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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After years of dreaming about building a truly silent, no moving parts PC for my new home computer, I have finally started actually ordering components. I used to use a system I plucked out of a dumpster in Seattle that was a 2008-ish (might be as old as 2006?) AMD Athlon/Radeon based build that was so loud it drove me nuts. Currently, the newest system I have in the house is a 2017 MacBook Pro with a 7th gen Core i5, but it really belongs to my company, so even though I have been using it like my own computer in place of the 2013 Dell Inspiron laptop with a Haswell Celeron that was my last personal buy, it's really supposed to be for work.

Here's what I'm getting:
Gigabyte Z690 UD AX DDR5 motherboard
Intel Core i5-12600T CPU (Intel UHD 770 GPU)
Seasonic Prime PX-500 fanless PSU
Noctua NH-P1 passive CPU cooler
Thermaltake Core P3 case
Samsung 980 PRO 500GB M.2 SSD
Kingston Fury Beast DDR5-4800 CL38 2x8GB RAM

Now, the only game I really play is Danmachi Memoria Freese via BlueStacks 5, but I play 5 accounts—one on my iPad, two on the 2017 MacBook, and two on a 2012 MacBook (3rd gen Core i5), both running Windows 10 Pro and BlueStacks 5, both with only 8GB mem each. They both have macOS installed, as well, but I rarely use it, since these machines are both company machines, and although my boss runs macOS on his, I started there running Windows on my old Dell, so I've just stuck with Windows for all the work stuff. The 2017 MacBook handles running two accounts simultaneously pretty well, but the 2012 MacBook struggles, with the fan going full speed all the time and the system getting a little sluggish. Even on the newer MacBook, forget opening Outlook 365 simultaneously with two BlueStacks instances, and the fan runs more than I would prefer.

I'm hoping that with the new system and 16GB RAM, I will be able to run four BlueStacks instances simultaneously with Discord, the old MacBook can be retired back to my office on the other side of town, and the newer MacBook can then go back to being used just for work. And who knows? Maybe this new system will actually be fast enough to enjoy the occasional PC game. I never did buy Diablo 3, because I never had a system fast enough to run it. I'm not a hardcore gamer girl, but I do like to occasionally play PC games, mainly stuff like Diablo or Civilization.

The new system will be connected to a Toshiba 50" 4K UHD TV at the foot of my bed, and will handle my modest gaming and entertainment needs. I might see if I can Hackintosh it, just for fun, since Gigabyte motherboards have been in the past pretty workable for that, but we'll see. I used to be a die-hard Mac girl for everything but gaming, but the only things I really need a Mac for these days are audio production, for which I'm still using a 2005 Power Mac G5 system, because it still works, and all my audio hardware requires it.

I'm looking forward to posting more about the build as the parts come in! I haven't built a PC since 2013, when I built a Haswell Core i3/Radeon system om and Intel motherboard for my niece and nephew.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I ran into problems attempting to order the Intel Core i5-12600T from QuietPC in England. Although my PayPal Debit MasterCard was charged, and the money extracted from my bank account, QuietPC claims my transaction was flagged as suspicious by their bank, and refused to process my order. They refunded my money, which took a week to be returned to my bank account. I am debating attempting to order with them again using a direct bank transfer for payment, or instead ordering a Core i5-12600K via Amazon and manually limiting PL1/PL2/Tau in the BIOS to the same values as the 12600T, 35 W/74 W/28 s.

The problem is, I've never attempted to limit a CPU in this way, before, so I don't know how well it will work, and this is potentially a $300 USD mistake, which I can ill afford. If it does work, the 12600K in a 10-core CPU with an addition 4 efficiency cores the 12600T doesn't have, so I could potentially be much better off. Even though the K costs quite a bit more than the T, the extra shipping from the UK for the T makes it about the same price. I've put in an email to Noctua to ask them what they think. They do list the 12600K as compatible with the NH-P1, provided you don't mind the CPU throttling under full load. Theoretically, limiting the power to the 12600K should obviate that problem, and I won't mind the performance decrease in exchange.

