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 Post subject: Seeking feedback on a quiet DAW build.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:39 am 
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Hello SPCR,

Love the silent PC forum!

In perusing the site over the past month, I've discerned much in planning a quiet build to replace an annoyingly loud and hot-running, eight core HP xw8400 workstation used in my home recording studio and seek feedback on the selection of parts identified from various SPCR discussions.

My current system is interfaced to a firewire controlled Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 supporting Pro Tools 12 and Ableton 9 Suite. Project size varies upwards toward 50 tracks with as many VST/VSTi plugins applied.

I'm not entirely new to PC building though it has been over a decade since my last build. I realize that there are physical limitations with many of the components working together fit-wise. Any heads-up on selected component fit-problems much appreciated.

Existing PC hardware planned for reuse includes a pair of PNY 480GB SATA III SSDs, an external 4TB HD and two Dell U2713h monitors. This is not a gaming system.

My goal is to create a quiet, price-to-performance value build that will last for years to come and includes:

CPU AMD - Ryzen 5 1600 - Though this CPU appears to come with a cooler, it may not be quiet as referenced build discussions include a CPU cooler.

CPU fan Scythe Mugen 5 - Replacement, quiet cooler.

Mobo Asus - PRIME B350-PLUS ATX AM4 - Having no recent experience with motherboards, this two-fan header mobo offers fan speed control and solid value to performance.

Memory G.Skill - Ribjaws V Series 16GB (2x8GB) DDR 3200 - memory selected based on a non-SPCR review found capturing it's relatively affordable price.

Storage PNY - CS1311 240GB - Dedicated OS drive.

GPU MSI - GeForce GTX 1050 2GB - Need a two monitor solution and this 0dB passive below 60 degrees card seems a viable choice.

Case Fractal Design Define C - This case appears functional, quiet, reasonably sized and value priced though I'm not sure whether the included case fans are adequate for the level of quiet sought.

PSU SeaSonic FOCUS Plus Gold 650 80+ - Though I'd seen where this PSU was recommended for being a quality, quiet unit at a reasonable price, maybe there's a better alternative considering this build's moderate power consumption.

Firewire Syba SY-PEX30016 3 port Firewire 1394B & 1394A PCIe 1.1 x1 - must have for the Saffire Pro 40.

This build prices out at approximately $865.00, without the firewire card, and can be found here:

ryzen 5 1600 Prime B350 Plus


Again, any recommendations welcome.

Thank you in advance.

Regards,
Michael


Last edited by mnkaltenbach on Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Seeking feedback on a quiet DAW build.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 2:06 pm 
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Welcome to SPCR.

A couple of questions and a couple of comments for you:
- will this be a live mic environment or just a pure workstation? (where the former requires silence and the latter silence is preferred, but really quiet is ok)
- Are you sure 16GB is enough RAM for your 50 tracks and VSTs? (Have you benchmarked your current system to see how much RAM the s/w uses?) Also, be sure to review the motherboard's Qualified vendor list for tested RAM.
- is the video card solely to drive the two 1440p monitors or do you need the gpu for some processing acceleration? If the former, you could drop to the MSI GT 1030 or switch to Intel i5-8400 with iGP. (motherboard selection might be tricky to find reasonable price+HDMI+DP).


The PNY SSD is certainly a price leader...I'd consider the Crucial MX 500 or Samsung 860 EVO for SATA 2.5" drives...and the Samsung 960 EVO for a M.2 form factor.

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 Post subject: Re: Seeking feedback on a quiet DAW build.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:38 pm 
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Thank you for the quick reply.

CA_Steve wrote:
A couple of questions and a couple of comments for you:
- will this be a live mic environment or just a pure workstation? (where the former requires silence and the latter silence is preferred, but really quiet is ok)


Yes; vocals and acoustic guitar tracks are recorded within the same room as the PC.

Quote:
- Are you sure 16GB is enough RAM for your 50 tracks and VSTs? (Have you benchmarked your current system to see how much RAM the s/w uses?) Also, be sure to review the motherboard's Qualified vendor list for tested RAM.


