Help with first build - Ncase M1

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Noob4Life
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Help with first build - Ncase M1

Post by Noob4Life » Sun Jul 24, 2016 6:30 pm

tl;dr: What parts should I get for my first PC build? Would like to use an Ncase M1 and use air cooling. Any advice would be appreciated!

Hi, I'm looking to put together my first PC. My priorities with the build are 1) Small; 2) Quiet; 3) Powerful, roughly in that order (though this isn't a "strict" ordering - all three are important). As I haven't done this before, it's safe to assume that I generally don't know what I'm doing :-) Apologies for the large number of questions!

In terms of usage, 90% of the usage will be general productivity - web browsing, excel, powerpoint etc with some fairly heavy multitasking. It's quite normal for me to have 50-200 Chrome tabs open and some of the spreadsheets I work with are quite beastly (enough to choke my core i7 work computer). I looked at task manager a few times recently while working and my RAM usage seems to range between 6GB and 10GB. While I don't really game per se, and any gaming is pretty casual, I would like to have a PC that could game, and it would be nice to be able to play modern titles and have things look good. I do have an old 1080p screen lying around somewhere, but I am tempted to buy a nice new monitor (though I haven't really looked into this or thought about it). I would also like to be able to run at least 2 monitors - 3 would be nice (I use two 24-inch monitors at work and it would be tough to downgrade). While overclocking isn't something I'm seriously considering, as I assume it would mean a noisier PC given the small case I want to go with, I wouldn't mind having a motherboard and CPU that could be overclocked to have the option to fool around :-P

I should note that this is more of a "want" project than a "need" project - the idea of building a PC has intrigued me for a while and PC/laptop fans drive me up the wall. My current laptop and work PC can realistically meet most of my needs (except being able to game), but I've decided to indulge myself.

The PC will sit on a desk near me, so I would like something small, that looks nice and is as quiet as possible. I'm not a particularly noise sensitive person, but I find loud computers quite bothersome. Ideally I would like 'silent' or close to it (to my ears) when not gaming (so 90%+ of the time) and pretty darn quiet while gaming (silent would be great).

I'm quite smitten by the Ncase M1 and would like to use that as a case. I do realize that this means a few big compromises: 1) its pretty darn expensive; 2) from the SPCR reviews it looks tough to silence; 3) apparently it has no manual, which doesn't sound great for someone who hasn't built a PC before. I did think about other cases and the Lian-Li Q10 seems like it would be a more sensible choice (though it does have more limited GPU options)... but I really like the Ncase M1 and I'm willing to deal with the fact that it may not be as quiet as other larger cases and it's going to cost me more. If the case choice is a really terrible idea I guess I could reconsider it.

In terms of budget, I'm naturally a cheapskate and like 'value for money' options. That being said, as this is an indulgence I'm pretty flexible with the budget. I was originally thinking $1k-$2k, though given the cost of the Ncase M1 I expect I'll end up in the $1.5k-$2k range. I live in Canada and everything costs more here + Canadian dollar is weak. In C$ terms, going above C$2.5k would make me wince.

I would strongly prefer an air-cooled PC. As a noob I have a fear that water cooled means one more thing to go wrong (a leak sounds like it would be a disaster) and I may travel with the PC at some point. Pumps also sound like they may be loud and it seems like water cooling may raise the noise level when not gaming (which is 90%+ of the time). That being said, if water-cooling (with an AIO) is the only way to silence the Ncase I guess I could do it.

Below are my thoughts on parts, any advice on parts or in general would be appreciated:

PCPartPicker part list: http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/nyKBZ8
Price breakdown by merchant: http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/nyKBZ8/by_merchant/

Motherboard: ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac Mini ITX LGA1151 Motherboard ($245.00 @ Vuugo)
I have no idea about motherboards :-P Any advice here would be great. I figured I'd go with Z170 as it could overclock. From looking at the various ITX z170 motherboards (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... edit#gid=0) it seemed to be that this Asrock and the ASUS Z170i Pro Gaming looked to be the best ones. I looked for motherboards with M.2 SSD slot and eliminated Gigabyte boards as I saw here that they apparently have bad fan control. I picked the Asrock randomly (actually because it had a USB C port) but I saw here that Asus apparently has better fan control? I'm open to switching to the Asus if that's a better option.

