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 Post subject: Re: Which 1500W Power Supply is the Quietest?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 10:55 am 
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edh wrote:
I really don't see the worth of the GTX Titan at this point as we are only a matter of months before the next generation cards which will be better and much cheaper.

Matter of months? AMD and Nvidia are sticking with 28nm...and are mostly re-tuning existing silicon this year. I expect some jostling around /fill-in, but not a lot of major improvements. AMD's Sea Islands are due until end of the 2013, Nvidia's Maxwell in 2014...or is there some specific GPGPU Titan replacement coming this summer?

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 Post subject: Re: Which 1500W Power Supply is the Quietest?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:10 am 
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CA_Steve wrote:
...or is there some specific GPGPU Titan replacement coming this summer?

Not that I know of. They'll all be sticking to 28nm but will all be rejigged inline. The GTX780 should be the first launched which will make Titan seem like even worse value, even if it doesn't quiet suppass it in performance.

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 Post subject: Re: Which 1500W Power Supply is the Quietest?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 3:26 pm 
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comomolo wrote:
edh wrote:
I came here looking for a system running four graphics cards for GPGPU use, so I'm also interested in the PSU numbers.

Will a 680 or a TITAN take as much power when running CUDA apps (like a 3D render) as they do when gaming? What's the peak wattage one can expect from these cards in a GPGPU environment? My usual 4.0GHz 3930K overclocked no-graphics system (well, I use an old passive 8500GT for the tests, and for the final build a Quadro 2000 or FirePro equivalent that take around 50W to 75W) draws around 350W at Prime95. If each 680/TITAN drawed 200W each, I would definitely need a 1000+ PSU for a compute workstation.

Computation is computation. The board doesn’t care if it’s ray tracing or computing a matrix decomposition. So, depending on the algorithm and the size of the problem, you can expect the GPU to draw about the same either way.

Now, if you want to air-cool the kind of machine you’re talking about (which you may not), and you want the result to be reasonably quiet, then you’re getting into the territory of dual power supplies (at 1500W each, you are looking at plugging your computer into a 230V outlet, like your stove).

The only 1500W supply I have numbers for is the EVGA NEX1500. At 1500W, it screams out 64dbA of noise, but at 750W, it hums along at 33dbA, meaning that two of them, running at 750W each, will only produce 39dbA.

However, according to the calculations earlier in this thread, basic power draw for a 9360X, X79 system should be about 230W with no GPU. Add another 244W for each GTX 680, and we get to about 960W total for a system with 3 of them.

This is much more palatable, because it leaves you the option of using the remarkably quiet Kingwin LZP-1000 1000W power supply. Or, rather, a pair of them. At 500W, it whispers at 25dbA. At that power output, two of them put out only 31dbA of noise.

For a GPU, I think you can’t find a much better balance of price, performance, and quietness than the 4GB ASUS GeForce GTX 680 DirectCU II. It maxxes out at 28dbA, so three of them put out about 38dbA.

Add it all up, and you get a hex-core, triple-GPU system that draws about 10A from the wall socket and puts out under 50dbA of noise under full load -- as compared to a normal conversation level of about 60dbA.

And that ain’t bad.

The Kingwin LZP-1000 is reviewed right here on SPCR, and so is the GTX 680 DirectCU II.

To fit all that hardware, you will need a big case that supports at least 9 expansion slots and dual power supplies, like a Rosewill Blackhawk Ultra.


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 Post subject: Re: Which 1500W Power Supply is the Quietest?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:40 am 
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No1 wrote:
at 1500W each, you are looking at plugging your computer into a 230V outlet, like your stove

I'm not sure of your region of the world or the other posters but for most of the world 220-240V is the standard and you can draw a couple of kilowatts depending upon the design of the plug. In the UK we have 13A at 240V rating for plugs but the circuits themselves are designed for 30A as they are connected on rings. Even in the US on 120V you should use less than 10A on any practical system that someone would build so there is no requirement for a special circuit. It's like some of the big PSUs fit a C19 connector as opposed to a C13 and they really don't need to!

No1 wrote:
However, according to the calculations earlier in this thread, basic power draw for a 9360X, X79 system should be about 230W with no GPU. Add another 244W for each GTX 680, and we get to about 960W total for a system with 3 of them.

More or less correct but needs testing, hence my suggestion of using a single card first and a donor PSU to assess power draw, then adding in an additional card, then doing some maths and working out what you need.

No1 wrote:
Or, rather, a pair of them.

I really would not recommend dual power supplies. Here is a list of reasons but there are many more:
http://www.overclock.net/t/1177714/faq- ... r-supplies

No1 wrote:
Add it all up, and you get a hex-core, triple-GPU system that draws about 10A from the wall socket and puts out under 50dbA of noise under full load -- as compared to a normal conversation level of about 60dbA.

And that ain’t bad.

50dB is bad. Very bad.

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 Post subject: Re: Which 1500W Power Supply is the Quietest?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:27 pm 
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edh wrote:
I'm not sure of your region of the world or the other posters but for most of the world 220-240V is the standard and you can draw a couple of kilowatts depending upon the design of the plug. In the UK we have 13A at 240V rating for plugs but the circuits themselves are designed for 30A as they are connected on rings.
You're right. I checked the mains voltage here in Canada and it is 120/240V, which is not surprising since we share our power grid with the USA. Nonetheless, people here customarily refer to it as 115/230V even though it's wrong.

Breakers on 120V circuits here are almost always 15A, and those on 240V circuits are typically 20A to 40A. In theory, assuming an 85%-efficient power supply, you can draw 1530W net (1800W gross) from a 120V outlet. But that would have your breaker continually on the verge of tripping, which is a bad idea. So for the sake of reliability, you really don't want to draw more than, say, 1400W net (1650W gross) from a 120V outlet for any length of time.
edh wrote:
Even in the US on 120V you should use less than 10A on any practical system that someone would build so there is no requirement for a special circuit.
The system configuration I proposed draws almost 1000W net (1175W gross = 9.8A @ 120V) at factory clock settings, and comomolo wants to overclock it. This could easily increase the dissipation to the point where it's just not feasible to draw that much power from a 120V outlet reliably. Going to 240V will also give you a few percent extra efficiency from the power supplies.

edh wrote:
No1 wrote:
However, according to the calculations earlier in this thread, basic power draw for a 9360X, X79 system should be about 230W with no GPU. Add another 244W for each GTX 680, and we get to about 960W total for a system with 3 of them.
More or less correct but needs testing, hence my suggestion of using a single card first and a donor PSU to assess power draw, then adding in an additional card, then doing some maths and working out what you need.
Agreed.

edh wrote:
I really would not recommend dual power supplies. Here is a list of reasons but there are many more: http://www.overclock.net/t/1177714/faq- ... r-supplies
That's a very interesting thread. Thanks for the link. Here's a direct quote from the opening post of that thread:

"Dual PSUs should only be used when both power supplies are high quality and use independent regulation, or even better "DC-DC" regulation. It's only a useful approach when dealing with systems that pull >1000W; then two quality 650W+ indy/DC-DC regulated units may be used in place of a single 1000W+ unit."

And that is exactly the situation we are talking about -- a pair of high-quality power supplies in a system which will draw well over 1000W once comomolo gets around to overclocking it.
edh wrote:
50dB is bad. Very bad.
Okay, now we are getting back to the issue which really interests me!

How quiet can you make a 3960X, X79, triple-GTX-680 system without sacrificing performance?

How would you configure it?


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 Post subject: Re: Which 1500W Power Supply is the Quietest?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:54 am 
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I can think of two ways to silence a build with 3 GPU:

- put it next room und connect remote
-Think about using watercooling for ALL components (still would need case fans though)

IF you go air cooling, then i suppose it can be made kind of quiet at idle, but i have no guess if it turns out to be silent enough at full load..


