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Discussion Starter #1
I want to build a air cooled PC, that is overclocked, but silent for most of the time (I plan in having a "non-silent mode" for when I want to use 100% of its resources overclocked, if needed, ideally I would leave it only silent).

My build so far:

i5-4690K
ASRock Z97 Extreme4
4x8gb EVGA-Microcenter SSC DDR3-2400 1.65v (by the way: is that RAM easily overclockable?)
Sapphire Nitro R9 380X (for now... I plan in either going xfire 380X if it gets really cheap, or use new AMD gpu, but that is for later)
3 WD Black 1TB

Don't have PSU yet.
For chassis I bought a Intel SC5250-E on a junkyard, I will "mod" it heavily (mostly because I don't have any choice, it is missing parts, I will have to build new parts)

I have ideas, but I have no clue if they will ever work, this is my first high-end computer, including the first time I have a GPU with giant fans (all my past GPUs had tiny 40mm coolers that didn't made any noise, that were there probably to not waste money on a proper heatsink), I am not sure how they will act.

Ideas:

1. Something kinda like the stock SC5250-E wanted: passive giant heatsinks on CPU, and air duct connecting front of the case, back of the case, and heatsinks, with fans on the chassis (not on the heatsink).

2. Put deflectors as needed inside the case.

3. Find some fans that can be silent, or fast as needed...

4. If 3 is not doable, slap Delta fans on the case, and turn them on if I need them. (the case by the way, was supposed to have Delta fans, when I bought it, the stock intake fan was still present even! and it still works, 80mm high-RPM model).

And sorry if I asked something already answered, I've been lurking and reading this forum for some months already, but it is quite big, and hard for a newbie to find information, specially when I am not even sure what information I need, I never overclocked before, never owned a positive-pressure based PC (all my past PCs had those smallest as possible ATX office-OEM case, even my gaming ones, that come only with a exhaust fan and no intake... when I bought the SC5250-E I was shocked by its gigantic size, only to find out later when looking stats on internet that it has the same size as the popular modern cases on the first world countries, like the Define R4/R5, H440, etc...)
 

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Delidding the cpu would help you lower the rpm
You may want to repaste the gpu with something else

Add a few low rpm "silent" case fans?

or you could use 1 pump+ a mo-ra3 radiator+2case fans
should easily handle both cpu/gpu passively even when oc'd
 

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Silent, OCed air-cooled systems have been possible for over a decade. You will find very often that HDDs and GPUs (at load) are the loudest components once you're finished
tongue.gif
 

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Quote:
Sapphire Nitro R9 380X (for now... I plan in either going xfire 380X if it gets really cheap, or use new AMD gpu, but that is for later)
3 WD Black 1TB
You probably have to get rid of the WD Black and forget second AMD GPU but otherwise practically silent is definitely doable.
 

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Yes air cooled is very possible! Based on experience, I recommend the Thermalright Macho series, or even the Macho Zero (fanless). Just check for reviews.

The Sapphire Nitro that you are considering is also very good. I have one, and fans do not spin at all at low loads.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Those HDD are the infamous fake-blacks.

There is a thread here on the forum about them.

For those not willing to visit the thread:

They are 7200rpm WD Blue, with black sticker on it, literally. They have the same mechanical internals, same PCB, same weight, exactly the same results in all benchmarks and tests, etc...

Among its features (that is a feature in a WD Blue, but a "bug" in a WD Black) is that it has Acoustic Management turned on permanently, it results in low seek time, but you can use any HDD software to try to cause the most noisy seek test as possible, and the thing will still be eerily silent.

Since the Zephyr (the name of my build), is right now sitting on a bench without chassis (I used the boxes as support), I even tested turning on seek test, and putting my ear on the HDDs, not a single sound, either in the seek noise, or the spinning noise, it is so silent it is creepy, you think they are broken.

I bought them because they were the cheapest, wasn't expecting SSD-level acoustics from them
tongue.gif
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by sydefekt View Post

Yes air cooled is very possible! Based on experience, I recommend the Thermalright Macho series, or even the Macho Zero (fanless). Just check for reviews.

The Sapphire Nitro that you are considering is also very good. I have one, and fans do not spin at all at low loads.
They actually DO spin at low load, but they do like 1 or 2 full rotations and stop, I ahve the impression the GPU fires the fans a bit sometimes to cool down a little, and then stops again.

Still, the only time I saw the GPU being noisy was when the mobo acted up (I ran furmark once on the GPU, out of curiosity since I hear so much about it, didn't knew yet it is dangerous, at 100% usage the temps were 60c, and the fans were spinning, but very slowly, not noticeable at all... coil whine on the other hand...)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Can't find how to edit my post, how I do that?

I accidentally hit submit on my last post too early.

