Suggestions on i3 2100T MiniITX build

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defaultluser
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Suggestions on i3 2100T MiniITX build

Post by defaultluser » Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:06 pm

Hello all, it's been a long time since I last posted here, and I need advice because I'm doing something I've never attempted: building a silent MiniITX system for general desktop usage.

I've got my heart set on the i3 2100T, and I have a 2.5" 60GB SSD I plan to repurpose. So the remaining questions are:

What case / PSU? I'm lost here because I've never built something smaller than MicroATX, and I know I need efficiency because every watt counts against me in fan noise. Would it be better to avoid fanless cases with a TDP of 35w?

What motherboard? I like the ASUS P8H61-I because it's relatively cheap, has good features (including definable fan control for CPU + chassis according to the website) and USB3 expandability. Does anyone else have better suggestions? I don't need Wifi or anything outlandish like that.

Can I just stick with the stock cooler on the 2100T, or is it not quiet enough?

HFat
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Re: Suggestions on i3 2100T MiniITX build

Post by HFat » Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:26 pm

Assuming you want something fairly small...
You could technically use an appropriate (read: with enough airflow) fanless case but keep the stock cooler. But that wouldn't be silent unless perhaps Asus's fan control can spin the fan really slowly and you underclock. If you can find a suitable cooler that's silent even in a case full of holes, why not?
But I think it makes more sense to go with something like an ISK300-65 (or a cheaper model from a lesser-known vendor). Depending on your noise floor, the case should keep you from hearing the stock cooler (assuming the fan control is decent) and you can use a quiet case fan (see SPCR's review).
There are a few smaller cases if that's what you want. Bigger ones can be cheaper but are mostly useful if you want more drives.

The Asus is probably not the most efficient mobo by the way.

And with a power brick outside the case, it's inefficiency won't matter (other than the electricity waste).

defaultluser
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Re: Suggestions on i3 2100T MiniITX build

Post by defaultluser » Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:28 pm

That ISK300-65 looks like just what I'm looking for. PSU is external, efficient and more than enough for this build. I especially like how well it performs with the Intel Stock Cooler + Noctua on extreme low settings!

Obviously I'll have to swap the fan with something else. Is the Noctua NF-R8 still the best 80mm fan out there for low noise (SPCR case review is two years old)?

Also, I'm confused by the product page for the Noctua NF-R8: it seems to have 3 operational modes: normal (1800), LNA (1300) and ULNA (800). Is this accomplished by a switch like the Antec Tricool fans, or does it actually require an adapter? Are the adapters included with the fan?

Thanks for your help.

HFat
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Re: Suggestions on i3 2100T MiniITX build

Post by HFat » Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:57 pm

I have no experience with that case or those fans so I can't help you with that but you may find answers if you search the forums. I'm not guaranteeing anything so do your homework w.r.t. compatibility.

I'm not convinced by the 2100T's 35W rating and it might be possible to reach the PSU's limit if you stress both the CPU and the GPU while USB devices are connected. So you might want to underclock a bit and/or to be careful with USB-powered devices.

I'm not sure but I don't think the 2100T comes with a heatsink similar to the one in the review: it may come with a less capable but slimmer model. It wouldn't be altogether bad since a smaller heatink would ease airflow inside the case but you might have to tolerate highish temperature and/or to underclock to keep the noise of the stock fan in check. Unless you can find a build report, you'll have to try and see. If it doesn't work out, you can always swap the heatsink or boost the case fan a bit.
I keep talking about underclocking because the heat generated at idle won't be an issue. If you're not planning to load the box often, if the fan controller is good and if you don't mind some noise when playing an occasional 3D game or something, you'll be fine without underclocking.

A lot depends on your noisefloor and how quiet you want this PC to be so if dB values don't mean much to you, it might be worth trying with everything stock first. Maybe a bit of noise wouldn't bother you.

merlin
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Re: Suggestions on i3 2100T MiniITX build

Post by merlin » Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:01 pm

I'm running a Core I3 2100 non-t on the ISK300-65. Works perfectly fine even at full prime95 + furmark. I don't even pass 60w in that test config. I find it highly doubtful you'll have any issues with the 2100t. Zero stability issues.
Quiet Wuv Wizzie
Main: I5-3570K at 3.7ghz, 16GB DDR-1600@1.35v, Asrock Z77 Extreme6, Corsair 330R, Seasonic 760XP2, Sapphire Radeon 7950| Secondary/Lan: Core i3-2100, 4GB, Msi H67MA-E35, Radeon 6790, Sugo SG02| HTPC: Core i3-2100, 4GB, AsRock H67M-ITX/HT, Antec ISK300-65| NAS: Core I3-2100, 8GB, Antec TP-550, Lian Li PC-Q08B, 4X2TB WD Green| Lappy: Latitude D620 Core 2 T7600, Quadro NVS 110M

HFat
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Re: Suggestions on i3 2100T MiniITX build

Post by HFat » Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:40 am

When you're not using USB-powered devices, yes. There are some hungry ones like battery chargers and DVD burners. People tend to connect them without giving the PSU a thought. With such a CPU and a 65W PSU, you may need to be a bit more careful (depending on whether the PSU handles a higher draw than it's rated for).

