Testing my understanding on case/build philosophy

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

Moderators: NeilBlanchard, Ralf Hutter, sthayashi, Devonavar

Post Reply
pentastich
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:38 pm

Testing my understanding on case/build philosophy

Post by pentastich » Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:43 pm

Hi! I'm planning to build a new system. I've been working with computers since the 1970s, but this is the first time I've done a "build". I've been doing a lot of reading and think I've teased out a build philosophy that makes sense, but I'd like to confirm it with people who have actual experience.

First, here's what I'm trying to achieve:
  1. The system will be inaudible when idle.
  2. The system will be extremely quiet when used for for software development, watching Netflix, browsing the web, etc.
  3. The system will be able to play most games at reasonably high quality on a 1440p monitor at a minimum of 60hz.
  4. When stressing out, the system is allowed to make noise. The less the better, but I have no firm requirement.
  5. Low power consumption when idle.
  6. No RGB that can't be configured to be off at boot.
  7. Runs both Linux and Windows.
  8. I'm not currently planning to overclock components.
Based on my reading, the approach I'm taking is to have all of components be as individually quiet as possible. In particular, I'm looking at as many semi-passive components as possible. My hope is that, when idle, there are no fans running at all.

I'll post my current draft parts list below. Various items will probably change a bit, but it should help keep things concrete.

The main place I'm confused is how to select a case. There seem to be two philosophies out there: the first is to put quiet components in a dampened case with the hope that the sound insulation will reduce the level of the most obnoxious sounds. The second is to observe that most noise nowadays is from fans, that fans are a lot quieter when running slower, and that minimizing obstructions to airflow will allow effective cooling at slower fan speeds. This leads to selecting an "airflow" case. The two approaches seem perfectly reasonable, yet incompatible, thus my confusion.

My suspicion is that the system I'm selecting, and the fact that I'm not planning to overclock components, means that almost anything will work pretty well.

That said, here's what I'm looking at:
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
    (or maybe the new 3950X if I feel like burning money. The extra cores shouldn't help gaming performance, but would be nice for some of the other things I do).
  • CPU Cooler: Noctura NH-D15S
    (mostly for ease in configuring RAM)
  • Motherboard: MSI MEG X570 UNIFY ATX AM4 Motherboard
    (like most X570 boards it has a fan, but is semi-passive, supports multiple M.2 SSD drives, has a flash bios button, has debug code LEDs, wifi, bluetooth, etc.)
  • Memory: G.Skill Trident Z 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory
    (I've also considered low profile memory, which would let me use a NH-D15).
  • Storage: 2x Intel 660p Series 2.048 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive
    (two drives simplifies dual boot configurations and supplies ridiculous amounts of storage).
  • Video Card: PowerColor Radeon RX 5700 XT 8 GB Red Devil Video Card
    (semi-passive, should be fast enough, AMD GPUs have good, out of the box, Linux drivers)
  • Power Supply: SeaSonic PRIME Ultra Titanium 850 W 80+ Titanium Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply
    (semi-passive, pcpartpicker estimates 434 watts for the system, so hopefully this unit will not have to work very hard, resulting in less fan usage. This may be nonsense.)
  • Case: Fractal Design Define R6 USB-C Blackout ATX Mid Tower Case
I might also consider a the windowed version of the R6. I never thought that made sense, but I saw a post that suggested a window was useful to observe fans and other components, check for dust buildup, etc.

Finally, I am considering replacing the fans with three Noctura NF-A14 PWM fans. It's hard to parse the tests I've seen, but it appears they may be quieter than the stock fans when moving the same volume of air.

My thoughts on the Define R6 USB-C are:
  • Everyone seems to thing it's well made and easy to work with.
  • I suspect it has plenty of airflow for my single GPU, non-overclocked system.
  • The front door is hinged, so If I want more airflow when gaming I can just open the door.
  • The damping can't hurt, and may help keep an idle system close to silent.
  • The air filters can be accessed from the front (or even removed altogether, which some people recommend).
So, does this make sense? Would I be better off with an airflow oriented case like the Meshify C or Meshify S2, or something else altogether?

Thanks!

Jim

CA_Steve
Moderator
Posts: 7445
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Location: Monterey Bay, CA

Re: Testing my understanding on case/build philosophy

Post by CA_Steve » Mon Feb 17, 2020 10:13 am

Welcome to SPCR.

Yep, starting with quiet components makes the case decision more flexible. The R6 is a well rounded case. Your stressed power load with the 3950X is maybe 410W and probable high load power is closer to 340W. With the 3700X it's 355W and 290W, respectively. The R6 can quietly cool this.

Some component comments:
- motherboard: There are some that allow for case fan stop in the fan profile...don't know if this is one of them.
- storage: Will you have applications that will heavily thrash the SSDs? If so, you might look to newer offerings for better performance. Anandtech Bench for performance comparisions and pcpartpicker for price comparisons are useful tools.
- PSU: Yeah, 850W is a little overkill. While as a tech geek I love the efficiency of the Titanium, in reality Platinum adds only 1.5% more heat at your projected load, or 5W with the 3950 X. You might consider going with something like the be quiet! Dark Power Pro 650W. Always on, but inaudible Silent Wings 3 fan (300rpm I think to 50% load, then gentle curve upward).
- windowed case: Previous testing done on Fractal's cases showed a minuscule (not noticeable) difference between their windowed and non-windowed cases.
- case fans: I always suggest building with the stock R6 fans and then (after you've tuned your system) decide on whether or not you notice them and want to replace 'em.
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

