Quiet gaming PC build suggestions

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Dave A

TreVoR fan for life
Premium
28,305
United Kingdom
Cuddington, Cheshire
JDA1982
I am currently using a very high spec and not very portable laptop for all needs, gaming, work, browsing etc. I am strongly considering building a gaming rig and hooking it up to the TV in the living room and then using remote desktop applications to access it from my laptop if I'm not in the living room or if the wife is watching TV. But I imagine most gaming will be done directly on the PC.

The laptop will likely spend most of it's time upstairs and the main reason for using it to remotely game on the PC will be noise levels. It get's loud, very loud under load and even with undervolts it does throttle itself a lot unless I turn graphical settings down, which defeats the purpose of having a beast of a gaming laptop. Thermal paste has been replaced recently, which reduced temps as expected but it still runs very hot and very, very loud.

But I've had the laptop for a few years now so I've had plenty of good use out of it. I've already done test flights with Moonlight and other streaming apps and I'm happy with the performance I get from those on my home Wi-Fi network. Eventually I might purchase a lighter, slimmer laptop to use.

I am looking for a quiet build as it will be sat in the livingroom. I am also considering waiting for the 4th gen desktop AMD processors to be released for order and the next gen RTX GPU's. They are only a few months away and can probably get me similar performance at lower wattage than the current gen stuff or higher performance at a similar wattage. But assuming I decide to take the plunge sooner than that, the build I have come up with currently is this:


Phanteks Eclipse P600S Silent Midi Tower Case - Black

Stock Code CA-08V-PT


10+ In stock


£127.99*
£127.99*


be quiet! Silent Wings 3 140mm PWM Fan

Stock Code FG-038-BQ


23 In stock

£20.99*
£83.96*


Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut Liquid Metal Thermal Paste - 1g

Stock Code TH-021-TG


100+ In stock

£7.99*
£7.99*


Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Hero (AMD AM4) DDR4 X570 Chipset ATX Motherboard

Stock Code MB-6DX-AS


10+ In stock

£389.99*
£389.99*


MSI GeForce RTX 2070 Super Gaming X Trio 8192MB PCI-Express Graphics Card

Stock Code GX-35K-MS


10+ In stock

£559.99*
£559.99*


AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT Twelve Core 4.7GHz (Socket AM4) Processor - Retail (100-100000277WOF)

Stock Code CP-3C4-AM


10+ In stock

£499.99*
£499.99*


Corsair HXi Series HX850i 850W '80 Plus Platinum Digital Modular Power Supply (CP-9020073-UK)

Stock Code CA-182-CS


10+ In stock

£209.99*
£209.99*


Patriot Viper Steel 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 PC4-35200C19 4400MHz Dual Channel Kit (PVS416G440C9K)

Stock Code MY-103-PA


Pre Order

Was: £149.99
£119.99*
£239.98*


Seagate Firecuda 510 2TB PCIe NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive (ZP2000GM30021)

Stock Code HD-3BC-SE


10+ In stock

£349.99*
£349.99*


be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 CPU Cooler

Stock Code HS-01C-BQ


20+ In stock

Was: £84.95
£79.99*
£79.99*

Silverstone M.2 Heatsink - Black

Stock Code HS-03C-SV


17 In stock

£10.99*
£10.99*


I am interested in any advice from anyone with more experience building a quiet PC and things to be mindful of. It is likely I will wait on the next gen RTX and AMD processors but it has been a long time since I last built a PC and hopefully I'm on the right track for what I want.

This build is from Overclockers.co.uk but when I am ready to hit the order button I will probably shop around more and order parts from two or 3 retailers based on which parts are cheapest and where. Cost isn't a huge issue, but I don't want to waste money for no gain or gains so small they won't be noticed. But as an example, if a more expensive part runs cooler and quieter then I'm all ears.

Thanks for any assistance in advance.
 
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1,896
Australia
Adelaide
What's your budget, and what resolution and refresh rate will you be targeting?

For gaming, a Ryzen 7 3700X is plenty. I'd switch the RAM out to 3200MHz CL16, as it's diminishing returns past that (IMO). That motherboard is also very overkill, I'd probably switch it out with a good B550 board instead.
 

