Architect's build

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Architect's build

Postposted on Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:07 pm

I work in an office of 15. This is a prototype build for an architect's CAD workstation. We have been explicitly using Dell for over a decade. Dell's Optiplex machines are generally decent, but their lack of flexibility and upgrade-ability and also the fact that it's hard to get the exact configuration desired have at times been frustrating. So I have convinced the owners to let me take a stab at building our own.

Requirements:
Small as possible without sacrificing power and PCIe x16 and 4 RAM slots.
Case must look as excellent as possible. These have to look tasteful and classy. NO bling bling, just classy and petite.
USB 3, SATA 6G, eSATA
Has to be quiet, inaudible if possible
Modular PSU is desired because extraneous cables suck.
Has to be quiet, small, classy looking ( I know I'm repeating).

Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
$219.99
GIGABYTE GA-Z68MX-UD2H-B3 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
$159.99
Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
$229.99
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory
$159.99
ATI FirePro V3800 100-505607 Workstation Video Card
$99.99
LIAN LI PC-A04B Black Aluminum MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case
$109.99
SeaSonic M12II 520 Bronze 520W Power Supply
$91.99
ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS
$19.99
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit
$139.99

Grand Total: $1,231.91

What do you all think?
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Re: Architect's build

Postposted on Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:17 pm

The base hardware seems ok, but as far as noise is concerned:

1) You might find a cheaper P/H67 mATX board, depending on whether you're going to overclock or not. Important: Gigabyte mobos usually have few to no fan speed adjustments other than CPU, and ideally you'll want to at least be able to temperature-control the all-important rear fan.

2) Also, I'm not sure about the quality of the Lian-Li fans, but I recently got some Scythe "KAZE-JYUNI" 500/800 RPM fans that are absolutely marvelous. I put the 500s on the front/top, and the 800 on the back, Antec P182B. 500s are rotating at full speed (they're nearly silent), the 800 is temperature-controlled.

3) That video card seems to have a small, whiny fan. No alternatives? Maybe a passive cooler for it, something by Arctic or Zalman?

4) The stock CPU cooler won't be that quiet.
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Re: Architect's build

Postposted on Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:29 pm

Is Gigabyte still not on the EFI train?

Nothing wrong with the Lian Li for such a build, but did you look at the Silverstone SG04-F? The one gotcha with that line is that the PSU doubles as the exhaust fan (unless you also get their "crossflow" fan), and it's positioned over the mobo, so you need a fairly low-profile CPU cooler. On the other hand, it is classy and very petite (for a mATX case). Or what about one of the compact Antec cases, (Mini P180, etc)?
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Re: Architect's build

Postposted on Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:44 pm

I was planning on exploring the possibility of a 100% stable overclock, which means Z68 or P67. There are a lot more Z68 choices than P67 choices, surprisingly (or perhaps not so surprisingly given the Z68's feature advantages).

Fan control: it's really sad that Gigabyte is so bad at it. It's even sadder that Asus doesn't have an mATX Z68 board on the market. The Gigabyte seems to have a superior feature set compared to what else is available. So, what I may have to do is add a couple of fan speed controllers to the cart.

CPU cooler - do you have any suggestions there? How about the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro? Noctua has one for $60 - that's kinda pricey.

As for case fans, I could add some of those you mentioned to the cart, probably. I have no idea if they Lian-Li's will be good or not.

Same for the video card fan - don't know how loud it is. Interestingly enough, our Optiplex boxes came with HD 2400 cards that have the exact same size fan as the one in the picture and it is completely inaudible - silent. I was hoping that these would turn out the same. The professional cards get expensive in a hurry. I might have to cross my fingers.

UberGerbil wrote:Nothing wrong with the Lian Li for such a build, but did you look at the Silverstone SG04-F? The one gotcha with that line is that the PSU doubles as the exhaust fan (unless you also get their "crossflow" fan), and it's positioned over the mobo, so you need a fairly low-profile CPU cooler. On the other hand, it is classy and very petite (for a mATX case). Or what about one of the compact Antec cases, (Mini P180, etc)?