CPU: Intel Core i5-6600K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($304.95 @ Vuugo)
I figured i5 might be the right balance. I don't know how much of a different HT would really add. The "K" processor seemed to be a $50 premium which didn't seem too unreasonable given the Z170 mobo. Apparently K processor doesn't draw much more power than non-K despite TDP. If heat is expected to be a serious issue I guess there is a 35W slower core i5 (6500T) but I'm assuming it shouldn't be an issue.

CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-C14 CPU Cooler ($89.99 @ Memory Express)
Hardforum users seem to say that this is the best air cooler for the Ncase so I picked it. I saw here that the fans on this are '3 pin' fans that need to be undervolted vs the '4 pin' 'PWM' fans on newer coolers. I assume this means these fans are more of a pain to control? If so could I buy a 4 pin fan to use with this? Which fan would you recommend? I assume swapping fans should be pretty easy?

Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4-2133 Memory ($143.98 @ Newegg Canada)
I just picked the cheapest RAM I could find =P I suppose 16GB would be more sensible :-P

Storage: Sandisk X400 1TB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($309.00 @ Canada Computers)
I'm quite undecided here. I don't have large amounts of media so I could live with 512GB. Below are the options as I see it:
1) Get the cheapest possible ~512GB SSD. However, I know crappy flash drives can be MUCH slower than good ones so I wonder if there is a similar risk with getting a cheap SSD? There's a 480 GB Mushkin for C$135
2) Get a brand I know ~512GB SSD. Sandisk X400 seems like a reasonable midrange SSD? Maybe this guarantees reasonable performance? Or would I not notice a difference over a cheap SSD? C$168 for it.
3) Everyone likes Samsung EVO 850. Would this have a noticable performance gain over the X400? Worth the extra C$50? Price is C$210
4) Get Samsung SM961 (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/sam ... ,4608.html). This is apparently the best consumer SSD around (NVMe etc) and in theory is super fast. Would one notice the difference over the EVO 850? I would guess the theoretical performance gain this has over the EVO 850 is probably more than the EVO 850 over the X400. Probably about a C$115 premium over the EVO 850. ~C$325 (converting RAMcity prices)
5) If the performance gains won't have a major real world impact, then maybe its worth spending extra money on more capacity instead. 1TB prices:
- A-Data SP550 Premier C$270
- Sandisk X400 C$310
- Samsung EVO 850 C$400
- Samsung SM961 ~C$645

Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GAMING Video Card
GTX 1060 seemed to be low power high performance at a not too unreasonable price. I like that many of the cards are passive at low temps. The MSI Gaming one seemed to be the quietest but sadly apparently it doesn't appear to fit in the Ncase. The ASUS STRIX 1060 sounds like it does just about fit but its price seems nuts! Apparently the EVGA has a firmware update that makes it semi-passive? Am I being too optimistic in hoping the EVGA will be quiet at load? It only has one fan. Does the fact that it is a small PCB affect heat/noise (i.e. would a smaller PCB heat up more than a big one)? If EVGA will likely be noisy, would it be better to pay the premium and get a ASUS Strix or is it better to buy the cheapest 1060 and put an aftermarket cooler on it? Something like the Arctic Accelero Extreme 3 (or 4 though I doubt the backplate woudl fit)? I assume I would need a full size PCB for this. If this, then should one replace the fans with quieter fans (if so which?)? Can one set up the fans to turn on with GPU temperature? Or is this air cooled approach likely to fail and should I go with the Arctic Accelero Hybrid the AIO used in the Ncase SPCR build)? For this one does size of PCB matter (can I stick to the short EVGA card to have more room for PSU)? Any views on Hybrid version 2 vs 3? Should I replace the fan on the hybrid with a quieter one (if so which one?)?
EVGA 1060 Gaming (mini, not OC): C$350
ASUS STRIX 1060 (not OC): C$420
Gigabyte GTX 1070 Mini: C$540
I realise advice here is probably mostly guesswork but your guesses are far more likely to make sense than mine. I don't know a VRAM from a VRM and I didn't know either of them heated up before reading the Ncase build article.

