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 Post subject: Small, strong and silent - matx gaming build
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 1:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:56 pm
Posts: 10
This is my long overdue second build (last one 5 years ago, a lot has changed) and this is my first small build so I need some advice on the parts, cooling, noise, fitting it all in and making sure there is decent enough airflow. My budget is generous and although I'm conscious of overkill, this build is all about seeing just how much power you can squeeze in a small and quiet build because I'm gonna be putting it through its paces for sure. Here's the plan:

Case - fractal design define mini
CPU - intel i7 3770k @ ~4ghz
Mobo - maximus v gene
Ram - 8gb corsair vengeance low profile 1600
Graphics - gigabyte gtx 680 3x windforce 4gb (read below for why I need 4gb)
PSU - seasonic x750
SSD - Samsung 840 pro 256gb
CPU cooler - noctua nh-d14
Case fans - 2x noctua 120mms + the two fractal fans that come with the case ( standard push-pull)

Firstly, some may think this is a pretty serious rig to be squeezing in a small case but I'm limited for room and really want a small build that packs a (rather quiet) punch. The rig will mainly be for playing a very heavily modded skyrim (with all the trimmings) and similar games, as well as some moderate CAD work and mapping software, and databases (SPSS and SQL). I'm aware that the build may still seem a bit much for what I require but a heavily modded skyrim can easily take up a whole 2gb of gpu memory, often more for serious modders so I want that extra power from the 4gb. The rest of the parts are a mix of futureproofing (PSU, CPU) and amazing reviews (SSD, MaximusVGene, Noctua)

Really I'm only unsure about the ram (more/less? Faster?), CPU cooler (mainly clearance from the graphics card) and mobo but if anyone has any input regarding the other parts I'm all ears. I'm really looking for the quietest build possibly but considering the performance I need I understand that even the gigabyte (one of the quiestest cards available) will still be noisy under full load, nevertheless ill sacrifice some temperature increases for less noise as I'm only gonna be overclocking a little bit to see if its a noticeable performance increase (probably not going to take the CPU above 4ghz unless its worth it)

Finally the case is a certainty, my friend has one and the really are worth every penny, IMO nothing could be better for me. I hope this is enough info but if I've missed anything please let me know ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Small, strong and silent - matx gaming build
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:10 pm
Posts: 1817
Location: Northern New Jersey
For what you want to do, most of the parts seem justified I suppose. Only thing to keep in mind is that 750W is way more than you need.

My dual Xeon system with 3x HDDs and GTX660Ti runs comfortably on an Antec 750. You most definitely do not need that. Look at power supplies in the 400-550W range, as even that will give you plenty of head room.

Other than that, 8gb of RAM is more than enough for the average user. If you're looking to do more intense work, maybe you will want 16gb, thinking more about the CAD work. When I re-color a video in Adobe Speedgrade, I have seen up to 28gb of RAM in use, so more RAM will make CAD go faster, but if you're doing very small scale projects, you may not notice a difference between 8 and 16gb.

I like the Noctua cooler, you shouldn't have any issues with it. As far as the fans go, I would ditch the stock fans entirely, but that's more because I have bad experiences with stock fans breaking or being very out of balance. Also, the i7 is very quick, I'm hard pressed to say you'll need 4ghz for skyrim or CAD. My 2620's are at their stock 2ghz Turbo goes to 2.5, but I've had short projects render in near realtime when using Media Encoder. That said, your experiences could be different.

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 Post subject: Re: Small, strong and silent - matx gaming build
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:15 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1824
Location: Guatemala
Just a warning, even though i think it will fit, the micro atx boards like GENE V have very narrow space between the CPU socket n the first 16x PCIe slot, my HR02 is probably 2mm appart, and i believe the NH-D14 is a little wider, on the plus side the Define mini is standard to gravity should help to have a little more margin between the heatsink n the back of the gpu, but it will be close.