I had looked at the SG04-F and wasn't too comfortable with the position of the PSU. Maybe I need to give it another look. I need to check out the Mini P180 too.
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Re: Architect's build

Postposted on Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:48 pm

Well regarding the video card and CPU cooler, you can always swap them in later.

The CPU cooler will depend heavily on the case you choose, because you'll have to see roughly how much clearance is left for a HSF.
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Re: Architect's build

Postposted on Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:53 pm

UberGerbil wrote:Is Gigabyte still not on the EFI train?


I think they're still sucking at it. I don't know how big a deal it is.

I googled for P67 and Z68 mATX reviews but there are next to none. That's frustrating and surprising. :( :(
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Re: Architect's build

Postposted on Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:56 pm

A couple of nice, understated-looking mATX cases are the Cooler Master Elite 342 and the Antec NSK3480. The latter comes with a 380W PSU which should be more than adequate for the build you describe. Though obviously the Lian-Li case you chose will be nicer, just more expensive.
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Re: Architect's build

Postposted on Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:38 pm

Having built systems in the mITX, mATX and ATX form factors in the last year I would say there's not much of a real difference between a mid tower ATX case and a tower mATX case. Desktop mATX cases are especially annoying in my opinion as well. They're simply not that small, at least not small enough to be put on a desk unless there's considerable surface area on the desk. On the floor they simply look weird. mITX like a Silverstone SG05 is what you'd expect (but don't get) from the mATX like the SG02, it's a case small enough to demand little room on a desk surface.

With that said, I'd suggest a case designed for silence. For instance the Fractal Design Define R3 is going to be quieter than the Lian Li, is going to cool better and will only add 3 to 4 inches of height (the Lian Li is a deep mATX case). I also think it looks more reserved and professional while the Lian Li is aggressive and industrial. They're both beautiful cases in my opinion though. I just think the Lian Li isn't all that functional. The R3 would also eliminate the need for a modular PSU because of the built in cable management. Not to mention if something goes wrong it's going to be worlds better to work in.
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Re: Architect's build

Postposted on Fri Jun 17, 2011 4:16 pm

There's the Lian-Li PC-A05NB ATX mini tower:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811112218

Which is very close to the same size as the PC-A04. Here's a comparo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productco ... 11-112-316^11-112-316-TS%2C11-112-218^11-112-218-TS
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Re: Architect's build

Postposted on Fri Jun 17, 2011 4:32 pm

My problem in an office environment with the Lian Li rests on the material. Aluminum is light and awesome looking but they're prone to vibration, will not block fan noise well and easily dented.
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Re: Architect's build

Postposted on Fri Jun 17, 2011 5:57 pm

I was looking at that Lian-Li PC-A05NB and thought: the flipped motherboard is is going to allow hot air to accumulate at the top back.
Then I realized it's cooling back-to-front. That seems like a bad idea to do unless you had your computer in a position that blowing air in the back is bad. It may be nice if you happen to need to warm yourself on a cold day, but otherwise I'd rather not have hot air blowing at my feet (or worse, if its at table level - at my body)
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Re: Architect's build

Postposted on Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:54 pm

Here's an alternative configuration - mini ITX, drops to an H67 so no overclocking, and perhaps most troubling, tops out at 8 GB of RAM (the mobo specs claim support for up to 16 GB of RAM but price and availability of 8 GB dimms is probably going to put them out of range)

LITE-ON DVD Burner Black SATA Model DS-8A5S - OEM
$32.99

SILVERSTONE Sugo Series SG07-B Black Aluminum / SECC Mini-ITX Desktop Computer Case 600W 80+ Bronze Certified / Single +12V ...
$209.99

G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBNT
$73.99

ZOTAC H67ITX-C-E LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
$144.99

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
$219.99

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit - OEM
$139.99

ATI 100-505607 FirePro V3800 512MB 64-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Low Profile Workstation Video Card
$99.99

Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
$229.99

Subtotal: $1,151.92

This build ends up being about $80 less than the other build due to only having 8 GB of RAM.
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Re: Architect's build

Postposted on Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:26 pm

To get four memory slots, you should select Micro-ATX. Have you considered the ASRock Z68 Pro3-M, Asus P8H67-M Evo or Asus P8P67-M Pro? I have the last one, and it is packed with features.

