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Build

Quiet destroyer (NZ)

by colonelnicky

31
33 Comments

Details

Date Published

Oct. 18, 2015

Date Built

Oct. 18, 2015

CPU Clock Rate

4.0GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

23.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

49.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.14GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7.01GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

51.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

68.0° C

Description

This is just really an upgrade from my previous one, with the new cooler, new HDD, new Monitor, and another set of RAM. That said, also an update about the previous stuff too.

Let me just say, I adore how quiet this PC is. Honestly, with the fans set to 5v on the Define R4's fan controller (How they usually are, unless I'm rendering something or gaming), the loudest part of the PC is the 2TB HDD. I don't know if that's saying that my computer is really quiet, or my HDD is super loud, but either way.

I had intended to use this system as a 3D animation/modelling workhorse, with a little gaming potential. It kind of evolved into as much as I could afford at the time. I was originally working on the basis of "I don't care how it looks, I just want it to perform as well as it can." That was somewhat gone, though, when I saw how poorly the stock Noctua Fans look. I knew they weren't going to look good, but... Oh boy.

I probably wouldn't have taken the first step towards looking nice if it wasn't for some strange lack of voltage control in the BIOS for the fans on the cooler. Not sure what was happening there, no matter the profile I set it to, it was always on full speed. This lead me to immediately purchase their not-too awful looking redux grey counterparts in PWM. Plugging each of these into separate 4-pin headers, with the BIOS setting to silent, they're really really nice and quiet. I moved the default D14 fans to the case slots, and moved the Fractal fan down a slot, and removed the one at the back.

Onto one of the more recent looking-nice-things, which was the cable sleeving. I was really excited for these, like a kid, hoping they'd make my PC look a lot cleaner. And they do. But I was also quite disappointed, actually. They're fine, perfectly functional etc. But they're super stiff. The GPU's bend was almost as tight as I could get it (as I didn't want to potentially damage the connectors). I was expecting them to be mostly fabric for some reason, without doing a ton of research. A worry was that it might impede airflow significantly, but I've tried to reduce it as much as I can.

I added a little Carbon Fibre Wrap rectangle over the sticker on the PSU, as it was blue, which wasn't really going with the colour scheme. Because the fans definitely go with the colour scheme. Yep.

None of the apperance matters because no window anyway, so all of that is for nothing but peace of mind that it looks nice. Oops.

Probable/Possible upgrades:

  • At some point I'm going to need to get a better GPU, partially because I NEED MORE POWER, but also, I've hit the 3.5GB VRAM cap on the 970 in Autodesk Maya with 8k textures on a couple of things in the viewport. I'm thinking 980 Ti, though I love the look of the Titan X's cooler. All black? Sign me up.

  • I guess I'm going to need to get an AIO cooler to replace that magnificently quiet but also hideous Noctua Cooler. I have a few concerns with that though, being mostly noise. The only real place to mount a 240mm radiator would be at the top, and I'm just worried about that being particularly loud since it's so open. A possibility could be to move my HDDs to the 5.25" bay with some kind of adapter, and the SSD there or mounted against the motherboard tray. That way, I could have a 240mm Radiator in the front with the sound dampening material stopping a lot of the possible noise.

  • Eventually I might upgrade the PSU to a fully modular one, so I can use fully sleeved cables instead of extensions.

  • At some point, I'm going to need to go X99 (or whatever else comes out) to support 64GB of RAM, and 6+ Core processors. That's going to be really irritating, because I'll need to get a new CPU, Motherboard, RAM, and CPU Cooler.

  • At some point I'll get a third monitor, too. Likely the same model.

Part Reviews

CPU Cooler

Great cooler, but this thing is a mammoth. Seriously gigantic. Otherwise, fine and super quiet, great performance. Nothing bad to say about it other than it would have been nicer if the included fans were 4-pin PWM instead of 3-pin, but that's not really to be expected.

Motherboard

Solid Motherboard. Wish there was a little more red vs the black, but that's nothing I couldn't tell you from the pictures. Everything is working well. It slightly concerned me that the Define R4 had "A" (for ATX) next to some Motherboard standoffs beside where this Motherboard sat, but that's... not really any kind of an issue.

There's a little red lighting strip near the I/O which is a nice confirmation that it's running.