Abula
Posts: 3612
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Location: Guatemala

Re: Testing my understanding on case/build philosophy

Post by Abula » Mon Feb 17, 2020 10:14 am

Hello Jim, Welcome to SPCR
Based on my reading, the approach I'm taking is to have all of components be as individually quiet as possible. In particular, I'm looking at as many semi-passive components as possible. My hope is that, when idle, there are no fans running at all.
It can be done, but i do find that little rpms make a huge difference, fans can be driven to inaudible levels where you will get much better temps and less aggressive curves. That said, if you want to still persue this semi passive go with Thermalright LeGrandMacho it will be able to cool down better passively than the NH-D15S, for more info check SPCR Thermalright HR-22 CPU Heatsink, the D15 only becomes better with dual fans (and moving air) and this would mean you will be restricted on the ram height, and with Ryzen peforms better with 3200/3600 memory... then you are very likely to get taller than standard memory, where the LeGrandMacho will not overalap with the memory, one observations is that the fan included TY147B cant be stopped, it will spin even with 0% PWM around 300rpms, which to me its inaudible, but im mentioning since you want to do a semi passive setup... so you will need to buy a fan that can be stopped, Noctua NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax can be stopped if your motherboard can send below 10% PWM signal. Or since you like the blackout R6, maybe look into the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X (or maybe the new 3950X if I feel like burning money. The extra cores shouldn't help gaming performance, but would be nice for some of the other things I do).
Buy what you feel matches your workflow and budget, i also like a lot the 3950x but it will be harder to cool, at the same time there is nothing like having second thoughts post a purchase, if you have the budget and you want to try it go for it, certainly one of the best CPU on the market if you manage to use all the cores.
CPU Cooler: Noctura NH-D15S (mostly for ease in configuring RAM)
See above.
Motherboard: MSI MEG X570 UNIFY ATX AM4 Motherboard (like most X570 boards it has a fan, but is semi-passive, supports multiple M.2 SSD drives, has a flash bios button, has debug code LEDs, wifi, bluetooth, etc.)
Seems like a fine board, hope the fan never goes bad.
Memory: G.Skill Trident Z 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory (I've also considered low profile memory, which would let me use a NH-D15).
Todays Ryzen are much more compatible with memory, and the G.SKILL TridentZ RGB Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Desktop Memory Model F4-3200C14D-32GTZR is samsung bdie that was the most compatible in the past with Ryzen, that said i never tried the 32gb version on ryzen (only intel setups), be careful as the new trident z neo does have some SKHynex modules, like F4-3600C16D-32GTZNC, with comments from users like "Trident Z Neo won't work on MSI X570 Wifi Edge Mobo. Lets me post into 3600Mhz after XMP is enabled but under a memory stress test my PC reboots within about 10 seconds. Launching light applications or games leads to a reboot also. Manual overclocking doesn't work. My bios is the latest version"

Two memory that i always recommended for ryzen builds are G.SKILL Flare X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) AMD X370 Memory Model F4-3200C14D-16GFX and TEAMGROUP T-Force Dark Pro DDR4 16GB KIT (2 x 8GB) 3200MHz (PC4 25600) CL 14 288-Pin SDRAM Desktop Gaming Memory Module Ram - Gray - TDPGD416G3200HC14ADC01, i have used it on multiple builds on ryzen 2700/2600 1950x/2950x with good success, but neither is 16gb per module. I have heard good things about Micron E die and Ryzen 3000, but i haven't tried it. Good luck with your choice, hope it works out for you.
Storage: 2x Intel 660p Series 2.048 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive (two drives simplifies dual boot configurations and supplies ridiculous amounts of storage).
Seems a fine choice.
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon RX 5700 XT 8 GB Red Devil Video Card (semi-passive, should be fast enough, AMD GPUs have good, out of the box, Linux drivers)
Its probably the quietest 5700xt, but be advise some issues with black screen that AMD havent been able to fix... but doesn't happen to everybody.
Power Supply: SeaSonic PRIME Ultra Titanium 850 W 80+ Titanium Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply (semi-passive, pcpartpicker estimates 434 watts for the system, so hopefully this unit will not have to work very hard, resulting in less fan usage. This may be nonsense.)
Great PSU, although i doubt you will been such a high 850W, i would probably go with 650/750 and save some $$$.
Finally, I am considering replacing the fans with three Noctura NF-A14 PWM fans.
I recommend BeQuiet SilentWing3 BL067.
GameMi - Intel i9 9900K + Gigabyte Z390 AM + Asus RTX2080Ti Strix | MiniMi - Intel i7 8700K + ASRock Z370ITX + MSI RTX2080Ti
StreaMi - Intel i9 7940X + AsRock X299 Taichi + Asus GTX1080Ti Strix | WorkMi - AMD 1950X + AsRock X399 Taichi + MSI GTX1080
ServeMi - Intel Xeon E3-1230 + Supermicro X9SCM-F + 144TB | StoreMi - Intel Xeon E3 1240v5 + Supermicro X11SSM-F + 42TB | CamMi - Intel i7 4770K + MSI H81i + Blue Iris

pentastich
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:38 pm

Re: Testing my understanding on case/build philosophy

Post by pentastich » Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:08 pm

Thank you for such a detailed response!
Based on my reading, the approach I'm taking is to have all of components be as individually quiet as possible. In particular, I'm looking at as many semi-passive components as possible. My hope is that, when idle, there are no fans running at all.
It can be done, but i do find that little rpms make a huge difference, fans can be driven to inaudible levels where you will get much better temps and less aggressive curves.
I'm not hung up on semi-passive, and certainly not for a CPU fan. From what I've heard, the PSU and GPU are going to be more significant. My wife is very sensitive to fan-like and high frequency noises, and since this machine will live in our shared office/media/guest room I want to keep that kind of sound to a minimum. At the same time, I doubt that a slow CPU cooler fan buried in the middle of a sound-damped case is going to be audible.

