Inspired by Quiet ATX Gamer, R5 Version

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Doranov
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Inspired by Quiet ATX Gamer, R5 Version

Post by Doranov » Fri Jul 24, 2015 6:03 am

My current gaming PC is 5+ years old and makes more noise than my vacuum cleaner. It also contained more dust. My fault. I know better now.
I'm in the mood for a new setup and I'd like to base it on http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1422-page1.html
Planning to buy it sometime later this year. September or October.

CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1241 v3 Tray (or Intel Core i5-4590 Tray)
Motherboard: MSI H97 GAMING 3 (it has M.2 support and a good on-board soundchip)
GPU: GTX 980 ti (watercooled, I think... but I'll have to wait till August or later for the release and reviews)
Case: Fractal Design Define R5 (the white one, if available)
CPU cooler: Scythe Mugen 4, Scythe Kotetsu, Scythe Ninja 4, or Noctua NH-C14 (it seems the best choice depends on the memory and available space in the case)
Case fan: Antec True Quiet, 140mm (as per the article)
Memory: G.Skill F3-1600C7D-16GTX (lowest CAS for 1600)
PSU: Corsair CS650M (it has some good reviews)
SSD: Samsung SM951 256GB (maybe I'll need 512GB)

There is no HDD and no BluRay drive. I will not be watching movies, nor will I be doing any kind of work related tasks.
I have no specific game genre. I mostly go for multiplayer games, and most of my games are on Steam. Usually I go from one game to the next which is why I think 256GB should be enough.
One day I'd like to play on a 144Hz (IPS) monitor with 1440p resolution, but at the moment I am still on 60Hz with 1080p.

After reading a lot of conflicting forum posts (on other websites), I don't see any reason to wait for Skylake or Cannonlake. And Broadwell and Haswell-E do not seem to offer much in terms of price/performance. The GPU and SSD are going to provide the biggest performance boosts for me.

I am wondering if there are any arguments against the Xeon (besides the price), and if there's anything wrong with the memory. I've been reading about interference between memory and the CPU cooler? Just don't know yet how I can determine if that will happen. Is it by visual inspection of the memory? They should not be too wide, right? Also, supposing the memory is just fine, all of the coolers are recommended. Maybe I'll just flip a coin then :)
With regards to the GPU I guess I will just have to wait a few weeks. All the variants are supposed to be rather quiet.
http://www.fudzilla.com/news/graphics/3 ... atercooled is what I am waiting for.

You've heard it before, but SPCR is a really great website. I would have liked to buy everything at an affiliated retailer but I'm not from the US... I'll just go for the Donate through PayPal option instead then :)

Funny thing, three weeks ago I based my new setup on the i7-5820K and the NCASE M1. Couldn't find a decent mATX motherboard though.

CA_Steve
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Re: Inspired by Quiet ATX Gamer, R5 Version

Post by CA_Steve » Fri Jul 24, 2015 8:56 am

Welcome to SPCR.

The first Skylake CPUs arrive in mid-August with more following over the next few months. Rather than basing your decision on website yammering about possibly leaked benchmarks, why not wait for some reviews and see what the performance benefits are before making a CPU decision?

SSD: For comparison, I have 11 Steam games and they take up 120GB. Some are pretty lightweight. Some aren't. My OS and apps use another 120GB. I started with one 256GB and ended up buying a second just for Steam and my music library.

RAM: Step away from the tall heat spreader RAM. No benefit and it can get in the way of the cooler. There's plenty of reasonable CAS low profile RAM out there. I opted for G.Skill Ares 1866.

Case: If no ODD or HDD, why not go for the Define S?

GPU: 980Ti is a tad overkill for 1080p unless you play horribly designed games (I'm looking at you, Witcher 3..and even there a GTX 970 does fine). I understand you eventually want to go to 1440p. But, if it's a couple of years down the road, why spent this much money on a gfx card now?

