Would this system build work?

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silencelover
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:45 pm

Would this system build work?

Post by silencelover » Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:26 pm

Hello Everybody!

This topic is basically a 'reboot' of the following: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=63506
I apologize in advance to the moderators for starting a new topic, but I was afraid that the old one would get too messy and hard to follow.

Here goes...

When I started asking about cases I said I would either go with the Antec P183 v3 or the P280 for my next build, and that I wouldn't even consider the Solo II for it only having 2x 5.25" bays, but I have actually started to reconsider that given I may very well be able to survive with one optical drive, and the Icybox hotswappable SATA HDD bay that I have installed on my current build...

What I would like to know from you more knowledgeable guys is if the system listed below would in fact work well if I build it that way... See my own comments after each component...

* CASE: Antec Solo II
* FANS: Intending to install two additional Antec True Quiet 120mm fans in addition to the one that comes with the case - all running on the LOW setting.
* CPU: Intel Core i7 2600K _or_ 2700K (w/ Zalman CNPS9900LED CPU cooler which I intend to run in silent mode, possibly a Noctua NH-U12P SE using the Ultra low noise adapter)
* MB: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD4
* RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16 GB PC3-12800 (Either normal or low profile depending on if I can use the normal profile ones with the intended cooler)
* PWR: Corsair AX850
* GFX: ASUS Geforce 560Ti TOP (Overclocked from factory with DirectCU II cooler)
* AUDIO: M-Audio Audiophile 2496 PCI soundcard / Possibly ASUS Xonar Essence STX
* DVD: Plextor PX-L890SA (very quiet and nice but probably will be replaced with an ASUS BW12B1LT BD Burner since I can only have ONE optical drive in the case)
* HDD: 2x Seagate 7200.12 1 TB drives (very very quiet IMHO so not seeing a problem here either) and possibly 1x WD Green 1 TB harddrive.
* HDD: Icybox HDD SATA Hotswap enclosure (in the last 5.25" bay available)

Special note about the power supply: I heard that the Corsair AX850 had problems with coil whine so I tested it by installing it into a secondary computer I have at my parents house that consists of an Antec NSK-4000b case, a simple Gigabyte board with a Core2Duo 2.4 Ghz CPU and 2 GB of standard Corsair DDR2 RAM, running the stock cooler on the CPU and with one Tricool 120mm exhaust fan. Graphics in that system is a Geforce 9600GT with Zalman custom cooling solution installed. The PSU before I installed the AX850 was a standard 500 watt Antec Earthwatts salvaged from an Antec Sonata III. Running well and relatively quiet.

Now the thing that got me worried happened when I installed the AX850 PSU into this system. The AX850's fan never spun up. Which I understand to be completely normal as long as the load on the PSU is less than 20% - and I doubt a system like the above would put that much load on the PSU, so since it seemed to stay below the threshold the fan was at a standstill. The PSU itself never got more than lukewarm to the touch - certainly not hot... the issue though was that with the heat not being exhausted from the PSU the temperature in the case rose and thus the CPU fan started ramping up and down like crazy after a while and it sounded absolutely UNBEARABLE. Putting the old PSU back in the system and it was nice and quiet as it had always been (but then the fan ran constantly on that PSU!)

Question is - can I run this AX850 PSU with the components listed above, without risking the CPU fan going crazy because of the PSU fan standing still when the PSU is taking it easy? Also would there be a risk of overheating or getting too high temperatures inside the Solo II case with this particular power supply? From all the reviews I have read the AX850 is supposed to be an amazing PSU but its no good if it would cause my new computer to run too hot. I had that happen with builds many years ago and I do NOT want to have this happen. If it could be an issue I will talk to the place where I bought it and see if I could exchange it for something else where the fan runs constantly (but silently)...

I also have considered the P280 but I realize that this case may prove to be noisy (not to mention it is rather big)... I'm afraid of not making the right decision when selecting my computer case for this build as I will probably stay with the computer for 5 years or so. It needs to be quiet, and run stable. I do not intend to do any sort of overclocking on it whatsoever. I will use everything at stock speeds.

Any help, or suggestions would be greatly appreciated once again.

