Power, Heat And Noise
Moderating noise usually involves a combination of quiet case technology, large coolers, and low-speed fans. Steiger Dynamics tackles the fan issue using the knowledge that less power in means less heat to put out.
A low-voltage overclock helps the Maven Pure Custom demonstrate moderate power levels in spite of its high performance.
Large coolers help the Maven Pure Custom keep heat levels down in spite of its low fan speeds.
The combination of low power and high performance gives the Maven Pure Custom exceptional efficiency. But how quiet is this thing, really?
The Maven Pure Custom is so quiet that I had to measure its noise level from a fraction of a meter away! But what happened to the other machines?
Our System Builder Marathon tests don’t include noise because the authors don’t have matched equipment and environments, which means that our measurements wouldn’t be comparable. On the other hand, I do enough audio measurements to give a good estimate that my own Q2 System Builder Marathon $1600 machine was running in the low 30s and fighting in the mid-40s from one meter away. Because decibel levels are logarithmic, that means it has over 100 times the sound energy. And because of the way people hear, it also sounds over four times as loud.
One meter is an important distance to remember, since it’s the distance that many industries use as a baseline. Speakers are rated at 1 W/1 m. Fan noise is also usually rated at 1 m. Yet, three meters is also important because it’s roughly the industry-standard distance for large-screen TV viewing.
(UPDATE: At 35 dBA measured, my Q3 System Builder Marathon machine was quieter than my Q2 build.)
"The price for this machine is only $330 over the self-built option, with us using the closest-matching $400 OrigenAE case. If you subtract the $49 overclock fee and $99 cable service, Steiger only has about $189 in mark-up."
Quiet PCs are great, and most of the early ones were completely quiet. But, for gaming? It's not as clear. For the same performance I can save a load of money, or get much better performance for the price.
For listening to Mozart's g minor string quintette? Great. For blowing up bridge or shooting aliens with a machine gun? I'm just not sure sound matters as much. For a living room box that does most things fine, and is quiet, I'll take a 35 watt Kaveri, and still have enough money left over to make a more powerful machine than this $2600 monster.
I also don't understand the relatively cheap processor. For $2600 (which is what the ad says, but the author never seemed to mention, so it's hard to be sure), the processor should be the i7-4970K. Haswell-E might work too, but probably the 4970K would be best.
Someone is going to want this, but I think it's very limited in scope. Silence, or near silence, is great for computers, but for different segments. Most gamers want performance for their dollar, and this falls short.
The next guy after you suggested using cheaper parts. We have the SBM for that.
For a gaming/htpc I think this is just too much $. I would have went with something below $6-800, but that is just me.
You can build a quieter computer with a better video card (GTX970) for about HALF THE PRICE. I built a system and here are the only noise elements:
1) Noctua cooler (runs at 300RPM in idle)
2) BeQuiet PSU (inaudible)
3) Asus Strix GTX970 (has 0dB mode)
I don't have the card yet but it would be completely silent unless doing heavy gaming. My system can't be heard from one foot away in a silent room.
- 2xRAID0 for SSD is pointless in the real-world.
- not sure where that "16dB" number came from considering the PC has a pump, a radiator fan, and a GTX770. That's pretty much impossible.
Your response is like someone saying "How can you call $8 for two 8 oz Fillet Mignons a good deal? I just paid $4 for a pound of hamburger!"
I see you didn't read the article. There's a page called "Power, Heat, and Noise". If you choose to scroll to the bottom of that page, you'll see something that's impossible. And then maybe you'll understand why the company used all these overpriced parts.
What you won't be able to explain is how they're "overcharging" for this exact configuration. Which means, as a builder, they're offering you a good rate. Aka, a fair deal.
If you read the conclusion he says the cost is only a couple hundred dollars more than building your own which I disagree with so I think it's fair to comment on his "value" comment.
*I just added up the cost of all the parts, and NOT COUNTING THE CASE but including the software the total comes to $1500 USD.
The cost to buy this machine with these specs was almost $2600. Now if we use $300 for a similar case since I don't think you can buy the case on its own the price difference comes to about $800USD.
*So you can build the same EXACT setup with a difference case and save $800USD by doing it yourself. That is hardly "a couple hundred dollars" difference as stated in the article.
System Drive 150
System Drive 125
CPU Cooler 65
Storage Drive 125
Playback SW 100
Cable Sleeving 0
Prices might have changed a little since I wrote the article, but I bet you'd find any large changes in a component price are eventually picked up by this builder. Moreover, I priced the parts using Google product search and top venders (Newegg, Tigerdirect, Directron, etc) wherever applicable (case and ODD were only available from small venders) on the SAME DAY that I priced the finished system at Steiger Dynamics.
Look, nobody likes to admit they're wrong, that's why I kept a record of all the part prices when I made those calculations. I wanted to be sure that when someone came in here to question my analysis, I'd have the data to prove its validity.