Lagittaja's Hush

lagittaja

[H]Lite
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
105
Hi. Figured I'd start my journey here by sharing one of my builds.
This is my budget priced build I made for my mom in 2010 december with mainly stability and silence in my mind.
Main use of this build was and still is to act as a DVR and spider solitaire :D

I'll put the as of now (23.3.2012) specs here:
Case: Cooler Master Centurion 540
PSU: Seasonic S12II-330w
MB: Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H
RAM: 2x2Gb DDRII/800
CPU: Athlon II x2 240 (stock & volts lowered to 1.31)
GPU: Gigabyte HD5670 1GB DDR3
DVB: Terratec H7

Cooling isn't exactly [H]ard but more than enough for this build.
CPU has an Arctic Freezer 7 Pro Rev2 with stock fan and case has 1x120mm 800rpm Slip Stream as intake and 2x80mm Arctic F8 Pro PWM fans as exhaust.
Intake fan is spinning at 12volts and cpu+exhaust fans are spinning at 30% controlled by speedfan.

So let's go through some history just for the heck of it..

On July 2010 I was browsing the finnish online hardware store (Jimm's) auction section and came upon this reasonably priced AM2+ microATX board.
I didn't know what I would do with it but I decided to buy it on a whim.
It was the Gigabyte board I mentioned earlier in this post and I ended up paying 59€ for it.
I received it and stored it till I find some use for it.
Originally I was planning to use it as my secondary computer.
Months passed by and the board collected dust on my shelf.

Then came late October and I found out how much I'm getting tax returns.
While I was browsing mindfactory.de, a german online store I came up on this reasonably priced Hama Media Center remote control.

And from there I got the idea, give my mom one of the most useful christmas present I have ever gave her.
Ended up ordering rest of the parts and there we go, the first version of my HTPC build.
GPU back then was a GT220 from Gigabyte and the HDD was this old and slow 160GB IDE made by Western Digital.
The case I had back then was this crappy Compucase 6T18BS or something like that. Couldn't find any older pic than this, also bad angle :(


It was a nice build. Low temps and noise and on top of that, very stable. It was spending most of it's time idling and up time was constantly more than 2 weeks.
But in [H]ard load it was a bit too noisy and in general the hdd was SO slow.

I had three 1Tb hdd's in my main rig. Decided to move all the stuff from one of the drives to the other two and put the empty drive in this build.
It is WD1001FALS drive, a Caviar Black (my best drive lol), which I bought fall 2009, power on hours count 17.3k right now and not a SINGLE error. I expect this drive to last many years :D I didn't bother with reinstalling Win7 to this new hdd so I was going through my options.
Ended up using EASEUS Partition Master 9.1's "Upgrade system disk" function. It was a painless procedure and after the data copying process was done I removed the source drive and rebooted the computer and it was presto. Correct partition letters and everything worked like before.
System reboot time from desktop to desktop went from 2½ minutes + 2 minutes of loading after desktop appeared to 59 seconds and loading was done when the desktop appeared.
Success! :D

So if you're still with me, you might wonder how did I end up with this HD5670 I have in it right now? The Gigabyte GT220, which I originally bought for my main rig to act as a PhysX card, decided to drop dead and I fired up an rma to Jimm's from where I bought it. Asked if I could get something else in replace if I pay the difference and they were okay with it. After some browsing I ended up getting the Gigabyte HD5670 just because it has the same cooler as the GT220 had, which is DEAD SILENT, and I paid 10€.
10€ not that bad for such a jump in performance and image/video quality don't you think.

What else is there to do now when I have stability, very good video quality and relatively silent build? Upgrade the case of course to make it even more silent and to get even lower temps :D
I had this CM Centurion 540 laying around for like a year, didn't know what to do with it and had it FS for the past 6months. So couple weeks ago I decided that I'll do an organ transfer to this build. Ordered 800rpm Slip Stream from Jimm's and onward we went.
Before and after pictures. From these you might see why I wanted to upgrade the case :rolleyes:







And here's the temps just for the heck of it.


That's about it.
Most of the noise right now comes from the 800rpm SS which I might drop to 7volts :D
Wonder what component will produce the most noise then :rolleyes:
 
Last edited:

lagittaja

[H]Lite
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
105
Ahem. Let's bump this so you actually see I have finished writing this up.
Sorry for the wall of text :D
 

Howy

n00b
Joined
Sep 28, 2011
Messages
2
Hi lagittaja

Good Build are you planning to rebuild it with "newer" technology?

