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Balancing Overclocking w/ Noise on new build

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March 28, 2011 2:54:46 PM

Hi,
I'm getting a raise, and I wanted to build a new computer partially as a gaming machine, partially as a work related upgrade, but mainly as a hobbyist/enthusiast. I'm upgrading from a biostar tp45 with an E8400 processor and a Xfire 2X radeon hd4850.
I'd like to upgrade to a core-i5 2500K with a crossfire 2X 2GB radeon 6950 modded to 6970, with the 2500K OC'd to ~4+GHz. My main concern with this is the noise level. My wife & I just moved to a shared office rather than a separate offices, and this computer needs to be running as quietly as possible in there. If possible, it would be nice to get the noise levels down to my current set up, which is cooled as follows,
1) A single 120mm back case fan at 1043rpm, no intake fans
2) A xigmatek gaia cpu cooler with 120mm fan adjusted down to 1073 rpm
3) a ARCTIC COOLING Accelero S1 Rev.2 VGA Cooler without any fans.
4) Case left slightly ajar for increased air intake (current intake is paltry)
Maximum CPU temp during prime95 is 51C on one core.
Maximum GPU temp during gaming load is 83C.

I realize that asking for a near silent overclocked pc is wanting to have my cake and eat it too, but maybe, MAYBE it's not too unreasonable. I'm not looking for record breaking OC's, but I do run several scientific programs who's output are directly proportional to clockspeed, and are unthreaded, so a core i5-2500K seems like the way to go. I know the sandy bridge processors have a very low thermal envelope, and a low core voltage, so I'm thinking that I could reuse my xigmatek cooler, which I know I like, on my new box. Is this a reasonable option?
It seems like the primary generator of noise would be the 2x 6950's. Is there a quiet way to air cool these puppies, or would water cooling be a quieter way to go. It'd seem silly to me to WC a box with sandy bridge cpus, because it just doesn't seem necessary for them. But I'm willing to do it if that's required to get my graphics at a nice temp and low noise. Thanks for any help or suggestions you can come up with.
a b K Overclocking
March 29, 2011 3:19:37 AM

Wow your not asking much huh :sarcastic:  ....those 6950's are gonna be really loud .....Air cooling and WCing can be loud especially running that type of hardware...equals large Rad. with lots of Fans or a Fan going mach speed while under load....Their is a poster on here named rubix that may be able to help you with a LCS...IMO 6950' ---> 6970's are gonna be loud under load no matter the cooling solution. My single 6870 while gaming is up at like 43db @65% fan speed..... its louder than a hair dryer on low when at 100% or 5600rpm..sorry for the name drop..... rubix
a b K Overclocking
March 29, 2011 3:21:08 AM

BTW welcome to Tom's
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a c 324 K Overclocking
March 29, 2011 1:58:44 PM

Hey...I see my name up there. :)  NP...glad to help if i can.

Not sure what your budget is, but let's start with what you have available for cooling-only. Depending on $$$ available for your cooling options, let's talk about possible solutions.

Good luck, and yes...welcome.
March 30, 2011 10:13:18 PM

Thanks for offering to help. My budget for cooling is ~$250. Obviously, I don't expect air cooling to use anywhere near this much, but I'm willing to spend that, or potentially up to $300 but only if it gets near silent. I don't want to spend $200 to go from 48 dBA to 43 dBA.
April 1, 2011 6:10:23 PM

So Here's what I was thinking of doing.
Silverstone FT02 case (http://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Aluminum-Uni-Body-Com...)
Corei5-2500K
Xigmatek Gaia Cooler (It's only $30, and from reviews has better cooling than the 212, and I know from personal experience it meets my noise threshold)
Radeon HD6950 2GB w/ Accelero Extreme cooler (3 92mm fans)
--The Cooling is up for grabs. I've heard mixed reviews of the Accelero extreme in a 90 degree case. Also, The tolerance on it is very tight for fitting in the case.
Antec Truepower New tp750 750 W
Vertex 2 90gb SSD for the OS & Game programs


All the reviews I've read of the FT02 seem like it is the perfect case for noise reduction while providing excellent cooling. My major concern with this is how to cool the graphics.
!