Power Supply: Silverstone 700W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular SFX Power Supply
Picked this because fan in this seems to stay off for longer than other SFX PSUs. However, this is SFX-L so is apparently a very tight fit with long graphics cards (like ASUS Strix). with EVGA short card I assume won't be an issue. Silverstone and Corsair both make regular SFX PSUs which are cheaper but I've seen people complain on forums about noise issues and the fans rarely being passive. One risk with this PSU is apparently the fan goes on based on load, so if the case heats up but PC is on low load then PSU can overheat and turn off. I'm hoping that won't be an issue as hopefully the cooling in the case will be reasonable.

Case Fan: Noctua NF-S12A PWM 120mm Fan ($22.99 @ Amazon Canada)
Case Fan: Noctua NF-S12A PWM 120mm Fan ($22.99 @ Amazon Canada)

These are placeholders as I have no idea what fans to buy. I picked these fans randomly (and apparently they are too weak). The Ncase SPCR build used 3 different fans and listed 5 others as alternatives (though I get that the radiator fan is probably a different type than a case fan). I would have assumed that there would have been a consensus view on what the best case fan to get would be?

Thanks and sorry for the long post!

Fire-Flare
Posts: 422
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Location: Seattle

Re: Help with first build - Ncase M1

Post by Fire-Flare » Mon Jul 25, 2016 8:20 pm

Before I stopped traveling, I had a similar system to the one you propose to build that was liquid cooled and never leaked. If you choose to go that route I'll be happy to help you find a configuration that works.


Motherboard: My ASUS board allows for custom fan control directly in the BIOS, no need for extra software in Windows slowing you down.

CPU: An i5 should be perfect, My i7's extra cores turned out to be overkill. I'd still go with a K edition because they can be overclocked if you need teh extra speed in the future.

CPU Cooler: The NCASE M1 has a cooler size restriction of 130mm. I love Noctua's fans, but I would not advise using the C14 even with its fan in the lower position. I would use an NH-L12 instead, or a Prolimatech Samuel 17 cooler with a Noctua fan on it.

Memory: I haven't had a need for more than 8GB in my games yet. 16GB is probably fine. ;) If you don't mind spending a bit more, look up Crucial's "Ballistix Tactical Tracer" modules.

Storage: I trust Samsung too, and M.2 is the way to go; My system is using 4 Samsung 840's in RAID 0 and still isn't as fast as one of those. Though I doubt we'd see a real-world difference. I'd like to replace them with a 950 Pro.

Video Card: This is one reason I liquid-cooled my portable system, too difficult to fit a good cooler in a cramped case. You might want to consider an AMD R9 Nano instead.

PSU: I don't have any experience with SFX power supplies, but I love Seasonic's ATX offerings.

Case Fans: I say stick with those Noctuas and set their speed curves to start at borderline silent, then accelerate when the system heats up like when you're gaming.
My build: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=69018

Swiftech MCP35X review: viewtopic.php?f=27&t=65287

Noob4Life
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:05 pm

Re: Help with first build - Ncase M1

Post by Noob4Life » Tue Jul 26, 2016 1:16 pm

Thanks, much appreciated! All that makes a lot of sense.

There does seem to be more love for Asus than Asrock so I'll probably go with the Asus Z170i Pro Gaming motherboard. However, if someone has experience with both Asrock and Asus motherboards and has a view between the two, would be great to hear your view.

I'll check out the R9 Nano and see how it stacks up vs the GTX 1060 and make a decision. Will check out the NH-L12 and Prolimatech Samuel 17 for CPU cooling.

