A powerful but really silent/quiet/mute desktop computer: how to do?
Aug 28, 2017 at 8:17 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 26

Excellence 5

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Hello to everyone,

I’m planning to buy a new desktop PC that must be powerful (for DSD 512) but really mute like a dead.

As CPU I was looking at the Intel i7-7700K or maybe the new i7-8700K; or maybe an Intel i9. (I didn’t know these last existed!)

I don’t need any specific graphic card at the moment.

Now the big problem: what kind of CPU cooler should I buy? Looking here and there on the net, the Noctua NH-D15 seems to be one fo the best choices, but it’s not really that mute.

I also discovered a really big double tower by the German Silentmaxx, called “TwinBlock”.

At last: what power supply do you suggest? I read here and there that a linear PSU should be fine for any audio systems: is it possible? What do you think about?

What do you use for your dektop computer?

Thanks in advance
 
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Aug 28, 2017 at 8:58 PM Post #2 of 26

theveterans

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^ I don't think that exist (mute like dead) unless you're willing to underclock your CPU to 1 GHz under load and use passive heatsinks.

It's a trade-off between high thermal output and quietness.

For that reason, I use my fanless Surface Pro (15 W TDP) with 4 GHz of overclocked speed at short load times.

PS: you don't need a Hexacore or quad core for DSD 512, unless of course you are using HQ Player to do the upsampling filter via the software of course (that's a different matter)

If you are playing back a DSD 512 natively, DSD over PCM does not use a lot of CPU at all. Heck I bet my money it's less than 5% CPU utilization on the DoP mode.
 
Aug 28, 2017 at 10:26 PM Post #3 of 26

theveterans

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I'm playing back DSD256 and it just uses 4% at 0.55 GHz. Like I said, if you are upsampling a PCM file to DSD512 then yes you need that i7 or even i9
Untitled.jpg
 
Aug 29, 2017 at 1:23 AM Post #4 of 26

ProtegeManiac

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I’m planning to buy a new desktop PC that must be powerful (for DSD 512) but really mute like a dead.
---
Now the big problem: what kind of CPU cooler should I buy? Looking here and there on the net, the Noctua NH-D15 seems to be one fo the best choices, but it’s not really that mute.

I also discovered a really big double tower by the German Silentmaxx, called “TwinBlock”.

Those still have fans that need to push air into the case and then through the cooling fins on the CPU (and GPU) cooler.

Two things determine cooling capacity: air flow and dissipation area. Obviously more airflow means more noise from the air moving, and especially through obstructions like cooling fins on air coolers and the mesh on radiators, not to mention the exhaust fan.

You can rely less on airflow and use more dissipation area, that way you minimize the amount of air that needs to be forced through the cooling fins. Most people use something like a Noctua D15 or a BeQuiet! Dark Rock Pro3 with just the middle fan (more often than not the front fan is omitted due to RAM clearance). Or you can use a more extreme method and have a case that is essentially a giant block of cooling fans, like one of the Calyos cases. It has one array in the back for the CPU and one array out front for the GPU (personally I'd much rather switch that around, but chances are if you're loading the GPU you're probably clicking the mouse enough to not mind any noise or whatever from the GPU). This is the kind you need if you want a fully quiet PC that can also run games or edit photos and videos without getting frustratingly slow, and I'll just focus on these since you're not asking for a specific graphics card but still sounds like you'd still get one (ie I'm going to assume this isn't totally just a media PC).

Here's the prototype which looks like it only has a fin stack for the CPU.

Here's the latest version from a trade show this year.

Make sure the RAM you use has a heat spreader on them and not the super cheap sticks that just rely on some case airflow, the kind you find (and tend to break) on prebuilt PCs used for long gaming sessions.