Kind regards,
Silencelover.

Worker control
Posts: 126
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 12:16 pm

Re: Would this system build work?

Post by Worker control » Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:33 pm

silencelover wrote: * CASE: Antec Solo II
* FANS: Intending to install two additional Antec True Quiet 120mm fans in addition to the one that comes with the case - all running on the LOW setting.
Why this choice of fan? Why not Scythe Slipstreams?
silencelover wrote: * CPU: Intel Core i7 2600K _or_ 2700K (w/ Zalman CNPS9900LED CPU cooler which I intend to run in silent mode, possibly a Noctua NH-U12P SE using the Ultra low noise adapter)
Why the Zalman? Isn't it overpriced, and less effective than a standard tower HS?
silencelover wrote: * MB: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD4
...
Now the thing that got me worried happened when I installed the AX850 PSU into this system. The AX850's fan never spun up. Which I understand to be completely normal as long as the load on the PSU is less than 20% - and I doubt a system like the above would put that much load on the PSU, so since it seemed to stay below the threshold the fan was at a standstill. The PSU itself never got more than lukewarm to the touch - certainly not hot... the issue though was that with the heat not being exhausted from the PSU the temperature in the case rose and thus the CPU fan started ramping up and down like crazy after a while and it sounded absolutely UNBEARABLE. Putting the old PSU back in the system and it was nice and quiet as it had always been (but then the fan ran constantly on that PSU!)
If your case fans provide good air flow, then you won't have to rely on the PSU fan to exhaust. Usually one does this by using variable-speed fans, either voltage controlled or PWM controlled. Such control is usually either done directly by the BIOS, or via software like Speedfan, or via a separate fan control panel like the Scythe Kaze Master. I looked at the manual for the GA-Z68XP-UD4, and didn't see anything about BIOS control for case fans.

Abula
Posts: 3613
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Location: Guatemala

Re: Would this system build work?

Post by Abula » Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:32 pm

Idk if what you asking anyone can answer, its hard to predict how the AX 850 would behave under the solo II or under certain load. Now 20% 850W = 170W, this you might reach under load of both cpu and GPU, but on normal tasks like browsing or even watching videos, it probably will never start. On my MicroMi build the X-660 never spins under idle, but once i enter sc2 starts spinning, very quiet still. I finish recently the HTPCMI build (check sig) on a Solo II with a X-400 (fanless) and until now been fine, even with all fans spinning below 300rpm, all stuff stays relatively well in temps and noise is totally inaudible.

Now the PSU shouldn't have anything to do with how the CPU fan spins, unless its directly plugged to the PSU and that line is fluctuating the voltages, but if its plugged to the mobo and its controlled by the mobo i don't see why it should ramp up because of the PSU.

I think all the components you have should be fine on the Solo II, mine are not as fast as yours, but im also spinning my fans very low. For CPU cooler i avoid the Zalaman, in favor of either Scythe Mugen 3 or Thermalright HR-02 Macho, imo both are the best below $50 and come with good PWM fans, check your mobo if it can control them via bios/software. On the fan i never really tried the antec, never i have liked one antec fan and had the Scythe Kama Flex that i didn't used on the server, so i just swapped all, since i knew ahead of time that intel mobos can drop them down very low. I would recommend to get 3 fans so you get positive pressure (2 in 1 out), Scythe Slipstreams are cheap and perform well, consider 500/800/1200rpm versions, depending on your cooling needs. If you want to spend a little more on the fans, another that i liked is Noiseblocker NB-Multiframe M12-S1 or S2.

Just a warning about the Solo II, the only weakness that i found its doesn't have much space for Cable management, in my build i used one of the 5.25 slots to hide a ton of cables the other place left is behind the hdd cages, but since you are using both 5.25 slots you might need to get creative with the cabling.

Final recommendation, get an SSD even a small 64gb for windows and programs is wroth it imo, even if you use your 7200rpm for programs and whatever else you need, Crucial M4 or Samsung 830 are really good options atm, the solo II has a slot for mounting the ssd at the side of the case.
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ame
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Location: Israel

Re: Would this system build work?

