Silent gaming PC - suggestions?

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Yoghurt
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:40 pm

Silent gaming PC - suggestions?

Post by Yoghurt » Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:53 pm

I want the PC to be as quiet as possible, but still with good gaming performance (unclocked)

Here is the spec:

FRACTAL DESIGN MIDITOWER DEFINE R3 BLACK
FRACTAL DESIGN SILENT SERIES 140MM 9DB RETAIL (1 at the bottom)
SEASONIC X-460 460W MODULAR FANLESS
INTEL CORE I5 2500 3.30GHZ 6MB S-1155
NOCTUA NH-U12P SE2 S-1155/1156/1366/AM3
GIGABYTE GEFORCE GTX 460 SUPER OC 1GB PCI-E DVI/HDMI
INTEL 320 SERIES 2.5" 120GB SSD SATA/300 MLC 25NM
SEAGATE BARRACUDA GREEN 2TB 5900RPM SATA/600 64MB
CORSAIR 4GB DDR3 XMS3 INTEL I5/I7 PC10600 1333MHZ (2X2GB)
ASUS P8H67-M PRO B3 H67 S-1155 M-ATX

Suggestions / comments?

Modo
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Location: Poland

Re: Silent gaming PC - suggestions?

Post by Modo » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:02 am

Looks good overall. Pretty close to my new build as far as the innards go. :)

After a few days with MSI Afterburner, I can recommend their Twin Frozr II cards (Radeon HD 6950 in my case). If you want silence, you can set the card up to stay virtually inaudible when you're not playing. I'm not sure what Gigabyte has to offer in that regard.

Maybe 8 GB of RAM might be a good idea. Slowly but surely, 2 GB graphics cards are coming to the market, so some games will be using/needing more than 4 GB. Sure, you could upgrade down the road, but why would you want the hassle with prices not moving much?
Can you keep it down? I'm having trouble hearing the artillery.

Current rig
Old PC

Deucal
Posts: 100
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Location: Iceland

Re: Silent gaming PC - suggestions?

Post by Deucal » Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:32 am

why not go i5 2500K ? OCing hasn't been easier.

edit: 2nd 8GB RAM, might as well have it since it's cheap right now.
1) i5 2500K@4.6GHz w/Silver Arrow, 8GB DDR3, Intel 120GB SSD, GTX 580 w/Shaman, Seasonic X-750, ASRock P67 Pro3, BenQ 23.6" 120Hz LED.
2) E8400@4GHz w/Megahelem, 8GB DDR2, 6 HDDs for ~4TB, 2x GTX 8800 SLI, Seasonic X-750, MSI P6N SLI Platinum, Samsung 22" LCD.

ame
Posts: 488
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Location: Israel

Re: Silent gaming PC - suggestions?

Post by ame » Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:46 am

Deucal wrote:why not go i5 2500K ? OCing hasn't been easier.

edit: 2nd 8GB RAM, might as well have it since it's cheap right now.


+1 on both tips. Also if you go 2500K you'll want a P67 motherboard to be able to overclock it.

djkest
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Location: Colorado, USA

Re: Silent gaming PC - suggestions?

Post by djkest » Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:37 am

My suggestions:
Depends on what video card you go with,
But I would get a Seasonic "Fan-cooled" power supply. I know the fanless work pretty good but the fan-cooled one I think will be better overall for a system making that much heat. The fan will be overshadowed by the GPU fan easily.

I would go with an ATI video card. They are just more efficient right now. They use less power, which means less heat, which ultimately is the bane of quiet computer systems. You may (or may not) know that ATI has recently taken over as the leading graphics card manufacturer. They did this with a wave of superior products, not due to marketing genius or smoke and mirrors. I have owned both nVidia and ATI products. ATI also seems to have an edge in DX11 benchmarks.

HD6850 is roughly equivalent to gtx 460 (faster in some, slower in others)
HD6870 is roughly equivalent to a GTX 470

HD 6950 2GB can be had as little as $210 after MIR right now, and they are fast.

8GB of ram is good. You may see a small performance advantage by going with 1600 MHz DDR3 as well over the 1333 MHz

Cliff notes:
HD6870 video card such as: ASUS direct CU $185 after MIR with free shogun game
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product
8GB of 1600 mhz DDR3
Fanned Seasonic power supply such as: Seasonic SS-560KM
Corsair C300 SSD may be faster than your choice.


As an added benefit the fan-cooled power supply is cheaper than the fanless, and will be effectively fanless at idle speeds.

The system in my signature idles at 55 watts. That's the power of ATI graphics cards.

lodestar
Posts: 1683
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 3:29 am
Location: UK

Re: Silent gaming PC - suggestions?

