Well let me know if you do end up building another rig and I'll buy some Noctua stock first.
I really love my D14, it is everything I expected and more in terms of quality. I didn't know for sure that the fins were soldered to the heatpipes (which is better than press fit because they don't have a weaker thermal transfer over time) until I saw it in person, it's the only cooler I know that does that. My first impressions are good on it's performance (folds or primes at about 55C max at 1.25v 4ghz) but I want to up the volts and really stress it before I can say it has exceeded my expectations there, because based on internet reviews/hype my expectations are set pretty high.
With that said I can make some recommendations for fans if you are considering looking at other than Noctua for good quiet fans. The Ty-140
is supposedly slightly better than the p14 at the same noise levels according to a few reviews I've read like SPCR
. The nexus basic
is also very well regarded for it's silence and is reasonably priced as well, I have two and they are incredibly quiet and even come with rubber mounts. I haven't used a p12 as a case fan yet so I can't comment on performance between the two but I can say that the Nexus is quieter than the p12. Those are probably my go to fans for 120 and 140 sizes (keep in mind that the TY-140 is a 140 fan that has 120mm mounting holes) but I also picked up one of these
for rear exhaust, because I figured it's open design would pull a little bit more air from my mobo VRMs which appear to be just out of the airflow path of a typical closed fan, and I have been very impressed with both it's very quiet operation even at full 1500rpm, and the air it moves. That AC fan is also mechanically disconnected from the case even when you use typical screws because of it's open floating design, I like it a lot, but keep in mind it is only applicable for exhaust due to it's mounting.
If you are considering a new case, check out the Fractal R3
. It is designed to be a very quiet case with options to either maximize silence or airflow, if you chose to go the airflow route you would be able to use all your current fans (but in different positions i.e. the 140s in the top) and it should be quieter than your current case due to it's built in sound insulation and front door. Above I linked you to a good video review of it I like, and here is the cheapest
I have been able to find it online, pretty reasonably priced for it, considering the free shipping.Edited by juano - 5/19/11 at 11:34pm