Comments/Advice on mATX build

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figment
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Comments/Advice on mATX build

Post by figment » Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:16 am

Here's the current build plan:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($211.98 @ Micro Center)
CPU Cooler: Phanteks PH-TC12DX_BL 68.5 CFM CPU Cooler ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus MAXIMUS VII GENE Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($209.79 @ Amazon)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($149.00 @ Amazon)
Storage: Crucial MX100 512GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($209.94 @ Amazon)
Storage: Crucial MX100 512GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($209.94 @ Amazon)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 770 2GB TWIN FROZR Video Card (Purchased For $280.00)
Case: Corsair 350D MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: EVGA 750W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($102.98 @ Newegg)
Case Fan: Phanteks PH-F140HP_BK 88.6 CFM 140mm Fan ($14.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $1638.59

Additional Notes:
  • I'm avoiding using the top vent for either primary intake or exhaust. With my use case, it may occasionally be blocked. I may use it as a secondary intake, but I'm not relying on it being unobstructed.
  • I have some acoustic foam which will be dampening various parts of the case (probably). Prime targets are the front panel (given it has enough clearance for air movement) and the side panel that is between me an the GTX 770.
  • The plan is to run two 140mm fans in the front as intake, and one 120mm in the back as exhaust. Other vents in the top and bottom will be blocked off, creating a positive pressure, front-to-back flow. This will help push the hot exhaust from the GTX 770 out the back of the case, rather than getting pulled to the CPU cooler. I'll consider ducting one of the front fans to encourage this.


As much as I wanted a compact mini-ITX build, I just couldn't find a set of features that outweighed my concerns over a 16GB memory limit and uncertain sound behavior. And yes, I know a lot of people are going to find the 350D a silly choice as its the same size as a small ATX case. Still, it fits my requirements and aesthetics better than other options I've found (I'm not a fan of the appearance of the TJ-08 and I have concerns over the 180mm fan).

No, this build isn't silent. No, its not going to satisfy many of the regular posters here. I'm looking for quiet, not silent, and my main concern is quiet-while-idle. I'm fine with 36 dB while I'm playing a game. My current build has the same video card and an overclocked 2600K in a Lian Li PC-9F with a pair of Noiseblocker fans as the intakes. It's not silent, but its quiet. I'm looking for a build that is no noisier than that.

At the moment, I'm still uncertain about the CPU cooler and the Power Supply.

I know I have loads of options for PSU, and my choice may come down to what gets tossed out for Black Friday sales. The wattage won't top 400W, and while I do plan to upgrade my video card in the next two years, I doubt it will result in more than 50W of additional power draw. I like the idea of fanless PSUs, but I might just cave and get a hybrid for peace-of-mind and a lower price.

The CPU cooler is more contentious. I like the Phanteks for the inclusion of good stock fans (saves me from buying a new set). Other options I've considered are the NZXT Kraken X31 (need 120mm for the rear of the 350D), or the Corsair H75, but neither of these seem to be dramatically better than the Phanteks. They cost more, they have the additional worry of pump noise, and are generally less proven. Still, an AIO would likely remove one or two fans from the case. I'm uncertain.

Thoughts?

EDIT: Updated the parts list based on new plans, fixed the mistaken selection of a mITX board
Last edited by figment on Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Comments/Advice on mATX build

Post by CA_Steve » Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:31 am

Quiet components inside = quiet outside. Your gfx card will be the dominant source. The lower limit on MSI fans is typically ~1000rpm. Quiet, but audible at idle. You won't hear dialed down case fans or CPU cooler over this.