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 Post subject: Re: Which 1500W Power Supply is the Quietest?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:40 am 
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Quote:
The system configuration I proposed draws almost 1000W net (1175W gross = 9.8A @ 120V) at factory clock settings, and comomolo wants to overclock it. This could easily increase the dissipation to the point where it's just not feasible to draw that much power from a 120V outlet reliably. Going to 240V will also give you a few percent extra efficiency from the power supplies.
I think you are over calculating the theorical draw, watch the following videos,

1) GeForce GTX 480 3-way / Triple SLI: power consumption.
Quote:
In this video we measure the power consumption and sound production of a nVidia GeForce GTX 480 3-way SLI setup. The system is using an Intel Core i7 980X Gulftown CPU overclocked to 4.4 GHz, an ASUS Rampage II Extreme mainboard and an Antec TruePower Quattro 1200W PSU

2) GeForce GTX 480 4-way / Quad SLI - Power consumption
Quote:
In this video we show the power consumption, temperatures and noise production of an nVidia GeForce GTX 480 4-way SLI setup, using four Point-of-View GeForce GTX 480 cards and an EVGA X58 Classified 4-way SLI mainboard. The benchmark used is FurMark. The power consumption maxes at almost 1500 Watts
The GTX480 were one of the highest consumption GPU ever released, since then GTX580 was much more efficient, and the GTX680 was even more, from TechPowerUp NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Kepler 2 GB, Power Consumption

Image

Now lets try to use the videos and review to simulate what you might get in consumption,
Video 1 = 1000W - (133x3) = 601W
Video 2 = 15000W - (133x3) - 361W = 740W

The i7 3960X has a very similar power consumption at load with the i7 980X, couple of watts difference, the gains are at idle where is more substantial, but for practical purposes the CPU at load should very similar, my guess is you are going to end up around 800W depending on your OC and the rest of components.

With that said i think you should be fine with 1000W psu, KingWin Lazer Platinum Modular Power Supply, ATX 1000 Watts, 80 PLUS Platinum LZP-1000 would be a good choice, specially since SPCR reviewed it and got the editor choice. And if you are still skeptical about what i posted above, then go with Corsair Professional Series AX 1200 Watt Digital ATX/EPS Modular 80 PLUS Platinum (AX1200i), also been popular among enthusiast, and way more than enough for your planned setup.

Quote:
How quiet can you make a 3960X, X79, triple-GTX-680 system without sacrificing performance?
It really depends on how much your plan to OC, with the components your placing i doubt you will get to quiet, its 3 gpu and you want to OC..... OCing goes against quiet, more heat will mean will require more cooling, and the fans will have to spin higher to handle the extra load, thus making more noise. I see you are considering the ASUS GTX680 DirectCUII, this are one of the best, but having 3 of them and Overclock they are going to increase the heat inside case (as they dont exit air out), needing more in and out, and this will mean faster spinning the fans.... which will lead to more noise.

Mostly i dont recommend Watercooling as cooling by air ends up quieter, specially because of the pumps among other things, but in your scenario.... i would probably go with water. Get a case than can hold mulitple rads, like Corsair Obsidian Series 900D Super Tower Computer Case, grab some good static preasure fans, like Scythe Gentle Typhoon 120mm Case Fan- 1450rpm (reviewed also here in SPRC), and get a good fan controller and undervolt them. Also search for a pump that can handle multiple rads and that can work undervolted.

If you still want to go with air.... and the Asus GTX680 DirectCUII, then you are going to need a big case with good ventilation, as once the 3 GTX680 start to release the heat inside the case it will become an oven, and you will need a XL motherboard to acomodate the triple pci Asus GPUs. The best airflow case i know to today still is the HAF X, but it wont be really quiet. Maybe something like Fractal Design Define XL R2 or Silverstone Fortress FT02 ATX Case and use standard GTX680 for not releasing the heat inside the case.

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 Post subject: Re: Which 1500W Power Supply is the Quietest?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:42 pm 
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Pappnaas wrote:
I can think of two ways to silence a build with 3 GPU:
- put it next room und connect remote
-Think about using watercooling for ALL components (still would need case fans though)
Both options occurred to me. The first requires punching holes through walls or floors, which restricts the computer to a fixed spot in a fixed room -- not very practical. The second requires an external radiator to obtain a significant noise reduction at these power levels, and the tubing gets brittle and develops leaks with age -- neither practical nor reliable.
Pappnaas wrote:
IF you go air cooling, then i suppose it can be made kind of quiet at idle, but i have no guess if it turns out to be silent enough at full load..
I did some calculations for the configuration I'm currently favouring, which is this:

CPU: 3960X + Noctua NH-D14 SE2011
GPU: 3 x ASUS GTX 680 DirectCU II 4GB
PSU: 2 x Kingwin LZP-1000 1000W
disk: WD Caviar Black 2TB
fans: 7 x Yate Loon 140mm
case: Rosewill Blackhawk Ultra

This system will put out noise as follows at idle:

CPU: 14 dbA x 1 = 14 dbA
GPU: 15 dbA x 3 = 25 dbA
PSU: 10 dbA x 2 = 16 dbA
disk: 29 dbA x 1 = 29 dbA
fans: 10 dbA x 7 = 27 dbA
total: 38 dbA

This will increase to the following at full load:

CPU: 28 dbA x 1 = 28 dbA
GPU: 28 dbA x 3 = 38 dbA
PSU: 10 dbA x 2 = 16 dbA
disk: 34 dbA x 1 = 34 dbA
fans: 22 dbA x 7 = 39 dbA
total: 48 dbA

That's not very quiet in absolute terms, but it strikes me as not bad for a system this powerful. Still, I would like to make it quieter, but I don't know how.

What's surprising about it (at least to me) is that the noise output of the system is dominated by the hard disk at idle and by the case fans at full load, even though they're large (140 and 230 mm), slow-moving fans.
Abula wrote:
I think you are over calculating the theorical draw ...
Image
I did my power calculations using 244W per GPU (which is actually for an EVGA card) and came to 961W. ASUS specifies the GTX680-DC2-4GD5 at 225W, which agrees well with the 228W you quoted. Using 225W per GPU reduces the total maximum power draw to 904W -- a difference of 57W. So I haven't overestimated the power budget by much.
Abula wrote:
With that said i think you should be fine with 1000W psu, KingWin Lazer Platinum Modular Power Supply, ATX 1000 Watts, 80 PLUS Platinum LZP-1000 would be a good choice, specially since SPCR reviewed it and got the editor choice.
That is the power supply I am considering. The reason for going with two of them is not because I think one can't handle the load. It can. But because a single power supply, running at 90% of rated load is much louder than a pair of them running at 45% of rated load. In the first case, the single unit is putting out 25dbA. In the second case, the two units are putting out nothing at all, because their fans don't even turn on until 50% of rated load.

However.

On looking more closely at my noise budget, I see that the hard disk dominates the noise output, except at full load, where the case fans take the lead. As I said, that surprises me.

And it makes the cost of the second power supply completely unjustified.
Abula wrote:
It really depends on how much your plan to OC
I'm not the one who wants to overclock. That's comomolo. In his case, the dual power supplies might still be justified, because a single 1500W unit will put out around 60dbA, but a pair of 1000W units will only put out about 30dbA between the two of them.
Abula wrote:
Mostly i dont recommend Watercooling
Neither do I. For a quad GPU system, though, one may well have to opt for water cooling just due to space constraints. See below.
Abula wrote:
If you still want to go with air.... and the Asus GTX680 DirectCUII, then you are going to need a big case with good ventilation, as once the 3 GTX680 start to release the heat inside the case it will become an oven, and you will need a XL motherboard to acomodate the triple pci Asus GPUs.
Actually, making three GTX680-DC2-4GD5 cards fit on a motherboard is trickier than it looks. Asus specifies the thickness to be 1.7 inches, but two expansion slots only come to 1.6 inches, so it's really a 3-slot card, with 7/8 of the third slot left open for air flow. Leaving that room for air flow is a good idea, but the only motherboard I know, which has enough PCIe3x16 slots to fit three of these cards, is the Asrock Extreme11, and it has an E-ATX form factor.
Abula wrote:
The best airflow case i know to today still is the HAF X, but it wont be really quiet. Maybe something like Fractal Design Define XL R2 or Silverstone Fortress FT02 ATX Case and use standard GTX680 for not releasing the heat inside the case.
The reason I went with the Blackhawk Ultra is because it is the only case I know of that supports dual power supplies, short of something truly huge like a Mountain Mods U2-UFO OPTI-1203. However, now that I'm no longer considering dual power supplies, more case options open up. What I need need is a high-air-flow case with 8 expansion slots, which accepts an E-ATX motherboard and a 180mm PSU.

