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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
If you're looking for a quiet gaming computer you might want to try an open air one.

After decades of messing around with various case types and lots of different intake and exhaust fans I've found the best performing and quietest is by not using a conventional case.

The latest version has only 5 fans, 2 Noctua D15 fans and the EVGA FTW3 1080ti 3 fans. The 8700K cpu is overclocked to 5.3Ghz and the GPU is overclocked to 2012Mhz.

The motherboard, gpu and cpu are actually separated from the PSU and hard drives with long PSU and SATA extension cables .................. with the motherboard, GPU and CPU sitting on a shelf and the PSU & storage drives hidden under a table. The monitor is on a desk about 8' away from the GPU.

That way there is no heat transfer from the PSU or drives to the GPU or CPU.

And, because there is no need to deal with any heat buildup inside a case there are no ventilation fans at all.

By sticking with an simple air cooling, there is no water pump heat & noise or extra cooling fans to deal with.

Conventional thinking is that a case lowers the overall noise because the case itself blocks noise, but what I've found is it actually creates a louder situation because the internal heat builds up that requires more and more fans that all have to work harder and harder to intake and exhaust air.

Not to mention that the GPU and CPU cooling fans have to work harder and are noisier because they are using hot air to start with instead of an open air design where all the components are always using fresh air.

Higher overclocks are possible because everything runs cooler.

Anyway..... just something that might be considered if a quiet gaming computer is what you're looking for.

The only issue is the computer needs to be in a location that isn't going to damaged by little hands sticking toys into it !

:)
 

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Very nice! Cable runs done very tastefully as well, looks good.
 

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Very well done and clean.
 

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Nice setup! I used to run an open setup when I was into hardware reviews as it made swapping hardware around much easier and I didn't really have any cases at the time that I liked.

There are some downsides to running without a case, dust and in some circumstances increased noise. I had a Corsair AX1200i that would emit a high frequency noise when turned off, so I had to completely disconnect it every night as it prevented us from being able to sleep, this wasn't an issue when it was in a case.

The ultimate solution is probably watercooling.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys !!

It's ironic ...... I actually have a lot less dust issue with this open case design.

It seemed that the intake fans on previous closed case designs sucked more floating dust from all around the room (kinda like a vacuum) into the case where it accumulated more on the components and fans.

And, cases with really fine mesh screens just collected dust and restricted air flow raised the inside of the case temps to rise causing more noise.

As far as PSU noise...... that's one of the reasons I separated the computer into 2 parts. The PSU & drives are in their case below the table.

I'm not a big fan of watercooling because of pump noise.
 

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Looks great, I also noticed on my Arc Midi R2 that the biggest source of noise is actually the turbulence at the front grille, it's the quietest if I just remove the front filter assembly altogether. So I too have been toying with the idea of an open air build, but I'm thinking on a somewhat different approach, by building a vertical tray and sticking psu and drives behind it, should look interesting for a compact atx build.
Speaking of which, what MB tray is that?
 

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Looks great!

Have you tried aluminium cases from the likes of Lian Li? Supposedly they act as a big heatsink. Also Silverstone do one which uses thermal convection and is also made from aluminium unfortunatly it is m-atx.

If I was rich enough I would like my own case made from aluminium I figure slow RPM large circumference fan at the bottom pushing air upwards would do the job, something like a 500mm at 100rpm? And maybe one at the top too (exhaust fan) and then just passive stuff inside?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Looks great, I also noticed on my Arc Midi R2 that the biggest source of noise is actually the turbulence at the front grille, it's the quietest if I just remove the front filter assembly altogether. So I too have been toying with the idea of an open air build, but I'm thinking on a somewhat different approach, by building a vertical tray and sticking psu and drives behind it, should look interesting for a compact atx build.
Speaking of which, what MB tray is that?

I'm using the top part of a Banchetto 101 as the base for motherboard. The Banchetto is a 2 part computer. The base part holds the PSU and drives. But, the way I've got it set up ... only the top part with the motherboard is visible.