It does sound like liquid cooling is probably the way to go to get a quiet system in the Ncase. I think I'll start by putting together an air-cooled system, and then, if that doesn't cut it, then try going down the liquid cooling route (and will probably have lots of questions!).

boost
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Re: Help with first build - Ncase M1

Post by boost » Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:45 am

Liquid cooling can be quiet, but a complete custom loop is expensive and AIO solutions can't beat a quiet air cooler.
A smaller Noctua tower cooler like the NH-D9L or NH-U9S would be a good option. Using a tower cooler has the additional benefit that you can reach the connectors on the mainboard easier than with a top-down cooler installed.
The cooling on most shorter graphics cards is not so quiet, but a Arctic Cooling Accelero Twin Turbo fits in the Ncase. Here's an example of a similar setup with the backplate installed and a SFX PSU. Without the backplate there should be enough room for a 140mm ATX PSU.
Lian Li V600, Asus P77Z-M Pro, i5-3570K 4.4GHz with Scythe Orochi, 140mm Slipstream 500RPM and Mugen2 115X Bolt through kit, Evga GTX 970 Superclocked, BeQuiet E9 580W CM

Noob4Life
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Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:05 pm

Re: Help with first build - Ncase M1

Post by Noob4Life » Thu Jul 28, 2016 8:45 am

Thanks! That's really interesting! A couple of follow ups:

1) If I was to use the Twin Turbo but not use the backplate to get more PSU room, then would it matter if I had a short card vs a regular length one (e.g. does the fact that its a smaller card mean componets are closer together and therefore heat up more / don't cool as well)? I'm thinking if the GPU cooling/noise would be about the same with the Twin Turbo then maybe a short card is better given limited space

2) I assume that the Arctic Accelero Extreme would be a better choice than the Twin Turbo assuming it fits? A few people seem to have made it fit so I'm tempted to go down that route (https://hardforum.com/threads/ncase-m1- ... 1042236824)

Fire-Flare
Posts: 422
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:44 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Help with first build - Ncase M1

Post by Fire-Flare » Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:48 pm

Noob4Life wrote:Thanks! That's really interesting! A couple of follow ups:

1) If I was to use the Twin Turbo but not use the backplate to get more PSU room, then would it matter if I had a short card vs a regular length one (e.g. does the fact that its a smaller card mean componets are closer together and therefore heat up more / don't cool as well)? I'm thinking if the GPU cooling/noise would be about the same with the Twin Turbo then maybe a short card is better given limited space

2) I assume that the Arctic Accelero Extreme would be a better choice than the Twin Turbo assuming it fits? A few people seem to have made it fit so I'm tempted to go down that route (https://hardforum.com/threads/ncase-m1- ... 1042236824)
1) Do you have access to scale diagrams of the components you plan to use? See if you can resize them in Photoshop/GIMP to get a better idea of what will fit.

2) I've had both a Twin Turbo and an Extreme, and they both turn a 2-slot video card into a 3-slot. But if you can fit an Extreme into your case I say go for it; it was the best aftermarket air-cooler I've ever used.
My build: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=69018

Swiftech MCP35X review: viewtopic.php?f=27&t=65287

edh
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Re: Help with first build - Ncase M1

Post by edh » Thu Jul 28, 2016 10:08 pm

Before you go for the M1 (I used to be very interested in it) perhaps consider the much cheaper Raijintek Metis. It has the advantage of being able to take a big tower cooler on the CPU. I use a Ninja 4:
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=68832
Raijintek Metis: i5-6400, Scythe Ninja 4, Asus Z170i Pro Gaming, 8Gb RAM, GTX 950, Crucial 250Gb M.2, Seasonic X-400

boost
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Re: Help with first build - Ncase M1