The quest continues...


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 Post subject: Re: Which 1500W Power Supply is the Quietest?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:23 pm 
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WD Black 2TB isn't as loud as you've listed. That said, why not an SSD for OS/apps/data handling and then a quiet HDD for storage?

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 Post subject: Re: Which 1500W Power Supply is the Quietest?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:21 pm 
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No1 wrote:
That is the power supply I am considering. The reason for going with two of them is not because I think one can't handle the load. It can. But because a single power supply, running at 90% of rated load is much louder than a pair of them running at 45% of rated load. In the first case, the single unit is putting out 25dbA. In the second case, the two units are putting out nothing at all, because their fans don't even turn on until 50% of rated load.
You might be right.... i still think on usual gaming it wont even peak above 700W, but found interesting article might interest you, they tested a very similar setup to what you want to build, HotHardware AVADirect X79 Gaming PC, Tri-SLI GeForce GTX 680
Quote:
Image

We used SeaSonic's Power Angel Power Meter to measure the amount of power our test system pulled from the wall. You'll find three figures below: power supply's maximum rated wattage, peak power consumption under a full CPU/GPU load, and how much the system pulled from the wall when idle, following a fresh system boot.

Image

How is it that a system can pull 1,091W from the wall when the power supply is rated for 1,000W? Good question. It could be voodoo magic. A more likely explanation is that there's some headroom in the power supply, especially since it's a quality unit and not a generic PSU pulled from K-Mart's clearance rack. Let's also not pretend that Seasonic's Power Angel is 100 percent precise down to the last watt, though it does give us a better-than-rough idea of how much power a system is pulling.

As we often point out in these cases, bear in mind that the combination we run represents an insane worst case scenario, one that you're not likely to ever replicate, nor should you, given the unlikely situation of running all three GPUs and the CPU at 100 percent load for extended periods.

No1 wrote:
Actually, making three GTX680-DC2-4GD5 cards fit on a motherboard is trickier than it looks. Asus specifies the thickness to be 1.7 inches, but two expansion slots only come to 1.6 inches, so it's really a 3-slot card, with 7/8 of the third slot left open for airflow. Leaving that room for air flow is a good idea, but the only motherboard I know, which has enough PCIe3x16 slots to fit three of these cards, is the Asrock Extreme11, and it has an E-ATX form factor.
Worth mentioning that the Asrock Extreme11 has a lot of PCIe slots, and i believe that you will be able to run triple tri slot GTX680, but not all will match with 16x PCIe slots, the middle one will end up on a 8x, weather this affects the performance im not sure, but since you are planning a super high end might be worth checking before committing into it. The following is a picture that i created with newegg picture of the X11 from the back,

Image

Probably doesnt matter though, from what i remember only 2x operate at 16x, once you populate third 16x one of them becomes 8x.

CA_Steve wrote:
WD Black 2TB isn't as loud as you've listed. That said, why not an SSD for OS/apps/data handling and then a quiet HDD for storage?
I agree with steve, i think a SSD is the way to go for OS/APPS/Programs, Speciallly with the release of the M500 you have almost 1tb on ssd, Crucial M500 960GB SATA 2.5-Inch 7mm (with 9.5mm adapter) Internal Solid State Drive CT960M500SSD1 it will hold tons of games and use a slow rpm big storage for movies, music, pics like Seagate 5900rpm HDD 4TB SATA 6Gb/s NCQ 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive ST4000DM000

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 Post subject: Re: Which 1500W Power Supply is the Quietest?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:14 am 
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hothardware.com wrote:
How is it that a system can pull 1,091W from the wall when the power supply is rated for 1,000W? Good question. It could be voodoo magic. A more likely explanation is that there's some headroom in the power supply, especially since it's a quality unit and not a generic PSU pulled from K-Mart's clearance rack.

More likely still, the 1000W rating is for the output, not the input. Amazing people like this have a job reviewing hardware when they don't know that. 1091W at 91.6% efficiency would give you 1000W output so it's fair enough to assume 1000W is the actual power draw from the PSU.

Is 1000W safe for such a system? Yes. The PSU is designed and warranted for this use so don't buy anything much bigger and certainly don't buy dual PSUs. Maybe a 1200W PSU would make sense for overclocking. The PSU fan will rev up a bit more at this load but considering how much heat the components will be having to dissipate, in particular three screaming graphics cards, I really don't think that the PSU fan is going to be of much concern.

If youa re aiming for such components I would still think that some choices need to be made to reduce power draw along the way. For example not buying anything that has any 'pro gamer' marketing attached to it. Go for a high quality motherboard yes, but not the most expensive like X79 boards, they waste power terribly for no real speed advantage. Also keep the components that you are putting into it down if you can. You're talking here about a professional system so you can avoid sound cards etc and make use of onboard everything. Keep the number of hard disks down, use SSDs and store things externally if you can. Then when you set it up go through the BIOS and switch off everything that you don't need, this can save a handful of Watts.

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 Post subject: Re: Which 1500W Power Supply is the Quietest?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:12 pm 
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CA_Steve wrote:
WD Black 2TB isn't as loud as you've listed.
Oh, that's good to know! That reduces my noise estimates from 38 and 48 dbA to 35 and 46 dbA at idle and full load, respectively. The Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB reviewed in that article seems like a better choice, though, and the 3TB Barracuda reviewed here looks even better.
CA_Steve wrote:
That said, why not an SSD for OS/apps/data handling and then a quiet HDD for storage?
Yes, of course I'm planning on an SSD (OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240GB -- though I haven't thought about it for a while, so there may be a better option available now), but since it contributes nothing to the noise estimate, and so little to the power budget, I haven't bothered to mention it in this thread. There's an LG BH14 Blu-Ray R/W Drive in there too, but it will only be used intermittently, so I haven't mentioned it either. Even so, both of them are included in the power dissipation estimates.
Abula wrote:
You might be right.... i still think on usual gaming it wont even peak above 700W, but found interesting article might interest you, they tested a very similar setup to what you want to build, HotHardware AVADirect X79 Gaming PC, Tri-SLI GeForce GTX 680
Nice find! That is indeed very close to what we're talking about. Too bad the review is so shoddy. Here's what they have to say about noise:
Quote:
Noise
In almost every case, a high end gaming system with multiple videocards makes for a poor home theater PC because it's just too darn loud. These types of rigs are better suited for high resolution monitors and/or multiple monitor setups anyway, but should you decide a powerhouse PC would be a great addition to your living room, AVADirect's X79 system, as configured, won't bother you too much with its array of spinning fans. It's not a silent system, but it's fairly quiet, even under full load.
Nowhere do they give any SPL numbers.

Now, here's something that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up:
Quote:
A Word on Stability
We ran into a few issues with our system, which began the first time we hit the power button. AVADirect will, for a fee, aggressively overclock its systems, and in this particular instance, the company seems to have been a tad too aggressive. Wonky RAID errors and instability appeared on first boot, and after tinkering in the BIOS, the CPU gave up the ghost. That's not necessarily AVADirect's fault, it may have been a bum CPU to begin with.