How about the Antec NSK3480 case + PSU for $95, delivered? My living room PC lives in an Antec Mini-P180. I'm considering the white version for my next build.

Both of my PCs have Corsair Hydro H70 CPU coolers, so you certainly can fit one into the Mini-P180. I haven't tried to fit one into a Silverstone SG04-F yet.
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Re: Architect's build

Postposted on Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:48 pm

I've been looking hard at cases, and here is some collected data:

  • fractal design define r3 (w) 207.40 x (h) 442 x (d) 521.2mm
  • fractal design define mini: (w) 210 x (h) 395 x (d) 490mm
  • lian li pc v354 (W) 245mm x (H) 320mm x (D) 420mm
  • lian li pc-a04 (W) 188mm x (H) 386mm x (D) 460mm
  • lian li pc-a05 (w) 210mm x (h) 381mm x (d) 490mm
  • antec mini p180 212mm(W) x 435mm(H) x 436mm(D)
  • silverstone sg07 (w) 222mm x (h) 190mm x (d) 350mm

The fractal design mini looks killer but is not available yet.

The Lian Li PC-A05 looks killer. While being dimensionally smaller than the Antec mini P180, it will take a standard ATX mobo, opening up some more options.

The Lian Li PC-V354 has stupid LED fans, but they can be replaced.

The SG07 is mini ITX, so means making lots of sacrifice on certain aspects of the system. Too bad about miniITX having only two RAM slots. If it was not for that it would almost certainly be the choice.

All of these cases look pretty good. The Define R3 is larger than I'd like to go.

PC-A05 has a lot going for it. It's at the top of the list at the moment.
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Re: Architect's build

Postposted on Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:42 pm

flip-mode wrote:Here are some collected data:
  • 47.8 L - fractal design define r3 (w) 207.40 x (h) 442 x (d) 521.2mm
  • 40.6 L - fractal design define mini: (w) 210 x (h) 395 x (d) 490mm
  • 40.2 L - antec mini p180 212mm(W) x 435mm(H) x 436mm(D)
  • 39.2 L - lian li pc-a05 (w) 210mm x (h) 381mm x (d) 490mm
  • 33.4 L - lian li pc-a04 (W) 188mm x (H) 386mm x (D) 460mm
  • 32.9 L - lian li pc v354 (W) 245mm x (H) 320mm x (D) 420mm
  • 32.5 L - Silverstone FT03 235 x 487 x 284
  • 29.5 L - CoolerMaster RC-541 180 x 390 x 420
  • 27.0 L - CoolerMaster RC-341 185 x 365 x 400
  • 25.0 L - Silverstone SG04-F 200 x 360 x 347
  • 24.4 L - Antec NSK3480 197 x 349 x 356
  • 23.8 L - Asus TM-21 170 x 395 x 355
  • 22.5 L - Silverstone SG02-F 270 x 212 x 393
  • 21.3 L - Silverstone GD04 440 x 150 x 323
  • 14.8 L - mini-ITX silverstone sg07 (w) 222mm x (h) 190mm x (d) 350mm
I sorted your list by total volume. This old thread may help in visualizing the size differences.
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Re: Architect's build

Postposted on Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:41 pm

Well done - thanks! I'll give it a study.

Edit:
That was very helpful JAE.

I'm now thinking the NSK 3480 or else just accepting the 8 GB limit and going with the mini ITX - the circumstances under which we'd run out of 8GB are extremely rare. It happened to me the other day but it could have been avoided. Dunno. And there's the small chance that 8GB dimms will start showing up.

The safe bet is the NSK 3480, though.
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Re: Architect's build

Postposted on Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:54 pm

flip-mode wrote:I'm now thinking the NSK 3480 or else just accepting the 8 GB limit and going with the mini ITX - the circumstances under which we'd run out of 8GB are extremely rare.

O RLY? :)

Let me get this straight. You're building new boxes, for the future (at least three years, I'm guessing), for architecture/CAD/CAM you've already come across occasions where 8GB is not sufficient, and you want to stick to 8GB. Hey, it's your neck.
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Re: Architect's build

Postposted on Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:47 am

I agree with Morphine. If you need 24 GiB of memory today, there is the LGA1366 X58 option, but if you can live within 16 GiB, LGA1155 Sandy Bridge is a much better value and it will eventually support 32 GiB when (likely expensive) 8 GiB DIMMs appear. I wouldn't buy a motherboard with only two DIMM slots for the memory-intensive applications that you will run.
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Re: Architect's build

Postposted on Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:40 pm

Hey, I'm not happy about the 8GB thing either.

