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 Post subject: Looking for feedback on new silent PC build
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:18 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:23 am
Posts: 7
Hi :)
I've been building PCs for a long time, but I have never considered noise before. For my next build, however, silence is one of the top priorities. I was very happy to find this site since it offers some great insight when building silent PCs. I must admit though, I have no experience so I was hoping someone could give me a little feedback before i rush out and buy all the parts. I am considering the following parts.

Case: Fractal Define R4
Notes: I like the design and from what i read it's quite silent (while still having reasonable airflow).
Noise levels at 1 meter with fans on low setting: 30.3 dBa idle, 40.1 dBa full load (Ref.)

Mobo: Asus H87-plus changed to Asrock H87 Pro4
Notes: Never gonna OC so no need for Z87 chipset

CPU: Core i5 4670
Notes: No need for OC, so no K model

CPU cooling: Noctua NH-U12S changed to u14s.
Noise levels at 30 cm: 38 dBa at 20%, 42 dBa and 100% but doesn't state whether it is with low noise adapter or not (Ref.)

GFX: Asus gtx770-dc2oc changed to MSI GTX 770 TwinFrozr 2 GB due to lower fan noise (asus noise).
Notes: From what I read in reviews the Nvidia reference design is already quite silent and this one should be even more silent
Noise levels at 1 meter: 24 dBa idle, 29 dBa during "load" (gaming) (Ref.)

PSU: Corsair RM750 changed to RM650 or RM550
Notes: I really like modular power supplies and the Corsairs generally seem to be quiet.
Noise levels at ?: 33.01 dBa average over entire operating range (Ref.)

Main HDD: Samsung SSD (830 series)
Notes: Already got this

Second HDD: WD Green WD20EZRX 2 TB
Notes: For storage. From what I read on your forum mechanical HDDs can be a pain regarding noise. I feel like my current WD green is silent but if someone has a better alternative i'm open for suggestions :)

Ram: 8gb of something from http://www.asrock.com/MB/overview.asp?cat=Memory&Model=H87%20Pro4

As descriped, I am a newbie when it comes to silent builds and any kind of feedback is appreciated :)


Last edited by Wramberg on Thu Jan 16, 2014 1:08 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for feedback on new silent PC build
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:52 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
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Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Welcome to SPCR.

Overall, it looks like a solid build. What are your applications? That will influence our feedback.

_________________
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: Looking for feedback on new silent PC build
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:40 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:12 am
Posts: 3141
Location: ITALY
Wramberg wrote:
Mobo: Asus H87-plus
Notes: Never gonna OC so no need for Z87 chipset


Currently ASRock, Intel Extreme and MSI seems to have better fan control: give a look at them.


Wramberg wrote:
CPU: Core i5 4670 or Core i7 4770 (haven't really decided yet)
Notes: No need for OC, so no K model


Usually the i7 (i.e. the Hyperthreading) is pointless for a general purpose rig (or a gaming rig), and very often contraindicated, noise wise (as the more wasted heat).


Wramberg wrote:
CPU cooling: Noctua NH-U12S
Notes: I like Noctua but I am having trouble deciding what to go for. I guess this is one of the essential parts of a silent PC.


Frankly, I think it's not their very best performer but yet expensive: an U12P, an U14S or a C14 would seem better bet, IMO.


Wramberg wrote:
GFX: Asus gtx770-dc2oc
Notes: From what I read in reviews the Nvidia reference design is already quite silent and this one should be even more silent


Do you really need such horsepower? A GTX 760 (either an ASUS DC-II or an MSI Gaming) might be enough and more probably that not quieter.


Wramberg wrote:
PSU: Corsair RM750
Notes: I really like modular power supplies and the Corsairs generally seem to be quiet.


As you shouldn't need not even by mistake more than 300W DC, IMHO the smaller RM650 could be noticeably quieter and safer (RM750/850 protections have given some issues).


Wramberg wrote:
Second HDD: WD Green WD20EZRX 2 TB
Notes: For storage. From what I read on your forum mechanical HDDs can be a pain regarding noise. I feel like my current WD green is silent but if someone has a better alternative i'm open for suggestions :)


There isn't a clearly better trade off, currently, but the 3TB WD Red is noticeably faster and almost as quiet as that 2TB Green.