As of this morning, the case and power supply have arrived. I also ordered an APC Back-UPS BVN650M1, which has also arrived. Today, theoretically, I should receive the RAM, CPU cooler, and SSD. I decided to double the RAM to 32GB, after learning that dual-channel memory architecture boards will slow down if you populate all four slots, so not wanting to deal with having made the mistake of not buying enough RAM, I paid the $75 more for double the memory.

The motherboard is on its way on the slow boat from Spain (TechINN was the only place I could find the Z690 UD AX DDR5 in stock. I should have just ordered the Z690 Gaming X DDR5 via a US dealer.), so the last component is the CPU.

Now I need to start cleaning up the area where the new system will live, behind my 50" TV, at the foot of my bed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
After a delivery SNAFU, in which my CPU cooler, RAM, SSD, and an SD Card for my digital camera were delivered to my neighbors around the corner, I have decided to go ahead and order the Core i5-12600K. Noctua got back to me and assured me this would work well, so that makes me feel better.

I know no one is following this post right now, but it may prove useful to someone in the future, so I will continue to update it as progress progresses.

The last two pieces are the motherboard and CPU. The motherboard was supposedly shipped from Spain on June 12 (no further updates as yet), and Amazon promises the CPU on Jun 17.

The 5th Anniversary event in Danmachi Memoria Freese has been pushed back to June 22, so I'm hoping to have my new PC up and running beforehand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I've cleaned up some of my space and set up a temporary workbench to start building, and already I've run into a couple of problems. One of the motherboard standoffs supplied with the case is the wrong size (and of course there are no extras provided), and one of the mounting holes on the power supply may be stripped (less of a problem, since they don't actually hold any weight and there are 8 of them). With such a large heatsink for a cooler, I definitely want all the motherboard mounting positions working, so I am going to have to track down a standoff. I have an old junk machine in the house from which I may be able to salvage one standoff. I'm not sure if any standoffs will be provided with the motherboard, itself.

From the Thermaltake Core P3, I've removed the wall mounting bridge and the drive mounts from the inside of the chassis, since I won't be using any of them. I'm also not installing the air filter or the PCI bridge, since I won't be using any of those either. I will put the glass panel on it, since that will keep me from bumping into the system as I walk past it.

I kind of wish I had got the next size up Seasonic fanless supply, the TX-700, if only because it is slightly more efficient, being Titanium rated, instead of Platinum, but that's not likely to be much of an issue with this build. And besides, that would have cost me an extra $116 over the cost of the PX-500, which is a bit silly.

For now, I really can't do any more until the motherboard comes in, and since that is coming from Spain, I doubt I will get another tracking notice until it clears US Customs, whenever that will be.

Wood Office ruler Computer hardware Computer case Electrical wiring
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh, I did get a tracking update from TechINN about the motherboard. It has finally been marked as "exported". Order placed 2022-06-03, order shipped 2022-06-09, 2022-06-15 at 04:59 UTC +1 (?), marked "exported", which I take to mean "is in a cargo container waiting to be loaded onto whatever conveyance will bring it to the US". Better be an airplane, or I'm gonna be mad as heck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The motherboard finally arrived yesterday, and I got everything built. Everything is working perfectly, although I had a bit of a scare when I first powered it on and it didn't POST.

I had hooked up my old Logitech G710+ mechanical keyboard to it, since it was nearby, and I had forgotten that the G710+ has a hardware defect where it sends out spurious data before the OS boots. I had plugged the USB cables for it into the two USB ports above the PS/2 port, one of which is the dedicated Q-Flash port and I think this was causing a problem. I switched the keyboard to two different USB ports, and everything booted just fine.

Windows 11 installed without a hitch, except I had to run an actual Ethernet cable over to my router to get it online to download the rest of the drivers. Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon also installed fine, except I'm having problems with the drivers that I will resolve later. I did download the Realtek Ethernet driver and install it, but when I rebooted, the driver didn't load.

