Planning a new system build

Got a shopping cart of parts that you want opinions on? Get advice from members on your planned or existing system (or upgrade).

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Lorenzo
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 3:13 pm
Location: Italy

Planning a new system build

Post by Lorenzo » Tue Aug 18, 2015 4:38 am

Hello, long time lurker, fist time poster here!
In the next months I'm going to build a new pc for general purpose plus random gaming and I'd like it to be almost inaudible at low workloads such as browsing and watching movies. So... I was thinking about something like the following
(I live in Italy and most of the shopping is likely to be done on [Amazon in Italy], although it's not mandatory)

CPU: i5 6600k when it will be more easily availabe
CPU Cooler: I've got this old Noctua NH-U12P from 2008 with the free upgrade kit to lga115x (which I've got showing the receipt for a lga1155 system build for my dad in 2012). I reckon it's still a pretty decent cooler but if I'm keeping it I'd like to upgrade the fan (I can't get this lower than 630rpm and I'm not satisfied with my 4 nf-p12 overall sound). Here's where I get a stuck the most because I have many things to consider:
- I can buy a new cooler for 40/50€ (like the Kotetsu at 40 or the Ninja 4 at 55), the old NH-U12P can be sold to an interested friend of mine for around 20€ or I can mount it in my dad's pc (which is in dire need of it because is still running with the stock cooler as adverse fate stopped me from buying an aftermarket one when building the system and then pretty much forgot about it after that!)
- I can upgrade the fan of the NH-U12P, but which fan? A fancy fan like a noiseblocker, or maybe 1 or even 2 cheaper fans like the glide stream? Unfortunately it doesn't look like amazon.it has a vast choice on the fans front so I could be a bit limited if a better shop doesn't come up.
Advice on how best to proceed (new cooler, old with 1 fan or old with 2 fans) would be much appreciated. I'd say I can spend up to 30/40€ on these fans, if there's need
GPU: Asus GTX 960 Strix, maybe I'll even consider a 950 ti when it will be out (I've managed to live with an integrated GMA 3500 until now, so no need for anything fancier... Actually my only gaming demand for the current future will be playing Torment Tides of Numenera, but I figured it would be nice to have room for something more)
Motherboard: I'm currently waiting for the reviews of new boards. USB 3.1 and M.2 ports are somewhat important in order to future proof the system, and other than decent on-board audio I don't have many more requirements, so I'm going to opt for something with good fan control. Really light OC might be done in the future. Would you advise for uefi or os based fan control? Right now I'm on a very old system controlling my NF-P12s (2 case fan, 1 heatsink, 1 psu) with LNA/ULNA adapters and bios profiles on my asus p5ev-hdmi, but I guess there are way better solutions :)
Memory: Some decent 16gb of ddr4 will do the job
SSD: probably the samsung 850 evo 250 or 500gb
HDD: existing caviar green 1,5tb
PSU: I was leaning toward the Straight Power 10 500W CM
Case: Fractal Design R5
Additional intake fan: Antec TQ 140 as seen in your R5 review

[Link removed by mod]

CA_Steve
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Re: Planning a new system build

Post by CA_Steve » Tue Aug 18, 2015 7:02 am

Welcome to SPCR.

Your build ideas look fine.
- cooler: This one is obvious- fix your Dad's PC! Get the Kotetsu for your new build.
- fan control: I prefer UEFI based just to have one less s/w app running. There's no reason with your uses to avoid s/w based, though.
- Skylake: my generic advice is to wait a few months to let the motherboard bugs settle out / uefi and driver updates to slow down. Besides, Intel is scrambling to provide inventory.
- RAM: Your stated uses won't need more than 8GB of RAM.
- graphics: Try out the integrated graphics. It looks like you can get decent 720p framerates and some lightweight games might run ok at 1080p. We'll know more about the GTX 950 soon. Don't know about a 950 Ti.
- PSU: It's good choice. More power than you need.

