Quiet Gaming Rig - My first quiet PC

Show off your quiet rig.

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Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 1:15 pm

Quiet Gaming Rig - My first quiet PC

Post by ralniv » Mon Sep 18, 2006 1:33 pm

System Specs
Proc: Intel E6600
Cooler: Scythe Ninja with 120mm Nexus Real Silent
Thermal grease: Zalman ZM-STG1
Mobo: Asus P5B Deluxe (passively cooled)
Case: Antec SOLO
Case fan: 120mm Nexus Real Silent (replaced Antec fan)
PS: Antec NeoHE 550
HDD 1 (suspended): Samsung SP2504C (OS, pics, music)
HDD 2 (suspended): WD Raptor 75GB (games)
Video: XFX 7900GTX Extreme Edition
Memory: GSkill 2x1GB DDR2 800 (2GBHZ series)
Sound: SB X-Fi XtremeMusic

Self Review
My initial build of this system did not utilize my old (but quiet) Samsung HDD. The Raptor's seek noise during bootup and random cache writing was faint, but bothersome. With the Samsung performing OS (and swap space) duties, the system is dead silent from 3 ft away during bootup and most day-to-day activities (except gaming; same muffled Raptor seek noise). My PC sits on my desktop and is about 3 ft from my head and the only indication that it's running is the blue LED on the front. It's eerie because I'm used to hearing positive confirmation that the unit is booting up.

The PS is much quieter than I had expected, which was a pleasant surprise. My expectation was a moderately quiet system, but the end product is dead silent from 3 ft away when I am not gaming.

Another surprise was the lack of noise coming from the GPU. I was initially targeting a 7900GT, but I expanded my budget to accomodate a 7900GTX because I was reading a lot of complaints about noise from the 7900GT reference design. I can attest to the excellent design work nvidia has done on the 7900GTX reference cooler. It's amazingly quiet and fast as hell.

I would also strongly endorse the Zalman ZM-STG1 thermal grease. My previous systems have all used Artic Silver and it was always a chore applying the thermal compound. The ZM-STG1 comes with a nice brush that is integral to the cap. This brush eliminates the mess and makes application quite easy.

As reported by Asus' Tool:
CPU: 98F
Mobo: 100F

100% Load
CPU: 102F
Mobo: 107F


The Antec SOLO front door sticks when it reaches ~50% open. I have to force it through the ~50% point to get it open all the way. I am concerned that the door hinge could break.

The damn video card eats up valuable PCI slots on the motherboard. There is only one PCI slot available after installing the graphics card, which is exactly what I needed to install the sound card. No harm, no foul I guess.

I'll edit the post later to add pics... It's not that amazing to look at; we've all seen Antec SOLOs and Ninjas.

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Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 5:14 am
Location: Toronto

Post by Chocolinx » Sun Sep 24, 2006 3:42 pm

I wouldn't suggest the Zalman Paste you're using. It's horribly worst than Arctic Silver 5. If you ask most people too. You don't usually spread your paste with any kind of spreading sheet or paper, you just press your heatsink on top and let it spread on it own. That's the best method of making sure it spreads properly.

But other than that Good Job ^^

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Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 4:52 pm
Location: South Florida

Post by einsteingodel » Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:03 am

Congrats on your new system! I'm glad to hear about your temps and that you find your system inaudible from 3ft away, specially considering that beast of a graphics card you bought. If not for your graphics card and PS choice, your build is a carbon copy of the system I'm contemplating on building.

One question. Under what stress conditions was your 100% load figure derived under? The 2 degree celsius rise from idle to load seems quite small. I’m leaning on going with a more modest GPU (w/a VF900) and a Seasonic S12 for my otherwise identical build, hence my interest in your temps.

Posts: 86
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 4:21 pm
Location: Ohio,USA

Post by L3thal » Mon Sep 25, 2006 4:37 am

Interesting. According to the Asus software im getting 106F (41C) CPU and 95F (35C) Mobo idle, with a very similar setup. I'm thinking I need to do some testing and tweaking to get my temps where I want.

About the front door...yes it does stick halfway open, but I usually just lift it up off the hinges, and sit it out of the way...makes it much easier to work on that way. :D

Here's my rig:

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