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Andre S.

Asik's Silent Killer build report and photos

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So I built my "silent killer" machine, although I haven't had much time to play with it yet. Here are some photos and impressions of how things went. 

 

First, the final part list:

  • Intel "Haswell" i5-4670K CPU
  • Noctua NH-U14S Heatsink
  • Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H Motherboard
  • 2x8GB Kingston "Black" DDR3 RAM
  • Samsung 840 Pro SSD
  • WD Red 2TB Hard Drive
  • 2x MSI GTX 760s Graphics Cards in SLI
  • Cooler Master 620W M2 Silent Pro PSU
  • Fractal Design Define R4 Case

Af0CXpYh.jpg

 

I won't repeat what has been said in numerous reviews of these parts, just google their names and you'll find plenty of photos and professional review material. 

 

First, the Fractal Design Define R4 case is obviously a high quality case. It's heavy, it's surprisingly large as well (coming from a Cooler Master Centurion case), and all the fans seem very silent. I was impressed how the box identified the purpose of each type of screw; the lack of such indications had me confused on previous builds.

 

X9niW0ch.jpg

 

That said the unit I obtained had minor quality issues. First, the PSU is supposed to go on four little bumps in the metal topped by a sticky rubber thing. One of the sticky rubber things was missing, which leads to the PSU hanging a few mm from its support. Not a big deal at all, but still.

 

k0aPLcah.jpg

 

Also, most motherboard spacer holes seemed too small for the provided spacers, making it impossible to screw them in completely by hand. I had to use pliers and significant force to drive them through.

 

glSlAGVh.jpg

 

Hopefully this particular unit is the exception rather than the norm.

 

I don't know what happened there but this how I found the manual beneath the motherboard. Not too impressed either :S

 

xWPAd6Nh.jpg

 

Installing the Noctua NH-U14S was surprisingly easy compared to every other heatsink I've had to install. However, it still did require applying much force to get the second screw to align properly. It's amazing how in 2013, installing a motherboard and the heatsink is still so difficult, even when using the latest, supposedly most advanced parts. I hope in some not too distant future, these things will become tooless and fool-proof.

 

FZvB4cCh.jpg

 

5176rNgh.jpg

 

3yaHfa1h.jpg

 

Some reviewers mentioned that one of the MSI Gaming GTX 760's heatpipes makes removal of the PCI-E connectors difficult. Perhaps I just have slender fingers, but I didn't find it an issue.

 

1o57oPuh.jpg

 

FaTQkMVh.jpg

 

I didn't understand how to install my nGear 3.5" multi-card reader. The slot is way too large for it (DVD-player sized) and there doesn't seem to be any adapter included with the case.

 

Installation of Windows went without issue. This thing boots so fast that it doesn't have time to display the Windows loading screen. It's literally POST -> Login screen. It's not exactly as silent as I was hoping, but I haven't tweaked fan speeds at all yet, so I suppose they're all running too fast.

 

That's about it for now - writing this post is literally one of very first things I ever did on this computer so I haven't had time to test stability, much less overclock yet at all. Perhaps I'll update when I do get around to doing these things.

 

Here's a link to the full photo album including (bad) shots of the case: http://imgur.com/a/PWS11

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What a terrible build

totally useless junk

Send it to me and I'll 'dispose' it for you :p

 

Just kidding, bud, let us know how you get on with it :)

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Only a 620W PSU with two fairly high end cards is cutting it a bit close on power?

 

How is that Samsung SSD staying on the back of the MB tray? If its screwed down its going to be a pain to remove.

 

Nice SLi build in any case.

 

 

1o57oPuh.jpg

 

 

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I always wonder who came up with the idea to attach SSDs behind the motherboard or, in fact, anywhere that's not the usual place for storage devices. Apart from obvious insertion/removal woes, angled power connectors make such a thing exceptionally unwieldy. Even worse for motherboards that only come with angled SATA cables like MSI boards do - one would have to connect the angled end to the board or buy a straight cable for that alone! At least 3.5" cages have screw holes for 2.5" devices, so all is not lost for Define, which is very, very awesome otherwise.

 

So, yeah. Good build, awesome performance, no doubt (Y)

Wait, no, fix those cables, they hurt my eyes... never mind :rofl:

 

*withholding PSU cutting close rant*

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I installed the SSD to the back just because I could and thought it'd remove some cable clutter. I must say it's probably never moving again in its existence. :P

 

As for PSU choice well you guys should have told me that earlier. Anyway, just played some Bioshock Infinite at 120fps on Ultra settings with a small overclock (40x multiplier) and it seems to hold its own just fine.