Abula
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Re: Inspired by Quiet ATX Gamer, R5 Version

Post by Abula » Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:27 am

I think we will see nice GPUs next year, Pascal seems to be a big jump in performance and consumption, personally i would recommend that if you going to play only at 1080p 60hz, to go with the Nvidia GTX960, save $400+ for next years pascal, it will be more powerful, and you could even match buying your 1440p 144hz IPS display to whatever GPUs are available next year.

This has some benefits, the GTX960 should be much more easier to cool of, and less need to ramp the fans even on demanding games than a GTX980ti, between my MSI GTX 960 GAMING 100ME and my MSI GTX 980TI GAMING, there is very few difference on the cooler, at least that i can see. In my HTPC, where i use my 960, i really never heard it, even playing semi demanding games at 1080p, imo its a very good card for the money, ideal for your situation.

On the SSD, i would go with something more traditional, sata3, like Crucial MX200 or if you want top of the line Samsung 850pro, the R5 has slots on the back of the case to install it, so it shouldn't be much different than using m.2, the gains of m.2 are much higher sequential writes, but for the common user, wont be copying tons of stuff to the ssd, the snappy feeling you get with the ssd, you get it with any ssd, even sata II.

On the PSU im going to recomend toward a better options imo, if you can buy right now there is a very nice sale on Rosewill SilentNight-500, wonderfull PSU reviewed by SPCR twice, Fanless PSUs: Kingwin Stryker STR-500 & Silverstone ST50NF and Rosewill Silent Night 500 Platinum 80 Plus, i dont think you can get a better PSU for the $90. Now i since you seem to like white (with the choice of the case color), then also consider SeaSonic Snow Silent 750

Doranov
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Re: Inspired by Quiet ATX Gamer, R5 Version

Post by Doranov » Fri Jul 24, 2015 11:26 am

Thank you for the words of welcome and for the comments.

I can and will wait for the reviews. It's just that at this moment it's my assumption that the CPU (be it a Xeon or an i5) will not be a bottleneck any time soon. Prices might even go down (unless there are availability issues), while Skylake might be a tad overpriced at the beginning. And I don't want to wait too long because then I'll be waiting for Cannonlake...

The Acer XB270HU (http://www.newegg.com/global/nl/Product ... 6824009742) is the screen I'd like to have. I may even buy it right away. That's one reason why I wanted to go for the gtx 980 ti from the start. The other reason is that I'm not very comfortable with replacing hardware and I also don't know anyone who can do it for me. I suppose an XBox is better suited for the likes of me, but I'm really fond of PCs. I will have another look at the 960 though. In any case the GPU should hold its own for the next 5-6 years. I know... that's where the crystal ball comes into play. But that's also another argument for the gtx 980 ti.

The Define S is a good suggestion :) They don't seem to have it in white, but looking at my room I should probably stick to black anyway.

With regards to the memory, both the Xeon and the i5 only support up to 1600 so I can't go for the G.Skill Ares 1866 myself. How can I see if memory has a tall heat spreader? Is it specifically mentioned somewhere, or is it just the height?

As for the SSD, I have no experience with those so I'll put the Samsung on my list as well. That also means that the motherboard does not necessarily have to support M.2. The MSI board is probably still a good choice, but maybe there's some competition now.

I do have the feeling that right now is not exactly the best time to buy a new computer. Luckily I will first be going on a vacation and when I get back there will be plenty of reviews to read. So it might be 2016 before I know it.

CA_Steve
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Re: Inspired by Quiet ATX Gamer, R5 Version

Post by CA_Steve » Fri Jul 24, 2015 2:56 pm

Doranov wrote:With regards to the memory, both the Xeon and the i5 only support up to 1600 so I can't go for the G.Skill Ares 1866 myself.
Wrong assumption.
Doranov wrote:How can I see if memory has a tall heat spreader? Is it specifically mentioned somewhere, or is it just the height?
Look at the RAM. If the heatspreader just looks like it's a thin metal cover over the chips, then it's std or low profile. If it sticks up well beyond the chips, that's a tall heat spreader.