For a more sane option but there's still going to be a tiny hint of wind rush, I built a miniITX PC for my cousin in a Phanteks Evolv Mini with an i5-6600K cooled by a BeQuiet! Dark Rock 3 plus an MSI Gaming GTX 970. 200mm intake fan does a great job pushing enough air in there and the Dark Rock has a lot of dissipation area, plus a very quiet fan. Note that he doesn't mind the wind rush since he's going to run the A/C in his room pretty much all the time he's inside that room with the sun still up given the climate here. That said, if the ambient air is cooler where you are, you can get more aggressive with how low you set the fan curves.

One alternative is to use a case where you can minimize the use of fans on the CPU or GPU cooler. For example there's the InWin 301 with intakes at the bottom and takes a microATX board. You can potentially remove the GPU cooler and shroud, then replace it with a larger aftermarket cooler, and then hook up the intake fans on the bottom to the GPU's fan headers, this way your intake fans will cool the GPU directly (some motherboards allow some fan headers to sync the fans to the GPU temps so you might want to look into those). Problem here is finding a large one that will fit the GPU in that case with the fans at the bottom and a tower cooler on the CPU. For example the Prolimatech Mk26 looks like it won't fit in that case and the Arctic (semi-)passive cooling block has a mounting mechanism that needs to go on both sides of the graphics card, ie, the one on the back will force you to use a noisier AIO cooler on the CPU, and these have very high fin densities that air has to really be forced through them and hence, more noise.

If you can deal with water and loop maintenance, you can just build a custom loop. Something like a Fractal Define S with a 360mm radiator on the front, sealed everywhere else but the rear exhaust fan port (it has four panels to block off all the other fan mounts with acoustic dampening material). Use low fin density radiators and run only pull fans to get air through the rad and into the case (push fans can be noisier especially in the front), then use a high flow for low rpm operation exhaust fan that way you can keep it quiet while still getting the hot air out. Run the loop through the CPU and GPU, and if you invest in one of those expensive Asus motherboards, run the tubes through the motherboard VRM and chipset heatsinks too so you don't really need to have the air blowing hard from the intake fans through their heatsinks. Note that you'll have to flush the liquid every few months regardless of use as you don't want algae to gunk up the system, and make sure everything is either aluminum or copper so you won't have to rely on corrosion inhibitors in the distilled water.


As CPU I was looking at the Intel i7-7700K or maybe the new i7-8700K; or maybe an Intel i9. (I didn’t know these last existed!)

Well what else are you planning on doing with this computer? You have to figure out whether you need clock speed or core count more. i7 quad cores have the best single core performance and highest clock speeds, but throw a multi-threaded workload on it and even a Ryzen 7 1700X will match if not beat a 7700K since it has double the core and thread count.

If it's just for gaming your best bet is a 7700K - at worst Battlefield 1 and presumably newer Total War games starting with Warhammer II (and the first one, considering it utilizes multple cores better than Shogun II) will get fewer frames vs the 1800X. If you'll actually do media editing then get the 1800X, and at worst you get a very small reduction in framerates on some games that benefit more from core clocks, like older Total War titles. The main problem with Ryzen though isn't actually the clock speeds out of the box, but how they have issues overclocking to 4.0ghz to close the clock speed gap with stock i5 and i7 CPUs, made worse by crashing on DDR4 running over 2666mhz. I say don't rush it and let them fix the BIOS drivers or come out with the refreshed chips next year that gets past this problem.

Beyond the quad i7's though I wouldn't really look into Intel. Ryzen and Threadripper work fine for workstation use (even the $500 TR chip is 8-core, 16-thread, but has way more PCI-E lanes than the 1800X it's based on) due to cost. And especially not the i5/i7 Extreme CPUs. They use the same socket as the workstation CPUs, which means you need to buy the more expensive motherboards, but they don't even have all the PCI-E lanes of a proper workstation CPU. Sure, you get some improvement in core clocks, but the cost of the motherboard and the CPU doesn't make any sense for any use case since 1) if it's for workstations you don't get enough PCI-E lanes and 2) even for gaming, the extra cost of the board and CPU could have just been spent on a better graphics card or 3) a custom cooling solution if you're more into keeping it all quiet.


