Description

Combined video editing / 3D design / gaming rig designed with quiet performance as a priority

The original fan on the H90 was a bit noisy, so I replaced it with a Fractal Design R2 140mm. This increased CPU temperatures about 2-3C, but I can live with that given the silent nature of the system now.

The loudest bit is the pump, and that's already quite silent. The GPU is an absolute champ - even after an hour of gaming it remains inaudible.

UPDATE: I added some more pictures since I had the case open for sound card installation anyway. I found an old SB Audigy 2 in my previous build (AMD XP4000+, DFI LanParty nForce 4 mobo, ATi Radeon X800 XT PE), and this removed an annoying noise issue I had when using the onboard audio.

UPDATE 2: I moved the H90 to the front as an intake instead, and refitted it with the original Corsair fan. I haven't had time to test it properly, but removing the GPU waste heat from the equation for the radiator is nothing but good news :-) It wasn't a straigh 'click' fit - and it's still not stuck very well. It seems that the little clips on the R4 don't really play well with the design of the Corsair fan, so it's not properly clicked in. That said - it can't really go anywhere, and since the PC isn't moved about much, it shouldn't pose a problem. Another issue was the length of the fan cable - it's only JUST long enough to reach the PWM CPU fan header, so I should really get myself some kind of extender there.

UPDATE 3: Finally got around to adding the prices for the components. Since they're bought in Denmark, I have used a currency converter and taken the original purchase prices as input.

UPDATE 4: Took the Audigy 2 out of the system again, as I couldn't get the microphone to work. I managed to get the whole thing working without the issue I had earlier, so I'm a happy panda :-)

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Comments

  • 76 months ago
  • 2 points

Very nice build. How much can you OC the i7 to?

  • 76 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks :-)

I haven't tried much yet, although the tiny bit I did was quite promising. Using the AsRock A-Tuning tool, I hit 4.5GHz just through changing the multiplier, nothing else. Adaptive voltage was on, though, so I'm not sure what it boosted VCore to - and hence I stopped there for now. The OC load temp (p95) was about 60C with the stock Corsair fan - I haven't tried OCing with the Fractal one yet.

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't know how AsRock mobos take it, but from my experience with ASUS boards you need to be careful with synthetic benchmarks when in adaptive mode.

Personally, not a fan of AsRock boards at all, and probably would have gone with a bit beefier of a PSU, otherwise a pretty decent build.

EDIT: The monitor is overpriced as well, but whatever...

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah - I wasn't really sure how all of this stuff works (my last PC was an AMD XP-4000+ single core thing, from the times when there was no such thing as adaptive voltage ;-)) You can override that manual adaptive voltage, though, so I'll have top play with that some day...

You're right about the PSU - it's probably the weakest link in this build. It doesn't seem too overloaded though (otherwise I assume I'd notice the fan spinning up), so I'm content. Should another GPU sneak its way in some day, though, it will have to be followed by a new PSU..

I have to say that the AsRock has done well so far at least. But then again, I'm amazed by simple things such as being able to modify the CPU multiplier from within windows, and use the mouse in BIOS :-)

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

AsRock mobos ain't really that bad, I think it's just their history of lackluster functions that shades my view of them. The PSU is a high quality unit, if a bit low on watts. I just have a tendency to overdo them, just on principle, as PSUs are the last part you want to skimp on.

For the record, until about two months ago I was out of the PC building game since the Intel PII was new, so I know how that feeling goes. That's why we're here though.

As I said, it's a good build, there's just a few things I would have done differently.

EDIT: UEFI BIOS is a pretty cool change from what I was used to. I will definitely admit that one...

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

Ah yeah - brand history is a difficult thing. It took a bit of time for me to be convinced that MSI would be safe after their mobos catching fire - but that was a one-off problem, that forced them to reduce prices to survive (yay for the consumer!).

The PSU is manufactured by SeaSonic and rebranded as XFX, so it's definitely quality. And it's not too small for the build, but definitely not too large either, as you say.

Good to hear I'm not the only one returning to this scene! Welcome back to you too! It's amazing what has happened in this time. I remember the joy I had of getting a POST on a P4 at 4 GHz with dry ice, and benching with Phase change coolers on CPU and GPU. Now things just clock up and down as it suits them - amazing!

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

It looks sexy as hell, though

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

Hehe - thanks :-)

  • 76 months ago
  • 2 points

Wonderful! congrats.

Caroline.

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! :-)

  • 76 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice build. :) +1

  • 76 months ago
  • 3 points

Thanks! :-) +1 to yours too!

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh, why thank you!

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

This is a nice build. Good job.

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

Well thank you! :-)

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

You are most welcome. :-)

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

maybe slide that middle rack out of there for more air flow?

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

I thought of it, but it's already turned 90 degrees, so it ducts air quite nicely on to the GPU.

Also, I know myself well enough to be sure that if I take it out, I will lose it forever :-)

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

ha! fair enough.

  • 75 months ago
  • 1 point

Is the rear fan an intake or an exhaust? I would think exhaust based on the location, but I know the H90's instructions suggest the attached fan be an intake. Asking because I am building one now with the same case and CPU cooler.

  • 75 months ago
  • 1 point

I have it mounted as an exhaust, but it would be better as an intake.

The longer term plan is to mount it in the fron as an intake instead - just haven't gotten around to do it yet :-)

It works fine as an exhaust, though, as lopng as the airflow in the case is decent. It will always be better to take in fersh cool air through it, instead of hot air from inside the case.

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

How are you liking that keyboard?

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm quite happy with it, although the 2 extra arrow keys can be a bit confusing at times - it makes it a bit harder to locate if you're not looking.

I like the build quality, though, and the general feel of the keyboard is great :-)

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. :) I'm seriously considering that keyboard so this is good to know. There aren't that many reviews on youtube (only one I can think of is linus from ncix) and I like to have different opinions.

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

It's definitely a good keyboard. The feel and feedback of the keys are great, and the backlighting is adjustable, so it won't ever be overwhelming. I definitely don't regret getting it :-)

  • 72 months ago
  • 1 point

yups very awesome.. cabling done like I wanted hehe.

and woot for creative. I am a lille sad I had to give up my creative x-fi after like 7-8 years with no pci slot. Water cooling looks so much better than air.. maybe in my next build I will be as brave as you.

  • 72 months ago
  • 1 point

Creative is the best! Haha - at least it was back when I bought those things :-) Nowadas the onboard sound on the motherboards matches most sound cards - unless you go nuts. I remember getting that Audigy 2 when I bought my first motherboard that no longer had ISA - about the time when Windows XP came out. I felt sad letting my old ISA SoundBlaster card with added memory go, but the Audigy 2 did well as a replacement haha!

I love that speaker set too - it's done everything from being a PC speaker set to running a garage disco (with larger speakers attached). It's invincible - still works like a charm.

I really like this AIO watercooling thing. My old rig had a full custom water cooling loop - but I didn't really feel up for the hassle plus the huge extra price this time around. I can definitely recommend it - in my view, it's even easier than air cooling, because you don't have to reach around a massive heatsink to get everything mounted :-)

  • 72 months ago
  • 1 point

I have to say .. onboard sound does seem just as good to a non audiophile like me so far on my msi board. But like you I have been entrenched in the benefit of discrete sound. My first sound card was a lowly adlib :)

But yah..you are sure right about the joy it would be to have no gi-normous cpu cooler!! maybe one day I will be brave enough and get the rewards as you have clearly done. :))