Good i7-950 setup?

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MalteLauridsBrigge
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Good i7-950 setup?

Post by MalteLauridsBrigge » Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:07 am

Processor: Intel i7-950
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R [/B]
RAM: 6gb DDR3-1066 CL-7 Kingston ValueRAM
Case: Silvestone Raven 2 RV02
CPU cooler: ProlimaTech Armageddon, fanless
PSU: Seasonic X-400, fanless
Graphics card: Zotac GeForce GT 240, fanless
Drives: OCZ Vertex 2 60GB SSD , 2 x Seagate Barracuda 250GB


Hi, everyone! I'm doing my first from-scratch build with these parts, and I was hoping someone more experienced could give the list a quick look and tell me if I've made any obvious mistakes, and whether I can reasonably expect the system to run quietly. I've bolded the items I think might contribute to noise, either directly, or indirectly by generating heat, and included links to manufacturer's specifications, and, where applicable, SPCR reviews, in case that makes it easier. I realise the two Seagate drives are not going to be whisper-quiet, but I'm not particularly concerned, as I'll be using them only as a pair of software RAID-1 backup drives, and hence they'll be mounted only infrequently. I also have a couple of more specific questions: Is it a good idea to let the case fans and heatsink take care of cooling the CPU, or would it be wiser to try to find a quiet CPU fan? Given my minimal experience, is it worth ordering the passively-cooled Zotac GT240 from overseas (it isn't currently available in Australia), or would it be just as easy to buy a third-party heatsink and substitute it for the fan on a locally-available model? If I opt for a fan controller, and set the switches on the case fans to high, will I then be able to connect and use the controller as normal?

If it makes a difference, I'll be running Gentoo GNU/Linux, and the video card is included mostly for VDPAU support.

Thanks :D

-- Had to remove links because I don't have enough posts :(

bradc
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Post by bradc » Sat Oct 09, 2010 1:01 pm

Why the 2x 250gb drives? There will be better drives out there that are faster and quieter for not much more money.

danimal
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Post by danimal » Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:26 pm

the thermalright silver arrow would probably be a better cpu cooler.

MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Sat Oct 09, 2010 10:52 pm

The RV02 has 3 large fans that are integral to its design. They're very quiet given the amount of cooling they provide, but hardly silent. Given that, to go fanless w/ CPU cooler or PSU is a waste. A Seasonic X-650 will hardly add to the overall noise most of the time, nor will a Scythe Slipstream (or other quiet fan) at low speed -- yet in both cases, the amount of thermal headroom you gain is enormous.

In the case of the gt240, because stock coolers are usually noisy at load, going with a capable fanless aftermarket HS makes sense -- but again, don't rule out a quiet fan for it.

tom thumb
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Post by tom thumb » Sun Oct 10, 2010 3:24 pm

- good choice for the PSU, seasonic is great. I have the X750 :P

- your build is very, very cpu heavy. It will make a good workstation, but games will be terrible.

- I would not recommend cooling an i7 passively... you might get away with it at idle, but you are just asking for trouble if you load it. You do intend to load it of course, as you wouldn't be getting such a nice CPU otherwise. 1 silent, slow case fan on your cooler will solve this.

- Your noise bottleneck will probably end up being the 2 seagate HDDs, you *will* hear them when they are both spinning. .... unless you shield them somehow

- you haven't listed any case fans. Go with the Gentle Typhoon or the Nexus Silent Case Fan, they are about the same IMO.

MalteLauridsBrigge
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Post by MalteLauridsBrigge » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:44 am

Thanks for the quick replies, everyone!
Why the 2x 250gb drives? There will be better drives out there that are faster and quieter for not much more money.
You are correct, of course, but my rationale is this: I will be backing up only an extremely low volume of data on the drives (mostly pure ASCII text), so the drives will only be mounted a small fraction of the time, and will never be writing/reading/seeking for much of a duration. I could probably get by with a pair of two gigabyte drives, but nothing below 250gb seems to be widely available. I considered low-capacity flash drives as an option, too, but due to wear-levelling it is impossible to securely delete anything stored thereon without erasing the entire drive.
the thermalright silver arrow would probably be a better cpu cooler.
I had a look at the Silver Arrow, but wasn't able to find anything definitive in regard to the fan noise, however, in light of the comments you, MikeC, and tom thumb made, I decided to go with an active cooling setup combining a Megahalems with a Nexus Real Silent.
The RV02 has 3 large fans that are integral to its design. They're very quiet given the amount of cooling they provide, but hardly silent. Given that, to go fanless w/ CPU cooler or PSU is a waste. A Seasonic X-650 will hardly add to the overall noise most of the time, nor will a Scythe Slipstream (or other quiet fan) at low speed -- yet in both cases, the amount of thermal headroom you gain is enormous.
This is solid advice, and it raises the question: why have such an aggressively cooled case, but a passive CPU cooler in a computer where the CPU is by far the hottest component? I headed back to the list of SPCR-recommended cases, and quickly settled on the P183. It's cheaper and quieter, and looks less like a spaceship, to boot!
- good choice for the PSU, seasonic is great. I have the X750 Razz

- your build is very, very cpu heavy. It will make a good workstation, but games will be terrible.

