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Advice on High End PC Build


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It has been a while since I built a PC and am after some advice as I start to explore a high-end PC build for home that will be used for gaming, office and some number crunching tasks. The question that I am struggling with is whether to pursue a high-airflow | air cooler model (e.g., Cooler Master H500M + Noctua NH-D15) or a lower airflow | AIO model (e.g., Lian Li  O11 dynamic + Water Cooling AIO). Both options would have an air cooled GPU (as I am just not game to go down custom loop cooling given the maintenance required.) My concern is to get a low noise flow when the unit is not under load so that it is possible to think in what is otherwise a quiet room. The balance seems to be tuning the high airflow case fans to low RPM vs a thick glass wall case that, whilst it has a pump, traps some of the sound. Any advice out there amongst the experts who have investigated both models?

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There is one other option, but it comes at significantly more cost - a completely passive setup. I love my Airtop3, especially since I listen to music in here as well, but it cost twice as much as if I'd made it fanned. I specially imported mine but there is now an Australian distributor.

https://www.fit-pc.com.au/airtop3

 

Edited by Ittaku
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Better cases tend  to have a noise reduction in place (like be quiet/lian li cases). High end GPU's (like MSI gaming trio's) have their fans off when not 'in load'). Same goes for power supplies. The better/higher wattage PSU's have fans off at certain percentage of use(20/30% of max). Water pumps tend to have a low noise (across the board) but is barely noticeable for most). 

So far, the best place to check out low noise builds and samples is "optimum tech" in youtube. He specialises on ITX builds but has great sound comparsions for fan noise etc.

 

It is basically a trade off between 'in case temp' versus noise. You just have to decide which one you can compromise on.

 

Personally, I run 3 case fans running at 600+ rpm. An ek 360 rad/fan for the cpu running @ pwm with an adjusted curve.  The only thing I can hear is the very low noise of the pump in a silent room. I have no experience in passive coolers.

 

 

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13 hours ago, Ittaku said:

There is one other option, but it comes at significantly more cost - a completely passive setup. I love my Airtop3, especially since I listen to music in here as well, but it cost twice as much as if I'd made it fanned. I specially imported mine but there is now an Australian distributor.

https://www.fit-pc.com.au/airtop3

 

I am a big fan of passive setups with my work i7-NUC now running well in an HD-Plex case. This new machine needs a much more powerful CPU and GPU so passive isn't an option.

 

9 hours ago, xr1st1anos said:

Better cases tend  to have a noise reduction in place (like be quiet/lian li cases). High end GPU's (like MSI gaming trio's) have their fans off when not 'in load'). Same goes for power supplies. The better/higher wattage PSU's have fans off at certain percentage of use(20/30% of max). Water pumps tend to have a low noise (across the board) but is barely noticeable for most). 

So far, the best place to check out low noise builds and samples is "optimum tech" in youtube. He specialises on ITX builds but has great sound comparsions for fan noise etc.

 

It is basically a trade off between 'in case temp' versus noise. You just have to decide which one you can compromise on.

 

Personally, I run 3 case fans running at 600+ rpm. An ek 360 rad/fan for the cpu running @ pwm with an adjusted curve.  The only thing I can hear is the very low noise of the pump in a silent room. I have no experience in passive coolers.

 

 

Much appreciated. I'll check out "optimum tech".

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8 minutes ago, zydeco said:

I am a big fan of passive setups with my work i7-NUC now running well in an HD-Plex case. This new machine needs a much more powerful CPU and GPU so passive isn't an option.

Did you look at the choices of CPU and GPU there? Mine has an i9900K for example.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have just built a PC with similar objectives: lotsa processing power while remaining as quiet as possible. This machine is intended as a home office workhorse, while also being my main music source. Not into games though.

 

As you well know, the noise and processing power are conflicting objectives: the faster you go, the more cooling you're gonna need. Coming from a 10 years old platform, I had only a vague idea of what to expect from the hardware available these days, so I spent weeks researching.

 

Cooling-wise, I went for my preferred solution being air, with the assumption that if it doesn't work well enough, I'll swap over to a water cooled one. But having just completed the build, I know that I won't ever have to do this: air cooling works well enough for me.

 

My system is i9 10900K based, which is a power hungry beast. Rated at 125W, it can go up to 250W under load. But paired with the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 air cooler, it hardly ever gets over 50 degrees, and most of the time sits around 30. Fans run slow enough not to be heard at all. Only under extreme load there's a low level hum from the case fans.

 

The case is a biiig one: be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 rev 2. I went for it for several reasons:

- large cases accommodate more fans and larger coolers if need be, and allow less obstructed air flow. This one comes with 3 x 14cm good quality fans, and I added 2 more. They all run at very low revs, but still provide enough airflow to effectively cool down the box

- since I intend to use a fanless graphics card (still in transit), I want it to sit above the CPU, not below, to enable better convectional cooling of the lot. This case allows you to swap the motherboard mounting plate from the right side to the left, while turning the MB upside down. So the GPU will sit near the top of the case, and right below a case exhaust fan.

- I just like the way it looks, the quality and flexibility of this box

 

As @xr1st1anos above mentioned, some of the better PSUs run with the fan off until they reach certain level of load. I went with the Corsair HX850W which is platinum rated and doesn't turn the fan on until 40% of the load is reached - in my case thiss means hardly ever (the GPU draws < 75W).

 

 

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