AVADirect sent us a replacement chip, which took care of our CPU problem, but persistent RAID errors caused our system to freeze/reboot on a couple of occasions. Again, this is most likely the result of overly aggressive overclocking, which tends to have a ripple effect, in this case affecting the RAID. It's a rare misstep for AVADirect, which has sent us rock solid, overclocked systems in the past. It's also worth mentioning that AVADirect pre-loads the BIOS with different levels of overclocking, so if stability becomes an issue, you can dial things down by selecting a less aggressive profile, saving you the trouble of tinkering with all the different settings in the BIOS.
(Emphasis added by me.) Nowhere else in the whole review do we hear about overclocking; the various clock frequencies are not given anywhere. You can make a rough estimate, though, based on the Sandra benchmark results. Tom's Hardware reports 205 GIPS and 130 GFLOPS at 3.3 GHz, while this review reports 286 and 176, respectively. This implies that the reviewed AVA system was overclocked to about 4.5 GHz -- and yes, this is fairly aggressive. A similar calculation for memory bandwidth suggests that the memory was running at 1866 MHz, which isn't overclocked very much.

However, I suspect that the real problem with this system (in addition to the fact that the power supply is really pushing its limit) is that it was running too hot. Nowhere does this review give us any idea what the temperature inside the case was.

After reading this review, it's clear that the FT02 is not the right case for this system. Something with better cooling performance is required. That's going to make it louder, but better louder than unreliable.
Abula wrote:
Worth mentioning that the Asrock Extreme11 has a lot of PCIe slots, and i believe that you will be able to run triple tri slot GTX680, but not all will match with 16x PCIe slots, the middle one will end up on a 8x, weather this affects the performance im not sure, but since you are planning a super high end might be worth checking before committing into it. The following is a picture that i created with newegg picture of the X11 from the back,
I noted that after I posted my reply to you. The odd-numbered slots are x16 and the even-numbered slots are x8. To fit 3-slot GPUs, though, you have to put them in slots 1, 4 and 7. The metal brackets of the cards then occupy slots 1 & 2, 4 & 5, and 7 & 8 on the rear of the case.

This seems endemic to all P67, X79, and even C606 motherboards: I can't find one that has more than two PCIe 3.0 x16 slots active at one time. No doubt the chipsets are to blame. It presents not much of a problem for gaming, but for large numerical computations it can have a serious impact. Depending on the algorithm, the card in the x8 slot may prevent the computation from benefiting from the bandwidth of the x16 slots.

edh wrote:
More likely still, the 1000W rating is for the output, not the input. Amazing people like this have a job reviewing hardware when they don't know that. 1091W at 91.6% efficiency would give you 1000W output so it's fair enough to assume 1000W is the actual power draw from the PSU.
Right you are.
edh wrote:
Is 1000W safe for such a system? Yes. The PSU is designed and warranted for this use so don't buy anything much bigger and certainly don't buy dual PSUs.
I disagree. The reviewed system seems underpowered with a 1000W power supply. In any case, the power supply is right on the ragged edge of its operating envelope, and that can't be good for reliability.
edh wrote:
Maybe a 1200W PSU would make sense for overclocking. The PSU fan will rev up a bit more at this load but considering how much heat the components will be having to dissipate, in particular three screaming graphics cards, I really don't think that the PSU fan is going to be of much concern.
Now this I more-or-less agree with, but I still might be tempted to go to a 1500W supply, just to give it more headroom and shave off a few dbA.

edh wrote:
If youa re aiming for such components I would still think that some choices need to be made to reduce power draw along the way. For example not buying anything that has any 'pro gamer' marketing attached to it. Go for a high quality motherboard yes, but not the most expensive like X79 boards, they waste power terribly for no real speed advantage. Also keep the components that you are putting into it down if you can. You're talking here about a professional system so you can avoid sound cards etc and make use of onboard everything. Keep the number of hard disks down, use SSDs and store things externally if you can. Then when you set it up go through the BIOS and switch off everything that you don't need, this can save a handful of Watts.
Again, I more-or-less agree, though I'm not convinced that the handful of watts you would save would have a measurable impact on the noise level.

By the way, my invitation for you to suggest a quieter configuration without sacrificing significant performance or reliability, is still open.

I'm curious to know what you will come up with.


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 Post subject: Re: Which 1500W Power Supply is the Quietest?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:02 pm 
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If you have an SSD, why bother with a 7200rpm HDD? Just get a WD green or red and call it a day.

OCZ scares me...ok, Sandforce scares me, too. There's newer/better drives out there. The Samsung 840 Pro for one. Wander Anandtech's SSD Bench and their reviews.

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 Post subject: Re: Which 1500W Power Supply is the Quietest?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:59 pm 
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Quote:
This system will put out noise as follows at idle:

CPU: 14 dbA x 1 = 14 dbA
GPU: 15 dbA x 3 = 25 dbA
PSU: 10 dbA x 2 = 16 dbA
disk: 29 dbA x 1 = 29 dbA
fans: 10 dbA x 7 = 27 dbA
total: 38 dbA

This will increase to the following at full load:

CPU: 28 dbA x 1 = 28 dbA
GPU: 28 dbA x 3 = 38 dbA
PSU: 10 dbA x 2 = 16 dbA
disk: 34 dbA x 1 = 34 dbA
fans: 22 dbA x 7 = 39 dbA
total: 48 dbA


You are aware that adding theoretical dbA values does not allow an estimate as to how loud the total system will be, because things like air turbulence while passing through the case front or noise feedbacks because of vibrasting sheets of metal or even a resonating effect because two of those fans inside seem to emit on a frequency that spurs on another sounding response. And i'm pretty sure that 3 GPUs running full load in a confined case will exceed the noise made by one card in an otherwise empty case timed by three.

The only way to know for sure is to assemble and then see how loud the total systems in reality is.


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 Post subject: Re: Which 1500W Power Supply is the Quietest?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:32 am 
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No1 wrote:
I disagree. The reviewed system seems underpowered with a 1000W power supply. In any case, the power supply is right on the ragged edge of its operating envelope, and that can't be good for reliability.

And just how much of the time do you expect to run Prime95 and Furmark for?!? Unless you really do run stress testing applications all day long there is no way you're running 1000W all of the time. When the system is idle you'll be not much over 100W and even when gaming, as others have suggested, you might be on 700W. Plus this isn't some hyped blinged up PSU, it's from a reputable manufacturer with a long warranty and there is every reason to believe that it would last in such a configuration all of the time.

edh wrote:
Now this I more-or-less agree with, but I still might be tempted to go to a 1500W supply, just to give it more headroom and shave off a few dbA.

How is this going to make it any quieter? The only way they'll increase the heat dissipation over an already large PSU is to up the fan speed more at the higher end. Plus given that the graphics cards you will have would be far louder things to keep cool the PSU is pretty irrelevant in it unless you have some sort of petrol driven solution. A 120mm fan doesn't have to spin anything like as fast to clear 100W from a PSU as a 92mm, hiny bit of plastic flailing round at half a million rpm attached to a graphics card.

edh wrote:
Again, I more-or-less agree, though I'm not convinced that the handful of watts you would save would have a measurable impact on the noise level.

It's not just about noise level, this is overall energy efficiency.

edh wrote:
By the way, my invitation for you to suggest a quieter configuration without sacrificing significant performance or reliability, is still open.

I'm curious to know what you will come up with.

The system in the hothardware.com review looks a good place to start. The Silverstone case gives the PSU a clean air intake which given the heat it has to dissipate for such a system seems worthwhile. The only think I'd watch for with such a case is the graphics card arrangement has be linked to high GPU temperatures. There has been some suggestion that this is because some heatpipe coolers don't like working that way round but I would be more tempted to link it to loss of good contact caused by the torque acting through the cooler in a way it's not really been designed for. Some aftermarket coolers have a problem with this, others don't. Unfortunately if you're going for so many graphics cards then you're going to suffer noise wise in that you can't use the best after market air cooling designs as they won't fit in the space available. This is of course unless you go for water cooling which maybe does not work so well in the Silverstone case.

