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 Post subject: Build Advice, Please
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 5:55 am 
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Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 5:12 am
Posts: 26
Location: Pennsylvania
Greetings,

I built my current computer largely based on advice received from this website and forum, for which I would again like to thank everyone involved. It has been a good, stable, quiet computer. Now that I am at last able to build a new computer, I would be grateful for advice on keeping it quiet once again.

I will be using this computer for academic purposes and some gaming, no video editing or anything of the sort. This is the part list I've put together, aided by reviews here:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($240.98 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Scythe SCMG-4000 79.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($58.15 @ Amazon)
Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver 3.5g Thermal Paste ($6.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus Z87-Pro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($174.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($159.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital BLACK SERIES 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($146.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 760 2GB TWIN FROZR Video Card ($259.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Titanium Grey) ATX Mid Tower Case ($94.00 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic X Series 850W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($169.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($20.99 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: Fractal Design FD-FAN-SSR2-140 66.0 CFM 140mm Fan ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Case Fan: Fractal Design FD-FAN-SSR2-140 66.0 CFM 140mm Fan ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1348.04
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-05-06 09:43 EDT-0400)

Is this likely to be a quiet computer, at least when not being forced to exert itself with games? Is there anything I can do to make it quieter? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: Build Advice, Please
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 7:21 am 
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Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Check out the thread in my signature for an R4/i5/GTX 760 build. Take the leap and get an SSD for OS/Apps and a slower/quieter HDD for large data. Newegg has a sale on the 250GB Samsung 840 Evo for $140 with promo code EMCPEPC33.

Do you have an application that will use 16GB of RAM? Games won't. Also, take a look at the G.Skill ARES.

PSU wattage is overkill.

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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)

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 Post subject: Re: Build Advice, Please
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 10:51 am 
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Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 5:12 am
Posts: 26
Location: Pennsylvania
Thanks! I see we've reached some similar conclusions. I also have a couple of questions based on your response:

Is the SSD really worth the cost and the risk? I'm not concerned about the limited-write issue, as I doubt I would ever "wear out" the drive that way within the lifespan of this computer. But as I understand it, they are rather vulnerable to power outages, which can damage the controller and kill the drive. Reliability was my concern there, which is also why I'm staying away from RAID 0 this time.

Games really don't use 16 GB of RAM, and won't for years to come? Also, what is better about the Ares RAM? I confess to a lack of knowledge here -- I just went with what was of the correct speed and popular. My knowledge of the mysteries of RAM is limited to "always buy G.SKILL," good advice given by a friend years ago. :) That and a possibly outdated belief that more is always better.

Finally, how low would you suggest dropping the PSU wattage? I went a bit higher than necessary in the combined interest of silence and longevity. This PSU's fan's won't activate if it draws less than 500 W of power. Also, I know power supplies degrade over time, and I really don't want to have to replace it until I'm ready to replace the whole computer.

I'm explaining my reasoning not in the interest of argument, but to find out whether I'm wrong. :)

Oh, and I should add that I don't overclock anything. I had a disastrous experience with that once, many years ago, and while I know overclocking has become much simpler, easier, and safer, I still prefer to leave that to the experts. I do, however, appreciate components that are designed to stand up to the rigors of overclocking, on the assumption that this will translate well to longevity.


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 Post subject: Re: Build Advice, Please
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 1:13 pm 
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ANY PC component is vulnerable when there is sudden power loss - that's why you should always run a desktop PC behind a Uninteruptable power supply. Problem solved.

RAM: Ares series is low profile. Less conflicts with whatever CPU cooler you end up getting. Is there anything simpler adding to a PC than another 2 sticks of RAM when you need more? :D
Here's stuff that needs more than 8GB: heavy Photoshop use with large images, perhaps some 4K video work, 3D modeling, running lots of virtual machines, a digital audio workstation with orchestral levels of virtual instruments, etc...

PSU: short answer: don't buy more than a 550W class PSU.

looong answer: I couldn't stress load my PC higher than 330W and haven't seen more than 230W while gaming. Also, I enable vsync for games to limit the fps to the monitors' update rate (60Hz). This will drop another 20-50W off the power use as the video card won't be maxing out clocks rates to render stuff that will never be seen. Down the road: CPU/mobo wattages are going lower, not higher. GPU wattage will stay stable or drop a bit for the next gen or two as they implement more efficient architectures and get into 20nm processes. Take a look at the GTX 750 Ti thread for example. So, assume your power use is stable at <250W. Find a PSU that has the PEG connectors you need and a decent fan profile up through this load, either because it's passive or just really quiet. Examples are Be Quiet! DPP 10 550W (or maybe lower wattage) their Straight Power E9, Kingwin LZP-550, Seasonic SS460-FL2, Corsair RM 550, and Seasonic G...probably 650W (for the fan curve).

