i7 - 860 system, recommended CPU cooler and power supply?

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avnutz
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i7 - 860 system, recommended CPU cooler and power supply?

Post by avnutz » Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:25 am

Similar to a previous poster who sought advice for an i7-860 system, this is my first PC built from scratch and I would appreciate some advice on the CPU cooling (which will determine the case) and the power supply.

The system is intended to be a multi-purpose, multi-OS system for db design/development, video editing, and audio and video application testing. It will be used in a dual monitor configuration and is likely to see only very limited gaming use. Quiet performance is the primary goal. Small form factor is the secondary objective.

I have selected the following components:

MOTHERBOARD: GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD4
PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-860
RAM: 8GB - G-Skill Ripjaws 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
VIDEO CARD: Gigabyte Silent Cell GeForce 9800 GT
SSD: OCZ Vertex 120 GB
HDD: SSpinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB
ODD: Samsung Blu-Ray combo DVD drive
OS #1: Windows 7 - 64 bit
OS #2: Linux Ultimate

I have narrowed the cases down to the Silverstone Grandia 04 or the Fortress FT02, both SPCR Editors Choice selections. My preference is the Grandia 04 but the choice of CPU cooler will dictate the case since the Grandia 04 has limited space for a CPU cooler (70 mm H) when the optical drive is installed.

As far as I can tell the only CPU coolers that will meet the size constraint if I go with the Grandia 04 are the Scythe Big Shuriken and the Prolimatech Samuel 17 (which is supposed to be available in early July. I would couple this with a Nexus 120mm PWM fan). Will either of these coolers provide sufficient cooling for the i7-860 or do you recommend a larger cooler? If so, then I will go with the Silverstone Fortress FT02.

As for the power supply, I am trying to decide between 2 more SPCR Editor's Choice selections, the Silverstone NightJar ST40NF or the SeaSonic X-650. The Silverstone is silent and more closely matches my expected TDP but for less money I can purchase the Seasonic X-650 and I suspect the noise level would not be that much greater. However, after reading the article on matching power supplies to draw, I am wary of purchasing a power supply with substantially more capability than I need. What do you recommend?

Any other recommendations or suggestions are welcome.

Thank you in advance for your help.

MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:10 am

A couple of points about the cases -- one is a HTPC case that will likely be placed on a desktop while the other is a tower for floor placement. The distance to user is important -- the floor case has the advantages of being possibly blocked by the desk, at a much lower height than the user's ears, and probably farther away. It's hard to compare them apples-to-apples.

The need for an optical drive puts a real crimp on CPU cooling in the Silverstone SU04 case. This alone would eliminate that case for me. But the FT02 is total overkill when you don't have a really hot video card (say >100W). iirc, a 9800gt draws ~80W peak in 3D and less than half of that in idle.

W/o a hot video card, the Antec Solo (or one of its twins in the Sonata series) becomes a viable option. It can fit any tall tower heatsink; pick one from the recommended list. I'd set it up with a Scythe slipstream on the back panel, a similar fan on the HS blowing through it from the front, and at least one 90mm intake fan in front -- or mod it for a 120mm intake -- and play with running all the fans as slow as possible while keeping temps reasonable. And of course, the HDD suspension in the Solo is great.

As for the PSU, with such high efficiency models, power matching is much less critical. The Seasonic is more efficient through most of its range than the Silverstone -- but a better option could be the new 80+ gold 400W and 460W fanless models from Seasonic. The 400W model should be available in a week or s. I've had an early sample of the 460W in the lab for a couple weeks -- it can run at full power indefinitely with a Nexus 120 fan exhaust at 800rpm (7V).

JamieG
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Re: i7 - 860 system, recommended CPU cooler and power supply

Post by JamieG » Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:24 pm

avnutz wrote:Quiet performance is the primary goal. Small form factor is the secondary objective.
Since you are going for a mATX motherboard, why not a smaller mATX tower case like the Antec NSK 3480 (2 x front 92mm fans and 1 x rear 120mm fans) or the Silverstone TJ08 (1 front and 1 rear 120mm fans)?

Both should be able to fit large tower coolers, have sufficient airflow to keep your proposed system cool and have a low desktop footprint. The FT-02 certainly isn't a small case by any means!

RoGuE
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Post by RoGuE » Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:16 pm

everything Mike said I completely agree with, and not just becase he's the editor!

its really just no brainer advice..you can't go wrong with the solo IMO.

Never owned one, but having seen friend's cases and the awesome review..I'm already sold on it for my next build most likely.

m0002a
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Re: i7 - 860 system, recommended CPU cooler and power supply

Post by m0002a » Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:08 pm

avnutz wrote:OS #1: Windows 7 - 64 bit
OS #2: Linux Ultimate
Is this dual boot or virtualization? If virtualization, what is the best way to do that?

adobni
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Post by adobni » Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:02 pm

MikeC wrote: W/o a hot video card, the Antec Solo (or one of its twins in the Sonata series) becomes a viable option. It can fit any tall tower heatsink; pick one from the recommended list. I'd set it up with a Scythe slipstream on the back panel, a similar fan on the HS blowing through it from the front, and at least one 90mm intake fan in front -- or mod it for a 120mm intake -- and play with running all the fans as slow as possible while keeping temps reasonable. And of course, the HDD suspension in the Solo is great.
Mike: I have build such a system as you can see from my signature. I have the stock antec fan and cpu cooler. I see you recommend a Slipstream which I have available in my country but I would like to know which fans are good for the front without modding.
I'm planning on adding a couple of WD green hard drives in the near future for storage.

Thanks in advance.

MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:11 pm

adobni --

We haven't tested many 92mm fans recently, the Nexus is still our reference. You could try the new Scythe KAMA FLOW 2 92mm. There's one rated for 1200rpm... or go with the 1700rpm model for more headroom. Presumably you have a way of controlling speed.

adobni
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Post by adobni » Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:59 pm

MikeC wrote:adobni --

We haven't tested many 92mm fans recently, the Nexus is still our reference. You could try the new Scythe KAMA FLOW 2 92mm. There's one rated for 1200rpm... or go with the 1700rpm model for more headroom. Presumably you have a way of controlling speed.
I can't find that one in the local market. The one 92mm I found until now is the Artic F9 PMW.

MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:44 pm

adobni wrote:I can't find that one in the local market. The one 92mm I found until now is the Artic F9 PMW.
Not one of my faves. You could try it w/o a fan too.

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