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 Post subject: Re: Which 1500W Power Supply is the Quietest?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:09 pm 
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CA_Steve wrote:
If you have an SSD, why bother with a 7200rpm HDD? Just get a WD green or red and call it a day.
Well, with an SSD in the system, the most important performance parameter of the hard disk is its sustained data transfer rate. With that in mind, the Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB, which I found thanks to your last comment, is a fair bit faster than the Caviar Black 2TB, and only a few dbA noisier than the Caviar Green 3TB. I would have to shave at least 20 dbA off the GPUs and case fans, and 10 dbA off the CPU cooler, before it made sense to revisit the hard disk.
CA_Steve wrote:
OCZ scares me...ok, Sandforce scares me, too. There's newer/better drives out there. The Samsung 840 Pro for one. Wander Anandtech's SSD Bench and their reviews.
Wow, thanks for that link! That's a great little tool! I compared OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS 240GB to Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB and OCZ Vertex 4 512GB FW 1.5 to Samsung SSD 840 Pro 512GB. In both cases, the Samsung was the clear winner.
Pappnaas wrote:
You are aware that adding theoretical dbA values does not allow an estimate as to how loud the total system will be, because things like air turbulence while passing through the case front or noise feedbacks because of vibrasting sheets of metal or even a resonating effect because two of those fans inside seem to emit on a frequency that spurs on another sounding response. And i'm pretty sure that 3 GPUs running full load in a confined case will exceed the noise made by one card in an otherwise empty case timed by three.

The only way to know for sure is to assemble and then see how loud the total systems in reality is.
Yes, of course. But you have to start somewhere. Estimation of this kind is unavoidable during design, otherwise one is reduced to plugging things together at random and praying.
edh wrote:
And just how much of the time do you expect to run Prime95 and Furmark for?!? Unless you really do run stress testing applications all day long there is no way you're running 1000W all of the time. When the system is idle you'll be not much over 100W and even when gaming, as others have suggested, you might be on 700W.
Numerical problems can be every bit as power hungry as those benchmarks -- that's why those benchmarks were developed in the first place -- and a big one can run for days or even weeks. The last thing I want is to spend thousands on a 9- or 10-TFLOP system which I can't even leave working on a problem over the weekend for fear that the power supply or cooling system might not be able to take it!
edh wrote:
Plus this isn't some hyped blinged up PSU, it's from a reputable manufacturer with a long warranty and there is every reason to believe that it would last in such a configuration all of the time.
Actually, even the best products these days are very flimsy. They are designed to just barely make it through the warranty period under "expected case" usage, and to fail as soon as possible thereafter. From a reliability viewpoint, it makes no sense at all to run any modern equipment anywhere near its rated capacity for any length of time.
edh wrote:
How is this going to make it any quieter? The only way they'll increase the heat dissipation over an already large PSU is to up the fan speed more at the higher end.
It's because the fan speed profile is nonlinear. With modern power supply designs, the fan doesn't spin at all until about 50% of rated power is drawn. Thus, a 1000W power supply delivering 700W will produce, say, 24 dbA while a 1500W unit delivering the same 700W will produce... nothing.
edh wrote:
It's not just about noise level, this is overall energy efficiency.
Energy efficiency is of no concern whatsoever, except insofar as it impacts performance, reliability, and noise level. It makes no sense at all to impact those parameters of a multi-thousand-dollar system for the sake of a few pennies worth of electricity.
edh wrote:
The system in the hothardware.com review looks a good place to start. The Silverstone case gives the PSU a clean air intake which given the heat it has to dissipate for such a system seems worthwhile.
That case seems too cramped to allow for good air flow. And the system strikes me as underpowered, though I doubt that you and I will agree on this.
edh wrote:
The only think I'd watch for with such a case is the graphics card arrangement has be linked to high GPU temperatures. There has been some suggestion that this is because some heatpipe coolers don't like working that way round but I would be more tempted to link it to loss of good contact caused by the torque acting through the cooler in a way it's not really been designed for. Some aftermarket coolers have a problem with this, others don't.
That's very interesting, thank you.
edh wrote:
Unfortunately if you're going for so many graphics cards then you're going to suffer noise wise in that you can't use the best after market air cooling designs as they won't fit in the space available.
Precisely. That's why I'm sceptical of the FT02 case -- a system like this needs a large, high-air-flow case with lots of room for big heatsinks and big, slow-moving fans.

For cooling capacity as for power supply capacity, the same rulese of thumb apply:

Headroom = quietness. Headroom = reliability.


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 Post subject: Re: Which 1500W Power Supply is the Quietest?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:24 pm 
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No1 wrote:
Energy efficiency is of no concern whatsoever, except insofar as it impacts performance, reliability, and noise level. It makes no sense at all to impact those parameters of a multi-thousand-dollar system for the sake of a few pennies worth of electricity.
Well its not only the savings on the consumption, although it might add over time, but a more efficient PSU will have less losses, meaning, in most cases, less heat, in PC thats its bound to have a very heavy inside temp, i welcome any component that introduces less heat, as this will help not to need to ramp the case fans to compensate.

The 1000W is an unrealisic scenario, furmark/prime95 are torture tests that no game in earth will even come close to loading the gpus/cpu that way, not all games are optimized for running dual or triple gpus, drivers have to come out to take advantage of multiple gpus, although we have come a long way into utilization of the gpus (nvidia and ati work hard on their drivers), in a lot of games you wont even load them to their full. And even if you do... the cpu will never reach the prime95 load, so it wont be drawing as much. Imo a scenario possible, where the game is capable of running quad core (idk if they can run 6 cores), and that the game can take full advantage on the gpus.... will maybe draw 700-800W at the most.

Now if you still feel its better to have higher rated Watt psu, then go with Corsair Professional Series AX 1200 Watt Digital ATX/EPS Modular 80 PLUS Platinum (AX1200i), its predecesor (the none i version) with the Antec HPC 1200 were among the choices for enthusiast for multiple gpus and high ocing, etc. Check the JonnyGuru Reviews - Corsair AX1200i 1200W, quoting for the review,

Quote:
Due to the high efficiency and lower heat output, the AX1200i is capable of running in fanless mode with up to roughly a 30% load (360W).

Summary

Do we really have to say anything else? The AX1200i tested almost perfectly, and held its ground showing us that the DSP design is the next step in the evolution of the ATX PSU. You can't ask for any better results than what we've seen today.

Fully modular.
80+ Platinum Efficiency.
Excellent Voltage Regulation.
Excellent Noise/Ripple suppression.
Superb build quality.
Silent fan mode up to around 360W load.
7 Year Warranty.

I think the kingwin lzp1000 is enough, specially at the price seems like a good offer, but if 1200W will help you sleep better then go for it. I havent seen any platinum rated 1500W with quiet operation, and this amount is more for a quad sli, you still are only running tri... btw have you consider just get twin GTX TITANS instead of a TRI GTX680 SLI? New versions of the GTX TITAN with custom coolers should come soon, maybe Asus would release the DIRECTCUII version =). This way you will have much more room between cards, both working on the 16x pcie slots and probably less heat n noise, this will also allow you to go for not so huge case, maybe something like Fractal Design XL R2 will be good enough.

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 Post subject: Re: Which 1500W Power Supply is the Quietest?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:58 pm 
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No1 wrote:
It's because the fan speed profile is nonlinear. With modern power supply designs, the fan doesn't spin at all until about 50% of rated power is drawn.

A common misconception. The fan speed is not directly dependant upon the power load. It is thermally controlled and if the PSU has a higher rating it still has to get rid of more or less the same heat and it's not magically going to do that on it's own.
No1 wrote:
Thus, a 1000W power supply delivering 700W will produce, say, 24 dbA while a 1500W unit delivering the same 700W will produce... nothing.

No. While this logic might apply at sub 500W, at this higher level they're going to be close or maybe the same for the same wattage as they still have a similar level of waste heat to lose. Plus as I stated before the ~70W of waste heat you might have to be blowing out of the PSU is going to be much easier to cool quietly than the 700W you're going to be getting rid of from the rest of the system. The PSU is not going to be the loudest component by any stretch of the imagination unless you get one specially imported from a decade ago. The sound of 3 high spec graphics cards wedged together is going to drown it out.
No1 wrote:
Energy efficiency is of no concern whatsoever, except insofar as it impacts performance, reliability, and noise level.

