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Quiet Build in the $1300 Range

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August 16, 2012 5:25:13 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Before September 1st so I can use Amazon to avoid Tax

Budget Range: Flexible at $1300. Don't want to rely on rebates too much

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, School(Engineering Programs such as AutoCAD, Solidworks, Matlab)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon and Microcenter. Willing to use Newegg but I have to pay more in tax.

Parts Preferences: Intel/Nvidia

Overclocking: Slight overclock without increasing voltage

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe later

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Focus is on silence without unreasonably high temps as I do live in Southern California and summers are hot

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100 92.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($107.49 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($144.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($84.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Intel 330 Series 180gb SSD (Already own)
Videocard: 660ti once it's released (Approx. $349.99)
Case: Corsair 550D ATX Mid Tower Case ($139.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($93.12 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($64.95 @ Microsoft Student)
Fans: Corsair SP120 x2 for the h100, Corsair Af120 x2 for intake, and Corsair Af140 for Exhaust(All Quiet)($74.69 @ Amazon)
Total after Tax and Rebates: $1332.46

I'd just like some overall feedback. I think my biggest dilemmas are: the case choice between the Fractal R4 and 550d, choice of fans, and choice of cpu cooler(h100 vs h80 vs Air). I'm also contemplating an I7 but would rather use the money saved elsewhere because I doubt I will need it during school and I plan on a new build in 3 years when I graduate and get a job.

Thanks for the responses

More about : quiet build 1300 range

August 16, 2012 5:55:12 AM

Quote:
I'd just like some overall feedback. I think my biggest dilemmas are: the case choice between the Fractal R4 and 550d, choice of fans, and choice of cpu cooler(h100 vs h80 vs Air). I'm also contemplating an I7 but would rather use the money saved elsewhere because I doubt I will need it during school and I plan on a new build in 3 years when I graduate and get a job.


That's a good start. I'd completely scrap the idea of getting a closed liquid block when they're the very low end of the liquid cooling spectrum. If you go liquid - go with a full custom loop or not at all. There's no closed block that will be better than the strongest air fan you can get. It also makes no sense whatsoever to spend $75 on fans on a $1300 budget when you can only get as many fans as your case has mounts for.

And 16GB of RAM just isn't needed for a gaming build. Drop that to 8GB and upgrade your GPU to a GTX 670.
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August 16, 2012 6:00:02 AM

How RAM-intensive are the programs you use OP?
August 16, 2012 6:04:12 AM

azeem40 said:
How RAM-intensive are the programs you use OP?


Believe me, I work in an engineering firm - the current versions of Autocad and Solidworks I've got to run on PCs that are like 5 - 6 years old. It's when you need intensive redraws and things like that that the beefier CPU and RAM are needed.
August 16, 2012 6:18:05 AM

I am working on noise reduction myself, and my case is a HAF 922.

You have a great case there, but you are sacrificing airflow for silence. You have a card like the 660 Ti in there, when you play games like BF3 or newer market fps games, the temps will reach 90 degrees celsius, which isn't a bad temp, but you'll end up with a REALLY noisy fan being used at 100% speed that sounds like a jet being taken off. There isn't a case to fully supress the noise of this graphics card's fan. These high end graphics card fans are noisy. Their fan model is crap. I suggest changing out the cooler for your graphics card to an aftermarket cooler like gelid or arctic cooling, or zalman, which works at more quieter fan speeds. You could consider getting an antec kuhler 620 or some h80, h70 and then using zip ties to mount it to the graphics card and buying stick-on gpu memory heatsinks, but the aftermarket air coolers will work good enough.

You picked the h100 for a cpu cooler. I suggest getting the Noctua Nh-d14 air cooler, as it is quieter and has better cooling performance on load. This is the best air cooler and it is so good that it can run passive with just the case airflow! But I suggest using the fans it comes with and setting them to low speeds to medium speed, which is still silent.


