My goals with this system were as follows:
- As silent as possible
- Sacrifice no gaming performance
- Will not need component upgrades for ~5 years
- Enough memory to run a few Linux VMs in parallel with main OS (Windows 8.1)
I have conservatively overclocked the CPU as follows:
- bclk set to 125mhz
- CPU Multiplier changed accordingly to increase base frequency from 3ghz to 4ghz
- DDR running at the manufacturers tested values for DDR4-2800
The Kraken X61 closed loop liquid cooling is very quiet. I was worried that since it is installed on the top of the case that I'd be able to hear it from where I'm sitting, but unless I have the CPU under a very heavy load the fans generally only spin at 25%. The 60hz hum from my slightly dimmed halogen light bulbs in the ceiling are louder than the fans in this machine.
The kraken radiator wasn't wide enough to fill the entire top grill, so I used some black padding material that my PSU was wrapped in and cut a 2-inch wide strip to fill the space between the radiator and the side of the case (see photo above). This helped drop the Kraken's idle liquid temperature a couple degrees as airflow out of the top of the case was forced to go through the fans/radiator.
Under normal loads, the CPU sits at around 65c. Under full stress loads (furmark fullscreen at 2560x1600 with 16 threads of prime95 runnng) the CPU reaches 85C. This cpu has a thermaltrip limit of 95C, so that left me with 10C of headroom which is great. The CPU sits at 36C-40c during normal everyday usage.
The vido cards sit at 55c with the fans not running. The GPUs never ramp up to the 65c threshold to turn the fans on unless I'm playing games, and even then the fans are very quiet. Maxwell + video card fans that shut off are a godsend for silent PC builds.
For silence, the noisest part in the system is the WD black HD I put in. I may eventually pull this HD out and replace it with a WD RED since the WD RED is significantly quieter when accessing the disk.
At the time I built this machine the Intel Fultondale (P3600) 400GB SSD was the cheapest PCIe card SSD I could get. I would NOT use this PCIe SSD again as the newer Intel 750 PCIe SSD is half the price and double the write bandwidth of the P3600. Since the PCIe SSD is the boot disk, I had to use windows 8.1 as earlier versions of windows cannot boot from an NVMe disk.