Great, thanks for clarifying your views on the environment.
No1 wrote:
That case seems too cramped to allow for good air flow. And the system strikes me as underpowered, though I doubt that you and I will agree on this. .... That's why I'm sceptical of the FT02 case -- a system like this needs a large, high-air-flow case with lots of room for big heatsinks and big, slow-moving fans.

Cramped? Not big enough fans? The FT-02 uses 3 180mm fans along the bottom. It's massive. Plus it has a separate cool air intake for the PSU, relevant for keeping the PSU fan from spinning up due to heat from the rest of the system.
No1 wrote:
For cooling capacity as for power supply capacity, the same rulese of thumb apply:

Headroom = quietness. Headroom = reliability.

Well, you keep saying so but you're still not taking onboard that you already have headroom. Plus if you want this to be silent you are taking away the extra cooling headroom that you keep talking about as being important. You do have to sacrifice some cooling to be silent, that's the whole point of why servers have massively loud cooling systems, it doesn't matter in such an environment.

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 Post subject: Re: Which 1500W Power Supply is the Quietest?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:27 am 
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I think the case itself is too small, I would use much larger case to get more air inside the case. For e.g,. a NZXT Phantom 820


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 Post subject: Re: Which 1500W Power Supply is the Quietest?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:04 am 
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Happy Hopping wrote:
I think the case itself is too small, I would use much larger case to get more air inside the case. For e.g,. a NZXT Phantom 820

So you keep saying. Putting more air inside the case doesn't help with cooling unless you're not changing air over between the case and the outside and are instead just heating up the inide. To keep a system cooler in a bigger case you will need to add fans or ducting to keep airflow constant throughout the case. In a well designed system you do not need the extra size.

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 Post subject: Re: Which 1500W Power Supply is the Quietest?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:49 pm 
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edh wrote:
A common misconception. The fan speed is not directly dependant upon the power load. It is thermally controlled and if the PSU has a higher rating it still has to get rid of more or less the same heat and it's not magically going to do that on it's own.
I've already linked to the SPCR review of the Kingwin LZP-1000 once in this thread. Here is a table of SPL at various power levels, and here is a graph of fan speed vs. power draw for this unit. Now, here is a table of SPL at various power levels for the EVGA NEX1500, which I have also posted above. Notice that both of them exhibit fan speed profiles that are approximately flat up to about 50% of rated power, and then ramp up from there. Notice also that two NEX1500s delivering 1500W total will produce a total of about 39dbA noise, while a single unit will be bellowing out 64dbA at the same power draw. This the plain fact of the matter. There is nothing misconceived about it.
edh wrote:
The PSU is not going to be the loudest component by any stretch of the imagination unless you get one specially imported from a decade ago. The sound of 3 high spec graphics cards wedged together is going to drown it out.
This is true of the LZP-1000, but not true of any 1500W power supply for which I have noise data. In fact, wanting to find a 1500W power supply that would make this true is the whole reason I started this thread.
edh wrote:
Great, thanks for clarifying your views on the environment.
Please... let's not make this into a religious argument.
edh wrote:
Cramped? Not big enough fans? The FT-02 uses 3 180mm fans along the bottom. It's massive. Plus it has a separate cool air intake for the PSU, relevant for keeping the PSU fan from spinning up due to heat from the rest of the system.
Those three fans are wasted in that system. Where is the air going to go? With three GPUs and a huge CPU cooler taking up space, air flow inside that case is serverely restricted. Turbulence will be high, producing noise and reducing cooling efficiency, and back pressure will build up to negate much of the potential of those fans.

It is nonetheless true that those fans would do an admirable job of cooling a system with less bulky components in it. I can only think of two other cases in its class, and those are the Cooler Master HAF X and Rosewill Thor V2. But none of these three is sufficient in my view.

The only off-the-shelf case I know of that has enough internal room to support the air flow required, and enough fans to move that much air quietly, is the Rosewill Blackhawk Ultra. It will accept any motherboard up to HPTX, with 177mm height clearance for the CPU cooler. It has four 140mm front intake fans arranged in a dual push-pull configuration for high pressure at low flow rate, two 230mm top exhaust fans, a 140mm rear exhaust fan, two 140mm bottom intake fans, and room for up to 9 120mm intake fans on the side panel. It also supports dual power supplies. And it's a lot cheaper than the Silverstone FT02.
edh wrote:
Well, you keep saying so but you're still not taking onboard that you already have headroom. Plus if you want this to be silent you are taking away the extra cooling headroom that you keep talking about as being important. You do have to sacrifice some cooling to be silent, that's the whole point of why servers have massively loud cooling systems, it doesn't matter in such an environment.
That's just my point: I need enough headroom that I can use up as much as I need for quiet operation and still have enough left for reliability during extended periods of heavy load.


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 Post subject: Re: Which 1500W Power Supply is the Quietest?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:48 pm 
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Happy Hopping wrote:
I think the case itself is too small, I would use much larger case to get more air inside the case. For e.g,. a NZXT Phantom 820
That's a pretty sexy case... but it's expensive and it tries to be all things to all men. In my view, it ends up being a Jack of all trades and master of none. Its air cooling features are good but not exceptional, and it makes up for that by providing some decent water cooling features. The result is not enough of either. In fact, for quiet water cooling at these power levels, no combination of internal radiators is going to do the job. You really need a large external radiator, like a Watercool MO-RA3 with two banks of nine 140mm fans mounted in push-pull, or and Airplex Evo 1800 with two banks of fifteen 120mm fans.

But I completely agree with you about the benefits of wide open spaces inside the case for air cooling. Good mixing, minimal turbulence, minimal back pressure, and high air flow at low velocity are the goals. The mixing is achieved by judicious use of side-panel fans, and the rest is accomplished with a large case and fastidious cable management to maximimize the cross-sectional area of the open spaces in which the air moves.


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 Post subject: Re: Which 1500W Power Supply is the Quietest?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:52 pm 
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For silent computing i value a lot MikeC n his staff reviews and advise, they do an invaluable job, but i do search other sites for other point of views, for PSU i like to read jonnyguru/hardwaresecrets as they do more intesive testing, and searching the web for your desired EVGA SuperNOVA NEX1500 Classified 120-PG-1500-XR 1500W SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Power Supply and i didnt like too much what i read, JonnyGuru Reviews - EVGA Supernova NEX1500 1500W, some quotes of the review

Quote:
I knew it was without even looking at the software, because by then the unit was in "take off and hover" mode. No, not really, but that fan was spinning real good. How loud was it? Well... it drowned out all the other fans in the room, including the other loud ones in the load testers.

Seriously, I broke out my cheap SPL meter and got 70dB C-weighted at one meter. Trust me, most of that was the power supply fan by itself, though the other fans did indeed contribute to that number.

Quote:
The Good:

individually sleeved cables look fantastic
Gold efficiency
excellent ripple control
software interface works well
comes with padded feet in case you want to run it outside your case
12 gauge power cord
will do 1650W at 40 degrees with 230V input

The Bad:
individually sleeved cables get tangled easily
some build quality issues
expensive
screamin' loud fan at full power


The Mediocre:
I was unable to determine the cause of the ripple anomaly after two units


Another review [H]ardOCP EVGA SuperNOVA NEX1500 Classified Power Supply Review
Quote:
The EVGA SuperNOVA NEX1500 Classified Power Supply is a huge power supply and huge disappointment. It isn't that this unit just doesn't do one thing well; it is the fact that it doesn't do much of anything well after promising us the moon and stars. "No compromises" remember? For instance, when the unit would run (which wasn't all of our tests so it has already gone into the fail heap there) the voltage regulation was the worst we have seen from 1500W+ power supplies, the DC Output Quality had weird load specific issues, and it was insanely loud seemingly just to offend the ears along with your good sense.


