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Please help me configuring my quiet PC
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Author:  nagi [ Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Please help me configuring my quiet PC

I had some manufacturing and vibration problems with the Node 304, so while it would be great for an out-of-sight-and-hearing NAS, I'd not use it anywhere close if the place is really low noise-floor (~13dBA) otherwise. If you are in a busy office, it's another thing. Right now I have an old PSU sitting on top of it to stave off the nastiest vibrations. Mind you, I only have the built-in front fans, and two 9cm noctuas (1 on CPU cooler, 1 on back in place of the noisier original) in it.

Manufacturing problems: for instance, the built-in fans won't start at the lowest setting of the built-in fan controller. That's something that should have been caught in testing. Another thing is that the white paint go in the screw holes for the motherboard strut standoffs, so I could not screw them in by hand. And there are a few other design issues as well.

Author:  quest_for_silence [ Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Please help me configuring my quiet PC

nagi wrote:
the built-in fans won't start at the lowest setting of the built-in fan controller. That's something that should have been caught in testing.

That could more likely be a QC issue (as those fans are cheap, and the "controller" too!).

BTW thanks a lot for sharing! :wink:

Author:  dasKrokodil [ Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Please help me configuring my quiet PC

CA_Steve wrote:
A potential conflict: Asrock in the past has focused on having PWM fan headers...to the point where there was anywhere from zero to only 1 maybe 2 case headers that could be voltage controlled. The two fractal fans are voltage controlled. You'll want to do a deep dive into the mobo manual and see if it has two voltage control headers.


About the Asrock motherboard: I haven't found any definitive info yet, but I've read the user reviews on pcpartpicker. One user wrote: 'I particularly liked the hybrid fan headers'; another wrote: 'I do wish it had 2 chassis fan headers in addition to the CPU fan header, but it only has 1.'

Am I right in assuming that hybrid fan headers can deal with both PWM and voltage controlled fans? Other than that, it seems that if I were to get a case with more than one fan, the fans would have to be connected to the same fan header on the motherboard and couldn't be controlled independently, right?

I guess it wouldn't be an issue with the single-fan Core 500 :), but would it be an issue when using more than one case fan?

Author:  CA_Steve [ Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Please help me configuring my quiet PC

I don't have any more info on Asrock fan control than I did the last post :)

If you choose a mobo with only one case fan header, you can buy a splitter cable and control two fans from it.

Author:  LongJan [ Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Please help me configuring my quiet PC

nagi wrote:
...nastiest vibrations. Mind you, I only have the built-in front fans, and two 9cm noctuas (1 on CPU cooler, 1 on back in place of the noisier original) in it.

No mechanical drives??

Author:  CA_Steve [ Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Please help me configuring my quiet PC

"I know kung-fu"...

For grins, I wandered over to Asrock's website. The motherboard selector page lets you compare one against another for features. Once selected and compared, you can scroll down to the Connector section where it will tell you how many chassis headers there are and how many of them will control both 3-pin (voltage) and 4-pin (PWM) fans.

At best, you get one chassis header for voltage control with the mITX boards. If you move up to uATX there are boards with several "smart" headers.

Author:  dasKrokodil [ Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Please help me configuring my quiet PC

Thank you Steve, I hadn't found that page. That doesn't sound too good, but I don't think there are many alternatives for mini-ITX boards at this price.

Author:  dasKrokodil [ Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Please help me configuring my quiet PC

So, what exactly happens when two voltage controlled fans of different sizes are connected to the same header?

In the Define Nano and the Node 304, the intake fans have different sizes from the exhaust fans. From my (rather limited) understanding, this should result in one of these outcomes: either the fans would run at the same speed, in which case the bigger one would draw more power and move more air. Or the fans would draw the same power, in which case the bigger one would run slower and they would move roughly the same amount of air. I'm guessing the former is correct, but I'm not sure.

Also, for the Node 304, I wonder: At the same voltage, which would move more air − the single 140 mm exhaust or the dual 92 mm intake fans?

Author:  CA_Steve [ Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Please help me configuring my quiet PC

Every model fan has it's own voltage vs rpm curve. You'd need to know this for your case's fans to make any kind of prediction.

As for the Node 304, you are asking the wrong question. I'd ask, what is more likely to provide more air at inaudible levels? The 92mm fans have to run much faster than the 140mm to provide similar cfm. They are more likely to be noisier.

Author:  LongJan [ Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Please help me configuring my quiet PC

First thing I would test in the Node 304, is if those front fans really is needed with 56+75W and one SSD.
Simply remove them, connect the other two fans to the motherboard headers and then play around with fan settings, read temps and listen.

If that doesn't work well you can connect the front fans to the included fan controller set to low. Then ofc they can't automatically be turned off at idle.

Author:  nagi [ Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Please help me configuring my quiet PC

LongJan wrote:
nagi wrote:
...nastiest vibrations. Mind you, I only have the built-in front fans, and two 9cm noctuas (1 on CPU cooler, 1 on back in place of the noisier original) in it.

No mechanical drives??

No, just a trio of SSDs. The whole outer U-shell has lack of stiffness, so you can remove it easier, but this also makes it more prone to vibrations. Do keep in mind this vibration was only really audible in the dead of the night.

I did try a mechanical drive in it a few years back, it was quite bad.

Author:  dasKrokodil [ Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Please help me configuring my quiet PC

Another motherboard question: I saw that there is also the Asrock H110M-ITX/ac, which is significantly cheaper. With an updated BIOS (which can be done at the shop I intend to order at), it's also compatible with Kaby Lake CPUs. As far as I can see , its downsides are lower memory clock frequency (2133 instead of 2400) and no support of M.2 SSDs. Are these downsides relevant in my scenario? Are there any downsides I missed?


http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/H110M-IT ... ifications

Author:  LongJan [ Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Please help me configuring my quiet PC

I am no expert on motherboards, usually I choose a rather expensive one in order to get all I may need -and alot I don't need.
To day I would go for Asus Z170I Pro Gaming.

On yours I miss the opportunity to use a M.2 SATA SSD.
Have no idea if I ever will need USB 3.1 Gen2 but it is missing...
I am pretty sure 2133 memory is perfectly ok.

Author:  dasKrokodil [ Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Please help me configuring my quiet PC

OK, I placed an order the other day. I finally decided on the Core 500 case, but it was out of stock at the shop I wanted to order at, so it might take a week or so. I'll report back as soon as everything is up and running.

Thank you all for your help and suggestions!

Author:  dasKrokodil [ Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Please help me configuring my quiet PC

I built the PC last weekend. It went mostly well; I made a mess by applying too much thermal paste and also had a hard time getting the motherboard with the Kotetsu inside the case and managing all those cables, but everything fit into place after several tries and a lot of swearing.

The ASRock BIOS software let me choose between DC and PWM mode for the case fan, so that worked out well. I haven't done any temperature measurements or stress tests yet, but gaming performance seems fine and the machine is very, very quiet when I select 'silent mode' in the BIOS.

I'm very happy with my first self-built PC so far. Thank you all again!

Author:  quest_for_silence [ Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Please help me configuring my quiet PC

Thanks for sharing and enjoy your build (and about swear, it's normal, as well as dirty talking while building! :wink: )!!! :D

Author:  CA_Steve [ Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Please help me configuring my quiet PC

Congrats!

I think swearing is part of every PC build (although for me it's usually at Microsoft) and if no blood was spilled (I always manage to scrape a knuckle on the case somewhere), then you got off easy. :)

Author:  dasKrokodil [ Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Please help me configuring my quiet PC

Haha, I did indeed cut myself during assembly, but it wasn't a deep cut, so no blood was spilled...

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