Build Advice Fanless PC build advice ?

May 24, 2023
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Hello everyone,

I am fairly new to PC building but have tried to read up a lot over the last few weeks. I am upgrading from a very old system (phenom x6 1090t and 1050ti), but have some very important needs. I do not require cutting edge performance, but compatibility with the latest features would be a plus.

Fanless. Or as close to fanless as possible. I hate computer noise but would be willing to put a single Noctua low RPM 200mm fan as an exhaust on the case to aid passive airflow, as it is virtually silent.

CPU cooling
I intend to purchase a Ryzen 7000 series non-X processor and passively cool it with a NoFan CR-95c (easily modded to fit AM4/5) which is equal in performance to the Noctua NF-P1 (better maybe!). If I come across a CR-100a cooler I will use that instead despite the awkward size blocking the top couple of PCI slots, as it outperforms the NF-P1 significantly.
I am aware I could get a 7000 x series and tamper with the settings to get the TDP down to 65W.

I would consider the latest intel offerings. Really it comes down to the Motherboard and having enough space for the CR-95 (or using the second/third slots or riser with a CR-100a).

GPU Cooling
This is where I am having trouble. I already have a KalmX 1050ti and it’s awesome, but old! The KalmX 1650 is offers more performance but is also dated. I have seen a custom cooled RX 6400, but it seems to offer very marginal performance gains to the KalmX 1650 and lacking many features. This also rules out modding the RX 6500 XT for the same reason. That leaves me with the RX 6600 XT which performs well when modded to run at lower power, making it suitable for a custom heat sink solution without a fan, but I haven’t seen anyone attempt this so I do not even know if it’s possible (the RX 6400 uses a custom copper plate to help dissipate heat to an accelero heat sink).

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Cases I am still very undecided but ideally something that is aesthetically pleasing and I am not a fan of this RGB fancy lights nonsense either but it’s not a deal breaker.

Anyhow thanks for reading.
 
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CR-95?

Do you mean this:


Not sure how to quantify whatever "computer noise" you may have had in the past that offends you. You say you have a very old system now, so I'm wondering if you have been around any PC made in the last 5 years or so in which the owner has made some attempts at low-noise?

I don't like PC noise either, but am almost never aware of mine....total of 3 fans; all Noctua; 2 at 500 rpm; 1 at 800. Distance 4 feet. You might find it horrendous?

Would 90 degree CPU temps bother you at all?

You'll probably have to experiment a lot if you want to drive noise down.

Generally, the best idea is to buy quiet rather than try to de-noise the noisy.

There are fanless power supplies, but you still may have to contend with electrical noise.

The case and its openings can be a major factor.

Moving the case a foot farther away may be much more worthwhile than 50 hours of fiddling or another 100 dollars into the budget.

Fan type and placement is a lot of trial and error. If you want exactly 1 fan grand total, you may find it better to put it on the CPU cooler rather than as an exhaust.

Or not.

The point being your willingness to experiment and possibly spend more than you'd like when parts don't live up to expectations.
 
May 24, 2023
6
2
15
CR-95?

Do you mean this:


Not sure how to quantify whatever "computer noise" you may have had in the past that offends you. You say you have a very old system now, so I'm wondering if you have been around any PC made in the last 5 years or so in which the owner has made some attempts at low-noise?

I don't like PC noise either, but am almost never aware of mine....total of 3 fans; all Noctua; 2 at 500 rpm; 1 at 800. Distance 4 feet. You might find it horrendous?

Would 90 degree CPU temps bother you at all?

You'll probably have to experiment a lot if you want to drive noise down.

Generally, the best idea is to buy quiet rather than try to de-noise the noisy.

There are fanless power supplies, but you still may have to contend with electrical noise.

The case and its openings can be a major factor.

Moving the case a foot farther away may be much more worthwhile than 50 hours of fiddling or another 100 dollars into the budget.

Fan type and placement is a lot of trial and error. If you want exactly 1 fan grand total, you may find it better to put it on the CPU cooler rather than as an exhaust.

Or not.

