Mike Chin will be a guest on the ASUS Straight Edge podcast

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Geoff@ASUS
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Mike Chin will be a guest on the ASUS Straight Edge podcast

Post by Geoff@ASUS » Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:09 am

In the early days, PCs were judged on how loud they were. If your rig didn't howl like a fighter jet preparing for takeoff, it probably wasn't very fast. But chips got cooler as technology progressed. The fans got quieter, and the algorithms behind them got smarter. Although modern PCs are still judged on how much noise they generate, the scale has reversed. If your rig emanates more than a low hum when idling, you're doing it wrong. Even at full tilt, there's no reason for PCs to be oppressively loud.

ASUS is passionate about making PCs quieter, and so is Silent PC Review's Mike Chin, whose site has been at the forefront of the quiet computing revolution for over a decade. Mike will be joining us on the next ASUS Straight Edge podcast to share his insights on silencing your PC. We'll also be answering your questions on the subject, so chime in below if there's anything you want to know about fan controls, cooler designs, case configurations, or other factors that affect your machine's noise output. We'll answer as many of your questions as we can.

If you'd like to suggest topics for future Straight Edge podcasts, be sure to post your ideas in this thread. And don't forget to check out our first episode on the Z170 platform.
Last edited by Geoff@ASUS on Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mike Chin will be a guest on the ASUS Straight Edge podc

Post by MikeC » Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:24 am

For those SPCR forum members who see vendor propaganda everywhere, yeah, well this might be construed as another, but it has my participation & approval, so it's all AOK. :lol: :wink:

I'm pleased to see ASUS continuing efforts to improve features that help with PC acoustics, and we've long noted that the fan control systems in their motherboards are just about the best in the biz.

PS -- Only one minor miss in your post, Geoff: SPCR was born well over a decade ago. 13.5 yrs, to be precise.
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Re: Mike Chin will be a guest on the ASUS Straight Edge podc

Post by Geoff@ASUS » Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:36 am

Mea culpa--didn't notice the option to expand the article list beyond 20 ;)

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Re: Mike Chin will be a guest on the ASUS Straight Edge podc

Post by CA_Steve » Tue Dec 01, 2015 3:12 pm

Here's a buried treasure from the OCN Z170 thread: A link to Asus Z170 mobos' Fan Control Guide.

Great writeup that answers all the frequently asked questions.

Here's my Asus specific q's:

- Moving many of the Fan Xpert's capabilities into the BIOS gets three cheers from me. Adding hysteresis is the cherry on top. Do the H and B series also have this feature set or is it a Z170 only thing?

- The last few generations of Intel CPUs have been all about power efficiency. On the desktop we've seen idle power drop 5-10W for every new platform with similar component builds. The 50W idle of Sandy Bridge can get down to 20W with Skylake. However, it seems the Asus Z170 boards have bloated up a bit in idle power compared to your competitors. Don't know if it's in component selection or power management architecture (maybe great for wild OC). The typical SPCR user just wants a decent component build/feature set for a low power/silent build (lower power -> lower temps -> less cooling/quieter fans). Share your thoughts?
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)

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Re: Mike Chin will be a guest on the ASUS Straight Edge podc

Post by MikeC » Thu Dec 03, 2015 6:19 am

Electronic whining noise: I expected someone to mention this but no one has so I'll volunteer. A few years ago, I identified coil noise as the biggest challenge for PC silencers and general computer users alike. (see viewtopic.php?f=12&t=63610) Coil noise is a bit misleading because this high pitched seems to come as often from capacitors as well.

The point is that even mass market PCs are quiet enough today that high frequency electronic noise (HFEN) is no longer as masked as before and more audible to increasing numbers of people. It comes most often from power circuitry in PSUs, motherboards and video cards. Such noise from monitors both CRT and LCD screens is much less common than it used to be, judging by our experience in the lab and in the long thread here on users reporting monitor noise. (see viewtopic.php?f=19&t=50879 )