Unfortunatly, Microcool only made the Banchetto 101 for a couple of years and they are now almost impossible to find. I haven't seen anybody selling a new one for many years.

The Motherboard was only part of the problem.

To get the look I was going for I needed a glass corner platform so it looks sort of like it's floating in the corner.

I actually had to buy a glass shelf from the UK. Nobody in the US makes such a platform. Getting somebody to ship it to the US was expensive and a real hassle !!

Here are a couple links to Banchetto and the corner glass shelf.

http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/miba101clmoc.html

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Invision®-U.../dp/B006G0UF8A
 

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Why do we pay so much for so little of a case? i have noticed open benches are in the $200AUD price range, i can get a complete case for less then that and they are selling me half a case.

looks good by the way. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Why do we pay so much for so little of a case? i have noticed open benches are in the $200AUD price range, i can get a complete case for less then that and they are selling me half a case.

looks good by the way. :)
Thanks !

Not sure why open benches cost as much as they do.

I like the look of all the components ..... and, I started thinking instead of plexiglass panels to see the components, I'd just leave 'em out in the open.

And, then tried to find a way of doing that looked the best.

Turned out it is a LOT quieter than a closed case design.
 

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Just keep an eye on VRM temps and be aware cases are also to reduce EMI and provide a grounding point.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Just keep an eye on VRM temps and be aware cases are also to reduce EMI and provide a grounding point.
Good points !!

VRM temps are fine and there doesn't appear to be any issue with EMI.

But, the grounding point is extremely interesting,

I think I'll run a small wire from the motherboard to a ground source just to make sure that there are no static discharge issues.

Thanks for the comment !!!
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Just keep an eye on VRM temps and be aware cases are also to reduce EMI and provide a grounding point.
Actually, I've done a bit of searching and found that the Motherboard and all connected components (gpu, cpu cooler, etc) should be grounded with the 24 pin PSU cable.

8 of the 24 cables in a PSU cable are "ground" connections. And the PSU is grounded by the standard 3 prong 110v plug.

https://www.lifewire.com/atx-24-pin-12v-power-supply-pinout-2624578

It doesn't appear the motherboard needs any any addtional grounding by being connected to a case.

The case would be getting it's ground from the same source ... the PSU.

Thoughts ?
 

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I'm not sure about that since the audio solution may use the motherboard standoffs as a ground.

I noticed some people had buzzing on their Asrock Z370 boards which they claimed was solved by making sure the standoff in the bottom left was properly inserted.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'm not sure about that since the audio solution may use the motherboard standoffs as a ground.

I noticed some people had buzzing on their Asrock Z370 boards which they claimed was solved by making sure the standoff in the bottom left was properly inserted.
That could be ... but, it might be motherboard specific.

I've got an ASUS Maximus X Code and there are no audio issues.

It would be an interesting question how the motherboard manufacturers ground all the parts of their boards and if the PSU ground wires are enough.
 

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I've heard that one before as well, the tray provides yet another grounding point for the mobo. That's why I decided to not risk it, and salvaged a tray from an old case to use on the build. As an added bonus it has a separate expansion slot bracket that I can use as well, meaning mounting the graphics card just became way easier.
Now if I'm not mistaken, all I need is to make sure there is grounding all the way from the tray to the psu's shell, right?
 

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Ok, so that happened. Took my parts out of the current case, put them on the tray, and fired up some testing.
Good news is the fans indeed work a lot less, and without case fans there is indeed less airflow noise. The not so good news is that I just found out my MSI 970 has an absolutely gargantuan coil while :D I mean it's so much whine I'm actually impressed the case could drown it all out. Well judging from what I heard, it's closer to call it a coil rattle than whine, and even thought at first one of the fans could be hitting something, but last I heard you can't immediately kill a fan rattle by pausing a game or alt-tabbing.
Oh well, looks like I'll have to rethink my approach for an open air case. :D
 
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