The point being your willingness to experiment and possibly spend more than you'd like when parts don't live up to expectations.
Hello,

Thanks for the quick reply. I’m not compromising on adding more fans, one 200mm exhaust is my limit. I am not using a fan on the CPU as I am going to use the NoFan CR-95c heat sink. I have watched dozens of computer builds on YouTube from the last couple of years so have some ideas. Typically they rely on the GPUs I have already mentioned or a special case that acts as the heat sink itself. I have owned a more recent laptop from 2019 (Acer Predator Helios 500), but it is an unfair comparison so I did not mention it.

I don’t want to hear the fans at all, if I can hear a slight coil whine then I would consider that a success over hearing the drone of a fan. I am not worried about the power supply as there seems to be plenty of options.

CPU at 90 degrees would probably be the limit, but the NoFan coolers cool down very fast once power is off so it is not a worry to me.

Some of the cases I’ve looked at are (off the top of my head):
SLM600M
Lian Li O11
Be Quiet PB600
Meshroom
Thermaltake Open cases
HAF EVO XB

I have seen that a lot of good fanless cases featured by YouTubers are out of stock and no longer made like the Spylabs JOAT.

I think the best case would be an open case which comes with obvious drawbacks or the HAF EVO XB with the 200mm fan mounted on the chimney. It also has loads of room and it’s Motherboard orientation is perfect for the CR-95c. Some of those other cases seem like they would struggle in a passive build.

My main problem and what I really would love a solution for is the GPU. Does anyone know if the Raijintek Morpheus 8057 is compatible with the RX 6600 XT? I wouldn’t use it but would give me an idea on what else I could use on the GPU.

Many thanks.
 
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There's no reference design available for the 6600 series of cards, so I wouldn't bet on either the 8069 or 8057 working on it out of the box. You could try contacting Raijintek customer support to see if they can help with regards to measurements etc as they may have a model that will unofficially work. Aftermarket GPU coolers seem to basically not be a thing anymore aside from Raijintek so there aren't a lot of options (I'd been looking for something for my old 1660ti and found nothing I was willing to try).

Case wise you might take a look at the SilverStone ALTA G1M or one of the Thermaltake CTE series as well.
 
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The CPU and GPU options you have mentioned are not high TDP models. So having a decent case with quiet fans will be more suitable.

Remember that the noise level of that 200mm fan at 200 to 500 rpm might be equivalent or less than a quiet noctua at 750 to 1000 rpm. Having more fans at the same dB will not increase the noise.

Your major concerns here i would think would be with the PSU fan and the coil whine with the GPU fans.

So research and get good ones. Put them in a silent case and that would work quieter compared to the 200mm fan.

Maybe something like this would work for you?

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 7700X 4.5 GHz 8-Core Processor ($296.92 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15 chromax.black 82.52 CFM CPU Cooler ($119.95 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus TUF GAMING B650-PLUS WIFI ATX AM5 Motherboard ($214.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: TEAMGROUP T-Create Expert 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR5-6000 CL38 Memory ($77.98 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 970 Evo Plus 2 TB M.2-2280 PCIe 3.0 X4 NVME Solid State Drive ($114.99 @ Adorama)
Video Card: XFX Speedster QICK 319 Ultra Radeon RX 6750 XT 12 GB Video Card ($390.72 @ Amazon)
Case: be quiet! Pure Base 600 ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.90 @ B&H)
Power Supply: Phanteks Revolt Pro 850 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1415.44
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2023-05-24 05:02 EDT-0400


You can tweak the fan curve to operate at 60 to 75% of the max RPM. the NH-D15 and the QICK 319 are overkill and oversized monsters and will work great and quiet with some tweaking.

The same goes for the case and the included case fans and the Phanteks Revolt PSU which got a fanless operating mode.
 
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May 24, 2023
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Case wise you might take a look at the SilverStone ALTA G1M or one of the Thermaltake CTE series as well.

The ALTA G1m looks like an excellent choice, thank you for pointing that case out to me. I need to draw some mock up diagrams to see what sort of heat sinks can fit with certain Motherboards. I'm looking at potentially repositioning the GPU depending on the cooling solution, so that hot air doesn't flow towards the CPU cooler, and also to fit in a similarly large heat sink for the GPU. In an ideal world I would be able to fit another CPU heat sink on to the GPU.

