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Near silent small form factor game PC

by Str10_hurts



Date Published

Sept. 26, 2016

Date Built

Sept. 23, 2016

CPU Clock Rate

3.2 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

38.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.987 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

8.008 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

39.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

70.0° C


Update 28-12-2016: I got my repaired video card back and its an huge improvement, much more quiet now. Great service at Gigabyte!


  • CPU 30-32C (fan ~25%)
  • GPU 34-36C (fan 0%) the casefans keep it low enough.
  • Only slightly audible component is the PSU.

Under load:

  • CPU 41-42C (fan ~40%)
  • GPU 63-65C (fan ~75%) It keeps its 1987 mHz boost and rarely throttles down.
  • Slightly more audible than the PSU.

I did some cleaning up and a bit of pimping of the case and some fiddling with the fan speeds. At load the there is a lot of over pressure and really helps smash out the hot air from the video card exhaust, I have tried and seen the difference. It resulted in a bit higher case fan speeds and lower GPU speeds resulting in less noise.

My only regret is not investing in a better PSU (read: more silent). Although it is at idle only barely audible I would have liked to have a bit more silence.

Things I would do different or advise are:

  • Have atleast one dedicated casefan for the grapics card as this is a smaller form case. Also more fans mean less RPM needed and thus more silence, even under load.
  • This graphics card is excellent in combination as the open sided cooler does most of the GPU cooling work (its got to do with how the copper pipes are routed). Otherwise I would advise a small form factor PSU
  • Bottom fan a 120mm as a 140 does fit but not with screws (double sided tape did the trick).
  • Ram without heat spreaders. The cpu cooler is fantastic but does make contact with the heat spreaders. Or go for a CPU cooler that allows higher ram.
  • Save on the motherboard to invest in an even more silent power supply (H110 motherboard)
  • I live in the Netherlands making some components different in price. (the CPU cooler for example was a dead cheap option, and the reason I chose it)

Edit: Because Vader, all hail the Empire!

Original story:

I finally got the funds to put away my 5+ year old pc and build a new one.

I wanted silence (my old one was noisy) and a small case. After some looking around I settled on the Nano S its looks, cleanliness es and simplicity won me over. Edit: its also one of the few small cases that lets me have only filtered intakes for my fan set-up. The main problem on silence would be my graphics card. After some discussion on stock cooler or aftermarket I went for an aftermarket cooler with an additional fan beneath it to help the airflow. Combined with a heavy over pressure. Oh does it work! :) On the graphics card, the case nearly fits anything and I game at 1080p so I got an 1060 instead of a 480 just because of price at that point, but would have gone with a 480 just as easy.

This build requires a fanhub and helps moderate the fan speed from the CPU fan.

I am very happy with how the build. Its clean and I like the black and white theme. Also when browsing or watching movies my graphics cards fans don't even spin because it does not get above 40 decrees Celsius because of the excellent passive cooling. I even had to lower it from 60 to 40 because I might otherwise think my card would be dead :p

Comments Sorted by:

Gooberdad 10 Builds 2 points 31 months ago

Nice job.

Thumbs up.

Jbock 2 Builds 2 points 31 months ago

Like it

Gooplux 2 points 31 months ago

This looks really really good for sub $1000, nice job

bit_rot 1 Build 2 points 31 months ago

Great build, love the Tie Fighter!

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fernando551 2 points 31 months ago

Congrats on the build...! +1 But why do half of the uploads look fuzzy? I would like to see better photos if possible and other than that great build, now I know to not get that case after seeing the clearance of your components.

Str10_hurts submitter 1 Build 2 points 31 months ago

Crappy pictures, I'll try and upload some better quality ones.

Yup its a small case. Although Its not as bad as you think with the graphicscard. You can also go for a smaller PSU, but its not needed with this airflow.

Cam84 2 Builds 2 points 31 months ago

I just have my bottom 120mm fan just laying there, it doesn't move or rattle lol

marland66 1 Build 2 points 31 months ago

Nice clean build bro! Thumbs up!

avgjoeywong 2 points 31 months ago

This is great. I see lots of fans, but if it's that quiet, that's awesome.

I see some fans how are the directions of flow working? I'm in a similiar dilemma, wife wants a build but a super quiet one.

Str10_hurts submitter 1 Build 2 points 31 months ago

The only think I can hear is the PSU but its barely making sound. 3 fans are taking in air and one fan in the back is pushing it out. None can be heard because they are running at low RPM. The Artic freezer and fan hub let this happen. I even had to up the fanspeed because it would go very often into passive cooling and fans not turning freak me out.

