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Low-noise and high-performance gaming rig - Any probelms?

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June 11, 2012 6:56:45 PM

With some luck I will be able to afford the hardware by Christmas or the New Year. I might have the cash in my pocket by the end of summer, but that would depend on me getting some very good hours in at work, I'm currently only employed part time, and managing to sell a couple of things I'm looking to unload for a nice ideal amount of mojo. Still, I've already got about six-hundred saved up, which is no where near what I expected to have so soon, so we'll see how things progress.

As for the build, I'm pretty much dead set on the layout of the components. Just looking for an overview to make sure I'm not spending too much on something that is simply flashy and not quality. To be honest, the only thing that truly worries me is the power supply. I'd like to overclock the CPU to a stable 4.2 - 4.5 GHz and keep it there for the entire time I own the system. Even if I can't afford two cards at the initial time of purchase I will definitely be buying a second later on for SLI so the PSU will have to handle both of them overclocked to squeeze the maximum potential out of both.

Games I'll probably have in the optical drive the most: the Mass Effect trilogy, the Ultimate and GOTY editions of New Vegas and Fallout 3, the Assassin's Creed series, Arkham City, Skyrim and Oblivion, Half-Life 2, Portal 2, the Dead Space trilogy, GTA IV, Borderlands, Crysis, Crysis 2, Halo: Reach, Halo 4, BF3 ect. ect. I understand each of these games will put different stresses on my system, but I don't think it should have much trouble making most of these titles look and feel amazing, should it? I'm more worried about the capability of this setup to play a game like FO3, New Vegas, or Skyrim with multiple environmental/graphics mods in addition to other plugins like new weapons and such as well as multiple official DLC. I imagine some tuning would be in order, but will it have a lot of trouble breathing new life into those games that desparately need to be enhanced? That is really the main reason I'm willing to spend such a significat chunk of cash, aside from the ability to make Crysis look great.

Here is the build:

Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU(s): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Keyboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mouse: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mouse pad: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I will be installing everything inside of a Fractal Design Define R3 Black Pearl case along with seven Noctua NF-P12 fans. I realize that this will kinda defeat the purpose of the sound deadening material inside of the Define R3, but Noctua fans are famous for being both powerful and quiet, that and aside from the mounts for the fans the majority of the case interior will still be covered with the sound-proofing. Honestly, I'd prefer a mix of relative silence and great airflow as opposed to a practical space heater on my desk and near absolute silence.

Also, on the subject of the mouse and keyboard. I feel little need for a glow in the dark gizmo to replace either one, as I will be doing the majority of my gaming with a Xbox 360 controller plugged into one of the USB 3.0 ports on the motherboard. Never could wrap my brain and hand eye coordination around a keyboard/mouse combo for gaming. Failed miserably the few times I tried.

So, what do you think?
June 11, 2012 7:09:31 PM

TheYellowEyedMan said:
With some luck I will be able to afford the hardware by Christmas or the New Year. I might have the cash in my pocket by the end of summer, but that would depend on me getting some very good hours in at work, I'm currently only employed part time, and managing to sell a couple of things I'm looking to unload for a nice ideal amount of mojo. Still, I've already got about six-hundred saved up, which is no where near what I expected to have so soon, so we'll see how things progress.

As for the build, I'm pretty much dead set on the layout of the components. Just looking for an overview to make sure I'm not spending too much on something that is simply flashy and not quality. To be honest, the only thing that truly worries me is the power supply. I'd like to overclock the CPU to a stable 4.2 - 4.5 GHz and keep it there for the entire time I own the system. Even if I can't afford two cards at the initial time of purchase I will definitely be buying a second later on for SLI so the PSU will have to handle both of them overclocked to squeeze the maximum potential out of both.