Quote:
Ram - 8gb corsair vengeance low profile 1600
I think you should be fine with it, since the first fan is 120mm, but manufacturers market their ram as being low profile while its really more standard, in case you do want low profile and cheap atm with 20% cupon,

Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile Desktop Memory Model BLS2K4G3D1609ES2LX0

Image

I agree with bonestonne on the PSU, you could save some $$$ with another PSU, reviewed and recommened by SPRC, Kingwin Lazer Platinum 550W Power Supply

KINGWIN Lazer Platinum Series LZP-550 550W ATX 12V v2.2 / EPS 12V v2.91 / SSI EPS 12V v2.92 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS PLATINUM Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

Or if you really want to go higher on Watts, at the same price as the X750, but platinum instead of gold,

KINGWIN LZP-850 850W ATX 12V v2.2 / EPS 12V v2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS PLATINUM Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

_________________
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: Small, strong and silent - matx gaming build
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:56 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:56 pm
Posts: 10
Thanks for the speedy responses, really helpful stuff :) I wasn't sure about the ram but after some more forum reading I think I will be going for 16gb ram, even though I probably won't be needing it just yet, it's not that much more expensive for that little extra, just incase ;)

The seasonic x750 was a future proofing choice as I may be going sli in the distant future and wanted to make sure I didn't have to go out n buy a new PSU. I realise sli in this case with this motherboard isn't probably possible (or would be a horribly tight squeeze = poor airflow) so it would mean buying some more parts, again it's not that much more expensive to buy something I won't need to replace in the future.

What are your thoughts on airflow? I've decided I will be ditching the stock fans and buying 4 noctua case fans, just cause id like them to match really, but no doubt this will improve airflow slightly. With the GPU being so close to the CPU cooler (its a tight fit but from other builds I see there's about 10-15mm gap) should I be concerned about heat rising into the heat sink on the noctua CPU cooler? Remember I want fans running as low as I can get away with but would still like the option to overclock


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 Post subject: Re: Small, strong and silent - matx gaming build
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:29 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 10:29 am
Posts: 567
Location: de_DE
That's a great silent build.
There are two versions of the Gigabyte GTX 670/680 Windforce, the newer one is a triple slot card, so you can't simply buy a second card to upgrade to SLI with the mainboard you chose.
For CAD work I would buy a 2x8GB ram kit. I bought Corsair because I read somewhere the have the fewest returns.
The Asus Maximus V Gene has a mSATA slot, you could use the Samsung SSD PM841, the mSATA version of the Samsung 840 SSD. It's not been retailing for a long time so the price might still be a little high.
The ASUS board has four 4-pin headers for fans and a very good fan control. If you replace the fans you should buy PWM version, they can run at lower speeds with Asus' Fanexpert, the lowest for 3-pin fans is 40%.

I built a very similar system with better price/performance ratio:
ASUS P8Z77m-Pro, i3570K and a GTX 670 4GB. The performance difference is 5% at the most without overclocking the price difference between these components and the Asus V Gene, i3770K and 680 4GB is 25%.
I would not buy Noctua and buy Nexus fans and a Thermalright HR-02 Macho for the same reason.

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Evga GTX 670 FTW+ 4GB with Thermalright Spitfire and Thermalright TY-150 500-800RPM, Seasonic 460W Platinum Fanless


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 Post subject: Re: Small, strong and silent - matx gaming build
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:47 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1824
Location: Guatemala
The Defini Mini is a wonderful case, but its not much smaller than Define R4, its piratically only the two PCIe slots difference, and since you have some desires of SLI for the distant future, i think the R4 might play better, also comes with 140mm fans instead of 120mm, some might see this as an upgrade as you will get better airflow at lower rpms, other will see it as negative as there are not that many 140mm options, but since you like noctua consider Noctua 140mm Premium Quiet Quality Case Cooling Fan NF-A14 ULN.

Quote:
What are your thoughts on airflow? I've decided I will be ditching the stock fans and buying 4 noctua case fans, just cause id like them to match really, but no doubt this will improve airflow slightly. With the GPU being so close to the CPU cooler (its a tight fit but from other builds I see there's about 10-15mm gap) should I be concerned about heat rising into the heat sink on the noctua CPU cooler? Remember I want fans running as low as I can get away with but would still like the option to overclock
My GTX580 stays cool even with the CPU heatsink right by it side, i dont think its an issue, peronally i think its better as the air gets more directed into the case fan.