Choosing the right uATX case has to be about the most difficult part of building a uATX computer. It should not be so.

The NSK 3480 has some unfortunate aspects related to the PSU compartment. Not deal breaking, but certainly off-putting. I'm still inclined to order a high quality modular PSU, and had this Silverstone model in mind, but compatibility is not guaranteed.

Accepting the 3480, the cooler is the last item outstanding. I'm considering the ZeroTherm Nirvana:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6835887011
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Re: Architect's build

Postposted on Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:23 pm

Well, the order is made. 2 machines worth.

NSK3480
Asus P8P67M-Pro
i5 2500K
16 GB DDR3 1333
Crucial M4 128 GB SSD
FirePro V3800
Scythe Rasetsu SCRT-1000
Asus DVD burner
SILVERSTONE Strider Plus ST50F-P 500W
Logitech M310 wireless mouse


I don't know the exact total for just the hardware, but I do know I saved a total of $100 by picking up the CPUs and motherboards at Microcenter.

I was looking hard at the Noctua NH-U9B SE2, which is by all accounts a superb cooler, but I ended up going with the Rasetsu to save some money. It really only saved me $24 total. In retrospect I should have gone with the Noctua, but the Rasetsu still looks like a very decent choice.

Hopefully the parts arrive before the weekend.
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Re: Architect's build

Postposted on Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:40 pm

That system won't tax the PSU that comes with the NSK3480.
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Re: Architect's build

Postposted on Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:50 pm

FuturePastNow wrote:That system won't tax the PSU that comes with the NSK3480.

What he said. I think that PSU is going to waste, so to speak. Unless the stock PSU isn't quite as silent as it should be.
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Re: Architect's build

Postposted on Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:05 pm

Indeed. But, I ordered some hi quality supplies none the less. Modular too. Perhaps not rational. Perhaps a little paranoid. But, in my defense, having those supplies is not going to actually hurt anything. If the included supplies are nice then the Silverstones can always go back.
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Re: Architect's build

Postposted on Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:38 pm

If they end up going back you may eventually find the money for good/better case fans and a passive GPU cooler.
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Re: Architect's build

Postposted on Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:47 am

morphine wrote:If they end up going back you may eventually find the money for good/better case fans and a passive GPU cooler.
What else could we do with the $179.30 saved? Four 92mm Kama PWM fans would cost only $32 + shipping from CoolerGuys.
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Re: Architect's build

Postposted on Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:25 am

Why 2500K and not the 2500 ? I am don't know the price difference in US, but here, it's some where around $50.
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Re: Architect's build

Postposted on Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:02 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:
morphine wrote:If they end up going back you may eventually find the money for good/better case fans and a passive GPU cooler.
What else could we do with the $179.30 saved? Four 92mm Kama PWM fans would cost only $32 + shipping from CoolerGuys.


A Wacom graphics tablet is something I've wanted to try.

I'm still holding out hope that the stock GPU cooler is essentially silent - just like the identical looking stock GPU cooler of the Radeon HD 2400 that's in the system I'm currently using. I'll definitely let you know.

I'm also hoping that the NSK 3480's included case fan is decent - it has a speed selector switch.

In other words, I'm hoping all the cooling will be good as is, but morphine seems highly suspicious. I'll report my findings :D

I certainly could have dropped the PSUs. They were hold-overs from the initial component selection. In that initial component selection I had selected a case that was even more expensive than the NSK 3480 and yet had no power supply. So, for some reason I was figuring I was already saving some money by going with the NSK 3480 so I may as well keep the PSUs in the cart. Meh, my brain does strange things sometimes.

Jigar wrote:Why 2500K and not the 2500 ? I am don't know the price difference in US, but here, it's some where around $50.

They are just $10 different here. Microcenter doesn't stock the vanilla 2500 anyway - only the 2500K, which they sell for $180 - $40 less than Newegg sells the 2500K for.


