Description

This is my next desktop seeking low power, silence and performance. Surprised that without the graphics card (using on board HD530) I get power consumption down to an amazing 12W at idle. With the W4300 installed, the idle goes up to 24W - still a lot less than my prev desktop (Q6600 / Radeon 5700) that idles at 75W. My max power consuption on the new gig was 75W at peak load running Performance Test 8.0 albeit that this does not stress the GPU at the same time as the CPU. However still a fantastic performance boost getting multiples of performance increases over the previous gig. With full load, the new gig uses about the same amount of power that the old gig used at idle. As a point of comparison the old gig draws 145W peak with same benchmark.

I have build lots of gigs over the past 30 years or so but was new to UEFI / GPT partitioning complicated by my rather odd dual boot W10 on different SSDs (with different OS license) - one for games one for work. Now all running smoothly after a bit of fiddling.

Observations:

The stock i7-6700 cooler is a tiny aluminium contraption but keeps the CPU cool and not audible other than at startup when it whines up to max. The Silverstone Nightjar PSU is a great asset (fan less with platinum efficiency) and contributes to the low noise and power consumption. The case / CPU / GPU fans are inaudible above background even at load. Mind you, I now have to look at my Synology 413 NAS drive that now makes more noise and use more power at idle than my desktop! Enable XMP profile on this MOBO to get the memory to run at stock settings at design speed (2,666MHz and 1.2V) - on default the MOBO insists on running at 1.35V. I could not get the on board Intel HD530 HDMI working at all (used DVI). I think that is is a MOBO hardware fault but could not be bothered to do an RMA. Otherwise no problems.

Part Reviews

CPU Cooler

Great cooler with low noise and fits my mATX MOBO well. Difficult to find in Australia (I imported mine from Quiet PC in the UK). Swapped out the Intel Stock cooler on the i7-6700 for Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Reb B. Great improvement. CPU temp drop from 86 C to 61 C under load from PRIME95. A lot quieter under same load too from stock fan screaming at 2397 RPM to Scythe fan running at about 50% at 1024 RPM at max load. I like the down draft fan to keep MOBO components cool.

Motherboard

Great MOBO. The fan controller is a nice tool to play with. The HDMI port did not work when using on board HD graphics 530 (the DVI was OK). I decided not to RMA as using the Firepro.

Memory

Nice to get 2,600 MHz at 1.2V. The MOBO did insisted at driving at 1.35V but was OK after enabling the XMP profile.

Storage

Blazingly fast with measured 2.4GB.s read and 1.4MB/s write. Simple file writes extremely fast Eg 2GB set of .MPG video files coping in a second or so. Beware however of serious slowing down with even moderate activity such as Windows 10 updates that can take SSD load to 100% and show up to 5,000 ms latency with this type of load.

Video Card

I chose this card for 10 bit color and low power consumption for photography and video edit use. My whole i7-6700 based PC uses a total of 20W at idle using the W4300. The W4300 contributes about 10W of this power this at idle (at 2560 X 1400 resolution at 75Hz). I have run load tests using PRIME95 to stress CPU where total PC uses about 125W under full CPU load. Using Performance Test 8, as expected the W4300 is not up to the best retail game cards in 3D but is equal or better than the top game cards in 2D (which is what I was looking for) Eg. Performance Test 8 2D Graphic Mark score is 910 vs GTX 980 at 894 and 3D Graphics Mark 3007 vs GTX 980 of 10341. However the W4300 excels in some 2D areas Eg Graphics 2D - Direct 2D at 54.6 vs GTX 980 at 28.5. Other areas are comparable Eg Graphics 2D - Complex Vectors 1590.6 vs GTX 980 at 155.2

Case

Solid case with good fittings. Well padded although some of the steel is a little thin. The fan controller is a good idea although I am not using it. Fans quiet.

Power Supply

A little dear but very efficient and of course silent. This gig draws max about 50W so the PSU idles and is very cool.

Comments

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Stock cooler? In a silent build? Really?

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Agree. Pretty silent when it's off! Getting a Cryorig C7 then maybe it'll be quiet when it is on!

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

I will not recomend any blower type cpu fan. You may want to take a look at some noctua ones. They have some silent but efficient cpu coolers.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

HI all - this gig has a Firepro W4300 but can't seem to create that part as it is not yet in the PCPP inventory yet so selected the dear big brother W5100 that has same specs..

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

The good people at PCP have now added the W4300 to the parts list so I have now corrected the card in the build to the W4300.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Swapped out the Intel Stock cooler for Scythe Big Shuriken 2 rev b. Great improvement. CPU temp drop from 86 C to 61 C under load from PRIME95. A lot quieter under same load too from stock fan screaming at 2397 RPM to Scythe fan running at about 50% at 1024 RPM. Case fans also running lower 1237 (100%) to 1024.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build man. I am about to do a very similar build and I am curious how you are liking the firepro? do you use it for any CAD or other rendering operations and if so how does it preform? I've seen that some people run into problems with amd's drivers for these cards not being the best, how has your experience been? Also one person commented that their firepro card had trouble because of the onboard graphics of an intel cpu, any comments? thanks for your help and like I said great build. It's nice seeing a good workstation build.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

HI DannyB. Tks for your note, I bought the W4300 (one of the first to do so in the country I understand) as the most cost effective solution for what I was looking at being able to have 10 bit graphics for my 10 bit true color monitor (Dell U2712H) for photography use. I also wanted a reasonable 3D capability for the odd game.

I have used the PC daily since build in Jan and never had a crash. At the time I downloaded the AMD driver from the Sapphire site (AMD FirePro Software Suite with driver rev 15.201.2401.0 dated 4 Nov 2015).

Th PC uses 12 W at idle without the W4300 (using Intel on board graphics) and 22W at idle using the W4300 so I guess the W4300 adds about 10W at idle (at 2560 X 1400 resolution at 75Hz). I have run load tests PRIME95 for CPU and Performance Test 8. As expected the W4300 is not up to the best retail game cards in 3D but is equal or better than the top game cards in 2D (which is what I was looking for) Eg. 2D Graphic Mark score of 910 vs GTX 980 at 894 and 3D Graphics Mark 3007 vs GTX 980 of 10341. Howeverthe W4300 excels in some 2D areas Eg Graphics 2D - Direct 2D at 54.6 vs GTX 980 at 28.5. Other areas are comparable Eg Graphics 2D - Complex Vectors 1590.6 vs GTX 980 at 155.2.

The only observation that I have If I was to do this build again is perhaps to use a smaller case or even an ITX MOBO. The tiny W4300 will fit anywhere and the fan is hardly used.

[comment deleted]
  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Tks for your input Masterworker. I agree that I could have dropped the Z chipset for the H or Q - just liked the idea of playing a bit. I did consider the i5-6500 and (K) but felt the T CPUs had a bit less grunt for future proofing this build. Agree though that that would have required even less power. I thought about micro ATX and small case but went for the mATX although it is a bit empty at the moment! You are right about the PSU with my rig taking about 70W at load. Seems that all the attention of cool kit is nowadays is still for MW based power consumption! Me thinks that times will change and we will swing back to smaller boxes with lower TDP CPUs in time. It's interesting reflecting on how Intel has grown up from the tiny 8086 past onto the Pentiums, Core 2 and Quads with TDPs of 100W+ or more and only now after more than two decades only starting to drop power consumption.