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Old 02-06-2013, 05:15 PM   #1
vbuggy
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Default The fart rig. Recommendations please.

Silent but deadly is what I'm looking for. Key is silence, then power.

It'll be replacing the previous rig (which has actually just been got rid of):

Fractal Design R3 with NF-S12B's on front + rear, i7-2600K + Noctua NH-D14 running single fan, Asus DirectCUII 580, Silverstone Strider Plus 1000 PSU (I'd originally intended to get another GPU in there but never bothered, but the Strider was very quiet under any kind of load so I liked it).

I'm definitely not looking to go any louder than this. Even quieter would be nice, along with a reasonable kick up the backside in terms of performance. Hydro? I'd look at something like the H80i if it made a major difference but I'm not looking to go full hydro.

I also had a host adapter + SSD's in there but I've also decided not to try and re-use these drives. They're also gone. But I will need to replicate this setup on the new rig.

Prerequisites:
- Flagship quad core. Noise depending, I'd consider two-socket systems for the power.
- Flagship GPU, again though with the noise (in idle or regular desktop use at least) caveat.
- 16Gb RAM to start, require ultimate support for 32Gb (or more would be nice).
- 4-SSD (>480Gb each) SATAIII RAID0 array with a host adapter that can handle it (and of course, a mobo that can accomodate the adapter in a correctly sized slot without anything else getting in the way).
- Decent gaming-specific soundcard. The stereo analog output from this will be fed into an existing pro audio card to mix the two outputs together for convenience. Not a big fan of the 'legendary STX', actually I think it sucks, especially for headphone 3D audio. So something Creative, methinks - unless there's an even better option.

In terms of aesthetics, I'm not 12 - so I like a fairly restrained look. And once again, silence is golden, so even if the case looks a bit boring if it's noise performance is top notch I'll take it.

Full system recommendations please - i.e. case, mobo, CPU, cooler(s), mem, PSU, GPU, soundcard, host adapter, SSD's and optical drives (I need two, one Bluray reader).

OS: Windows 8 Pro
Peripherals: There will be 2-3 Dell S2430T's (i.e. touchscreens) attached. I haven't yet decided whether it'll be all-touchscreen or a combo.

I have no particular budget in mind. Go nuts as long as the key prerequisites are met.
EDIT: I forgot - buying in the UK.

Last edited by vbuggy; 02-06-2013 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:58 PM   #2
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Your old system was pretty good. Upgrading the GPU was all it needed. Did you sell it or something? Because unless you go with a socket 2011 six core chip you're not going to get more CPU power than an overclocked 2600K

Check our silentpcreview for recommendations on getting quieter than you have. They are super anal about noise over there. I used to be a regular but realized I didn't care that much. My rigs are quiet, but not silent.

Watercooling won't get you a quieter rig than air. Air is better because you don't have a pump running.
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:27 PM   #3
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No, I gave it to someone. I usually replace everything I have yearly (notebooks) or 18-24 months (desktops). It was time to look for something new. I'm not the world's greatest fan of building however so I was putting it off a bit but finally I now have to do it.

I am looking at the 2011-based rigs. It's a matter of whether they can deliver more bang with the same or less noise. But again, I'll look at any whole-system recommendation on it's own merits. For example the Asrock X79 Extreme 11 has a built-in LSI SAS/SATA controller and Creative soundcard, which makes it an all-in one solution. But it's got a chipset fan which I'm sure will whine like anything. Can it be eliminated (and still warrantied)? That's up to the whole-system recommendations.

Last edited by vbuggy; 02-06-2013 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:54 PM   #4
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You should have waited six months ... that's when the next generation of CPUs and GPUs should be released. Honestly, you don't gain much by upgrading now; Socket 2011 doesn't have many appreciable benefits from gaming. Can you afford to wait 4-6 months?
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:06 PM   #5
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It's not a giant priority. I've dragged back a Z820 to tide me over anyway. But I do want one soon. Not sure if waiting that long is on the cards (i.e. if you're talking about release, then realistically speaking you're looking at another 3 months before all the accompanying stuff becomes readily available). Let's go with recommendations now and I'll see which way the wind is blowing in a month or so.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:31 PM   #6
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Let's see... the best way to get true silence is custom watercooling everywhere, but that's not always possible. As for purchasable options, the Noctua DH14 and Phanteks TC14PE are actually quieter than the Corsair H100i, and cost less, so we'll go with that. You don't benefit from having more than 4 cores on games right now, but the future may be different. Since future-proofing is pretty foolish, and you'll probably upgrade in 2 years anyway, we'll just focus on the present.