Wramberg wrote:
Ram: 8gb Corsair Vengeance


Please, avoid: they are cheap and not so bad, but their pointless heatsink is just not acceptable (and it may give some clearance issue in the future).
Please choose a standard or low profile RAM, maybe with a 1.35V supply, like Crucial Ballistix Sport, Crucial Ballistix Sport VLP, Kingston HyperX LoVo and the likes, and it would be better whether the ram of choice is present on the QVL of your motherboard.

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Luca


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for feedback on new silent PC build
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:41 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:23 am
Posts: 7
CA_Steve wrote:
Welcome to SPCR.

Thanks :)

CA_Steve wrote:
Overall, it looks like a solid build. What are your applications? That will influence our feedback.

I would say:
30% gaming (many different games, recently bought bf4)
60% downloading, watching movies, browsing and other everyday stuff
10% use of heavier programs like Matlab


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for feedback on new silent PC build
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:58 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:09 am
Posts: 73
Location: Canada
Ya looks like a great build. I would echo others that you could get a lower watt power supply (650 or 550) and be fine. Also what resolution are you gaming at? If 1080p the 760 will work for at least a few years, asus makes a great card. Don't get the i7 processor, just a waste for your applications. Noctua makes lovely (if a bit expensive) heatsinks. Since you are not Overclocking heat is not an issue so just get the cheapest tower style cooler (U series) from their line that you can find (people are also big supporters of thermalright here, so check out their lines if you want). I don't really find ram clearance to be an issue, you can always mount your fan a bit higher on the heatsink if it is.

You definitely did your research well though,

Good luck.

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Lian-Li PC-9F 2xNF-P12 on front NF-S12B ULN on back, i5-2500K, NH-U12P SE2 /w BeQuiet! Silentwings, Asus P8P67, 8Gb Ripjaws X 1600, 240gb Samsung 840 EVO 250GB, 1.5Tb WD Caviar Green (suspended), Seasonic x-560, ASUS 660 DC2O


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for feedback on new silent PC build
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:35 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 4675
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
While BF4 can make use of hyperthreading, it's a GPU pig and you won't notice the benefit of an i7 over an i5. So, your only application that will make use of the i7 is maybe Matlab.

Here's a couple of BF4 benchmarks. You can dial in your gfx card as you see fit for your monitor resolution.
Techspot
Guru3D
bf4blog

_________________
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: Looking for feedback on new silent PC build
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:58 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:12 am
Posts: 3141
Location: ITALY
CA_Steve wrote:
So, your only application that will make use of the i7 is maybe Matlab.


Currently, it shouldn't be the case: «Virtual cores may modestly improve overall system performance, but they are likely to have little effect on the performance of MATLAB applications. Intel CPUs with hyper-threading give the appearance that a computer has twice as many cores than it actually has. When using a tool such as Windows Task Manager, MATLAB may appear to use only half of the CPU cores available on the computer, when in fact the "unused" half is actually the virtual cores created by hyper-threading. There have been reports that MATLAB performance improves for some applications if hyper-threading is disabled. In most situations the performance difference will not be large enough to make this an attractive opportunity, but you may want to experiment.».

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Luca


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for feedback on new silent PC build
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:25 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1981
Location: Guatemala
Wramberg wrote:
Case: Fractal Define R4
Notes: I like the design and from what i read it's quite silent (while still having reasonable airflow).
Great case.

Wramberg wrote:
Mobo: Asus H87-plus
Notes: Never gonna OC so no need for Z87 chipset
If you going to run FanXpert2 then go for Asus, its not a bad choice. If you want to run aftermarket PWM fans, then consider MSI or AsRock.

Wramberg wrote:
CPU: Core i5 4670 or Core i7 4770 (haven't really decided yet)
Notes: No need for OC, so no K model
Save yourself $100 and go with the 4670, it should run cooler on load than 4770 and very few applications take advantage of hyperthreading.

Wramberg wrote:
CPU cooling: Noctua NH-U12S
Notes: I like Noctua but I am having trouble deciding what to go for. I guess this is one of the essential parts of a silent PC.
If you want to go with noctua, i would invest a little more toward the NH-U14S, really good cooler just a little expensive. Else look into Scythe Mugen 4, really good cooler for $50, and handles well the 4670, look into CA_Steve signature.

