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 Post subject: Looking for advice on a new mid-range build
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:28 pm 
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Elder Scrolls Online is coming soon, so that looks like a good excuse to replace my current ~4 year old PC.

I'm looking to build something mid-range with gaming potential but very quiet. To give you the general idea, my current PC cost about $1600 new, of which probably $300 was attributable to silencing. I'm currently in Australia. Aesthetically, I like the idea of a single fan system, but I'm not insistent on this.

Generally I use my computer for not terribly demanding gaming, but it gets a bit of a work-out whenever a new Elder Scrolls game comes out.

I've not been following the PC components world closely, but I've had a quick look at silentpc.co.nz to get an idea of what is current.

The CPU, GPU and case are primarily what I'd like advice on, I think I can do a decent job on the rest once those are decided.

CPU: Preferably under 60W, probably $300-$400, I'll pay extra for lower power consumption.
Possibly something like the i7 4770T (http://quietpc.co.nz/haswell-i7). I have no great prejudice on AMD vs Intel - whatever currently gives the best processing power per Watt.
GPU: I generally go for the best GPU available which is both passively cooled and requires no auxiliary power cable. I've broken one or other of those rules in the past and regretted it, but I'll consider breaking them again if there is good reason. The best option I've found in a quick search is Asus HD7750-DCSL-1GD5 (http://www.asus.com/Graphics_Cards/HD7750DCSL1GD5/)
PSU: Modular, high efficiency, not overpowered, possibly fanless. The Seasonic X-400 looks excellent, and came along a bit too late for my last build but is currently the favourite for my next build. (80+ gold, modular, fanless: it hits all my feature desires.) I'll listen to counter-proposals.
Case: Current I have an Antec Solo, but surely I can get away with something smaller. It will need to accommodate the selected GPU (which will probably be double width) and a decent CPU heat sink, but beyond that, the smaller the better. Ideally will work well with a single large fan (120mm or bigger.)
CPU cooler: depends on the space available in the case. The Nofan CR-95C looks tempting (http://quietpc.co.nz/nof-icepipe) if I end up going single-fan.
Motherboard: I'm not a motherboard snob. I'll take whatever is decent quality, fanless, small enough for the case, and supports the CPU and GPU. I can probably figure this out myself once I know what CPU to get.
Optical drive: Is there any reason to get something other than a standard ~$40 drive?
Fans and hard drives I can sort out myself.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for advice on a new mid-range build
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 5:48 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
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Location: Guatemala
Filias Cupio wrote:
Elder Scrolls Online is coming soon, so that looks like a good excuse to replace my current ~4 year old PC.
I would try to research if ESO will be like Skyrim in terms of mods, it was a game that did benefited a lot from having a lot of vram.

Filias Cupio wrote:
CPU: Preferably under 60W, probably $300-$400, I'll pay extra for lower power consumption.
Possibly something like the i7 4770T (http://quietpc.co.nz/haswell-i7). I have no great prejudice on AMD vs Intel - whatever currently gives the best processing power per Watt.
Performance per watt Intel still is better than AMD. Now try to find out if ESO befenfits from hyperthreding, most games don't, if it doesn't, i would go with i5 4670, its a very good CPU for the money, if it does benefit from hyperthreading then consider the i7 4771, i don't recommend T or S, unless you are restricted on cooling or you need a low profile cooler, read Any experience with the Haswell T low power CPUs?.

Filias Cupio wrote:
GPU: I generally go for the best GPU available which is both passively cooled and requires no auxiliary power cable. I've broken one or other of those rules in the past and regretted it, but I'll consider breaking them again if there is good reason. The best option I've found in a quick search is Asus HD7750-DCSL-1GD5 (http://www.asus.com/Graphics_Cards/HD7750DCSL1GD5/)
Personally i would go with whatever GPU you need in terms of power to display you current monitor (720p/1080p/1440p/4k), check what EOS is asking, the beta is open i bet you can find out what fps are getting under certain res. There are monster coolers that would help you quiet down any card out there, the most impressive GPU cooler by far that is the Prolimatech MK-26 Multi-VGA Cooler, you can mount any 120mm fan on it, the problem is having the clearance for it as its 4/5 slot cooler (depending on width of the fans), and its tall, needs 170mm cleareance. The TJ08-E can hold it though, very nicely i might say, look into the pictures on iamdjango post #5265

Filias Cupio wrote:
PSU: Modular, high efficiency, not overpowered, possibly fanless. The Seasonic X-400 looks excellent, and came along a bit too late for my last build but is currently the favourite for my next build. (80+ gold, modular, fanless: it hits all my feature desires.) I'll listen to counter-proposals.
Seasonic X400 or X520 are viable options, personally for a gaming build i like more hybrid PSU, where they are fanless at low temps, more like idle and low consumption activities, and they gradually ramp up depending on the temperature according to the load of that you place on it. For example my X660 is never spins up on idle or youtube, but when i game it does spin, i still cant hear though, i have to see it to know its spinning. Corsair also has their new RM line that its also hybrid, look into RM450 and RM550 for you setup.

