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Asik's Silent Killer build report and photos

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+Andre S.    1,923

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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+Fahim S.    1,032

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.

 

Disappointing - plus it will only get louder as fans clog up, without some very active maintenance.

I'd love to hear of a real user that as a genuinely silent build.

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riahc3    440

Hello,

Is there a reason you bought a fan for your CPU? Integrated water cooling circuits FTW.

Also, I installed I believe the same Noctua and had zero issues.

Screwing things with force (USING A PILAR? Seriously?) is WAAAAAY too much force. A case I bought recently had a adapter for a screwdriver so you could use any easy screwdriver for better insertion :)

OK, these problems anyone can have but.......but...........and this hurt me in my SOUL.

A WD RED DRIVE???? FOR A GAMING PC????

Im sure you asked here on Neowin but I find it hard to believe someone recommended you that for a gaming PC. For a NAS, yeah there are great. Have them at work and are awesome. But in a gaming PC you are looking for performance. And those drives are NOT gonna give you performance.

And sure you are gonna use them only for storage blah blah....but they will slow down any time the PC needs to read that its there.

The Black drives are gonna give you A LOT better performance and are only 50 bucks more. Personally, I don't think shaving 50 bucks for 7200 vs 5400 drive is worth it but hey then again I wouldn't have choose WD. Personal choice I guess.

Enjoy your build!

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MindTrickz    190

 

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

 

 

Not really. He could even get away with 3-way 760 SLI. Heck, he could stick two Titans in there and it would be fine.

 

9NjYu5j.png

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MindTrickz    190

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

Nice build. I have the same case and SSD. Regarding the Noctua NH-U14S; how silent is it when you're gaming? When I was doing my build I had to cut cost somewhere since I went for the i7-4770K and GTX 780 (55% of total system cost ) and settled for the Noctua NH-L12. It's 'okay' but it's too loud IMO.

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+Andre S.    1,923

Nice build. I have the same case and SSD. Regarding the Noctua NH-U14S; how silent is it when you're gaming? When I was doing my build I had to cut cost somewhere since I went for the i7-4770K and GTX 780 (55% of total system cost ) and settled for the Noctua NH-L12. It's 'okay' but it's too loud IMO.

Under 100% load and the overclock I currently use (4Ghz), it gets clearly audible but nowhere near loud. When gaming I think the dual video cards make more combined noise, but overall it's still not very noticeable over the game sound itself.

 

There's a huge difference between it and the L12. I have the L12 for my living room PC and had to tweak it to the lowest possible RPM available in the BIOS to get it at something tolerable.

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riahc3    440

Hello,

Andre could you explain the HDD choosing? Ive had it stuck in my head on why you would go that route.

Thank you :)

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+Andre S.    1,923

Hello,

Andre could you explain the HDD choosing? Ive had it stuck in my head on why you would go that route.

Thank you :)

It was the most silent and reliable drive and those were the factors I was prioritizing for this build. I don't find the speed to be an issue as when I need performance, I use the SSD. The HD is still fast enough for very reasonable load times in games, accessing files, etc.

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riahc3    440

Hello,

It was the most silent and reliable drive and those were the factors I was prioritizing for this build. I don't find the speed to be an issue as when I need performance, I use the SSD. The HD is still fast enough for very reasonable load times in games, accessing files, etc.

:/ I dont know, if that you could have gone with the Green series.

5400rpm vs 7200rpm is VERY noticable, there are even some (this doesnt apply in your case but just as a side comment) video editing software that is starting to only support 7200rpm...

Well, at the end of the day, if you are happy with your build, it is what is most important.

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+Andre S.    1,923

Hello,

:/ I dont know, if that you could have gone with the Green series.

I had a Green and didn't like it - it tends to park the head quickly when it's unused, causing huge latency spikes. The Red has been much more consistent so far.

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riahc3    440

Hello,

I had a Green and didn't like it - it tends to park the head quickly when it's unused, causing huge latency spikes. The Red has been much more consistent so far.

Well, at the end of the day, if you are happy, then Im glad for you! :)

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ZakO    384

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.

 

Are you using the stock fans that came with the case? If so are you using the 5v/7v/12v fan switcher built into the case, or using the motherboard to control the fan speed(s)? I'm about to do a new build which is almost identical to this one (only difference is I'll probably use the NH-D14 and different RAM), hoping for it to be as quiet as possible, is there anything you would change if you were building it again now?

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tsupersonic    1,504

Are you using the stock fans that came with the case? If so are you using the 5v/7v/12v fan switcher built into the case, or using the motherboard to control the fan speed(s)? I'm about to do a new build which is almost identical to this one (quietness is very important), is there anything you would change if you were building it again now?

I have the same case and I do use the built in fan controller - it works well. I'm using some fans from my previous builds (2x Noctua 140mm fans front to intake, 2x140mm fans on top to exhaust, 1x120mm rear exhaust) On low/medium settings, it's about the same audible levels, and switching to high is pretty audible. If I do leave the computer on when I sleep, I usually leave it on low/medium settings, and it doesn't bother me. Temperatures are also great in this case - the GPU idles anywhere from 25-28c, load temps at low 60's. 

 

If I were rebuilding the computer, I would utilize both SSD mounts behind the motherboard tray. I only installed one SSD, and left the other SSD in the main HDD bay (thinking I would replace it). It was a really easy build, and easy to do cable management - just take your time with it. 

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+Andre S.    1,923

Are you using the stock fans that came with the case? If so are you using the 5v/7v/12v fan switcher built into the case, or using the motherboard to control the fan speed(s)? I'm about to do a new build which is almost identical to this one (only difference is I'll probably use the NH-D14 and different RAM), hoping for it to be as quiet as possible, is there anything you would change if you were building it again now?

Hm, I'm not even sure at this point :P I believe I connected all the fans to the motherboard.

 

The NH-D14 is really massive and not much more efficient than the one I used, take care that it doesn't obstruct RAM or other components.

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ZakO    384

Hm, I'm not even sure at this point :p I believe I connected all the fans to the motherboard.

 

The NH-D14 is really massive and not much more efficient than the one I used, take care that it doesn't obstruct RAM or other components.

 

Yeah, I already have the NH-D14 in an older build, but thinking about it now, if it's not noticeably noiser (which it doesn't seem to be according to reviews) I might just buy a NH-U14S too, because the NH-D14 is indeed a giant heavy beast.

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