Post by ame » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:51 am

With regards to the PSU and case heat buildup, I believe that the Solo II is ideal for a fanlees setup as it has a top vent to allow heat from the PSU to escape not affecting other components. Having 2 front fans even at low speed may help push heat out by creating positive pressure inside the case. I too think you might want to reconsider your fan choice and CPU cooler choice. Noctua U12P is good, but the Zalman 9900 is overpriced and poor performer with a loud unswappable fan.

silencelover
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:45 pm

Re: Would this system build work?

Post by silencelover » Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:00 am

Worker control wrote:Why this choice of fan? Why not Scythe Slipstreams
That is a very good question indeed. I am guessing simply because I read a lot of good stuff about these Antec fans, and because I found it to be a simple solution to just add on an additional pair of fans of the same kind to the case, but I have seen the Scythe Slipstreams mentioned as good options, but then there's the issue of which RPM I would need for the fans to do their job and do it quietly. Would the 800 rpm ones be sufficient? Would I then have to buy additional rubber fanmounts or something like that when installing them in the case to ensure the quietest possible operation.
Worker control wrote:Why the Zalman? Isn't it overpriced, and less effective than a standard tower HS?
You bring up a very good point there as well. To be completely honest with you I don't know why exactly. I guess one big reason for me looking at the Zalman CNPS cooling solutions would be because I have one in the current computer that I am running and that I have been very happy with it both from a performance standpoint as well as when it comes to noise. And being that happy with it I am kind of afraid of going with something else. But I have also heard good things about the Noctua solutions, but then there's the issue of "which one do I need? How big should it be?" and also the question of how complicated it will be to install it into the system compared to the experiences I've had with the Zalmans... and also (and I know this is going sound REALLY vain, but the Zalman coolers look awesome....!)

As it sounds and looks now I will definitely be giving Noctua a chance for the new build. Just thinking here that it will have to be able to cool sufficiently using the Ultra low noise adapter - I want my computer to be absolutely as quiet as it can be...
Worker control wrote:If your case fans provide good air flow, then you won't have to rely on the PSU fan to exhaust. Usually one does this by using variable-speed fans, either voltage controlled or PWM controlled. Such control is usually either done directly by the BIOS, or via software like Speedfan, or via a separate fan control panel like the Scythe Kaze Master. I looked at the manual for the GA-Z68XP-UD4, and didn't see anything about BIOS control for case fans.
All the Gigabyte motherboards that I have used (even the cheap ones) has had support for PWM for the fanheaders. If I understand the specifications correctly for the motherboard I am looking at it does support PWM/Q-Fan control in BIOS, and can handle up to 3 system fans and 1x CPU fan (I guess for the Noctua cooling you would use the Y-Split cable that comes with it to have it run both fans off one CPU fan header).

silencelover
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:45 pm

Re: Would this system build work?

Post by silencelover » Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:24 am

Abula wrote: Now the PSU shouldn't have anything to do with how the CPU fan spins, unless its directly plugged to the PSU and that line is fluctuating the voltages, but if its plugged to the mobo and its controlled by the mobo i don't see why it should ramp up because of the PSU.
Well I think the reason why the CPU fan spun up and down constantly is because that was controlled by the BIOS in PWM mode, and since the PSU didn't help with exhausting heat in the case (because it never started the fan) the internal temperature got warmer, so the CPU fan started spinning up to cool things down (or something like that)...
Abula wrote:For CPU cooler i avoid the Zalaman, in favor of either...
I see what you're saying about the Zalman coolers. Many people here have told me I should go with something better than Zalman so I will take your advice and look for options. Right now it looks as if I will go with some Noctua solution as that is what is readily available where I live. I am not sure if I can get the other options that you mentioned but I will look into it. As for the fan recommendations I know of NoiseBlocker and they are IMHO *very* silent, but on the other hand they're also very difficult to find and buy here. I had to special order a small NB fan for my external HDD enclosure from Germany when the built in (and noisy) fan died.
Abula wrote: Just a warning about the Solo II, the only weakness that i found its doesn't have much space for Cable management...
I am expecting it to be almost as bad as the Antec Sonata III in that regard, but maybe somewhat improved. One thing I did look forward to with the P280 case was the infinite possibilities to not only build a kickass computer, but also do proper cable routing. The current build that I have based around a Core2Quad Q8300 CPU and Gigabyte P35-DS4 motherboard in a Sonata III case has had no cable routing done but basically just stuffing everything in and closing it up as neat as you possibly could when building it. So I was really setting my sights on the P280 but now once again I don't know. I am unsure about how such a big case, with so many fans fitted will actually sound... Also the fact that it seems like the integrated fan control can not be used with any other fans than Antec original fans is a little annoying to me.
Abula wrote:Final recommendation, get an SSD even a small 64gb for windows and programs is wroth it imo. The solo II has a slot for mounting the ssd at the side of the case.
Thank you for the suggestion but I don't know if a 64 GB SSD would be sufficient for my storage needs on the boot partition/drive. Right now I have a 250 Gb boot partition, and having used 54 GB as it is now. I think I would have to go with 120/128 GB minimum and then that would have to wait as they are pretty expensive.