You're completely right about the memory. The only suitable modules I can find that are on the certified list for this motherboard are 44mm high, and so won't fit under a NH-D15 with both fans installed.
Motherboard: MSI MEG X570 UNIFY ATX AM4 Motherboard (like most X570 boards it has a fan, but is semi-passive, supports multiple M.2 SSD drives, has a flash bios button, has debug code LEDs, wifi, bluetooth, etc.)
Seems like a fine board, hope the fan never goes bad.
Me too. There's only one X570 board I was able to find that didn't have a fan, and it was ridiculously gold plated. I wanted to have two M.2 drives, and to get that configuration with the previous generation boards I looked at would have required using a separate M.2 -> PCI adapter, which seemed complicated.
Memory: G.Skill Trident Z 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory (I've also considered low profile memory, which would let me use a NH-D15).
Todays Ryzen are much more compatible with memory, and the G.SKILL TridentZ RGB Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Desktop Memory Model F4-3200C14D-32GTZR is samsung bdie that was the most compatible in the past with Ryzen, that said i never tried the 32gb version on ryzen (only intel setups), be careful as the new trident z neo does have some SKHynex modules, like F4-3600C16D-32GTZNC, with comments from users like "Trident Z Neo won't work on MSI X570 Wifi Edge Mobo. Lets me post into 3600Mhz after XMP is enabled but under a memory stress test my PC reboots within about 10 seconds. Launching light applications or games leads to a reboot also. Manual overclocking doesn't work. My bios is the latest version"
The particular G.Skill Trident Z memory on my current parts list is on the motherboards compatibility list. I didn't find a lot of choices, particularly since I didn't want RGB. As far as I can tell, a lot of RGB memory turns on at boot time and has to be turned off using software. That's bad enough, but the software is usually Windows only, and so won't run under Linux! I really don't want to spend a long time figuring out how to disable a feature I didn't want in the first place.

One final question: have you had any experience with a quiet system designed around the idea of minimal airflow restrictions enabling slow, and therefore quiet, fan speeds? It's an attractive concept (interestingly, it reminds me of ultralight backpacking in the way that it looks at achieving quiet as the effect of an overall system), but I don't know whether the damping plays a role in suppressing non-fan noise (hums, etc.).

Abula
Posts: 3612
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Location: Guatemala

Re: Testing my understanding on case/build philosophy

Post by Abula » Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:57 pm

have you had any experience with a quiet system designed around the idea of minimal airflow restrictions enabling slow, and therefore quiet, fan speeds?
There are two ways to plan a quiet pc, well 3 but one of them is going fully passive and hardware wise aside from Kalycos its very hard to go with high end components. You either build around a case that tries to mitigate and mask the sound (this is very helpful when you have mechanical hdds), thus a more closed case like Fractals Design R6 or you build around a more open case and thus have the fans operating at lower rpms as there are less restrictions (you have to be very careful picking components, a mistake here could ruin the build).... either can work, i have done builds both ways, i prefer more less restrictive way as i find when you have hot components there is a point where my R4 needed more and more rpms to keep the components with in specs... and thus was not quiet enough, i usually run my fans around 300-500rpms and with peaks on loads around 800-1000 (nor very likely that i reach here, but it can if the conditions or the programs tax the pc).

More than the case and the style is choosing good components, if you don't produce so much noise by design, you wont need to mask it or ramp up the fans... so planning the build with good components is key to end up with a quiet pc.
GameMi - Intel i9 9900K + Gigabyte Z390 AM + Asus RTX2080Ti Strix | MiniMi - Intel i7 8700K + ASRock Z370ITX + MSI RTX2080Ti
StreaMi - Intel i9 7940X + AsRock X299 Taichi + Asus GTX1080Ti Strix | WorkMi - AMD 1950X + AsRock X399 Taichi + MSI GTX1080
ServeMi - Intel Xeon E3-1230 + Supermicro X9SCM-F + 144TB | StoreMi - Intel Xeon E3 1240v5 + Supermicro X11SSM-F + 42TB | CamMi - Intel i7 4770K + MSI H81i + Blue Iris

pentastich
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:38 pm

Re: Testing my understanding on case/build philosophy

Post by pentastich » Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:07 pm

Abula wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:57 pm
...
More than the case and the style is choosing good components, if you don't produce so much noise by design, you wont need to mask it or ramp up the fans... so planning the build with good components is key to end up with a quiet pc.
That's what I'm trying to put together (quiet fans, semi-passive GPU, efficient PSU, only solid state storage, etc). I hope the R6 case will have enough airflow, and that case gives me the option of opening the front door for improved airflow when doing heavy computing. Many people seem to have good experiences with it, and since I'm not into overclocking, and will be going with the more frugal 3700X processor, I'm guessing it will be fine. Plus cases are relatively inexpensive if I ever need to change.

