WD Black 2TB isn't as loud
as you've listed.
Oh, that's good to know! That reduces my noise estimates from 38 and 48 dbA to 35 and 46 dbA at idle and full load, respectively. The Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB reviewed in that article seems like a better choice, though, and the 3TB Barracuda reviewed here
looks even better.
That said, why not an SSD for OS/apps/data handling and then a quiet HDD for storage?
Yes, of course I'm planning on an SSD (OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240GB -- though I haven't thought about it for a while, so there may be a better option available now), but since it contributes nothing to the noise estimate, and so little to the power budget, I haven't bothered to mention it in this thread. There's an LG BH14 Blu-Ray R/W Drive in there too, but it will only be used intermittently, so I haven't mentioned it either. Even so, both of them are included in the power dissipation estimates.
You might be right.... i still think on usual gaming it wont even peak above 700W, but found interesting article might interest you, they tested a very similar setup to what you want to build, HotHardware AVADirect X79 Gaming PC, Tri-SLI GeForce GTX 680
Nice find! That is indeed very close to what we're talking about. Too bad the review is so shoddy. Here's what they have to say about noise:
In almost every case, a high end gaming system with multiple videocards makes for a poor home theater PC because it's just too darn loud. These types of rigs are better suited for high resolution monitors and/or multiple monitor setups anyway, but should you decide a powerhouse PC would be a great addition to your living room, AVADirect's X79 system, as configured, won't bother you too much with its array of spinning fans. It's not a silent system, but it's fairly quiet, even under full load.
Nowhere do they give any SPL numbers.
Now, here's something that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up:
A Word on Stability
We ran into a few issues with our system, which began the first time we hit the power button. AVADirect will, for a fee, aggressively overclock its systems, and in this particular instance, the company seems to have been a tad too aggressive. Wonky RAID errors and instability appeared on first boot, and after tinkering in the BIOS, the CPU gave up the ghost. That's not necessarily AVADirect's fault, it may have been a bum CPU to begin with.
AVADirect sent us a replacement chip, which took care of our CPU problem, but persistent RAID errors caused our system to freeze/reboot on a couple of occasions. Again, this is most likely the result of overly aggressive overclocking, which tends to have a ripple effect, in this case affecting the RAID. It's a rare misstep for AVADirect, which has sent us rock solid, overclocked systems in the past. It's also worth mentioning that AVADirect pre-loads the BIOS with different levels of overclocking, so if stability becomes an issue, you can dial things down by selecting a less aggressive profile, saving you the trouble of tinkering with all the different settings in the BIOS.
(Emphasis added by me.) Nowhere else in the whole review do we hear about overclocking; the various clock frequencies are not given anywhere. You can make a rough estimate, though, based on the Sandra benchmark results. Tom's Hardware
reports 205 GIPS and 130 GFLOPS at 3.3 GHz, while this review reports 286 and 176, respectively. This implies that the reviewed AVA system was overclocked to about 4.5 GHz -- and yes, this is fairly aggressive. A similar calculation for memory bandwidth suggests that the memory was running at 1866 MHz, which isn't overclocked very much.
However, I suspect that the real problem with this system (in addition to the fact that the power supply is really pushing its limit) is that it was running too hot. Nowhere does this review give us any idea what the temperature inside the case was.
After reading this review, it's clear that the FT02 is not the right case for this system. Something with better cooling performance is required. That's going to make it louder, but better louder than unreliable.
Worth mentioning that the Asrock Extreme11 has a lot of PCIe slots, and i believe that you will be able to run triple tri slot GTX680, but not all will match with 16x PCIe slots, the middle one will end up on a 8x, weather this affects the performance im not sure, but since you are planning a super high end might be worth checking before committing into it. The following is a picture that i created with newegg picture of the X11 from the back,
I noted that after I posted my reply to you. The odd-numbered slots are x16 and the even-numbered slots are x8. To fit 3-slot GPUs, though, you have to put them in slots 1, 4 and 7. The metal brackets of the cards then occupy slots 1 & 2, 4 & 5, and 7 & 8 on the rear of the case.
This seems endemic to all P67, X79, and even C606 motherboards: I can't find one that has more than two PCIe 3.0 x16 slots active at one time. No doubt the chipsets are to blame. It presents not much of a problem for gaming, but for large numerical computations it can have a serious impact. Depending on the algorithm, the card in the x8 slot may prevent the computation from benefiting from the bandwidth of the x16 slots.
More likely still, the 1000W rating is for the output, not the input. Amazing people like this have a job reviewing hardware when they don't know that. 1091W at 91.6% efficiency would give you 1000W output so it's fair enough to assume 1000W is the actual power draw from the PSU.
Right you are.
Is 1000W safe for such a system? Yes. The PSU is designed and warranted for this use so don't buy anything much bigger and certainly don't buy dual PSUs.
I disagree. The reviewed system seems underpowered with a 1000W power supply. In any case, the power supply is right on the ragged edge of its operating envelope, and that can't be good for reliability.
Maybe a 1200W PSU would make sense for overclocking. The PSU fan will rev up a bit more at this load but considering how much heat the components will be having to dissipate, in particular three screaming graphics cards, I really don't think that the PSU fan is going to be of much concern.
Now this I more-or-less agree with, but I still might be tempted to go to a 1500W supply, just to give it more headroom and shave off a few dbA.
If youa re aiming for such components I would still think that some choices need to be made to reduce power draw along the way. For example not buying anything that has any 'pro gamer' marketing attached to it. Go for a high quality motherboard yes, but not the most expensive like X79 boards, they waste power terribly for no real speed advantage. Also keep the components that you are putting into it down if you can. You're talking here about a professional system so you can avoid sound cards etc and make use of onboard everything. Keep the number of hard disks down, use SSDs and store things externally if you can. Then when you set it up go through the BIOS and switch off everything that you don't need, this can save a handful of Watts.
Again, I more-or-less agree, though I'm not convinced that the handful of watts you would save would have a measurable impact on the noise level.
By the way, my invitation for you to suggest a quieter configuration without sacrificing significant performance or reliability, is still open.
I'm curious to know what you will come up with.