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 Post subject: Quiet but powerful workstation (Intel i7)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:33 am 
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I'm considering assembling a desktop pc to use as my main workstation. The main criterion is that I want it to be as quiet as possible, hence my first post on this forum :) I also want it to be lightning fast. Guided also by some great resources on this site I selected the following components and would be very interested in hearing some opinions on this particular combination:

Case: Antec Midi Tower P183 V3 Performance One ATX
PSU: Seasonic Platinum Series FL2 460W, Modular, Passive (FANLESS!)
Main board: Asus P8Z77-M iZ77 (sata600, usb3)
CPU: Intel Core i7 3770K 3.50GHz 8MB Box
CPU Fan: Gelid Solutions Processor Tranquillo Rev.2
Memory: Kingston 2x4GB, DDR3, PC12800, CL9, HyperX
Storage: Samsung SSD 2.5", 256GB, SATA600, 840 Series Pro (Further storage is on NAS)

OS: Linux


This would sell for just under €1000 .

I'm not doing any heavy 3D stuff or gaming yet.. But in the future, I may want to add a discrete (but most likely passively cooled) GPU. For now I'll just try the Intel Graphics HD4000. I will be using this system as my main system for software development and small scientific experiments, it's supposed to outperform my Macbook Pro 8,3 and be a whole lot quieter.


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet but powerful workstation (Intel i7)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:01 pm 
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Welcome to SPCR. Your build is very Puget Systems Serenity Pro - like. :)

It should be both quiet and fast. A couple of things come to mind:
- an alternative to the passive PSU is a semi-passive one. Fan wouldn't come on unless you add another 100W to the system (like a gaming card). Kingwin LZP-550 (Superflower Golden King) comes to mind. Or;
- Since the PSU is in it's own chamber in the P183...you might consider adding a front case fan for air flow/PSU cooling.
- mobo: it's a good choice. Since you went with an ATX case, there's always the non-M version.

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 Post subject: Re: Quiet but powerful workstation (Intel i7)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:05 pm 
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proycon wrote:
Case: Antec Midi Tower P183 V3 Performance One ATX
PSU: Seasonic Platinum Series FL2 460W, Modular, Passive (FANLESS!)
Main board: Asus P8Z77-M iZ77 (sata600, usb3)
CPU: Intel Core i7 3770K 3.50GHz 8MB Box
CPU Fan: Gelid Solutions Processor Tranquillo Rev.2
Memory: Kingston 2x4GB, DDR3, PC12800, CL9, HyperX
Storage: Samsung SSD 2.5", 256GB, SATA600, 840 Series Pro (Further storage is on NAS)

As said before quiet and fast selection. Much improvement cannot be had in terms of noise.
I would suggest i7-4670K (slightly improved over 3XXX) and ASUS Z87-Pro (C2), Asus already sells the new chipset revision. The price is the same as 3770K+ P77-M, but there are numerous advantages: Lower power draw, FanXpert2+ instead of FanXpert+,6+2 SATA III instead of 2 (+4 SATA II) , 6 USB 3 ports instead of 2 (+4 USB 2), 4 usable PCIe slots (with dual slot graphics) instead of 1 (+1 PCI), Intel Lan instead of Realtek, integrated Wifi, 4K support, 23.976 Hz movie playback, ...
I had to buy a mATX baord for the layout I would have rather bought ATX. I would rather save money on all other components than on the mainboard.
The Gelid Tranquilo is ok if you don't overclock, in Europe you can get the Scythe Mugen 3 which performs better and comes with a better fan.
The heat from the fanless PSU can go nowhere there's no opening in the lower chamber. I would prefer a model with a slow fan. The be quiet! Straight Power E9 400W is quiet, 80+ gold certified and supports Haswell. Another option is the Seasonic G 360W both are more than enough for you system with lots of headroom for a graphics card. Assuming with Linux you'll want nVidia you could go as high as 770GTX (non oc for CPU and GPU).

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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: Quiet but powerful workstation (Intel i7)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:44 am 
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Thanks for the great tips!!

The Puget review is indeed one I used as inspiration to select my components :)

I might just as well get the Haswell right away as you suggested, so I've adapted my configuration a bit, changes in bold.

Case: Antec Midi Tower P183 V3 Performance One ATX
PSU: Seasonic Platinum Series FL2 460W, Modular, Passive (FANLESS!)
Main board: Asus Z87-Pro iZ87, SATA600 RAID, USB3.0
CPU: Intel Haswell Core i7 4770 3.40GHz 8MB Box
CPU Fan: Gelid Solutions Processor Tranquillo Rev.2
Memory: Kingston 2x4GB, DDR3, PC12800, CL9, HyperX
Storage: Samsung SSD 2.5", 256GB, SATA600, 840 Series Pro (Further storage is on NAS)

I made a concession on the CPU (4770 instead of 4770K) to keep the price down, compensating for the more expensive main board. I don't intend to overclock anything.
I could consider the Scythe Mugen 3 cpu fan but its specs say its noise level can go up higher than the Gelid Tranquillo? So I'm a bit cautious unless consensus here can reassure me it's better and noise won't go up :)

I couldn't really find good alternative PSUs in the webshop I'm buying from, and I admit the fanless idea is quite appealing. If things get too hot, I may later consider adding a slow front case fan as suggested. I also found this thread viewtopic.php?f=6&t=62501 which discusses precisely the case/PSU combination I'm considering. The impression I get is that it should be ok, also considering I'm not drawing so much power anyhow.