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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: Build Advice, Please
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 2:22 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 5:12 am
Posts: 26
Location: Pennsylvania
Thank you, that is excellent advice. I've dropped the power supply to the X-650 and switched to the Ares RAM (8 GB unless I get greedy).

I'm still pondering the SSD. I was considering skipping the UPS, because I've had some bad experiences with them. But on second thought, I'll assume that they've improved over the past decade, and try again. It probably won't be too hard, now, for me to convince myself to spend the extra hundred bucks on an SSD with a largeish WD Green drive for files and music and so forth.

Thanks again! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Build Advice, Please
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 3:26 pm 
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I've been very happy with the APC BE series. Fanless, surge protection for cable modem, switched master outlet for peripherals. Downside with mine is you can't set the alarm to mute - can only mute it during the event. My dog hates it :) Maybe the newer versions allow for it.

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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: Build Advice, Please
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 9:41 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Posts: 1730
Location: Switzerland
CA_Steve wrote:
ANY PC component is vulnerable when there is sudden power loss - that's why you should always run a desktop PC behind a Uninteruptable power supply. Problem solved.

There is a specific data loss issue with drives.
There are many SSDs which are (much) more at risk than hard drives. And some safe SSDs, some of which are probably safer than the average hard drive with the average configuration. A case in point would be the S3500. See for instance: http://lkcl.net/reports/ssd_analysis.html
For most uses, some fairly cheap drives like the M500 ought be to be fine however.

I would not recomment a UPC for all desktops, if only because of the pollution involved. In some cases, it's worth having. In others, not so much.


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 Post subject: Re: Build Advice, Please
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 11:19 am 
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Posts: 26
Location: Pennsylvania
Hmm... now a vote against a UPS. I had just about reconciled myself to buying one... why should I avoid them?


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 Post subject: Re: Build Advice, Please
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 12:00 pm 
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There is no practical reason against having a UPS behind a desktop PC that stores your docs and other data.

_________________
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: Build Advice, Please
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 12:24 pm 
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Posts: 1730
Location: Switzerland
Djehuty wrote:
why should I avoid them?

If you have little use for them.
Meaning if your electricity supply is reliable (if it's very good, a cheap UPS might even be worse than nothing) and if you're not doing anything very important on the PC.
They're mostly for servers and people who have crappy electricity. You live in the USA so I suppose it's possible you might have crappy electricity. I guess it depends largely on the area you live in but there are also concerns specific to the building you live in.
I have decent electricity so I only use them for servers... and so I only use more expensive models.


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 Post subject: Re: Build Advice, Please
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 1:08 pm 
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Location: UK
CA_Steve wrote:
There is no practical reason against having a UPS behind a desktop PC that stores your docs and other data.

Cost, sub-100% efficiency, noise, space, heat, extra cabling, weight, environmental impact of manufacturing, environmental impact of disposing of old batteries, cost of new batteries, need to test the UPS periodically to make sure it works, nasty square wave output from some units...

So there's plenty of reasons to not have a UPS for home use. I'd never have one.

The chance of data loss I think you're overplaying. I've only seen this once and that was from a system many, many years ago which had little relation to modern computing. If you have really crappy electricity then maybe it might be an option but for everyone else it's a waste. In terms of risk of data loss upon power loss, this can be more of a problem with systems that are not properly earthed.

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Silverstone SG03B: E8200, Asus P5E-VM HDMI, 2Gb RAM, Leadtek 9600GT+S1 rev. 2, Samsung 500Gb, Seasonic X-400, 2x Akasa 120mm, Scythe Zipang 2 fanless


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 Post subject: Re: Build Advice, Please
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 1:18 pm 
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Hey, maybe your grid is perfect. Not so much, here in the redwood forests. Windstorm = tree limb on power line => line voltage event at my house. Might be for a few seconds, might be for a few hours. Happens a few times a year. First time = corrupted OS on HDD. Ever since, I've had a UPS. 20 or so events later, no problems.

_________________
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: Build Advice, Please
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 4:20 pm 
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Location: Pennsylvania
Well, I don't approve of the pollution caused by manufacturing these items, but on the other hand I can't afford to replace computers or components due to preventable damage. Also, I'm moving to an area where I don't know the power grid reliability at all. That probably indicates a UPS as an undesirable necessity.

