Replacing Define Mini C fans for quieter operation?

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bitcat70
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Replacing Define Mini C fans for quieter operation?

Post by bitcat70 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:48 pm

Hi!
I'm contemplating a new Ryzen 7 3700X/ASRock B450M Pro4 build that I want to hopefully be quieter than my current system and am looking for suggestion on how that can be achieved. Define Mini C was recommended as the case for this system along with replacing the stock fans. But I didn't get more information about that. This case can accept a 120 mm fan in the rear and one or two 120 mm or 140 mm fans in the front. Which configuration would work best here? As for fan models, as far as I can tell, Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM is very good. Anything else to consider? In the 140 mm realm it seems the be quiet! BL067 SILENTWINGS 3 PWM, Phanteks PH-F140HP and one of the Noctuas (sorry, cant find the model) are favorites. But which one should I use? Any others that you can recommend? PWM seems the way to go?

For the CPU fan I think I'll go with the Le GRAND MACHO RT unless someone recommends another. The machine will be used for 1920x1200 gaming (maybe going to 2560x1440) with a Radeon RX 5700 class GPU more or less (not decided yet, could be a GeForce) and also will do some transcoding.

I appreciate any input you can provide.

Abula
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Re: Replacing Define Mini C fans for quieter operation?

Post by Abula » Thu Dec 26, 2019 12:35 pm

I would test the included fans first, we all have different needs so you might be fine as it comes, you can always upgrade them later on, but if you want to change the fans on Define C, you are already considering what i would use, Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM (on the back, if you are not into the color then BeQuiet BL066) + 2x BeQuiet BL067 (fronts). For CPU, the LeGrandMacho is a very capable CPU cooler, its expensive but probably among the best for low rpm operation without overalapping the memory, Scythe Mugen5 is a good chepaer alternative, slightly worst performance at very low rpms but very similar at high rpms. For the 5700XT, try to go with Red Devil, seems to be quietest, if you dont have access to it, Asus Strix is a good alternative, both you have to use the Q Mode / Quiet vBios, the red devil should fit but its going to be close, 300mm (red devil) vs 315mm (max according to fractal specs), crosscheck this before buying.
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bitcat70
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Re: Replacing Define Mini C fans for quieter operation?

Post by bitcat70 » Fri Dec 27, 2019 11:15 am

Thank you! That's what I'll do. Maybe the case will be OK with the included fans and I'll see how I like it. As for the fan configuration someone suggested that the rear exhaust fan on its own is optimal and would work better by itself without the need for the front fan(s). What do you think?

Le Grand Macho RT is more expensive than the other options that were suggested but I feel it will be the best choice for me.

That Red Devil 5700 XT looks good but may be more GPU than I can ever use. I have something I can use for now. I'll see how the market shapes up when the RX 5600 comes out.

bitcat70
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Re: Replacing Define Mini C fans for quieter operation?

Post by bitcat70 » Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:33 pm

I built the system over the weekend and ran the Prime95 torture test for about 18 hours with no errors. Ryzen Master was showing CPU temps of 65 - 75 Celsius. I think that's OK? The most interesting thing to me was how quiet the system was. It was barely audible and just above the ambient noise level. What's even more interesting was that it became just slightly quieter when idle. Overall I'm pretty happy with it. Huge improvement over the beast it replaced. I did remove the front fan when building it to see how it would run without it and now I'm thinking I won't reinstall it as I don't think it wouldn't improve noise/thermal. So the machine was doing pretty well with just the rear fan. I'm not sure if replacing it would improve anything but I have a question: both of the 120 mm fans that came with the case were 3 pin ones. Would a 4 pin PWM fan offer any benefits over them? Of course, other than the Noctua or be quiet! being possibly slightly quieter?

Abula
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Re: Replacing Define Mini C fans for quieter operation?

Post by Abula » Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:54 pm

bitcat70 wrote:I built the system over the weekend and ran the Prime95 torture test for about 18 hours with no errors. Ryzen Master was showing CPU temps of 65 - 75 Celsius. I think that's OK?
As long as you are sustaining the boosts fully, the temps seems ok, AMD is pretty good as long as you don't hit the temp thresholds where you lose the boost.
bitcat70 wrote:I did remove the front fan when building it to see how it would run without it and now I'm thinking I won't reinstall it as I don't think it wouldn't improve noise/thermal. So the machine was doing pretty well with just the rear fan.
Usually the first fan nets the biggest temp gains, the second starts diminishing, but depends a lot on the build and components, in some its worth it in others its not, personally i still prefer to have 2 in and 1 out more to have positive pressure and avoid dust entering through unfiltered openings (PSU, PCIe holes, etc), but again each setup its different, so thats you have to decide on your own, recommended you read Bittech The Big Air Cooling Investigation.
bitcat70 wrote:I'm not sure if replacing it would improve anything but I have a question: both of the 120 mm fans that came with the case were 3 pin ones. Would a 4 pin PWM fan offer any benefits over them? Of course, other than the Noctua or be quiet! being possibly slightly quieter?
3pin or PWM its just the way to control, there are good and bad PWM and 3pin, so really dont matter, more important is if your motherboard can control them or not.
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CA_Steve
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Re: Replacing Define Mini C fans for quieter operation?

Post by CA_Steve » Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:57 pm

..and sometimes the PWM fans have a lower starting speed.
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

bitcat70
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Re: Replacing Define Mini C fans for quieter operation?