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet but powerful workstation (Intel i7)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:15 am 
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Here's my Haswell caveat: In general, you might want to wait until ~September for your Haswell build. The currently released chipset has a bug in the USB3 controller, where devices sometimes aren't recognized when the PC returns from Sleep. The user fix is to dismount/remount the device for it to be recognized. Intel released the fixed chipset to mobo mfgrs in end July...so it might be September when the new versions are available/old inventory is flushed. If, that "feature" doesn't bother you, then no worries.

Boost: Can you point to a link where Asus has said the C2 boards are shipping? My concern is that the mobo mfgrs don't provide a new part number...and we can't tell whether or not we get the C1 or C2 until it's in our hands and run CPU-Z.

procyon:
- If/when you add a gaming card, that's probably the time to add a case fan for the lower chamber.
- If you don't need BT/Wifi or the updated audio codec, you could drop down to the Z87 Plus.

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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, 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)


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet but powerful workstation (Intel i7)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:05 am 
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Thanks. I heard about it and I think I can live with the USB3 bug, I use network storage anyway. I think I'm gonna place the order now :)


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet but powerful workstation (Intel i7)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:20 am 
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While i think the P183 is a great case for building a quiet pc, imo for fanless PSU i wouldnt go with that case, the PSU will still need airflow from the case to cool itself. If you are an antec fan, i think the SOLO II is a great choice, with the PSU on top with an opening will allow hot air to go out and even not interfere with the case much. Fractal Design Define R4 would also be a nice choice.

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Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet but powerful workstation (Intel i7)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:07 pm 
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proycon wrote:
Thanks. I heard about it and I think I can live with the USB3 bug, I use network storage anyway. I think I'm gonna place the order now :)


You'd best stick with the seasonic fanless power. Never compromise. Power supply is in many cases the culprit of the overall noise coming from PCs. If you are not intent on overclocking, you can save money by opting for B85 or H87 in lieu of P87. There are no big differences between them for non-overclocking users.

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 Post subject: Re: Quiet but powerful workstation (Intel i7)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:56 pm 
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CA_Steve wrote:
Boost: Can you point to a link where Asus has said the C2 boards are shipping? My concern is that the mobo mfgrs don't provide a new part number...and we can't tell whether or not we get the C1 or C2 until it's in our hands and run CPU-Z.

I can. Asus' C1 part numbers end in 0 C2 in 5. Other Mfgs don't have C2 yet.

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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: Quiet but powerful workstation (Intel i7)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:15 pm 
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proycon wrote:
I could consider the Scythe Mugen 3 cpu fan but its specs say its noise level can go up higher than the Gelid Tranquillo? So I'm a bit cautious unless consensus here can reassure me it's better and noise won't go up :)

Comparing dBA given by different manufactureres is only a slight indication to what a real world comparison might end up like. The Scythe fan's max RPM is only 100RPM higher. It's an S-Flex fan which souns very smooth, mine does and test confirm. Here's a description of the S-Flex from the Mugen 2 review. Here's the Gelid fan from the Tranquilo 2 review. Both will rarely run at full speed, the coolers can keep the CPU cool at lower fan speeds, at lower speeds the Scythe sounds better.
If you ordered already you can replace the fan if it's not to your liking.

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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: Quiet but powerful workstation (Intel i7)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
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boost wrote:
proycon wrote:
I could consider the Scythe Mugen 3 cpu fan but its specs say its noise level can go up higher than the Gelid Tranquillo? So I'm a bit cautious unless consensus here can reassure me it's better and noise won't go up :)

Comparing dBA given by different manufactureres is only a slight indication to what a real world comparison might end up like. The Scythe fan's max RPM is only 100RPM higher. It's an S-Flex fan which souns very smooth, mine does and test confirm. Here's a description of the S-Flex from the Mugen 2 review. Here's the Gelid fan from the Tranquilo 2 review. Both will rarely run at full speed, the coolers can keep the CPU cool at lower fan speeds, at lower speeds the Scythe sounds better.
If you ordered already you can replace the fan if it's not to your liking.
Those are slipstreams not sflex, although i do own some sflex 3pins and are great fans also, and also own 5x kamaflex2 (i would say the pwm version of the sflex) and also great fans in tone and into how low they can be dropped off. Overall i really like scythe, great acoustics and impressive pwm range, 250rpm in some fans is as low i have manage... what else you can want on a fan.

Im really looking forward to scythe reorganizing and coming back to the US, i really feel places like frozencpu could do the ditribution fine.... like they do for noiseblockers.... i really would like to test some glidestreams pwm.... some day... someday.

Quote:
I could consider the Scythe Mugen 3 cpu fan but its specs say its noise level can go up higher than the Gelid Tranquillo? So I'm a bit cautious unless consensus here can reassure me it's better and noise won't go up :)

A Scythe Mugen 3/4 imo would be quieter even than the gelid tranquilo, just out of the range of the slipstream/glidestream, specially having such good fan control on the Asus motherboard with FanXpert2, but in the US is almost impossible to get scythe.

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GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms| Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet but powerful workstation (Intel i7)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:00 pm 
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boost wrote:
I can. Asus' C1 part numbers end in 0 C2 in 5. Other Mfgs don't have C2 yet.

Nice find (and thank you Google translate via Chrome).

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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, 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)


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet but powerful workstation (Intel i7)
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 4:34 am 
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My order arrived yesterday and it all works perfectly! It is very quiet indeed, I can't hear anything until I get within 10cm of the case. CPU and MB keeps nice and cool even under load. Linux bootup is extremely fast and everything worked right out of the box.


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet but powerful workstation (Intel i7)
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:10 am 
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Congrats!

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