Lorenzo
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 3:13 pm
Location: Italy

Re: Planning a new system build

Post by Lorenzo » Tue Aug 18, 2015 7:45 am

Thank you very much for your fast reply, Steve, you solved my doubts and made very good points!
I know I could do with less fancy graphics but even as a casual gamer I'd like to get a decent experience on new titles, given that I had to renounce playing a lot of games due to my poor old integrated graphics now I want to get the most out of them and I think I can invest some money into that :)
The RAM is bugging me more. I'd like this build to last a long while, but in the future ddr4 prices (and timings) are likely to drop, so maybe I could get 8gb now and then upgrade to 16 later on

quest_for_silence
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Re: Planning a new system build

Post by quest_for_silence » Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:26 am

CA_Steve wrote:- PSU: It's good choice. More power than you need.

Unfortunately there's nothing quieter with less power (and cable management).

Abula
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Location: Guatemala

Re: Planning a new system build

Post by Abula » Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:38 am

Motherboard: I'm currently waiting for the reviews of new boards. USB 3.1 and M.2 ports are somewhat important in order to future proof the system, and other than decent on-board audio I don't have many more requirements, so I'm going to opt for something with good fan control. Really light OC might be done in the future. Would you advise for uefi or os based fan control? Right now I'm on a very old system controlling my NF-P12s (2 case fan, 1 heatsink, 1 psu) with LNA/ULNA adapters and bios profiles on my asus p5ev-hdmi, but I guess there are way better solutions :)
Personally im more a BIOS/UEFI fan control oriented user, I, as steve prefer to have the bios control it, and not depend on software, this is useful specially for those who are not binded to Windows, like linux users, but even on windows for me its two advantages, sometimes software doesnt load or stops responding or conflicts with other, not that common, but on BIOS oriented you shouldn't have this issues/risks. Now if you prefer on the fly moving the fans, i then go software based, to me Asus is the best in this department, you can also use 3rd party software like Speedfan if you wish.

Personally im going to suggest what i would buy, MSI Z170 KRAIT GAMING, its cheap (well compared to others), seem to have all that i need, probably not the best overclocker, but for what it costs, imo is one of the best offerings atm. Now if you go this route, understand how MSI works, at least till Z97/H97 there were two type of motheboard fan headers, CPU_FAN1 and 2, were 4pin PWM controlled, the bios allows from 12.5% to 100% on increments of 12.5%, so make sure your cpu cooler has a PWM fan, Nocuta and Scythe would be my pics for PWM fan that has good range on PWM. The other fan headers were SYS_FAN1,2,3 all of this are voltage controlled fans, the lowest the bios is able to drop them is 50% (thats a little over 5V), make sure you pick fans that undervolt well, for example the Antec True Quiet 140 undervolt well, they can reach 200rpms under Asus FanXpert2, while they can reach very low, they do have like 400rpms starting, so on MSI bios thats kinda what you will get.
GPU: Asus GTX 960 Strix, maybe I'll even consider a 950 ti when it will be out (I've managed to live with an integrated GMA 3500 until now, so no need for anything fancier... Actually my only gaming demand for the current future will be playing Torment Tides of Numenera, but I figured it would be nice to have room for something more)
I like more the sound profile of MSI 100mm fans vs the Strix 80mm, i own an MSI GTX960 Gaming ME, and its been perfect on the HTPC, no issues even under load, i cant hear it at all. Asus is fine also, but on my GTX970, the fans are very quiet until you reach above 2k rpms, where they start to sound like Jet engine, something that wih MSI is delayed more. Either way, with either Asus or MSI you should be fine, but i recommend more MSI out of i feel they are quieter under heavy loads than Asus, on light loads both should be the same noise wise.

CA_Steve
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Re: Planning a new system build

Post by CA_Steve » Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:41 am

Not saying you should avoid getting a graphics card - just saying the integrated graphics have come a long way and can provide the ability for some gameplay (as opposed to the GMA ...crap).

RAM: It's very unlikely you'll need 16GB in the future of this build unless you do 4k video editing, heavy Photoshop work, 3D modeling, use lots of VMs, or other heavy memory use apps. Games aren't a heavy RAM user, nor is watching videos, browsing the web, etc.

