You recommended me to go with ASUS due to its FanXpert2 software. SCPR has described it as "the most advanced first party fan control software". And (almost) every Asus user seems to love it! What about the issue with the different temp readings between the Asus software and other temps monitoring programs?
I read you got really concerned about it, to the extend that you decided to move away from Asus.
There are more reason than just the temp reading difference, i had issues with the audio, my motherboard did some wierd noises turning off like trumpets, and also had delays upon loading windows, like a pause when windows finished loading where i didnt had control of my PC for like 5-10sec, this also repeated itself sometimes into gaming. My personal guess is that my mobo was defective, as there were tons of people that didnt had my issues, but there were some that did, so im guessing the early batches had some issues. But to me its way to expensive to RMA a mobo, i do sometimes more expensive stuff, but to me was not worth it, so i had some memory laying around, and old hdd from a laptop, and picoPSU that i also swaped not so long ago, so decided to build a fan station.... for testing fans =). One interesting thing that i did notice upon rebuilding it, was that without a dedicated GPU and using the hdmi from the mobo, i had none of the issues i mention above, but this was my gaming build so not an option, but turn out alright, the haswell pentium are pretty interesting CPUs, for the money imo really good for HTPC or a budget build. In time i might convert this build into a dedicated camara station, im about to setup 8 IP cameras, and the software is pretty CPU dependent, at least blue iris, so i might move to i5 4760 and sell the pentium... but will see this are just plans that i have in mind for the future.
I don't want to discourage you, i still recommend asus though, to me its the easiest way to build around a quiet PC, specially if you know how the headers work and chose properly the fans for each.
1) Do you think the way Asus measures temps is not that accurate after all? If yes, do you think that could apply only to high end gaming mobos, or, to all of them (i.e. Z87-Pro or Z87-Plus)?
2) Since I'm not a gamer and the configuration I'm looking for won't push the system at all, do you think this could still be an issue for me? Obviously temp measurement accuracy is very important regardless of the use of the pc. But I figured it becomes even more so for gamers with powerful system use.
Well its hard to say, its not that its that bad, the problem is that sometimes its lower than the cores temps, and at some point in climbs exponentially even higher than the core temps, so idk for real. But this shouldnt be an issue for someone that isnt pushing the limits of the CPU.
If the way Asus measures its temps is not that accurate it would make FanXpert2 kind of worthless in terms of managing the fans...
You are right on this point, at the same time, haswell CPUs are very efficient on idle, and bearely heat up, atm im running my case fans at 225rpms (you bearly feel the airflow), and still i idle at 30C on 25C ambient, it rapidly climbs to 50C with light load, but where where my fans start to move up and control the temp. I think with Asus mobo and Antec True Quiet 140s as case fans, you will get a very quiet setup easily, the fans are very good tonally, and spinning at 200rpms (which fanXpert2 can), will make it virtually inaudible (depending on your other components), and you will probably idle at 30C also, where it matters is when load is applied and how good will the fans be to deal with the heat you are generating, again this shouldn't be an issue for someone that isnt stressing the CPU, and even then could be fine also, FanXpert2 is not bad.
2) Do you think mobo bios temp reading could be more accurate than FanXpert2?
Yes, from what i remember the temps i had with Asus Maximus VI Gene and with my MSI Z87-GD65 on my i7 4770K were very similar, on bios the CPU doesnt downclock so its usually higher than what you get on windows, unless you are manually messing with the multipliers. The problem with the bios is that has higher restrictions than with FanXpert2, where it bypasses any settings you have on bios, practically FanXpert2 frees your mobotherboard to reach whatever the fans are rated, really good imo.
3) What do you think about the ASRock Z87 Extreme6/ac? Same price range of the Z87-Pro but with new wifi 802.11 ac and 2 real 4-pin headers, among other adds on.
It has 2 x CPU Fan connectors (1 x 4-pin, 1 x 3-pin) and 3 x Chassis Fan connectors (1 x 4-pin, 2 x 3-pin).
I guess I could either connect 3 PWM case fans to the 4-pin header with a PWM splitter or 1 PWM fan end 2 3-pin fans. If I have understood correctly, in the first scenario I could control all 3 PWM fans individually and in the second I could control only the PWM and the rest will get the same signal and follow it with same rpm, right?
Way to hard for me to answer this subject, as i dont own a AsRock Haswell mobo. I seen it has very good fan control on pure bios, but only seen for the 2x real PWM fan headers, that if i recall correctly was CPU_FAN1 and SYS_FAN1, its very similar to MSI in terms of having two real pwm fan headers, where it varies is that you have more flexibility into setting multiple breakpoints on the bios, MSI only has two. Also Asrock allows any % to be entered, while MSI does it in 12.5% increments, so for example with MSI and a fan that has 20% as minium to spin, you will have to jump into 25% as the 12.5% woudlnt not spin it, but with Asrock you can setup the 20%, etc. Again i dont own an Asrock mobo so i cant say for sure, but thats what i saw when i another SPCR forum fellow posted some screenshots.