These closed loop aftermarket water coolers are really crappy. If you want watercooling, I suggest getting an XSPC rasa kit, which is a water cooling kit that comes with everything you need for your own custom water cooling kit. Cheapest one costs 120 dollars, and it can be found on frozencpu. It works good, since it's custom water cooling. If you want to get custom water cooling, you might as well get one with a double rad, so I suggest something a bit more expensive.

cheapest kit
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/16126/ex-wat-214/XSPC...

better kit
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/16891/ex-wat-219/XSPC...

If you want to add VGA cooling, buy a VGA block, and get a triple rad, like this, but it wont be necessary, unless you want.
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/16892/ex-wat-220/XSPC...

But, of course this watercooling idea is necessary, just putting it out there, if you really want watercooling. This pump isn't that quiet either, so the air cooling option will probably be better.

If you plan on sleeping with this or something, I suggest putting this in another room, as trying to sacrifice airflow for silence is costly and less effective for your PC.
August 16, 2012 6:21:32 AM

azeem40 said:
You can get twice the space for $5 more.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The Noctua D14 performs the same for less.


I like the security of having a 5 year warranty with the black and I honestly don't need a Terabyte right now or the near future.

g-unit1111 said:

That's a good start. I'd completely scrap the idea of getting a closed liquid block when they're the very low end of the liquid cooling spectrum. If you go liquid - go with a full custom loop or not at all. There's no closed block that will be better than the strongest air fan you can get. It also makes no sense whatsoever to spend $75 on fans on a $1300 budget when you can only get as many fans as your case has mounts for.


As to the cooler and fans. I've read all the negatives about the closed loops and the only reason I'm considering the h100/h80 is simply because its more low profile and from what I have read somewhat quieter than an Air cooler. I just don't have personal experience with them so I'm making my judgement based on reading reviews and comparisons. I simply picked out the fans in order to increase airflow while keeping noise down as I've read the stock 550d fans spin at extremely low RPMs.

g-unit1111 said:
Believe me, I work in an engineering firm - the current versions of Autocad and Solidworks I've got to run on PCs that are like 5 - 6 years old. It's when you need intensive redraws and things like that that the beefier CPU and RAM are needed.


So would it be ideal for me to bump up to a 3770k w/ the 16gb? I'll be honest and say I simply don't know what or how much engineering software I'll be in the next three years but I would like to be able to if necessary. I'm studying Structural Engineering at UCSD.
August 16, 2012 6:27:19 AM

theyoungone10 said:
I like the security of having a 5 year warranty with the black and I honestly don't need a Terabyte right now or the near future.



As to the cooler and fans. I've read all the negatives about the closed loops and the only reason I'm considering the h100/h80 is simply because its more low profile and from what I have read somewhat quieter than an Air cooler. I just don't have personal experience with them so I'm making my judgement based on reading reviews and comparisons. I simply picked out the fans in order to increase airflow while keeping noise down as I've read the stock 550d fans spin at extremely low RPMs.



So would it be ideal for me to bump up to a 3770k w/ the 16gb? I'll be honest and say I simply don't know what or how much engineering software I'll be in the next three years but I would like to be able to if necessary. I'm studying Structural Engineering at UCSD.

Hard Drives are very unlikely to fail, and you can get a cheaper 500GB drive.
August 16, 2012 6:28:55 AM

theyoungone10 said:
I like the security of having a 5 year warranty with the black and I honestly don't need a Terabyte right now or the near future.



As to the cooler and fans. I've read all the negatives about the closed loops and the only reason I'm considering the h100/h80 is simply because its more low profile and from what I have read somewhat quieter than an Air cooler. I just don't have personal experience with them so I'm making my judgement based on reading reviews and comparisons. I simply picked out the fans in order to increase airflow while keeping noise down as I've read the stock 550d fans spin at extremely low RPMs.



So would it be ideal for me to bump up to a 3770k w/ the 16gb? I'll be honest and say I simply don't know what or how much engineering software I'll be in the next three years but I would like to be able to if necessary. I'm studying Structural Engineering at UCSD.