- The case is nice. 3 x 140mm fans will work well. I haven't messed with the stock Corsair fans to know whether or not they can be run at silent levels. Build it with the two and find out. Then get the third fan or three new fans.
- The cooler is overkill unless you plan to overvolt the CPU. It doesn't take that much to keep a stock i5 cool. The Scythe Mugen 4 (in my build) and Scythe Kotetsu are awesome.
- 16GB of RAM is overkill, unless you have a specific app (not gaming) that needs it.
- SSD: Prices keep coming down. Do you need 1TB today or just getting it for future need? If you don't have the need today, go for a 240-512GB drive and save the bucks.
- PSU: The trend for GPUs is less power needed rather than more and it's unlikely a mainstream ($200-$350) gaming card will use much more than your GTX 770's 230W. Your system will use 300-325W with a heavily stressed game. The PSU is mounted in the bottom of the case and the heat rise won't be much. Unless you typically have high room temps, fanless would work.
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)

figment
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Re: Comments/Advice on mATX build

Post by figment » Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:31 pm

CA_Steve wrote:Quiet components inside = quiet outside. Your gfx card will be the dominant source. The lower limit on MSI fans is typically ~1000rpm. Quiet, but audible at idle. You won't hear dialed down case fans or CPU cooler over this.
I know it. I bought the 770 when my 660 Ti died. I knew what I was getting when I bought it, and I've made peace with it. Or rather, I've made a gentle hum with it. Acoustic foam and some baffles in the case reduce the noise so that its not audible while doing anything more exciting than reading a book at night.
CA_Steve wrote:I haven't messed with the stock Corsair fans to know whether or not they can be run at silent levels. Build it with the two and find out. Then get the third fan or three new fans.
Other sources are already telling me to try TrueQuiet 140's right away. The AF140s are apparently better than average, but perhaps not what I'd want in the front of my PC.
CA_Steve wrote:The cooler is overkill unless you plan to overvolt the CPU.
I'm planning on overclocking the i5. Not much, and I hope to keep the voltage close to stock. The overkill on cooler is mostly because of the prices I was finding for it. It came with two good fans, and was only slightly higher than the price of a Hyper 212 and a good fan. I still might back down to something cheaper.
CA_Steve wrote:16GB of RAM is overkill, unless you have a specific app (not gaming) that needs it.
Beyond some gaming, this is a development box that will become a server. The plan is for it to run one or more VMs in addition to its normal load.
CA_Steve wrote:Prices keep coming down. Do you need 1TB today or just getting it for future need? If you don't have the need today, go for a 240-512GB drive and save the bucks.
At the moment I have around 500GB of storage "budget". Most non-essential stuff (music, photos, basic file storage) will be living on a nearby server. OS, apps, VM disks will be local. I'm trying to avoid any spinning disks.
CA_Steve wrote:Unless you typically have high room temps, fanless [PSUs] would work.
I thought so, too. But I'm not sure if I can justify the cost of a Seasonic fanless. I'm now looking at an XFX XTR 550w (Seasonic G 550).

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Re: Comments/Advice on mATX build

Post by cerbie » Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:06 pm

Hi there, again. Being in the U.S, consider the Rosewill SilentNight 500W, for about $105 for the next few days at Newegg, with a promo (search shows the promo, the product page didn't, for me). Unless "fake" Virginia isn't in Virginia...

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Re: Comments/Advice on mATX build

Post by figment » Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:48 pm

cerbie wrote:Hi there, again. Being in the U.S, consider the Rosewill SilentNight 500W, for about $105 for the next few days at Newegg
Noted.

That's actually a very nice deal. A fanless Superflower for $100. That just might be the first part I order.
cerbie wrote:Unless "fake" Virginia isn't in Virginia...
Nah, it's Virginia. It's a bit of a dig at some local politicians. They don't like the northern part of Virgina (the part that is essentially the Washington DC metro area) because people there don't vote for them. A couple referred to the people in the southern part of Virginia as "Real Virginians". I enjoy making fun of their silliness.

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Re: Comments/Advice on mATX build

Post by xan_user » Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:05 pm

figment wrote:
cerbie wrote:Hi there, again. Being in the U.S, consider the Rosewill SilentNight 500W, for about $105 for the next few days at Newegg
Noted.