Now if you are worried about airflow, probably look into Silverstone TJ08-E, aslo reviewed in SPCR, SilverStone Temjin TJ08-E: MicroATX Evolved and got the editors choice. The massive 180mm fan on the front gives direct airflow to the cpu n gpu, some even run it without any other fans. In my TJ08-E build i have better temps than what i had on my Antec 1200 with a lot more fans, wonderful case, but not all is perfect, the 180mm fan is loud with no undervolting, even with the built in fan controller in low (900rpm) its still loud for me, i droped mine to 600rpm with a zalman fanmate2 where its becomes tolerable, i still can hear it but its more like whosh, but the GENE V (mine is the IV) has the ability to control PWM and 3pin fans with the FanXpert2, so i would think you should be able to control that way also. If you wish to see more builds and combos with the case, check the following thread, OCN Silverstone TJ08-E Owners Club., the most common mobo that i seen on it are the Asus Gene Z IV and Gene V, so you will get a good idea what works with it.

Maybe something like,
Case - SilverStone TJ08B-E MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case
CPU - Intel Core i5-3570K
Mobo - ASUS Maximus V Gene
Ram - Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (2 x 8GB) Low Profile
Graphics - GIGABYTE GV-N670OC-4GD GeForce GTX 670 4GB
PSU - KINGWIN Lazer Platinum Series LZP-550 550W
SSD - SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series MZ-7PD256BW 2.5" 256GB
CPU cooler - Thermalright HR-02 Macho
Case fans - Nexus BASIC D12SL-12 120mm

_________________
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: Small, strong and silent - matx gaming build
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:05 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:56 pm
Posts: 10
Abula Thanks for the effort but I'm set on getting the fractal case now, I've had a read around and the airflow inside is good. I am interested in the r4 now though, I was originally going to buy this case before I decided on a smaller build and now you mention it there isn't an awful lot of difference between the r4 and the mini (mini w/h/d 210x395x490mm, r4 232x464x523mm, only 70mm taller). The extra width should allow for bigger coolers too, I've heard some coolers dig into the noise dampening on the side of the case in the mini.

I've had a look at a few more rigs and the noctua's fan clips touch the gpu on a v gene so I'm looking for a different cooler, the thermalright you both suggested looks good but is it as quiet as the noctua? Any other suggestions if not? Need to be no bigger than the hr02, preferably without clips protruding towards the graphics card. Also need to know if I'll need normal or low profile ram with the cooler.

Also are the case fans as good because Ill need a little bit more pressure for good airflow in the r4 but I really do want the case fans to be silent on a low/mid setting and just a whisper on high, in my experience they're often the noisiest because of their locations at the front and back.

Boost I've decided to go for the 670. As you said the performance (found some good skyrim benchmarks on toms hardware) difference doesn't justify the price with the 680, they're just marketing towards those who need the (second) best model but aren't prepared to do their homework (nearly had me too). Besides, I could always go sli if I'm prepared to go buy a new board, won't be for a long time though so I'm fine with the v gene and a single 4gb 670 looks more than capable for what I need, unless anyone knows differently? I should mention this is playing 1920x1080 on a 22"

I'm still going to get the 3770k, seasonic x750 and Samsung 840pro but I'm beginning to have doubts about the gigabyte windforce (a two slot card would be more ideal for future sli possibilities) but I'm yet to see a card that's just as quiet or quieter at full load, any thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: Small, strong and silent - matx gaming build
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1824
Location: Guatemala
Foxdie?! wrote:
I've had a look at a few more rigs and the noctua's fan clips touch the gpu on a v gene so I'm looking for a different cooler, the thermalright you both suggested looks good but is it as quiet as the noctua? Any other suggestions if not? Need to be no bigger than the hr02, preferably without clips protruding towards the graphics card. Also need to know if I'll need normal or low profile ram with the cooler.
In my TJ08-E without the hdd cage as support my gtx580 would touch the hr02, but my case is backwards, so in your case with the mini/r4 the gravity will pull the gpu away from the cpu cooler... now if you go with r4, you could go with ATX, specially for thinking sli on the distant future, if you do that, then most ATX mobos will have have their 16x pcie slot one slot below, allowing again the use of coolers like NH-D14/Silver Arrow/PH-TC14/Genesis. Then again the HR02 is a good offering, specially at $50... its hard to beat its performance/cost/noise, check the following reviews, SPCR Thermalright HR-02 Macho Quiet/Fanless Cooler and [H]ardOCP Thermalright HR-02 Macho CPU Air Cooler Review. Now if you find the HR02 still too wide, the go with the Prolimatech Megahalems should be a decent choice.