Monitor: 1440p and 144Hz....haha - good luck getting games to run at that speed.

Quinnbeast
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Re: Inspired by Quiet ATX Gamer, R5 Version

Post by Quinnbeast » Fri Jul 24, 2015 3:40 pm

CA_Steve wrote:Monitor: 1440p and 144Hz....haha - good luck getting games to run at that speed.
Monitor refresh rate is independent of frame rate. It just increases the chance of a clean frame capture (i.e. reduced screen tearing) and should improve on-screen fluidity, regardless of FPS.

CA_Steve
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Re: Inspired by Quiet ATX Gamer, R5 Version

Post by CA_Steve » Fri Jul 24, 2015 6:59 pm

On-screen fluidity will be driven by Nvidia's G-sync tech. I was commenting on the GPU horsepower that would be needed to supply frames at a rate that would make use of the other bit (144Hz).

Abula
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Re: Inspired by Quiet ATX Gamer, R5 Version

Post by Abula » Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:41 pm

Doranov wrote:The Acer XB270HU (http://www.newegg.com/global/nl/Product ... 6824009742) is the screen I'd like to have. I may even buy it right away. That's one reason why I wanted to go for the gtx 980 ti from the start. The other reason is that I'm not very comfortable with replacing hardware and I also don't know anyone who can do it for me. I suppose an XBox is better suited for the likes of me, but I'm really fond of PCs. I will have another look at the 960 though. In any case the GPU should hold its own for the next 5-6 years. I know... that's where the crystal ball comes into play. But that's also another argument for the gtx 980 ti.
For reference, i struggle with 2 gtx980ti on 4k in some games, 1440p is 44% less pixels than 4k, but im trying to reach 60fps, while you are trying 144fps, thats 42% more, so it balances it out give or take.... so expect to struggle to reach 144fps as average with only 1 gtx980ti, you will need to lower quality and drop filters, but really depends on the games though, you will have to test and see for yourself what works for you.

Doranov
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Re: Inspired by Quiet ATX Gamer, R5 Version

Post by Doranov » Sat Jul 25, 2015 1:16 am

Thank you once again. I completely misinterpreted the CPU specifications. On ARK it says DDR3 and DDR3L 1333/1600 at 1.5V but I see now that the 1333/1600 only applies to the DDR3L memory.

If 144Hz 1440p is going to be a "problem" then 144Hz 1080p might be the best choice. Some people have already been suggesting to Acer that they should build an 1080p variant of the XB270HU.

Quinnbeast
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Re: Inspired by Quiet ATX Gamer, R5 Version

Post by Quinnbeast » Sat Jul 25, 2015 2:40 am

CA_Steve wrote:On-screen fluidity will be driven by Nvidia's G-sync tech. I was commenting on the GPU horsepower that would be needed to supply frames at a rate that would make use of the other bit (144Hz).
Ah gotcha. I didn't spot that the link was for a g-sync screen. Should have known that I had missed something ;)

Abula
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Re: Inspired by Quiet ATX Gamer, R5 Version

Post by Abula » Sat Jul 25, 2015 9:02 am

Doranov wrote:If 144Hz 1440p is going to be a "problem" then 144Hz 1080p might be the best choice. Some people have already been suggesting to Acer that they should build an 1080p variant of the XB270HU.
It might not be a problem, from what i have read on G-Sync, it should allow very smooth game play even below the refresh rates, its something that i personally looking foward for 4k, but there are no high refresh rates on 4k, nor G-Sync monitors yet. Either way, you can try with a single gtx980ti and see from there hows your gaming experience.