Lorenzo
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 3:13 pm
Location: Italy

Re: Planning a new system build

Post by Lorenzo » Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:45 am

quest_for_silence wrote:Unfortunately there's nothing quieter with less power (and cable management).
That was my thought. I could get the 400W and save some bucks, but it's not modular and possibly the fan would spin faster at my config's high load
CA_Steve wrote:Not saying you should avoid getting a graphics card - just saying the integrated graphics have come a long way and can provide the ability for some gameplay (as opposed to the GMA ...crap).
I understand what you mean... GMA is crap compared to recent integrated graphics. I played Pillars of Eternity on a HD 4000 and I was really impressed by it... nevertheless I want more :twisted: (Actually I was really excited when I saw the benchmark of Broadwell's graphics, and hoped for improvement in Skylake's, but I've been disappointed and that made me set my mind)
CA_Steve wrote:RAM: It's very unlikely you'll need 16GB in the future of this build unless you do 4k video editing, heavy Photoshop work, 3D modeling, use lots of VMs, or other heavy memory use apps. Games aren't a heavy RAM user, nor is watching videos, browsing the web, etc.
Well, I guess you just saved me some money, and I really like people who save me money!
Abula wrote:Personally im more a BIOS/UEFI fan control oriented user, I, as steve prefer to have the bios control it, and not depend on software, this is useful specially for those who are not binded to Windows, like linux users, but even on windows for me its two advantages, sometimes software doesnt load or stops responding or conflicts with other, not that common, but on BIOS oriented you shouldn't have this issues/risks.
I can see why I should prefer bios fan control too
Abula wrote:Personally im going to suggest what i would buy, MSI Z170 KRAIT GAMING, its cheap (well compared to others), seem to have all that i need, probably not the best overclocker, but for what it costs, imo is one of the best offerings atm. Now if you go this route, understand how MSI works, at least till Z97/H97 there were two type of motheboard fan headers, CPU_FAN1 and 2, were 4pin PWM controlled, the bios allows from 12.5% to 100% on increments of 12.5%, so make sure your cpu cooler has a PWM fan, Nocuta and Scythe would be my pics for PWM fan that has good range on PWM. The other fan headers were SYS_FAN1,2,3 all of this are voltage controlled fans, the lowest the bios is able to drop them is 50% (thats a little over 5V), make sure you pick fans that undervolt well, for example the Antec True Quiet 140 undervolt well, they can reach 200rpms under Asus FanXpert2, while they can reach very low, they do have like 400rpms starting, so on MSI bios thats kinda what you will get.
Thanks for the suggestion, I'll keep a close eye on that board! As for the voltage regulation, to my understanding a nice fan spinning at 400/500 rpm would be almost inaudible, so no problems there!
Abula wrote:I like more the sound profile of MSI 100mm fans vs the Strix 80mm, i own an MSI GTX960 Gaming ME, and its been perfect on the HTPC, no issues even under load, i cant hear it at all. Asus is fine also, but on my GTX970, the fans are very quiet until you reach above 2k rpms, where they start to sound like Jet engine, something that wih MSI is delayed more. Either way, with either Asus or MSI you should be fine, but i recommend more MSI out of i feel they are quieter under heavy loads than Asus, on light loads both should be the same noise wise.
Thanks again. The cards cost the same, and performance wise I see how the difference is negligible, so I'm definitely considering the MSI

QUIET!
Posts: 238
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Re: Planning a new system build

Post by QUIET! » Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:45 pm

It's hard to recommend something I haven't used but look at the Asus Z170-A motherboard I have seen a similar Z170-AR which is mostly the same too.

If you compare features, it has some that are nice without a huge price (comparatively). The Krait Gaming seems nice too but the differences are enough that I think it makes sense to compare before making a decision.

I'm looking for all the reviews I can find for lower cost Z170 motherboards and those are two brands that I like, I bet either one would be a good choice.

Lorenzo
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 3:13 pm
Location: Italy

