It's been a while since I've posted on SPCR... I'm currently in the process of changing some parts of my current setup, and most of all, going back from watercooling to air cooling.
I need some advices to get a very quiet case with decent airflow, which will replace a heavily modded Zalman LQ1000 liquid cooled case (that was too noisy for my taste when I first got it). The power supply and the video card will also be replaced at the same time. Before i go any further, let's have a look at my current config:
- Zalman LQ1000 with dampening material added, tubes replaced and HDD case removed
- Rear fan replaced with a Nexus 120mm, with a silicone gasket installed
- Side fan replaced with a Xigmatek 200mm (low profile fan) (the stock fan was a Zalman 230mm)
- Pump replaced with MCP350 with EK custom top (acetal), installed on a (UN)Designs Infinite pump bracket
- Asus Maximus III Formula (ROG) motherboard with SupremeFX PCIe sound card
- Asus EAH5850 DirectCU TOP (HD 5850) with a EK full cover block (acetal)
- Intel Core i7 870 with EK Supreme HF (acetal)
- Western Digital Black 1TB in a NoVibes III with a Nexus 120mm at 5V
- Seasonic X-850 modular power supply (80+ gold)
- DVD+-R/W drive
Now, here is my intention:
- Sell the HD 5850 with its block, and replace it with two Asus fanless HD7750 DirectCU in CrossfireX
- Sell the Seasonic X-850 and replace it with a Seasonic Platinum Fanless 520W
- Get the quietest case I can find with decent airflow to securely cool all the components
- Keep the motherboard and the CPU, and use a massive tower cooler (haven't decide which one yet, probably a ThermalRight Ultra-120 or something similar)
- Keep the HDD and the NoVibes III kit (except if the new case can do a better job at killing the HDD vibrations)
- Probably keep the DVD drive (I also have an external Asus DVD+-R/W USB drive that I can use)
So far, several cases have caught my attention, and most of them are recommended by SPCR, but I have a hard time to decide which one to get. I'm open to any other suggestions and I have no problem to do slight case modding to improve noise and temperatures.
Here are the contenders:
- Fractal Define R3
- Fractal Define R4
- Corsair Obsidian 550D
- Cooler Master Silencio 550
- Antec Solo II
- NZXT H2
Which case would be enough to properly cool TWO fanless HD 7750 in CrossfireX, a Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB and a Core i7 870 (no overclocking at all), with minimal noise and safe temperatures? With watercooling, I've never reached 50C at full load with all fans and pump at 5V, but with fanless parts and no watercooling, it's a whole different story. Right now, the only irritating noise come from the Seasonic X-850 who can be noisy at load. It will be replaced with the fanless Seasonic 520 watts platinum, which is largely enough to power all the components.
My current HD 5850 TOP has a TDP between 151 and 165 Watts (slighly overclocked version of the 5850). The HD 7750 has a TPD of only 55 watts (110 Watts combined for both). The i7 870 has a TDP of 95 watts. So at the end it's not a beast to cool and with a well designed case, I should be able to keep the system cool and quiet, paticularly when gaming... The noisiest part of a gaming system is the video card most of the time. Both of the HD 7750 cards are fanless and will not add noise at load, but the problem is to find a case that will adequately cool them. These cards in CrossfireX beat my HD 5850 with a lower power consumption and have latest AMD optimizations.
If I could find a very quiet case (with fan at 5 or 7V when gaming if possible) and keep everything cool at the same time, I'd be more than happy. What's your recommendation?
Thanks in advance.