That's actually a very nice deal. A fanless Superflower for $100. That just might be the first part I order.
cerbie wrote:Unless "fake" Virginia isn't in Virginia...
Nah, it's Virginia. It's a bit of a dig at some local politicians. They don't like the northern part of Virgina (the part that is essentially the Washington DC metro area) because people there don't vote for them. A couple referred to the people in the southern part of Virginia as "Real Virginians". I enjoy making fun of their silliness.
"faux virginia" would sound more suave, tho. :mrgreen:
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Re: Comments/Advice on mATX build

Post by quest_for_silence » Thu Nov 13, 2014 5:32 am

figment wrote:
cerbie wrote:Hi there, again. Being in the U.S, consider the Rosewill SilentNight 500W, for about $105 for the next few days at Newegg
Noted.

That's actually a very nice deal. A fanless Superflower for $100. That just might be the first part I order.

Be quick: it's EOL, so grab one before they're gone (a Tachyon might be a viable alternative, in case).

figment wrote:The CPU cooler is more contentious. I like the Phanteks for the inclusion of good stock fans (saves me from buying a new set). Other options I've considered are the NZXT Kraken X31 (need 120mm for the rear of the 350D), or the Corsair H75, but neither of these seem to be dramatically better than the Phanteks. They cost more, they have the additional worry of pump noise, and are generally less proven. Still, an AIO would likely remove one or two fans from the case. I'm uncertain.

Thoughts?

Given that it shouldn't be dead silent, what about going water all the way?
I mean swapping the 350D for a 450D, picking a pair of Kraken X61 and a Kraken G10... 430USD for 17-20dB deadly cool, if you like.
Regards,
Luca

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Re: Comments/Advice on mATX build

Post by figment » Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:05 am

quest_for_silence wrote:Be quick: it's EOL, so grab one before they're gone
Ah. That explains the sale. Should its EOL be a concern to me? I imagine warranties still need to be honored, it just might be honored by replacing the unit with a different PSU, I guess.
quest_for_silence wrote:(a Tachyon might be a viable alternative, in case).

The Tachyon absolutely is an alternative. I just didn't know that it was worth the price difference to jump from a 80+Gold/Hybrid-Fan to 80+Platinum/Hybrid-Fan. The jump from 80+Gold/Hybrid to 80+Platinum/Fanless might be.

If I don't jump on the Silent Night, I'll certainly consider the Tachyon.
quest_for_silence wrote:Given that it shouldn't be dead silent, what about going water all the way?
I mean swapping the 350D for a 450D, picking a pair of Kraken X61 and a Kraken G10... 430USD for 17-20dB deadly cool, if you like.
What has the world come to. I never thought I'd see you recommend water cooling.

Seriously, I did consider it, but it runs into the same problem. All the good AIO coolers use 280mm radiators, and that means either front-mounting (and feeding warm air to the video card) or top-mounting (and having to keep brushing cats off of my radiator exhaust).

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Re: Comments/Advice on mATX build

Post by CA_Steve » Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:30 am

Tachyon sale at Newegg $90 for the 650W.
brochure:
25% OFF SELECT ROSEWILL PC CASES & POWER SUPPLIES
Enter promo code EMCWWWG34 at checkout.
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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Re: Comments/Advice on mATX build

Post by figment » Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:47 am

CA_Steve wrote:Tachyon sale at Newegg $90 for the 650W.
Curses!

And so begins the Dance of Discounts. The only good news is that you usually end up getting something good for less than you expected. The Tachyon for $90 is pretty impressive, too. I'm just checking on the fan now.

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Re: Comments/Advice on mATX build

Post by lodestar » Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:21 am

If you haven't found it already, from the Legit Reviews review "...Acoustically, the Tachyon 650W power supply performs mediocrely, mostly because of the aggressive cooling profile which the thermal controller is programmed to follow. The power supply is silent at low loads but every load increase while the unit operates above 40% capacity will cause a disproportionate increase in fan speed, making the fan’s noise audible at 50% load and loud at 70% load."

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Re: Comments/Advice on mATX build

Post by figment » Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:27 am

lodestar wrote:If you haven't found it already, from the Legit Reviews review
Yup. Spotted that.

This was the complaint I had against other Rosewill PSUs. They either used cheap fans, sleeve bearing fans (mounted horizontally, of course), or fans that spun too fast to be quiet.

