Quiet Build

Hi Guys,

I'm looking at building a rig, I am mainly concerned about gaming performance and noise. My previous was a SLI GTX 4series and the noise drove me nuts - looking for something quiet and powerful.

Money isn't an issue. I was looking at the hardware below:

Mobo: MSI Big Bang X-Power
CPU: Intel Core i7-960 Bloomfield
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 12GB DDR3 1600
GPU: 2x Sapphire Vapor-X Radeon HD 6870 1Gb
HD: Western Digital VelociRaptor 450GB (Games, Media)
SSD: Intel X25-M 80GB (OS)


-Does anyone foresee problems running the latest games on high/1080 over the next 2 years with this setup?

-Am I correct in thinking the SSD will be better for quick random reads the OS needs, and the Raptor will be better for longer sequential reads like loading games and such?

-Can anyone recommend a mid or full-size tower that has great noise dampening? I currently have a Cosmos in the closet if nothing beats that

-Anyone have experience with the onboard sound from MSI? I've always used a Creative card so am not used to the onboard controller, any reason I shouldn't skip on the Creative for plain old 5.1 sound?

Any help on this is appreciated. Thanks guys!
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  1. Permafrost said:
    Hi Guys,

    I'm looking at building a rig, I am mainly concerned about gaming performance and noise. My previous was a SLI GTX 4series and the noise drove me nuts - looking for something quiet and powerful.

    Money isn't an issue. I was looking at the hardware below:

    Mobo: MSI Big Bang X-Power
    CPU: Intel Core i7-960 Bloomfield
    RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 12GB DDR3 1600
    GPU: 2x Sapphire Vapor-X Radeon HD 6870 1Gb
    HD: Western Digital VelociRaptor 450GB (Games, Media)
    SSD: Intel X25-M 80GB (OS)


    -Does anyone foresee problems running the latest games on high/1080 over the next 2 years with this setup?

    -Am I correct in thinking the SSD will be better for quick random reads the OS needs, and the Raptor will be better for longer sequential reads like loading games and such?

    -Can anyone recommend a mid or full-size tower that has great noise dampening? I currently have a Cosmos in the closet if nothing beats that

    -Anyone have experience with the onboard sound from MSI? I've always used a Creative card so am not used to the onboard controller, any reason I shouldn't skip on the Creative for plain old 5.1 sound?

    Any help on this is appreciated. Thanks guys!

    First, if money's not an issue and you're looking for quiet, the GTX 5xx series is quieter than the 4xx series.

    -Does anyone foresee problems running the latest games on high/1080 over the next 2 years with this setup? I think you should go with a higher-end video card if you want to crank up the details, AA and tessellation effects over the next two years. I would suggest a single 580 or 6970. Especially since you're looking for a quiet system, a single card is going to be quieter. Everything else should get you where you want to be. If you can stand it though (I know you're concerned with the noise), 2x580s are great!

    -Am I correct in thinking the SSD will be better for quick random reads the OS needs, and the Raptor will be better for longer sequential reads like loading games and such? This is exactly the strategy I use, though I use WD black rather than Raptors. Works well from a performance/load-time standpoint

    -Can anyone recommend a mid or full-size tower that has great noise dampening? I currently have a Cosmos in the closet if nothing beats that You can get kits to do this yourself. Also, quiet system fans cost more but can make a huge difference. On the other hand, that cosmos is a nice big case. Why not re-use it? That's $100-200 saved!

    -Anyone have experience with the onboard sound from MSI? I've always used a Creative card so am not used to the onboard controller, any reason I shouldn't skip on the Creative for plain old 5.1 sound? On-board sound has come a long way. It's just fine unless you're an extreme audiophile. That board uses THX-certified Quantum Wave sound. Not your average on-board sound processing!
  2. Is a single GTX 580 going to be more powerfull than 2x 6870's? If that's the case that's great, if they have improved the volume over the 400 series.

    I always hear the Vapor-X were super quiet cards, if the 580 is as quiet as that I'll be amazed.

    Thanks for the info, feel better about using onboard now!
  3. A single GTX 580 won't be more powerful than 2 6870s but 2 580s will be more powerful than 2 6870s when prices drop later in the year/early next year.

    Either way, though, you're going to get great framerates. It just depends on whether you want to forgo a little performance now for even better performance later. I'd tend to grab as much as you can in a single card now and just pop in another when the prices fall.

    Additionally, based on my own experience, the AMD drivers are buggy for crossfire setups. While I've had no issues with the drivers on my PCs with single AMD cards (4 systems with single AMD cards), I experienced various issues from screen flicker during BFBC2 and MOH at various times for 5 to 10 seconds at a time, to the 2nd GPU staying pegged at 100% load after a gaming session, to HDMI/DP audio drivers not installing on my crossfire setup. Every Catalyst Control Center and driver release seemed to ignore some issues, possibly fix an issue, and bring about more issues on my crossfire setup. It seems like people with crossfire setups were always hoping next month's drivers were going to fix their issues. I used to be one of those people. I waited for almost a year of looking forward to what next month's driver release might have to offer only to be disappointed each of those months.

    It boils down to this:

    High frames per second are good when the frames aren't bugging out on you here and there.

    When you are putting that kind of money into your graphics on a system, you shouldn't have to put up with that.

    I think that's why you pay a premium for Nvidia cards. They work as advertised whether your using one, two, or three cards. You don't have to compromise.
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