You mentioned some CPU coolers in your first note. Is there a good source for figuring out which coolers will have clearance issues with RAM and the first PCIe slot? Noctura has pretty good resources, but I'm having a hard time finding info on the Thermalright coolers and the MSI MEG X570 Unify. The True Spirit 140 Power, Macho rev.B, ARO M14G (basically an AM4 specific Macho), as well as the Le Grande Macho all look interesting. Some of the really big coolers seem like overkill for my system, to the point where I wonder if they'll affect case airflow for no real gain. The Noctua NH-U14 looks interesting too, but it has PCIe clearance issues on two other MSI X570 boards. It's possible I don't care, as I have no current need for the first PCIe slot and will be using two 16gb DIMMs that go in slots 2 and 4, but it pains me to give those slots up to a cooler.

Finally, why do you prefer the Silent Wings 3 140mm PWM fans over the similar Noctuas?

Thanks again for your feedback.

Abula
Posts: 3612
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Location: Guatemala

Re: Testing my understanding on case/build philosophy

Post by Abula » Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:40 am

I hope the R6 case will have enough airflow, and that case gives me the option of opening the front door for improved airflow when doing heavy computing. Many people seem to have good experiences with it, and since I'm not into overclocking, and will be going with the more frugal 3700X processor, I'm guessing it will be fine.
The R6 is a wonderful case, easy to build with good cable management, but its still very restrictive, that said you can always open the door and even remove the filter for a better airflow, you can even open the top.... etc, there is a lot of flexibility on the case, but if i were looking for a better airflow case i would probably pick something like Phantek P600 or Meshify S2, this is not to say they are better than the R6, simply different, the choice is yours depending on your plan/needs.
You mentioned some CPU coolers in your first note. Is there a good source for figuring out which coolers will have clearance issues with RAM and the first PCIe slot?
Usually coolers that use 120mm fans will not overlap with the first PCIe slot, coolers that use 140mm fans usually will overlap (not always, my HR02 will be extremely close but no overlap, but will touch backplates), coolers like this is the D15 and the first SilverArrow are likely to overlap, reason why both companies released their Asymmetrical designs with the NH-D15s and the Silver Arrow IBE, nither of them will overlap the first PCIe slot. But not all motherboards are equal, for example on my AsRock Z390 Taichi Ultimate the Prolimatech Genesis do overlap with the first PCIe slot, while with my Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Master the Genesis dont overlap, the CPU socket placement is slightly different, so it depends, you cant always generalized which cooler will overlap or with the first pcie slot.

Now ram... really depends on which ram buying, for intel there is very little gain going over the standard speed spec, thus you most of the time are fine finding STANDARD height ram.... Now with AMD Ryzen/TR there are significant gains going into 3200/3600 ram, and most of the time this ram uses taller than standard height heastsinks.... so here things start to get complicated for coolers like NH-D15s if you plan on using dual fans (dual is what makes the D15s a really good cooler on low rpms, if not there are better options), Silver Arrow will also suffer the same fate as the D15.
The True Spirit 140 Power, Macho rev.B, ARO M14G (basically an AM4 specific Macho), as well as the Le Grande Macho all look interesting.
The TS140P will overlap the first pcie slot, the Macho RevB is very likely wont overlap, the ARO is not a model that i tested but seems likely the same as the Macho. My personal recommendation for someone building on Ryzen 39XXx with 3200/3600 memory is Syche Mugen5 RevB (better value) or Thermalright LeGrandMacho RT (more capable under low rpms), their fan placement starts behind the first memory slot thus allowing you to use any height of memory, both are really good coolers that support AM4 mounting. Just as comment, at high rpms most high end coolers will perform very similar, for me where it matters is at low rpms, where most of us try to sustain the coolers.
Some of the really big coolers seem like overkill for my system, to the point where I wonder if they'll affect case airflow for no real gain.
I don't own a Ryzen 3000 setup atm, have build on it but not for me, from what i read, Ryzen7/9 performs better under 60C where it boost higher, so you might think a big cooler is an overkill, but at the end you might be able to get better performance and still sustain a quiet setup, while trying to sustain a sub 60C operation (imo sustaining 60C on load its going to be very hard on air quietly, but reason why to get as good cooler as your budget allows).
Finally, why do you prefer the Silent Wings 3 140mm PWM fans over the similar Noctuas?
I own tons of Noctua NF-A14, specially on my server, and in past builds like the R4, the fans are fine, but there is a sound that i don't like above 800rpms, that said if you manage to keep them below 800rpms i think they are good fans, even though the A15 are very similar in blade design i dont get the same issues, maybe its only on case fans placements and not on heatsinks, that said i like more the sonic signature of the BQ SW3 BL067, even at 1000rpms they dont have the issue that i experience with the Noctuas, for me its not a thing but certainly look better.
GameMi - Intel i9 9900K + Gigabyte Z390 AM + Asus RTX2080Ti Strix | MiniMi - Intel i7 8700K + ASRock Z370ITX + MSI RTX2080Ti
StreaMi - Intel i9 7940X + AsRock X299 Taichi + Asus GTX1080Ti Strix | WorkMi - AMD 1950X + AsRock X399 Taichi + MSI GTX1080
ServeMi - Intel Xeon E3-1230 + Supermicro X9SCM-F + 144TB | StoreMi - Intel Xeon E3 1240v5 + Supermicro X11SSM-F + 42TB | CamMi - Intel i7 4770K + MSI H81i + Blue Iris

