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New builder, silent gaming 1500€ish components

Last response: in Systems
September 6, 2012 11:08:20 AM

Hello there,

As indicated by title, new builder (not counting replacing IDE-drives, or setting the master-slave jumpers, replacing cd-writer. This would be my first actual build)

Overclocking: interested, CPU-only.
I have: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers. Everything else, including OS would be new.

I intend to order components probably next week, from Unless someone has a great alternative in Belgium?

I would game on this computer, a bit of FPS, a bit of RTS, I would like to also watch movies on this computer. (this is all single monitor, 1900x1080 I believe, second monitor is for work, internet,..)

OS: WIN7 64bit for system builders @ 99.90

Case: Corsair Obsidian 550D @ 139.9

CPU: i5-3570k (of course ;-) @ 229.9

Cooler: coolermaster hyper 212 evo @ 29.99 (Would use the included thermal paste, should fit tightly in the case)

DDR-ram: Corsair 8GB 1600Mhz, vengeance LP, clocks 9-9-9 @ 47.99

Mobo: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H @ 139.9. (this is the rev 1.0 version listed. But, I do not seem to see a difference with the rev 1.1?)
Alternatively: Asrock Z77 extreme 4, same price ?
Remark: both of these have the SATA headers pointed 'forward' when mounted in the case. The corsair has a Mobo tray ridge. Can I still use all the sata connections, or would some be blocked?

GPU: GIGABYTE Geforce GTX 670 OC for the lovely price of 419€, easily most expensive component. :ouch:  Should fit in the case without removing a HDD bay.
The point of the obsidian case is noise reduction, as is the idea behind a GTX670 with non-reference fans. However, non'-blower' fans don't blow out all the heat to the back ventilations holes in the card. I don't expect heat build-up problems? Should I consider a 'blower' model, or?

SSD: Crucial CT128M4SSD2 @ 104.90€

Hard disk: seagate SV35 2TB ST2000VX000 @ 124.90€. (--> Is this a good idea? A mostly video-oriented HDD in a 'desktop' computer, which I won't leave on?)
But it seems low noise, fast enough and good capacity for the price. Alternative recommandations, also in the 1TB range welcome, I'm trying not to increase the budget.

Blu-ray writer: LG BH10LS38 @ 89.90 €
or: Pioneer BDR-207DBK or LiteOn IHBS112-115 . Would any give annoying noise when playing a movie? Recommendations?

Finally: PSU:
Seasonic X-660 @ 169.90.
For a total of 1.600 €. + shipping.

This list includes some 'indulgences' :sol:  hence the 'over-budget': the GTX 670 is a class higher than I would normally 'shop', the blu-ray writer is an extra, but playing movies without is difficult;
the PSU unit is expensive, but has had excellent reviews and is gold certified.

Additional questions: the corsairs fans seem to be 3pin headers. Can I really simply plug those in to the 4pin motherboard fan headers? What type of connector/modification would be required in this case?
Regarding heat build up: I could consider replacing the rear exhaust fan with a 140mm one, (which I would need to buy also), and using the freed 120mm fan as a bottom intake fan?
It seems to me, that all necessary components are now included, as would be the cables. Unless I am missing something still?

Finally, when the components are installed, is it required for me to 'tweak' the fan speeds?
I am considering partioning the SSD to instal a linux 'dual boot'. How much space should I foresee for that, is it too much perhaps?

I'm also interested in recommendations for a head set.

break it apart, thanks for all advice/critiques. :bounce: 

a b B Homebuilt system
September 6, 2012 12:33:03 PM

One of the differences between the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H rev 1.0 and rev 1.1 is that rev 1.1 has an 8pin CPU power connector, rather than a 4pin.

The EU version of the Hyper 212 Evo has a fan speed range of 600-1600RPM and noise rating of 9-31dBA. The idle ratings are quite good, but the load ratings are not. For a truly 'silent' build you need something better; either a better heatsink to start off with or you need to change the fan. Or you can build with it and see if it is good enough for you.