I don’t need any specific graphic card at the moment.

I'd invest in a GTX 1080 or 1080Ti if you don't have to eat instant noodles for weeks to save up, if the goal is for silent operation without compromise in power and you can get a proper case. This is because you can more easily find a custom air cooler for a high end GPU. That basically just leaves you with whether you can find a case that can accommodate such a giant block with intake fans on the bottom, that way you eliminate the need for fans on the GPU cooler. Otherwise, get the most bang for the buck and TDP - GTX 1060. if you're not playing or rendering 4K video this will work fine for gaming on a single ultrawide monitor.


What do you use for your dektop computer?

Desktop computer for gaming and movies:

i7-2600K, running 3.8ghz with a Cryorig H7 cooler
MSI H77-G43M motherboard
Corsair DDR3, 1800mhz
MSI GTX 980 4gb with Zero Frozr (fans don't run at idle, fan over GPU and VRAM chip spools up faster than the fan over the VRMs; hasn't thermal throttled except on synthetic stress tests)
Antec HCG-520 PSU (intake on the outside of the case so as not to compete for fresh air with the GPU
Silverstone PS07 case (has a plastic arm to help hold up the weight of CPU coolers; all unused screw holes on the chassis blocked off to prevent dust coming in or intake air leaking out; also managed to get the noise down a little too)
2x120mm Enermax fans (75% until CPU hits 70C, then ramps up to 100% by 80C; never hit that)
1x120mm Cryorig QF120 Balanced (50% speed)

I use a separate fanless device as music server but I don't use DSD.
 
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Aug 29, 2017 at 9:24 AM Post #5 of 26

Excellence 5

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Thank you so much for the big answer! (But I need to read it carefully again.)

CALYOS NSG S0 seems really to be a solution without compromise in terms of silence & performance. However, aside the price (around €500 or more?) and how/where to buy it, I’m trying to understand how customizable it really could be: looking at the pictures on the net it doesn’t seem just a container but something that incorporates power supply and some element of the motherboard…
I mean: can I buy it just like a PC case, and then to put PSU, motherboard and all components I want inside it? I’m confused at the moment…

Also, are we sure that they didn’t provide for a VGA passive coooler as well? Seems strange…

Make sure the RAM you use has a heat spreader on them…

Well, I really didn’t know about heat spreaders for RAM, so thanks for letting me know.

Beyond the quad i7's though I wouldn't really look into Intel…
Honestly, I’m quite ignorant about these things: I thought that more core is always the best choice…
I would go for Intel 7i-7700K because I think it would be okay for me. However, the user Quadman, on this board, says that 7700K is not enough if you play DSD using HQ Player and its filters. If so, does a really powerful CPU for HQ Player exist?

Anyway, I bought my desktop computer almost ten years ago, so I need it to be update. :)
 
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Aug 29, 2017 at 10:57 AM Post #6 of 26

ProtegeManiac

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Thank you so much for the big answer! (But I need to read it carefully again.)

CALYOS NSG S0 seems really to be a solution without compromise in terms of silence & performance. However, aside the price (around €500 or more?) and how/where to buy it, I’m trying to understand how customizable it really could be: looking at the pictures on the net it doesn’t seem just a container but something that incorporates power supply and some element of the motherboard…
I mean: can I buy it just like a PC case, and then to put PSU, motherboard and all components I want inside it? I’m confused at the moment…

Uh...those are on the videos I posted. It takes up to an ATX motherboard but only one GPU can be hooked up to the passive GPU cooler You can use two (width wasn't specified but I'd suspect MSI shrouds won't fit, so you need to use the passive cooler for it, and only one card). Power supply in there isn't built in either - they used a fanless ATX power supply from Seasonic. There are also 120mm fan slots on the bottom of the fins blowing up, in case you want some actual airflow going through them. Modern PWM fans hooked up to a good, modern motherboard can program these to run at 50% if not lower. Some fan hubs can probably take some kind of switch so you can switch them off if you're not running high load applications like gaming.


