Completely silent high-end/Gaming rig ... DONE !!!

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Completely silent high-end/Gaming rig ... DONE !!!

Post by t1000 » Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:11 pm

After years and years of experimenting with quiet PC components I have finally going to the trouble of building a virtually silent gaming/top end PC !!!

It's the quietest build I have ever put together.. it is practically inaudible in normal use. When gaming and the GPU gets a significant workout (GPU usage over 40%) the GPU fans ramp up a little and they ARE audible but it's impossible to build a completely silent gaming rig when you are forced to use GPUs like GTX680s or ATI 7970s.

Thought I'd share my build in case any other SPCR members out there building similar rigs. Intel i7 2600K, Nvidia GTX680, 16GB, 2x120GB SSD, 1x 500GB 2.5", SB Titanium HD

The Case: Antec P183
Old faithfull. I've owned three of them since the P180 and they are magnificant. That said, if I had not have already had one I may have opted for a Corsair 550D this time around as they look very good. First thing that came out of the case were the Antec Tricools... they are NOT a true SPCR fan even on the lowest setting. Replaced them with Noctua fans (PF-12) in the rear and top.

The CPU Cooler: Noctua DH-14
Was going to go for the CH-14 but I liked the idea of moving heat OUT the rear of the case as quickly as possible in the hope it would keep the GPU temp down a few degrees by keeping warmed air away from it. I attached both the Noctua fans on the DH-14 to a fan controller and ran them at the lowest speed I could where they would be able to spin up at boot and nothing higher. This was the most challenging CPU cooler install I have undertaken.. it's is ridiculously huge and unyieldy... had to tear heat-spreaders off all my RAM chips and virtually deassemble and reassemble the contents of the case just so I could fit it in. Also had to adjust the fan placements on the cooler to get the case side lid shut !

My strategy was to go for something WAY more than I needed to run cool the stock i7 2600k so I could wind down the fan speed massively and still maintain comfortable cooling.

The end result of slowing the fans down to bare minimum is around 3% temperature rise idle and 5-7c rise under load... I can live with that. When gaming the temps on the 1st CPU core top out at around 50c maximum. When running Prime 95 the CPU temps top out at 52c after around 15 mins... that's pretty friggin good for fans that are slow low RPM you can't hear them !!!

The PSU: Seasonic X-460 Fanless
After years of build sucked into the whole "1000w" PSU trend I did some homework (and had some tips from the SPCR community) and the 460w Seasonic was enough. This was correct, the Seasonic X-460 only just breaks a warm sweat when I'm running an intensive game.. otherwise it runs silent and fairly cool. What can I say .. it's fanless and bears no electronic noise whatsoever. Nothing else to say really.

Other bits:

2 x Silenteagle fans at the front bottom and front middle of the P180 with their "ultra low" noise adaptors fitted which takes them to 5v I believe. I added these as a precaution more than anything as I wanted to try to help the P183 bring a bit of extra air into the case to keep the PSU and GPUs just that bit cooler. They might be helping, they might not but I can't hear them at all so they are staying.

1 x NZXT Mesh fan controller. The controller is attached to what I have named the "Noctua Zone"... the two stock noctuas on the DH-14, the one above it on the P183 top and the fourth at the rear of the case. All are on the lowest speed possible on the controller by which the fans are still able to spin up during boot and nothing more.

1 x GTX680 (gigabyte "windforce").. the quitest high end card I could find. I load MSI afterburner and build a fan profile that takes it to the very miniumum RPM in Windows for virtual silence (25% fan) and then when gaming, ramps up gradually and a little more slowly than the stock fan settings (maxes out at 42% fan speed but I'm still playing around). It means the card runs around 7c hotter than stock but is significantly quieter.


Overall I'm really happy with the build. It cost a fair bit to put together but I now have a PC so quiet that I can hear my 27" iMac over it.. it makes the iMac sound a bit loud and clunky (I am NOT taking an imac apart to silence it) !!!!! The only time I ever hear anything is when the GPU gets a workout.. I doubt that any high-end gaming rig can avoid it.


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Re: Completely silent high-end/Gaming rig ... DONE !!!

Post by CA_Steve » Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:15 pm

Congrats on your build :)

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Re: Completely silent high-end/Gaming rig ... DONE !!!

Post by Artonox » Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:40 pm

Nice build.
When I have my next upgrade, I hope to do something similar.

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Re: Completely silent high-end/Gaming rig ... DONE !!!

Post by lordmetroid » Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:37 am

Do you have some nice nerd porn images of the system you can show us?

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Re: Completely silent high-end/Gaming rig ... DONE !!!

Post by Das_Saunamies » Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:34 am

i7 and GTX 680 on 460 W passive PSU, I remember this one from the previous thread. Well done, extremely glad to see it come to life!

I second the motion to get some sexy pixx, and add a request for some power meter (kill-a-watt) readings.

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Re: Completely silent high-end/Gaming rig ... DONE !!!

Post by thejamppa » Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:37 am

I am getting my old habbits: 1stly, congrats on nice builds. 2ndly: Pictures, pretty please!

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Re: Completely silent high-end/Gaming rig ... DONE !!!

Post by AckeDman » Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:12 am

Pictures, we need em.

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Re: Completely silent high-end/Gaming rig ... DONE !!!

Post by UThammy » Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:39 pm

t1000 wrote:...but it's impossible to build a completely silent gaming rig when you are forced to use GPUs like GTX680s or ATI 7970s.
Actually, with the Hydro GTX680 and this build:
it can be completely silent.

But like others who are visually stimulated, lets see some pix! :D

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Re: Completely silent high-end/Gaming rig ... DONE !!!

Post by frenchie » Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:41 pm

pics pics pics !!!

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