I use Autodesk Inventor myself, and I am a mechanical engineering major student right now. I started autodesk in high school, and we used computers with like i5 sandy bridge, 4 GB of RAM and gt 220 graphics cards. You are getting the i5 ivy bridge, more than 4 GB of RAM and gtx 660 Ti, THIS IS plenty for CAD! Idk about the rest of your programs, are they like 3D modeling programs or any type of 3D rendering?

My dad's friend is a mechanical engineer and he uses a CAD program on a laptop with i7 processor and a graphics card DEFINITELY worse than gtx 660 Ti.

If you plan on multitasking the games with your programs, or just your programs, I do suggest the i7. The i7 2600k can be found used or new for less than 270 bucks on ebay, so I suggest using ebay to save money.
August 16, 2012 6:32:11 AM

Quote:
As to the cooler and fans. I've read all the negatives about the closed loops and the only reason I'm considering the h100/h80 is simply because its more low profile and from what I have read somewhat quieter than an Air cooler.



Liquid coolers are not quieter than air coolers. This is because you have both pump noise and fan noise vs. just fan noise. The only exception is if you go fanless with a huge radiator. Even then, usually just the pump is louder than a GOOD air cooler.

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1214-page8.html

Quote:
Despite these improvements, our final tests results were not compelling. Neither managed to match the majority of comparably priced tower coolers on our heatsink test platform.



Highly recommend you check out:

http://www.silentpcreview.com/Recommended_Heatsinks
August 16, 2012 6:34:23 AM

Theyoungone, you are right and not right. The h80/h100 is a quiet cooler, BUT not all coolers. With it's fan and pump noise, it is LOUDER than the NH-d14. The h80/100 may be low profile, but its a pointless low profile cooler because it gives off HEAT in your case. The air cooler is cooler and gives less heat and helps with your case airflow, MORE than the h80/100

Those water cooler pumps are annoying. I hate them. Look what this guy says.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Brt5lqvw6K8
August 16, 2012 6:52:30 AM

Maybe I'll reconsider a shift to something like the 300r or Antec Eleven Hundred with a NH d-14? Or can you recommend something else?

I mostly just figured an h80 or h100 work better than an air cooler in the 550d because of the restricted airflow and the ability to just exhaust out the radiator.
August 16, 2012 12:13:22 PM

theyoungone10 said:
Maybe I'll reconsider a shift to something like the 300r or Antec Eleven Hundred with a NH d-14? Or can you recommend something else?

I mostly just figured an h80 or h100 work better than an air cooler in the 550d because of the restricted airflow and the ability to just exhaust out the radiator.


All Antec cases are fantastic, IMHO. I have a mini 180 and it's nearly silent. Completely inaudible at 1 meter.

The Antec Solo II is pretty well regarded as one of the quietest cases you can, but it doesn't have many of the 'cool guy' features of fancier boxes.


http://www.antec.com/product.php?Per=4
August 16, 2012 10:12:33 PM

theyoungone10 said:
Maybe I'll reconsider a shift to something like the 300r or Antec Eleven Hundred with a NH d-14? Or can you recommend something else?

I mostly just figured an h80 or h100 work better than an air cooler in the 550d because of the restricted airflow and the ability to just exhaust out the radiator.


You can get the nh-d14, have money left to buy 2x 120mm fans, which is a better case cooling option than having a 2x120mm rad restrict more airflow through the case.

The 550d and other silent cases are the worst cases for airflow. When you buy a case like the antec case you mentioned, you still have other components that have noise, like the graphics card, but you can get an aftermarket cooler for the gpu for silence. If you get a quieter case, your set-up is even more quieter.

We need to know why silence is important to you. If you are just a person that wants to work with a silent PC, this is a big difference than leaving the PC on overnight where you sleep, if you are going to.
August 16, 2012 10:17:18 PM

This is an expensive, but interesting case.

This is a hybrid case, meaning when you want airflow you can open its top vent and when you want silence, you can close it.

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

There should be cheaper cases like this.

Well for a cheap option, you can get a silenced case like the 550d or fractal design r4 and then when you are gaming or need airflow, you can just take off the side panel and put it back on when you need silence. This cheaper than buying the NZXT Switch.
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