Also, are we sure that they didn’t provide for a VGA passive coooler as well? Seems strange…

That's also in the video I posted. Second video is of a revised version that just came out in Computex last June that has the passive cooler in front for the GPU.

Red - GPU cooler ; Blue - CPU cooler
Calyos_01_marked.jpg
Calyos_02_marked.jpg



When I talked about getting a separate GPU cooler it was not about for using with the Calyos. I'm talking about using a case that has intake fans at the bottom, under the graphics card, and you will remove the cooler and fans that came on the GPU to hook up something like this: http://www.prolimatech.com/en/products/detail.asp?id=1672 . In that configuration, instead of for example two intake fans in front, at least one on the CPU, and two on the GPU, the same chassis intake fans will blow straight over the GPU cooler with no need for fans right on the GPU cooler itself. You basically eliminated two of those fans from the system. Your problem though is the fit. Here's a look of that same cooler in the link mounted on a graphics card.

8c7d183a__dsc1187kerha.jpeg


Here's a view of it in a Fractal case. The problem with this case is the intake is out in front, so you need to mount two fans on the cooler itself just to move air through them. Note how many expansion slots it blocks and how wide it is in that ATX case.
500x1000px-LL-dd28235b__DSC1205.jpeg



But if you had a case like this and it fits, you can use the same fans that bring air into the case (that gets used by the CPU cooler), then you won't need to mount fans on the GPU cooler to redirect the air that way. In this case you can use a PSU with a fan to serve as the exhaust fan (the PSU intake is smack above the CPU cooler).

301_overview_tool-less_02.png








Well, I really didn’t know about heat spreaders for RAM, so thanks for letting me know.

Bare RAM stick.
Crucial1large.jpg


RAM with a large heat spreader.
dom_pt_hero_c_2666_2_1_1_1_1_1_1_1_1.png






Honestly, I’m quite ignorant about these things: I thought that more core is always the best choice…

That depends on what application and workload you're running.

If you're running a multi-core, multi-threaded workload like producing videos then you need at least a quad core. If you're going to browse while it's rendering you're gonna need more than four cores.

If you're running tasks that rely more on GPU processing power and just a bit of CPU power like editing photos, even if you're doing image stacking or HDR, even a dual core CPU will work as long as you're not multitasking on the same computer while it's rendering the TIFF or JPEG out of RAW or TIFF files.

Other apps and games for example only run on single or dual core, and can actually suffer from hyper/multithreading, like older Total War games. They have so many things to render on screen but ran only on single core up until Rome II, so it's heavily dependent on clock speed and GPU processing, but can't get that far on them anyway because this is the kind of thing that should be run on multiple cores. There's a guy who had a somewhat infamous rant about Rome II when it came out because he upgraded soon after release to a workstation hexacore or octacore Intel processor, plus two GTX 780Ti's, and ended up not getting any faster frame rates than others with an overclocked i5 quad and GTX 770. AFAIK one of the problems was multi-GPU driver support, which got fixed soon after that, and then I also noticed both Shogun II and Rome II starting to run faster and faster on my HD7850 with updates, and read somewhere (though I'm sure how true that is) that they were retooled and updated to run on multiple cores and not to suffer too much with hyperthreading so you don't have to go into the bios and enable it only when rendering videos or something.

And then you have games that needs something else for every other in-game situation. There was a Ryzen 5 1600X (6-core, 12 threads) vs Core i5 (quad, no hyperthreading) comparo somewhere on YouTube where they didn't just run benchmarks, they noticed that on different situations one was faster than the other. In one fight sequence the Intel chip was running a lot faster, likely thanks to its clock speed, but it was dropping its minimum framerates a heck of a lot lower in one scene with a lot of NPCs.