Not entirely. The little benchmarking I've done with the xw8400 w/16GB was managing a 37 track project with approximately 30 plugins and memory usage hovering between 50-65%. The 50 tracks plus VST/VSTi plugins reflect potentially larger projects down-the-road and am not opposed to adding memory. I'm aware that I must verify the mobo's qualified memory requirements and will close the loop before purchasing :)

Quote:
- is the video card solely to drive the two 1440p monitors or do you need the gpu for some processing acceleration? If the former, you could drop to the MSI GT 1030 or switch to Intel i5-8400 with iGP. (motherboard selection might be tricky to find reasonable price+HDMI+DP).


The GPU is purely for 2D dual monitor support and the MSI GT 1030 works. Your mention of the iGPU goes against an SPCR post I came across implicating no two monitor support and I moved-on. I must have misunderstood the post as I'm finding the iGPU could potentially work. Alas, can a cost effective mobo be found?

Quote:
The PNY SSD is certainly a price leader...I'd consider the Crucial MX 500 or Samsung 860 EVO for SATA 2.5" drives...and the Samsung 960 EVO for a M.2 form factor.


I hadn't looked at comparative SSD performance and now see the allure of an M.2 over SATA. Up until now, I've not had an opportunity to consider the M.2 but this makes sense as PCIe smashes their SATA kin.

Thank you again CA_Steve for the guidance.


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 Post subject: Re: Seeking feedback on a quiet DAW build.
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:11 am 
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Let me mess with you a little more. If this is a live mic environment, have you considered a completely passive system like the HDPlex Gen 2 H5? It's pricey ($380 for case +PSU) vs your proposed fanned system ($160 for case and PSU), but you won't have to worry about noise issues. There's a recent build thread here. In your case, I propose the H5 as it'll support mATX and ATX and their 4 RAM slots vs mITX's two.

RAM: The upside to going with Intel is the RAM selection will be way less tricky. The benefits of running faster than 2666MHz is fairly minimal..some, but not a lot at 3200.

Mobo: congrats, you have decided to build on the day Intel released the H370 chipsets. So, there may be cheaper (than Z370) solutions out there with both HDMI and DP outputs...however, it's a brand new chipset and I don't recommend building with it for at least 2 months so the bugs/driver updates can settle out.

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 Post subject: Re: Seeking feedback on a quiet DAW build.
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:47 am 
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mnkaltenbach wrote:
The GPU is purely for 2D dual monitor support and the MSI GT 1030 works. Your mention of the iGPU goes against an SPCR post I came across implicating no two monitor support and I moved-on. I must have misunderstood the post as I'm finding the iGPU could potentially work. Alas, can a cost effective mobo be found?
Intel iGPU can for sure do 2 monitors, the problem here goes into the motherboard of you choice having the correct connections for your monitor (HDMI, Displayport, DVI or VGA), most of the middle end motherboards come with DVI and HDMI ports (some only with one), higher end boards come with DVI and Displayport, and in some rare cases you can get 3, usually its more VGA + HDMI + DP or HDMI.

But the good here goes into less components, so less consumption and less heat, it would even make it easier going into something like HDPLex or Steacom case. Intels iGPUs are very capable for anything that its not gaming related. As Steve posted, Intel is releasing the new CPUs and chipsets, same as coffee lake but cheaper, including a six core with built in iGPU.

Now if you want to go with a dedicated GPU because your software might use it in the future, like editing or rendering, then its a good route also, the MSI GT1030 is a good filler and will give you two monitor fine.

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 Post subject: Re: Seeking feedback on a quiet DAW build.
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:45 am 
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Quote:
If this is a live mic environment, have you considered a completely passive system like the HDPlex Gen 2 H5? It's pricey ($380 for case +PSU) vs your proposed fanned system ($160 for case and PSU), but you won't have to worry about noise issues. There's a recent build thread here. In your case, I propose the H5 as it'll support mATX and ATX and their 4 RAM slots vs mITX's two.