Sure, it's going to be sitting next to a 770 with two fans spinning just as fast, but why add to the noise when I could get an EVGA Supernova G2 for about the same price, and it would be fanless up to 400W.

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Re: Comments/Advice on mATX build

Post by quest_for_silence » Thu Nov 13, 2014 1:23 pm

figment wrote:What has the world come to. I never thought I'd see you recommend water cooling.

Whether silence isn't to be absolute, any other trade off may be considered: in a system like your one, with a two double radiators you are going to trade about 5-8dB at idle/low loads, for an about 10°-15°C and 10-13dB advantage at heavy load. It's a trade off, you can better understand whether it's more suited to your needs and usage patterns.

figment wrote:Seriously, I did consider it, but it runs into the same problem.

Damn... I forgot the cats!

figment wrote:Sure, it's going to be sitting next to a 770 with two fans spinning just as fast, but why add to the noise when I could get an EVGA Supernova G2 for about the same price, and it would be fanless up to 400W.
No, actually the Tachyon wouldn't seem a suitable unit: differently from the various Kingwin, Azza, Silentmaxx, and other, that Rosewill would seem the only Golden King unit without hybrid cooling (as the CM Vanguard is the only Seasonic KM with hybrid cooling disabled).
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Re: Comments/Advice on mATX build

Post by figment » Thu Nov 13, 2014 2:31 pm

quest_for_silence wrote:No, actually the Tachyon wouldn't seem a suitable unit: differently from the various Kingwin, Azza, Silentmaxx, and other, that Rosewill would seem the only Golden King unit without hybrid cooling (as the CM Vanguard is the only Seasonic KM with hybrid cooling disabled).
And as I an lodestar discovered simultaneously, Rosewill gave it a high speed fan, and at moderate load it spins up to an annoying level. The performance might be nice, but it's not worth it for a silent build. Again: The EVGA Supernova G2 is a better choice at a similar price point, even though it is drastically overpowered.

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Re: Comments/Advice on mATX build

Post by lodestar » Thu Nov 13, 2014 3:15 pm

I agree that the EVGA SuperNOVA G2 750w would be a good choice, particularly at around $115 from sources as such as Amazon. This power supply was reviewed by UK based Hexus.net who noted that "...Activating ECO, however, results in the fan being off until about 330W..." although as always ambient temperature as well as load will be a factor in this trigger point.

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Re: Comments/Advice on mATX build

Post by quest_for_silence » Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:20 am

figment wrote:Motherboard: Asus MAXIMUS VII IMPACT Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($229.99 @ Amazon)

Why a mITX board in a mATX case?

figment wrote:Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 1TB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($434.00 @ Amazon)
...snipped out...
Thoughts?

Wouldn't be a better pick?
Last edited by quest_for_silence on Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Comments/Advice on mATX build

Post by figment » Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:03 am

quest_for_silence wrote:Why a mITX board in a mATX case?
Bah. Because I copied the PCPP list from an earlier mITX build list and forgot to pick the mATX board? It's updated in the top post now.
quest_for_silence wrote:
figment wrote:Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 1TB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($434.00 @ Amazon)
...snipped out...
Thoughts?

Wouldn't be a better pick?
That URL doesn't seem to work for me, but I'm interested in what you'd suggest as alternatives.

At the moment, I'm leaning toward a pair of 512GB mx100's instead of the large Samsung drive, but I'm not fully set on that and I'll see which of them go on sale in the next few weeks.

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Re: Comments/Advice on mATX build

Post by quest_for_silence » Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:29 am

figment wrote:
quest_for_silence wrote:Why a mITX board in a mATX case?
Bah. Because I copied the PCPP list from an earlier mITX build list and forgot to pick the mATX board? It's updated in the top post now.

Even the ASUS Z97 Gryphon would be interesting: check it out with reference to your requirements.

figment wrote:That URL doesn't seem to work for me, but I'm interested in what you'd suggest as alternatives.
My bad, a bad paste. Corrected.

