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 Post subject: CPU, cooling, and general advice for a new computer
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:30 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 6:46 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Canada
First I should thank SPCR and the community for its help with two previous builds of mine from 5 and 6 years ago. I plan on building a new desktop and using my old one (1st generation Core 2 Duo Conroe) as a file server. I mainly surf the web, watch videos, and do some light gaming. Eventually I plan on add a graphics card in the range of the Nvidia GTX 550 Ti for playing games like Diablo III and the upcoming Mechwarrior Online. So far I have compiled the following list of components:

1. Bitfenix Prodigy case
2. Asus P8H77-I mini-ITX motherboard
3. Intel Core i3-3225/Core i5-2320
4. 2 x 4GB 1600MHz RAM
5. Crucial M4 C400 128GB
6. Antec Neo Eco 450C

Hopefully the Prodigy doesn't leak sound too much as I really love the design, particularly the handles and smallish size. I really dislike moving my current Antec P182 case and wanted a smaller and easier to move case. My major cause for concern revolves around the motherboard, CPU, and the heatsink. For my purposes I'm guessing I don't really need the 4 physical cores of the i5 but I do like the idea of having the extra cores. Right now it only costs me $10 more for the i5-2320, which is very tempting. However, I am worried about whether I can cool the i5 adequately with low noise using the stock or aftermarket heatsink. Are the i3/i5 stock coolers quiet enough? For reference, I find the stock cooler for my Core 2 Duo E6400 acceptable at idle and annoying but bearable at load, but this is in an Antec P182 case with much better sound isolation...

I could get an aftermarket heatsink but the P8H77-I is incompatible with all Noctuas due to blocking the PCI-E slot. I also saw reports that the motherboard interferes with the installation of the backplate for the Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo. Does that rule out all heatsinks that use a backplate? Perhaps I can use an Arctic Cooling Alpine 11 Pro? I know it's supposed to be quieter than the stock heatsink but would it be able to handle the heat from the i5? It also looks like the Scythe Samurai ZZ is another option? Are there any others you are aware of?

I am aware of the different layout of the P8H77-I Deluxe would solve some of the heatsink problems but I cannot justify spending an extra $100 CAD on it. I am already spending more than I would like, have no intention of overclocking, and the WiFi is most likely useless since I'll be dual booting Linux. Also, does anyone know if I can get away with a 64GB SSD for dual booting Windows 7 and Linux, considering I'll probably be installing some bigger games down the road? Data and media files will be stored on the file server.

As for the PSU, I guess the Antec Neo Eco 400C would be sufficient for my build but I cannot find it for sale. I am also considering whether it will help to replace the included 120mm Bitfenix fans with 140mm NF-P14s.

That was probably longer than it could be. I would appreciate any thoughts and ideas on the planned build. Thanks in advance!


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 Post subject: Re: CPU, cooling, and general advice for a new computer
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:42 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:41 am
Posts: 708
Location: Denmark
A Ivy bridge quad core dissipates 77 W. An Arctic Cooling Alpine Pro 11 can easily cool that CPU very quietly. I've had no issues with my Alpine 64 Pro (64 means for AMD). It cools my triple core Athlon II x3 425 which has a TDP of 95W, and built on a 45 nm technology, so it should in theory dissipate more heat than the Intel quad core.

At idle the fan runs at 500 rpm and during gaming (I play D3 too) it runs at about 6-800 rpm in a case with very little air flow. That's very quiet :) If you're very demanding and wants absolute silence I think the Samurai ZZ might be a little better since the fan can run as low as 300 rpm and it has a much better thermal performance.

Have you considered the Seasonic G 360W? It's a new PSU which will soon be reviewed here at SPCR. According to Mike's initial testing the noise is only 13 dBA/1m. That's really quiet, and it's also very efficient and quite cheap.

And lastly, I'd always spend the extra 10 USD for two extra cores.

_________________
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: CPU, cooling, and general advice for a new computer
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:44 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 10:29 am
Posts: 567
Location: de_DE
The Arctic Freezer 7 Pro should fit. Quiet cooling, more than adequate for dual core and no backplate. And inexpensive.
In a case as small as the Prodigy you'll want a modular power supply, but it's depths is very limited. Silverstone has released two models: Strider Gold 550W and 650W which are just 140mm deep and perfect for the prodigy.

_________________
Lian Li V600, Asus P77Z-M Pro, i5-3570K 4.4GHz with Scythe Orochi, 140mm Slipstream 500RPM and Mugen2 115X Bolt through kit,
Evga GTX 670 FTW+ 4GB with Thermalright Spitfire and Thermalright TY-150 500-800RPM, Seasonic 460W Platinum Fanless


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 Post subject: Re: CPU, cooling, and general advice for a new computer
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:15 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 6:46 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Canada
I should have noted that the Core i5-2320 (95W TDP) is a Sandy Bridge and the Core i3-3225 (55W TDP) is an Ivy Bridge. I'm guessing the Arctic Cooling Alpine Pro 11 will still be good enough since kuzzia's AMD CPU is also rated at 95W TDP and built on 45 nm technology compared to the 32 nm of Sandy Bridge? I'm guessing the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro is better but not on the recommended list since the Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo is better at the same cost? Turns out the Scythe Samurai ZZ is not available currently for me so it's not a choice.

Thanks I did not know about the Seasonic G, which sounds awesome (no pun intended). Unfortunately, I don't think it's available in Canada yet (a common theme it seems). I actually was trying to find a 140 mm modular power supply knowing of the space limitations of the Prodigy but failed. Does anyone know how the Silverstone Strider 500 Plus (Bronze, still 140 mm and modular) is with regards to sound (The 550W gold one is not available yet again)? Would it be comparable to the Antec Neo Eco?

It seems that the Crucial M4 review was posted while or shortly after I posted my initial post! I forgot about the speed increase with larger capacities and will definitely get the 128 GB one. Also, in my initial post I forgot to mention I plan on getting the white version of the Prodigy for the indirect noise path compared to the black version with the mesh front. I hope that won't compromise cooling too much.


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 Post subject: Re: CPU, cooling, and general advice for a new computer
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 6:46 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Canada
I ended up building my system with the following changes/choices:

1. Intel Core i5-3450
2. Arctic Cooling Alpine 11 Pro
3. 2 Noctua NF-P14 FLX 140mm Fans (front is plugged into ULNA and motherboard header, back is plugged into both ULNA and LNA)
4. MSI GeForce GTX 550 TI Cyclone II OC (not installed yet)

I am adequately pleased with the noise. Perhaps because the PSU is pointed to the bottom and back of the case, I cannot hear it at all and there was no need for a fanless PSU. However, I thought the Alpine 11 Pro would fit for sure but I was wrong. If you look at the attached pictures, you will see that my 2nd RAM slot is being blocked but if I rotate the Alpine 11 Pro, it would then block the PCI-E slot.

Judging from pictures of the Arctic Freezer 7 Pro that was previously suggested to me, I don't think it would allow me access to my RAM and PCI-E slots either. Does anyone have any heatsink recommendations? It sounds like the Noctua NH-L9i might fit the bill. I am uneasy about Noctua's recommendation to turn off Intel Turbo Mode although from reading online, I may be able to leave it on anyways.

Could another option be to buy new low profile RAM? I'm not sure if low profile RAM would fit or not. Also, would 2 different RAM sticks lead to performance degradation? If I need to buy 2 new sticks of RAM, it would cost around the same if not more than a NH-L9i.

Thanks for reading and any advice you may give me.


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