Gaming machine with reasonable noise levels

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IDvsEGO
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Gaming machine with reasonable noise levels

Post by IDvsEGO » Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:19 am

I am building a new machine for gaming and want to keep the noise levels fairly low. I hesitate to say as low as possible because I know my budget will force some constraints. Here is what I am thinking right now


Case: Silverstone Raven 2 ($160) - rotated motherboard and improved fans reviewed well here on SPCR.

PSU: Corsair 650HX ($120) - corsair and modular. win.

Motherboard: Asus M4A79XTD ($120)

CPU: AMD X4 630 ($100)

CPU cooler: Coolermaster Hyper 212+ - I laready own this one. It has the stock fan for now but am trying to decide on what PWM fan to replace it with.

RAM: 4gb ripjaw PC1600 ($110)

Video: 2xATI HD5830 by Gigabyte - biggest source of noise here. Stock cooler is suppsoed to keep them cooler than reference so theoretically I could slow it down or it wont ramp up so high. I am not opposed to replacing the cooler as long as I can still do XF.

HDD1: WD 160gb Blue - I already own this so it is being used until the 128gb SSD prices get a bit more reasonable. Elastic suspension will be used to get me by for now.

HDD2: I have a seagate 250gb that I might use for additional storage, but only after testing the noise levels. I have a file server so I can use network storage for data.

Optical: these are all noisy, but its ok since i don't use it much. I own an LG DVDRW and will be adding a bluray drive later. ($80)


All total that is a little over $900 and should do pretty well. The main sources of noise I see are the video cards and the hard drives. SSD will address the HDD, but the video cards...I am open to suggestions. Same with the case too, actually. on paper it seems like it will work and I really dont want another Antec case. I have had about 5 in a row and want to mix this up some.

MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:33 am

Your choices look fine given your goals and constraints. Just make sure there's enough space for decent between the two vidcards. (If they whine up under high load, you can always increase the speed of the case fans and use their pink noise to help mask it. :wink: )

alecmg
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Post by alecmg » Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:53 am

I vote strongly against Crossover setup
Single 5870 will have better idle and load power stats and less trouble in game titles. And I believe it will come cheaper even with added custom cooling.

IDvsEGO
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Post by IDvsEGO » Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:49 am

alecmg wrote:I vote strongly against Crossover setup
Single 5870 will have better idle and load power stats and less trouble in game titles. And I believe it will come cheaper even with added custom cooling.
Funny, I decided on this very thing this morning and was coming back here to find a good quiet cooler for the 5870. So the only thing i have left to add to my list is a 5870 cooler and a fan for the 212+

IDvsEGO
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Post by IDvsEGO » Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:35 am


rpsgc
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Post by rpsgc » Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:24 pm

IDvsEGO wrote:Zalman VF1000 for $58
Don't do it! That one is crap.

Use this one. Newer version (and cheaper too!?) and this one actually has proper VRM cooling. If you are not convinced feel free to check these user reviews, here and here.

I was considering it for my 5850 but it protrudes past the PCB so it doesn't fit in my damned Solo.

JamieG
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Post by JamieG » Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:58 pm

I had the black version of the VF1000 (GV1000) on my old 8800GTX and it was a bit noisy even on low (5V with included fanmate).

I'm not sure about the noise of the VF3000A with two plastic fans with a minimum speed of at 1,300rpm.

Personally, I'm pretty happy with my Sapphire 5870 Vapor-X (although based on the comments of other users here, I seem to have lucked out and got a card that idles at a lower fan speed than other units of the exact same card and revision number).

Given that you are aiming for a reasonably low noise system but not super-quiet, the 5870 Vapor-X card might be quiet enough for you.

Otherwise, for aftermarket coolers, you might want to search out any of the following:
- Thermalright Trad 2 GTX + VRM R3/R4 combo
- Thermalright Spitfire + VRM R3/R4 combo
- Prolimatech MK-13

These are more expensive options and you get the chance to choose your own quiet fans (a further additional cost).

My advice would be to get the 5870 Vapor-X and see if it is too noisy for you. There is a bit of a price difference though - almost enough to accommodate an aftermarket GPU cooler of your choice when added to the price of a stock 5870, depending on where you buy.

shleepy
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Post by shleepy » Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:19 pm

JamieG wrote: Given that you are aiming for a reasonably low noise system but not super-quiet, the 5870 Vapor-X card might be quiet enough for you.

Otherwise, for aftermarket coolers, you might want to search out any of the following:
- Thermalright Trad 2 GTX + VRM R3/R4 combo
- Thermalright Spitfire + VRM R3/R4 combo
- Prolimatech MK-13
I believe the Accelero S1 will also fit (correct me if I'm wrong), and it's a cheaper, proven option.

IDvsEGO
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Post by IDvsEGO » Wed Jun 16, 2010 4:07 am


BlackWhizz
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Post by BlackWhizz » Wed Jun 16, 2010 4:34 am

shleepy wrote:
JamieG wrote: Given that you are aiming for a reasonably low noise system but not super-quiet, the 5870 Vapor-X card might be quiet enough for you.

Otherwise, for aftermarket coolers, you might want to search out any of the following:
- Thermalright Trad 2 GTX + VRM R3/R4 combo
- Thermalright Spitfire + VRM R3/R4 combo
- Prolimatech MK-13
I believe the Accelero S1 will also fit (correct me if I'm wrong), and it's a cheaper, proven option.
A accelero isnt able to cool a 5870 within reasonable noise levels.

IDvsEGO
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Post by IDvsEGO » Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:02 am

I was thinking...my case has 2 120mm intake fans. I could build a duct/divide for the lower one that would keep the airflow from it int he expansion card area. Then I could remove the slot covers and use them as naturally exhaust. This should allow the fan/fans on the GPU to spin slower and still get decent airflow. Thoughts? What could I build it out of? I don't want to use cardboard. I do have a thing about the inside looking neat.

MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:19 am

IDvsEGO wrote:I was thinking...my case has 2 120mm intake fans. I could build a duct/divide for the lower one that would keep the airflow from it int he expansion card area. Then I could remove the slot covers and use them as naturally exhaust. This should allow the fan/fans on the GPU to spin slower and still get decent airflow. Thoughts? What could I build it out of? I don't want to use cardboard. I do have a thing about the inside looking neat.
This depends on the type of cooler that's on the video card. If it is like the reference ATI coolers of late -- ie, "squirrel cage" fan with center intake, enclosure all around the heatsink, and exhaust vents on PCI slot covers, then cooling isn't as improved by increased intake airflow as you would think. The integral fan's speed is the main "valve" which controls the airfow through the heatsink. Slow that fan down, and even if you have a lot of air blowing right at that fan (by an intake fan), the GPU temperature will not improve much at all. With this type of video card heatsink/fan, the temperature of the intake air is more important than the amount of flow... if you get my meaning. In general, once you have "enough airflow" (whatever that is) in the area of the video card, increasing it doesn't help.

On the other hand, an open design heatsink like most of the big aftermarket coolers (Scythe, Arctic Cooling, Thermalright...) takes advantage of whatever airflow is directed at it; there's no "flow limiting valve" fan -- especially if it is designed to use whatever fan you clip on.

Hope that makes sense...

IDvsEGO
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Post by IDvsEGO » Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:42 am

it does completely. I plan on doing the duct in conjunction with a newer cooler. I do have a non-reference cooler on my existing 5830 but when I get the single 5870 it will most likely be reference and need replacement to make me happy.

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