Post by boost » Fri Jul 29, 2016 1:39 am

Noob4Life wrote:1) If I was to use the Twin Turbo but not use the backplate to get more PSU room, then would it matter if I had a short card vs a regular length one (e.g. does the fact that its a smaller card mean componets are closer together and therefore heat up more / don't cool as well)? I'm thinking if the GPU cooling/noise would be about the same with the Twin Turbo then maybe a short card is better given limited space
With a card that's physically smaller, the stock cooler is physically smaller as well or overhangs the card. The first is true for most short Nvidia card and the second for AMD cards (with exceptions). The first component that needs to be cooled is the GPU itsself and it's the same size on every 1060 card. The second on is the VRMs. They need direct airflow when the card is loaded. If the air cooler covers the VRMs and has a fan blowing down that's ok (both Arctic coolers do), a radial fan blowing across is also ok, but almost always louder.
Short answer, the length of the card doesn't matter for the effectiveness of aftermarket coolers. A short card would be better in a cramped space. And the Accelero Extreme is a very tight fit, but if it does fit, it will more effective than the Twin Turbo.
Lian Li V600, Asus P77Z-M Pro, i5-3570K 4.4GHz with Scythe Orochi, 140mm Slipstream 500RPM and Mugen2 115X Bolt through kit, Evga GTX 970 Superclocked, BeQuiet E9 580W CM

Noob4Life
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Re: Help with first build - Ncase M1

Post by Noob4Life » Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:08 am

Thanks folks, very helpful!

- Good idea on the scale diagrams. I've been using a combination of dimensions from specifications, pictures where i can find them, and searching the Ncase build thread on hardforum to figure out if things will fit. Still need to do a bit more figuring but getting there.

- The Raijintek Metis seems very interesting and that's a great build you have. I think price and availability make it a better case choice. Other than those the biggest upside to me seem to be using an ATX PSU (Technically Ncase can fit ATX PSU too with some compromises). From what I've read, none of the SFX PSU's are all that great. Biggest compromise is probably GPU length restriction. Won't matter if I'm using a short GPU, but will mean I can't use Accelero Extreme etc. I feel like PSU and graphics card will probably be bigger sources of noise than the CPU. All that being said, I have an irrational attraction to the M1 and have already ordered it so I'm committed! If it doesn't work for whatever reason then I'll eBay it and probably get the Metis. On a different note, you're happy with your motherboard?

- Thanks for the explanation on the short card, that was very helpful and was what I was wondering! My GPU is now probably going to be a choice between a short card with the Accelero Extreme (option I'm inclined towards) or get get a full size card that is 'quiet enough.' I checked and a number of people have made the Accelero Extreme fit in an M1, so I suspect I probably can, but I'll have to measure things. People who do use the AE take off its fans and shroud and instead put two regular fans under it, so I expect to have to do that.

Question:

- With the Accelero Extreme (or any after market GPU cooler), how does fan control typically work? I'm wondering if the fan speed scales up or down with GPU temperature like the stock coolers on some cards? I'm intrigued as the stock coolers on some cards turn the fans off at low GPU temps. If AE's fan's are normally plugged into the PSU then I assume they are on all the time? Whereas if they go into a motherboard then I assume they only scale with CPU temperature? Would Speedfan be the only way to get fan speed to scale with GPU temps? I assume this means Speedfan has to be run at startup and stay running in the background at all times?

boost
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Re: Help with first build - Ncase M1

Post by boost » Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:19 am

Noob4Life wrote:- With the Accelero Extreme (or any after market GPU cooler), how does fan control typically work? I'm wondering if the fan speed scales up or down with GPU temperature like the stock coolers on some cards? I'm intrigued as the stock coolers on some cards turn the fans off at low GPU temps. If AE's fan's are normally plugged into the PSU then I assume they are on all the time? Whereas if they go into a motherboard then I assume they only scale with CPU temperature? Would Speedfan be the only way to get fan speed to scale with GPU temps? I assume this means Speedfan has to be run at startup and stay running in the background at all times?
The Accelero Extreme's fans are plugged into the graphics card and they should turn off just like the standard fans.
If you replace the fans on the Accellero to make it fit the Ncase, you can plug two regular PWM fans into the graphics card with a little adapter and a Y-cable to get the same effect. That's how I'm cooling my graphics card with a Raijintek Morpheus and two Noctua NF-A14 PWM fans. Those fans come with a Y cable as do the Noctua NF-P12 PWM, which would be my recommendation for 120mm PWM fans.
Lian Li V600, Asus P77Z-M Pro, i5-3570K 4.4GHz with Scythe Orochi, 140mm Slipstream 500RPM and Mugen2 115X Bolt through kit, Evga GTX 970 Superclocked, BeQuiet E9 580W CM