Howy
 

lagittaja

[H]Lite
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
105
Yeah. Gonna upgrade it to S1155 maybe late summer or early fall.
Or I'll skip the upgrade till Haswell arrives.
Dont really know yet.
 

lagittaja

[H]Lite
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
105
So hi guys. Might as well give a small status update to this build.
Upgrades are coming along and I have just ordered a 64Gb Samsung 830 Series SSD to be used as a boot drive for this build :D

And depending on my budget I'll be ordering an Accelero S1 rev2 or S1 Plus. Haven't yet figured which because of the compatibility page, S1 rev. 2 supports 5670 but the S1 Plus doesn't :confused:
I can't see any huge difference between the coolers though. So, I'm either gonna get the r2 and be sure that it will fit and throw away hopes for fitting the cooler on future cards OR get the S1+ and risk it fitting on the card but be sure it will fit at least on some future cards.

Motherboard, CPU and ram upgrade will more than likely be done on August.

Edit #1
Noctua NH-U9B ordered from Jimm's to be used to cool the G530. It was a bulk listing without mounting kit and it was on stock removal so price was only 29.90€ (retails ~54-60€).
And if I sell the NF-B9 fan the total cost keeps coming down :D

I already requested the NM-I3 mounting kit from Noctua.
Of course it is not a huge upgrade but I do think it's better and there's not much choice in sub 130mm tower coolers.
I think it's gonna shine more in passive operation than the Arctic because of bigger fin distance.
If I have to then I'll use the leftover 92mm Gentle Typhoon (1700rpm iirc) from the previous state of this build (see the front fan inside the stockings (lol) in picture #4 in post #1) but I'd rather not since less fans -> less noise.

The surface area of those two coolers appear to be sameish but since I am a curious and bored:
Did some quick 'n' dirty calculations, I got 2527 cm^2 for Noctua and 2714cm^2 for the Freezer. And those are without taking into account the rounded edges of the Freezer or striations/grooves of the NH-U9B.
So that would mean the Freezer has ~7.4% more surface area. If I would have to guess -> if I would bother to do accurate measurements I think the difference in surface area would be less than 5%. Which ain't big of a difference, Freezer has 7 more fins but Noctua has ~10% more surface area per fin plus it has four heatpipes instead of three.

Edit #2
NM-I3 mounting kit has been dispatched.
Also I contacted Noctua's support and asked of the AMD mounting kit. They said they'll send the AMD kit and the NM-A90 which allows to rotate the cooler 90 degrees on AMD motherboard.
Now I can test the cooler on my current MB+CPU just for the shits and giggles before I can afford the new MB+CPU+RAM.

Edit #3
 
Last edited:

lagittaja

[H]Lite
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
105
Well lot has changed with this rig. Nowadays it sits inside a Lian Li A05NB. Still the AMD setup except cpu cooler changed to NH-U12P and case fans changed also. Now the HD5670 also has the S1 rev2.
Nowadays my own rig has a 3770K which I got mid Nov. G530 sat on the desk collecting dust until yesterday I sold it off.

Ordered Asrock B75M-ITX, Intel Pentium G2120 and a stick of DDR3/1600/CL9
As you might guess the plan is to move the HTPC from this "humongous" A05NB to something smaller. Haven't decided anything yet.. Nor do I have the budget for doing that right now. Maybe during summer. Thinking about Lian Li Q11, for cpu NH-L9i equipped with 92mm GT. Et cetera.
 

lagittaja

[H]Lite
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
105
Well things change. What a surprise when you consider it's me haha.
Bought some stuff from hardwareversand.de, and the UPS shipment is now probably in Helsinki now. UPS tracking says scheduled delivery monday by end of day which really means around 9AM considering Tavarakuriiri is a local UPS handler and they do rounds in my area around 9AM.

For motherboard I bought this from a finnish etailer Datava.net Now they're just waiting to get it in stock which I hope would be on Friday so it then would be here on monday as well.
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/motherboards/desktop-motherboards/desktop-board-dh77eb.html
Then I bought couple of fans from Jimms.fi, just basic Scythe Slip Stream PWM (non VR model 300-1300rpm range)

wheee

The mITX board ended up to be hard to get so I thought about it decided I'll stick with mATX. Don't have to use crappy onboard and I'm not limited to only one PCI-e socket.. From what I've read the Intel board seems like really nice regarding efficiency and what not. Sad that Intel is ramping down it's motherboard production :(
I still do need to get a smaller case. Looking at my options and one of the choices would be SG09 though I would need to get a 180mm to 120mm adapter. Do they make such a thing? I know there's a 200mm to 120mm out there..

