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Need help making a quiet gaming PC

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July 7, 2011 5:09:23 PM

Hi all, I'd really appreciate some help getting together my new build. Had a read of the FAQ and the answers are given below, but I'll give some details now.

My current build died a few days ago, its a Phenom 9950 with dual 8800 GT's. Decided to ditch it entirely as I was never happy with it, will end up being used for parts for a backup PC.


My main uses for my PC are gaming (mainly MMO's... but no, not that one) and writing. Looking forward to SWTOR, hoping to have this system last quite a while. I've decided to make a quiet build as I'm sick of noisy fans. Real immersion breaker for MMO's and a pain to concentrate when writing.

Was looking at the i5-2500k chip as I'm told this is a good value card and able to be overclocked quite easily?


Main points : Must include main drive SSD (thinking of the x-25m 160gb?) quiet PSU, fanless heatsink (maybe the Scythe NCU-2000?), Quiet tower case with plenty of space. Fan controller and quiet internal fans.


I will be purchasing a Powercolor 6850 SCS passive model as I'm informed this is the fastest passive card available on the market currently. Already have a 27" monitor ready for it. Could be persuaded to go Crossfire immediately on the 6850's if I was sure they'd fit in the case I'd get.... the passive models are pretty huge and I'm unsure if you could do that on most cases, let alone fit any extra cooling to the GPU's.




Approximate Purchase Date: This week


Budget Range: £1200


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (Occasional FPS, mainly MMO), Writing


Parts Not Required: Keyboard... no point, I spill too much coffee I'll just buy £5 ones, and monitor


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: www.ebuyer.co.uk, www.dabs.com, www.ccl-computers.co.uk


Country of Origin: UK


Overclocking: Maybe


SLI or Crossfire: Maybe


Monitor Resolution: 27" 1920x1200





Any help HIGHLY appreciated!


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More about : making quiet gaming

July 7, 2011 5:29:43 PM

Whats the sound output of those beasts like? I'll be honest, I think i'm at the point where i'd I'd trade cutting edge for quietness.... hence looking at the 6850 passive model.

I did hear the 6950 can be 'unlocked' to the 6970 though, is that still true?
July 7, 2011 5:36:52 PM

Thanks for the quick replies mate. If indeed I would struggle at 1080p with the 6850's then I may not bother with them. Anyone have any experience with passive cooled GPU's at 1080p?
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a b 4 Gaming
July 7, 2011 5:43:03 PM

When it comes to the processor there really is two ways that we can go. The Intel® Core™ i5-2500K is about the best gaming processor on the market; the only problem with it is that it has a TDP of 95w. So unless you get a good quality HSF (heatsink/fan), it may need a led to a little more noise. The other path that you might trying to go down is with a less powerful processor but one that has a lower TDP, like the newly released Intel Core i5-2405S. The Intel Core i5-2405S comes with the Intel HD 3000 graphics and only has a TDP of 65w. This means that it will be much easier to keep it cool and in the end less noise.

Christain Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
July 7, 2011 5:47:03 PM

Thanks for the informative reply Christain. My original idea was to use a Scythe NCU-2000 on the i2500k, and potentially overclocking it. I'm guessing that wouldn't be recommended given the high TDP?
July 7, 2011 6:27:19 PM

If you go with the 2500K I'd suggest the Antec H20 620 for quiet. I have modded the radiator with a second fan in a push-pull configuration and, because I am using fans that produce <20 dB the cooling runs very quiet.
a b 4 Gaming
July 7, 2011 7:01:20 PM

I have the Intel® Core™ i7-2600K and am using the Cooler Master Hyper 212+ on it. I have replaced the main 120mm fan with a quite 120MM fan and added the second 120mm fan to it and it is very quite. So it really comes down to case, air flow, and how hard you are working the processor. One other area that can make a big difference in keeping your system quite is using a SSD as a boot drive.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
July 7, 2011 8:07:02 PM

thanks guys, will check out those suggestions while im researching my build
a b 4 Gaming
July 7, 2011 8:45:48 PM

Start with a quiet case .
The Antec P183 V3 would be my choice .

The 2500K with an aftermarket midrange cooler should be fine . It might have a 95 watt TDP but when not under load its going to go no where near that figure. Under intense gaming it might make more noise but at those times you are less likely to notice and the case will dampen noise anyway

Use a single gfx card set up , and add a very large aftermarket cooler . Some are 3 slot options with multiple fans . Out of the box it will keep the card much cooler ... but drop the fan speed so the temps are the same as stock and it will be silent [ or very close to it ]. This might be compatible with your gfx card . You'd have to check
http://www.thinkcomputers.org/silenx-ixtrema-ixg-80ha2-...
There are other alternatives

Use an SSD as a boot drive . No moving parts , no noise . Add a WD green hard drive for mass data storage which will be quieter than a performance hard drive

Power supplies its hard to go past seasonic . I have the seasonic built Corsair HX 620 and the first time I plugged it in I had to pick it up and see the fan was spinning . it made no noise or vibration what so ever
July 10, 2011 6:44:02 AM

thanks all some valuable info here, highly appreciated. Got a partial build together now, but have decided not to go totally quiet
!