I wanted to explain what the mobo did, that made the GPU audible:

The ASRock z97 Extreme4 is notoriously temperamental, refusing to turn back on after you remove power, or randomly crapping out for no obvious reason if you are messing around with UEFI.

In one of its freak outs, I had just updated the UEFI using the UEFI Internet tool, from 1.3 to 2.3, and after the update ended, the mobo started to turn on regardless of my button-pressing (as long it had power it would turn on), and do something that looked like a test of all components, turning on all leds and fans at 100% on and off, and flashing every possible number on Dr. Debug panel, scared the crap out of me, and the GPU with fans forcefully turned at 100% made the hell of a loud noise.

Hitting the "reset cmos" switch fixed it though (it just started booting normally... also I am yet to figure what the switch do, the manual says to not touch it with power conncted, but sometimes it only boots after taking off power by pressing the switch... also it doesn't change most UEFI settings, the only difference I saw being it turns off the RAM XMP and uses the highest JEDEC instead, and the switch immediately powers-up the mobo like a "on" button...)
 

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i can recomend u wd blue 5400rpm series. i own 1tb one and u cant hear it when its running. but if u want totaly silent pc build u should look for passive psu an ssd and big ass cpu radiator and switch gpu to more power efficient.
 

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Run a bunch of COUGAR CF-V12HP fans.They make almost no noise and move a decent amount of air. They are also PWM. Also you can run a really large 200mm+ fan or similar at a very very low speed.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightfallx View Post

look up some Noctua fans. they are extremely quiet. I have two on my heatsink. super cool, super quiet.
+1.

I've equipped my main rig (The Powerhouse, down in my signature, i7 6700K @ 4,6 GHz) with a big NH-D15 CPU cooler and 5 Noctua 140 mm fans (2 PWM, 3 standard). On idle the non PWM fans are off, the PWM fans are at their minimal speed (+/- 250 RPM), absolute silence. When the temperature rises the PWM fans go a bit faster and I progressively start the others fans. At full load (aka rendering a 4K timelapse while playing Project Cars on Ultra @ 1440p) all the fans are started, at around 650-700 RPM. We'll see this summer how it'll go, but currently the only noise I car hear is a very slight swoosh when I put my ear next to the case, which will be covered by any music/external noise anyhow. My GPU is by far the noisiest element while gaming.

As for the HDD I went the WD Red road, 4TB here, they are absolutely noiseless in my isolated case.
 

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Totally silent, probably not, but very quiet is not a problem.

Look around for fans and ask about the ones you think you might like. While Noctua are good fans, they are generally higher priced than many others with just as good performance and some with even better performance.
 

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the difference between very quiet and silent is very tiny and not worth the money spent and performance loss.

want nearly silent ? I got 4790K and 980Ti in my system, all air cooled, and I hear my HDDs over the rest of my components while gaming.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klocek001 View Post

the difference between very quiet and silent is very tiny and not worth the money spent and performance loss.

want nearly silent ? I got 4790K and 980Ti in my system, all air cooled, and I hear my HDDs over the rest of my components while gaming.
If yours is like mine, the HDDs are the only thing I hear unless I'm rendering or encoding with CPU at 95-100% on all cores .. and even then the HDDs are easily as loud if not louder than the sound of air flowing and maybe low hum from fan motors.
thumb.gif

The hum of frig in kitchen 6 meters away is louder than well setup air cooled computer at full load.
 

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You sure can. Check out the rig in my sig. 100% air cooled and very very quiet. I can actually hear, every so slightly, my HDDs over the fans when I'm doing a lot of writing to them.
 

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How much HDD noise there is depends on what HDD and how they are mounted in your case. Many new cases have vibration / noise dampening HDD mounts now. They make a huge difference, but HDD noise is often the loudest thing in a well built air cooled case. A good air cooled system is no louder than a good water cooled system. .. Do not even bring up CLCs! They are like heavy metal noise levels compared to a private reading room.
tongue.gif


Keep in mind that in most all homes the quietest they ever get is about 30dB. Maybe on a very quiet night in a basement room when the fridge, freezer, furnace or AC, water and nothing else running it will be down to 25dB. At that point you will probably be not only hearing your own breathing but anyone within reach and your own heartbeat.
 

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Talking about HDDs and WD Blacks... Any 7,2k drive is a no-go unless decoupled and sealed in a box.
Even airborne noise tends to get pretty bad.

 

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Discussion Starter #19
Seriously people, I have 3 WD Black sitting on my bench, in the open, right in front of me, they don't make any noise, at all, ever.

Is that experience THAT unusual? Or I am in a place with so much noise I don't notice them?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrSpeeder View Post

Seriously people, I have 3 WD Black sitting on my bench, in the open, right in front of me, they don't make any noise, at all, ever.

Is that experience THAT unusual? Or I am in a place with so much noise I don't notice them?
once they make contact to metal case they will rattle like crazy if u put soft foam under HDD then yea u will not hear them.
 
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