Wramberg wrote:
GFX: Asus gtx770-dc2oc
Notes: From what I read in reviews the Nvidia reference design is already quite silent and this one should be even more silent
I would consider MSI verions aswell, check Techpowerup review MSI GTX 770 TwinFrozr Gaming 2 GB, with comments like

Quote:
MSI did a fantastic job with the noise levels of their GTX 770 Gaming. In idle, the card is almost inaudible on an open bench in a quiet room with no other fans. It will certainly be inaudible in a modern case with other fans present.

During gaming, the fan ramps up just a little bit to handle the increased thermal load, but it doesn't get noisy at all. Especially the gaming-noise levels are impressive--much better than any other custom design GTX 770 we've reviewed so far.


Wramberg wrote:
PSU: Corsair RM750
Notes: I really like modular power supplies and the Corsairs generally seem to be quiet.
I also agree with others, the RM550 or 650 should be a better choice, its also smaller (160mm) this will allow you if you decide down the road to install a bottom fan without any issues.

Wramberg wrote:
Second HDD: WD Green WD20EZRX 2 TB
Notes: For storage. From what I read on your forum mechanical HDDs can be a pain regarding noise. I feel like my current WD green is silent but if someone has a better alternative i'm open for suggestions :)
Reds are also good, check CA_steve build on his signature.

Wramberg wrote:
Ram: 8gb Corsair Vengeance
I would go with standard height, not the tall vengance but what they call low profile (which is standard height not real low profile), liek Corsair Vengeance White 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory (CML8GX3M2A1600C9W). or as other have suggested, Crucial Ballistic Sport are also a good option 1.35V memory (this are trully low profile memory, check my signature for pics), and there is also the Crucial Ballistic Tactical that there is also 1.35V (low profile but with small heatsink that grow some up so ends up like standard height).

_________________
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: Looking for feedback on new silent PC build
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:01 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:23 am
Posts: 7
Thanks for the great feedback everyone :)
I will go for the ASRock H87 Pro4 instead and the core i5. The only reason I was considering the i7 is because my needs change a lot in terms of programming and simulations. You make some good points though and overall I also believe that the i5 will suit my needs very well.

I really enjoy running games on ultra graphics so I'm still leaning towards the gtx770. I will reconsider my choice though.

I have been looking at the noctua u14s, c12p and c14. I used this table http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=2562&page=5 to compare c12p vs c14. The c14 seems overkill so I might go for the c12p. The u14s costs about the same and also seems to perform quite well so I guess it's between u14s and c12p. edit: After reading more comments I'll go for the u14s.

I will definitely go for a smaller PSU but probably still in the RM series unless they are too noisy I guess ? :)

Very good point on the ram. I can see why their size could be annoying. I will look into your suggestions and compare with qvl (http://www.asrock.com/MB/overview.asp?cat=Memory&Model=H87%20Pro4).

Never had any experience with wd red but I will look into them.

I will update my original post with the changes as I do some more reading :)
Thank you for all the tips.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for feedback on new silent PC build
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:12 am
Posts: 3141
Location: ITALY
Wramberg wrote:
I really enjoy running games on ultra graphics so I'm still leaning towards the gtx770. I will reconsider my choice though.


Well, think about it: IMVHO unless you maybe compare them side-by-side, on a classical FHD setup you won't notice the difference (10fps?) compared to the 760, while you will hear (from the card, the PSU and the case fans) more probably the more power and heat (not to mention the about 150 more bucks).


Wramberg wrote:
I have been looking at the noctua u14s, c12p and c14. I used this table http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=2562&page=5 to compare c12p vs c14. The c14 seems overkill so I might go for the c12p. The u14s costs about the same and also seems to perform quite well so I guess it's between u14s and c12p.


IMHO the C12P is an underdog (as the U12S is) in the Noctua's lineup: U14S or U12P, for tower style heatsinks, C14 (not the dual tower D14) for top down ones, where the C14 is probably more competitive (I dunno there, here in Italy the U14S and C14 have the same price or so about, so I have a few doubts).


Wramberg wrote:
I will definitely go for a smaller PSU but probably still in the RM series unless they are too noisy I guess ? :)


The RM450/550/650 should be better than their larger cousins, noise-wise.


Wramberg wrote:
Never had any experience with wd red but I will look into them.


If you should go for the Red, unless you are on a tight budget consider the 3Tb or 4Tb, not the smaller ones (performance wise).

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Luca


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