Dave A

TreVoR fan for life
Premium
28,305
United Kingdom
Cuddington, Cheshire
JDA1982
What's your budget, and what resolution and refresh rate will you be targeting?

For gaming, a Ryzen 7 3700X is plenty. I'd switch the RAM out to 3200MHz CL16, as it's diminishing returns past that (IMO). That motherboard is also very overkill, I'd probably switch it out with a good B550 board instead.
Budget is probably about £3,000 but I'm not looking to spend up to that for the sake of it.

One of the selling points of that motherboard was multiple M.2. slots. I can envisage buying a second M.2. SSD in the not too distant future. I can have a look if any less expensive motherboards hae to two slots too, if I'm honest I didn't spend as much time researching motherboards. I just checked the 2 M.2. slots, the Wi-Fi capability and it would be compatible with 4th gen if I wait for that. But I'll check out some more boards.

There isn't a huge drop in price for the RAM, I would save just under £100 going for 3200Mhz, but if there's little gain that's better in my pocket and I suppose with RAM I can alwas upgrade it later if needed.

@Jump_Ace thanks for the suggestions, I have looked into AIO watercooling but I've heard that many of the pumps can be quite lound. The fans aren't too much of an issue because if the kit comes with cheap fans I can swap them out for Silent Wings 3 fans or similar. I'll see if I can find some reviews of those kits though, if I can reduce noise and temps it's win win.
 

GilesGuthrie

Staff Emeritus
10,993
United Kingdom
Edinburgh, UK
CMDRTheDarkLord
Water is definitely the way to go if you want a quiet PC. The reason for this is that you use the water to move the heat to the periphery of the case, then blow air in a straight path through. In contrast, with an air cooled PC, you have fans on the CPU and GPU churning the warm air inside the case.

I installed a sound meter on my phone and measured it 15cm from the case. At idle, it's running at 32dB. With Heaven stressing the GPU it rises to 45dB, and with Prime stressing the CPU it's 50dB. Someone using a petrol powered leaf blower 100m away is making more noise.

I have had issues with properly controlling the fan speeds with this motherboad though, as I really need the fan speed to be driven by the fluid temperature sensor, and for some reason I can only link it to EC_TEMP2, while my probe is connected to EC_TEMP1. I should do something about that. However, the custom CPU/GPU loop I put in mine was £700...

My initial impression is that the case you've chosen probably isn't great for an air-cooled build, as the frontal intake is quite limited. However, I would say that you need to watch Gamers Nexus on YouTube for the full thermal information regarding cases. He goes into tremendous levels of detail, but I have to say that after about 10 minutes his voice makes me want to rip my ears out.

Have a real honest think about where you're going to spend most of your time though. If you're realistically not spending all your time in the living room, then put the PC where it's going to be used the most. Also, it maybe worth talking to a local a/v installer, as quite a few people have remote installs where their source is a long way distant from the display.

Oh, one more thing: The Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut liquid metal is supposed to be REALLY hard to use, and can damage your board. The Kryonaut gives almost the same results (only a degree or two of difference, IIRC) and is cheaper, easier to apply, and won't damage your board in the (less likely) case of you spilling it.
 

Robin

Premium
16,799
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Definitely go all water, a pre-built CPU liquid cooler and separate GPU one would suffice, you don't necessarily have to go with a custom loop. I'm not sure of the power needs of the items you have selected but if it's possible Seasonic do really great fanless PSU's up to 600W.
 
1,833
United States
United States
I would definitely hold off on at least the video card as the new Nvidia 3000 series cards should start being released within the next few weeks. Rumors and leaks are saying that the performance increases should have the the 3070 performing at or above the current 2080 or possibly even the Super 2080 cards. I would hate to think I had just bought a new 2070 when I could have have bought a lot more performance for probably the same ballpark pricing.
AMD will also be releasing their new GPU'S soon as well, much less info on what the performance will be as compared to Nvidia's top offering though. I will say personally I lean towards the green team as their drivers are much more sorted and they have been the go to for years with the AAA game studio's and they just seem to be an easier plug and play as compared to AMDon the GPU side.
AMD is making progress but still needs to prove themselves in the top tier of graphic cards and right now they are still lagging behind.