Fire-Flare
Posts: 422
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Re: Help with first build - Ncase M1

Post by Fire-Flare » Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:25 am

Noob4Life wrote: Question:

- With the Accelero Extreme (or any after market GPU cooler), how does fan control typically work? I'm wondering if the fan speed scales up or down with GPU temperature like the stock coolers on some cards? I'm intrigued as the stock coolers on some cards turn the fans off at low GPU temps. If AE's fan's are normally plugged into the PSU then I assume they are on all the time? Whereas if they go into a motherboard then I assume they only scale with CPU temperature? Would Speedfan be the only way to get fan speed to scale with GPU temps? I assume this means Speedfan has to be run at startup and stay running in the background at all times?
The Extreme's fans plug directly into most cards, and it includes an adapter to plug into a 4-pin connector from the power supply if you need it.

If you choose to use case fans on the Accelero, Gelid makes an adapter that plugs into the card's fan header and allows you to connect a PWM case fan to it. And modDIY.com has versions that split into two or three PWM headers. ;)

It IS possible to make Speedfan launch at startup, but these days you can get a motherboard with custom fan control in their BIOS.
My build: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=69018

Swiftech MCP35X review: viewtopic.php?f=27&t=65287

Noob4Life
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Re: Help with first build - Ncase M1

Post by Noob4Life » Sun Jul 31, 2016 1:38 pm

Awesome, thanks guys! Makes a lot of sense.

Going back to the CPU cooler for a sec, Fire-Flare had suggested the NH-L12 or Samuel 17 instead of the CH-14. Both those options look good to me. However, out of curiosity, was the reason for this small space / fit issues or something else?

Fire-Flare
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Re: Help with first build - Ncase M1

Post by Fire-Flare » Sun Jul 31, 2016 2:19 pm

Noob4Life wrote:Awesome, thanks guys! Makes a lot of sense.

Going back to the CPU cooler for a sec, Fire-Flare had suggested the NH-L12 or Samuel 17 instead of the CH-14. Both those options look good to me. However, out of curiosity, was the reason for this small space / fit issues or something else?
Yes, it was because of the small fit.

A 120mm cooler will perform more quietly than an 80/92mm cooler. I suggested the Noctua one in case you wanted to stay with them, and the Samuel 17 was because I've had good results from combining Prolimatech coolers with Noctua fans.
My build: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=69018

Swiftech MCP35X review: viewtopic.php?f=27&t=65287

boost
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Re: Help with first build - Ncase M1

Post by boost » Sun Jul 31, 2016 2:24 pm

The Noctua NH-C14 just barely fits. The Samuel 17 has a weaker performance than the other coolers mentioned. A top-down cooler makes sense in the ncase m1, the NH-L-12 is a very good fit.
Lian Li V600, Asus P77Z-M Pro, i5-3570K 4.4GHz with Scythe Orochi, 140mm Slipstream 500RPM and Mugen2 115X Bolt through kit, Evga GTX 970 Superclocked, BeQuiet E9 580W CM

Noob4Life
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Re: Help with first build - Ncase M1

Post by Noob4Life » Sun Jul 31, 2016 5:01 pm

Awesome, thanks! You guys rock! Shockingly, I think I might temporarily be out of questions XD

According to Ncase, the case should be shipping very soon!

Noob4Life
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Re: Help with first build - Ncase M1

Post by Noob4Life » Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:18 pm

As a very belated update on this, real life got in the way but I finally got around to buying the parts and building the PC this week! Was a highly inefficient process as this was my first time doing it and its a pretty small case, but got there in the end (after having to take it apart a few times)! Cable management is non-existent at the moment, maybe I'll take it apart and fix that at some point. The one issue I ran into which I couldn't resolve was I couldn't get the motherboard to fit with the I/O shield so I'm just living without the I/O shield for now. I did get a bit of upgraditis when buying parts and splurged on a few unnecessary things but s'all good.