Edit:
Oh, and off-topic, but I saw the Corsair 600T in person while at Microcenter and I just hate the way that case looks. It literally looks obese. I hate it ... so ... much. :lol:
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Re: Architect's build

Postposted on Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:54 pm

If you have the mounting for it in the case, a prepackaged watercooler like the ones from corsair can probably eliminate a fair deal of the room requirements for large coolers with low noise levels. Also, 4 memory slots would be a requirement if you start out with 2x4GB in the system. Heck, I dont even do cad, but are slowly going into movie-editing with some Canon 5Dmk2 stuff, and that sucks ram. Photoshop seems to be fine with 8GB. Cad, probably depends on the software used and how intensive it is, but you should have the ability to add enough memory.

As for wacom tables, they arent for everybody. I have an Intous 3 and use it heavily with doing retouching work, but quite seldom for other work since I use lightroom more than photoshop nowdays. As for Cad, it probably depends on your users and the software suite you use. But if you havent tried it, its nice once you gets used to it if you have a need. It also various your working enviroment to relieve stress from mousing work abit.
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Re: Architect's build

Postposted on Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:34 pm

Progress report:

I put both machines together today. Everything went very well. The PSU included with the NSA 3480 is completely adequate. (Although I am completely mystified by the number of Molex connectors that continue to populate PSUs. I think there were 4 Molex and 3 SATA. Nothing uses Molex anymore except for system fans, which you can daisy chain off of a single connector.)

The NSA 3480 is a very sturdy case. I have to say its construction quality is above expectation. The steel is heavy gauge and not flimsy at all. It is an interesting case. The top must be removed first and then the sides lift off vertically. Also, the sides are interchangeable. This ended up being useful because, sadly, the Firepro V3800 heatsink fan ended up being more noticeable that hoped (not bad, but it can actually be heard and I was hoping for something undetectable like the fan on the HD 2400), and so swapping the side panels so the panel without any vent closed off the active side of the case did indeed reduce the noticeability of the Firepro's fan. The case has excellent ventilation so I'm not worried about losing the side vent at all.

There is about a 1-1/2" space between an installed optical drive and the end of the PSU. It's about as tight as it can possibly be without causing problems, which is to say that I had no trouble with stuffing away extra wires without restricting air flow to the PSU.

The one thing that Antec needs to do with this case is provide mounts for 2.5" drives - SSDs in other words. Still, it's not much of a worry since SSD's aren't highly susceptible to damage from minor movement. I put the SSD in the bottom 5.25" bay, the optical drive in the top 5.25" bay, and then stuffed extra PSU leads under the optical bay which essentially ends up holding the SSD in place.

Speaking of the SSD - it's a Crucial M4 120GB 6GBps plugged into a 6 GBps port. I think I can finally feel some meaningful disk performance from an SSD now. I don't know if it's the M4 or the 6 GBps connection or the combination of both, but this system does things fast. Revit opens faster, even. And opening anything else happens near instantaneously. The true impact of this was drove home hard since I was applying updates to someone else's computer at the same time I was installing and updating the OS and apps on these new boxes and doing anything on that other computer was agonizing. (I have to say, I think there is something wrong with that other computer, though, that is making it particularly slow, even for what it is, HDD and all). I accomplished the OS and application installs and updates in record time - 2.5 hours, roughly. On my previous system - Core 2 Duo E8500, 8GB, Vertex 2 160 GB - doing the same takes me about 4 hours. Seriously. So, yeah, I'm impressed with the data shoveling performance of these new boxes.

The Scythe Rasetsu is a BEAST and is totally awesome. It fit in the case no problem after removing the side duct (and then that vented panel got put on the other side of the case anyway). It is a totally sweet heatsink unit. A manual fan speed controller is hard wired to the fan. The thing is frickin gorgeous. It installs easily. It's not the number one performer out there but it's certainly a top-tier heatsink. And the good news is that it is shorter than a tower-style heatsink.