Post by lodestar » Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:30 am

The Gigabyte 460 SOC, thanks to the cooler it's fitted with, is one of the quietest of the 460s - see this review at http://www.guru3d.com/article/gigabyte- ... c-review/8. And despite being overclocked load temps are only in the mid 60s. In performance terms, it seems to be as good as or a bit better than the Radeon 6850 http://www.guru3d.com/article/gigabyte- ... -review/11. Here in the UK, you can buy either the Gigabyte 460 SOC or the Gigabyte HD 6850 (which has a similar cooler) for about the same price.

Dr. Jim Pomatter
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Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA

Re: Silent gaming PC - suggestions?

Post by Dr. Jim Pomatter » Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:13 am

Your case and power supply will outlast anything else in your computer, and so they are a good place to spend your money. Graphics cards have the shortest lifespan (in my systems), so they are a good place to save money.

I like an always-on fan in my PSU, that leads me to buy the Seasonic-made Corsair units. I have three of the vx450 units, but they are no longer made. I believe that the cheapest Corsair/Seasonic supply that is on the market is the Corsair TX750 V2.

While the Fractal Designs cases have good features, the metal is thin. They add foam backing, and that can help. Thick steel with foam will always kill more noise. Look for a case that is heavy and that has no window/grill on the sides. Most cases come with too many fan holes, Fractal Designs is good b/c they give you covers for the extra holes.

Your current GIGABYTE GEFORCE GTX 460 SUPER OC idles around 40db, and will be the loudest thing in your system. ATI makes better graphics cards for quiet systems, as was said above. If you are willing to cut down model detail to medium and the screen resolution to 720p, you can get away with a non-exotic fan-less card for about half the money.

Hope that helps!
[size=75]Q9300 @ 3.0 (7.5 x 400 fsb) w/ Noctura NH-C12P (top-down 120 mm cooler, "blue" speed)
On: Gigabyte EP45-UD3P w/ SAPPHIRE 100283-3L Radeon HD 5770 1GB (@ 20% fan speed)
In: NZXT WHISPER w/ Lian Li BS03 120mm fan duct (required drilling thick steel)[/size]

djkest
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Location: Colorado, USA

Re: Silent gaming PC - suggestions?

Post by djkest » Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:18 am

lodestar wrote:The Gigabyte 460 SOC, thanks to the cooler it's fitted with, is one of the quietest of the 460s - see this review at http://www.guru3d.com/article/gigabyte- ... c-review/8. And despite being overclocked load temps are only in the mid 60s. In performance terms, it seems to be as good as or a bit better than the Radeon 6850 http://www.guru3d.com/article/gigabyte- ... -review/11. Here in the UK, you can buy either the Gigabyte 460 SOC or the Gigabyte HD 6850 (which has a similar cooler) for about the same price.
Yes, but at full load a GTX 460 will be using 40-50W more power, that's 40-50% more heat produced by the video card. Where is that heat going to go? Most heat stays in the case.

Most reviews have a stock clocked 460 behind the stock-clocked 6850 in a majority of their benchmarks. An overclocked GTX 460 would probably be faster than a stock-clocked 6850.

If you want silent, I think an aftermarket cooler is the only choice- such as GeLid Icy Vision or the Thermaltake unit.

As for the gigabyte unit, it looks nice, but I dont' know about "silent". Guru3D reviewed some other cards in the 36-38 dB range and called those silent. Here at SPCR I'm thinking low 20s is much more "silent". Does depend on testing methodology.

Yoghurt
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:40 pm

Re: Silent gaming PC - suggestions?

Post by Yoghurt » Sat Apr 30, 2011 2:54 pm

Thanks for your replies.
Modo wrote:Maybe 8 GB of RAM might be a good idea.
Yes, what about CORSAIR 8GB DDR3 XMS3 VENGEANCE PC3-12800 1600MHZ CL9 (2X4GB)?
Deucal wrote:why not go i5 2500K ? OCing hasn't been easier.
You are right, I just wanted the on-board video and I thought clocking would make the computer less silent? (but maybe that makes it possible to downclock it as well :))
ame wrote:Also if you go 2500K you'll want a P67 motherboard to be able to overclock it.
ASUS P8P67 PRO - sounds good?
djkest wrote:Yes, but at full load a GTX 460 will be using 40-50W more power, that's 40-50% more heat produced by the video card. Where is that heat going to go? Most heat stays in the case.
I am convinced, I will change the graphic card to ASUS RADEON HD6850.
djkest wrote:But I would get a Seasonic "Fan-cooled" power supply. I know the fanless work pretty good but the fan-cooled one I think will be better overall for a system making that much heat.
Now, with the HD6850 making less heat, maybe the fanless is the best choice? I have a hard time deciding between them. I just want the one that (safely) gives me the quietest computer overall.
djkest wrote:If you want silent, I think an aftermarket cooler is the only choice- such as GeLid Icy Vision or the Thermaltake unit.
What about replacing the fan on the HD6850 to the passive cooler ARCTIC COOLING ACCELERO S1 REV2 and maybe add an extra 120mm fan (gentle typhoon) on top of it?