merlin
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Re: Suggestions on i3 2100T MiniITX build

Post by merlin » Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:05 am

Nope, also ran a blu-ray burner on there and tested blu ray movies. Worked perfectly fine. Try again on your complaints as usual.
Quiet Wuv Wizzie
Main: I5-3570K at 3.7ghz, 16GB DDR-1600@1.35v, Asrock Z77 Extreme6, Corsair 330R, Seasonic 760XP2, Sapphire Radeon 7950| Secondary/Lan: Core i3-2100, 4GB, Msi H67MA-E35, Radeon 6790, Sugo SG02| HTPC: Core i3-2100, 4GB, AsRock H67M-ITX/HT, Antec ISK300-65| NAS: Core I3-2100, 8GB, Antec TP-550, Lian Li PC-Q08B, 4X2TB WD Green| Lappy: Latitude D620 Core 2 T7600, Quadro NVS 110M

Abula
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Re: Suggestions on i3 2100T MiniITX build

Post by Abula » Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:17 pm

If you want less noise, i would go wth bigger heatsinks, most of the time will allow you to lower the rpms of your fans much lower. This is my suggestion,

Mobo, Intel DH61AG, review MissingRemote
CPU, i3 2100T is fine, although a lot say its just an underclocked 2100 nothing special about it, but either way its fine.
Case, LIAN LI PC-Q11B, i would replace the fan with Noiseblocker NB-BlackSilentPro PK-1 (you could even undervolt it if you wish more quiet).
Heatsink, any big tower heatsink will do, the cpu on the DH61AG will be extremly close to the case frontal intake fan. Suggested Thermalright HR02 (check mobo for compatibility).
PSU, you need to decide what brick will be enough for you, check the missing remote for some ideas, but there are some decent bricks very cheap.
GameMi - Intel i9 9900K + Gigabyte Z390 AM + Asus RTX2080Ti Strix | MiniMi - Intel i7 8700K + ASRock Z370ITX + MSI RTX2080Ti
StreaMi - Intel i9 7940X + AsRock X299 Taichi + Asus GTX1080Ti Strix | WorkMi - AMD 1950X + AsRock X399 Taichi + MSI GTX1080
ServeMi - Intel Xeon E3-1230 + Supermicro X9SCM-F + 144TB | StoreMi - Intel Xeon E3 1240v5 + Supermicro X11SSM-F + 42TB | CamMi - Intel i7 4770K + MSI H81i + Blue Iris

defaultluser
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Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 9:39 pm

Re: Suggestions on i3 2100T MiniITX build

Post by defaultluser » Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:19 pm

Sorry for the lack of updates, but I kinda got distracted by Irene (and lost power for a week).

So, I finally got around to ordering the system last week. I went with the ISK 300 as-suggested, and I stuck to the ASUS P8H61-I.

This case is phenomenal. It has a solid feel, and nothing seems misaligned (like with some smaller cases). Everything obstructing access to the motherboard tray is easily removable with just a few screws, so installation was a piece of cake. This is probably the EASIEST install I have ever done: it only took me about 2 hours from unboxing to power-on, and everything worked on first boot.

The only thing I don't like is the 80mm Tricool fan. I was not expecting to hear bearing whine with the fan on low with the case under my desk, but I can. Luckily this can be remedied with a new Noctua :D

The Intel stock cooler supplied with the 2100-T is small but very quiet. I'll post updates about the ASUS fan control software/BIOS, plus the addition of the Noctua fan this weekend.

Thanks for all your help!

bendit
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Re: Suggestions on i3 2100T MiniITX build

Post by bendit » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:18 am

HFat wrote:I have no experience with that case or those fans so I can't help you with that but you may find answers if you search the forums. I'm not guaranteeing anything so do your homework w.r.t. compatibility.

I'm not convinced by the 2100T's 35W rating and it might be possible to reach the PSU's limit if you stress both the CPU and the GPU while USB devices are connected. So you might want to underclock a bit and/or to be careful with USB-powered devices.

I'm not sure but I don't think the 2100T comes with a heatsink similar to the one in the review: it may come with a less capable but slimmer model. It wouldn't be altogether bad since a smaller heatink would ease airflow inside the case but you might have to tolerate highish temperature and/or to underclock to keep the noise of the stock fan in check. Unless you can find a build report, you'll have to try and see. If it doesn't work out, you can always swap the heatsink or boost the case fan a bit.
I keep talking about underclocking because the heat generated at idle won't be an issue. If you're not planning to load the box often, if the fan controller is good and if you don't mind some noise when playing an occasional 3D game or something, you'll be fine without underclocking.

A lot depends on your noisefloor and how quiet you want this PC to be so if dB values don't mean much to you, it might be worth trying with everything stock first. Maybe a bit of noise wouldn't bother you.
I am using the regular i3-2100 with the "65" and it works like a champ. If anything intel is conservative with the power consumption rating of sandy bridge.