pentastich
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:38 pm

Re: Testing my understanding on case/build philosophy

Post by pentastich » Wed Feb 19, 2020 12:45 pm

Abula wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:40 am
The R6 is a wonderful case, easy to build with good cable management, but its still very restrictive, that said you can always open the door and even remove the filter for a better airflow, you can even open the top.... etc, there is a lot of flexibility on the case, but if i were looking for a better airflow case i would probably pick something like Phantek P600 or Meshify S2, this is not to say they are better than the R6, simply different, the choice is yours depending on your plan/needs.
I was looking at some higher flow cases last night, including both the Phantek P600s and the Meshify S2. The P600s looks really interesting, and it would be interesting to be able to see what effect adding and removing panels has. I also looked at the Phanteks P400A, which, according to a couple of reviews I found, has pretty impressive airflow. Are you familiar with that one? One concern I have with the Meshify S and the P400A (but not the P600s) is the mesh panel on the top. This PC will be just to the left of a motorized standing desk, and I suspect it's only a matter of time until someone spills a glass of water and it sloshes over the side. I would be sad if my morning coffee ended up inside my GPU instead of my stomach!
... so here things start to get complicated for coolers like NH-D15s if you plan on using dual fans (dual is what makes the D15s a really good cooler on low rpms, if not there are better options), Silver Arrow will also suffer the same fate as the D15.
Right. I was looking at the D15s because, with one fan, there's plenty of clearance for my RAM. It may not even be an issue, since the 16gb DIMMS go in slots 2 and 4, so the first slot is empty. I don't anticipate ever having to go to 64 GB of memory. There would also be clearance on the D15s with a second 120mm fan, but I some references I saw expressed concern about interactions between two fans of different types. I don't know whether those concerns apply here, but maybe I don't want to find out.
The True Spirit 140 Power, Macho rev.B, ARO M14G (basically an AM4 specific Macho), as well as the Le Grande Macho all look interesting.
The TS140P will overlap the first pcie slot, the Macho RevB is very likely wont overlap, the ARO is not a model that i tested but seems likely the same as the Macho. My personal recommendation for someone building on Ryzen 39XXx with 3200/3600 memory is Syche Mugen5 RevB (better value) or Thermalright LeGrandMacho RT (more capable under low rpms), their fan placement starts behind the first memory slot thus allowing you to use any height of memory, both are really good coolers that support AM4 mounting. Just as comment, at high rpms most high end coolers will perform very similar, for me where it matters is at low rpms, where most of us try to sustain the coolers.
Thank you. The ARO is a Macho RevB but with an " Enlarged copper base to ensure 100% contact with AMD Ryzen (AM4) processors." The tech support person I contacted recommended the ARO model for Ryzen builds, but all the diagrams I see online show the same base sizes for all of their units. I'll probably ask them again.
Finally, why do you prefer the Silent Wings 3 140mm PWM fans over the similar Noctuas?
I own tons of Noctua NF-A14, specially on my server, and in past builds like the R4, the fans are fine, but there is a sound that i don't like above 800rpms, that said if you manage to keep them below 800rpms i think they are good fans, even though the A15 are very similar in blade design i dont get the same issues, maybe its only on case fans placements and not on heatsinks, that said i like more the sonic signature of the BQ SW3 BL067, even at 1000rpms they dont have the issue that i experience with the Noctuas, for me its not a thing but certainly look better.
Thank you. That's a really helpful answer. My wife is quite sensitive to the quality of sound, so I understand exactly what you're talking about. Do you have experience with the Phantecks PH-F140SP case fans that are included with the P600s?

Thanks again for your help.

JIm

Abula
Posts: 3612
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Location: Guatemala

Re: Testing my understanding on case/build philosophy

Post by Abula » Wed Feb 19, 2020 2:02 pm

I was looking at some higher flow cases last night, including both the Phantek P600s and the Meshify S2. The P600s looks really interesting, and it would be interesting to be able to see what effect adding and removing panels has. I also looked at the Phanteks P400A, which, according to a couple of reviews I found, has pretty impressive airflow. Are you familiar with that one? One concern I have with the Meshify S and the P400A (but not the P600s) is the mesh panel on the top. This PC will be just to the left of a motorized standing desk, and I suspect it's only a matter of time until someone spills a glass of water and it sloshes over the side. I would be sad if my morning coffee ended up inside my GPU instead of my stomach!
Cases is more personal thing, i like a lot the Corsair Air 740, more so because i have 2 BW SW3 BL067 on the bottom and powered by Asus RTX2080Ti connectors, and they usually are off until the GPU reaches 70c then they enter and they go back off below 60C on the GPU.... it helps me not reach 80C on the GPU without them i reach 85C and the GPU fan rpms go into noticeable, while using the bottom case i end up with something better tone wise and cooler.

There are rumors about an R7 soon to be announced, so you might want to wait a week or two to see.
Do you have experience with the Phantecks PH-F140SP case fans that are included with the P600s?
Sry no, just the 120mm version i tested and was decent, you can always upgrade later on if you feel like, test the included first and upgrade only if need to.
The ARO is a Macho RevB but with an " Enlarged copper base to ensure 100% contact with AMD Ryzen (AM4) processors."
I tested recently the Silver Arrow TR8 and larger base didn't do much on an 9700K, the NH-D15s was still slightly better (i was hopping otherwise). For a Ryzen build i would recommend Scythe Mugen RevB as the value option, wonderful CPU cooler with no interferance of the memory slots at all, you can populate all 4 and still be fine, and the LeGrandMacho RT, its more expensive, but it also performs very well under very low rpms, better than the Macho RevB, at high rpms they are almost equal.
GameMi - Intel i9 9900K + Gigabyte Z390 AM + Asus RTX2080Ti Strix | MiniMi - Intel i7 8700K + ASRock Z370ITX + MSI RTX2080Ti
StreaMi - Intel i9 7940X + AsRock X299 Taichi + Asus GTX1080Ti Strix | WorkMi - AMD 1950X + AsRock X399 Taichi + MSI GTX1080
ServeMi - Intel Xeon E3-1230 + Supermicro X9SCM-F + 144TB | StoreMi - Intel Xeon E3 1240v5 + Supermicro X11SSM-F + 42TB | CamMi - Intel i7 4770K + MSI H81i + Blue Iris