What are you doing with this crazy build anyway? Gaming isn't going to need more than 8, possibly 16GB of RAM for quite a while, and RAID0 get's you nothing noticeable with SSDs (except consolidate all the drives under one letter).

Here's a basic build, which is pretty much in line with your expectations:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Phanteks PH-TC14PE 78.1 CFM CPU Cooler ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($129.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Corsair 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($69.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 500GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($346.77 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 500GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($346.77 @ Amazon)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($399.99 @ Newegg)
Sound Card: Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD 24-bit 96 KHz Sound Card ($157.98 @ Amazon)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 w/Window (Titanium Grey) ATX Mid Tower Case ($99.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 650W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($150.71 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHOS104-06 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Drive ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Other: Arctic Accelero Hybrid Graphics Card Liquid Cooler ($139.99)
Total: $2180.14
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-06 20:29 EST-0500)

The custom GPU cooler is much quieter than any cooler out there (on the Anandtech tests, it goes lower than the device will register, and thus gets a flat 30 Dba). The case is one of the quietest ones out there, and the PSU has a silent mode. I didn't put more SSDs there, but I think you get the point (if you really want more, go for it. I personally think it's kind of a waste).

Last edited by Sleepingforest; 02-06-2013 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepingforest View Post
What are you doing with this crazy build anyway? Gaming isn't going to need more than 8, possibly 16GB of RAM for quite a while, and RAID0 get's you nothing noticeable with SSDs (except consolidate all the drives under one letter).
I second this. I'd like to know what you intend on doing with this machine before I make any recommendations. How did you come up with that list of requirements?

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Here's a basic build, which is pretty much in line with your expectations:
That's US, the OP is in the UK.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:48 PM   #8
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I keep closing this window by accident every time I'm close to finishing this build... >_<

Anyway:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (163.19 @ Aria PC)
CPU Cooler: Phanteks PH-TC14PE 78.1 CFM CPU Cooler (66.98 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (101.98 @ Dabs)
Memory: Corsair 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (74.06 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 500GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (262.69 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 500GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (262.69 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card (299.75 @ Scan.co.uk)
Cooler: Arctic Accelero Xtreme 7970 Cooler (74.28 @ Amazon.co.uk)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case (81.98 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply (47.99 @ Novatech)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (12.98 @ Scan.co.uk)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHOS104-06 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Drive (26.99 @ Novatech)
Total: 1475.56
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-08 02:41 GMT+0000)
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:42 AM   #9
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I second this. I'd like to know what you intend on doing with this machine before I make any recommendations. How did you come up with that list of requirements?



That's US, the OP is in the UK.
Gaming + general purpose use - the latter needs about 12Gb realistically speaking right now. I should also mention that one thing I will likely be carrying over from time to time is the 120hz / 3D monitor - which could in some games easily bring the 580 down to it's knees in FHD 3D. This may not be all the time, but certainly what I'd want is a reasonable jump over the 580.

RE: RAID0, perhaps it's because you guys have never used it with a proper host adapter? I see plenty of benefits. Nothing I sit in front of desktop-wise has less than this setup (bar the antique Mac Pro's for obvious reasons and AIOs for even more obvious reasons). Either way, I'm not asking for any less than the prerequisites.

Last edited by vbuggy; 02-08-2013 at 05:01 AM.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:16 AM   #10
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Well, it's just that with four drives, RAID0 gets awfully risky. Anyway, if you want it and do backups, fine. Take my build, grab some extra SSDs, and a 2x8 set of RAM.

Also, don't get the Radeon I recommended eariler. I just realized that I need to find one with an unlocked voltage that fits the cooler. Then you can give it about 30% more core clocks (to around 1300MHz, achieved by Hardware Canuks on a 7970 with an HIS cooler).

EDIT: And it looks like the reference MSI should have an unlocked voltage! A happy coincidence!