Quote:
Also are the case fans as good because Ill need a little bit more pressure for good airflow in the r4 but I really do want the case fans to be silent on a low/mid setting and just a whisper on high, in my experience they're often the noisiest because of their locations at the front and back.
I dont own it so take my comments with a grain of salt, i have heard the fans are decent on R4, there is a fan controller 12/7/5 and the fans do start at all those voltages, but the only one to judge if they fans are good enough is yourself. Personally for case fan i like them to run below 1000rpm no matter what, on my server they run usually around 800rpm and on my tj08-e the 180 runs at 600rpm, between this range is what i would look for 140mm fan, again depends on other factors, but i wouldnt run it over 900rpm. The Gene V (among other asus) have fanXpert2, that should allow you to dynamically control the fans to your liking (as long as the fan likes undervolting).

Quote:
but I'm beginning to have doubts about the gigabyte windforce (a two slot card would be more ideal for future sli possibilities) but I'm yet to see a card that's just as quiet or quieter at full load, any thoughts?
Well SPCR reviewed ASUS GeForce GTX 680 DirectCU II OC and got the editors choice, but this is the triple slot 2gb version, also reviewed the ASUS GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II which is a the dual slot but still 2gb version, but also got the editor choice. Asus does have 4gb version of GTX680/GTX670 but its a dual slot.... that hasnt been reviewed by SPCR, but i guess you might be able to draw your own conclusion from the other two reviews, probably the more on the GTX670 as its dual slot card in both scenarios, but seems a great card regardless.

ASUS GTX 670 Series Graphics Card GTX670-DC2-4GD5
Asus US GTX680-DC2-4GD5 Geforce GTX680 4GB PCIe3

_________________
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: Small, strong and silent - matx gaming build
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:52 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:56 pm
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The r4 does offer a lot more opportunities. I still think Id like a v gene in there though because it has everything I need and some nice extras for a fair price. That said Im still considering an atx board but Im not sure what my options are for a similar board (maybe the asus p8z77 or gigabyte sniper 3?)
Ive read that the v formula will fit in an r4 (does this mean the board-case mounts line up?) but its an expensive board, any other suggestions? For graphics I think Im gona go for the Asus DirectCUii GTX670 4GB, its a two slot card and the reviews say its pretty much as quiet as the gigabyte windforce maybe even quieter. Thanks for the recommendation.
So heres my revised build

Fractal R4
I7 3770K
Asus DirectCUii GTX670 4GB
2x 8GB Corsair LP or Ballistixs (does it need to be low profile with a hr02?)
Thermalright Macho HR02
Kingwin LPZ850 Platinum (good reviews, good recommendation)
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB
4x Nexus Real Silent case fans

thanks again for your help. Im still a few weeks away from buying so please share any more suggestions regarding any parts

(finally managed to post this message after 3 days of fatal error messages)


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 Post subject: Re: Small, strong and silent - matx gaming build
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:18 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1824
Location: Guatemala
Foxdie?! wrote:
finally managed to post this message after 3 days of fatal error messages
Good to see you finally was able to post, weird that memory error. But once you understand it its very easy to aviod it or to correct it. Believe i spent hours trying to figure out one post only.

Foxdie?! wrote:
The r4 does offer a lot more opportunities. I still think Id like a v gene in there though because it has everything I need and some nice extras for a fair price. That said Im still considering an atx board but Im not sure what my options are for a similar board (maybe the asus p8z77 or gigabyte sniper 3?)
The Gene V is an excelent mobo, i almost updated from gene Z IV, but didnt really needed... but has some stuff that i want, hopping there is a Haswell GENE VI soon =). On the mobo depends on what you want, i feel the GENE V offers so much for $190, but at the same time its design is for a micro atx case, and the sli setup will end up very close, while most of the semi high end (not the maximus extreme) have triple spacing between 16x slots (one will be 8x though), so imo in a full ATX case i would only go with GENE V for a none sli setup, but since you have some thoughts into going that way.... i would probably go with the P8Z77, i would remain on asus for the fanXpert2 (be sure to check that its with 2 version and not the 1), has so much tweaking for the fans.... that makes it worth the extra $$$, at least for me. This is the cheapest Asus Z77 with FanXpert2, ASUS P8Z77-V LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Foxdie?! wrote:
Ive read that the v formula will fit in an r4 (does this mean the board-case mounts line up?) but its an expensive board, any other suggestions?
If you go extended mobo, im not sure it will fit on the R4, i think the Fractal Design Define XL R2 is meant for that. But thats another at least $90 over the Gene Z / P8Z77-V...., if its worth it... its up to you.

