[SOLVED] Choosing a quiet case

Jun 14, 2021
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PSUs have their own fans, as far as I was able to see. But I suppose that the case must have at least one exhaust fan of its own. I'm planning to invest into silence of my new configuration, so my concern is that the case fan might be a source of noise.

I would like a recommendation for a quiet case. I will get a be quiet! PSU, an ATX mobo, Dark Rock Pro 4, a DVD drive, two SSDs, no graphics card. I don't need anything fancy. Actually, I wouldn't like to spend too much on the case. What do you think?
 

geofelt

Titan
Do you have a budget?
What will this pc be primarily doing?

I think you are putting the cart before the horse.

Noise comes from fans running at high rpm.
If you do not have hot components, like a discrete graphics card, you need very little in the way of fans.

The power supply wattage is determined primarily by the graphics card.
With no discrete graphics, 450w will do nicely.
Here is a guide to psu sizing.
http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page362.htm

Ram slots are as close to the cpu socket as possible for performance reasons; there are standards.
Unless you have tall fancy ram heat spreaders, no conflict exists.
Even if you do, the Noctua NH-D15s is a high compatibility cooler that clears tall ram and
Cools similar to the drp4 pro. The noctua fans are particularly quiet.

You indicate "each os" Are you planning on multiple?
If so, for what purpose?

Tell us more about this project.
 
Jun 14, 2021
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Yeah, I have seen that they make cases, but they are indeed expensive. I don't think I'll buy I case which costs as much as the Silent Base 802. Well, at least I thought so until today. I don't need the translucent side panel. I won't be overclocking or using a graphics card, so I think I could do without those extra fans. However, if I pay up for a quiet CPU cooler, it would be stupid to allow noise from the case.
 

geofelt

Titan
What is your plan for the processor?
A modest one designed for desktop processing requires minimal cooling.
A stronger one needing a drp pro 4 is going to need good intake fan capability.
If you need a drp4, you should allow for at least two front 120mm fans to feed it.



Most cases these days do not have a front dvd bay.


What is your requirement for a atx motherboard?
Will you be needing more than the 4 expansion slots on a less expensive MATX motherboard.

Why two ssd devices vs. a single large ssd?

What model of psu, and how strong?
Gold/platinum psu's do have fans, but they do not spin unless they are really pushed.

On a case, I would insist on a washable filter to keep your parts cleaner.
 
Jun 14, 2021
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Processor: i9, maybe i7

Form factor: Maybe it's naive, but I figured that a larger board will prevent the CPU cooler and RAM from bumping into each other. More RAM slots would help that, too. I'm planning to get a Z490, in case I decide to overclock in the end. Also, some tests showed that some Intel processors underperform on some cheaper boards.

One SSD for each OS. Figured it's better than having two systems on the same drive.

PSU: I'm looking at Be Quiet Straight Power 11 80 Plus Gold 750W. Wanted a gold one and a quiet one, and also a bit stronger than I need right now, just in case.
 
Jun 14, 2021
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Perhaps Be Quiet Pure Base 500DX might work for me?

Funny thing: Gamers Nexus measures 38 dB in this case. Doesn't that mean that I'm wasting money on a CPU cooler with 24.3dB?
Then again, the be quiet! website says that the case's preinstalled fans have:
Noise level @ 100% PWM / 12V (dB(A))17.1
 
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geofelt

Titan
Do you have a budget?
What will this pc be primarily doing?

I think you are putting the cart before the horse.

Noise comes from fans running at high rpm.
If you do not have hot components, like a discrete graphics card, you need very little in the way of fans.

The power supply wattage is determined primarily by the graphics card.
With no discrete graphics, 450w will do nicely.
Here is a guide to psu sizing.
http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page362.htm

Ram slots are as close to the cpu socket as possible for performance reasons; there are standards.
Unless you have tall fancy ram heat spreaders, no conflict exists.
Even if you do, the Noctua NH-D15s is a high compatibility cooler that clears tall ram and
Cools similar to the drp4 pro. The noctua fans are particularly quiet.

You indicate "each os" Are you planning on multiple?
If so, for what purpose?

Tell us more about this project.
 
Jun 14, 2021
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Do you have a budget?
What will this pc be primarily doing?
I just have a rough estimate of a budget. I would be very happy to only spend 1000$, but I will pay more if it seems necessary. I'd like to spend around 1200$. I wouldn't like to spend over 1400$.
I want this PC to be able to process large textual files. For example, these days I'm repeatedly running a script over a file and I would like the script to take a lot less to execute. I have an i3 right now.
I don't want to upgrade my computer every year. I want to be using this configuration for a while.

