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Old 13-02-2017, 08:21   #1
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Building a new PC - advice on quiet graphics card, quiet everything

Hi guys

I've donated my aging desktop to my father in law after his geriatric PC died. I'm using it as an excuse to be able to build myself a new PC.

It's been quite a few years since I last did it, and I'm not sure on what type of graphics card I should go for, or how much ram it should have on it.

I'm going for an i7 with a lot of ram and an m2 SSD.

It'll be my work horse that I do a lot of music and photo editing and video converting on, but I don't play games (I stick to consoles for gaming). Initially I'll stick with one or two 1080 monitors, but I will be looking to get a UHD monitor on it at some point, so I'm looking for one that will power two UHD displays and speed up things like Lightroom and Photoshop.

One very important issue for me is noise, or rather no noise, so ideally I want a silent card, or at least a very quiet one.

I get the impression that most good gaming cards are quite noisy, but do I need one that powerful anyway if I'm not using it for gaming? Would a silently cooled 2GB card be sufficient, or am I better to look for one that's more powerful but

Are Palit any good? I've not really heard much about them, but something like this seems a decent choice as it's a 4GB Nvidia GTX1050 with silent cooling;
https://www.quietpc.com/palit-ne5105t018g1-1070h

Overkill for what I need? Underkill?

Thanks
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Old 13-02-2017, 10:07   #2
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I wouldn't have thought you would get much more powerful than the 4GB GTX1050 if you are insisting on a fanless card. I would have thought that a 2GB card will struggle with 2x UHD monitors and photo editing, especially if you've got software that can make good use of CUDA acceleration.

Palit seems to be a pretty mainstream brand these days. I've seen a few whinges about Palit cards, but then I've seen plenty of complaints about better-known brands such as Asus as well. There is no manufacturer with a perfect record.

It's possible to get a duffer from just about any brand - the drive for lower prices pushes companies to test less and that doesn't do quality assurance much good. Having said that, the GTX 1050 TI power requirements are relatively low for a graphics card, which means the amount of heat produced is going to be far less than the top-end cards, so with any luck failure rates shouldn't be too bad.
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Old 13-02-2017, 11:31   #3
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Most modern cards are passive until you start taxing them, so it's only really once you start gaming that the fans spin up and usually not too loudly with a custom cooler anyway. For your use I doubt the fan would spin up too often.

Do you even need a GPU? An i7 has a basic one built in.

Also bear in mind that AMD have their new Ryzen CPUs due out in a couple of weeks and if the leaks are to be believed could be pretty nicely priced with plenty of performance.

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Old 13-02-2017, 16:38   #4
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I have a pre-overclocked Palit 1080 and even it is completely silent. So yeah, a more conservative model will be quiet enough!
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Old 14-02-2017, 09:06   #5
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I think the Noise I get is more than the cheap case fans than from the GPU.

My ATI 4850 sounded like a Jet taking off though before it failed. I can still get it work, just have to have side off PC and a Desk top fan set to full speed though.
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Old 14-02-2017, 17:33   #6
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Hmm, yes, I'd forgotten about the Ryzen launching imminently. It'll be interesting to see how they compare. I was looking at going to an i7 7700 model as it should be easier to cool quietly than the 7700k, but it might be worth holding out to see how they do compare on performace/price and how easily they can be cooled.
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Old 14-02-2017, 18:42   #7
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Definitely worth a wait if you are going to invest in a new high-end rig.

Apparently Intel are readying a higher clocked 'gamer' i5 or i7 so they have something to compete with AMD.. as Ryzen likely has a slight, single core, clock for clock disadvantage over Kabylake. So they can 'keep' the max frames crown for now.
But, supposedly, AMD can offer 8 cores and 16 threads for the same price as intel 4/8... and their multitasking and 'core utilization' efficiency is very good and can best Intel. So, if you stream or render video whilst playing a game, you are going to take much less of a hit...

Things are hopefully about to get really interesting in the CPU space again... really great news, can't come quickly enough given Intel has been scratching their arse for the last 5 years!
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Old 17-03-2017, 12:26   #8
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OK, so I thought I'd follow up on this now that Ryzen is out in the wild.

It's certainly looking a huge improvement for AMD. Gaming benchmarks inconsistencies seem to be the big talking point at the moment, but as I'm not interested in gaming I'm thinking it's not something I should be too concerned about. The Ryzen 7 1700 looks a good option - powerful multicore, but a lower TDP than the X models and Kaby Lake, so should be fine for a workhorse that needs to be cooled quietly.

I'll have a look at the options over the next week and make a shortlist of parts. I'm favouring it along with the Palit silent card I linked to at the top and a quiet/silent PSU.

Would a 500w PSU be sufficient to power an R1700, a 1050TI card, an M.2 SSD, a couple of 5400rpm drives and an optical drive? I'm looking at the Super Flower Golden Silent 500w as silent option....
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Old 17-03-2017, 12:47   #9
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Yeah those Ryzens are great value for money, especially if you're not planning on gaming.

500w will be fine, but I think I'd be tempted with something other than that Superflower. You're paying a huge premium for a fully fanless design whereas I've got a HX850i which has a fan but I've never put enough load through it for the fan to spin up (and I've tried ).