The final build:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/list/QmmdHN

CPU: Intel Core i7-6700K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-C14 CPU Cooler
Motherboard: ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac Mini ITX LGA1151 Motherboard
Memory: G.Skill Aegis 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4-2400 Memory
Storage: Mushkin Reactor 1TB 2.5" Solid State Drive
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GAMING Video Card
Power Supply: Corsair SF 450W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular SFX Power Supply
Case Fan: Noctua NF-A15 PWM 140mm Fan
Case Fan: Noctua NF-P12 PWM 120mm Fan
Case Fan: Noctua NF-P12 PWM 120mm Fan
Monitor: Dell U3415W 34.0" 60Hz Monitor

The CPU, RAM and GPU were all a bit 'splurgy'. Samsung 850 EVO was kinda expensive where I am (and apparently 960 EVO or something is coming out soon) and the Mushkin Reactor was on sale and seemed like a good deal so I went with that. I decided to get adventurous and get the NH-C14 and had to replace the bottom fan on the C14 with the P12 and also replaced the top one with the A15 (probably didn't need to replace the top fan but I wasn't sure if mixing non-PWM and PWM fans would cause an issue. Probably wouldn't be because the two CPU fans are connected to the same header using a splitter but I didn't think about that before buying the A15). The second P12 is a case fan.

The one thing that is missing here is a quiet cooler for the GPU. Plan is/was to replace the cooler on the GPU with something beefy like the Arctic Accelero and add a couple of Noctua fans (I was thinking two P12). That's still the eventual goal, but I figured I'd see if I can actually put together a working PC first before worrying about that!

Initial impressions

In terms of fans and noise levels, for now I just used Asrock's default silent fan profiles in the BIOS. During regular productivity usage, the fans run at a bit under 400 rpm normally (300 rpm is apparently their minimum, but I haven't tried going that low yet) while the GPU fan and PSU fan stay off. At these levels, I can't hear the PC from where I sit, about 1-2 feet away from it (its on my desk), so that's great! I ran Prime95 for a few hours and the fans kicked up a bit to around 600-700 rpm with CPU temps maxing out in the low 70s, at which point the fans were still very quiet. When I tried to listen for this fans at this point from my chair, I think I could hear them, but they were very quiet and I probably wouldn't have noticed them normally. [EDIT: After some more testing with prime 95, I'm actually not sure if I can hear them, so they're pretty darn quiet]

I downloaded 3DMark and ran that with prime95 running to test the GPU. Unsurprisingly, when the GPU fan kicked up, it was definitely very audible. While it wasn't offensively loud to me, it also wasn't quiet. This was as expected as I bought the cheapest 6GB 1060 GTX I could find with 1 fan. The plan was to replace the cooler with the arctic accelero. However, as I'm an infrequent gamer, I'm now undecided on whether to get the accelero or just deal with the GPU noise when I do game (GPU fan is off when not gaming). Will probably hold off on it for now and see how things go. One positive note with this test, the PSU fan didn't start even with Prime95 and 3Dmark running, so I think its probably safe to assume that the PSU fan probably won't ever come on (unless I overclock I suppose, which I'm not planning to do at the moment). I'm pretty happy about that!

Monitor hasn't arrived yet, so can't offer any comments on that (using something else temporarily).

The one outstanding question that I do have is, when I turn the PC on, the fans initially turn on at max speed and then drop down to the low inaudible speeds as the computer starts up. Is there any way to get the fans to start up at 400 RPM or do fans always start at max speed when you turn the PC on? Thanks!
Last edited by Noob4Life on Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Fire-Flare
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Re: Help with first build - Ncase M1

Post by Fire-Flare » Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:26 pm

Noob4Life wrote:The one outstanding question that I do have is, when I turn the PC on, the fans initially turn on at max speed and then drop down to the low inaudible speeds as the computer starts up. Is there any way to get the fans to start up at 400RPM or do fans always start at max speed when you turn the PC on? Thanks!
It's supposed to be that way, As I recall the Intel spec sheet on PWM control says they're supposed to spin at 100% for no more than 4 seconds at startup.

