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Quiet daily workstation/server (decommissioned!)

by Fraoch



Date Published

Aug. 8, 2014

Date Built

Feb. 5, 2014

CPU Clock Rate


CPU Temperature While Idle

25.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

49.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate


GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate


GPU Temperature While Idle

41.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

46.0° C


This is my highest-spec machine. It was built gradually from an older, noisy build - each part was swapped out for a higher-performance or quieter part.

The included rear fan in the case was moved to the front and the Phanteks fan was put in its place. This makes the case positive pressure - two 140 mm fans moving air in, one 140 mm fan moving air out. The interior of the case stays pretty clean - most of the dust accumulation occurs at the fan filters in front. This is easily cleaned without shutting down using a cheap little USB vacuum cleaner. The three fans are all controlled by the fan controller included with the case. On low, it's virtually silent.

The part that made the most difference in noise was the CPU cooler - I was using a cheap Zalman CNPS5X before. Its little 92 mm fan groaned and whined up and down with CPU load, and at high speed the entire heatsink resonated like a plucked guitar string. The Scythe made a world of difference. Its fan is virtually silent even at higher speed. It's not excessively heavy but its large surface area cools very, very well. If it wasn't for RAM interference it would be the perfect heatsink - I'm not sure why there isn't more buzz about it, it's one of the top coolers at silentpcreview.com.

This photo shows my older Corsair ValueRAM which clears the fan. My newer G.Skill Sniper memory does interfere but once the heatsink's fan is slid up slightly, everything fits well.

I don't use this machine for heavy gaming, it's mostly a daily workstation. I also experiment with Linux and VMs and it runs some server applications:

  • samba file sharing
  • Apache
  • weewx (weather station data reporting)
  • Logitech Media Server (it runs several Logitech/Slim Devices networked audio players)
  • cacti (network monitoring)

It runs Linux Mint 17.

Update: I replaced the CPU and motherboard. See my other completed build.

Comments Sorted by:

Vorago 1 Build 1 point 18 months ago

You didn't really pay $300 for the WD Black did you? That seems like someone moved a decimal point over on the price and didn't notice it. I know you can get a WD Black 1tb with twice the cache size for about $80 so what makes this one different?

xBlood_Monkey 10 Builds 1 point 18 months ago

It's probably just a pricing error. For me, the price says $80.

Fraoch submitter 3 Builds 1 point 18 months ago

Yes you're seeing some sort of pricing glitch. No way did I pay $300. I paid $90. :-)

You can get the 1 TB drives for the same price now, the drive is a few years old.

Norm101 3 Builds 1 point 18 months ago

It is a pricing error. Sometimes links to NewEgg show the parts being sold by Marketplace sellers. In this case it is Action Packaged Inc. with their stupid price of $300.

Vorago 1 Build 1 point 18 months ago

Thanks for clarifying this!

DeathRtH 0 points 18 months ago

For slightly more you could have gotten an Nvidia 650 or 750, why would you go with such a bad gpu?

dragoon20005 3 Builds 2 points 18 months ago

it a server

and FX don't have a iGPU anyway

Fraoch submitter 3 Builds 1 point 18 months ago

I wanted a passively-cooled GPU. They're all lower-spec. This is the second most powerful one, there's also an ATI 7750 that would have been more powerful but ATI is a little more troublesome on Linux than NVIDIA.

I really don't need a powerful GPU as I don't game on it. I just need a simple GPU, any GPU.