Re: Planning a new system build

Post by Lorenzo » Wed Sep 09, 2015 2:01 am

Hi guys! So I'm finalizing my new rig (as now I have the time to build it) but, unfortunately, I came across some unexpected expenses this month so I could be ditching the discrete graphics. I can probably live without for some time, then I'll see. In the hope that in a couple years graphics card's efficiency will be better do you think I could downgrade the PSU to the Be Quiet Straight Power 10 400W? I would lose modularity, but save 20 euro. It's not the 20 that will change my day, mainly I'm asking if you think with the R5 I can achieve decent cable management even without a modular PSU.
As for the mobo I've looked into the msi krait and the asus Z170-A, but I'm somewhat appealed by the asus ranger, the cheapest rog board (which I find at 30 more than the other two). It could well be only marketing, but I like the onboard audio solution, plus it seems to have a bit more focus on fan control (actually I mostly find review of the Hero, but I'm guessing there isn't that much difference, at least there isn't from specs) and probably better quality components (I hope). Do you think I'm going wrong with this one?
Also I find the kotetsu and the ninja 4 at the same prices, but I think I'll stick with the kotetsu to avoid issues with ram sticks

Thank you guys, I really love this website!

quest_for_silence
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Location: ITALY

Re: Planning a new system build

Post by quest_for_silence » Wed Sep 09, 2015 2:37 am

Lorenzo wrote:mainly I'm asking if you think with the R5 I can achieve decent cable management even without a modular PSU.

Do you have more than some black 2.5mm/3.5mm zip ties and some dexterity? If so, it's doable: check however the cable lenght (particularly the CPU one, the EPS board connector will be far from the PSU).

Lorenzo wrote:Do you think I'm going wrong with this one?

If you like it, you can't be wrong but, at the same time, you're sparing on the PSU cabling... what do you need more? Mine isn't a rethorical question, choose between personal satisfaction (owning a red'n'black board) and some (maybe) less hassle while cabling.

Lorenzo wrote:Also I find the kotetsu and the ninja 4 at the same prices, but I think I'll stick with the kotetsu to avoid issues with ram sticks

Really? I can't find the Ninja at decent price here in Italy: I ordered one in Germany form Schwanthaler but it arrived broken, so I'm still tracking it down.

Lorenzo
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 3:13 pm
Location: Italy

Re: Planning a new system build

Post by Lorenzo » Wed Sep 09, 2015 3:03 am

I think I won't save on the psu, then, thanks
As for the Ninja 4 I also found it on a german site (mindfactory, where I'm doing most of my shopping) at 44 euro, but they don't have the kotetsu, so I would buy it from amazon at the same price. Looking for it in another site would probably cost me about the same, including shipping costs

QUIET!
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Re: Planning a new system build

Post by QUIET! » Wed Sep 09, 2015 1:51 pm

I just built a computer with an i7-6700k, Gigabyte Z170x Gaming 7 motherboard, 8gb Corsair Vengeance LPX, GTX750 (not ti) GPU and an SSD.

I'm planning to add a much higher power GPU in the future so I have a 450 watt PSU in it (Rosewill Capstone 80+ gold) but with the GTX750 my highest power draw was about 134 watts at the plug running Prime95.

With a low power GPU (I think the 750 draws less than 50 watts max), a 200 watt PSU would be a decent fit.

Your i5 should draw less power and a GTX960 doesn't draw much more than a 750 so a 300 watt PSU should be more than enough unless there is something else drawing a lot of power.

It is hard to find PSUs of that size so you will probably wind up with 400-450 watts which should be enough to step up to a GTX980ti or some other GPU with a TDP around 200 watts or a little more. I'm not suggesting you need to add that, just that a low power PSU should be able to accommodate some serious hardware.

I think I am going to wait for the 14nm GPUs to come out next year and then I might step up to an 80+ platinum PSU if I can find a monster of a GPU that will behave well and sip power when I'm not really using all of it's power.

Now for a radical money saving solution:

Some Dell PCs use low power 80+ gold PSUs. The good ones are mostly ATX spec but might be missing the ATX12v cable and almost always are missing a PCIe 12v cable. They also are usually light on SATA power plugs and have Molex plugs you probably don't need.

What I have done is get a cheap new old stock PSU and then modify the cables to get the length and variety I need. It is easy for me because I have surplus stores where I can buy cable assemblies dirt cheap to harvest for connectors and wire. I have a PSU tester that was less than $20 and checks 24 pin ATX, Molex, floppy, SATA power, ATX 12v and PCIe 12v to confirm that I have not shorted anything.

Add some spray paint and braided sleeve and I wind up with an appropriate sized PSU with custom length cables and a nice look.

