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 Post subject: Quiet affordable mini-tower for new haswell build?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:22 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:11 pm
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Location: United States
Thanks to folks who helped here in 2010, I put together a pretty-darned-quiet video editing rig for about $800 in parts. (An i7-870 w/ a Hyper212+ cooler in a Cooler Master Elite 341 case.) It's been great, but now feels a bit slow with Adobe CS6. Could upgrade RAM and video card, but Sata2 is a bottleneck for the SSDs I added later. So it seems like time to upgrade to Haswell.

I reread Case Basics and Recommended Cases. Do you have any other suggestions for affordable mini-towers that can be fairly quiet? The smaller the better. But need room for a mATX motherboard (I need 4 slots for ram) plus a new NVIDIA card.

Thanks in advance.

Mark


Current system:
Cooler Master Elite 341
GIGABYTE GA-H57M-USB3
i7-870 w/ Hyper 212 Plus Cooler & 4x2GB RAM
Scythe S-Flex 120mm fans;
GIGABYTE GeForce GT 240


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet affordable mini-tower for new haswell build?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:06 pm 
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mschubb wrote:
Do you have any other suggestions for affordable mini-towers that can be fairly quiet? The smaller the better. But need room for a mATX motherboard (I need 4 slots for ram) plus a new NVIDIA card.

The smallest "quiet" µATX enclosure available is still the venerable Antec NSK3480, with all its drawbacks.
Then, there's the slightly bigger Silverstone TJ-08: up to know, nothing really compares to these two cases, with reference to your needs (IMO).
Are they enough affordable for you?

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Luca


Last edited by quest_for_silence on Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Quiet affordable mini-tower for new haswell build?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:09 pm 
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Welcome back. Let's start by sizing up the hardware, and then wrapping a suitable case around it. You mention both video editing and CS6. Are you using Premiere for video? Are there any other intensive apps?

Photoshop doesn't need much gpu for acceleration. Figure the Haswell iGP is 50% faster than the HD4000. It's definately faster than your GT 240.

Premiere can use a little more..but anything above a GTX 650 is not worth it.

CPU: An i5 will do the job. If time is more important than $'s, spend another $100 and get an i7 for the hyperthreading. Alternatively, you could go with one of the hyperthreaded Haswell E3 Xeons.

PSU: Stressed load system power will run ~135W with the iGP. Add another 64W for the GTX 650 for 200W max. Ideal for a passive PSU.

Case: If you went as large as a mid tower, the Antec Solo II would be the quietest. In the mATX world, the Fractal Define Mini is a good choice.

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 Post subject: Re: Quiet affordable mini-tower for new haswell build?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:39 pm 
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Quest for Silence -- Thanks. More money than I was thinking, but will check them out. (Both are over $100 w/ tax, shipping)

CA Steve -- Thanks. Will also check out the Fractal Design Mini.

I use Lightroom, Photoshop, Premiere, and on a occasion, After Effects. Haven't yet narrowed down video cards, but was also thinking something in the GTX-6XX series would probably be the best bang for the buck. (With the unlock hack found at http://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/PremiereCS5.htm -- so CS6 can use "unsupported" cards.)

Also was assuming I'd get an i7 because, well... my old one's an i7. But back when I bought my i7-860, it was about 2/3 the cost of the top-of-the-line i7, while only a small fraction slower. Now, Haswell i7s all seem to be $310-$340... none cheap and not much difference. Is a "budget" i7 series likely to be released? Or do you think Intel will stick w/ this price level?

And final dumb question: Is the main difference between Haswell Xeon and desktop CPUs the built-in graphics? Do Xeons use hyperthreading? (Newegg won't let me easily compare specs.... treats them like different products.)

Best,

Mark


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet affordable mini-tower for new haswell build?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:58 pm 
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mschubb wrote:
Quest for Silence -- Thanks. More money than I was thinking, but will check them out. (Both are over $100 w/ tax, shipping)

The smaller, the pricier (not only the better): unfortunately, there's no escape (I want to add that it's a pain working inside the Antec, but during these years I wasn't able to find any alternative for its versatility: on the contrary the SS is far more modern and workable).

If you are comfortable with your current case-size, perhaps you might consider the CM Silencio 352 for considerable less money than the already mentioned "small wonders" (or its "meshed" counterpart, the CM N200).


mschubb wrote:
(With the unlock hack found at http://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/PremiereCS5.htm -- so CS6 can use "unsupported" cards.)

If you're tied to CS6, you may give a look at this chart: http://ht4u.net/reviews/2013/55_directx ... ndex24.php


mschubb wrote:
And final dumb question: Is the main difference between Haswell Xeon and desktop CPUs the built-in graphics? Do Xeons use hyperthreading?

Please use the Intel ARK information service: http://ark.intel.com
The "compare" feature can solve most of your doubts.

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Luca


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet affordable mini-tower for new haswell build?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:06 pm 
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Yeah a Xeon could be an alternative that at least goes for a wee bit less than an i7. Most but not all Xeons have hyper threading, but one that does is the E3-1230v3 (3.3GHz, 3.7 turbo). The lack of integrated graphics is the main difference. Not all motherboards support Xeons officially, for instance ASUS boards for what I've seen do not on Socket 1150, while for instance ASRock boards tends to. Check the compatibility lists before buying. Intel at least initially forbade motherboard makers to support Xeon on consumer 1150 boards and I think they still do, but some went ahead and did it anyway. I'm quite tired of Intel's antics(nicer word for BS), but sometimes there is no option.