Wow. A silent audio PC. Seeing three available PCIe slots with the HDPlex Gen 2 H5 to accommodate the firewire card and going with an iGPU could make it happen :o How can I not consider it?

Quote:
_The upside to going with Intel is the RAM selection will be way less tricky. The benefits of running faster than 2666MHz is fairly minimal..some, but not a lot at 3200_

I started planning an i5-8400 build before planning the Ryzen 5 1600 build proposed. I'm not married to DDR4 3200; it just happen to be used in a completed build and the price was right. I'm not chasing any OC features and as long as the completed build is reliable, I'm good with using slightly slower memory that performs virtually the same.

Quote:
Mobo: congrats, you have decided to build on the day Intel released the H370 chipsets. So, there may be cheaper (than Z370) solutions out there with both HDMI and DP outputs...however, it's a brand new chipset and I don't recommend building with it for at least 2 months so the bugs/driver updates can settle out.

As if there's not enough options :| I know better than to get involved with a new roll-out :wink: The prospect sounds inviting but I don't want to wait.

Being an Arizona resident, I'm pressed to replace my noisy space heater workstation sooner rather than later :!:

I've downloaded the H5 install manual and can now see all that's involved. The Z370 mobo I'd previously selected for an i5-8400 build is included on HDPLEX's supported list of mobos for the H5.

Unless I find a better mobo and memory, here's the short list of parts for the HDPlex Gen 2 H5 build.

Intel - Core i5-8400 2.8GHz 6-Core Processor
MSI - Z370 GAMING PLUS ATX LGA1151
Corsair - ValueSelect 16GB 1x16Gb DDR4-2666
HDPLEX 2nd Gen H5 Fanless w/400W HiFi DC-ATX PSU

Because this appears to be more than the average PC build, I have more research to do on installing the Gen2 H5; starting with finding others who've successfully built an H5 and there takeaways.

Thanks again.


Last edited by mnkaltenbach on Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:43 am, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Seeking feedback on a quiet DAW build.
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:37 pm 
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Quote:
Intel iGPU can for sure do 2 monitors, the problem here goes into the motherboard of you choice having the correct connections for your monitor (HDMI, Displayport, DVI or VGA), most of the middle end motherboards come with DVI and HDMI ports (some only with one), higher end boards come with DVI and Displayport, and in some rare cases you can get 3, usually its more VGA + HDMI + DP or HDMI.

Thanks for the response Abula. The pair of Dell U2713h monitors I'm using accommodate DVI-D, DP and HDMI which most Z370 mobo's support.

Quote:
But the good here goes into less components, so less consumption and less heat, it would even make it easier going into something like HDPLex or Steacom case. Intels iGPUs are very capable for anything that its not gaming related. As Steve posted, Intel is releasing the new CPUs and chipsets, same as coffee lake but cheaper, including a six core with built in iGPU.

Upon learning about the Gen2 H5, I'm now eying the i5-8400.


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 Post subject: Re: Seeking feedback on a quiet DAW build.
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:51 pm 
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mnkaltenbach wrote:
Thanks for the response Abula. The pair of Dell U2713h monitors I'm using accommodate DVI-D, DP and HDMI which most Z370 mobo's support.
The one you selected MSI Z370 Gaming Plus, supports VGA/DVI/DP, i think you should be fine with DVI and DP, but in case you do plan to upgrade your monitors for example to 4k60, consider that DP 1.4 can and so does HDMI 2.0b, VGA and DVI will not.

Ideally for the monitors you currently own and thinking of the future, i would go with HDMI + DP as my outputs, but does come with a cost, only higher end mobos come with this combination, like MSI Z370 GAMING M5 ( i would remove the plastick shrouds on a fanless build) or ASRock Z370 Taichi (both have crap audio, i had to go with dedicated sound card and DAC).