Filias Cupio wrote:
Case: Current I have an Antec Solo, but surely I can get away with something smaller. It will need to accommodate the selected GPU (which will probably be double width) and a decent CPU heat sink, but beyond that, the smaller the better. Ideally will work well with a single large fan (120mm or bigger.)
If you like to build on a smaller scale, its very viable now a days, recommend you read the following reviews, Fractal Design Node 304 Mini-ITX Case and SilverStone Temjin TJ08-E: MicroATX Evolved, just on the TJ08-E you will need to undervolt extremely the frontal fan, the setup wont be silent, but quiet, not as quiet on totally silent room, but for what it cools is pretty good undervolted. The NODE 304 with an Asus motherboard is very viable aswell, Asus design their mini itx with the cpu more centered to the motherboard so it allows very big cooler, even twin tower, also Asus comes with FanXpert2 that should allow you to control the fractal fans very easily although personally i would go with NH-U14S + adding a NF-A14 PWM on the back, both can be driven with the same PWM fan header (CPU_FAN) and using the noctua splitter, both fans will have the same rpms and can drop extremly low (below 200rpms on fansXpert2), and let the frontal fans be controlled by CHA_FAN headers, fanxpert2 tuning should drive all fans to their minimum on idle, this is a very viable setup for X400/520, look into Fractal Design Node 304 HDD suspension, he uses an X400 on his build. As an alternative for the TJ08-E, there is also the PS07, its basically the same layout just with a frontal door (plastic) and 2x 120mm fans on front, this is more in case you dont think the 180 is quiet enough for you, its much easier to replace 120mm fan with what we have on the market, crosshceck the link i posted above of iamdjango build.

Filias Cupio wrote:
CPU cooler: depends on the space available in the case. The Nofan CR-95C looks tempting (http://quietpc.co.nz/nof-icepipe) if I end up going single-fan.
Really nice cooler, but for decidated GPU setup is hard as it takes first two PCIe slots, and in most motherboards its on either. My recommendation is either Scythe Mugen 4 CPU Cooler: Scythe Strikes Back or Noctua NH-U14S Slim 140mm Tower Cooler, both really good coolers to handle a haswell quad core and come with good fans out of the box.

Filias Cupio wrote:
Optical drive: Is there any reason to get something other than a standard ~$40 drive?
Personally i don't install opticals anymore, i just don't have a use for them, i do have usb one for the sporadic use, and one sata i have left that from tiem to time i need to use in case a build requires certain drivers that are not available on the web or that they come with a program that cant be moved to USB (very rare). If you are building small, like node 304, this helps to have the space available for other things, like a bigger cooler, more hdds, etc, and still maintain a smaller factor, but if you do need one, then this case is not for you.

Filias Cupio wrote:
Motherboard: I'm not a motherboard snob. I'll take whatever is decent quality, fanless, small enough for the case, and supports the CPU and GPU. I can probably figure this out myself once I know what CPU to get.
Fans and hard drives I can sort out myself.
Give some serious though to the CPU and motherboard, i no longer use asus motherboard for other reasons, but on setups that require fans to be lower to their minimum, specially since you build cycle is 4 years, i feel they offer much better fan control than anyone else if you chose properly the fan for each header, 3pin for CHA_FAN headers and 4pin PWM for CPU_FAN headers, the rest is just looking for good fans to work with it. Asus has tons of motherboards on each factor, but im going to recommend some that to me offer good value for the money and have fanXpert2 and will work pretty well on either setup, for TJ08-E i would use ASUS H87M-PRO or ASUS H87M-PLUS (if you dont need the extras of the pro), for the NODE304 the ASUS H87I-PLUS (cross check that the cpu cooler you chose will have no trouble mounting with the bottom of the motherboard).

One last recommendation, get an SSD for your games, ssds usually don't net any gaming performance, but on MMOs to me they do, as you don't have much hickups or time waiting for things to load, MMOs have tons of textures and zones to load up, SSDs make MMOs more enjoyable to play. My recommendation is Samsung 840 EVO as big as you need, if your budget allows you, go into 250GB or higher as it gives the best performance. And for storage look into WD Greens and Reds, very good quiet drives for holding anything else.

Good luck with the build,

_________________
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 advice on a new mid-range build
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:33 am 
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Posts: 4770
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
You don't mention the most important bit of information:
- what's your monitor resolution?
- how important is image quality? Do you want to max out the eye candy or will dial it back in order to go with a lesser gfx card?

I doubt ESO will make use of hyperthreading. You are better off with an i5.

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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: Looking for advice on a new mid-range build
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 2:36 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2005 7:53 pm
Posts: 81
CA_Steve wrote:
You don't mention the most important bit of information:
- what's your monitor resolution?
- how important is image quality? Do you want to max out the eye candy or will dial it back in order to go with a lesser gfx card?


I have a single 1920x1080 monitor, and I'm happy to dial back the eye candy to suit a quiet GPU.

And thank you to Abula for a very complete response.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for advice on a new mid-range build
PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:15 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2005 7:53 pm
Posts: 81
Interestingly, I've found that Tom's Hardware have a fanless(!) test build which is very similar to what I have in mind:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/sil ... ,3435.html

That is one big heatsink they use. I think I'll still plan for a fan, but try disconnecting it to see how it goes.

On GPUs, I've found that passive AMD HD7750 and R7 250s are available, but despite being older the HD7750 looks a bit better, and that NVidia GTX 650 is similar in performance and heat output, but nobody makes a passively cooled one. Apparently the new generation of this, the GTX 750, is due to be released any day now, but given that I could wait forever for a stock passive cooler, I'll wait for the reviews but probably not bother (unless it is something like >30% faster, in which case I'll look for a 3rd party heatsink for it.)

P.S. tomshardware is a very annoying site: using noscript extension to my browser, it took a lot of trial and error to find which of about 25 sites which want to run javascript to make it so a drop-down menu doesn't hide the top third of evey page. Eventually unblocking "bestofmedia.com" did it for me. I think I'll just skip tomshardware in future.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for advice on a new mid-range build
PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:04 am 
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Location: ITALY
Filias Cupio wrote:
I think I'll just skip tomshardware in future.


I would agree, mostly bullshit on that fanless rig (0dB system? In a TJ-08E? That's just ridiculous, IMVHO).

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for advice on a new mid-range build
PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:54 am 
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The new Nvidia parts are supposed to hit tomorrow (18th).

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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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