pentastich
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:38 pm

Re: Testing my understanding on case/build philosophy

Post by pentastich » Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:03 pm

Abula wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 2:02 pm
Cases is more personal thing, i like a lot the Corsair Air 740, more so because i have 2 BW SW3 BL067 on the bottom and powered by Asus RTX2080Ti connectors, and they usually are off until the GPU reaches 70c then they enter and they go back off below 60C on the GPU.... it helps me not reach 80C on the GPU without them i reach 85C and the GPU fan rpms go into noticeable, while using the bottom case i end up with something better tone wise and cooler.
The Corsair has a really interesting form factor, and moving the PSU to the side really cleans up the airflow. Interestingly, the Phanteks P600S doesn't support bottom fans, so there would be no way to set up fans to blow directly on the GPU like you did.

It's curious that none of the reviews of the P600S mention that there's no way to install a bottom fan. I don't see how the disk drives that live under the PSU shroud get any cooling at all. it may be a defensible design decision (e.g., less turbulent airflow or something), but it seems unusual and therefore worthy of mention.

teodoro
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:40 pm

Re: Testing my understanding on case/build philosophy

Post by teodoro » Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:06 am

It’s worth remembering that for a d15(s), it uses 120mm fan mounting holes. So you can gain a hefty amount of ram clearance by a.) using a 120mm fan like the a12x25 on the ram side or b.) just moving the fan up a bit on the fin stack (d15 listed height is 165mm, r6’s max is 185mm. Unless you’re planning to use super tall dimms, I don’t think you’ll sacrifice any meaningful cooler power by making those accommodations.

Fractal also just dropped the next revision, the R7, though I haven’t yet looked into it

pentastich
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:38 pm

Re: Testing my understanding on case/build philosophy

Post by pentastich » Thu Feb 20, 2020 4:25 pm

OK, I've looked at a bunch of cases now, and am about ready to make a decision. The ones I'm looking at are:

Phanteks P600S
  • + All reports suggest that it's a solid, quality, case with good airflow (with the mesh front).
  • + Choice of sound deadening or mesh front, top, etc.
  • - Non-removable PSU shroud, so I suspect that a third fan would be largely wasted. (Edit: there is a cover at the front that is removable, so perhaps that is enough to let a third fan do some good).
Cooler Master H500P Mesh
  • + Seems to have very high airflow.
  • + Uses 200mm fans.
  • + Removable (and partially removable) PSU shroud for better airflow (the full shroud partially blocks the lower fan).
  • - It's going in a public area, and I wish it was available in black. The gunmetal may just not look right.
Cooler Master H500
  • + Inexpensive, but has every feature from the H500P that I actually care about.
  • + It actually is black.
  • - The top is mesh and it's going next to a desk where a spilled drink could dump water on it. I'd need to make a solid panel to replace the dust filter, or put tape over the panel, or something.
Fractal Design Meshify S2
  • + Seems to have good airflow.
  • + Everyone seems to like build quality.
  • + Front cover of PSU shroud comes off.
  • - The top is mesh and it's going next to a desk where a spilled drink could dump water on it. I'd need to make a solid panel to replace the dust filter, or put tape over the panel, or something. Sadly, the cover from the S2 and R6 will fit the Meshify S2, but Fractal Designs says they can't sell directly to North America.
I'd be interested in any specific comments on these cases from a silent build perspective.

Thanks!

Abula
Posts: 3612
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Location: Guatemala

Re: Testing my understanding on case/build philosophy

Post by Abula » Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:53 pm

I don't own any so ill not comments on either of your list.

Today the R7 was released, its a very nice case overall, specially it peforms well with the open door / no filter, it even goes very close to CM H500M, Fractal Define 7 Case Review: Excellent Build Quality, Thermal Challenges, maybe a Meshify version is released.
GameMi - Intel i9 9900K + Gigabyte Z390 AM + Asus RTX2080Ti Strix | MiniMi - Intel i7 8700K + ASRock Z370ITX + MSI RTX2080Ti
StreaMi - Intel i9 7940X + AsRock X299 Taichi + Asus GTX1080Ti Strix | WorkMi - AMD 1950X + AsRock X399 Taichi + MSI GTX1080
ServeMi - Intel Xeon E3-1230 + Supermicro X9SCM-F + 144TB | StoreMi - Intel Xeon E3 1240v5 + Supermicro X11SSM-F + 42TB | CamMi - Intel i7 4770K + MSI H81i + Blue Iris

pentastich
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:38 pm

Re: Testing my understanding on case/build philosophy

Post by pentastich » Thu Feb 20, 2020 6:17 pm

Abula wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:53 pm
I don't own any so ill not comments on either of your list.