But if you think dp+VGA+dvi would fit you fine then go for the MSI Z370 gaming plus.

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 Post subject: Re: Seeking feedback on a quiet DAW build.
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 4:32 pm 
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Not sure DVI on the mobo will drive your Dell at native resolution...don't have the data in front of me right now.. Suggest going with a mobo that has DP and HDMI.

Here's the link to the board's specs - DVI-D supports 1920 x 1200.

RAM: There is some performance value to sticking with dual channel RAM over a single stick...if you are using pcpartpicker.com for comparative pricing, there is a bit of flatness in pricing between some of the 3200 and 2666 modules...eg: G.Skill Ripjaws V 3200 2 x 8GB @ $165 and their 2666 at $164. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Seeking feedback on a quiet DAW build.
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:37 pm 
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Quote:
Not sure DVI on the mobo will drive your Dell at native resolution...don't have the data in front of me right now.. Suggest going with a mobo that has DP and HDMI.

Ugh, the DVI resolution is a show-stopper. Although Abula's suggested MSI GAMING M5 and ASRock Z370 Taichi make the cut, my aspirations for a best value-to-performance mobo is a higher priority now that my build includes the Gen2 H5. Semingly, the only reasonably priced mobo with DP, HDMI is the
Asus PRIME Z370-A after spending much time scouring the Z370 world.

Naturally I was drawn to read about H370 mobos that are a better match for my needs like the ASRock H370M-ITX. Besides the downside of being lab rat for a new board, H370 mobos do not appear to be on the HDPLEX supported list; yet :D


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 Post subject: Re: Seeking feedback on a quiet DAW build.
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:18 pm 
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mnkaltenbach wrote:
Naturally I was drawn to read about H370 mobos that are a better match for my needs like the ASRock H370M-ITX. Besides the downside of being lab rat for a new board, H370 mobos do not appear to be on the HDPLEX supported list; yet :D
Well that minitx asrock looks pretty nice, triple video out (2xHDMI + DP), seems like a really good buy for $110, you can go triple monitor if you wish later on, although its a new chipset, i dont think its going to be completly different, i mean Z370 has been out for 6 months now, and seems very similar.

I been checking the offering for H370, and only gigabyte has something similar but more expensive, i think this AsRock is one of the best offerings, maybe write to HDPlex to see if they think it would work out with their cases?

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 Post subject: Re: Seeking feedback on a quiet DAW build.
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:55 am 
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Contacted Larry at HDPlex and he indicated that the three H370 mobos I identified would mate to the H5 and that he'd update the HDPlex site with the new boards :D The three boards offering a combo of two or more DP and HDMI connectors included:

- ASUS TUF H370-PRO GAMING (ATX)
- MSI H370 GAMING PRO CARBON (ATX)
- ASRock H370M-ITX/ac (ITX)


Regarding the power supply, HDPlex offers 160W and 300W nanoATX PSU with either 160W or 400W DC-ATX converter.
Does it make more sense to purchase the larger 300W PSU and 400W DC-ATX converter for future upgrades like a separate GPU?

I don't believe the build with only an i5-8400, mobo, 16GB DDR4 2666 memory, two 480GB SSDs and a firewire card will draw more than 150W. Any suggestions?


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 Post subject: Re: Seeking feedback on a quiet DAW build.
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:27 am 
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mnkaltenbach wrote:
Regarding the power supply, HDPlex offers 160W and 300W nanoATX PSU with either 160W or 400W DC-ATX converter.
Does it make more sense to purchase the larger 300W PSU and 400W DC-ATX converter for future upgrades like a separate GPU?

I don't believe the build with only an i5-8400, mobo, 16GB DDR4 2666 memory, two 480GB SSDs and a firewire card will draw more than 150W. Any suggestions?
Power Supply its up to you, according CPU Overclocking in 2018: Inefficient and Unnecessary a 8400 + H370 mobo on load (blender) draws 94W (i would put it toward 100W as not all mobos are the same and asrock has a wifi card, could be lower but just to have some headroom), add up what your firewire card draws on load + USB perf and interfaces + ssd/hdd, imo you are looking at 150W tops at the most, the 160W nano should be enough, now if you want to go overheaded for a future GPU upgrade then go with the 300/400W, this is something that only you can decide.