I gave up, because it was more important to finish setting up Windows and Bluestacks, because today starts the 5th Anniversary of Danmachi Memoria Freese, my favorite mobile game, and I'm running four accounts in four simultaneous instances of Bluestacks 5. I'll fix the Linux install later.

I ended up cannibalizing a motherboard standoff from the old AMD system I keep meaning to donate or junk, because there are no stores near me that sell electronics or computer parts.

The system is dead silent, temps have never gone over 60C with it running under load. I decided to got with 40 W/80W/40 sec for my PL1/PL2/Tau limits, and the system isn't even breaking a sweat. The internal GPU is handling 2160p60 just fine.

Here's a picture just before I put the glass panel on the front:
Table Personal computer Desk Computer hardware Computer case
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
First benchmark test. I have Windows 11 Power Setting at "Maximum Power Efficiency". During this test, CPU temps never exceeded 50C and power consumption never exceeded 40W, according to HWMonitor.

Font Screenshot Multimedia Electronic device Software
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
After doing a bunch of testing, I ended up settling on removing all power limits and going with the defaults. a 10 min Cinebench run produced CPU temps of about 96-97 C, and maximum power dissipation of about 125 W, so we can assume that sustained testing would probably eventually cause the CPU to hit the 100 C threshold and begin throttling. My next trick was to undervolt the CPU in the BIOS by setting it to Adaptive Voltage with an offset. I crashed at -300 mV. It crashed at -200 mV. It was stable at -100 mV, crashed at -150 mV, stable at -125 mV, crashed at -140 mV halfway through a Cinebench run, and stable again at -135 mV, which produced the highest Cinebench score so far of 17513, with power consumption hovering at about 100 W and max CPU temps of 86-88 C even after several 10 minute runs with only a minute or two for reboots inbetween.

At -0 mV, I scored 17485
At -100 mV, I scored 17511
At -125 mV, I scored 17466
At -135 mV, I scored 17513
At -140 mV, the system crashed halfway through the run
At -150 mV and below, the system crashed either upon login or before.

These numbers are all basically within the margin of error, considering they were run at different times. The -0 mV and -100 mV runs were when the CPU was basically cold, and the -125 mV and -135 mV runs were when the CPU was already hot. Between -100 mV and -135 mV, max power dissipation was all within the 98-102 W range, and by the end of the last run, the CPU temp was creeping up so slowly that I think it probably would not reach 100 C, at all, of if it did, it would be after a much longer time period had passed with the system under 100% load.

I'm going to run it at -135 mV for now, but in most of my daily use, I'm not stressing the system, at all. If it crashes again, I'll bump it up to -130 mV and see how it does there.

Photograph Light World Screenshot Font
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The last few days, I've been using ThrottleStop to undervolt the CPU cache by -30 mV (any lower and things start crashing), and the GPU by -100 mV. Everything has been stable at those settings. I'm just not quite sure how to translate the ThrottleStop settings into BIOS settings. I'll figure it out eventually, but right now, it's not a priority, since everything is "just working".
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I finally got around to fixing the Linux install, which mostly involved updating the kernel to the latest 5.15 version:

Linux tenshi 5.15.0-33-generic #34~20.04.1-Ubuntu SMP Thu May 19 15:51:16 UTC 2022 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux



My PassMark CPU score is 30433, which is about 10% faster than the average PassMark CPU score for the Core i5-12600K of 27532. I can't say I'm unhappy. This is only with the CPU undervolted, not the CPU Cache or GPU, since I don't have those settings transferred to the BIOS, yet, so obviously the ThrottleStop settings won't transfer to Linux.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I made a slight mistake in my previous benchmark run. I had actually updated the BIOS just before and didn't realize it wiped out my custom undervoltage settings. Later on, I had a system crash that corrupted the data cache for my main account in Danmachi Memoria Freese, so after rebooting, I increased the CPU voltage by 5 mV, now running at -130 mV, with the CPU cache at no offset and the GPU at no offset.

With those settings, I turned in a PassMark CPU run of 30625:

 
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