No one has posted any PC build or upgrade info in a while, so...
I wasn't planning to upgrade my existing PC for at least another year. But I had a few extra $$, so.....
This was my existing PC setup:
AMD Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition Thuban 3.3GHz AM3 125W Six-Core CPU (OC'd to 3.7Ghz)
GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H AM3 AMD 890GX AMD Motherboard
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk III Series 600W Modular Power Supply
AMD FX-8350 Vishera 4.0GHz (4.2GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 125W Eight-Core CPU
GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD5 AM3+ AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900)
ASUS GT610-2GD3-CSM GeForce GT 610 2GB 64-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Video Card
CORSAIR HX Series HX750 750W Modular Power supply
I needed to go to a AM3+ motherboard for the new Vishera (Bulldozer) CPU.
This MB didn't have a GPU, so I added a inexpensive Nvidia video card. I don't 'game'
and I wanted a quiet, passivly cooled card with VGA and HDMI outputs as this
PC is in my living room. This card also has DVI as a bonus. I have a Windows
score of 4.8 with this card. I don't care. The other non-graphic scores are
7.7 to 7.9. I use my CPU to encode, not my GPU.
I also needed to upgrade my RAM. I decided on 16GB as I'm running W7 64bit.
I've been happy with G.Skill RAM and just got a faster version.
I also wanted to go to a 27" LED monitor and this Hanns-G was on sale and
had VGA and HDMI inputs. This replaces a 24" Viewsonic LED monitor.
I use my surround amp for audio, so no monitor audio used.
Hanns-G HL273HPB Black 27" 2ms HDMI Widescreen LED Backlight LCD Monitor.
Since I use this PC often from a lounge chair, I decided to add in a monitor arm to
make it a bit more versatile. It works very well.
ERGOTRON 45-241-026 LX Desk Mount LCD Arm.
I noticed my existing 600W PS was running a bit warm with the new MB. It was a
very good quality Power and Computing PS. But I upgraded to a 750W Corsair PS.
CORSAIR HX Series HX750 750W Power supply. It runs cooler.
I also changed out my two Gelid 120mm front case fans to PWM versions. Much better speed and noise
control. The old MB didn't work well with PWM case fans, but the new one does.
I set them to 'silent' mode and they run at a very quiet 600 Rpm.
GELID Solutions FN-PX12-15 120mm Case PWM cooler fans
The new MB only has two external USB 3.0 connections. I added a PCI slot adapter to add two more USB 3.0 connections.
HooTooŽ HT-PC003 Internal 19-Pin Motherboard to USB 3.0 Female 2-Port Adapter
The rest is mostly unchanged from my old computer details.
PHOTOS: (I apoligize for the quality of the photos. I was having camera problems and didn't review the photos till later. )
These are my new parts. A new motherboard, and new CPU and new RAM and a new video card.
My PC. A bit 'grungy' as it hasn't been cleaned up in a couple of years. It's a Lian Li case.
About 5 years old. A very nice case and quality built. Internal steel bracing and aluminum skin.
Good quality lasts. It's been through several MBs. I like it as it has two 120mm front intake
fans with filters and one 120mm rear exhast fan.
This was my existing setup. I'm using a Corsair H-50 water cooler. The first raidiator fan pushes and the
second fan exhausts, creating a faster airflow and better cooling through the radiator.
The stock Corsair setup uses the fans for external intake. I didn't want unfiltered air into
the radiator so I use the case filters and only exhaust the internal air. Not as efficient, but much
easier to maintain the front filters than an added on rear intake filter would be.
One of the front intake fans. The intake filter screen has been removed. These are low speed
quiet fans.(About 900 to 1200 RPM) I decided to upgrade these to PWM (Pulse Width Modulated) fans as they are more
efficient. The new MB can control these in PWM mode. I've set them at the 'silent' setting and they normally
run at about 600 RPM, virtually silent. I'm using a brush here to dislodge dust and grime from
the existing fans and housing. Just blowing high pressure air is not normally enough for through cleaning.
I also use 91% isopropyl alcohol to remove the grease along with using makeup removal pads.
This is the existing H-50 Corsair hydro cooler. It works very well and I will reuse it for the new CPU.
A photo after the Corsair cooler has been removed from the CPU. You want to run the PC for a little while
to warm up the cooler to soften the thermal compound before removal. The compound I use doesn't really harden,
so easy to remove the cooler. Always a good idea to just 'slightly' twist the cooler before pulling upwards to see if it
If not, the cooler and the CPU may be stuck together. If you then pull it straight up, it 'may' pull
the CPU out of the socket, hopefully undamaged. Then you just wedge it off the cooler with with a non-scratching
plastic tool. Be very, very careful handling the CPU. If you bend the pins, very bad. Some Intel CPUs don't have pins,
but still be careful when removing a cooler.