- I would not recommend cooling an i7 passively... you might get away with it at idle, but you are just asking for trouble if you load it. You do intend to load it of course, as you wouldn't be getting such a nice CPU otherwise. 1 silent, slow case fan on your cooler will solve this.

- Your noise bottleneck will probably end up being the 2 seagate HDDs, you *will* hear them when they are both spinning. .... unless you shield them somehow

- you haven't listed any case fans. Go with the Gentle Typhoon or the Nexus Silent Case Fan, they are about the same IMO.
I mostly use the computer as a workstation and media-player, so the graphics card will be used almost exclusively for video-decoding. I do occasionally play games, but never anything from the last five years. :D

As far as case fans go, I was planning to stick with the stock fans in the RV02, and the plan is the same with the P183. Maybe I'll switch them for some others later, if they're not satisfactory.

So my revised system is:

Processor: Intel i7-950
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R
RAM: 6gb DDR3-1066 CL-7 Kingston ValueRAM
Case: Antec P183
CPU cooler: ProlimaTech Megahalems with Nexus Real Silent
PSU: Seasonic X-400, fanless
Graphics card: GT240
Graphics card cooler: Arctic Cooling Accelero S1/2
Drives: OCZ Vertex 2 60GB SSD, 2 x Seagate Barracuda 250GB

Does that seem more viable?

danimal
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Post by danimal » Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:58 pm

MalteLauridsBrigge wrote:I had a look at the Silver Arrow, but wasn't able to find anything definitive in regard to the fan noise,
"First of all, Thermalright TY-140 impressed us with its extremely low level of noise. In fact, it is the quietest fan of all models tested today, unless you are a quietness maniac, of course. For example, this fan rotates at 1080 RPM at 36 dBA (which is the subjective comfort level), and it is an absolutely best result obtained today. And at 33 dBA, which is a subjective quiet zone, this fan rotates at 790 RPM yielding only to Scythe Slip Stream 140 in airflow. No crackling or rustling of any kind, of course, just the airflow blown by seven large blades."
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cooler ... dup_9.html

the nexus real silent is quiet all right, because it's too weak for serious cpu cooling... read the spcr mugen2 review, the stock mugen2 fan does a better job of cooling than the nexus, when overclocking... the megahalems is obsolete, although it might be a bit easier to mount, because it's smaller.

i7, overclocked to 4ghz:

silver arrow, stock fans: 52.5
megahalems: 59
silver arrow, passive: 62.5

"Most impressively however is how the Silver Arrow managed to tame the overclocked i7 passively. Cooling a 4GHz i7 920 at 1.3V is no easy task but the cooler had no issues."
http://www.vortez.co.uk/contentteller/a ... iew,9.html

MalteLauridsBrigge
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Re: Good i7-950 setup?

Post by MalteLauridsBrigge » Thu Oct 14, 2010 7:09 am

Huh, I could have sworn I'd already posted this, but: Thanks, danimal! Those figures look very promising, I will try to find somewhere to buy a Silver Arrow nearby. Cheers for the recommendation. :)

tom thumb
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Re: Good i7-950 setup?

Post by tom thumb » Sat Oct 16, 2010 4:07 pm

I've never seen the case you want, but from my experience, stock case fans are all too loud. The 3-speed antec fans that come stock with antec cases were too loud for me even at their lowest setting.

MalteLauridsBrigge
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Location: Australia

Re: Good i7-950 setup?

Post by MalteLauridsBrigge » Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:28 pm

The last of my parts finally arrived today, and I've run into a bit of a problem: my motherboard has only one four-pin fan socket, but my CPU cooler has two fans. In addition, my fan controller has only three-pin connectors, and they are walled so that the wider four-pin plug cannot be inserted. Do I need to purchase some kind of splitter for the CPU-fan socket, or can I connect a four-pin plug to a three-pin socket (as some Googling has suggested), and if so, is there any reason not to cut off the wall of a three-pin socket from the fan controller and attach one of my CPU-cooler fans to that?

tom thumb, sorry to say I didn't see that last message until just now! I guess I might switch them out for quieter fans if they are bothersome.

Thanks! :D

mdchaser
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Re: Good i7-950 setup?

Post by mdchaser » Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:09 pm

MalteLauridsBrigge wrote:The last of my parts finally arrived today, and I've run into a bit of a problem: my motherboard has only one four-pin fan socket, but my CPU cooler has two fans. In addition, my fan controller has only three-pin connectors, and they are walled so that the wider four-pin plug cannot be inserted. Do I need to purchase some kind of splitter for the CPU-fan socket, or can I connect a four-pin plug to a three-pin socket (as some Googling has suggested), and if so, is there any reason not to cut off the wall of a three-pin socket from the fan controller and attach one of my CPU-cooler fans to that?

tom thumb, sorry to say I didn't see that last message until just now! I guess I might switch them out for quieter fans if they are bothersome.

Thanks! :D
Hi, I just bolted a silver arrow up to my i7-920 @ 3.55Ghz, best cooler I've ever come across. In order to hook up both fans you can use something like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 20splitter

Both fans spin at around 650rpm using the built in fan controller (asus board, q-fan set to silent) and make less noise than my HDD. I can *just* hear them at full load, still nearly silent though.

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