Actually I just checked current PSU prices and they've gone up a LOT since I last looked so maybe that Superflower isn't such a bad deal.
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Old 17-03-2017, 22:28   #10
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What does it have to be quiet for, exactly? If you mean silent for film watching, normal video/audio editing, etc, but don't mind a bit of noise when you're gaming (coz let's face it, Playstations and Xboxes aren't exactly silent) then you don't need some huge, passively cooled graphics card. I've built my own silent home theatre PC with a 980Ti STRIX (formerly a GTX670 Strix) and the only time the fans kick in is when a game actually bothers to use any GPU power (a badly optimised game like Fallout 4 never even activates the fans). It's the only time when my PC makes any significant noise.
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Old 18-03-2017, 09:22   #11
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No reason other than I really hate the noise, it's just a personal thing, I've always hated fan noise, I had my last PC very quiet with silent video card, a big heatsink with a big fan throttled down to a slow spin, etc.

I hate the noise my PS4 makes, which is why I don't use it as a media player, and why I'll be waiting to see how the Scorpio sounds before deciding on PS4 Pro or that.

I'd rather spend a bit more and sacrifice a bit of power to have it quieter.
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Old 18-03-2017, 16:26   #12
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There will definitely be no noise when watching films with modern cards that have quiet fans attached (I can't recall what the feature is called, but the fans only spin up under heavy load). Gaming it will probably be the equivalent or maybe louder than a PS4 (depending on where you play in relation to the PC). What sort of case are you going for? That's usually imo the most important factor when building a silent PC. You also might want complete control over your fan speeds so you can crank them down for film viewing. I have a Asus Maximum Hero card that allows me to control the speed of my three chassis fans (2 front, 1 rear) and two CPU cooler fans manually, so all I need to do is use the AI Suite software to control the speed of each fan and creat a "silent" prile that makes my system pretty damn quiet, but for gaming I have a moe agressive profile that I simply switch to for superior cooling
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Old 21-03-2017, 09:57   #13
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I recently upgraded with noise being a consideration alongside performance.

Went with Dino PC to build a i7700k and GTX1080 based rig. Basically the key noise dampener is the case .... a Fractal Design R5 with no windows. It has dampening foam in the case. Not into flashy LED based rigs.

Have an AIO (Corsair 80i v2) for cpu and extra case fans.

Can hardly hear it even under load.
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Old 21-03-2017, 11:12   #14
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You don't necessarily need a quiet case - though obviously a well insulated one will reduce any noise that's there.

But I bought the quietest 1080 there is and have never heard it (most of the non FE ones are very quiet). Likewise, I never hear my CPU fan. I replaced the PSU with a quieter one and replaced the case fans with quieter ones. I can now game at a lower volume than the freeview box makes when its in standby.
And my case is basically a giant fan grill wrapped around a frame. It's the least sound insulated thing I've ever seen.

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Old 30-03-2017, 22:08   #15
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I've got the Fractal R5. It's a fantastic case
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Old 30-03-2017, 22:11   #16
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If you don't like the noise, why not look at something water cooled?
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Old 31-03-2017, 05:09   #17
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Ironically, water cooling isn't necessarily as quiet as high end air cooling and components selected for being quiet! Pumping liquid around ain't always silent. Water cooling is just better cooling for extreme over clocking.

I have a water cooling system sat in a box, preferring the air cooling from a noise perspective.
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Old 21-11-2017, 09:38   #18
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I thought I'd bounce this back up as I never got round to building my new PC and have been plodding along with my aging Microserver as a lumbering workhorse (new baby and new house taking priority!)

Anyway, with Black Friday looming I thought it might be a good time to look out for some decent prices on parts.

When I first asked for recommendations Ryzen was imminent, and I've been following it's progress and certainly looks like a good option, but with Intel releasing newer models to try to fight back, which should I be looking at?

I've seen a Ryzen 7 1800x for £280, which seems a very good price, but now that it's 8 months in the wild how does it stack up against the latest Intel i7 8700, which isn't that much more?

And on motherboards, does anyone have any recommendations for on the AM4 and Intel side? I'm not a gamer and don't need dual video cards, but I do want two m2 slots for the faster hard drives and a fair amount of USB3 connections.
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Old 07-12-2017, 12:31   #19
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Hi again guys

So this is where I am on my new PC build plans.....

Last week I bought a Ryzen 7 1800X from Amazon when I saw it for £280 in Black Friday, so was going to go down the AMD route. However, the Intel i7-8700k can now be had for £350 from Amazon, not in stock but, like the Ryzen I bought could, can be ordered now and delivered when in stock.

Which route should I go down? As I'd been planning to go AMD I've been mostly looking at AM4 motherboards, etc for the last few months, so will need to now look at Intel mobo options, but for the £70 difference I'm now not sure which is best.

I don't use it for gming, but I do want it as a workhorse for video converting, UHD, photo editing (Photoshop/Lightroom). The Intel has onboard video, but with the AMD I'd need to get a card (still looking at the Palit silent 1050 4GB).

One of my main requirements is still keeping it quiet - I read that the Intel one can get very hot so may use up more energy and also need more cooling?

I have actually ordered the 8700k from Amazon to give me the time to make a decision, but I need to do a return on the Ryzen in the next week if I want to return it.

Any advice, thoughts, opinions?

Also, any recommendations for motherboards for the Intel? I don't need to video cards, but I do want two m2 SSD options.

Thanks!
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Old 07-12-2017, 13:15   #20
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Have a look at replies here and here for AMD component choices. That Ryzen looks to be a good chip.
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