Games I'll probably have in the optical drive the most: the Mass Effect trilogy, the Ultimate and GOTY editions of New Vegas and Fallout 3, the Assassin's Creed series, Arkham City, Skyrim and Oblivion, Half-Life 2, Portal 2, the Dead Space trilogy, GTA IV, Borderlands, Crysis, Crysis 2, Halo: Reach, Halo 4, BF3 ect. ect. I understand each of these games will put different stresses on my system, but I don't think it should have much trouble making most of these titles look and feel amazing, should it? I'm more worried about the capability of this setup to play a game like FO3, New Vegas, or Skyrim with multiple environmental/graphics mods in addition to other plugins like new weapons and such as well as multiple official DLC. I imagine some tuning would be in order, but will it have a lot of trouble breathing new life into those games that desparately need to be enhanced? That is really the main reason I'm willing to spend such a significat chunk of cash, aside from the ability to make Crysis look great.

Here is the build:

Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU(s): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Keyboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mouse: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mouse pad: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I will be installing everything inside of a Fractal Design Define R3 Black Pearl case along with seven Noctua NF-P12 fans. I realize that this will kinda defeat the purpose of the sound deadening material inside of the Define R3, but Noctua fans are famous for being both powerful and quiet, that and aside from the mounts for the fans the majority of the case interior will still be covered with the sound-proofing. Honestly, I'd prefer a mix of relative silence and great airflow as opposed to a practical space heater on my desk and near absolute silence.

Also, on the subject of the mouse and keyboard. I feel little need for a glow in the dark gizmo to replace either one, as I will be doing the majority of my gaming with a Xbox 360 controller plugged into one of the USB 3.0 ports on the motherboard. Never could wrap my brain and hand eye coordination around a keyboard/mouse combo for gaming. Failed miserably the few times I tried.

So, what do you think?


Update: Could anyone also suggest a very good, but not hugely expensive, type of security software ideal for a gaming PC? I'm pretty sure Kaspersky makes something like that, but I'm not sure. Also, a list of the programs great for keeping a gaming rig running like it should, things like CCleaner and others, would be very helpful. Basically what will work the best for a system like this and what isn't necessary.
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June 11, 2012 7:30:23 PM

Drop the sabertooth, try this :

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

560ti 448 core can be replaced by a 7850, with similar performance, and less power consumption, and less heat.

7870's can be had for a few dollars more, and are around the performance of a 580.

Your PSU is fine.

Go for a cheaper CPU Cooler.

Corsair closed loop liquid coolers work quite well, and will be cheaper. Add in 2 fans with good static pressure, and decent cfm, you'll be set.


That's just my opinion, though, so take it with a grain of salt.
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June 14, 2012 7:59:56 PM

aaronstyle said:
Drop the sabertooth, try this :

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

560ti 448 core can be replaced by a 7850, with similar performance, and less power consumption, and less heat.

7870's can be had for a few dollars more, and are around the performance of a 580.

Your PSU is fine.

Go for a cheaper CPU Cooler.

Corsair closed loop liquid coolers work quite well, and will be cheaper. Add in 2 fans with good static pressure, and decent cfm, you'll be set.


That's just my opinion, though, so take it with a grain of salt.


I'll probably stick with the Sabertooth. Not knocking your opinion, just my personal preference. That and the other motherboard you suggested dosen't seem to have SLI support, or did I miss something? AMD makes great video cards, but I don't much like them. Just simply prefer Nvidia. Not too thrilled about liquid or water cooling either. What is the real, huge advantage over good air cooling?
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June 15, 2012 12:25:46 PM

just saying, i cant find any define r3s out there. it seems that frcal isnt making ore and they are making the r4.

heres the better build

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/ab8P

just saying. the stock fans in the fractal define r3 is extremely silent. more silent than the noctua fans. do not add anymore fans. the fractal stock configuration is already very good.

to comment my build choices

the sabertooth is pretty much a big gimmick and not worth the money. the asrock extreme4 hs the same features for less

if you can find the define r3 for sale, go ahead and get it.

if you are to put aftermarket fans (just put 1 fan at the top of the case as exhaust, one on the side panel as intake, and one in the front for intake), remove the fan in the back of the case. it will cause some turbulence with the nh-d14.

also, i dont think pcs can play halo 3 or something along the lines of xbox games

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Best solution

June 15, 2012 1:38:03 PM

I recently finished doing the research required to put together my new quiet-yet-powerful gaming rig. Ordered it yesterday, will be getting it sometime next week. I went for the Define Design R3 with the NH-D14, and will be replacing the R3's stock fans with 3 Noctua NF-S12B-FLX.