The subjective reaction to HFEN is virtually universal -- it drives everyone crazy. Not everyone hears it but and don't be misled into thinking that if it is high pitched, lots of folks, especially older people, won't be able to hear it: The actual frequency can be as low as below 2000Hz. Remember that 440Hz is middle A, and 4000Hz is the highest note on a piano, so 2000Hz is only one octave down from that. Just about anyone can hear that even at a pretty low SPL. It's in the frequency band where our hearing is most sensitive. Sometimes the noise seems to be well above 10kHz. It's also not always a pure tone; there many be several audible harmonics. (Different multiples of the core frequency)

With SPCR's long DIY tradition, you would expect we've developed reliable solutions but other than the hit-n-miss technique of glob the offensive part with hot glue & keep your fingers crossed technique, this problem is very resistant to user problem solving. It really needs attention of the people who design, manufacture & test the gear.

So has ASUS identified this problem? In which product categories? How is it being tackled? What of end user complaints with whining products?
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Re: Mike Chin will be a guest on the ASUS Straight Edge podc

Post by CA_Steve » Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:52 am

One of the more frustrating parts of HFEN is the variable interactivity among components (PSU, mobo, Gfx card). Some gfx cards may whine with only some PSUs, etc.
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)

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Re: Mike Chin will be a guest on the ASUS Straight Edge podc

Post by CA_Steve » Thu Dec 03, 2015 8:30 am

Here's a topic that's not silent PC question per se, but one of interest for many SPCR member's builds. We have a lot of digital audio and video workstation users coming here to help with silent builds. One of the more obscure specs important for them is deferred procedure call latency. While the CPU chipset drives most of the DPC Latency (I'm looking at you, Intel 8 series), there seems to be a fair bit of variation between vendors and models.

1) What impacts DPC Latency from a mobo design/component selection?
2) Is the variation we see in site reviews inherent in the spec or the test or is it more due to 1)?
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)

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Re: Mike Chin will be a guest on the ASUS Straight Edge podc

Post by CA_Steve » Thu Dec 03, 2015 1:57 pm

Stock Gfx cards are inevitably the loudest component in a SPCR tuned build. A lot of times, the card has an excellent cooling solution, but is limited by a high minimum fan speed. Take a look at the GTX 980 Strix. Excellent cooling solution, lovely passive performance for 2D and light 3D loads, but it's stuck with ~730-740rpm minimum fan speed. For inaudible, it probably needs to dial down to 500rpm. Chances are, many games and applications will drive the card hard enough to run the fans but not hard enough to require a windtunnel. Besides, this is what fan profiles are for. :)

How about a discussion on fans with lower start up speeds?
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)

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Re: Mike Chin will be a guest on the ASUS Straight Edge podc

Post by khaakon » Fri Dec 04, 2015 3:14 am

MikeC wrote:I'm pleased to see ASUS continuing efforts to improve features that help with PC acoustics, ...

+1 I'd be happy to see ASUS continue to chase this section of computer /mobo designs, other companies may only later see the benefits this means to the end user.
CA_Steve wrote:Do the H and B series also have this feature set or is it a Z170 only thing?
The typical SPCR user just wants a decent component build/feature set for a low power/silent build (lower power -> lower temps -> less cooling/quieter fans). Share your thoughts?
Yes, please. Good fan control should be a basic feature, should have been sorted easily years ago by motherboard producing companies. Even advanced fan control would have been a common feature by now if the companies had gotten their **** together - looking at the every other advanced feature and the gigahertzes and the fiddlybits they put a lot of effort into - I'm seriously shocked nobody grabbed this low-hanging fruit earlier. I mean, we're talking cheap circuitry here, and then just a certainly small bit of well designed software/firmware.

A tip from me for advanced fan control would be a way for s/w to identify which temp sensors are affected by which fans and make that more transparent for the user, and maybe exercise manual control over it. Do not make every fan controllable only by cpu temp (?). And for gods sake, ASUS, include the graphics card in the fan control s/w, I've been bying same brand gfx card and m/b for years, silly me - I kind of expected them to work in some kind of harmony ;-) (even if you need to safeguard it somehow for perf/temp).
Also make your m/b software suite as lightwheight(processes and startup) and modular as you can, and then some. Pretty please with sugar on top.

+1 on your post on HFEN, MikeC. Exited to see any response.