 
Last edited:

lagittaja

[H]Lite
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
105
Tomorrow I'll be replacing the parts :)
I installed the Xonar already on tuesday since I was too impatient LOL.
Glory shot


P.S. This new NM-i115x mounting kit (1150/1155/1156) from Noctua is really good by the way. Good job Noctua on making the Secufirm2 even better on 115x socket :p
 
Last edited:

lagittaja

[H]Lite
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
105
Well I've had it up and running since yesterday now.
Had some issues at first. Like unable to install IDU or XTU, CPU-z nor HWMonitor worked as they crashed after opening etcetera.
I figured I'd update the bios. Downloaded the 0100 bios, which was the newest, and of course chose the .exe update from Windows method. Bad call.. Mainly the jump from original 0053 to newest 0100. Baaaaaaaad, bad bad call..
Haven't ever had problem using AISuite's own Asus Update or whatever it's called. Might have been just because I went from the original to the newest so lots and lots of new features were added..
In the end I managed to get the board posting again and flashed the bios with the recovery method from USB stick.

The 0053 only had "normal" bios, now the 0100 has the Visual Bios. The 1360x768 res TV doesn't do it justice though. It's layout is good. I mean like EVERY aspect of it is great.
Nowhere near enough little tiny tweaking options like the Gene-Z has but the Visual Bios just wipes the table in regards of usability. Of course these are completely different boards so yeah I KNOW but still.
For example the search function?! Like come on, if I'm looking for one certain setting I can just type it to the search box and boom there it is, no need to go browsing though the menus :D
The fan control is nice. I can assign the min/max duty cycles, tell the bios what temperature sensor the fan affects most (iirc CPU/VRM/PCH/RAM were the options).
Then there are some general tick boxes that I can enable to speed up boot. There were three options, one disabled the option to boot from optical/removable/network, the other disabled graphics during post so it shows only text and the third was to disable usb devices until os starts to boot.
And otherwise loads of different options easily arranged.
Not gonna go more in to that, I will tell if someone cares but I haven't spent much time in the Visual Bios. I could make a shortish video of it..

The system reboots quite fast. Not like it's a important aspect for a HTPC but still, I like it. (E: And for reference my own rig takes 29 seconds to restart, and that was with HUGE amount of tinkering. Stopping processes before restarting and disabling lots of crap in bios and so on. This 25 seconds was without any tinkering. With all those optimization thingies I might see restart time of closer to 20 seconds if the Windows updates didn't slow it down.)

This was with a quite fresh Windows installation. Since then I have of course installed all the latest updates. I'll try the restart script again later tonight when/if I have time.

Otherwise I don't have much to add. Performance wise it's really good. Now I can easily use madVR's smooth motion and so on. 720p stuff upscaled to 1360x768 and I can have Jinc3+AR/Jinc3+AR/CRom+SILN if I want.
Temperature wise excellent. CPU doesn't even warm up, in worst case scenario á la IBT I see it maxing 46*C :D Now that the CPU ain't running warm and neither do I have a REALLY hot NB (80-100+*C) just below the GPU the GPU is running cooler as well.
The heatsink with the Athlon was quite warm to the touch and I did have a bad contact on the old build but still now the heatsink isn't warm at all.
Power wise excellent. Loaned a Christ Electronic CLM200 and sitting on desktop 41.2w, watching TV Win7 WMC 50w, 720p Game of Thrones in MPC-HC 55-57w, IBT ~60-61w, Furmark ~74w
IBT+Furmark was difficult to measure but around 90-95w, but under 100w anyway.

I'll grab a pic of the insides tomorrow. It's a mess right now inside since yesterday when I was trying to get the board back alive I had to pull pretty much everything except cpu+ram and I was in a hurry to get it back online since there was a TV show beginning I needed to record so when I managed to get the bios updates I hustled to get everything back. It's literally a mess lol :D

E:
Watching TV
 
Last edited:

lagittaja

[H]Lite
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
105
New PSU


Now the power readings are
deep idle display off 38.2w (~ -8%)
Watching TV around 46w (~ -8%)
IBT 56w (~ -6%)
Furmark 70w (~ -5%)

Kinda amazing to see that much of a difference. Yeah.. Pfft few watts here or there but if I look at the percentage of difference.. Then it's quite a lot IMHO

I wasn't going ONLY for the good efficiency with this purchase. Fanless was why I went with this. Of course I could have gotten the SF Golden Silent but the price difference was non existent so figured might as well get this Seasonic. And by the way the SF unit is a 500w and this is a 400w so I guess I would have seen a smidge less of efficiency with that one but who knows. Got the Seasonic and that's the end of it haha. I'm set with this rig for the foreseeable future.
Only GPU upgrade is what I'm thinking. HD7750 or perhaps a GTX650. Who knows what I'll do. Perhaps the 7750 would be a nice combo, the ZeroCore feature seems nice.
But there's no need for the GPU upgrade. Well there wasn't really need for a PSU upgrade so that's kinda a moot point.. :D
 
Last edited:
Top