About how often does one have to replace the batteries? And is there a viable alternative? I'm mostly interested in preventing damage to my computer. I save things constantly, much more often than autosave kicks in, so I'm not too worried about losing work.


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 Post subject: Re: Build Advice, Please
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 8:33 pm 
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Djehuty wrote:
About how often does one have to replace the batteries?

My current one is going on 5 years. I think 3-5 is the norm.

_________________
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: Build Advice, Please
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 9:26 pm 
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Location: Switzerland
Djehuty wrote:
I'm mostly interested in preventing damage to my computer. I save things constantly, much more often than autosave kicks in, so I'm not too worried about losing work.

I'm not saying hardware damage isn't a common occurrence in places with crappy electricity but I've never actually witnessed hardware damage on power cuts except in cases where the PSU was crappy/inadequate.
Data loss on the other hand...
It's not only a matter of saving your work. But considering the applications you mentionned in your first post, if you have an SSD which can handle power cuts and if you don't use fancy software with RAID-like features or VMs, I don't think you're at risk much.

My advice: ask computer-savvy people in the place you're moving to about the electricity troubles they had in the past before buying anything.


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 Post subject: Re: Build Advice, Please
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 3:53 am 
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Location: Guatemala
Personally i love UPS, i have had then behind my pcs for years, they have Save me a lot of my work as well as my hardware, my electricity is stable but there are incidendents that the compañías cant predict, like thunderstorms, even car accidente, etc. If you are in a budget, its Hard to justify it, as it doesnt add much but sequrity, i guess i see it as i see my personal and car insurance, where i don't gain anything extra, but its there to Protect me in case os an event that ots not planned.

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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: Build Advice, Please
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 11:32 am 
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Location: Pennsylvania
Knowing they should last 3-5 years helps. The use of harmful substances does not please me, but I'll get it responsibly recycled when it dies, so that should help mitigate the damage. I have had a couple of issues in the past probably related to surge/outage damage -- a dead video card, a CPU that started BSOD-ing -- and I can't afford to replace components now. So I'll try a UPS once more.

Thanks again, this has been incredibly helpful, and I've learned a lot! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Build Advice, Please
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 12:09 pm 
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Enjoy your build.

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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: Build Advice, Please
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 7:14 am 
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I have the Z87i-Pro with a Mugen 4, current ram is Crucial Ballistix Sport VLP, 1/2 inch in total height, easily have another inch to spare. Clearance is pretty good all in all.

The UPS, due to my renovating the house, I do experience outages, with the HDD never had any problems with corruption, and with a regular autosave, minimal dataloss. Now that I've installed a SSD, I'll have to wait till the next outage and see how that goes. But for a quiet system, the SSD is great. Best bit of advice I listened too :)


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 Post subject: Re: Build Advice, Please
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:43 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 5:12 am
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Location: Pennsylvania
I would like to thank you all once again, and CA_Steve in particular, for your excellent advice. I have the new computer up and running, and it's absolutely fantastic and almost completely silent. Once I've played around with the Asus motherboard control programs a bit, I'll have it even quieter. At the moment the case fans are running at full speed -- not that Antec TrueQuiet fans are noisy even then.

I ran Prime95 for about an hour yesterday, on the maximum heat setting. With its fan on silent mode, the CPU made it up to 53 C; given that it doesn't throttle itself down until it hits 95, I think it's safe to say the Noctua cooler works. :) Just for fun, I turned the fan up to maximum, causing it to make a not-unpleasant whooshing sound, and bringing the temperature down to 39 C. That's with all four cores running at maximum load. I am SERIOUSLY impressed. My old computer got up in the 70-75 C range regularly.

I'm very glad, indeed, that this website and forum are here, and that there are enough knowledgeable silent computing enthusiasts to keep it going and to provide advice for dilettantes like me. :) Thank you once again for your generosity with your time and advice!


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 Post subject: Re: Build Advice, Please
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 5:15 pm 
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Location: Guatemala
Glad your pc turn out so good.

Just wondering, what temperature probe software are you using for your tests?

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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: Build Advice, Please
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:42 pm 
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Congrats on your build - have fun with the fine tuning :)

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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: Build Advice, Please
PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 6:28 am 
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Location: Pennsylvania
I'm was using what came with the motherboard -- the Asus AI Suite III and so forth. I have since installed AI Suite, because it annoyed me greatly, so I'll need to find something else for the next time I want to check up on the temperatures.

At the moment all I need to do, for fine-tuning, is to fiddle with the fan profiles in the BIOS, as I can just barely hear them, and possibly do something with the hard drive. I'm getting a faint thumping when it seeks. That may be unavoidable, of course.


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