That is not for everyone. At my wage, and the time I spent, I could have got a full modular 80+ gold but it is a hobby and I like the fact that I get lower power draw at the plug. One down side is that the fans are usually 80mm or so, not the 120-140mm silent fans on a retail PSU.

quest_for_silence
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Re: Planning a new system build

Post by quest_for_silence » Wed Sep 09, 2015 1:56 pm

QUIET! wrote:One down side is that the fans are usually 80mm or so, not the 120-140mm silent fans on a retail PSU.

The old trick of swapping them with downvolted slower 80mm ones has often proved to work equally well, noise-wise, sometimes even better (I personally did that with some Seasonic-based EarthWatts Green and Delta-based Signature).

QUIET!
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Re: Planning a new system build

Post by QUIET! » Wed Sep 09, 2015 3:47 pm

I haven't tried that yet.

The good news is that Dell seems to care about making a quiet computer and their 80mm fan is not bad.

In my suburban apartment, the noise floor is fairly high so I don't notice it.

I'm trying to get to a quiet place and I might start fooling with the fans then.

Lorenzo
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Re: Planning a new system build

Post by Lorenzo » Fri Sep 11, 2015 3:28 am

Nice input QUIET! Maybe not this time, but I'll keep that in mind for future projects ;)

One last question, how would you compare the Be Quiet! Straight Power 10 500W and the EVGA SuperNOVA G2 550w noise wise (when the fan starts spinning). I am a bit wary of semi fanless psu, as when the fan isn't spinning (most of the time) the heat has nowhere to go, being the unit closed on the top, but I see on johnny guru that the EVGA performs splendidly and I can find it for a tiny tiny bit less the the Be Quiet

quest_for_silence
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Re: Planning a new system build

Post by quest_for_silence » Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:54 am

Lorenzo wrote:how would you compare the Be Quiet! Straight Power 10 500W and the EVGA SuperNOVA G2 550w noise wise (when the fan starts spinning).

Up to 400-450W DC noise wise the E10 is better, the EVGA fan kicks in louder and its fan is a less good sounding one.
On the other hand the SF Leadex is a noticeably better performer, electrically-wise, and IIRC it uses better parts (it has an higher build quality, set aside the fan).

Lorenzo
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Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 3:13 pm
Location: Italy

Re: Planning a new system build

Post by Lorenzo » Fri Sep 11, 2015 8:31 am

It hasn't been an easy choice but I went with the E10. I wouldn't like, when buying dedicated graphics, to find a turbine in the house while gaming... life is made of compromises :)
Anyway I placed my order, many thanks to all of you guys! I'll leave a feedback when everything is built ;)

Lorenzo
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Location: Italy

Re: Planning a new system build

Post by Lorenzo » Sat Oct 03, 2015 5:44 am

Update after a week with my new buddy: it's almost effectively silent as the fans barely spin up even under stress test. I say almost because, unfortunately, now I can distinctly hear my hard drive spinning: it sounds like a fairly silent fan, but it's definitely the noisier component even if I have suspended it. The poor guy isn't in it's prime anymore but it doesn't bother me that much. I'll probably put it in the list of things to upgrade in the future along with the graphics card and the monitor (which is fairly old and whines at a really high frequency)
I'll also add that the cpu fan has some clicking, but it's only audible with the case open and when really close (10/15 cm)

A look inside (before installing the cpu)
Image
Up and running
Image
The hdd is suspended in the 3.5" area, mounted with an old Zalman ZM-2HC1 because I had it laying around and there's no direct airflow there, you can glimpse some blue in there

Cabling
Image

I used some elastic band for clothing to install the two fans and the hd. I used the pads provided with the r5 (intended for mounting drives) with the fan too (I had to split them in half for the front one in order to make it fit with the dust grid
Image

edit: my dad's computer now is happier too! The case doesn't close anymore, though. it's an old Cooler Master Praetorian from 2004 and the nh-u12s doesn't fit just by half a cm... I can force the panel to close, but then it transmits vibrations to everything. it's fine anyway as it's almost against the wall on that side and I can comfortably keep it open

fastturtle
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Re: Planning a new system build

Post by fastturtle » Sat Nov 07, 2015 2:06 pm

Looks nice - had worked up a solid post on components as I hadn't caught you'd already bought the hardware. Oh well - win some/loose some.

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