The fact is that the Rasetsu provides far, far more cooling than necessary. Out of curiosity, I decided to install a Coolermaster Hyper TX3 in the second machine to see how it performs. It seems to do completely fine. I've not put the i5-2500 under any sustained load yet (like rendering and such), but not once during install did the motherboard ever spin up the TX3. I'm going to leave the TX3 in there and it will be in the machine that goes to me so I'll be able to monitor it but I'm pretty darn sure that it will be completely satisfactory. That's probably much more a compliment of the CPU than the heatsink, because by any review of the TX3 I've seen it's not a very impressive heatsink. It's better than stock by a respectable amount and worth the $20 I paid for it for sure, though.

The P8P67M Pro is a great motherboard. It's just great. It's got SLI-fire capability that I'll never use. The EFI BIOS is smooth and polished and responsive. It's got extensive fan speed controls and plenty of fan headers. 3 total SATA 6G ports. USB3. Plenty of room around the CPU socket. My biggest complaint about the motherboard has to do with the SATA cables it shipped with and the orientation of the SATA ports. All the SATA cables had 90 degree connectors on one end. You'd think these would be useful for the side-mounted SATA ports, but that is not the case because those ports are oriented such that the 90 degree cable end points down instead of up. So, the 90 degree end must be plugged into the drive and not the motherboard. Too bad as it would have been very useful if Asus had considered that more carefully and shipped the board with cables designed for it.

Windows 7 installed without a hitch, as did all the drivers. The system ends up being acoustically undetectable in the office, but in a very quiet room I'm pretty sure I'd have to end up doing something about that Firepro's fan.

I can't wait to crack open a beastly Revit model and take this baby for a spin.

Oh, yeah, and I finally got a wireless mouse. Logitech M310. Winning.
flip-mode
Gerbil Khan
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Re: Architect's build

Postposted on Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:49 am

Sounds like things went about as well as you could've hoped -- only minor hitches.
flip-mode wrote:The NSA 3480 is a very sturdy case. I have to say its construction quality is above expectation. The steel is heavy gauge and not flimsy at all. It is an interesting case. The top must be removed first and then the sides lift off vertically. Also, the sides are interchangeable. This ended up being useful because, sadly, the Firepro V3800 heatsink fan ended up being more noticeable that hoped (not bad, but it can actually be heard and I was hoping for something undetectable like the fan on the HD 2400), and so swapping the side panels so the panel without any vent closed off the active side of the case did indeed reduce the noticeability of the Firepro's fan. The case has excellent ventilation so I'm not worried about losing the side vent at all.
Plus those side vents are never filtered -- even on most cases that have nice removable filters at the front -- so they're just an invitation for dust to wander into everything inside the case. Stupid.
The one thing that Antec needs to do with this case is provide mounts for 2.5" drives - SSDs in other words. Still, it's not much of a worry since SSD's aren't highly susceptible to damage from minor movement. I put the SSD in the bottom 5.25" bay, the optical drive in the top 5.25" bay, and then stuffed extra PSU leads under the optical bay which essentially ends up holding the SSD in place.
You know adapters are like $5, right? Probably not a big deal for an SSD in a case that isn't likely to get kicked or moved, but still -- at least bungie the thing in place with some elastic or something.
Core 2 Duo E8500, 8GB, Vertex 2 160 GB - doing the same takes me about 4 hours.
Installs/updates can be surprisingly CPU-intensive (decompression, etc) so you might not be seeing the full value of the SSD in that system because the CPU is bottlenecking. Or, like you said, there could be something wrong.
The Scythe Rasetsu is a BEAST and is totally awesome. It fit in the case no problem after removing the side duct (and then that vented panel got put on the other side of the case anyway). It is a totally sweet heatsink unit. A manual fan speed controller is hard wired to the fan. The thing is frickin gorgeous. It installs easily. It's not the number one performer out there but it's certainly a top-tier heatsink. And the good news is that it is shorter than a tower-style heatsink.
If you do go ahead with overclocking, you'll have to report back how far you get.
Too bad as it would have been very useful if Asus had considered that more carefully and shipped the board with cables designed for it.
Yeah, that's a stupid oversight. Having the right-angle at the drive end must've at least helped with the tight fit on the optical though. Again, right-angle SATA cables in both orientations are available for like $3. I even once saw a SATA cable with connectors that pivoted through 270° -- I forget where, I wish I'd bought one just to try it.
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