My current system isnt that loud during the day when there is ambient noise, but I leave my computer on 24/7 and its just not nice during the night to hear the constant buzzing/shaking/grinding of the fans...
For my next build I'd like to get something that is as silent as possible without compromising the performance.
I guess the first thing to look into is the case... what case should I get?
I'd like to avoid those Alien looking L33T HaX0R Gl0W iN Ze D4Rk cases, unless they are really worth it then I dont mind. I like more sober/clean designs, like apple stuff for example. Regardless, the main aspects is not the esthetics, its the airflow/accoustic performances.
Then is the powersupply... In all my past system, my PSU ended up failing at some point, luckily my last PSU was an antec and the waranty was still good when it failed so i got a new one for free. The point is, I'd like a really good and silent power supply, I hope this time I wont have problems with it. it needs to be powerfull enough to support my other components...
For the CPU, my new build will feature a i5 2500k intel , which I will overclock.
I do not know which heatsink i'll choose, but it needs to be decent enough to allow me to overclock nicely but at the same time be as silent as possible. My friend has been talking to me about watercooling and i dont know, the whole idea of water in my computer isnt appealing to me, and i really dont want to have to do any sort of maintenance or whatever. I am open to the idea, but i need more info, research and consider how much it would cost.
I will be using 2-3 storage drives : 1 ssd, 2 hdd (which I already own).
I will be getting a decent GPU, I use my computer for work but I also play a lot of games, so either a dual gpu card, or some sli setup perhaps.
Any recommendations appreciated. overall, I am hoping to keep the cost of the whole system to 2000$ or less.
I was gonna recommend something until I read "i really dont want to have to do any sort of maintenance or whatever." ANY computer needs maintenance. Be it software (update) or hardware (blowing dust out of the case into a running vaccum). Also, you're talking about overclocking. It's not a one-time deal. You NEED to watch for any signs of instability constantly. When it happens, you NEED to act fast or you will cause permanent damage to the hardware. That's why I don't recommend overclocking anymore since some modern day cpus can do turbo. Yes, i5 2500k can o/c itself from 3.3 to 3.7ghz on stock cooling. AMD has 1 or 2.
There's prebuilt watercooling. Nothing to assemble other than installing the cpu block with a built-in pump & radiator.
What I meant by not wanting to do any maintenance is that i didnt want to add maintenance due to a water cooler...
I dont want to worry about any water leaks, or replacing the tubes, or whatever extra maintenance water cooling might require...
Also, I bring my computer to lan parties sometimes, and I take care when I move the case but in the car there is the occasional bump, i dont want to have to worry about leaks or whatever...
I just dont know much about water cooling but to me it seems like a hassle and less safe... but i might be totally wrong.
The silverstone is really expensive, even though it looks like a higher end case, im not sure it is worth the money, it is more than double the fractal design case... Although i do not need to purchase any additional fans with it. Since i would probably get 1 extra fan for the 2 others ( as they only come only with 2 fans ) I am thinking that the Fractal R3 is best as it would come to ~140$ with an extra fan and the Antec would be 175$ ...
By the way, any recommendation for the additional fan ? is it really necessary ?
I am still missing 2 other noise generating things though , the video card and the heatsink... I'd like to spend 300$ or less for the graphic card, and as little as possible on the heatsink as long as it offers good cooling with very low noise.
Maybe a Radeon HD 6950 1gb ?
I'd appreciate your inputs on all this guys, thanks !
For a prebuilt w/c kit, I recommend h70. Yes, I have installed one for a friend on a i5. The install was a breeze, compared to DIY w/c kit. However, the bundled fans can be replaced to any 120mm/12cmx25mm case fans. The performance can be improved. Look for a high cfm & low dba case fan or 2 if you want a pull-push setup.
IMO, all 3 cases are bad choices for lan parties. I'd get a CM Storm Scout with large handles at the top. You can lug it around anywhere easily. The 3 cases you listed will be difficult to handle cuz you don't want to scratch/dent the case cuz they're expensive. Silverstone Fortress FT02B has the loudest case fans. You'll hear 'em. Anything over 20 dba is audible. The other 2 cases don't list the dba. Maybe even louder than Fortress.
Yes Canadian $ but exchange rate is practically the same, so it doesnt make a difference, as long as it can be shipped ( affordably ) to canada. That being said, I will most likely be buying all my hardware from 2 of these 3 places depending on which offer best deals : directcanada.com, ncix.com or newegg.ca
I'm not sure water cooling ( the h70 ) is worth it, it is 100$, and according to the specs the noise level is 26 to 31 dba, which means it is kinda loud ? Plus if i need to buy a new fan that is quieter thats at least another 25$. For that price or cheaper I can probably get a heatsink/fan that runs quiet and is just as good for cooling.
For the case, you are right, all 3 cases mentioned arent lan party cases, but its not a big deal because the main concern for the case is the airflow/accoustic performances.
I go to lan parties maybe 2-4 times per year, so I can live without any handles... Although, handles would be nice and that got me thinking...
Are there any Quiet cases with handles ?
Well I dont know if they are quiet, but their style appeals to me much more than the CM Storm Scout :
BitFenix Survivor 137$
I like the look of this case, but from what I've read it is quite a hassle to open up the case, clean the filters and close everything back, you need to remove the corner panel which has 2 screws ( need a screw driver ) ... thats a turn off... but the case really looks good and the handle is collapsible. It is also very compact which for me is a plus. I dont know if the case is good at dampening noise though... It is not being marketed as a quiet pc case. Although it has a huge top 200mm exhaust fan and another 200mm front intake fan, which from what I understand about fans, the larger they are, the easier they move air without spinning fast = the less noise they make, so it has potential as a quiet case ? I am a bit worried about airflow though, there is only 1 intake and 1 exhaust, meaning that this is not enough to create positive airflow... I also dont know if the huge fans are always spinning at full speed or if there speed is adjusted depending on the temperatures...
I don't disagree with air cooling, but you asked about h20 cooling, and I answered. An air cooler would be safer for a lanparty rig.
That's not a bad case. You're correct about large fans being quieter. The official site doesn't mention the dba. I don't know for sure it'll be quiet. If the specs don't mention adjustable, it most likely isn't adjustable. It's not a big deal. You can buy a fan voltage or speed controller. ncix doesn't have any cheap one.
I dont know if the speed of the fans adjust depending on the temperatures...
The case only comes with 1 front intake and 1 top exhaust... there are no back exhaust so i'd probably buy a super quiet 120mm fan for the back ( dont know which one ) ... but this will create a negative pressure airflow, so i dont know if its a good ideal, from what I read everywhere positive airflow is better...
IMO, a pc at stock speed needs only 1 exhaust fan. OEM pcs are built that way for who knows how long. If you plan to overclock, you need better cooling than stock. The Zalman fan speed controller will need a fan with 3 pins. I don't know if that case uses 3-pin or 4-pin connectors. 4-pin means max voltage = max speed/noise. 3-pin can be plugged into the mobo which should be able to control speed in BIOS. It depends on the mobo. A fan speed controller will guarantee that you can control the fan speed at will.