In general, since Intel workstation CPUs aren't all that fast over Ryzen and Core i CPUs anyway but cost a lot more, I'd much rather get Ryzen but wait until they sort out the RAM and CPU overclocking issues in a BIOS update.


I would go for Intel 7i-7700K because I think it would be okay for me. However, the user Quadman, on this board, says that 7700K is not enough if you play DSD using HQ Player and its filters. If so, does a really powerful CPU for HQ Player exist?

I think that has a lot more to do with core count than clock speed, considering the 7700K has a high clock speed and best single core performance out there. You should probably go with an Intel octacore, or a Ryzen 1800X or the Threadripper based on the 1800X if you need more PCI-E lanes (like for multiple GPUs plus a lot of NVME storage, but that excludes a PC built into the Calyos passive cooling case), but again clock speed might still be a factor so I wouldn't rush that. Wait for Ryzen BIOS updates so you can overclock it.

Also note that the hexa/octacore AMDs are only drastically efficient next to their older CPUs (even the quads), but against the latest Core i7 CPUs, these will still generate more heat at stock clocks and even more when overclocked, so you're going to need a substantial amount of cooling capacity. The Calyos case can handle Intel 2011 CPUs with an overclock up to their boost speed, so that can handle a 95watt Ryzen 1800X no problem. If you're not using the Calyos case make sure the case and motherboard will fit something like BeQuiet Dark Rock Pro 3, and use only the fan in the middle to keep noise levels down (every additional fan adds more noise than the heat they take away, unless fin density is so tight you need to up the static pressure without spinning the fans too fast, ie, using two fans on a dense and thick AIO radiator).

That said though I can't imagine the entire computer slowing down if you're just playing those ultra high samplig rate DSD files and not multi-tasking, much less gaming/rendering while listening. Are you sure that was about playback without processing? Because if you're just reading the file off the CPU it's just a matter of reading it; all other tasks fall on the outboard DAC that will receive the signal.

And I just realized something...make sure the DAC you get actually takes DSD and plays it natively without converting it to 16/44.1. Converting DSD on the fly might even be offloaded to the computer, and it's this that might be what requires a lot of processing power.
 
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Aug 29, 2017 at 1:59 PM Post #8 of 26

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Sorry! I was totally confused by the damned acronyms: now I understand that the first block of Calyos is for processor (CPU), and the other one is for graphic card (GPU).

It’s not mentioned that you should use a fanless power supply (PSU).

Calyos it’s something of really new, they are going to deliver the first pieces on September. The price is €579 plus shipping. Here's a link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1489140137/nsg-s0-worlds-first-fanless-chassis-for-high-perfo .

They wrote “NSG is compatible with any ADM / Intel motherboard chipset.

Looks like very interesting.
 
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Aug 29, 2017 at 2:24 PM Post #9 of 26

ProtegeManiac

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It’s not mentioned that you should use a fanless power supply (PSU).

I did not say you absolutely can use only fanless power supplies. I'm saying that

1. If you want totally silent it's the way to go, and

2. The video said they put in a SeaSonic fanless power supply, and in fact it was on the SeaSonic booth for that reason.
Calyos_03.jpg
Calyos_04.jpg

Calyos_05.jpg

Calyos_06.jpg
 
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Aug 29, 2017 at 6:58 PM Post #10 of 26

Excellence 5

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Of course a completly silent (& powerful) computer is my goal, it would be a dream that comes true after more than 15 years of damned fans.

To be honest, €579 plus shipping is an high price for a system that basically consists in a couple of passive coolers. They also wrote that the price will increase after the first period of pre-orders. This is not so nice.

As far prices, if you visit the address I posted above, you’ll find a configuration with i7-7700K that costs €2900… it's insane.

However, I’ll see what to do, thanks once again for giving a lot of great information!
 