Concerning the PSU, I'd rather get a bit higher wattage than I really need. Right now I'm not overclocking, but maybe I will decide to do so.

I did want to get fancy RAM, namely the Kingston HyperX Fury HX429C17FB/16 times two. I checked the height of the RAM and the dimensions of Dark Rock Pro 4. On paper, it fits. Noctua NH-D15S is indeed more generous with space, but only if you are using just one fan. Also, Noctua is a bit more expensive. I like the idea of having the extra fan, and Dark Rock Pro 4's outer fan has a better position.

I want to primarily use Linux and have Windows just in case, for compatibility reasons.

You did convince me to look into smaller mobos. Would you say that a microATX Z490 is not a bad choice?
EDIT: I found that ATX is better suited for overclocking. Why deprive myself of that option? Although it is unlikely I will need it.
 
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geofelt

Titan
What i3 do you have now?
I3 comes in many generations, and no longer means what it used to, namely 2 cores plus hyperthreading.
It sounds like your process is largely single threaded.
What is the app you are using?
If your app can fully utilize multi threads then the answer will differ.
Modern 11th gen intel processors have improved performance per clock.
Knowing what you have now will allow us to determine the amount of processing improvement that is available.

How large are the files that you will process?
Can the entirety be held in ram, or must it be read from a drive?
If it can be held in ram, then buy sufficient ram.
And, buy faster ram.
Fancy ram with RGB Bling will cost more and perform no better than standard ram.
When buying ram, do not buy individual sticks.
The ram performance specs are only warranted for the capacity of the single kit.
Buying two identical part numbers is a mistake. It may not work properly.
Buy only a single matched kit. Buy the capacity you need up front.
If you later need more ram, plan on selling the old in favor of a single new kit.
The ram you mentioned is nothing special at 2933 speed and cas 17
You can, for example buy a 2 x 16gb ddr4 4000 speed kit for $180
https://www.newegg.com/g-skill-32gb-288-pin-ddr4-sdram/p/N82E16820374107?quicklink=true

Cpu overclocking is no longer a way to get something for nothing.
Processors are binned and the better chips are used in better performing processors.

Today, the I9-11900K is the fastest processor around that uses integrated graphics.
It sells for $550 or so. It will turbo up to 5.3
https://www.newegg.com/intel-core-i9-11900k-core-i9-11th-gen/p/N82E16819118231?quicklink=true
Overclocking can improve performance if you can fully utilize all 16 threads.
But otherwise, it is best and easiest to let the turbo mechanism use turbo which gives top performance to a few cores.
To get max turbo, you do need a good motherboard as well as a good cooler.
Many will recommend a 360 aio cooler, and they might be right from a performance point of view.
But not from a noise point of view.
I do not like liquid coolers if you can avoid it.

FWIW, I use a i9-11900KF and a noctua NH-D15s and have no heat issues.

I have a discrete graphics card so I did not need the integrated graphics.
I would still have bought the K if it had been available at the time.

For an easy to use case, look at the Coolermaster HAF XB
https://www.newegg.com/black-cooler-master-haf-series-atx-desktop/p/N82E16811119265
I needed limited depth for my location.
It has room for two dvd drives as well as two front removable drive enclosures.
Very few top end cases are going to include dvd drive slots.

On the motherboard, plan on a Z590 chipset.
It is an update to the z490 and, with an 11th gen processor, it can handle a m.2 ssd at pcie4 speeds.
I used an ASROCK Z590 extreme.
https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16813157982
It works well enough, but I suspect there are others that will perform a bit better, Of course, at a higher price.
There are only 3 MATX Z590 motherboards available now, and I would consider them as mid range. Since case size is not an issue for you, stick with ATX.

On storage, ssd performance at the pcie 4.0 rate is available on one device.
Make it count if this is important to you.
I buy only Samsung ssd devices. They are arguably the most reliable around.
Others are cheaper, but a bad ssd is a hard thing to work around.
A samsung 1tb 980 PRO is around $250.
I would think, though, if budget is an issue that a 980 or 970 evo+ at half the price would work about as well.
 
Jun 14, 2021
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I have an i3-6100.
The apps I use are probably not multi-threaded. Neither are my scripts, for now. It's worrying. What if I don't need those extra cores?
However, I'm planning to learn parallelism and threading. Then my scripts will be using the cores. I'm aware there's overhead to parallelism, though.
Also, when I'm working, a bunch of stuff is open. Several programs, many tabs and stuff. I hope that a good OS is able to utilize the ten cores to make that multitasking very efficient.