I am also considering replacing the seagate hard drive to WESTERN DIGITAL CAVIAR GREEN 2TB SATA/300 64MB - I heard the seagate is less reliable and that the WD maybe is a bit quieter.

lodestar
Posts: 1683
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 3:29 am
Location: UK

Re: Silent gaming PC - suggestions?

Post by lodestar » Sun May 01, 2011 6:15 am

Yoghurt wrote:What about replacing the fan on the HD6850 to the passive cooler ARCTIC COOLING ACCELERO S1 REV2 and maybe add an extra 120mm fan (gentle typhoon) on top of it?
I think you would be better off buying a card pre-fitted with a quieter cooler, which would preserve your warranty. You could consider the Gainward GTX 560 Phantom 1GB for example, which is one of the quietest gaming cards there is. Yes, it costs a bit more than a 6850 but once you factor in the extra cost of an Arctic Accelero S1 and a fan, the difference is not so great.

Another point to consider is how much the fan profile can be tuned using MSI AfterBurner. No modern card should give you any issues at idle, as they will both downclock and undervolt. So they will be relatively quiet regardless of the cooler fitted. but some cards are quieter at idle because they have a better cooler and more particularly a fan profile which can down to 30%. This is the case with the Phantom but I don't know about the other cards. Under load I can say from experience that cards like the Phantom are in a different league to the others, not only quieter but much lower load temperatures too.

Yoghurt
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:40 pm

Re: Silent gaming PC - suggestions?

Post by Yoghurt » Tue May 03, 2011 1:21 pm

My new spec:

FRACTAL DESIGN MIDITOWER DEFINE R3 BLACK
NOCTUA NH-U12P SE2 S-1155/1156/1366/AM3
INTEL CORE I5 2500K 3.30GHZ 6MB S-1155
GAINWARD GEFORCE GTX 560Ti 1GB PhysX (Phantom)
INTEL 320 SERIES 2.5" 120GB SSD SATA/300 MLC 25NM
WESTERN DIGITAL CAVIAR GREEN 2TB SATA/300 64MB
CORSAIR 8GB DDR3 XMS3 INTEL I5/I7 PC12800 1600MHZ (2X4GB)
ASUS P8P67 PRO B3 P67 S-1155 ATX
SEASONIC X-560 560W MODULAR

Final thoughts? (Will probably order tomorrow)

Dr. Jim Pomatter
Posts: 135
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:46 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA

Re: Silent gaming PC - suggestions?

Post by Dr. Jim Pomatter » Mon May 09, 2011 9:56 am

Yoghurt wrote: Final thoughts? (Will probably order tomorrow)
Did it all come in yet?
Is it working?
What part making the most noise at idle & at load?
[size=75]Q9300 @ 3.0 (7.5 x 400 fsb) w/ Noctura NH-C12P (top-down 120 mm cooler, "blue" speed)
On: Gigabyte EP45-UD3P w/ SAPPHIRE 100283-3L Radeon HD 5770 1GB (@ 20% fan speed)
In: NZXT WHISPER w/ Lian Li BS03 120mm fan duct (required drilling thick steel)[/size]

Yoghurt
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:40 pm

Re: Silent gaming PC - suggestions?

Post by Yoghurt » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:22 am

Better late than never:

Yes, it's working great!

The part making most noise in idle and in load is the fractal fans. It's only a very low hummering depending on the fan settings.
E.g. played Crysis 2, 1920x1080, on lowest fan speed (I think the fan controllers lowest is ~600RPM), without any problem.
Temperatures was good, and I have never experienced any difference in noise comparing load vs. idle.

Overall, I'm very happy with my new PC. Thanks guys for your help!

thejamppa
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Re: Silent gaming PC - suggestions?

Post by thejamppa » Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:57 am

Yoghurt wrote:Better late than never:

Yes, it's working great!

The part making most noise in idle and in load is the fractal fans. It's only a very low hummering depending on the fan settings.
E.g. played Crysis 2, 1920x1080, on lowest fan speed (I think the fan controllers lowest is ~600RPM), without any problem.
Temperatures was good, and I have never experienced any difference in noise comparing load vs. idle.

Overall, I'm very happy with my new PC. Thanks guys for your help!
Be sure to post pictures some times to the gallery section. Your build looks very solid!
If seeing is believing, how can blind person believe in anything?
Maturity is just not experience in life but also ability to make compromises.

Kralnor
Friend of SPCR
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Location: Denmark

Re: Silent gaming PC - suggestions?

Post by Kralnor » Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:13 pm

Sorry to be somewhat grave digging, but have you considered replacing the Fractal case fans? I have the same case, and those are making the most noise in my build as well.

EDIT: I take that back. Turns out it was my 620HX PSU producing a low buzzing noise again...

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