Two disks? Which is the reason? As far as I know the SATA channel should be already almost saturated by just one disk, so Raid-0 shouldn't be that better. Would you go for anything redundant (Raid 1)?
BTW, I adviced for a M550 1Tb, mainly as it offers better NAND and a basic power failure protection.
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Re: Comments/Advice on mATX build

Post by figment » Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:15 pm

quest_for_silence wrote:Even the ASUS Z97 Gryphon would be interesting: check it out with reference to your requirements.
Yeah, I'm strongly considering the Gryphon. Here's the story on that:

I have two PCs: One windows, one Linux. They share a UPS. They also share a KVM (so I can use one monitor, keyboard and mouse and just switch them between the two systems). They also have a Cat6 cable connecting them.

I want/need to share audio, too. However, when I connected a standard speaker wire from the audio-out of one to the audio-in of the other, I got rather strong interference. Some testing showed that it was "ground-loop interference" (Awkward Translation for European Non-Native-English speakers: there was interference caused by a conflict in the earth wires between the systems). The solutions require either filtering all analog electrical signals between the system (which ruined the sound quality) or using only digital signals. I bought a discrete sound card (X-Fi Titanium) and currently share sound via an optical cable.

My hope (which may or may not be true) is that the supposedly isolated sound card on the Maximus Gene is either isolated enough, or using a digital interface with the rest of the motherboard and that I'd be able to use it instead of being forced to install Creative drivers on yet another PC.

I'm still researching that. Unless I find something that makes me think its at least likely, I'll get the Gryphon instead and just deal with the discrete sound card.
quest_for_silence wrote:Two disks?
I know, right?
quest_for_silence wrote:Which is the reason? As far as I know the SATA channel should be already almost saturated by just one disk
Unless I misunderstand the motherboard documentation, each drive would be on a separate channel and they would operate independently. They would share bandwidth, but it would be the chipset bandwidth, not the SATA bandwidth.

The reason for two disks is that I estimate that I'd need 1TB of storage. That storage would be partitioned up into a few drives. At the moment, it's cheaper to buy two 512GB MX100's than it is to by a 1TB MX550 or 840 EVO. If I'm going to partition them up, what's the difference?

There probably is a difference. I'm not sure what it is, or whether it actually matters to me. Right now, this was the cheapest option, so it is the one that is my default choice. The M550 and 840 EVO are the other options. I've heard a bunch of opinions on the group of them. Some people like the 840's performance, some dislike the 840's NAND, some like the M550's quality, some think that I'll never notice the difference and I should just get whatever is cheapest.

Between the three, I think they're all pretty good.

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Re: Comments/Advice on mATX build

Post by quest_for_silence » Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:40 pm

figment wrote:Unless I misunderstand the motherboard documentation, each drive would be on a separate channel and they would operate independently.

Yes, you're perfectly right: I just got a momentary but huge lapse of reason. :?
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Re: Comments/Advice on mATX build

Post by CA_Steve » Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:36 pm

The audio thing seems funky to me. I won't even ask why you are running audio from one PC to another :D

I would suggest just connect it digitally from one to the other. I can't think of a benefit of going digital to analog on one PC and then shipping over to another for further analog processing.
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Re: Comments/Advice on mATX build

Post by figment » Sat Nov 15, 2014 8:01 am

CA_Steve wrote:The audio thing seems funky to me. I won't even ask why you are running audio from one PC to another :D
Two PCs, one set of headphones? I am a developer. I work on Linux. Games need Windows. It's really annoying to swap the input on headphones every time I want to switch to the other system. And it helps when I want to do server development while listening to music.
CA_Steve wrote:I would suggest just connect it digitally from one to the other.
That's what I'm doing now.
CA_Steve wrote:I can't think of a benefit of going digital to analog on one PC and then shipping over to another for further analog processing.
The $90 sound card... the need for a free PCIe slot on every PC I build, essentially ruling out mITX for the time being. If digital inputs become standard, then yeah. No problems. For now, Motherboard sound chipsets usually only take analog in.