I still think the Kingwin 1000 is the best bet, specially for $180, i think the setup will run fine on it, the 1k peaks are just peaks.... the setup should run 700-800 while gaming with a game that really takes the advantage of tri sli, probably even lower... Amazon has a great return policy, you have 30days to test it, in this frame they will take it back for whatever reason, get an Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor and see what your are getting, check the noise at load.... and if you find it not good enough then return it. The Extra $$$ saved you can invest it into a higher capacity SSD so you will need less to use the mechanical hdd, specially if you can leave it for pure storage.

If you feel you need more head room, the Corsair AX1200i seems like a good choice, JonnyGuru almost rated it perfect and its passive till 360W... i like this a lot except the price, as it goes up into $300, still lower than the EVGA.

Believe me you will have greater trouble than the PSU on this build, the most important thing imo is to keep the inside case temp low.... forget low, just under control, with 3x gtx680 oveclocked that release the heat inside... its going to become an oven.

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 Post subject: Re: Which 1500W Power Supply is the Quietest?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:24 pm 
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If you still feel the FT02 has not enough airflow, then your only choice seems to be this one:

http://www.antec.com/product.php?id=2454&fid=342

And besides: Any case will suffer airflow restrictions if packed with 3 GPU. And that's mainly because of ATX format.... and the only one to bring some inovation in the PC inner case arcitecture is the one you deem unsuited.

Have you ever heard of "postitve pressure" in PC cases?


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 Post subject: Re: Which 1500W Power Supply is the Quietest?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:05 am 
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No1 wrote:
here is a graph of fan speed vs. power draw for this unit.

Have a look at the next page of that article and what do you see right at the top?
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1242-page4.html
Just as I said, that's a fan curve based upon temperature, not power as you assert. :roll:

Every PSU I've come across that has a variable speed fan varies it by temperature, not power. Think about it, power does lead to more heat which will raise the temperature of a Negative Temperature Coefficient (NCT) thermistor which increases the current going to the fan and hence it's speed. Measuring the power draw and varying the fan that way which would be much more technically complicated and not give as good a result. What if the user was in a much hotter climate? You'd then have to rate the fan far higher than required just in case that occurred and that would be very bad noise wise for the rest of us who don't live in 40C all of the time.

I hope this has finally put to bed all ideas that PSU fans are varied by the power level.
No1 wrote:
This is true of the LZP-1000, but not true of any 1500W power supply for which I have noise data. In fact, wanting to find a 1500W power supply that would make this true is the whole reason I started this thread.

Well maybe because there are no quiet 1500W PSUs? It would stand to reason as it is a tiny market and ssilence of the PSU is going to be pretty irrelevant when you consider the noise of the rest of such a system. There are a number of very acceptable 1000-1250W PSUs that are very quiet and would be more than sufficient, we have listed a number of them.
No1 wrote:
Those three fans are wasted in that system. Where is the air going to go?

As Pappnaas said, it's a positive pressure design. They are very effective if designed well.

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 Post subject: Re: Which 1500W Power Supply is the Quietest?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:57 am 
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Pappnaas wrote:
If you still feel the FT02 has not enough airflow, then your only choice seems to be this one:

http://www.antec.com/product.php?id=2454&fid=342
What's the name and model number of that case? I can't follow your link; Antec keeps taking me to a page that whinges about cookies, even though I have explicitly enabled cookies from their domain.
Pappnaas wrote:
And besides: Any case will suffer airflow restrictions if packed with 3 GPU. And that's mainly because of ATX format.... and the only one to bring some inovation in the PC inner case arcitecture is the one you deem unsuited.
I think the FT02 is a great case. Just not for a system of this size.
Pappnaas wrote:
Have you ever heard of "postitve pressure" in PC cases?
The case pressure controversy strikes me as a tempest in a teapot... Tom's Hardware has a good, short, to-the-point summary. It could be that the higher the performance of the system, the more likely it is to benefit from negative case pressure, but there seems to be no conclusive argument either way. As I said, good mixing, minimal turbulence, minimal back pressure, and high air flow at low velocity are the goals. Whatever pressure optimizes those parameters is the pressure you want. Having said that, it stands to reason that you want to deviate from ambient pressure as little as possible, because positive case pressure is back pressure to the intake fans and negative case pressure is back pressure to the exhaust fans.
Abula wrote:
I didn't either. The only reason I'm using it as an example is because it's the only 1500W power supply I found noise measurements for. I don't know why I have to keep pointing out that the whole reason I started this thread is to find a better -- and quieter! -- 1500W power supply based on real measurements.
Abula wrote:
I still think the Kingwin 1000 is the best bet
Yes, it's definitely the best power supply I have noise measurements for.
Abula wrote:
If you feel you need more head room, the Corsair AX1200i seems like a good choice, JonnyGuru almost rated it perfect and its passive till 360W... i like this a lot except the price, as it goes up into $300, still lower than the EVGA.
The LZP-1000 is passive to somewhere between 400 and 500 watts. On the other hand, pcper.com reports that Corsair claims that the AX1200i puts out the same noise level (25 dbA) at 1200W as the LZP-1000 at 1000W. So this unit is definitely worth a closer look. Thanks for the link.
Abula wrote:
the most important thing imo is to keep the inside case temp low.... forget low, just under control, with 3x gtx680 oveclocked that release the heat inside... its going to become an oven.
Absolutely right. That's why I'm leaning towards the largest possible case with the most versatile fan configuration. I've even thought about huge semi-custom cube cases like the Mountain Mods Ascension. But one of those is more than twice the price of the Rosewill Blackhawk Ultra, so... yeah.
edh wrote:
Just as I said, that's a fan curve based upon temperature, not power as you assert.
My mistake, I misread the figure because the font is very small and blurry -- and because the table right below it shows noise vs. power as well as temperature rise vs. power. A fixed system configuration will exhibit a fixed relationship between the three parameters.

Now, of course the noise produced by a cooling system is determined by the temperature rise above ambient. But in any sensible system, the power supply is always mounted so as to draw in air from outside the case, therefore we can take for granted that ambient temperature will always be within a few degrees of typical room temperature -- except under highly unusual circumstances which need not concern us here. For all intents and purposes, we can take the relationship between temperature rise, power draw and noise production to be fixed -- just as the page we both linked does.
edh wrote:
Well maybe because there are no quiet 1500W PSUs? It would stand to reason as it is a tiny market and ssilence of the PSU is going to be pretty irrelevant when you consider the noise of the rest of such a system. There are a number of very acceptable 1000-1250W PSUs that are very quiet and would be more than sufficient, we have listed a number of them.
Yes, there have been two or three good suggestions in that power range. Maybe that is, indeed, as good as it gets. In any case, it seems that it's going to be extraordinarily difficult to push this system appreciably below about 35 dbA at idle and 45 dbA at full load.
edh wrote:
As Pappnaas said, it's a positive pressure design. They are very effective if designed well.
I know Silverstone likes to tout the benefits of positive pressure, but I'm not convinced. See my reply to Pappnaas, above.


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 Post subject: Re: Which 1500W Power Supply is the Quietest?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:12 am 
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No1 wrote:
The case pressure controversy strikes me as a tempest in a teapot... Tom's Hardware has a good, short, to-the-point summary.

This is for a very different design of case. This layout was really led by the Antec P180 which was a quiet case in it's time and now many cases follow it. They are good up to a point but for very high cooling requiremnts are not the best. Some of the problems they touch on are unique to this layout. The fact for example that in the positive pressure layout you end up with air not all moving in one direction. Positive pressure works best when all of the air is moving in one direction and in the FT02 that is the case so Tom's review there is not relevant to that case. They also say a bad point with positive pressure is fighting against convection, that is true for the case shown but not for the FT02 where airflow is all going upwards. Convection is minor but it is best to avoid fighting it.