Foxdie?! wrote:
2x 8GB Corsair LP or Ballistixs (does it need to be low profile with a hr02?)
Thermalright Macho HR02
Well its not needed, standard height should be fine also, even tall memory should do fine as long as you dont populate slot 4. I just did a build for friend with the macho, and the way new mounting bracket is design, allows the TY140 to be droped down even lower then what it was with the none macho version (the screw in the middle was a thumb screw, now its almost flat), so the fan will be able to drop almost to the lvl of the memory, on the PS07 build the slots for populating first werent even close to the fan on the macho, but the last slot is debatable, watching from the top it might fit but might end up touching... but this for you might not be important, for eample the TY140 is asimetrical, has one side larger than the other, and in micro atx mobo the HR02 is so close to the gpu that you will not be able to fit it the large way to the sides, so it has to go with shorter sides here so it stays flush with the HR02 and not touch the gpu, this means the fan taller size ends up toward the door of case, so its important to able to drop it down as low as possible to the side pannel closes, again not that important to you if you have 1x pcie slot between the cpu n gpu to be able to place the fan as you please, but for my friends build the crucial balistic was pretty good, specially if he upgrades short term to 16gb and populates the 4th slot. I will probably build also with low profile for haswell, i see no reason why to have standard tall memory or tall heatsinks, Samsung 30nm was also one of the more popular memory lately, also low profile style, i didnt get this as it sold out everywhere and was very expensive to import it from japan, SAMSUNG 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model MV-3V4G3D/US, but the crucial low profile did fine. Up to you, and whatever memory you trust.

Foxdie?! wrote:
Fractal R4
4x Nexus Real Silent case fans
The R4 uses 140mm fans, the 120mm Nexus Basic have been the standard for SPCR for a long time, but not sure about the 140mm. I would first test the included fans, as i seen good comments of it, if you want to go aftermarket, this is what i would consider,

Noiseblocker NB-BlackSilentPro PK-1 140mm x 25mm Ultra Quiet Fan - 700 RPM - 9 dBA- Atm my favorite 140mm fan, worth mentioning has like deadzone for undervotling from 6-12v stays around 700rpm, below 6v goes down to 400-500. The bigger brother, Noiseblocker NB-BlackSilentPro PK-2 140mm x 25mm Ultra Quiet Fan - 1200 RPM - 20 dBA has much wider range for undervolting, doesnt suffer of a deadzone like the pk1, but defently noticeble at 1200rpm, so you will need either to use the 5/7/12V fan controller of the R4 or Asus FanXpert2 from the mobo (this is what i would recommend as you can do ramp it dynamically).

Another option are Noctua 140mm Premium Quiet Quality Case Cooling Fan NF-A14 ULN or Noctua 140mm Premium Quiet Quality Case Cooling Fan NF-A14 FLX

Foxdie?! wrote:
thanks again for your help. Im still a few weeks away from buying so please share any more suggestions regarding any parts
Btw atm on newegg they have the Fractal Design Define R4 at $110 + $30 off w/ promo code EMCXSVP52, ends 5/2, so at $80 seems like a really good price for the case, i couldn't hold my self and ordered one. My suggestion is to decide on the case ASAP, as the offer will expire thrusday, imo worth taking even if you order later the rest of the components, but dont rush it either, think if thats what you want or not.

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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: Small, strong and silent - matx gaming build
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 12:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:56 pm
Posts: 10
It was the last line that was causing the problems (i still dont understand why because i rewrote the entire post :S). I think im gona stick with the v gene, sli isnt realistic at the moment anyway and it does seem like the perfect board for me, nothing to argue with

Ive found a few builds similar to mine with photos and youre right, theres plenty of room for duel-channel and i argee, tall ram heatsinks dont seem necessary. Although i would like some real low profile ram, i cant find any from the suppliers im ordering from and dont want to add another delivery charge to the bill so im just going to settle for corsair vengeance lp ram (good reviews - fast and reliable)

im very tempted to wait for haswell but I could be waiting a while, i wouldnt want to buy the parts as soon as theyre released, there is almost always issues with new chipsets and compatability with other parts and I cant be bothered with the fuss and waiting around for better drivers and updates to be released, plus i dont see anything wrong with whats on offer already, im already getting a fair bit more than what ill need most of the time.