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Re: Comments/Advice on mATX build

Post by CA_Steve » Sat Nov 15, 2014 11:44 am

...just thinking out loud...there are plenty of audio devices that rely upon USB to get the information from the PC (USB DACs, headsets) or to the PC (USB sound boards, headset mics)...seems like there ought to be some s/w that will allow you to run streaming digital audio from one PC to the other via USB...
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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Re: Comments/Advice on mATX build

Post by figment » Sun Nov 16, 2014 4:56 am

CA_Steve wrote:...just thinking out loud...there are plenty of audio devices that rely upon USB to get the information from the PC (USB DACs, headsets) or to the PC (USB sound boards, headset mics)...seems like there ought to be some s/w that will allow you to run streaming digital audio from one PC to the other via USB...
From what I've read, this is what you're thinking about (ASUS U7). Its an external DAC, connected via USB, with extra audio inputs for mixing other sources. It would also solve my problem, and it wouldn't require a PCIe slot, and it would be easy to move about from build-to-build. My biggest reservations were sound quality. A bunch of reviews say that it beats all of the realtek chipsets. However a few reviews (and Luca) report that its low quality. I can't resolve the differences in the reviews.

Regardless, I'm still considering it as an alternative solution. I'm just... hesitant to rely on it. When I was still hoping for a mITX build, it was the most-likely solution, with the Maximus VII Impact's hopefully-isolated chipset as the alternative. That issue wasn't the only reason I moved back to mATX, though.

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Re: Comments/Advice on mATX build

Post by CA_Steve » Sun Nov 16, 2014 9:52 am

Just to drag this issue out a little longer :D

How about a simple passive switch to put between your two PC sources and whatever analog device you are driving? Should have decent isolation/avoid groundloop issues.
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figment
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Re: Comments/Advice on mATX build

Post by figment » Sun Nov 16, 2014 6:39 pm

CA_Steve wrote:How about a simple passive switch to put between your two PC sources and whatever analog device you are driving? Should have decent isolation/avoid groundloop issues.
I'm using a KVM right now, and part of that includes the ability to act as an audio switch. However, it is a straight switch, and after trying it out a bit, I got overly annoyed with the limitations. I didn't want to switch the audio just because I switched the monitor. So, I separated the audio switching to manual mode. But then I would need to switch audio to Linux-only when I was waiting for incoming IM/Skypes.

What I really want is to be able to mix the audio. If I'm working on the Linux box, I want to be able to have music on the Windows box while still getting audio cues from Linux.

Yeah, I could do some things to adapt my behavior to the abilities of my PCs, but that feels backward to me. I should make my PCs adapt to my needs (within my budget). With the switch, I just ended up being annoyed at all the times I wanted to hear something on the other system.

quest_for_silence
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Re: Comments/Advice on mATX build

Post by quest_for_silence » Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:36 am

figment wrote:What I really want is to be able to mix the audio.
Then you need a mixer with possibly a couple of SPDIF inputs.
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Luca

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useful_idiot
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Re: Comments/Advice on mATX build

Post by useful_idiot » Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:01 am

If you have RCA outputs on each machine then a simple analog DJ mixer is what you are looking for.

figment
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Re: Comments/Advice on mATX build

Post by figment » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:08 am

quest_for_silence wrote:
figment wrote:What I really want is to be able to mix the audio.
Then you need a mixer with possibly a couple of SPDIF inputs.
That is, essentially, what the X-Fi Platinum is. It's a sound card with a built-in digital mixer and pre-amp. If I wanted to ditch that, then yes, what I'd be looking for is either a USB sound adapter with a built-in mixer (U7 or alternative), or just a simple mixer. The USB adapter is worrisome because I've heard mixed reviews of USB adapters in general, the mixer is annoying because its yet another power plug I need to account for. My UPS is full now, so that means running another power strip.

All of them are doable. My current sound card solves the problem. I just wished I could get an even smaller, simpler solution. Maybe in another 3-4 years.

quest_for_silence
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Re: Comments/Advice on mATX build

Post by quest_for_silence » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:20 am

figment wrote:or just a simple mixer

I mean that: AFAIK the built in digital mixer isn't enough to mix two PC as inputs to one output (and even USB DAC/audio interfaces - like the U7 - don't work that way).
Regards,
Luca

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