+1 on what CA_Steve says about silent HTPCs and Audio PC's latency issues. I guess drivers and firmware has a lot to do with it. I'm gonna help a friend with highfidelities(diagnosed) to build a silent thingy.

I dunno if this is a farout idea, but about 'clicking' fan noise; in pwm, could the actual waveform of the pulse be of any significance? If it were to be 'polished' - or specifically shaped to make the motor circuitry not having to deal with a 'sharp' on/off command. Or is all that just happening in the motors components?
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Re: Mike Chin will be a guest on the ASUS Straight Edge podc

Post by khaakon » Fri Dec 04, 2015 3:57 am

Ok, more wild thoughts;

Really, really, really smart fan control could have a calibrations phase using different load scenarios, then registering temp sensors on graphs while controlling the fans (after determining fans characteristics ofc) to interpret fan placement, and task (in/out). This could take a while because of the nature of temps rising sinking, and all the possible scenarios. Some qualified guessing has to be done regards which temp sensors are where, and yes there might be too few temp sensors to really make this work, but there's also temp sensors on drives and addin [gfx]cards. Good AI should be able to make clever scenarios to control the computers internal temperatures. And then, make it super-smart, so it can check itself, if it cocked it up somehow and must restart calibration or reset to some default behaviour.

Eh.. if s/w does this already, you can start to push the limits, or make it available to end users (w/ warnings perhaps)
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Re: Mike Chin will be a guest on the ASUS Straight Edge podc

Post by MikeC » Mon Dec 21, 2015 6:54 pm

The ASUS Podcast is live. All the questions in this thread tackled, iirc. Mostly your questions, Steve. 8)

Q&A session

21:57~ 24:44 Fan controls on H170/B150 series vs Z170

24:44~27:30 ASUS MB power consumption

27:30~32:07 DPC latency

32:07~40:40 Inductor noise aka coil whine from GPUs, PSUs, and MBs

40:40~45:58 GPU fan control range

45:58~47:37 Fan control suggestions for ASUS

47:37~52:35 AIOs for GPUs

52:35 ~ 1:00:43 Fan filters
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Re: Mike Chin will be a guest on the ASUS Straight Edge podc

Post by CA_Steve » Mon Dec 21, 2015 9:10 pm

Wait! I have more! ;)
......................................

Rajinder and Geoff, thanks for the answers/response.
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)

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Re: Mike Chin will be a guest on the ASUS Straight Edge podc

Post by BillyBuerger » Tue Dec 22, 2015 5:01 pm

That was a really good listen. I hope ASUS does follow through with some of the things they said they were working on.

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Re: Mike Chin will be a guest on the ASUS Straight Edge podc

Post by Gunbuster » Wed Dec 23, 2015 8:30 am

Really good listen. Geoff@ASUS I hope you stick around here

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Re: Mike Chin will be a guest on the ASUS Straight Edge podc

Post by SometimesWarrior » Wed Dec 23, 2015 11:39 pm

Excellent show! CA_Steve asked some great questions that have puzzled me for a long time, and the answers were really informative. Everyone (except Kermit... :mrgreen: ) had good "radio" voices and suitable microphones, which made it easy for me to listen to the full show.

I look forward to Straight Edge episode 3! I started listening to the first episode, but I think Raja's mic was mis-positioned or missing a pop filter. Yep, it figures that someone who loiters around a silent PC forum is also overly sensitive to recording problems... :roll:

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Re: Mike Chin will be a guest on the ASUS Straight Edge podc

Post by SST Guy » Wed Dec 23, 2015 11:50 pm

Thanks to Mike for mentioning SilverStone toward the end of the podcast. Like he said, we were one of the companies that heavily promoted using filters on cases, so it’s difficult for us to turn back as we have lots of happy customers now that appreciate having them. Here is one that posted today for example:
http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1886196

Quoting the second poster there:

“I went with the Raven case and honestly, it is the best case I have ever had for staying clean. I clean the filters about once a month, but I have never had to clean out the inside of the case, even after 4 years of constant use. I just added a new SSD and video card recently, prompting me to open the case and route some cables and such, and it is still clean on the inside.”