CA_Steve
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Re: Inspired by Quiet ATX Gamer, R5 Version

Post by CA_Steve » Sat Jul 25, 2015 9:49 am

Thinking about it a little more...I believe G-Sync adapts the monitor's refresh rate to the frame times outputted by the GPU. So, let's say you have a demanding game that delivers frames out of the gfx card scattered around an average of 16.67ms (60fps) but vary from 7ms to 30ms. The monitor can sync to all of those frames as the 144Hz upper limit is 6.94ms.

So, I guess the benefit is not that it's a 144Hz monitor, it's that it's high refresh rate can capture a wider variance in frame times to provide smooth play at 60fps with a struggling game.

Quinnbeast
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Re: Inspired by Quiet ATX Gamer, R5 Version

Post by Quinnbeast » Sat Jul 25, 2015 12:42 pm

Yeah, that's basically it.

Some of the more detailed reviews I've read of g-sync as a technology point towards the biggest impact/improvement being around the 30-60 fps region, and really go against many of the forums full of people shouting 'ZOMG 144fps'. The big swings in frame rate (especially where you're dipping down well below 60fps) are generally where screen tearing is at it's most obvious on a typical monitor. There are of course limits as to what g-sync will be able to deal with without having a few side affects; anything below the 30fps mark and it can still be prone to slight input lag or delays (similar to v-sync) due to the monitor being held back in proving a refreshed/updated image. But, if you can keep the minimum above 35 frames, then it can apparently be difficult to distinguish between that and a screen displaying a steady 60+fps.

Conversely, once you're comfortably above 60 frames then g-sync has less impact, since a higher refresh rate combined with higher/steady fps will somewhat reduce the specific need for the two to be synchronized. If anything, it should allow 1440p users (and 4K as-and-when the GPU & screen tech are up to it) to crank up the visual settings and allow for a lower minimum fps target.

Doranov
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Re: Inspired by Quiet ATX Gamer, R5 Version

Post by Doranov » Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:46 am

With the release of Skylake and the fact that the price difference between a Skylake and Haswell platform is rather small I have come up with the following configuration:

CPU: Intel Core i7-6700K - Boxed (since I'm spending so much already it feels like a shame to go for an i5)
Motherboard: Asus MAXIMUS VIII RANGER (it has great audio)
GPU: Zotac GeForce GTX 980 Ti - AMP! Extreme - 6GB GDDR5 (it is very fast AND very quiet)
Case: Fractal Design Define R5 - Black
CPU cooler: Scythe Kotetsu
Case fan: Antec True Quiet, 140mm
Memory: Kingston Technology HyperX Fury - DDR4 2666Mhz CL15 Kit Black - 16GB (the other DDR4 memory kits seem to have big heatspreaders)
PSU: Seasonic X-650 (or do I need the 750?)
SSD: Samsung 850 Pro - 512GB
External drive: Samsung SE-208GB

Also need a new mouse but I'll just go for a very basic Logitech.

With regards to the memory, http://www.legitreviews.com/ddr4-memory ... eed_170340 suggests that 2666 is the sweet spot.
Going for the Samsung 850 Pro based on http://www.hardwarezone.com.my/feature- ... lusion-186
With regards to the PSU I am assuming that https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Sea ... 50/11.html holds true for the 650 as well.

I am worried about coil whine but the company I am placing my order with said they'll test for it.

CA_Steve
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Re: Inspired by Quiet ATX Gamer, R5 Version

Post by CA_Steve » Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:49 am

Welcome back.

i7 is a bit overkill for just gaming. Most games peak with a high clock and 2 to 4 cores. Some make use of more than 4 cores...but with little benefit in fps. Very few get a big bump with more than 4 cores. Techspot is a good site for game-specific benchmarks comparing cpu speeds and core counts vs fps. Also, my std caveat for Skylake: wait another month or two before buying to let the mobo bugs/firmware/driver updates settle down.

(edit) For gaming, the 859 erm..850 Evo SSD is fast enough.

RAM speed: Anandtech has a similar article - for gaming with a discrete card, the memory controller is pretty invariant to RAM speed.

