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  • ATC9001 - Monday, January 30, 2012 - link

    I think they failed hard by choosing an nVidia card. The 7970 is nearly the same price (but its faster) and the 6970 is much cheaper and close to performance.

    The 7970 compared to 580....uses 20-35 watts less and runs 10 degrees cooler under load.
    The 6970 compared to 580....uses 55 watts less and 7 degrees cooler under load.

    I'd expect a vendor targeting silence would know this and at least be smart enough to not ship the nVidia card for the review.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Monday, January 30, 2012 - link

    Except the 7970 is actually a bit loud (not to mention we couldn't get one in this build in time for the review.)

    And again, the 580 is an aftermarket card with a whisper quiet triple-slot cooler. The 580 is not the problem.
  • bronx623 - Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - link

    That is why they would put a custom cooler on it with custom fans. Reply
  • burntham77 - Wednesday, February 01, 2012 - link

    They could have even gone for a 6850. I have one and it runs very cool, very quite and handles pretty much every game I throw at it running at 1080p on highest quality settings. I say "pretty much" because occasionally SWTOR will pause for a couple seconds (although that may be server related), and it occasionally struggles on games like Batman AC and Crysis 2. Reply
  • Leyawiin - Monday, January 30, 2012 - link

    That ASUS GTX 580 is much quieter and cooler running than either of the options you mentioned (especially the HD 7970). "Failed hard"? Hardly. You have no idea what that AVADirect paid for the GTX 580 and its a solid choice performance-wise right now. A few months from now will be a different story. Reply
  • chrnochime - Monday, January 30, 2012 - link

    So with a title of "Silent PC" there no noise measurement? Your comments about it being not silent but merely quiet doesn't tell us how this system compares to other ones when it comes to noise suppression. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, January 30, 2012 - link

    Page three: "Jarred was skeptical about a silent (or at least extremely low noise) build being possible with an overclocked i7 and a GTX 580, but I believed and still believe it could be done. Why do I say "still believe"? With all the case fans set on low, idle noise of AVADirect's build remains well below the 40dB "aggravation threshold," and even a GPU load doesn't noticeably affect noise levels. Unfortunately, the instant you stress test the CPU the Gelid fans start really kicking in and AVADirect's system goes to pot with a measured 42dB noise level from about a foot away. [Jarred: Isn't "very quiet" at least less than 30dB?]"

    Dustin's testing environment and equipment doesn't allow him to reliably report anything less than 40dB, unfortunately, but we can say for certain that the system emits around 42dB under load. At idle, it's probably in the vicinity of 30dB, which is good but by no means silent.
  • Zap - Monday, January 30, 2012 - link

    C'mon, no noise measurements?

    Regarding the overclock tuning, I agree with both Dustin Sklavos and Ricky Lee to some degree.

    IMO Dustin is 100% right in saying the overclock should not have been done using static voltages, but rather with a voltage offset. Seriously, it doesn't take any more time to set an offset and test for stability as it does to set a static voltage and test for stability.

    However, Ricky is also right in that consumers who buy pre-built machines probably don't care about having the perfect overclock down to the last MHz and mV. Those who have OCD^H^H^H ahem, those who care will probably build their own. Those who buy a pre-built just wants it to work.
  • earthrace57 - Monday, January 30, 2012 - link

    I think that they should have more (or different at least) settings for the OC profile.

    Personally, I have 3 settings for my i5 2500K

    My 4.0 GHz overclock, which is what I usually use for gaming
    My 4.5 GHz overclock, which is for CPU-intensive tastks/games *cough* FSX *cough*
    My 3.4 GHz underclock, using only 2 cores for standard work (because lets face it, I'm not going to need blazing fast speeds to run a few tabs on firefox, word, and itunes)
  • Ammaross - Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - link

    Agreed. My i5-2500K, I set to OC to 4.4GHz for demanding tasks, but I left the C-states enabled. The machine usually camps at 1.6GHz most of the time (web surfing, etc etc) but as soon as I need it to do some work, it happily pops up to 4.4GHz for me. Works a treat. Reply
  • Galcobar - Monday, January 30, 2012 - link

    42 dBA isn't anywhere near silent -- I understand it's near the floor for Dustin's measurement capabilities and something like Silent PC Review's 10 dBA lab is quite out of reach, but being near the floor of a loud room doesn't qualify for a silent or even low-noise computer.

    Noise measurement on these complete systems, particularly when reviewing systems attempting to sell themselves on noise reduction, would add a lot to these reviews. There's a gap in review sites I find: SPCR covers very quiet systems, but rarely deals with competent gaming builds, while gaming/enterprise reviewers rarely seem to give more than a superficial consideration to noise levels for these full builds.

    Boutique builds produced four years ago with roughly equivalent TDP (higher CPU, lower GPU) and much less optimally-designed cases and CPU/GPU coolers were available in the 20-30 dBA range.

    The criticism of the lazy overclock and poor component choices certainly seems accurate. For a partial comparison, Puget Systems has its i7 system using the Gelid Tranquilo, but equipped with Scythe Slipstream fans, and idles at 12 dBA (using 68W) and maxes out (Furmark + Prime 95) at 15 dBA (using 215W). Puget's Serenity uses a silent GPU, but Jarred noted the GTX 580 wasn't the problem with the AVADirect Silent.

  • JarredWalton - Monday, January 30, 2012 - link

    I think you missed the end of your comment, but I'm not sure about the comment that "Jarred noted the GTX 580 wasn't the problem with the AVADirect Silent PC". I think the GPU and CPU and case fans all contribute to the noise. It's hard for me to imagine anything with GTX 580 coming in under 30dB under load. Anyway, as I mentioned above, the limits of Dustin's equipment is 40dB, which is part of the reason he measures at 12". He can still hear an audible ramp up in system noise before the 40dB is crossed, though, so I'm guessing at idle the system is close to 30dB. I know my place gets down to about 30dB at night if I shut off all the PCs, but I have a different (better I suppose) SPL meter and I don't live in the CA suburbs. Reply
  • lurker22 - Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - link

    Wow you must REALLY like PC gaming to spend $700 on a video card! lol Reply
  • Tetracycloide - Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - link

    Could have just flashed your firmware to 6970 and been just fine performance wise assuming you're only using one monitor. If you have multiple monitors and an eyefinity set-up maybe you need that kind of power but the 6950 would have been a silly thing to buy in the first place were that the case. Reply
  • GoGamerPro - Tuesday, February 07, 2012 - link

    I have video games and computers for sale at Reply

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