Fratcal Design does make very good and quiet fans, but they're not the ones that come with the R3.
There are some posts regarding the stock fans of the R3 on silentpcreview, I'd recommend that you run a search, read them and decide whether they'll be good enough for you. Remember that quiet is a relative thing, it depends on your own sensitivity to noise and the ambient noise levels around you.

This Cooling Fan Roundup (2012) done by 4Ryan6 contains very useful information:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/331629-28-cooling-rou...

In my opinion, if you're spending your hard-earned money on a great gaming rig for your enjoyment, and noise will detract from it, spending some more on good and quiet fans is an important investment. That is, if you think the stock fans won't do.
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June 20, 2012 1:16:49 PM

Stormborn said:
I recently finished doing the research required to put together my new quiet-yet-powerful gaming rig. Ordered it yesterday, will be getting it sometime next week. I went for the Define Design R3 with the NH-D14, and will be replacing the R3's stock fans with 3 Noctua NF-S12B-FLX.

Fratcal Design does make very good and quiet fans, but they're not the ones that come with the R3.
There are some posts regarding the stock fans of the R3 on silentpcreview, I'd recommend that you run a search, read them and decide whether they'll be good enough for you. Remember that quiet is a relative thing, it depends on your own sensitivity to noise and the ambient noise levels around you.

This Cooling Fan Roundup (2012) done by 4Ryan6 contains very useful information:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/331629-28-cooling-rou...

In my opinion, if you're spending your hard-earned money on a great gaming rig for your enjoyment, and noise will detract from it, spending some more on good and quiet fans is an important investment. That is, if you think the stock fans won't do.


My new build: Define R3, with a Corsair H80 and two Noctua NF-P12 fans mounted on it blowing air out the back of the case, two more NF-P12 fans on the front as intake and one more intake Noctua in the bottom mount location. I'll now have a Galaxy GTX 670 as my video card, did some research and found that I actually should be able to afford it when I went for a cheaper motherboard and less expensive on the other components. Anyway, the GTX 670 is supposed to blow the majority of the heat it generates out the back of the case much like a standard exhaust fan, so that should eliminate a considerable amount of the heat generated by the video card. I'm considering adding a second NF-P12 at the top, rear mount location as well, so that I can create a short of dual exhaust zone back there. Thoughts?
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June 20, 2012 1:40:26 PM

TheBigTroll said:
just saying, i cant find any define r3s out there. it seems that frcal isnt making ore and they are making the r4.

heres the better build

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/ab8P

just saying. the stock fans in the fractal define r3 is extremely silent. more silent than the noctua fans. do not add anymore fans. the fractal stock configuration is already very good.

to comment my build choices

the sabertooth is pretty much a big gimmick and not worth the money. the asrock extreme4 hs the same features for less

if you can find the define r3 for sale, go ahead and get it.

if you are to put aftermarket fans (just put 1 fan at the top of the case as exhaust, one on the side panel as intake, and one in the front for intake), remove the fan in the back of the case. it will cause some turbulence with the nh-d14.

also, i dont think pcs can play halo 3 or something along the lines of xbox games


I'm not sure what you mean by a PC can't play Halo 3 or Xbox games? Did you mean you can't play a 360 game with a PC? Thats obvious, but I don't see where you could have gotten that from what I posted. Every game I listed is currently on the market, or due to be released some time soon, for PC as well as consoles.

On the subject of the Sabertooth, I've looked around NewEgg some more and found a remarkably feature rich and capable MSI motherboard for only one-hundred and fifty. Still like the Sabertooth, but it has some stuff on it I'll probably never use, that and I can likely afford a GTX 670 if I go with the MSI board, so win win.
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July 5, 2012 1:20:44 PM

Best answer selected by TheYellowEyedMan.
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