Five years ago, I built myself a silentish Antec P182 rig, which - while not really loud - was still audible in the room at night. When the time for a new computer arose, the goal was to cut as few corners as possible. The build itself took almost two weeks to complete, but now it's about done - just need to add external DAC, a decent amplifier and a set of speakers.
Case: Fractal Define R4 Black Pearl
Motherboard: Asus Maximus VI Formula
CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K
Memory: Kingston 16GB KIT DDR3 CL9
GPU: Gainward GTX780 Ti
SSD: Samsung 830 256 GB
(from old build)
HDD: Western Digital Red 4000GB
DVD: Samsung SH-224DB
Power supply: Corsair AX860i
Peripherals: Roccat Ryos MK Glow
, Roccat Kone XTD
, Roccat Hiro
CPU cooler: Noctua NH-D14
CPU cooler fans: 2 * Noctua NF-A15 PWM
(replaced original fans)
GPU cooler: Prolimatech MK-26
GPU cooler fans: 2 * Noctua NF-A14 PWM
HDD silencer: Scythe SQD-1000 Quiet Drive
(from old build)
Case fans: 3 * Noctua NF-A14 PWM
Fan cable splitter: AKASA Flexa FP5S
Thermal compound for deliding, CPU and GPU: Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra
- the CPU was delided for lower temperatures; quite a risky job, I was betting 50-50 it would work again
- Asus Formula does not control its case fans by PWM, even though it has 4 pin sockets; only CPU a CPU_OPT fans are controlled by PWM. That meant the case fans started at about 700 rpm, which was quite audible. The solution was to install a splitter in the CPU_OPT socket and to control all fans in the computer with it.
- the Prolimatech MK-26 does fit in the Fractal R4, even with 14 cm fans
- Noctua NF-A15 fans actually do fit in the Noctua NH-D14, even without a special brace that the Noctua website metions
- the 4 pin fan cable that comes with Prolimatech MK-26 and that is supposed to allow the GPU to control fans does not work on the standard GeForce 780 Ti. The original cooling draws power from a small 2 pin socket, while the 4 pin socket always goes on 100%. I wasn't able to find the switch in the GeForce BIOS editor, so the GPU fans are controlled by motherboard.
- when you spend thousands of dollars on a new rig, do yourself a favor and buy a decent keyboard/mouse combo. It matters a lot, since these are the things you physically interact with. Btw, the Roccats are pretty good.
- Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra is tricky to work with, but the result rocks
Pictures, please excuse the low quality:
Quite a clean install, if I say so myself, much cleaner than the Antec. There are tons of room for cables on the other side. The fans are spinning at about 350 rpm, which is, for me, inaudible.
The MK 26 is one heck of a giant cooler, although this also makes it a 5-slot cooling solution. Not good for SLI.
Harddrive is in a silencing box and is stationed on plastic foam, to minimize vibrations. It is kept here, to be cooled by intake fans.
The power source fan should not spin until 30% draw (read "never under normal circumstances")
The SSD is also mounted on foam and is cooled by intake fans. The airflow path is clear, since both HDD cages were removed.
Two intake and one outtake fans should help to keep the dust to minimum.
The fans are controlled by motherboard, with Asus AI Suite Fan Control. They are set to 350 rpm until 45 Celsius, then quickly ramp to 100% at 65 Celsius.
The tests were good, with CCCP running, the CPU settled at about 50 Celsius after an hour. The computer was still pretty much silent.
If you managed to read to here, thank you for the time you spent with my post. I can just thank you, the whole SPCR community, as the wealth of info on this site is immense and is inspiration for the ordinary folks like me to get in gear and build the rig they always wanted. Thanks a lot, people - I could not have done this without you.