More fans = less rpm needed = in general less noise.

So save on the MOBA and invest in a even more quiet PSU

avgjoeywong 2 points 31 months ago

So only the back one is outflow. Man, pretty slick.

Artic Freezer looks similiar to the 212 evo/ cryorig h7. I have a 212 evo at the moment and it's a pain to install cuz of the brackets. Thinking of trying of trying something new.

Str10_hurts submitter 1 Build 1 point 31 months ago

Yes, this setup also helps keep dust out. We have 2 cats...hair and dust everywhere!

They are all about the same. I chose the artic freezer because its a centimeter lower in height which makes the build look better as it does not give the stuffed feel. Installing was pretty easy. But the best looking ones are the cryorgs in my opinion.

Note: the cooler is absolutely not needed, the stock cooler is fine. I only took it to keep noise down.

avgjoeywong 1 point 30 months ago

Thanks. Definitely a looker.

For some reason maybe it's the artic 5 paste taking awhile to settle or some windows 7 update but the 212 evo this weekend, the temps went down big time. Idle went from 45c to 28c. My load was always great @ 55. Weird.

Str10_hurts submitter 1 Build 1 point 30 months ago

The 212 has a bigger heatsink but not big enough to explain that temp drop, it could also be the fan speed to temperature ratio which could be different in the fans. I even had lower the temperature for passive cooling because it would stop most of the time. Also my case has 3 140mm fans taking in cool air which might help.

thestroy 2 points 31 months ago

love the case ! i am interested in GPU temperature on Load when gaming ? did you check it, thanks

Str10_hurts submitter 1 Build 2 points 31 months ago

I have not stresstested it yet. I am planning to loop Unigine Heaven Benchmark today or tomorrow to get it up to temperature. If after that temps are fine overclock it a bit further. I'll update the numbers.

thestroy 2 points 31 months ago

awesome , thanks !

Str10_hurts submitter 1 Build 2 points 31 months ago

See update in the discription

Madkap 2 points 31 months ago

Very nice! I actually plan to make a build similar to this one. What PSU would you recommend?

Str10_hurts submitter 1 Build 3 points 31 months ago

Anything with a lower decibel but keeping its 80+ rating. Also if you go modular look at the positioning so a fan can be placed next to it.

coralfumes 1 Build 2 points 29 months ago

Nice build, but I definitely would have gone with at least a mid tower case. Like you said, "Look for a longer model graphicscard so at least one of the fans is free for intake" if you had a larger case, you wouldn't have this problem. This is why I don't prefer mini itx cases, not enough airflow for me.

Str10_hurts submitter 1 Build 1 point 29 months ago

In all honesty it only increases a further oc cards by a couple of degrees. And a tower is too big for my taste especially as it sits on my desk. If its out of sight and you have the space I would agree. A small form factor psu should solve all the problems. Still this gpu in its standard oc mode does not go above 70 decrees Celsius even under 30 mins of heavy load.

TaufiqTX 1 Build 2 points 29 months ago

Oh jeez that is a nice build!

Charvey 2 points 28 months ago

I am going to build a PC with everything the same apart from i will keep the stock cooler and maybe upgrade it in future and also keep the 1 intake 1 exhaust that come with the case. You seem to be regretting the purchase of the CX450M do you have any other PSU's to recommend?

Str10_hurts submitter 1 Build 1 point 28 months ago

If you take a stock cooler you should just keep the CX450m as your stock cooler will be louder than the PSU. That is why I invested in a cheap aftermarket cooling solution. A H110 motherboard would be fine for this build in hindsight (saving you some money) I would advise one extra 120mm fan (plus an extra splitter)for the bottom of the case. Or at the very least positioning the fan in the lower position in front of the case to help out the GPU

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Str10_hurts submitter 1 Build 1 point 31 months ago

I am on the fence on LED's but probably will add some in the future. Any Ideas on colour? I was thinking white.

gamingnoah 2 Builds 2 points 31 months ago

white would look awesome

ozi2708 1 Build 2 points 30 months ago

White or Electric Blue leds would be cool. Or since you have a TIE fighter go for a Red vs. Blue combo, like a lightsaber duel.

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Str10_hurts submitter 1 Build 1 point 31 months ago

I'll give it a go! Any links for good ones? (I live in the Netherlands though)

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rosemountboy 2 points 31 months ago

Psu isnt great, but for this build it will be fine.

Str10_hurts submitter 1 Build 1 point 31 months ago

Correct, its the only critical component I would have changed in hindsight. Still its pretty solid. (misread it the first time thinking it was a cpu...doh)

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