Post by bitcat70 » Tue Dec 31, 2019 2:51 pm

Abula wrote:
bitcat70 wrote:I built the system over the weekend and ran the Prime95 torture test for about 18 hours with no errors. Ryzen Master was showing CPU temps of 65 - 75 Celsius. I think that's OK?
As long as you are sustaining the boosts fully, the temps seems ok, AMD is pretty good as long as you don't hit the temp thresholds where you lose the boost.
How do I check that? What is the temp ceiling? Whenever I looked in Task Manager all cores/threads were pegged at 100%. Is there a better way to know that?
Abula wrote:
bitcat70 wrote:I did remove the front fan when building it to see how it would run without it and now I'm thinking I won't reinstall it as I don't think it wouldn't improve noise/thermal. So the machine was doing pretty well with just the rear fan.
Usually the first fan nets the biggest temp gains, the second starts diminishing, but depends a lot on the build and components, in some its worth it in others its not, personally i still prefer to have 2 in and 1 out more to have positive pressure and avoid dust entering through unfiltered openings (PSU, PCIe holes, etc), but again each setup its different, so thats you have to decide on your own, recommended you read Bittech The Big Air Cooling Investigation.
After thinking about it I got the two BL067 for the front and will see how that works as I'm onboard with you about creating positive pressure in the case.
Abula wrote:
bitcat70 wrote:I'm not sure if replacing it would improve anything but I have a question: both of the 120 mm fans that came with the case were 3 pin ones. Would a 4 pin PWM fan offer any benefits over them? Of course, other than the Noctua or be quiet! being possibly slightly quieter?
3pin or PWM its just the way to control, there are good and bad PWM and 3pin, so really dont matter, more important is if your motherboard can control them or not.
OK, thanks! All the fans will be PWM and I'll have to play with the settings. Is this something that's done through the BIOS or a Windows utility?

bitcat70
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Re: Replacing Define Mini C fans for quieter operation?

Post by bitcat70 » Tue Dec 31, 2019 2:52 pm

CA_Steve wrote:..and sometimes the PWM fans have a lower starting speed.
I'm going with all PWM fans. What's the best way to control them?

Abula
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Re: Replacing Define Mini C fans for quieter operation?

Post by Abula » Tue Dec 31, 2019 4:32 pm

bitcat70 wrote:How do I check that? What is the temp ceiling? Whenever I looked in Task Manager all cores/threads were pegged at 100%. Is there a better way to know that?
The temp ceiling is defined by AMD, i don't own your CPU, but search the web to see the max temperature where it still sustains the full boost, as long as you are getting that you are fine. On the past, only AMD Ryzen Master Utility and HWinfo showed the corrected temperatures, on ryzen/threadripper there was Tdie and Tctl, one had an offset, from what i have read i think ryzen3 no longer is using this offset, but find whats the real temp you are suppose to be monitoring and the check that the software that you are using can read the AMD temperatures correctly, recommended to use HWInfo and AMD Ryzen Master Utility.
bitcat70 wrote:OK, thanks! All the fans will be PWM and I'll have to play with the settings. Is this something that's done through the BIOS or a Windows utility?
I prefer pure bios fan control, once i set it its extremely rare that i change it. But there are software like SPEEDFAN or most board manufacturers have their own utilities, i don't like either, its up to you if you want to use software or bios.
bitcat70 wrote:I'm going with all PWM fans. What's the best way to control them?
Via the motherboard, you can go software or bios, but be sure to check if the headers are auto sensing or you have to set them up on the bios, this really depends on each motherboard, usually board like Asus are auto detect if the fan plugged is 3pin dc or 4pin pwm, on AsRock that you have two different headers, some are autosensing others are manually setup, MSI all are switchable on the bios, Gigabyte i think they are autosensing but i have not tested much, as all my fans atm are PWM on my the build that has a gigabyte board.
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bitcat70
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Re: Replacing Define Mini C fans for quieter operation?

Post by bitcat70 » Fri Jan 03, 2020 6:28 am

Abula wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 4:32 pm
bitcat70 wrote:How do I check that? What is the temp ceiling? Whenever I looked in Task Manager all cores/threads were pegged at 100%. Is there a better way to know that?
The temp ceiling is defined by AMD, i don't own your CPU, but search the web to see the max temperature where it still sustains the full boost, as long as you are getting that you are fine. On the past, only AMD Ryzen Master Utility and HWinfo showed the corrected temperatures, on ryzen/threadripper there was Tdie and Tctl, one had an offset, from what i have read i think ryzen3 no longer is using this offset, but find whats the real temp you are suppose to be monitoring and the check that the software that you are using can read the AMD temperatures correctly, recommended to use HWInfo and AMD Ryzen Master Utility.
bitcat70 wrote:OK, thanks! All the fans will be PWM and I'll have to play with the settings. Is this something that's done through the BIOS or a Windows utility?
I prefer pure bios fan control, once i set it its extremely rare that i change it. But there are software like SPEEDFAN or most board manufacturers have their own utilities, i don't like either, its up to you if you want to use software or bios.
bitcat70 wrote:I'm going with all PWM fans. What's the best way to control them?
Via the motherboard, you can go software or bios, but be sure to check if the headers are auto sensing or you have to set them up on the bios, this really depends on each motherboard, usually board like Asus are auto detect if the fan plugged is 3pin dc or 4pin pwm, on AsRock that you have two different headers, some are autosensing others are manually setup, MSI all are switchable on the bios, Gigabyte i think they are autosensing but i have not tested much, as all my fans atm are PWM on my the build that has a gigabyte board.
Thank you for all the information! I'll play it over the weekend.

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