Abula
Posts: 3613
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Re: Would this system build work?

Post by Abula » Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:09 pm

silencelover wrote:Thank you for the suggestion but I don't know if a 64 GB SSD would be sufficient for my storage needs on the boot partition/drive. Right now I have a 250 Gb boot partition, and having used 54 GB as it is now. I think I would have to go with 120/128 GB minimum and then that would have to wait as they are pretty expensive.
On my HTPCMI build, im running a Crucial M4 64gb, with System restore and hybernation disabled, the windows 7 install and up to date is about 20GB, still have about 40GB free for apps. Its up to you if thats enough or not, but you can leave it only for windows and certain apps, and still install others on your normal hdds, personally i think its worth it, but its up to you.

Good luck with the build,
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silencelover
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Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:45 pm

Re: Would this system build work?

Post by silencelover » Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:28 am

Hello again everybody! :D

Now here's the latest update on what is happening with regard to the computer build...

I have now ordered the following items:

* Antec Solo II case
* 16 GB Corsair Vengeance Low Profile DDR3 RAM
* Gigabyte Z68XP-UD4 (Rev 1.0) motherboard (supports 1x PWM CPU fan, 1x PWM Case fan 1x 3-pin Case fan and 1x 3-pin power fan on motherboard)
* Core i7 2600k CPU
* Noctua NH-U9B SE2 CPU heatsink/fan. Supposedly not TOO huge in size, quiet and with good cooling properties.
* Corsair AX850 PSU (Actually bought a long time ago but brand new never used)

x 2x Seagate 7200.12 1 Terabyte drives from the old computer
x 1x Western Digital Green 1 Terabyte which I am considering putting in for even more storage which is a leftover from an external case.
x 1x SATA HDD Hotswap Enclosure (ICYBox)
x 1x ASUS Geforce 560Ti TOP graphics card with DirectCU II
x 1x M-Audio Audiophile 2496 Sound card

As a sidenote I am considering also buying and installing Noctua 120mm fans for quiet cooling.

Tell me if you think this is going to be a good build....

Kindest regards,
Silencelover

silencelover
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:45 pm

Re: Would this system build work?

Post by silencelover » Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:54 am

Hello everybody!

At long last here is the update on how the build has gone...

I ended up buying exactly the things that I was considering, and for the most part it is dead silent (only the slightest hum from the 3x harddrives that are permanently installed in the system).
Performancewise it is faster than any computer that I have ever had so far, so very very pleased with it over all. Very nice looking build, and from what I can tell it is rather cool running.

I have measured between 36-39 degrees celsius on CPU at idle, and it doesn't seem to go over 67 degrees celsius under full load using Prime95.
Using the Ultra Low Noise adapters on the Noctua cooler that I bought for the CPU (now I understand what you guys meant when saying that the
Zalman cooler I was looking for was overpriced, quite noisy and not giving so much performance for the money spent....

Also I took the advice (I think I got here) of turning the PSU upside down so that the 120mm fan faces the top opening of the Antec Solo II, thus
the PSU gets ventilation in that way...

I am attaching some pictures below so you can see how it looks...

Image
Image

Please let me know what you think!

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