Last edited by Sleepingforest; 02-08-2013 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:50 AM   #11
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He probably should get the 840 Pro instead, since performance alone is what he cares about, even if it likely won't be noticed.
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vbuggy View Post
RE: RAID0, perhaps it's because you guys have never used it with a proper host adapter?
Be careful what you assume. I have used HBAs that cost more than most cars, and I can tell you that it's a waste for RAID 0. RAID 0 requires very little I/O processing, all it does it take take the LBA, divide it by the stripe width, and then mod that by the number of disks in an array. A trivially simple circuit can do that operation.

You don't really elaborate on what "general use" is. However, given that the drives are SSDs and the low queue depths normally presented by client workloads, the limiting factor in terms of performance is the latency between the memory and the drive. Note that this is much different than with HDDs, where the limiting factors are the rotational delays and seek times.

The raw IOPS that you have on tap doesn't even come into the picture because you're waiting for round trips up and down the various interconnected buses. Adding an HBA in the middle doesn't help you there.

TL;DR: Unless your concept of "general usage" is a lot different than most people's, RAID 0 SSDs isn't buying you much.
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfenn View Post
Be careful what you assume. I have used HBAs that cost more than most cars, and I can tell you that it's a waste for RAID 0. RAID 0 requires very little I/O processing, all it does it take take the LBA, divide it by the stripe width, and then mod that by the number of disks in an array. A trivially simple circuit can do that operation.

You don't really elaborate on what "general use" is. However, given that the drives are SSDs and the low queue depths normally presented by client workloads, the limiting factor in terms of performance is the latency between the memory and the drive. Note that this is much different than with HDDs, where the limiting factors are the rotational delays and seek times.

The raw IOPS that you have on tap doesn't even come into the picture because you're waiting for round trips up and down the various interconnected buses. Adding an HBA in the middle doesn't help you there.

TL;DR: Unless your concept of "general usage" is a lot different than most people's, RAID 0 SSDs isn't buying you much.
Some of your points are valid, but it's a fact that most motherboard SATAIII implementations don't have the I/O throughput of the higher-performance host adapters.

Really not into arguing with the armchair techs without experience. And really don't want the rig recommendation bogged down in e-peen wavings. The host adpter and drives I'll choose myself, that's fine. Let's get the rest done then.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:49 PM   #14
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If you really want it, that's okay. But we're just saying that RAID0 won't make your performance appreciable better in all but an extreme select few situations, and makes the drive failure rate much higher (failure rate of 1 drive^4, in this case) as well as costing you some extra money. If you've taken the time to evaluate the worth of the rewards vs the risks and decided that it's worth it and you'll back it up, then I won't waste your time or mine trying to convince you.

As for an actual build, take a look at my suggested build (the latest one), and see if it's up to snuff for you. It's not a flagship CPU, since you haven't presented any use cases for more than 4 cores, but with the cooler I suggested, you should be able to overclock to some seriously high speeds. I included 2 SSDs because I didn't want to clutter the screen; if you want more, just be aware of the costs. The GPU is not the flagship (because the 7990 is really two 7970s smashed together and clocked down on one card. That may make your experience less smooth) but with that cooler, it should overclock highly enough to take on any modern game on a single monitor. The case is known for being exceptionally quiet while maintaining reasonable thermals for single card setups (you owned the older model, right?).
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vbuggy View Post
Some of your points are valid, but it's a fact that most motherboard SATAIII implementations don't have the I/O throughput of the higher-performance host adapters.

Really not into arguing with the armchair techs without experience.
And really don't want the rig recommendation bogged down in e-peen wavings. The host adpter and drives I'll choose myself, that's fine. Let's get the rest done then.
I'll give you a little advice, though I don't expect you to listen. When you post a thread asking for advice, don't be patronizing to the people who try to help you. There are plenty of people on this forum who have more experience than you. If you didn't believe that, you wouldn't have posted in the first place.

Last edited by mfenn; 02-11-2013 at 08:29 PM. Reason: run-on sentence
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:35 PM   #16
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I suppose if vbuggy is genuinely worried about getting "armchair" advice from a newcomer like myself, he should at least listen to mfenn. I'd like to know straight from the vbuggy though: who here would you consider an amchair tech, and why?
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