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Aug 29, 2017 at 9:35 PM Post #11 of 26

ProtegeManiac

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Of course a completly silent (& powerful) computer is my goal, it would be a dream that comes true after more than 15 years of damned fans.

Completely, totally silent is only possible without any moving parts in the system, hence that case. There's another company, Streacom, that makes PC cases that function like the chassis of large amplifiers, but they're mostly for HTPC. Their largest case accomodates an mATX board and the CPU and GPU both take one panel for cooling, but the problem with that one is that the dissipation area of that small case isn't significantly larger than a large cooler, and it doesn't have fans, so it can't really run a powerful system unless the ambient temp in the room is really low (this way even if the temp delta remains the same, you're farther out from thermal throttling). Maybe a 1080P gaming rig for "High" graphics settings (not Ultra graphics settings on many newer titles) but that's about it. Of course, if you can get by with a 95watt Ryzen 1600X hexacore and an RX480 or GTX 1060 then it might be good enough.


To be honest, €579 plus shipping is an high price for a system that basically consists in a couple of passive coolers. They also wrote that the price will increase after the first period of pre-orders. This is not so nice.

You're missing the point of the Calyos case. First off, you can't just dismiss that as "basically consists in a couple of passive coolers," because there is no other passive cooler around with the same dissipation area barring the largest amplifiers, and even then, none of them have that new kind of vapour chamber system that more effectively transfers heat from the CPU and the GPU to the case.

At the same time, so what if it's passive? If your goal is a completely silent PC, eliminating moving parts is the only way to go, and if you actually watched that first video, they had it running stress tests on both the CPU and GPU for over 24hrs (I think it was 72hrs actually), and it never thermal throttled. Even a custom water loop that is silent compared to other systems would have ramped up the fans at some point, if not had its water boil causing evaporation through pipes that aren't made of metal, plus some microscopic seams on the cover of the reservoir, and you'd have had some of the water evaporate already.

Even without evaporative losses, you still have to regularly flush such a watercooling loop every few months just to prevent algae growth if not also galvanic corrosion. And to prevent galvanic corrosion another way, you have to make sure that all the metal parts in the loop - from the CPU and GPU blocks including the water entry points, the pump, the radiator pipes and fins, if not also the barbs and seals, all need to be all aluminum or all copper. There has to be no mix of both metals otherwise the water will cause galvanic corrosion that can gunk up the system (unless you can use a chemical fluid similar to what Calyos uses, but the problem is how much that is and whether it's safe to handle at home, since you'd still have to deal with regular maintenance on a loop that wasn't sealed in a hermetically safe environment, ie, airborne microorganisms, and heck even your hands can be a source of those).

The point of the Calyos case then is at least two fold. First, you can run a completely passive system (if they ran it for over 24hrs running a stress test with no RAM fan then you can use it on less strenuous tasks without it too), no moving parts, and the only noise over a Streacom case is the boiling of the fluid inside the heat pipes (and even then that's only when you run a high performance CPU or GPU hard). The second is that you can get the same performance as the average water cooling loop (if not better) while running completely passive, and more importantly, it doesn't require you to do any maintenance by flushing the fluid every few months.

As far prices, if you visit the address I posted above, you’ll find a configuration with i7-7700K that costs €2900… it's insane.

You're also paying for the labour cost for assembly, it doesn't tell you what the motherboard and its chipset is (ie only Z- and X-series for Intel or Xxx0 and Bxx0 fofr Ryen allow for overclocking). For that kind of money you can get the second best motherboard in Asus' ATX line up, the Maximus IX Hero, a GTX 1080 Ti, and the 7700K, with enough change left over for an M.2 drive and two to four SSDs for your music and games. Or preferably just set up an HDD NAS in another room to store all your audio files that way you get massive storage without blowing an insane amount of money nor having something with moving parts in the same room where the computer is.
 