The files are anywhere between 1 and 20 GB (for now).

You're telling me to buy faster RAM, but I was lead to believe that the processor has to support the declared RAM speed. If I get i9-10900 (and I'm leaning towards it), isn't it unnecessary to get anything above DDR4-2933? Thanks for the advice about buying the kit. I wasn't aware of those issues.
Also, i9-10900 only supports PCIe 3. If I get the 10900, doesn't that mean that I don't need Z590?

I'm beginning to accept the fact that I won't have a dvd drive slot. It's no longer a major requirement for me.

This Coolermaster is too wide for me.

I'm using a Samsung SSD right now, and I was indeed looking into a 1 TB Samsung. The Windows drive would be small and hardly ever used, but still Samsung, because you never know.

...

So, is Be Quiet Pure Base 500DX overkill for my needs? Maybe I can manage with Be Quiet Pure Base 600. If I remember correctly, all of the Be Quiet cases except for the most expensive ones use the same fans, Pure Wings 2.
 

geofelt

Titan
Your i3-6100 has 4 processing threads and a passmark performance rating of 4168.
That is when all 4 threads are fully utilized.
The single thread rating is 2223:
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i3-6100+@+3.70GHz&id=2617

The 10th gen i9-10900 you mentioned sells for $430 and has 20 processing threads and a passmark rating of 20780/3071.
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i9-10900+@+2.80GHz&id=3745
You will come with a stock intel cooler.
The i9-10900K is different and stronger. You would need to buy a good cooler for it.

At half the price, you can buy a 11th gen i5-11400 with 12 threads and a rating of 17639/3060
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i5-11400+@+2.60GHz&id=4233
It comes with a stock cooler, but for quiet, you would probably want a simple tower type cooler.
Noctua makes some of the best coolers around with quiet fans.
They have suitability and compatibility charts.
Here is the one for the i5-11400:
https://ncc.noctua.at/cpus/model/Intel-Core-i5-11400-1276
i5-11500 is stronger with strongetrHD750 graphics and then there is the i5-11600
all the way up to the i9-11900K with 16 threads and a rating of 25657/3502
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i9-11900K+@+3.50GHz&id=3904

On ram speed, it depends on both the motherboard chipset as well as the processor.
B560 motherboards can support higher speed ram but not cpu overclocking.
Z590 motherboards support both high speed ram as well as cpu overclocking.
Here is a wiki chart which shows the differences:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGA_1200
Buying new, it makes no sense to me to buy older gen 4xx motherboards.
Once the cpu and motherboard are selected, only then can you select compatible ram.
One thing to note is that the faster the ram, the higher the latency.
At the same speed, lower latency performs better, but costs more.
Ultimately, though, the first decision is to buy sufficient amount for your needs.
Intel performance does not depend mush on ram speed.
Integrated graphics is sensitive to ram speed, but unless you are playing fast action games, I would not worry about that.

The problem with multithreading a app is not the overhead.
It is identifying independent units of work that can be dispatched independently.
If you are theoretically curious, look at "amdahl's law"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amdahl's_law

The Be Quiet Pure Base 500DX is a good looking case at a reasonable price.
Looks count.
You will be looking at it for a long time.
It seems like a reasonable case to me.

If you occasionally need a dvd drive, buy a usb connected drive, they are not expensive.
 

geofelt

Titan
Too clever, I think.
You will soon be offended by the quality of a cheap case.

Fans are a tradeoff in characteristics.
To some degree, they are all the same.
The higher the rpm, the better the cooling.
A rpm of 900 or so will be inaudible regardless of the make.
A 140mm fan will push more air at 900 rpm than a 120mm fan.
For quiet, look at 180 or 200mm fans but you need an appropriate case.
Fan design makes a difference in tonal quality.
Fan design makes a difference in the airflow generated.
There is a difference between 3 pin and PWM fans?

Since you are interested in quiet, silentpcreview.com is a resource dedicated to that.
Here is a thread with differing results.
https://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=70671

A little looking around, I found this lian-li case with two 200mm front intakes.
https://www.newegg.com/p/2AM-000Z-00069

Lian li makes very high quality cases.
 
Jun 14, 2021
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I got a be quiet! Pure Base 500DX. I'm satisfied. I can only hear a slight constant hum from the case. PSU: Corsair RM750x (2018). Cooler: Dark Rock Pro 4.

I think I might reduce the hum from BIOS, but I'm not in a hurry to do that.

For a while I thought Silent Base might have been a better choice, but then I think I found it has the same fans as the Pure Base.
 

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