No1 wrote:
It could be that the higher the performance of the system, the more likely it is to benefit from negative case pressure, but there seems to be no conclusive argument either way. As I said, good mixing, minimal turbulence, minimal back pressure, and high air flow at low velocity are the goals. Whatever pressure optimizes those parameters is the pressure you want. Having said that, it stands to reason that you want to deviate from ambient pressure as little as possible, because positive case pressure is back pressure to the intake fans and negative case pressure is back pressure to the exhaust fans.

I would not say you want close to minimise difference from ambient as that would mean you need separate in and out fans which may cause problems noise wise with beat notes. Plus you will lose the dust minimising properties of positive pressure, this is why clean rooms always use positive pressure.

No1 wrote:
I don't know why I have to keep pointing out that the whole reason I started this thread is to find a better -- and quieter! -- 1500W power supply based on real measurements.

Because you don't need one? :) It's pretty evident there aren't any quiet ones anyway so that's why a smaller PSU would be more suitable.

No1 wrote:
On the other hand, pcper.com reports that Corsair claims that the AX1200i puts out the same noise level (25 dbA) at 1200W as the LZP-1000 at 1000W.

Be careful of comparing SPL readings if they're not from the same source and tested in the same way. They become pretty meaningless if the test procedure is not identical.

No1 wrote:
That's why I'm leaning towards the largest possible case with the most versatile fan configuration. I've even thought about huge semi-custom cube cases like the Mountain Mods Ascension.

Filling that up with fans would be an absolute nightmare for keeping quiet what with the vast areas of sheet aluminium and many fans per panel. By adding width you will not help cool the system as the overwhelming majority of heat in the system will be within the space from the motherboard plane outwards. The CPU and all three graphics cards would be there putting out heat and by going for a much wider case the extra fans will just blow air past the side of these components rather than trhough them. Look at server cases and they tend to be 4-5U, keeping everything in one plane and keeping air moving in one direction, most commonly under positive pressure.

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 Post subject: Re: Which 1500W Power Supply is the Quietest?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:50 am 
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Posts: 1777
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No1 wrote:
Now, of course the noise produced by a cooling system is determined by the temperature rise above ambient. But in any sensible system, the power supply is always mounted so as to draw in air from outside the case, therefore we can take for granted that ambient temperature will always be within a few degrees of typical room temperature -- except under highly unusual circumstances which need not concern us here. For all intents and purposes, we can take the relationship between temperature rise, power draw and noise production to be fixed -- just as the page we both linked does.
Well this is going to depend a lot on the case, most of the passive PSU are suggested by the manufactuers to be placed top off so they get some airflow from the case to cool themselves, and in the absence of it, the hot air raises so plays better for them, thinking the Kingwin and the Corsair both are passive till at least 300W, and thinking that your pc will idle below that... then i would probably place it that way, then if you want it to get fresh air.... then place it fan on the bottom, but intrigues me into how it will play when its passive and not getting much airflow.

No1 wrote:
My mistake, I misread the figure because the font is very small and blurry -- and because the table right below it shows noise vs. power as well as temperature rise vs. power. A fixed system configuration will exhibit a fixed relationship between the three parameters.
This is not to be taken lightly, if you were to place your PSU fan/top it will release hot air passively into the system at idle and will use hot air from the case to cool itself when at load... the hotter the air the more all will work to cool the case and its compoents... maybe bottom fan would be better.... but check with the manufacturers into what they suggest for the PSUs.

Now remember one other thing, when you were disregarding the efficiency of the PSU,
No1 wrote:
Energy efficiency is of no concern whatsoever, except insofar as it impacts performance, reliability, and noise level. It makes no sense at all to impact those parameters of a multi-thousand-dollar system for the sake of a few pennies worth of electricity.
Well a more efficient PSU will convert more power and loss less, this losses translate to heat, if the PSU is more efficient, will need less to cool itself, that will translate directly to less rpms and less noise, assuming other parameters are the same, i do think you should buy into a Platinium PSU, both the corsair and kingwin fit this criteria.

And be careful into what you buy if you are placing it fan on the bottom, as this will have very direct impact on the noise as it will not be dampened by the case, for this alone, i would drop from the list any 1500W PSU out there.

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Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: Which 1500W Power Supply is the Quietest?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:12 am 
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Tomshardware's no place to get any founded insights on anything except maybe weather or time. Not sure about the first.

Positive pressure does work as the reviews do show. It does work for silence and provides decent cooling, not in all cases and not with all combination of parts.

Building something quiet with 3 GPUs is no easy task. You do not need to believe anyone in here, but it is a little astonishing to see us providing a good amount of spoonfed wisdom and then reading your answers. If you counter all what we do say in here, why did you ask?

PS: The case would have been Antec Lanboy Air in yellow. Not really an honest solution and not quiet, but is has enough of dem damned airflow you seem to be fixated on.


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 Post subject: Re: Which 1500W Power Supply is the Quietest?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:20 pm 
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edh wrote:
I would not say you want close to minimise difference from ambient as that would mean you need separate in and out fans which may cause problems noise wise with beat notes. Plus you will lose the dust minimising properties of positive pressure, this is why clean rooms always use positive pressure.
What you want is to minimize the linear velocity of the air while maximizing the heat transfer rate. In an open system, the slower the air moves, the more gentle your mixing can afford to be, and the lower the pressure differential from ambient will be. Push-pull fan configurations have been shown to excel at this, because the decrease in noise output due to the slower-moving fans and air more than compensates for the increase due to having more fans. Using both intake and exhaust fans for the case as a whole amounts to a system-wide push-pull configuration. So you get a net gain in noise performance at any given level of cooling performance. Or vice versa, depending on what's important to you.
Abula wrote:
This is not to be taken lightly, if you were to place your PSU fan/top it will release hot air passively into the system at idle and will use hot air from the case to cool itself when at load... the hotter the air the more all will work to cool the case and its compoents... maybe bottom fan would be better.... but check with the manufacturers into what they suggest for the PSUs.
Releasing a bit more or less heat into the case at idle is no big deal, but the very last thing you want is to draw hot air into the power supply under load. This will force the fan to spin faster to maintain a smaller temperature rise from the hotter intake air in order to achieve its operating temperature set point. The result is more noise at all power levels except the lower end of the range, where it matters least. That's why all modern high-performance cases have the power supply mounted with intake and exhaust both external. And the best location for it is at the bottom, because the system will heat a top-mounted power supply much more than a bottom-mounted power supply will heat the system.
Abula wrote:
Well a more efficient PSU will convert more power and loss less, this losses translate to heat, if the PSU is more efficient, will need less to cool itself, that will translate directly to less rpms and less noise, assuming other parameters are the same, i do think you should buy into a Platinium PSU, both the corsair and kingwin fit this criteria.
Yes. This is exactly what I mean by "insofar as it impacts performance, reliability, and noise level."
Pappnaas wrote:
Tomshardware's no place to get any founded insights on anything except maybe weather or time. Not sure about the first.
Point taken. Can you show me a thorough discussion of the issue?
Pappnaas wrote:
Positive pressure does work as the reviews do show. It does work for silence and provides decent cooling, not in all cases and not with all combination of parts.
I would love to get a better understanding of the trade-offs involved. Can you point me to any good sources?
Pappnaas wrote:
Building something quiet with 3 GPUs is no easy task
That's for sure! Do you think it's possible to get it down much quieter than the 35dbA at idle and 45dbA under load we have arrived at so far in this thread?
Pappnaas wrote:
You do not need to believe anyone in here, but it is a little astonishing to see us providing a good amount of spoonfed wisdom and then reading your answers. If you counter all what we do say in here, why did you ask?
Well, if my reasoning is wrong, then I hope you and others can show me why it is wrong. I'm not interested in who is right, only what is right.
Pappnaas wrote:
PS: The case would have been Antec Lanboy Air in yellow. Not really an honest solution and not quiet, but is has enough of dem damned airflow you seem to be fixated on.
Thanks, I'll take a look...


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