Today the R7 was released, its a very nice case overall, specially it peforms well with the open door / no filter, it even goes very close to CM H500M, Fractal Define 7 Case Review: Excellent Build Quality, Thermal Challenges, maybe a Meshify version is released.
Yes, I saw, and a Meshify version would be interesting. I like the idea of achieving quiet through minimal obstruction, lower fan speeds, and cooler air.

Olle P
Posts: 655
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:03 am
Location: Sweden

Re: Testing my understanding on case/build philosophy

Post by Olle P » Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:49 am

One key question that hasn't been addressed is what background noise there are in the room.
It make a huge difference if you're living in a rural area and use passive ventilation in your home or if you live at a busy city street with a/c and forced ventilation.

pentastich
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:38 pm

Re: Testing my understanding on case/build philosophy

Post by pentastich » Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:39 pm

Olle P wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:49 am
One key question that hasn't been addressed is what background noise there are in the room.
It make a huge difference if you're living in a rural area and use passive ventilation in your home or if you live at a busy city street with a/c and forced ventilation.
Good point. I'm in an urban area, but during most of the year there is no forced air. The street's has little traffic at night, so things can get very quiet for a city. More importantly, though, my wife is very sensitive to particular kinds of noise, which is why I'm interested in semi-passive and very low speed fans.

If I'm playing games, the system can squawk like a chicken for all I care (well, maybe not that bad). I can always wear headphones. It's when the system is at idle or at a light load that I care about the noise.

Abula
Posts: 3612
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Location: Guatemala

Re: Testing my understanding on case/build philosophy

Post by Abula » Fri Feb 21, 2020 3:55 pm

pentastich wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:39 pm
If I'm playing games, the system can squawk like a chicken for all I care (well, maybe not that bad). I can always wear headphones. It's when the system is at idle or at a light load that I care about the noise.
Fractal Design Define 7+ LGTRT + Asus STRIX GPUs (using quiet vbios) and you are set.
GameMi - Intel i9 9900K + Gigabyte Z390 AM + Asus RTX2080Ti Strix | MiniMi - Intel i7 8700K + ASRock Z370ITX + MSI RTX2080Ti
StreaMi - Intel i9 7940X + AsRock X299 Taichi + Asus GTX1080Ti Strix | WorkMi - AMD 1950X + AsRock X399 Taichi + MSI GTX1080
ServeMi - Intel Xeon E3-1230 + Supermicro X9SCM-F + 144TB | StoreMi - Intel Xeon E3 1240v5 + Supermicro X11SSM-F + 42TB | CamMi - Intel i7 4770K + MSI H81i + Blue Iris

pentastich
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:38 pm

Re: Testing my understanding on case/build philosophy

Post by pentastich » Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:22 pm

Abula wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 3:55 pm
Fractal Design Define 7+ LGTRT + Asus STRIX GPUs (using quiet vbios) and you are set.
Can you explain? The airflow on the Define 7 with the doors closed seems marginal based on the reviews I've looked at. Is the idea that there will be plenty of air under light loads, and quiet isn't a priority when pushing the GPU (or I can open the door)?

teodoro
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:40 pm

Re: Testing my understanding on case/build philosophy

Post by teodoro » Sat Feb 22, 2020 6:00 am

I’ve had most of the same components in a meshify c mini and a define r6 (where they live now). I didn’t do any scientific testing, but I don’t think the r6 is much quieter. If I remove the top panel or open the door during a gaming load, I notice a difference only if I listen for it. However, I a.) have high end components and b.) spent some time tweaking.

When I first built my new pc in early 2018 (coming from a ~2011 build when I had no concept of pwm control or fan curves), I was utterly amazed at how quiet things were in the meshify c. They got even better as I tuned fan curves and learned how to undervolt/overclock (keeping same performance at lower voltage/heat produced). After that all gains were marginal. Better/more fans, bigger cpu cooler, new case—things that were fun to try and probably dropped a dB or two, but I was already below my noise floor for normal usage.

If you’re willing to set fan curves, and get a decent cpu cooler and a gpu with fan stop, any case can be near-silent at idle/light loads. If you’re willing to undervolt and buy high end cpu/gpu coolers, any case you’ve considered can be very quiet under load. For reference, in my closed r6 I can keep my msi trio 2080 gpu fans under 1200rpm (the ‘loudest’ component), my d15s at ~500rpm/800rpm (I use an a15 and a12 fan on it), and my case fans under 800rpm during typical gaming loads.

The R7 looks great (love that one piece top panel vs the cutout in the R6) except that it’s huge and expensive. The phanteks p300a has actually caught my eye, as it would fit all my components with a much smaller footprint, has a nice glass panel if I want to move the tower to my desk, and costs a whopping $50-60 in the US. I’m not too keen on the top vent aesthetics and the front 140mm fan mounts being off-center, though.

tl;dr buy a case you think is pretty

pentastich
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:38 pm

Re: Testing my understanding on case/build philosophy

Post by pentastich » Mon Feb 24, 2020 10:26 pm

Thanks all. I found a new location fully under the table where I can stuff a smaller case, so I've decided to try a Meshify C. If it doesn't work out, I'll try something else.

The system will have a PowerColor Red Dragon 5700x GPU, a Thermalright Le Grand Macho cooler, and M.2 SSD drives. The fans will be Be Quiet Silent Wings 3.

I hope to waste many happy hours figuring out fan curves :-)

In the end, I wanted to play with a high airflow build, and everyone agrees that Fractal Design makes solid cases. Next time I'll have some actual experience.

Thank you for all the help.

Jim

Abula
Posts: 3612
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Location: Guatemala

Re: Testing my understanding on case/build philosophy

Post by Abula » Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:51 am

Thats a great case.