as for the case fans you might be right, theyre probably going to be running on low volts so i wouldnt expect much noise anyway but ill see what the temps are like when ive built and adjust accordingly. Im not gona buy any case fans right away, like you said ill test the stock fans and if its too much noise to keep things cool ill look for some of the fans you suggested

unfortunatly im in the uk and im shopping locally so no deals for me :( but ive found a fractal r4 for £70 (about $100) so its not too bad, thanks anyway, i think im pretty much decided on all the parts now, cant wait to build, ill post some photos of the build and some temps/noise/performance details as well as some crucial close up shots of the cooler, board, ram and gpu when its fitted so others can see the distances for their build plans


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 Post subject: Re: Small, strong and silent - matx gaming build
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:31 am 
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Posts: 10
Finally built the PC, and its surpassed all expectations :shock: and personally speaking, it's worth every penny. I've had so much fun building it and I could write a review for every part but I'd be ranting for months.. so I'm going to keep this short and to the point as possible. Its relatively small, very powerful and very quiet and for the most part I cant fault a single product I've bought. Sure the PSU is excessive, as are most other parts when you compare price to performance, but simply put.. It's the dog's... especially for gaming where I can easily play anything on very high quality settings (I don't just mean out the box display options, I mean .ini tweaks, post-processing, mods etc - obviously this stuff takes its toll on any system though but I'm still more than impressed by how far I can push this machine). Heres what I decided on in the end:

Case - fractal design define R4
CPU - intel i7 3770k @ ~4ghz
Mobo - asus maximus v formula
Ram - 16gb corsair vengeance low profile 1600
Graphics - gigabyte gtx 680 3x windforce 4gb
PSU - corsair AX760
SSD - Samsung 840 pro 256gb
CPU cooler - noctua nh-d14 (not my first choice considering what has been talked about in this thread, but it was easily available and its brilliant, even if a bit costly)
Case fans - the two fractal fans that come with the case

As for the sound, the PC is practically silent on idle.. obviously there's some sound, but I really have to be listening closely for it. A minor point is that without manually adjusting the graphics card fan speed/temps it can be heard (around 35% speed is about where I can start to hear it properly) but its not unpleasant to be honest.

But who cares about idling, the real question is how quiet is it while gaming/working? Well its a lot quieter than anything else I've ever heard, in fact the girlfriend can sleep right through a skyrim session (mods + post processing + blah blah, basically it puts some serious strain on the system) but as you might imagine its not quiet. At the moment I'm messing with Fan Expert 2 to try and create a gaming/working profile which keeps it relatively quiet while delivering the necessary cooling power, but there's a whole range of things I could do to keep it cooler such as keeping the clocks low, only running necessary programs, tinkering with fan positions in the case for better airflow etc etc so this will always be an ongoing project to find the perfect balance.

Finally, I'd like to confirm the Asus Maximus V Formula does definitely fit inside the Fractal R4 (because it still has ATX mounts). I feel I should post this because I had a hard time trying to find information on whether it would fit when planning my build, but it does fit rather snug (it hangs over the cable holes a bit but it doesn't stop cables from coming through so no problem in my opinion). It looks pretty slick too, so I've uploaded a few pics of the innards and the set up to please the eyes.

Thanks for the help guys, your advice was excellent :)

Image

Image

Edit: I think a good move would be to replace the two fractal fans with four 140mm fans (2 front 2 back) for better airflow, any suggestions? Ideally 4 pin but 3 would do. I like the look of the noctua fans suggested earlier but are there cheaper options that are just as good? It goes without saying these need as quiet as possible at high speeds (and yet I said it anyway)


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 Post subject: Re: Small, strong and silent - matx gaming build
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:53 am 
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Location: Guatemala
Glad everything work out good for you, i like the build, and how everything turn out. I would just hide more of the cables behind the motherboard tray for cleaner look.

