Transforming Current PC to be Silent

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Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2015 5:36 pm

Transforming Current PC to be Silent

Post by StephenCurry » Sun Aug 16, 2015 5:38 pm

Hi all,

I'm planning to build a silent or really quiet computer for general web-browing and a bit of light gaming on the side (TF2 only). I've been using an Apple iMac 27" for the past few years and I've gotten used to the silent operation of the unit!

I have these two computers at my disposal to salvage parts, the goal is to re-use as many components into one 'silent' computer and the other computer will use the leftover parts. At the same time, I'm more than happy to purchase new components if they have any influence on the noise.

HTPC (current)
CPU: intel 3570k
MB: asrock z77e-itx
GFX: sapphire 7850 2gb
PSU: corsair hx650
SSD: Samsung 850 EVO 120gb
HDD: WD 2tb green
CASE: lian li pc-Q08
RAM: 8gb gskill trident 2400mhz
CPU cooler: corsair h60 with corsair SP120 Quiet Edition High Static Pressure 120mm fan
case fans: no intake or exhaust fans.

Tower 1:
CPU: intel 2500k
MB: ASUS P8P67 B3 (Rev 3.0)
GFX: XFX 4870 1GB
PSU: Corsair hx520
SSD: corsair force 3 120gb 
HDD: 300GB Samsung
CASE: Fractal Design Define R3
RAM: 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 DDR3
CPU cooler: Noctua C12P
case fans: 1x Aerocool Dead Silence 120mm exhaust

A few quick questions:
- Can the P8P67 be used with the P8P67 B3 mobo?
- Key components affecting noise would be the PSU, graphics card, CPU cooler and the hard drives? I'm happy to go without any hard drives and happy to upgrade the other parts if the current parts aren't suitable.
- I'm thinking of this fanless PSU, Seasonic 400W Fanless: ... 6884&id2=1 - Is 400W adequate for the system below?
- Thermaltake CPU cooler, Macho HR-02 can work without a fan? Any other fanless CPU heatsink options?
- Arctic Accelero S3 will work with my current 7850? And the 7850 will work with the P8P67 mobo?
- Could re-use the Fractal Design R3 case as it's market as a quiet case? Or are there newer and quieter alternatives out there now?

i was thinking of the following build:

Quiet tower:
CPU: intel 3570k
MB: ASUS P8P67 B3 (Rev 3.0)
GFX: sapphire 7850 2gb
GFX cooler: Accelero S3
PSU: Seasonic 400W fanless
SSD: corsair force 3 120gb 
CASE: Fractal Design Define R3
RAM: 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 DDR3
CPU cooler: Thermaltake Macho HR-02
case fans: no fans

I'm looking forward to hear your suggestions! Thanks in advance.

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Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2006 6:51 am
Location: The Netherlands (NL)

Re: Transforming Current PC to be Silent

Post by sjoukew » Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:58 pm

According to the asus support website your i7 cpu should work on you asus motherboard But it needs bios version 3207 or newer. You might want to upgrade the bios with the old working processor before you switch cpu.
Your video card will also work on your asus motherboard without problems.

I don't think you can get away without case fans. Slow moving almost inaudible fans will work i think! But there are probably more experienced forum members on the silencing part who can comment on that.

Posts: 238
Joined: Sat May 11, 2013 8:33 am

Re: Transforming Current PC to be Silent

Post by QUIET! » Wed Aug 19, 2015 3:59 pm

I think the question is which case is easier to silence.

If your HTPC is working, it's CPU/motherboard and GPU is the most modern combo and the tower case probably has the motherboard standoffs for mITX size motherboards. If yous Asrock motherboard has all the features you want, it might be a better choice.

As far as silence is concerned, I would start with a high quality CPU heat sink and maybe think about getting a newer GPU. A quiet GPU cooler might work but you are still left with a GPU that runs hotter and is a bigger drain on your PSU than something like a GTX960.

Fans can not be avoided when you are dealing with a powerful GPU and CPU. There has to be air flow to remove the heat.

My personal philosophy is if you are going to have a case fan, why not in the PSU where they are usually 120-140mm and pretty slow. Some cases do not use the PSU fan as an exhaust fan. I think that is a waste and it won't work well with a fanless PSU if there isn't any forced air flow.

I like one fan for the CPU cooler, one or two fans for the GPU, one fan in the PSU and a case that uses the PSU as an exhaust fan. If everything is chosen for silence, you can make a computer that is no worse than a low hum when under heavy load and barely audible at idle.

Silent components that generate heat usually have to be used in a pretty particular way. "Throwing the catalog" at your PC rarely works for silence.

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