a 400W supply - the question is, is there one that meets your noise threshold @ 300W load and price range? :)

lower end: Here's a deal. The Seasonic M12 520W for $60.

If you are willing to spend $130 on the fanless x-460, consider the $125 SS-560KM instead. Passive at lower loads, pretty darn quiet at maxed gaming load. Or, the Kingwin AP-550 or LZP-550, both are passive at low loads and pretty darn quiet at max gaming loads.

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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)

Support SPCR through these links: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg


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 Post subject: Re: I have a build list, help me cut back.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:28 am 
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kuzzia wrote:
So do consider the Silverstone PS07. If you truly want silence, then you'll also need to suspend the hard drive.


Funny thing, I came across the PS07 just before I saw your message.
The one thing I noted, however, is that the front panel seems solid (with a door), so I'm guessing the air is normally drawn from the sides? The TJ08-E seems to have a more direct air path. The door could be a blessing though, since at idle, it can be closed to reduce fan noise.

I had a hard drive suspension system in my Solo I, but I found the little rubber mounting pieces to be sufficient in dampening the noise, even when I am running two hard drives. Maybe I am just far more annoyed by fan noise than hard drive clicks.


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 Post subject: Re: I have a build list, help me cut back.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:28 am 
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---> Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB

noisy.

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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)

Support SPCR through these links: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg


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 Post subject: Re: I have a build list, help me cut back.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:35 am 
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CA_Steve wrote:
Well, you CAN use a 400W supply - the question is, is there one that meets your noise threshold @ 300W load and price range? :)

lower end: Here's a deal. The Seasonic M12 520W for $60.

If you are willing to spend $130 on the fanless x-460, consider the $125 SS-560KM instead. Passive at lower loads, pretty darn quiet at maxed gaming load. Or, the Kingwin AP-550 or LZP-550, both are passive at low loads and pretty darn quiet at max gaming loads.


I haven't had any joy relocating the relevant Kingwin products up here.
Ideally I want a PSU where the fan does not run when idle or when doing anything other than gaming.


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 Post subject: Re: I have a build list, help me cut back.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:37 am 
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CA_Steve wrote:
---> Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB

noisy.


True, but can't beat the performance (short of going SSD). I run one right now and I'm satisfied with its noise levels.


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 Post subject: Re: I have a build list, help me cut back.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:47 am 
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ChaoZ wrote:
I haven't had any joy relocating the relevant Kingwin products up here.
Ideally I want a PSU where the fan does not run when idle or when doing anything other than gaming.

They're called Superflower in Europe. But the nicer models would be overkill for you unless you were going to mod your graphics card with an aftermarket cooler. There are pretty good PSUs costing hald as much.


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 Post subject: Re: I have a build list, help me cut back.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:54 am 
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kuzzia wrote:
So do consider the Silverstone PS07.


I also noticed that SPCR has posted a review of the PS07 today. The conclusion seems to be stock to stock, the Temjin TJ08-E is worth the extra $20.


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 Post subject: Re: I have a build list, help me cut back.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 2:14 pm 
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CPU cooler: Scythe Mugen 3. It's reasonably priced, has great thermal performance, the stock fan is excellent, and the fan can run as low as 300 rpm. That's inaudible! Noctua also has good CPU coolers but they seem a bit too expensive IMO.

The rubber grommets used by Antec are good ones. The vibration will have a greater impact in the Silverstone TJ08-E/PS07.

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Cooling: AC Alpine 64 Pro, rear exhaust Scythe Slipstream 800 rpm @ ~5 V


"SSD's: The difference between a casual jogger and a dog chasing a ball"


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 Post subject: Re: I have a build list, help me cut back.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 7:38 am 
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ChaoZ wrote:
I haven't had any joy relocating the relevant Kingwin products up here.
Ideally I want a PSU where the fan does not run when idle or when doing anything other than gaming.

Looked at Be Quiet PSUs? The fan spins slowly.


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