Also both AMD and Intel have new CPU's coming out in the next few months and again perhaps waiting to see what those offerings are both performance wise and price wise may not be such a bad idea.

I am also wanting to build a new PC but will wait a bit on the critical parts. I have started buying parts like the case, power supply, CPU cooler and so on that will not be affected by a few month wait from actual purchase to use as far as becoming "dated". Gives me a chance to shop sales and actually with the supply chain these days buy when the units are in stock at regular prices instead of paying inflated prices because of supply issues.

Just something to think about for you.
 

Dave A

TreVoR fan for life
Premium
28,305
United Kingdom
Cuddington, Cheshire
JDA1982
Thanks for all of the suggestions guys, I have a clearer picture of what I'm going to do. I have done more research on watercooled builds but there are less builds that seem as quiet as the quietest air-cooled ones. I'm not likely to overclock the CPU much, if at all. I've seen air cooled builds that can stay under 40dB under load, but I am still actively looking at quiet AIO liquid coolers as well..

The lack of solid review builds focusing on noise with liquid cooling is concerning me. I can find people saying they're quiet on forums but I can't find reviews backing that up, the reviews I am seeing that include noise performance are showing that the dB levels are higher than air cooled builds. I suppose that makes sense since a liquid cooler is only as quiet as the pump and fans anyway. Ultimately it's probably going to come down to if I need the additional cooling power of an AIO liquid cooler or not. So the cooling is the one main area I am not set on yet.

The P600S case I picked looks like it has bad airflow but the front panel is removable and it has a mesh behind. Unfortuantely it's one case I can't find on Gamers Nexus, sods law, :lol:. I am considering other cases but I have seen good reviews of the 600S just not on Gamers Nexus, but there are some pretty interesting cases reviewed on Gamers Nexus for me to look at so thanks @GilesGuthrie and @Nexus for that suggestion, some really detailed reviews on there, just what I was looking for.

Using some of everyones suggestions including what I might have been going overkill on I can reduce the cost of the build by a couple of hundered quid, which is helpful.

I am definitely going to wait for the RTX 3000 series cards, I've done some research on what the likely specs for those will be and I'm interested in them. If no new news on the next gen Ryzen processors is out I may considered a build at that, but if the next Gen Ryzen's aren't that far off I will probably wait and see what perforamcne improvements they offer too.

Once I start the build I'll probably put it in here, but it may be a couple of months off if I wait for the next gen Ryzens.
 

ROAD_DOGG33J

Premium
11,665
United States
IL, USA
holyc0w1
holyc0w
I think you'll be fine with air cooling unless you want it to be super quiet.

The case is a good start, and then you have to keep in mind all the fans and heatsinks. For the CPU, make sure the heatsink is good and if anything you can swap out the fan with a slower/quieter one if possible. I'm not sure if that's possible on all coolers. Seems like you have the right graphics card, so you're in good shape.
 
39,080
Apologies in advance, but this post will be kind of stream of conscious as I go back to check the OP and post about it because I kept thinking of other things as I was writing it and gave up trying to turn it coherent.



You need to be careful with non-ventilated cases and x570. Even if you run a full watercool setup (GPU and CPU), the chipset, VRMs and M2s still need airflow, and x570 is a hot chipset in particular. The problem is twofold:
  1. You might not be able to get the airflow you need for those components, and while beefy heatsinks for the chipset or the VRMs can help (though ones for M2s are inconsistent in that regard, last I knew; and can actually make things worse), once they get saturated with heat it will still go up and up and up because even though hot air is being extracted from the case airflow isn't going near the components on the motherboard that need it and the tiny fans (which get loud) can't keep up. Keep in mind that a 2070 Super running full out is dumping 215 watts of heat into the case, and that makes the thermal situation for board components even worse.
  2. In order to force the airflow you need, you may (or the system will automatically) need to crank the fans high enough to draw air into the case that the overall noise floor is louder than if you had just built it in an airflow case (like a P500A) and turned the fans way down. Most airflow cases also have decent radiator support as well, so that's not a problem. And that's just for when it's idling, nevermind when the GPU is also going and disrupting the case airflow and dumping heat into it.
I would also parrot skipping Liquid Metal if you don't have experience with it and try a higher tier thermal paste instead. It's very finicky to apply and it never really "sets" so it can even dribble all over components surrounding the CPU. It's mainly an overclocking tool to get those extra couple degrees.