The CPU and GPU options you have mentioned are not high TDP models. So having a decent case with quiet fans will be more suitable.

I'm looking at Ryzen the 7900, 7700, 7600 (65w, 154w peak) or the Intel equivalents.

The 13900T (35w, 110w peak) could be an option if the performance is adequate.

It really depends on what Motherboard I am comfortable with fitting in all my passive cooling.

Your major concerns here i would think would be with the PSU fan and the coil whine with the GPU fans.

My current system using the RM750x which is already very quiet. I'll probably change to a SeaSonic if it can provide enough power for the system.


NoFan CR-95c (or CR-100a) is the cooler I am going to use. I have two of them, in black (hint hint).


This looked like a good recommendation thank you, but on second viewing it looks like parts of the design may block the CR-95c heat sink.


There needs to be clearance for the NoFan CR-95c, as it will overhang the RAM slots.


Forgot to mention I already have storage solutions covered, and their respective heat sinks. Fully Silent PCs (Youtube) did an excellent review of this.


Can it be passively cooled though? From what I have researched the RTX A2000 could be the best option here, though I'd prefer to go with the 6600XT, even though it requires additional power it can be scaled down to accommodate a passive cooler.
 
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The ALTA G1m looks like an excellent choice, thank you for pointing that case out to me. I need to draw some mock up diagrams to see what sort of heat sinks can fit with certain Motherboards. I'm looking at potentially repositioning the GPU depending on the cooling solution, so that hot air doesn't flow towards the CPU cooler, and also to fit in a similarly large heat sink for the GPU. In an ideal world I would be able to fit another CPU heat sink on to the GPU.
Yeah I was just thinking with your single fan preference something with a vertical airflow design would be the best as you can use good passive coolers and still get some airflow. SilverStone also has the ALTA F1, but that's quite expensive (for what you're getting) and has some drawbacks though it may still work for you.

There needs to be clearance for the NoFan CR-95c, as it will overhang the RAM slots.
Those sticks appear to have about the lowest profile heatsinks possible so I don't think even bare DIMMs would be much better.
Can it be passively cooled though? From what I have researched the RTX A2000 could be the best option here, though I'd prefer to go with the 6600XT, even though it requires additional power it can be scaled down to accommodate a passive cooler.
The RTX A2000 (70W), A4000 (140W) and RTX 4000 SFF (70W) would be the ideal cards for something like this. That being said I think if you can get one of the Raijintek GPU coolers to work anything sub 300W would be fine so long as there's some airflow across the card. It may even be possible with other coolers since GPU die are larger and don't tend to have an IHS in the way.
 
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If you refuse to give up on having anything more than a 200 mm fan in your case, I believe you're going to have to give up on a 6600XT or anything like it.

Morpheus' claimed "up to" 360W TDP handling also mentions the "optional" 2 x 120 mm fans. I can't find anyone anywhere running it without fans. The heatsink really doesn't look like one that's good for passive heat emission. The Arctic Accelero S3 looks much better, yet that's only up to 135W and only good for reference boards. Even then, it still appears to expect a fan added for any GPU marginally better than yours.

I can't find any fanless solutions out there running more than 1050Tis or 1650s, which are 75W TDP cards, which only draw their power through the PCIe slot. The 6600XT is more than twice that TDP. How much do think you're going to turn it down by?

Fully-passive cooling is hard. Some years ago I had a Gigabyte fanless X800XL (AGP, 50W). It died within six months and they didn't even try and replace it, just refunded my money without me even asking them to. Current 6600XTs stop their fans at low power and run <30 dBa under load. If you think you can do better than that then I admire your ambition, but I'm not convinced you'll manage it.
 
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the Rams i have listed are low profile ones.

The 7700X is cheaper and you could limit the CPU power usage in the BIOS.

The intel T series could be an exception as those are designed with 35W usage. Both the 7700 non X and X versions are designed for overclocking. So simply limiting the CPU power and maybe undervolting would give the same results.

