Quiet and fast workstations

By: Gian-Carlo Pascutto (gcp.delete@this.sjeng.org), August 13, 2019 6:00 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
Jouni Osmala (fname.sname.delete@this.aalto.fi) on August 13, 2019 4:00 am wrote:
> >
> > I do not believe any such heroic measures are necessary. If you assemble them yourself,
> > it easy to build silent workstations & servers, using just standard components.

> Level1 did last fall a video for which they configured the best possible configuration
> for what they thought was the best solution for his publicly available preferences.
>
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvuDrrFHrhQ

It is not difficult to build a reasonably quiet workstation yourself, but in my experience it is surprisingly difficult to get it *really* quiet.

You run into silly problems:

a) Mainboards that will always peg to 100% fan if the CPU hits a certain temperature. This is completely pointless as modern CPUs of course just downclock if they get near thermal limits. I had this problem with Gigabyte mainboards. Of course this is the kind of thing you never find in a review, but instantly makes the mainboard useless for purpose.

b) Resonance issues like a certain HDD at a certain workload, or worse, the AIO pump at a certain workload resonating with the case. Not much to do about it but it takes time to track down and figure out a solution for.

c) GPU reviews tend to be completely unreliable with noise measurements. They often claim that cards are silent when they're in fact very loud at full load. I have a Gigabyte Windforce 2080. Most reviews claim it's a very quiet card. It's actually extremely loud (what they call loud cards must be like jet engines I guess). Originally there were RPM speeds at which it rattled. They fixed it with a BIOS update that permanently runs the fan faster and louder (of course also the kind of thing you'll never see in a review). MSI Gaming X cards tend to *actually* be very quiet, but they have silly power draws due to the factory overclocks.

In the video you can see him explain that other, very logical, setups of the fans made a large difference in the total sound output. So you have to be willing to spend quite some time to experiment with this as well. I'm a bit surprised at the choice of AIO but I guess it's due to the very high 250W TDP of the TR. For a 105W 3900X or 3950X air might work better. But AIO often makes the cable and airflow handling easier That's always a tricky choice.

I share the enthusiasm for the Noctua fans. They're very expensive, but also very good.

Let's not get started at the habit of silly RGB lighting and GAMING marks on everything. I was happy to see that there's things like the ASUS Pro WS X570-Ace, with ECC support too even.

--
GCP
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