Unless you are planning to SLI in the future then you do not need a ~650W PSU. I'd save some money by getting this:
Be Quiet Dark Power Pro P10 550W (€140)!/Dark_Power_Pro_10_550W/670413/?tn=HARDWARE&l1=Voedingen&l2=tot+600+Watt
While it is not semi-fanless it is going to be just as quiet in actual use. It uses a 135mm SilentWings 2, FDB fan with a maximum speed of 1500RPM (which it won't reach unless you put it in very high ambient temps and high load) and noise rating of 11.7-12.9dBA.
It also has an insane number of cables/connectors which gives plenty of flexibility in terms of choosing the most appropriate cables for your build and getting optimum cable management.
It also has four fan connectors, to which you can attach case fans, and they will be controlled according to the speed of the fan in the DPP 550W. (found on page 7)
This review shows a picture of the 550D with a Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD4-B3 installed and SATA cables coming out of the board. This board is standard ATX size: 30.5x24.4cm (HxW). And it shows that there is some space between the SATA connectors on the board and the ridge which you are talking about.
The Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H is 30.5x24.4cm.
The ASRock Z77 Extreme4 is 30.5x21.8.

I use a graphics card (6850) that 'exhausts' into the case (Lian Li PC-9F) and don't have any fans next to it, but don't have problems. If the airflow is good enough in the case then it will push the hot air from the graphics card out through the PCI slots. If you do have problems with heat then it can be solved by a fan on the side panel - in this case you'll have to experiment with intake or exhaust to see which gets the best temps/lowest noise, etc.

That Seagate drive is probably a decent choice, but a saving of ~€20 for this seems worth it to me:
Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB HD204UI $100,5_inch...

3pin fan connectors natively fit onto 4pin motherboard fan headers, you're just not using one of the pins, usually the one which gives a PWM signal, which is not used by 3pin fans.
Here's a more thorough explanation:

Obviously you will have to tweak the fans speeds if the system is either not quiet enough or cool enough.

I can't think of any extras that you would need to buy, seems like most of them would be included with the other components.
September 6, 2012 4:33:33 PM

@ Silvune:
Well, that was a quick reply, thanks.
I have to say, before I selected the Seasonic PSU, I was looking at lower wattages, but did not seem to find decent ones with cable management.
So that is a great suggestion 550W, good reviews, gold certified and cable management, I overlooked it. Will try to look into the 4 Rail--> Single rail system some more before I decide, but it looks like that is 30ish€ saved. I don't expect to buy another GTX670 to SLI with.

Seagate vs Samsung: will have to ponder it some more. The samsung is a 5400RPM with half the cache, but indeed cheaper. decisions, decisions.
Haven't decided on the Mobo either, in features they are very close to me.

Thanks for the 3pin-4pin fan confirmation. I intend to try out the hyper evo, it is only during intense games that I expect the processor to be heated up, during movies I think the RPM would stay lower.

Best Regards,
September 16, 2012 10:34:16 AM


Felt like I had to close the thread properly:
I have ordered the components, installed everything (including windows), set up internet, mail, transported some of my old files etc.
Most stressfull moments: definitely the cpu installation, the cpu 'retention bracket' that you have to pull down required more force than I anticipated, or felt comfortably using on a 220€ processor. Although my test boot not starting was also stressing (I did not plug in any power of course :pt1cable:  )

I eventually went with a 1TB hard drive, from seagates constellation series, and the be quiet 550W PSU. That PSU unit looks quality to me, all the non-fan cables are 'webbed', the cables are named, it has velcro strips included, the packaging inside has foam protections,..

I took an LG blu-ray, I find that is the noisiest component, a bit dissapointed there.
The Gigabyte Z77X-D3H motherboard 4 pin case-fan headers can not speed control 3 pin fans. But, even at full speed the computer is far more quiet than my previous one.
In a quiet room, as I listen, I can hear it, but any other sounds quickly overtake it. When I play music, even at low volume, I find it difficult to hear the fans, for example. So that works fine for me.

Still need to run some test programs, and try out the USB3 connections, headphone jacks etc.