Our RAVEN cases had so much extra cooling power that most people don’t need, so having filters with a positive pressure scheme was a good way to utilize that untapped performance. Guess the only concession we can make for now is to design filters that are easy to remove so for those that don’t need them, they can be taken out easily without compromising overall function of the case!

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Re: Mike Chin will be a guest on the ASUS Straight Edge podc

Post by SometimesWarrior » Thu Dec 24, 2015 2:58 am

Following up on my last post: I listened to episode one despite the recording issues. Totally worth it! It's so refreshing to hear Asus' technical advocates speak critically of their own marketing, and explain things with more detail and less spin than any of the major review sites. Raja has somehow talked me into X99 and out of Thunderbolt. Geoff stunned me when he admitted that there's almost no performance difference between SSD's for most desktop applications: I checked his Tech Report articles to confirm that, yes, I really was a chump for reading AnandTech's SSD reviews instead. :P

It makes a difference that you guys are doing this show. It's already my favorite tech enthusiast resource since Lost Circuits. I had a bad Asus customer service experience in the past, but now I'm gonna resume buying Asus parts again.

Can I request an episode three topic? I would love to hear about the causes of frame-hitching. For example, when I look at Eurogamer's Digital Foundry CPU benchmarks, I often see that even if a 6700K has "minimum" 85 FPS and a 2500K has "minimum" 65 FPS, they both still occasionally stutter with 30-50 ms frames. It discourages me from upgrading because the gaming experience looks like it would be equally flawed on a 60 Hz monitor. Would an X99 system be better? I've seen some worrisome forum threads about "X99 micro-stutter".

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Re: Mike Chin will be a guest on the ASUS Straight Edge podc

Post by MikeC » Thu Dec 24, 2015 10:05 am

SST Guy wrote:Thanks to Mike for mentioning SilverStone toward the end of the podcast. Like he said, we were one of the companies that heavily promoted using filters on cases, so it’s difficult for us to turn back as we have lots of happy customers now that appreciate having them.....
It was an almost automatic association -- you guys were one of the first to get totally systematic about it and remain proactive with new filter materials, etc.

One thing I didn't mention, obvious to most here, is that a passively cooled "external heatsink casing" enclosure obviates the need for any dust filters. Of course, with Zalman's big TNN cases long out of the scene, there's really no fanless option for any system that use even a semi-serious discrete video card.
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Re: Mike Chin will be a guest on the ASUS Straight Edge podc

Post by raja@asus » Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:55 am

Episode 3 is now live!!


The ASUS Straight Edge podcast returns with a new episode featuring longtime Intel PR manager Dan Snyder, and strategic marketing lead for enthusiasts, Aaron Mcgavock. With 40 years of experience at Intel between them, Dan and Aaron have lots of insights related to tech and media to share. We present our questions and yours, to dig deep and get the nitty gritty details. These guys both have engineering backgrounds - this is not an episode to miss!



Click here to listen to the podcast!

Timeline

Intro and guest bio 0:00~2:04

History

Intel’s game changing architecture – Conroe 2:04~5:25
Changes in tech media/PR 5:25 ~ 8:18

Future

Where do Intel see the desktop market going over the next 5 years? 8:18~10:56
What’s the long-term outlook for HEDT product line? 10:56~13:30

Chipset release cadence

Why are enthusiast platforms updated slower than desktop platforms? 13:30~15:40

Overclocking

Intel’s changing stance on overclocking 15:40~18:30
Why are Xeon CPUs locked? 18:30~21:20
Why did Intel remove overclocking from non-K CPUs? 21:20~24:05
What’s the best way to stress test a CPU? 24:05~26:30
What determines the choice of thermal interface material for various CPUs? 26:30~29:40
What determines the gap between the CPU die and IHS? 29:40~34:21
Outside of silicon design, what can be done to improve CPU performance? 34:22~35:39
6700K overclocking – why are yields so good? 35:39~37:21

VR & Gaming

Why do K series CPUs have an IGP? 37:25~40:33
How can Intel help improve VR performance? 40:33~43:20

Mobile

Intel’s Speedshift versus SpeedStep – what’s the difference? 43:21~47:20
Will there be a Skylake phone? Is making one possible given there is a Core M compute stick? 47:21~48:40

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