On the LGMRT, have someone help you hold it while installing the screws, i can do it alone but first time was much harder since you are screwing over a hole on a massive heatsink that its asymmetrical. The great thing about the cooler is that you can chose whatever memory you wish, and that it operates well at low rpms and at high rpms is close to top end heatsinks that don't have the memory compatibility.

On the BQ SW3 get the normal PWM not the high speed, if im not mistaken are BL067 for 140 and BL066 for 120, if you need more rpms than what they can deliver the build wont be quiet.

Hope you have some time to share your build and experience with us. Would be interesting to see the LGMRT + Red devil that almost fill up the length on the Meshicy C.
GameMi - Intel i9 9900K + Gigabyte Z390 AM + Asus RTX2080Ti Strix | MiniMi - Intel i7 8700K + ASRock Z370ITX + MSI RTX2080Ti
StreaMi - Intel i9 7940X + AsRock X299 Taichi + Asus GTX1080Ti Strix | WorkMi - AMD 1950X + AsRock X399 Taichi + MSI GTX1080
ServeMi - Intel Xeon E3-1230 + Supermicro X9SCM-F + 144TB | StoreMi - Intel Xeon E3 1240v5 + Supermicro X11SSM-F + 42TB | CamMi - Intel i7 4770K + MSI H81i + Blue Iris

pentastich
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:38 pm

Re: Testing my understanding on case/build philosophy

Post by pentastich » Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:49 pm

Will do. I did check to make sure that the Red Dragon would fit! I'll be running it in "silent" mode, where it draws about the same power as the stock 5700X but has a much better heat sink and cooling.

Jim

pentastich
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:38 pm

Re: Testing my understanding on case/build philosophy

Post by pentastich » Thu Mar 05, 2020 12:53 pm

Abula wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:51 am
Hope you have some time to share your build and experience with us. Would be interesting to see the LGMRT + Red devil that almost fill up the length on the Meshicy C.
Here's a picture of the build.
2020-03-04-pc-build.jpg
The build itself went pretty smoothly. The only drama was when I powered it up and only the red "CPU dead" motherboard light came on. It turns out that the first rule of electronics ("it works better if you plug it in") applies to PCs, and that attaching the CPU power cables would have been a good idea!

Some comments:
  • Attaching the CPU power cables in the upper left corner was not fun with the CPU heat sink installed and the motherboard in the case. Next time those get attached BEFORE installing the motherboard. The feature of the new Fractal Design Define 7 where the entire top of the case comes off is brilliant.
  • The M.2 drive(s) come with almost microscopic screws that are needed if, and only if, the storage is shorter than the slot. It seems inevitable that they will be lost.
  • Be Quiet! SIlent Wings 3 fans come with a cute "vibration damping" attachment system, unfortunately:
    • The part that rests against the case was narrow enough that it partially slipped through the slots in the case, so I couldn't use them.
    • To put on the standard "rigid" mounts you have to remove the others by depressing a plastic tab. If you press to hard, the tab breaks. That doesn't seem to cause any problems, but it was sad.
  • Cable management was simple as the power supply is fully modular and this system has very few cables.
  • I can't hear the system at all on idle.
  • I don't know how hot/cool the system runs at this point.
  • The video card effectively partitions the space into an upper "CPU" section and a lower "GPU" section.
    • I set the front intake 140 mm fans as low as possible so that the upper fan is more or less in line with the fan on the cooler, and the lower fan is as much below the video card as possible.
    • Similarly, I positioned the single rear 120 mm fan so that it's in line with the CPU cooler fan.
    • I wonder where the air that vents from the sides of the GPU card ends up going! Out the back vents, up and through the exhaust fan, or does it just get sucked back into the GPU fan intakes?
I want to do some measurements of how the system performs under various loads (idle, regular use, watching a movie, playing GPU intensive games, etc.). Some of the questions I would like to figure out answers for are:
  • The fans are currently set up with the default motherboard PWM curves and are tied to the CPU temperature. I'm wondering if the lower intake fan should be tied to the GPU temperature instead.
  • I have some extra fans and, depending on how the system acts, I'm considering removing the PSU shroud plate (at the left in the above picture) and enabling a bottom intake fan tied to the GPU temperature.
  • I suspect the mesh panel at the top of the Meshifiy C case may be doing more harm than good in this build, in that air that leaves the case before it gets to the CPU cooler is basically wasted. I may experiment with blocking some or all of the panel (particularly at the front end).
  • I intend to figure out how fast the exhaust fan should run to balance the front intake fans.
One question: do any of you have favorite ways of putting various (GPU, CPU, etc.) sustained synthetic loads on the system? That seems a prerequisite for any tuning!

Thank's for everyone's help with my first build.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

CA_Steve
Moderator
Posts: 7445
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Location: Monterey Bay, CA

Re: Testing my understanding on case/build philosophy

Post by CA_Steve » Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:20 pm

That Le Grand Macho is a monster :)

I tend to run the case fans off of mobo ambient rather than tie them to the CPU (don't think you have an option to run them off of the gpu sensor as it's data probably isn't sent to the mobo...) primarily as I like the case fans to have a very slow ramp..a fast ramp would be noticeable and annoying. That said, if you do use the CPU temp as the basis, be sure to set up a high hysteresis function so they only respond to longer term temp ramps and not the instantaneous stuff.

Prime95 small FFT is a good CPU stressor. Furmark for GPU. There are others.
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

Post Reply