Storage

This thing is weirdly quiet. Like, doesn't make a peep. No vibration noise at all. Maybe it's just out-shadowed by the 2TB one, but still. A+ Drive.

Storage

Functionally this is a perfectly fine HDD. Works fairly quickly, didn't run into any issues with it. The docked 2 stars are for sound. This is a super loud HDD in my experience. not sure if I've just got a particularly loud one, but it's kind of ridiculous.

Video Card

This GPU is wonderful. I couldn't afford a 980, and this was the perfect slight step down as it's quite a bit cheaper, but runs every game I've thrown at it at maxed settings in 1080p at 60+fps.

It does get kind of loud and kind of hot when the fans are going and you've been playing for a while, but if you're playing a game you're having audio output, which means you're very unlikely to hear anything.

Case

Lovely looking case, great internals. One issue I ran into however was that I didn't want to tighten the Standoffs too tight, which resulted in my Motherboard being too far off. I didn't feel comfortable doing it, but tightening them further made everything fit perfectly.

Included case fans are remarkably quiet. You can barely hear them on the middle fan setting, and you can't on the lowest. I actually moved the front fan up to the higher slot, and removed the upper HDD tray so that I'd have more direct airflow. Could be a littlle better with some additional support for AIO coolers, being mounting spots, like making the HDD tray modular, but not much of a complaint.

Power Supply

Really solid PSU. Only issue I've had with it is that the 8pin Motherboard cord was kind of short, but it reached. The included plugs were wonderful and fit everything I needed.

Monitor

Perfect for everything I need. HDMI input, looks nice, reasonable price (for NZ).

Comments Sorted by:

jmcdonald27_ 2 points 17 months ago

Superb build! +1

colonelnicky submitter 2 Builds 1 point 17 months ago

Thanks man!

jmcdonald27_ 1 point 17 months ago

No problem.

Jovanucz 2 points 17 months ago

That is freaking awesome build!!

colonelnicky submitter 2 Builds 1 point 17 months ago

Haha, cheers!

DS4130 3 Builds 2 points 17 months ago

Looks really solid to me. The newer Noctua coolers do come with 4 pin PWM variants, unfortunately some motherboards don't allow for voltage control on the CPU fan header, only PWM. Their appearance is certainly a matter of taste, personally love the colour scheme but totally understand why many may not!

No surprise the 7200RPM HDD is the loudest part of this system, that is hard to avoid on such a quiet box.

I'd say stick with the air cooler, switching to an AIO would not benefit your already excellent temps and likely be louder than your current solution..

colonelnicky submitter 2 Builds 1 point 17 months ago

Hmmm, I recall looking for one but couldn't see it, and assumed they were 4-pin. Probably a freaking NZ availability issue. The colour scheme seems to work with pretty neutral colours, like your inaudible build.

I'm thinking that I will likely stick to the air cooler for a while, considering that I just bought it, it'd be pretty bad if I just binned it immediately, haha. I wonder if, if I did a fully water cooled loop, and threw as many radiators as I could on there to keep temperatures low with low fan speed, I could keep it similarly cool and quiet. I mean, that's only like an extra $1000, who doesn't have that lying around :P

DS4130 3 Builds 1 point 17 months ago

Haha exactly, you could throw in hundreds of dollars worth of custom loop and likely not see any real world improvement in temps. Plus you have to factor in pump noise etc.

For me this set up looks bang on, will be reliable and last you many years to come, stick with it :)

SpecificAlduin 2 Builds 1 point 17 months ago

You should replace the fans on the Noctua cooler with their Industrial PWM series. they are black and would fit this build perfectly, and they are also PWM, as the name suggests. If you are looking into a GPU upgrade, wait until 2016 and get a Pascal card. Some conusmer models will have 16 GB of RAM I have heard. Love the color scheme, and the build's part selection in general. I would also get it off the carpet. That can damage the PSU. +1

colonelnicky submitter 2 Builds 1 point 17 months ago

Oooh, that could be a really good idea. Sigh, though, prices in NZ for new graphics cards are through the roof, so that may be out of the question unfortunately.