The Phanteks Revolt PSU is a seasonic design. And it got fanless operation under normal loads.
 
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May 24, 2023
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If you refuse to give up on having anything more than a 200 mm fan in your case, I believe you're going to have to give up on a 6600XT or anything like it.

Morpheus' claimed "up to" 360W TDP handling also mentions the "optional" 2 x 120 mm fans. I can't find anyone anywhere running it without fans. The heatsink really doesn't look like one that's good for passive heat emission. The Arctic Accelero S3 looks much better, yet that's only up to 135W and only good for reference boards. Even then, it still appears to expect a fan added for any GPU marginally better than yours.

I can't find any fanless solutions out there running more than 1050Tis or 1650s, which are 75W TDP cards, which only draw their power through the PCIe slot. The 6600XT is more than twice that TDP. How much do think you're going to turn it down by?

Fully-passive cooling is hard. Some years ago I had a Gigabyte fanless X800XL (AGP, 50W). It died within six months and they didn't even try and replace it, just refunded my money without me even asking them to. Current 6600XTs stop their fans at low power and run <30 dBa under load. If you think you can do better than that then I admire your ambition, but I'm not convinced you'll manage it.
6600XT can be brought down to 95w, I have read, while still retaining some performance but I fear you’re right it may be a stretch too far!

The 6600 has a TDP of around 135w so that is a strong candidate, as well as 6400 and 6500XT. The new 7600 is 165w which is a bit high.

I would probably only use something like the Arctic or Morpheus after market heat sinks if I settled with the 6400 or 6500 XT.

I’m actually strongly considering using a PCIe riser cable to reposition the GPU in line with the motherboard to mount a CR-95c on it. Would look cool having two in one build.

I’m dead-set on making this work and will update the thread as I buy components.
 
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May 24, 2023
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the Rams i have listed are low profile ones.

The 7700X is cheaper and you could limit the CPU power usage in the BIOS.

The intel T series could be an exception as those are designed with 35W usage. Both the 7700 non X and X versions are designed for overclocking. So simply limiting the CPU power and maybe undervolting would give the same results.

The Phanteks Revolt PSU is a seasonic design. And it got fanless operation under normal loads.
Good call on the RAM sorry I missed that. The price difference between the 13900T and let’s say the 7600X (or non X) is absolutely huge. I suppose it depends on what sort of Motherboard works for me and whether it supports intel or AMD. How much better is the 13900T really though? The stats look amazing with max boost only drawing around 105w something which should be easily manageable.

The CR-95c blocks PCI slot 1 but fortunately most boards put their main PCI in the second slot, but it only just fits, so I wouldn’t be able to put anything on the other side of the GPU to dissipate more heat.

I also have a very good (OLD) audiotrak sound card, Prodigy HD2 HOT-ROD, which will need another slot too. So any motherboard with two PCI slots that isn’t in slot position 1 will work.
 
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May 24, 2023
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Hello everyone, just a quick update.

Slight change of plans regarding GPU.

I am gonna to attempt to passively cool the RTX 4060.

I am going with the Ryzen 7600 CPU for now.
 
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Aug 6, 2023
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Hello

In France, if you remove the gpu cooler you lose guarantee :-(
I reduce the amount of power of my rtx 4060 and i am around 90-93 watts with similar performances, but if you underclock/undervolt, i think it's possible with a good gpu cooler ( core morpheus 8069 ? )

All the fanless gpu on the market are bad and very expensive for what it is.
The best one is gtx 1650 and this inferior to 780M APU of portables.
I hope a release of new series G amd processor for desktop...

I am testing this case Nox hummer vault ( clone of sama, impossible to find here )

NB : Sorry for my english :D
 
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What are your cpu requirements?
Your X6-1090T is a very old and weak processor.
6 threads and a passmark rating of 3739. Single thread rating of 1458.
TDP of 125w.
Are you looking for multithreaded batch processing, or for gaming?

Do you have a budget?

How much better do you need to be?

You seem to have a handle on the passive graphics card issue.
Still, you need some airflow through the case.
 

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