 

That said, the PSU makes an annoying fan noise, I think it's defective. Every review stated that this PSU is supposed to turn its fan off on idle loads and be very silent in general, but it's clearly audible several meters away. It by far drowns the noise of the other 6 fans in the case. I might have to exchange it for something better.

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I installed the SSD to the back just because I could and thought it'd remove some cable clutter. I must say it's probably never moving again in its existence. :p

 

I know a lot of people who actually buy velcro for that exact same usage, given a less permanent one!

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16 GB memory RAM, right?   let me know If I will play SWTOR on new computer one day compare to your new computer...

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Awesome build! How are you liking the R4? I think I was the one that recommended it to you. :) I also had to use pliers to drive in a few of the mobo standoffs - annoying but it worked.

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Awesome build! How are you liking the R4? I think I was the one that recommended it to you. :) I also had to use pliers to drive in a few of the mobo standoffs - annoying but it worked.

It's certainly much better than all cases I've worked with so far and I love the little touches like all black screws including PSU or the ingenious rotation mechanism for the optional drive bay. The panel do keep the sound in however right now the PSU ruins everything as I've explained.

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Looks like a nice piece of kit dude! My build is looking somewhat similar, albeit I think my budget will be less than yours.

 

If you don't mind me asking, how much (roughly) did it set you back in total? Are you planning to overclock?

 

Slightly off-topic, I hear great things about that Noctua cooler, but that beige/brown fan is unforgivable!

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It's certainly much better than all cases I've worked with so far and I love the little touches like all black screws including PSU or the ingenious rotation mechanism for the optional drive bay. The panel do keep the sound in however right now the PSU ruins everything as I've explained.

Yeah, definitely agreed. I've taken out the big HDD cage, and resorted to using just the lower HDD bay which accommodates my drives just fine. We both have somewhat of a similar setup. 

 

Looks like a nice piece of kit dude! My build is looking somewhat similar, albeit I think my budget will be less than yours.

 

If you don't mind me asking, how much (roughly) did it set you back in total? Are you planning to overclock?

 

Slightly off-topic, I hear great things about that Noctua cooler, but that beige/brown fan is unforgivable!

You could always spray paint it :P 

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Looks like a nice piece of kit dude! My build is looking somewhat similar, albeit I think my budget will be less than yours.

 

If you don't mind me asking, how much (roughly) did it set you back in total? Are you planning to overclock?

 

Slightly off-topic, I hear great things about that Noctua cooler, but that beige/brown fan is unforgivable!

Just under 2000$ shipped. I am overclocking to 40x currently, eventually I'll try pushing it to its limit, hopefully around 44-46. 

 

I'm not a big fan of brown and beige either, but it's not really an issue in a windowless case that I expect to open about once a year.

 

If your budget is more limited here are some suggestions:

 

 - replace the cooler with a hyper 212 evo

 - get the MSI Z87-G45 or Gigabyte Z87-D3HP

 - I went SLI for 120hz, if your target is 60 fps a single GPU should do

 - Alternatively, the folks at NeoGaf seem to think Haswell is overpriced and most people should get Ivy Bridge CPUs instead. Apparently you save 60$ for 5% performance. I wanted my AVX2 :p

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Just under 2000$ shipped. I am overclocking to 40x currently, eventually I'll try pushing it to its limit, hopefully around 44-46.

I'm not a big fan of brown and beige either, but it's not really an issue in a windowless case that I expect to open about once a year.

If your budget is more limited here are some suggestions:

- replace the cooler with a hyper 212 evo

- get the MSI Z87-G45 or Gigabyte Z87-D3HP

- I went SLI for 120hz, if your target is 60 fps a single GPU should do

- Alternatively, the folks at NeoGaf seem to think Haswell is overpriced and most people should get Ivy Bridge CPUs instead. Apparently you save 60$ for 5% performance. I wanted my AVX2 :p

Heh, that's reassuring because most of what you advise is what I've picked so far, including the Evo cooler and the DH3P motherboard! Obviously I can't not get a Haswell though! :p

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I am putting together a build and have a lot of similar components as yours. What do you think of this?

 

Case: Fractal Design Define R4

Motherboard: MSI z87-G45

CPU: i5-4670k

Ram: G.Skill Ripjaws X series (2x4gb) at 2133

SSD: Samsung 840 Evo 120Gb

HD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB

GPU: MSI N770 tf 2gb

PSU: Rosewill Capstone 650W

CPU cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo

 

Since our builds are similar and you recommended some of the parts that I am considering, I just wanted to know what you thought. And anyone else who may.

