My whisper silent workstation finally upgraded

Show off your quiet rig.

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Freeco
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My whisper silent workstation finally upgraded

Post by Freeco » Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:40 am

About 3 and a half years ago SPCR was my main inspiration on building this silent workstation. OK, when I say 'workstation' I don't mean a Xeon dual processor with ECC memory etc, I simply mean I use it for development, picture processing, internet etc.

Recently I shifted from Photoshop CS4 to Lightroom 2.6 and noticed my Core2Duo CPU was no longer up to modern standards. Working with LR wasn't as fluent as I'd like it to be.
So... I invested in some new hardware parts. Basically what I needed was only a new motherboard, a CPU and memory, but I've also thrown in an SSD while I was at it. And as my Ninja heatsink wasn't socket 1156 compatible and I don't want to use Intel's heatsink/fan, I had to look for a replacement for that one as well.
I read some reviews here and elsewhere, considered pricing & availibility and finally my mind was set to these parts:
* Motherboard: Asus P7P55-M µATX board
* CPU: Intel Core i5 750 2.66GHz quad core
* Heatsink: Prolimatech Megahalems
* RAM: 2x 2GB Kingston DDR3 1333MHz
* SSD: Intel 80GB G2

Earlier upgrades:
Last December I already replaced the failing nVidia 7600GS GPU with a Club3D HD5750, and a couple of weeks ago I replaced my 500GB disk by a 1TB green disk. I also changed to 2 19" flatscreens by 2 24" 1920x1200px widescreens.

After putting everything together I noticed the old PSU was making noises, and it finally failed after 2-3 days. I've replaced it by an Enermax Pro82+ 425W. It's a pretty solid PSU, with a higher efficiency then my previous Antec NeoHE 385W, but it has some more clutter as it doesn't have modular cables. Enermax has the MODU82+ though, but I choose availability over this modular feature.

Finally... after all the upgrades, this is how the internals of my Antec Solo case look like:
Image

The depth of field on this picture isn't that great, but the cables are all to the back of the case as much as possible, to minimize impact on the airflow.
Talking about airflow, I further reduced the speeds of all 4 fans in the case. This CPU runs very cool, and I don't stress the GPU that often, so less airflow is OK for day to day usage.

I've measured power consumption and temperatures on idle & stressed state.
I used a combination of CoreTemp, SpeedFan & GPU-Z to have al the data. Power consumption was measured at the power outlet.

Ambient: 21°C

CPU fan @ 740RPM
Exhaust fan @ 6V
Intake fan @ 6V

Idle:
PSU @ 520RPM
System: 28°C
HDD: 28°C
Core0: 20°C
Core1: 20°C
Core2: 27°C
Core3: 20°C
GPU: 47°C
Power consumption: 75W

Stressed:
PSU @ 930RPM
System: 30°C
HDD: 28°C
Core0: 57°C
Core1: 57°C
Core2: 56°C
Core3: 57°C
GPU: 86°C
Power consumption: 222W

My stress test consists of 10 mins of torture running Prime95 & FurMark simultaneously. I can't think of anything more intense for heating up a CPU & GPU.
I know 10 minutes isn't long enough for stability testing, but after about 3-4 minutes temperatures stagnated, and in real life this desktop won't be stressed this way anyhow.

Perhaps the temp of the GPU is somewhat on the high side, but still within margin I guess. Notice on idle the GPU doesn't throttle down completely as it has to render 2x 1920x1200. With a dual monitor setup GPU frequency stays at 400MHz in stead of throttling completely down to 157MHz, and memory frequency stays at 1100MHz in stead of lowering to 300MHz. But I really want the dual monitor, so idle temps will have to be a bit higher (about 10°C). Doesn't matter much...
For the rest of the temps I think all of them are quite low. 1 thing I noticed was that core 2 is always around 7°C 'hotter' than the other 3 cores when idle, but when stressed it was 1°C 'cooler'. Can really explain that :)

Overall, I now have this rig for about a week, have no 2nd thoughts on my choices, and I hope it will give my a lot of happy computing the coming years 8)

MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Thu May 13, 2010 10:38 am

Sounds like a good, pretty quiet system. 8)

Freeco
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Post by Freeco » Thu May 13, 2010 10:51 am

wow, a reply from "da man" himself :) I'm flattered. :wink:
Well, a big thanks to you is also in order. The original rig and a couple of the parts of this upgrade was mainly inspired by the reviews on SPCR, so I couldn't have done this without your work.


I don't know why, but people seem not to believe me when I say that this config is very quiet. I guess it's because of the 4 fans in the case that they think "oww, that's gonna make some noise", but actually they're almost inaudible as they're all running very slow.

ilovejedd
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Post by ilovejedd » Thu May 13, 2010 10:58 am

The CPU cooler reminds me of Transformers. :P

I'm actually amazed at the temps you're getting considering the slow moving fans.

Freeco
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Post by Freeco » Thu May 13, 2010 11:00 am

ilovejedd wrote:The CPU cooler reminds me of Transformers. :P
That was my first impression too :D

BlackWhizz
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Post by BlackWhizz » Thu May 13, 2010 2:18 pm

That sure is a quiet looking system.

I was wondering how loud the power supply is because i have a system which requires nearly the same amount of power (30w difference when i replace my GPU to a more powerful one).

Is the fan off, on, how loud is it (looking for reference items. like audible within xxx feet/cm/meter whatever). Because my Corsair (400w) PSU is the loudest part of my system.

Flanker
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Re: My whisper silent workstation finally upgraded

Post by Flanker » Fri May 14, 2010 12:41 am

Freeco wrote:1 thing I noticed was that core 2 is always around 7°C 'hotter' than the other 3 cores when idle, but when stressed it was 1°C 'cooler'.
yeah typical intel sensor issue (not sure if AMD has it too or not)
most of their cpu thermometers are stuck under a certain temperature, for example, on my e8400, core 0 can't go below 32c, and core 1 can't go below 37c.
In your case your core 2 gets stuck under 27c it seems

Freeco
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Post by Freeco » Fri May 14, 2010 5:06 am

BlackWhizz wrote:That sure is a quiet looking system.

I was wondering how loud the power supply is because i have a system which requires nearly the same amount of power (30w difference when i replace my GPU to a more powerful one).

Is the fan off, on, how loud is it (looking for reference items. like audible within xxx feet/cm/meter whatever). Because my Corsair (400w) PSU is the loudest part of my system.
There is a review of the modular variant of this PSU model on SPCR. The one that got reviewed was the 625W, but the others behave accordingly, and the non-modular is internally identical:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article806-page1.html
It's even one of the site's recommended PSU's, so I wouldn't hesitate on buying this one.
The fan keeps spinning, even when the computer is idle, but it's only @520RPM in my system, so it's not audible. In my stress test it spun up to 930RPM. Then you will hear it, but if the load drops again so will the fan speed.

Flanker wrote:
Freeco wrote:1 thing I noticed was that core 2 is always around 7°C 'hotter' than the other 3 cores when idle, but when stressed it was 1°C 'cooler'.
yeah typical intel sensor issue (not sure if AMD has it too or not)
most of their cpu thermometers are stuck under a certain temperature, for example, on my e8400, core 0 can't go below 32c, and core 1 can't go below 37c.
In your case your core 2 gets stuck under 27c it seems
Thanks for that info, Flanker. Didn't know that's possible :)

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