Aug 31, 2017 at 4:26 AM Post #12 of 26

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I sent an email to Calyos asking information about prices and warranty.

Unfortunately I realize just now that something of important is missing on their NSG S0: an enclosure for the internal blu ray burner I own. Ouch! That’s a problem…

There is space to locate a few hard drives (or fans - no thanks) under the coolers, but I don’t think it can be used for blu ray drives…

1601c35eb06d19f3ff6a487ae1a2907c_original.gif

989280bcce006d9878c23e3ec9a733d8_original.gif
 
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Aug 31, 2017 at 7:53 AM Post #13 of 26

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Looking at another picture I see that there is space to place two HHDs one over the other, so I think that a BD burner can be put there. However, I sent another question to Calyos asking if a faceplace for BD/DVD drives is available:

CABLAGE.gif


Honestly I don’t know why someone should buy a completly silent cooling system like the NSG 0S and then to put inside it a bunch of HHDs that would generate noise like a farm tractor. Mah…

I inform that the shipping price within Europe is €45.
 
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Aug 31, 2017 at 10:29 AM Post #14 of 26

ProtegeManiac

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I sent an email to Calyos asking information about prices and warranty.

Unfortunately I realize just now that something of important is missing on their NSG S0: an enclosure for the internal blu ray burner I own. Ouch! That’s a problem…

There is space to locate a few hard drives (or fans - no thanks) under the coolers, but I don’t think it can be used for blu ray drives…


Looking at another picture I see that there is space to place two HHDs one over the other, so I think that a BD burner can be put there. However, I sent another question to Calyos asking if a faceplace for BD/DVD drives is available:


OK...first off...you're going for a silent build where we're eliminating noise-generating moving parts, only for the deal breaker being that you can't put something that has moving parts in it?

You might think those optical drives are silent now, but use it on a system this quiet and there won't be anything masking it.

And if you really just need it as a burner, and you're open to spending this kind of money on the case and cooling system, why not just use an external burner drive? Heck even if you buy BluRays they tend to come with a download key. Unless the download version for example has no 5.1 sound you might as well try to get everything in digital copy and offload some to a server.


Honestly I don’t know why someone should buy a completly silent cooling system like the NSG 0S and then to put inside it a bunch of HHDs that would generate noise like a farm tractor. Mah…

And you want a BluRay drive?

Even if you download you movies and offload them to a harddrive I already suggested how to manage hard files: put a NAS in another room.
 
Aug 31, 2017 at 12:26 PM Post #15 of 26

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I didn't read the whole thread but I'm coming from PC building into hifi audio so I thought I'd throw out a few thing's I have picked up.

Other than a fanless system one of the best way's for a silent computer would be custom water cooling. The idea being you greatly oversize your radiator capacity and use low speed fans. Everyones idea of a quite PC is different though because pump's and fans still make noise. There are cases with sound dampening inside of them, like BeQuiet and then there are other manufacturers that offer "silent" versions of main stream cases which have dampening material in them. This topic could be debated all day but it's going to come down to your budget and just how quiet you need it to be, then find the sweet spot from there. Fanless, air cooled dampened case, full custom loop.... all have pro's and cons. If you are considering the water cooling loop go look at Jayztwocents, he doesn't focus on silence but will give all the information you need on building a custom loop. His main rig which isn't shown in recent video's has Several huge radiators with fans at a low speed and it's a top end gaming machine with a large cpu and dual gpu's.

Another potential solution if you have the budget is look into singularity computers, he's a custom PC builder and makes absolutely perfect rig's, I'm sure he could tackle the issue of silence.

I have a custom hard loop 7600k@4.9ghz and a 1070 with a large radiator, I have the fan's up to speed because I don't care about noise but it could get pretty quiet if I needed it to or didn't overclock. I also have the front panel off my case for better airflow.

My overall point is there are many way's to do this.

edit: there are power supplies which when oversized can run with the fan off almost all the time.
 
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