Remember try to buy memory from the QLV List once you settle on the motherboard, this will ensure you dont have issues with it or at least minimize them.

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 Post subject: Re: Seeking feedback on a quiet DAW build.
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:22 am 
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I looked up the TI chip on your proposed Firewire card earlier in the week - I recall it just being a few watt chip (hence no heatsink). The generic formula I use for builds is CPU TDP + 30W for SSD builds.. so ~95W.

Add in the potential of your video card...a GT 1030 is 30W, the GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti fall in the 75W range and that's as high as you'll want to go in the H5.

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 Post subject: Re: Seeking feedback on a quiet DAW build.
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 5:51 pm 
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Quote:
Add in the potential of your video card...a GT 1030 is 30W, the GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti fall in the 75W range and that's as high as you'll want to go in the H5.


For the initial build, I'm going with the i5-8400 iGPU, 300W PSU and 400W DC-ATX that potentially allows a GPU card to be added in the future.

However, the ASRock H370M-ITX/ac mobo that appeared to be my board has since been determined not to work as it has a single PCIe slot and will not accommodate the PCIe firewire and a GPU card upgrade :cry:

Moving on, the Gigabyte H370M DS3H appears to fit the bill :) though I'm not fond of buying a board lacking reviews :|


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 Post subject: Re: Seeking feedback on a quiet DAW build.
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:18 pm 
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Well, I'd lean toward a mATX or ATX board anyway just for the 4 RAM slots. ..and you know my thoughts on buying untested boards.

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 Post subject: Re: Seeking feedback on a quiet DAW build.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:34 am 
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It appears that I have until the end of April to finalize a mobo choice as I've ordered the H5 and it doesn't arrive until end of the month.


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 Post subject: Re: Seeking feedback on a quiet DAW build.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:21 am 
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Sweet - hopefully some reviews will come out.

Abula - Two changes on the non-Z boards that could affect users during the early launch cycle:
- Intel's first USB 3.1 Gen 2 controllers are on the PCH.
- Intel integrated wifi MAC on the PCH.

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 Post subject: Re: Seeking feedback on a quiet DAW build.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:31 am 
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CA_Steve wrote:
Abula - Two changes on the non-Z boards that could affect users during the early launch cycle:
- Intel's first USB 3.1 Gen 2 controllers are on the PCH.
- Intel integrated wifi MAC on the PCH.
Interesting the Gen2 native support, i think they should have it called USB 3.2 would be much easier for the end user. i didn't think much change was going to happen, but upon this changes is probably going with Z370 with a more mature bios or wait 3 months as steve advises. If you go with the MSI Z370 Gaming M5, i own it, it has some plastic covering over the heatsinks, i would remove this, seems easy but its more a decoration.

Yesterday i was watching some videos, and i stumble on H370 Vs. B360 - Can They Handle the i7-8700 At MAX Load?, he tests the AsRock H370M ITX-AC, while everything work out, i didnt like the vrm reaching 105, given that they probably can take it fine, i think the small heatsinks dont help, and thinking you are going passive... might go higher, so my recommendation is to avoid this mobo for your build.

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 Post subject: Re: Seeking feedback on a quiet DAW build.
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:26 pm 
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I heard from Larry that the H5 will ship in 10 days and includes an update moving the power switch from the case face to the side accompanying USB connectors, etc. :D

Though over-clocking doesn't apply for me, the unknowns of new H370 mobos and a now-ended sale on the ASUS Z370-A Prime induced me to commit to the relatively more mature Z370-A before sale-end last week and the Samsung 960 EVO.