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet affordable mini-tower for new haswell build?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:35 pm 
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It's been Intel's std practice for a few generations to have ~$100 difference in price between the consumer i5's and i7's with comparable clock speeds. Just note that while some apps might be a LOT faster with a 4 core 8 thread processor, others might be fairly negligible...and you could make up the difference just with a 200-300MHz speed bump on the i5. I think Photoshop and Lightroom fall in the latter category, while Premiere is the former.

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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: Quiet affordable mini-tower for new haswell build?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:37 am 
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Very useful info. Thank you.

Over the next few days, I'll look for Xeon-compatible mobos and compare pricing/specs for i7 & Xeon combos.


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet affordable mini-tower for new haswell build?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:24 am 
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CA_Steve wrote:
It's been Intel's std practice for a few generations to have ~$100 difference in price between the consumer i5's and i7's with comparable clock speeds. Just note that while some apps might be a LOT faster with a 4 core 8 thread processor, others might be fairly negligible...and you could make up the difference just with a 200-300MHz speed bump on the i5. I think Photoshop and Lightroom fall in the latter category, while Premiere is the former.



I use lightroom a lot and it's reliant on a good number of threads/cores for performance, saying that I'm pretty sure it's not as optimal as it might be (it spikes 100% usage on the pc's I've used it on even the latest version not fully exploiting the CPU potential)

Other software such as DxO, can make use of the GPU where LR currently cannot.
Unless you were working with monstrous megapixel files it's quite unlikely you'd be unhappy with the performance overall with any fairy up to date quad core of higher.

On the case front I've built a few pc's with the Ace Ecco 250, overall very pleased for the price it's quite a nice more compact/quieter case, and has enough room for lots of storage too.


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet affordable mini-tower for new haswell build?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:46 am 
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As far as I can tell, Lightroom 4 is pretty inefficient with the CPU. Solid gains as you move up in physical cores...not so much when it comes to hyperthreading. Linear performance gain with clock speed. Who knows what LR5 will do :)

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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: Quiet affordable mini-tower for new haswell build?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:52 am 
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Things have changed a bit, LR 4 was actually pretty slow in many ways (even with a pretty high end processor) LR5 is out now and it's an improvement in many areas including performance, but still probably not as efficient as it could be.


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet affordable mini-tower for new haswell build?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:24 pm 
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Thanks Mr. Spocko, the ACE Ecco 250 looks good -- BUT, can't find a US source and their website http://www.aceofsweden.se gives a 404 Not Found error.

Of course, there's one on Ebay (from the UK) for a reasonable $61... PLUS $241 SHIPPING!

Anyone know if there is a US reseller?


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet affordable mini-tower for new haswell build?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:38 pm 
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Bitfenix has recently modded the Prodigy to accomodate Micro-ATX boards.

They also build a prettier version of the case called the Phenom M.


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet affordable mini-tower for new haswell build?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:47 pm 
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mschubb wrote:
Anyone know if there is a US reseller?

amazon.co.uk has it in stock and will deliver to USA (but not for cheap, so that total cost should be not so far from Antec and Silverstone).

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Luca


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet affordable mini-tower for new haswell build?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:23 pm 
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Sorry I forgot about USA folks!
I'm surprised the company (based in Sweden) doesn't appear to have any outlets in North America
It's a pretty decent case very pleased for the money, but for crazy postage not worth it!


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet affordable mini-tower for new haswell build?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:31 pm 
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The Ace is a clone of the Aerocool QS200. But the Aerocool has room for a 120mm fan in the back. Rev2 of the QS even has USB3 Front ports.


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet affordable mini-tower for new haswell build?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:29 pm 
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Pappnaas wrote:
The Ace is a clone of the Aerocool QS200.


Thanks for reminding that to us! Maybe is it a clone of the QS200 Lite (I'm referring to painting)? However, at least in EU they're also priced very similar.


Pappnaas wrote:
But the Aerocool has room for a 120mm fan in the back.


I don't understand you, Pappnaas: the Ace do have a 120mm fan in the back (so it has room for it too: they are clones, aren't they?).

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Luca


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet affordable mini-tower for new haswell build?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:02 am 
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It looks very similar obviously is a clone but..
It doesn't have 2 slot in HDD Mounts (just one shown to fit HDD's) and doesn't have the noise insulation on the panels. Slightly different front panel design
Lack of USB 3 isn't a problem with spare slots to put them

You do get one 120mm fan on the Ace, but can fit 3 fan sizes to the case.
It might be a viable option, I'd probably be temped to fit acoustic insulation to it.


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet affordable mini-tower for new haswell build?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:13 am 
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The 120mm fan remark was made because some other clones like the fractal exist, which have a 92mm spot in the back. The Qs Lite doesn't have the drive bar to side mount harddrives, i build some non-lite models and found it to be reasonable in keeping hdd vibration in check somehow.

The QS200 in Rev1 had 2 glowing blue fans included, they were tolerable to annoying to my ears, but users didn't complain. Latest model comes with only one fan included, but may be orderable in places where you can't get a AceofSweden case.

http://aerocool.com.tw/chassis/pgs/pgs-q/198.html


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