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I am putting together a build and have a lot of similar components as yours. What do you think of this?

 

Case: Fractal Design Define R4

Motherboard: MSI z87-G45

CPU: i5-4670k

Ram: G.Skill Ripjaws X series (2x4gb) at 2133

SSD: Samsung 840 Evo 120Gb

HD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB

GPU: MSI N770 tf 2gb

PSU: Rosewill Capstone 650W

CPU cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo

 

Since our builds are similar and you recommended some of the parts that I am considering, I just wanted to know what you thought. And anyone else who may.

Very nice - similar to my build. It will be great for gaming at 1080p, and should be plenty of power for daily use. 

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Very nice - similar to my build. It will be great for gaming at 1080p, and should be plenty of power for daily use. 

 

So you don't think a 650W PSU is to much? Could the same PSU but 550W do just fine?

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I really need to build a new computer soon. Mine is 4 yo ... gonna wait another year or two though so the new one can last the entire next gen of console games ported to PC.

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Nice. Always appreciate people going to the trouble of showing off their builds.

 

I need to build a new gaming rig, but I spend my money on other useless ######. Booze, mostly.

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So you don't think a 650W PSU is to much? Could the same PSU but 550W do just fine?

I learned my lesson from my last build to not cheap out on the PSU. I had an OCZ 750W that took out my last build, so I have a Seasonic Platinum 760W powering a i5 4670 (stock), w/ GTX 770 (stock). Having said that, 550W on that PSU (80+ Gold) should be good. Just as a reference, Nvidia does recommend 600W PSU for a GTX 770.

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I am putting together a build and have a lot of similar components as yours. What do you think of this?

 

Case: Fractal Design Define R4

Motherboard: MSI z87-G45

CPU: i5-4670k

Ram: G.Skill Ripjaws X series (2x4gb) at 2133

SSD: Samsung 840 Evo 120Gb

HD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB

GPU: MSI N770 tf 2gb

PSU: Rosewill Capstone 650W

CPU cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo

 

Since our builds are similar and you recommended some of the parts that I am considering, I just wanted to know what you thought. And anyone else who may.

I think anything more than 1600mhz RAM is pretty pointless if you're not going to use the integrated GPU. Looks like that PSU is solid, although it's neither hybrid nor modular. http://www.anandtech.com/show/5698/rosewill-capstone-450w-and-650w-80plus-gold/6 I expect with that cooler you're not going to torture the CPU with an extreme overclock anyway, so you don't need anything over the top as far as power/cooling. Obviously great choice on the video card.

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I think anything more than 1600mhz RAM is pretty pointless if you're not going to use the integrated GPU. Looks like that PSU is solid, although it's neither hybrid nor modular. http://www.anandtech.com/show/5698/rosewill-capstone-450w-and-650w-80plus-gold/6 I expect with that cooler you're not going to torture the CPU with an extreme overclock anyway, so you don't need anything over the top as far as power/cooling. Obviously great choice on the video card.

 

Can you explain your first sentence in a little more depth, the reason being is, I was under the impression that 1600mhz was the lowest standard out there, and had been out for a while. So being new to this hobby I was thinking that with possibly overclocking my cpu in the future and having such a beast GPU, that I should need more than 1600mhz ram. 1600 wont slow or interfer with the performance of the MSI Gaming 770 tf? Bc it does come factory overclocked.

 

Also the PSU i chose does have a modular option, I just didn't include that in the post above.

An it is 80+ gold certified.

I believe its the exact same one you linked me too.

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Can you explain your first sentence in a little more depth, the reason being is, I was under the impression that 1600mhz was the lowest standard out there, and had been out for a while. So being new to this hobby I was thinking that with possibly overclocking my cpu in the future and having such a beast GPU, that I should need more than 1600mhz ram. 1600 wont slow or interfer with the performance of the MSI Gaming 770 tf? .

No, it won't. If you can get 1866 for the same price as 1600, go for it, but faster kits are typically significantly more expensive and provide only negligible improvements. 

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Hmmm.. anything with moving parts is going to make noise.. so almost silent I can believe but not completely silent.

Got any SPL readings?

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Hmmm.. anything with moving parts is going to make noise.. so almost silent I can believe but not completely silent.

Got any SPL readings?

It's not completely silent, but it's barely above room background noise, so I don't notice it during normal use. My speakers (which are carefully electrically isolated) emit more noise than that when idling. Really the only way I can tell the computer is on is by the peripherals and lights. I don't have any way of taking measurements though.

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