The following parts have either been ordered or ordered & received:

H5 Gen2 w/relocated power switch
HDPlex 300W PSU
HDPlex 400W DC-ATX converter
Intel Core i5-8400
ASUS Pri Z370-A
CORSAIR Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4 2666
SAMSUNG 960 EVO M.2 500GB NVMe PCI-Exress 3.0 x4 SSD
SYBA Low profile PCIe 1394B/A Firewire Card Model SD-PEX30009
Samsung 64GB BAR USB 3.0 Flash Dive
Windows 10 Pro


I was considering a QDIY Modder Acrylic ATX mobo tray for use in pre-assembly/test and begin the Win 10 disk image build process.
With the amount of motherboard install work involved and reading a few Z370-A reviews underscoring problems, it seems wise to verify the mobo before performing the install and discovering the heat-sink work must be removed/redone because of a mobo problem. I've read both pros and cons of pre-assembling and it's a toss which persuades me to skip-it. Any thoughts?

Thank you again Steve and Abula for sharing your insight.


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 Post subject: Re: Seeking feedback on a quiet DAW build.
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:11 pm 
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Quote:
I was considering a QDIY Modder Acrylic ATX mobo tray for use in pre-assembly/test and begin the Win 10 disk image build process.

Seems kinda pricey when you can set the motherboard down onto a non-conductive surface (like a wood desk) and do the pre-build. It won't sit flat (unless you have case standoffs from an old build), but it could work.

The build list looks fine.

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 Post subject: Re: Seeking feedback on a quiet DAW build.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:45 am 
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CA_Steve wrote:
... you can set the motherboard down onto a non-conductive surface (like a wood desk) and do the pre-build. It won't sit flat...
The box the motherboard comes in is a good support.
With the edge of extension cards off the edge of the box the motherboard will lay flat.


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 Post subject: Re: Seeking feedback on a quiet DAW build.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:56 am 
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Just don't set the motherboard on the top of the ESD bag.

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 Post subject: Re: Seeking feedback on a quiet DAW build.
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:09 am 
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The ESD bag isn't bad:
* It's equal potential all over.
* It's not conductive at the voltages involved with a computer (impedances more than tens of megaohms). Any leakage currents will be up to micro amps.


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 Post subject: Re: Seeking feedback on a quiet DAW build.
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:57 pm 
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Thanks for the suggestions on facilitating testing out the build as it revealed the ASUS Z370-A PRIME had a defective IntelĀ® I219V, 1 x Gigabit LAN.

Newegg RMA'd the mobo for a replacement. Besides hoping the replacement is problem free, I'm a firm believer in testing out a new build before assembly.


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 Post subject: Re: Seeking feedback on a quiet DAW build.
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 3:40 pm 
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wow - that's a rarity.

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 Post subject: Re: Seeking feedback on a quiet DAW build.
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:57 am 
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Ryzen 5 1600 is a good CPU but the stock cooler is not quiet. Mugen 5 is a good cooler. Also, it doesn't have integrated graphics. If you're not doing any graphical work, you are better off with an Intel CPU that has integrated graphics so you don't have to pay current video card prices.

16 GB RAM is a good place to start for RAM. You can add more if needed, but otherwise, don't spend money you don't need to.


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 Post subject: Re: Seeking feedback on a quiet DAW build.
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:29 am 
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Derek Semeraro wrote:
Ryzen 5 1600 is a good CPU but the stock cooler is not quiet. Mugen 5 is a good cooler. Also, it doesn't have integrated graphics. If you're not doing any graphical work, you are better off with an Intel CPU that has integrated graphics so you don't have to pay current video card prices.

The OP has already made his purchases and they included a case that is also the CPU cooler...

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 Post subject: Re: Seeking feedback on a quiet DAW build.
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 3:42 pm 
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Thanks again for everyone's help.

Unfortunately, I'm having to look at H5 alternatives for a fanless case.

Though the H5 was purchased six weeks ago, I still don't have it.

Because I've long committed to the Prime Z370-A, I need a fanless case that accommodates an ATX with firewire expansion card.


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