I'm considering upgrading from my (hellishly) loud gaming notebook to a quiet desktop gaming replacement.
I have a SSD and monitor/keyboard/mouse that I can re-use, everything else has to be bought. The total cost price should be lower than 1000 euros. So far, I've come up with this setup:
CPU/Mobo/RAM are descent and their choice doesn't contribute much to a silent PC.CPU: Intel Core i5 4670K / 3.4 GHz € 198,90
CPU cooler: Scythe Mugen 4 PCGH € 40,90
Mobo: Gigabyte Z87-HD3 € 96,90
RAM: Crucial Ballistix Sport € 70,89
VGA: MSI R7970 TF 3GD5/OC BE € 259,90
HDD: WD Green WD20EZRX € 78,90
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 € 90,90
PSU: Sonic Platinum Series P-520 € 139,90
Total: € 977,19
Clearly, the loudest component will be the 7970 (which is very affordable at the moment due to recent price drops). I'm getting the MSI TF edition because of it's attractive pricing in my area. All other editions (like the Sapphire Vapor-x) are significantly more expensive (see here for a list of my options). However, I'm unsure about the noise of the GPU cooler on this card. At the moment, I'm considering to test the 7970 and if I find it too loud for my liking I might consider an aftermarket cooler (maybe something like an Accelero Xtreme 7970, although it's a bit pricey). I'm mainly interested in an inaudible idle system (e.g. while browsing, watching a video), I don't mind if the noise levels rise a little during gaming/load. Maybe undervolting the card during idle might help? Although, I've read that the GPU fan will never go below 800-1000 rpm. So when it's a loud fan at this RPMage, you're basically screwed? I know I could also get a 7950 which has a lower TDP and thus runs cooler/generates less noise; but I want this system to be future-proof (i.e. new games in 2-3 years and > 1080p resolution) so I want to get the best VGA card possible for my budget.
In terms of the CPU cooler, are there better alternatives than the Scythe 4 in the same price range (Noctua and Prolimatech Megahalems seem a bit more expensive)?
For the case and PSU, I think I've made an excellent choice with the Fractal R4 and the Seasonic P-520; however I'm a bit worried that a loud GFX card would nullify the advantage of a fanless PSU.
As the HDD will only be used as a data disk I think the WD Green will be fine as it is considered an energy efficient and quiet disk?
If not for the GFX card I would have probably ordered this system without asking for feedback on SPCR; however this is the component I'm most unsure about so I'd love to get some input!