HFat
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Re: Suggestions on i3 2100T MiniITX build

Post by HFat » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:34 am

It's not that they're conservative (not if you keep inn mind that the GPU is on board anyway). It's that the slower CPUs get the same rating as the faster ones in the same family. So the 2100 which is a good bit slower than some dual-cores is rated well over its actual consumption. Not so in the case of the 2100T.

I used a 60W PSU. Sure, it can work. But you may run into a problem if you do these things at the same time:
-load the CPU
-load the GPU (3D)
-connect USB devices that draw a lot of power (like a portable device which charges it battery from your PC or a DVD burner)
It's probably going to depend on what the PSU can actually deliver as opposed to its rating.

merlin
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Re: Suggestions on i3 2100T MiniITX build

Post by merlin » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:44 am

HFat wrote:It's not that they're conservative (not if you keep inn mind that the GPU is on board anyway). It's that the slower CPUs get the same rating as the faster ones in the same family. So the 2100 which is a good bit slower than some dual-cores is rated well over its actual consumption. Not so in the case of the 2100T.

I used a 60W PSU. Sure, it can work. But you may run into a problem if you do these things at the same time:
-load the CPU
-load the GPU (3D)
-connect USB devices that draw a lot of power (like a portable device which charges it battery from your PC or a DVD burner)
It's probably going to depend on what the PSU can actually deliver as opposed to its rating.
I like how you keep repeating this. When I clearly stated I ran prime95 + furmark at the same time on the same exact setup. And a blu-ray burner. Which is exactly all 3 of your complaints.
Quiet Wuv Wizzie
Main: I5-3570K at 3.7ghz, 16GB DDR-1600@1.35v, Asrock Z77 Extreme6, Corsair 330R, Seasonic 760XP2, Sapphire Radeon 7950| Secondary/Lan: Core i3-2100, 4GB, Msi H67MA-E35, Radeon 6790, Sugo SG02| HTPC: Core i3-2100, 4GB, AsRock H67M-ITX/HT, Antec ISK300-65| NAS: Core I3-2100, 8GB, Antec TP-550, Lian Li PC-Q08B, 4X2TB WD Green| Lappy: Latitude D620 Core 2 T7600, Quadro NVS 110M

HFat
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Re: Suggestions on i3 2100T MiniITX build

Post by HFat » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:30 pm

Making stuff up won't make the math go away. Either the maximum draw is higher than the PSU's rated capacity or it's not.

najames
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Re: Suggestions on i3 2100T MiniITX build

Post by najames » Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:42 am

Using a Killawatt to measure power, "Balanced power" in Vista.

Intel DH61WW
i3-2100
2.5" WD Blue 320GB drive
2x4GB DDR3 RAM
Onboard Intel NIC
Older Seasonic S12II 330W
External DVD burner

Max watts on boot - 52W
Max watts during Handbrake conversion, 100% CPU - 61W
Idle on Vista 64 desktop - 26W

Most daily stuff is 26-35W range.

This is some additional information if desired.

http://translate.google.com/translate?h ... %3Dimvnsfd

defaultluser
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Re: Suggestions on i3 2100T MiniITX build

Post by defaultluser » Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:01 pm

So, the Noctua NF-R8 arrived, and I installed it. Here are my experiences:

The Noctua fan has two adapters, one for Low Noise and one for Ultra Low Noise

No Adapter: Fan was same noise level as the Tricool stock fan on low, but without the bearing rattle. Sound was VERY smooth, and moved a ton of air.

Low Noise Adapter: moved about half the air, was nearly silent.

Ultra Low Noise: true to the description, this is completely silent. It also moved the same amount of air as the Tricoool on low.

I went with Ultra Low Noise. So now that the case fan is noiseless, it turns-out the stock fan on ASUS Balanced noise settings is inaudible at idle. It makes a bit of noise at full-load, but this does not bother me because the system will spend most of it's time at idle to medium load. I am very satisfied with this setup!

One warning to ISK300-65 users: since the Tricool fan sucks, be sure to swap it out before you do anything. You cannot exchange the fan once the motherboard is installed (board must be removed). Two of the screws securing the fan are right up against the motherboard.

merlin
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Re: Suggestions on i3 2100T MiniITX build

Post by merlin » Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:02 am

HFat wrote:Making stuff up won't make the math go away. Either the maximum draw is higher than the PSU's rated capacity or it's not.
Yep, one person you, make up stuff based on your own guesses. Meanwhile I have wattage meters and actual practical usage. Go complain to yourself.
Quiet Wuv Wizzie
Main: I5-3570K at 3.7ghz, 16GB DDR-1600@1.35v, Asrock Z77 Extreme6, Corsair 330R, Seasonic 760XP2, Sapphire Radeon 7950| Secondary/Lan: Core i3-2100, 4GB, Msi H67MA-E35, Radeon 6790, Sugo SG02| HTPC: Core i3-2100, 4GB, AsRock H67M-ITX/HT, Antec ISK300-65| NAS: Core I3-2100, 8GB, Antec TP-550, Lian Li PC-Q08B, 4X2TB WD Green| Lappy: Latitude D620 Core 2 T7600, Quadro NVS 110M

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