If you're building a gaming focused rig, anything over a 3700 is superfluous. The gains simply aren't there for the price and heat/power increases (which in particular means noise increases as the cooler tries to keep up), and even a 3700 starts running into marginal gains for most games over a 3600. Ryzen 3000 just sorta runs into a wall that bunches everything from the 3300X to the 3950 up in a lot of games. The high SKUs are for wailing on productivity stuff. If you're planning on waiting for Zen 3, that might change and the higher tier CPUs may have larger gains in gaming; though a 3300x could be a stopgap solution that won't be the bottleneck for most that you could flip for a Zen 3 when they release.


An airflow focused case (like a P500A or one of the Cooler Master H500s) with a really good air cooler (which would cost about the same as a 240 AIO) could very well be quieter than trying to build in that case with fans going nuts to try to get some airflow over the components and the AIO pump whirring away. I'd personally suggest an airflow case, and with any goofy RGB lighting or anything like that shut off instead and with the fan speed dropped instead, whether you want to go air cooled or water cooled.


Definitely wait for Ampere to come out before buying a GPU.


Don't use the vertical GPU mounts.


I'm not familiar with the Be-Quiet fan you've chosen, but the RPM seems kinda low; even for a 140mm. I'm not sure how much it would do in a "silent" case, but either way I think you'd be better off with a higher RPM premium fan so you can dial it up or down (or the computer can do it itself with a fan profile) if need be while still running quiet when just sitting there. The Noctua A14 is 1500RPM, and IIRC the better Cooler Master fans are in the same timezone of that.


Memory wise I think 4400 is overkill and you'd be better off getting a 3600 kit at most. There's diminishing returns already at that point, and fiddling with timings will get you more performance from there than higher clocks. Make sure whatever memory kit you get is on the vendor list of the motherboard you buy.
 
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1,833
United States
United States
The lack of solid review builds focusing on noise with liquid cooling is concerning me. I can find people saying they're quiet on forums but I can't find reviews backing that up, the reviews I am seeing that include noise performance are showing that the dB levels are higher than air cooled builds. I suppose that makes sense since a liquid cooler is only as quiet as the pump and fans anyway


Many reviews I have read claim the really good large air coolers such as the NOCTUA NH-15 and the Dark rock pro 4 that you chose are superior to many popular liquid coolers costing more and that most consider the lifespan of the air coolers to be better than many of the AIO coolers where pump failures and possible leaks could be problematic.

The P600S case I picked looks like it has bad airflow but the front panel is removable and it has a mesh behind. Unfortuantely it's one case I can't find on Gamers Nexus, sods law,

I recently bought the LIAN LI Lancool II mesh performance for my upcoming build. Sort of hard to catch in stock anywhere right now but even Gamer Nexus rated it as one of the best cases in its price range around 100.00 USD. right now.

(Gamers Nexus even did a video from the case factory in Taiwan where they showed the prototype of the upgrades from the Lian li lancool II as I think they had a lot to do with the suggestions that led to the upgrade to the mesh model from the original model)
Comes with 2 PMW 140mm front fans and one PMW 120mm rear fan stock. Has additional multiple locations for more fans and/or radiator mounting locations for watercooling. Check it out,may fit what you are looking for.
 
1,896
Australia
Adelaide
I can vouch for high-end air coolers being a good option for CPU's (mate of mine has an NH-D15 on a 3900X, and it's whisper quiet), but I'm not sure about air cooling for GPU's, when going for silence. Though I guess a model with a beefy cooler would be a good place to start.
 

GilesGuthrie

Staff Emeritus
10,993
United Kingdom
Edinburgh, UK
CMDRTheDarkLord
Another vote for Noctua air coolers. I put one on an overclocked i7 build 10 years ago and it hasn't skipped a beat. I've cleaned it maybe 3 times in the intervening years? Great product.