Now on the other headers on AsRock, i have no idea, on MSI from CA_Steve thread, he posted a 50% restriction for CHA_FAN or SYS_FAN, but idk how is AsRock on these headers, my very vague guess is that these, as with most motherboard manufacturers have higher resections than the CPU_FAN headers, in some cases its 20% in others like Asus is 40%, in MSI is 50%, etc, again this is just a guess, so take with a hint of salt.
4) Regarding the Antec True Quiet, I thought the minimum speed is 500 rpm. How is it possible to drop them to 200 rpms on idle? (maybe its a stupid question but I didn't understand how it is possible for some mobos to drop the rpms below the minimum speed declared by manufactures).
Fans have a spin up voltage and a running voltage, this is where Asus excels other mobos, and the reason you can drop the true quiet so low. When the asus motherboard starts, FanXpert2 isnt loaded, whats controlling the voltages on the headers is the BIOS, so let say they are at 40% or even 100% (12V), with this the fan spins up, but rapidly windows loads, and the bios loses control of them, while fanXpert2 takes control and bypasses the bios restrictions and settings, this is where it lowers the voltage to what it was tested to run, in this case its 200rpms. On the MSI mobo you cant do that (well you might if you use the control center but the software is meh to me), the reason is that on MSI you load on bios and stay on bios, even after windows loads, so there is no lowering after it spins up, like with FanXpert2. This can also be accomplished with software like Speedfan, but you gotta know how to, and to be sure that Speedfan supports the sensors on the motherboard.
Very useful review thank you!
I noticed on the fake 4-pin header you were able to lower it to 450rpms in idle.
Here it varies from manufactuers and desings, for example this Phantek and some Scythe even when they are PWM fans can be lowered even more on voltage control than with PWM signal, this I assume that they have safety % where they dont allow the fan to spin lower on PWM, like for example for a CPU fan they dont want it to go lower than 500rpms, but with voltage control its different its feeding it less power. At the same time some fans can be lowered more on PWM, like for example Noctuas, this fans are very well tuned, where they don't have a safety %, where you can stop them if they reach a % lower than what they are rated, where with voltage they are not stable to go that low, hard to explain but really depends into how the fans were design by the manufacturers, not all fans are the same.
Needless to say I'm still quite undecided regarding the case fans.
I'm tempted to buy the NF-P14 FLX (they are not produced anymore but they are still sold....) due to their great acoustic (according to SPCR) and PWM range of control.
Phanteks PH-F140 HP along with the one that you nicely tested don't go lower than 450/560rpms plus the clicking/ticking at low rpms...
Have you actually tested the True Quiet 140? 800 rpm at full speed seems to me a little limiting and I'm concern about its cooling capabilities. Moreover, their declared noise level at 800rpms is double as the one of the NF-P14 FLX at 750 rpms.
(maybe I am making pointless considerations right here...)
From the review they seem to have almost identical cooling capabilities in relation to thei noise (the NF-P14 FLX seems slightly better). The review also states that airflow doesn't seem to have any direct correlation to anything...I know the test results support that idea but generally speaking do you agree with that statment?
How much high do your NF-A14 PWM fans get at high load?
I cant help you much here, way to many assumptions and things that i dont know. What i can tell you is that Antec true quiet 140s are really good fans tonally that an Asus motherboard will take them to inaudible levels, the main question is weather they are good enough to cool your setup to the load that you will drive the CPU. What i also can tell you is that case fans dont have as big impact as the CPU fan on CPU temperatures, 1000 rpms on 4 case fans and dropping them to 650rpms drops 5C on all cores in my setup (the CPU remain constant at 1k rpms), lowering the CPU fan to 650rpms was around 15C for me, so for this reason, i lower my max rpms of my case fans to 650rpms (this is full load), and kept my TY150 at 540rpm on idle and didnt limit it on load, so it can reach 1100rpm if it needs it.
Again these are decisions that you will have to take, as all setups are different and the workloads are different as well, so i cant tell you what to do fully, research and take your best guess. Antecs are good bet tonally, the question is in cooling, but to me there is no single fan that above 1k i can call it quiet, so saying antec can reach 800rpms is still very good on my book, but there are more things than just rpms, some fans are good for restricted slots some fans struggle, etc. But antec are also very cheap when you compare them to noctuas or noiseblockers.... so this would be my pick.
Now what you should look into is getting a good CPU cooler, Scythe Mugen 4 is a good bet with a very decent fan included, was reviewed by spcr and got the editors choice, for $50 its a very good cooler, and if you were to want to spend a little more, then Noctua NH-U14S would be my pic, really good cooler and comes with a very good PWM fan also that has a very good range of control, in Asus motherboard it will drop it super low on FanXpert2.
Good luck with your build, if you have any other questions let me know, just i think you are into a point where i cant help you much, its just more to build and test.