Foxdie?! wrote:
Edit: I think a good move would be to replace the two fractal fans with four 140mm fans (2 front 2 back) for better airflow, any suggestions? Ideally 4 pin but 3 would do. I like the look of the noctua fans suggested earlier but are there cheaper options that are just as good? It goes without saying these need as quiet as possible at high speeds (and yet I said it anyway)
On replacing the fans be a little careful if you go 4pin or 3pin. On asus motherboards, to what i remember and have tested, the only true PWM 4pin is the CPU_FAN header (CPU_OPT is also but a mirror), the rest, CHASSIS_FAN, even though the plug is 4pin, the header is voltage controlled not PWM, this imo important because usually PWM fan drop lower and even go higher on PWM then they go on voltage controlled. Here is an example on Noctua PWM fans ran in CPU_FAN and CHASSIS_FAN headers,

Image

Image

So in your case, my suggestion is first chose how you going to connect the fans, are you using chassis_fan header or you gona run a PWM splitter to run all your PWM fans from CPU_FAN header. If the answer is you want to run them individually and using CHASSIS_FAN 1/2/3 headers, then go for 3pin fans and avoid PWM fans for this locations, the brand is up to you, SPCR did some roundups on 140s recently, First 140 mm Fan Roundup: Noctua, Phanteks, Xigmatek and Second 140 mm Fan Roundup: Antec, bequiet!, Corsair, Scythe, read them, pretty good info there. If you are looking for extremely quiet based on those reviews i would go with Antec TrueQuiet 140, it can be drop down extremely low and seems to have good tone, and its cheap. If you were looking more performance i would consider Antec TwoCool 140 or Phanteks PH-F140HP/TS, this last one be careful as there are two versions out, one with 4 points (this is the one reviewed by SPCR) and the more common 3 point of structure (not reviewed by SPCR).

I'm going to do the opposite that im suggesting you, going to move to R4 as now my needs are changing toward more pci slots, but i had some issues with Asus AI SUITE + drivers, so im moving toward MSI that imo has much better fan control on bios than asus (not as good as fanXpert2 though), but i want to run with the least software that i can, and avoid the issues that im having, as i wont have fanXpert2 (crying inside), then ill need bios to do it for me, so im chossing Noctua NF-14A PWM as my case fans, and ill use a PWM fan splitter run all my fans from the CPU_FAN header.

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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: Small, strong and silent - matx gaming build
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:23 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:56 pm
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I think I'd rather have separate control of each fan so ill probably get some 3pin and use the chassis headers, provided the fans are quiet at their lowest speed (~20-30%) it should be fine. Thanks for the tip, Ive had a good look through the roundups and I think I'm gona go with the antec truequiet. 4 of those on low should be plenty of airflow and according that review they have the nicest acoustics. In fact I'm going to order them right now :) ill be back with a quick review when they're installed.

Last question.. Should I put two at the front, one on the back and one top-back? or one front, one side, one back and one top-back? Or possibly two at the top and two at the front? Or just buy 7 and fill every fan location possible? The way I see it, more fans = more airflow = less required speed (and so less noise) to achieve the right temps, but at the same time more fans should mean more noise, especially since there will be more open holes on my case for sound to escape from (since these holes are blocked by foam on the r4 atm). Then there's positive/negative air pressure to consider too.. Ive seem this question asked a lot of the forum, with varying responses, so i'm just gona keep adjusting till I find the right setup for me, but any advice is much appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Small, strong and silent - matx gaming build
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:26 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1824
Location: Guatemala
Foxdie?! wrote:
Last question.. Should I put two at the front, one on the back and one top-back? or one front, one side, one back and one top-back? Or possibly two at the top and two at the front? Or just buy 7 and fill every fan location possible? The way I see it, more fans = more airflow = less required speed (and so less noise) to achieve the right temps, but at the same time more fans should mean more noise, especially since there will be more open holes on my case for sound to escape from (since these holes are blocked by foam on the r4 atm). Then there's positive/negative air pressure to consider too.. Ive seem this question asked a lot of the forum, with varying responses, so i'm just gona keep adjusting till I find the right setup for me, but any advice is much appreciated.
Well this is for you to test, i mean all setups are different not always more fans mean lower temps, or even the amount of noise introduce might not justify the gains in temperatures, etc, airflow is important but sometimes more fan disrupt the way its meant to move or make it harder, etc. Personally i think 3 fans is a good place to start, two in (front) and one out (back), this will make all moduvents still remain closed, helping the sound not to get out so easily, but again this is more for you to test and see what works better for you.

_________________
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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