PSU: Your stressd load will be around 400W, and heavy gaming load around 340W. So, 650W is fine. Also consider the be quiet! straight power 10 CM series (if available where you live). Always on, but inaudible fan.

QUIET!
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Re: Inspired by Quiet ATX Gamer, R5 Version

Post by QUIET! » Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:51 pm

The only bug I have seen with my i7-6700k (and Windows 10) is that when it resumes from Hibernate it sets the screen resolution to 1024*768 despite it's connection to a 1080p monitor.

I have also had a little trouble trying to set up ultra-fast boot but that is probably me just doing something wrong.

Otherwise, everything has gone very smoothly.

I'm going to try to set up Blue Ray disk playback this evening. That seems to be tricky on any computer so if that goes smoothly like everything else, I'll be pretty happy about the state of Skylake and Windows 10.

Doranov
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Re: Inspired by Quiet ATX Gamer, R5 Version

Post by Doranov » Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:44 pm

Thanks, I'll wait a bit as you suggested. I need to select a different memory kit anyway, as http://ark.intel.com/products/88191/Int ... o-3_90-GHz says that only DDR4-1866/2133 is supported. Maybe Corsair Vengeance.

The be quiet! straight power 10 CM 600 was a great tip and it's available at my shop so I've already put that one in my shopping basket.

CA_Steve
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Re: Inspired by Quiet ATX Gamer, R5 Version

Post by CA_Steve » Tue Sep 08, 2015 1:09 pm

Doranov wrote: I need to select a different memory kit anyway, as http://ark.intel.com/products/88191/Int ... o-3_90-GHz says that only DDR4-1866/2133 is supported. Maybe Corsair Vengeance.
Yeah - that's a bit of misdirection. You can run faster than 2133 RAM. However, it's always good to see what's on your mobo's qualified vendor list - that's stuff's been tested and found to work.

QUIET!
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Re: Inspired by Quiet ATX Gamer, R5 Version

Post by QUIET! » Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:32 pm

I went with some Corsair Vengeance LPX which has a nice low profile heat spreader, is on the qualified module list for my motherboard and can run DDR4 3200 speed (CAS 17 or so).

For me it's a stop gap while I wait on finding a good 2*16 kit.

One more thing, I think that the Samsung 850 series is unlike the 840s and earlier and the major difference between the Pro and Evo is not the flash, it's the firmware, over provisioning, warranty coverage and price.

The 2tb 850 Evo is very tempting to me.

On the other hand, most Skylake motherboards will have an M.2 slot and NVMe SSDs are starting to become available so SATA will be holding back your storage performance.

Doranov
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Re: Inspired by Quiet ATX Gamer, R5 Version

Post by Doranov » Sun Sep 13, 2015 7:05 am

Two updates:

I'm going for the Palit instead of the Zotac, based on https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Pal ... am/29.html. I thought my shop didn't offer it, but they were still using the old XpertVision name.
I was hoping the Zotac would be a bit more quiet (like the http://www.silentpcreview.com/Zotac_GTX ... treme_Core), but most reviews place it above the 40 dBA.

For the memory I have selected "Kingston Technology HyperX Savage - DDR4 2666Mhz CL13 Kit Black - 16GB". As far as I can tell it does NOT have a tall/wide heatspreader, 2666 was recommended by the article I mentioned earlier, and 2666/13 gives a nice score. I can't find it in the QVL, but that list only has 4x4 kits for 16GB anyway.

I'll order my system in October. That's two months after the release date of Skylake.
And maybe I'll go for the i7 after all as I might play around with the Unreal Engine (3D rendering) and the Oculus Rift DK2.

With regards to SATA, M.2 and NVMe I've been reading a lot of reviews but based on http://www.hardwarezone.com.sg/feature- ... vs-samsung I would opt for the Samsung 850 Pro. But that article is quite old, so who knows.

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