Also, that's something I've heard a lot about the carpet. Is it because of dust, or because you can choke the PSU? For the dust, the Define R4 has a dust filter and I've honestly never had to clean it. I've tried, and been met with an extremely small amount of dust build up, not enough to see while it's in the filter. For choking it... I've got no excuse. It quite possibly is, but I don't have anywhere else to put it. No room on my desk, and my room has no other hard surfaces really. As a bit of an excuse, though, the carpet is very thin and there's concrete under it, so the feet shouldn't sink much, and should allow as much airflow as it can.

SpecificAlduin 2 Builds 1 point 17 months ago

Ok, just to be sure you can get a hardwood flooring sample at your nearest hardware/ home improvement store and put it under your computer to lift it off the carpet.

philphaser 10 Builds 1 point 17 months ago

You can have a mostly black 980 Ti with EVGA. Take a look at this .

colonelnicky submitter 2 Builds 2 points 17 months ago

Good god that build looks incredible. That's an excellent point, for honestly no reason I was assuming the 980 Ti was similar to the Titan X in that it's locked to the reference cooler. I even knew it's not, but just a brain fart, haha.

...I do love the look of the reference Titan X though. For absolutely no reason except mm black reference cooler, haha.

kaan 1 Build 1 point 17 months ago

RAM's camouflaged well, I looked but couldn't spot them

colonelnicky submitter 2 Builds 1 point 17 months ago

Haha! I noticed that after taking the pictures too. It's completely hidden under the outer CPU fan, haha.

TechyinAZ 13 Builds 1 point 17 months ago

Looks great man!! Love the style.

I also have the exact same PSU as you with braided extension cables, but mine are white. If you want fully modular eventually, go with EVGA. I've just learned that their G2 PSUs are just as good as seasonic but more efficient and fully modular.

johngerges582 1 point 17 months ago

I've just learned that their G2 PSUs are just as good as seasonic but more efficient and fully modular.

If you are comparing the G2 to the Seasonic G, they are both 80+ Gold.

The G2 also had better voltage regulation.

colonelnicky submitter 2 Builds 1 point 17 months ago

Oooh, well there you go. If/When I do upgrade it, I'll aim for EVGA G2. That'll likely be when I do a whole build overhaul, though, to X99.

johngerges582 1 point 17 months ago

If you could afford it, I would go with the P2. It is basically the G2 except slightly better, and is 80+ Platinum.

johngerges582 1 point 17 months ago

I do love a Gigabyte motherboard.

Super clean and solid build. +1

colonelnicky submitter 2 Builds 1 point 17 months ago

I spent more to get it colour matched with the GPU and felt so stupid about it. Then I covered up 90% of thr motherboard with the enormous heatsink, so it barely mattered anyway, hahaha. Thanks.

johngerges582 1 point 17 months ago

You can still see part of it under the gpu fan.

Plus you could always get some red LED fans.

brent_the_rogue 1 Build 1 point 17 months ago

Looks good!

+1.111

16chance1 1 Build 1 point 17 months ago

Wouldn't a radiator in the front of your case make your whole system run hotter defeating the purpose? just a thought

16chance1 1 Build 1 point 17 months ago

other than that i like the build

colonelnicky submitter 2 Builds 1 point 17 months ago

Hmm, quite possibly. Though, I've seen it a few times before, so it can't be that bad maybe. Not sure.

16chance1 1 Build 1 point 17 months ago

wouldn't it just be throwing the heat from your components back onto them?

VChampZ 1 point 16 months ago

Hey man I'm in NZ as well and where did you pick up a 970 for that cheap I've been looking around for a while and haven't seen anything that cheap?

colonelnicky submitter 2 Builds 1 point 16 months ago

Haha, tell me about it. They're so expensive here! Anyway, I bought it while I was in the US and brought it back on the flight with me.

VChampZ 1 point 16 months ago

dam i was looking for a cheaper gpu but cant find it anywhere and it costs just as much to import if not more, cheers mate

El_General 1 point 6 months ago

Let's hope you can sleep well while having those Noctua fans

ImYourChrist 1 point 3 months ago

+3 for the GPU -2 for the fugly noctua coolers That's overall +1 to you!

[comment deleted by staff]
colonelnicky submitter 2 Builds 1 point 17 months ago

Let's just wait for SSD prices to match HDD prices, then I'll swap over :P That'll be the day.

Unfortunately I do need the storage though, and I'm not looking to drop $1700 on a 2TB SSD, haha.