For me it's a bit reassuring, unless your board has an alarm or warning when a fan stops completely, how else would you know they work if they were always at inaudible speeds?
My build: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=69018

Swiftech MCP35X review: viewtopic.php?f=27&t=65287

Noob4Life
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Re: Help with first build - Ncase M1

Post by Noob4Life » Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:22 pm

Ah thanks, and good point! I actually took off the side panels a couple of times to check to see if the fans were spinning - so totally makes sense heh.

LongJan
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Re: Help with first build - Ncase M1

Post by LongJan » Wed Sep 21, 2016 5:56 am

Congrats to a nice build!
couldn't get the motherboard to fit with the I/O shield
Happens me every time. Now I have it on the outside, held in place by the connectors.

I have my eyes on that PSU for use in some small case. Glad to hear it is silent, but surprised that fan didn't start during Prime95 and 3DMark.

Noob4Life
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Re: Help with first build - Ncase M1

Post by Noob4Life » Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:50 am

Thank you!

Glad to hear that I'm not the only one who's struggled with an I/O shield! Good idea on putting in on the outside, I think I'll do that.

I was also surprised that the PSU fan didn't start up, though from memory, I think I recall a few people on the Ncase hardforum thread also experiencing the same thing. the 1060 and skylake are also probably quite power efficient, so I'm sure that helps. The one caveat though, is that while prime95 has been running continuously (been 14 hours so far I think), I only ran 3Dmark a few times, and only twice in succession (the free version of 3DMark doesn't let you loop). So I haven't testing a situation where the GPU and CPU were both continuously stressed for a long period. Maybe if I can get a free GPU stress testing program that allows a loop, I can run that continuously with prime95 and see if that causes the PSU fan to kick up. I'll check out Furmark as that seems to be free.

Noob4Life
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Re: Help with first build - Ncase M1

Post by Noob4Life » Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:00 pm

Alrighty, did the Furmark + Prime95 (had to reduce the threads on the Prime95 by 1 to get Furmark to run). The two of them running together DO cause the PSU fan to start up. It is not immediate, but after a few minutes it starts up. Unfortunately, by the time it starts up, the GPU fan is already at 60% (according to Furmark) and at this point the GPU fan drowns out any potential noise from the PSU fan, so I can't really comment on its noise levels. I actually only knew the PSU fan was running because I saw it start spinning (as opposed to heard it). When I put my ear next to the PSU fan I can hear it, but sitting a foot and a half away, I can't hear it over the GPU fan (which, as noted before, is not offensively loud, but is still loud enough to drown out everything else).

FWIW, I put my ear next to the PSU fan and then put it next to the A15 which was running at ~500 RPMs. With the A15, I only seemed to really hear the sound of air moving, while with the PSU fan I could definitely hear the fan itself spinning when I put my ear next to it. So based on that highly unscientific and probably unfair test, the fan on the PSU does seem worse than the Noctua and does seem to have some fan noise, compared the Noctua which only seemed to have airflow noise. On the plus side, the fan on the PSU did seem to be running at a pretty low speed. My subjective gut feeling is that the PSU fan is probably not that loud, because the absolute noise level when I put my ear next to it didn't seem that bad (using the noise level when I put my ear next to the Noctua fan as a reference point).

When I eventually turned off Furmark, the PSU fan stopped spinning almost immediately.

I suppose this is a sign that I should work up the courage to buy and install an Arctic Accelero III so that I can give the PSU fan a more objective test heh...

CA_Steve
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Re: Help with first build - Ncase M1

Post by CA_Steve » Thu Oct 27, 2016 11:14 am

New poster needs help with NCASE build. Moved to it's own topic.
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

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