It's a bit hard to see, but the old CPU did have an even coating of thermal compound applied. No temperature problems.
It was a 125W CPU, same as the new one will be, so temperatures should be OK using the H-50.
The motherboard stripped out of the case. Notice the exhaust fan grate for the Corsair cooler seems to
have a bit of dust on the inside of it. The radiator did also. Look a bit lower and notice the case grate to the
left also has dust on it.
My system has two filtered intake fans on the front. There should'nt be any interior dust. The left grate is
acting as an intake and sucking in unfiltered air and dust that is going through the CPU cooler fans
and the radiator. Poor case design but not that unusual. Air movement in a case should be in a closed system for best
cooling performance and dust prevention. You don't want air leaking in from nooks and crannies past your filters.
I will plug this off with a bit of plastic and some glue. Then the 'only' air entering the case should be filtered air.
This is the PC Power and Cooling PS. A good PS, but it ran a bit warm with the new MB. And even with the old
MB. I was disapointed. I also saw some strange low voltage readings using the HW Monitor software. Like 8VDC on the 12VDC bus.
That is wrong. The PC wouldn't even boot with those voltages. Mainly for the heat problem, I upgraded the PS to a Corsair 750W.
The P&C PS wasn't at fault for the low voltages, though it may have been a bit overrated at 600W. HWMonitor was reading the voltages incorrectly.
All the parts removed from the PC. You can see the Corsair H-50 cooler and fans and the old MB and CPU and RAM.
There are also the three optical drives, two BD burners and a DVD burner. I pulled them out to help clean out the dust.
There is also the backplane for the MB, and a fan and bracket I used to cool the Northbridge chip and the RAM on the old MB.
The small circuit board is a PCI X1 SATA card. I had used that as I didn't have enough SATA connections for my
internal and external SATA drives. The PCI backplane adapter is for my S/PDIF external audio connection.
This is what I use for cleaning. I first used a high pressure air source to blow the loose dust out of the case.
I caged each fan with a plastic wire tie to keep them from overspeeding and damaging the fan bearings.
Do this outdoors as you don't want to be breathing that dust! Then I used a soft haired brush, Q-tips and
some makeup removal pads lightly saturated with 91% isopropyl alcohol. This will disolve most grease with
no damage to plastic parts. (But try it first.) The makeup removal pads are available at most drug stores
and work much better that cotton balls or paper towels that can leave fibers. I spent quite a while
cleaning the fans and blades and every inch of the inside of the case. It's worth it to start with a clean case.
Those makeup removal pads are also great for cleaning off old thermal compound from the CPU and cooler.
Don't use too much alcohol so that it drips off the pads.
This is the new motherboard. In order to use the hydo cooler, you have to remove the air cooler hold down brackets
and use a special base bracket from the underside of the MB. It's shown in the background of this photo. I used some
new double sided tape to hold it in place temporarily.
The new CPU in place and the old cooler hold downs shown to the left. The MB is on a anti-static mat and I use
a anti-static disipator on my wrist as I do these type of installations. The hydro cooler hold down is just sitting there.
I will attach it after I put the MB in the case and apply the thermal compound to the CPU.
The MB attached to the case. As soon as it's screwed down, I plug in the main power supply and the CPU PS cable.
That mostly guards the MB from static charges.
The CPU has already been coated with a very thin layer of thermal compound here. I use GELID Solutions
GC-Extreme Thermal Compound as it has very good thermal conductivity and it doesn't seem to harden over time.
I like it much better than Arctic Silver or similar. It is difficult to apply and you don't want to get it on your skin.
Then I attach the cooler radiator to the PC. Follow manufacturer's instructions. Place the cooler off to one side,
being careful not to touch the cooler surface or scratch it. Sorry, no photos of this.
(But here's a link to the previous PC build and there are photos of the water cooler installation in more detail.)
Next step is to carefully attach the cooler hold down and the cooler. You just put in the hold down screws till they barely
catch. Then lower the cooler while holding up the hold down. Rotate the cooler till it lines up with the holder,
then drop it straight down on the CPU surface and tighten all four screws equally. Just follow the instructions from the
manufacturer. It is much easier for me to attach the cooler and radiator and apply the thermal compound when
the MB is mounted in the case. You don't want to kink around those coolant lines any more than necessary.
With an air cooler, it's easier to attach it to the MB before installing into the case.
Next I attach the front panel connections, including USB. I don't use the front panel audio connections with this PC.
I then plug in the SATA cables, add the PCI-E video card and the PCI adapter for my S/PDIF connector. Since this
MB has more SATA connections than the old one, that's all I need.
Next step is recheck all your wiring and connectors, then lift up the case and shake it a bit to check for loose screws.
They can short out your motherboard and destroy it. Very important! Next attach all the cables and power up the PC.
Enter BIOS as soon as it starts. Most times that is done by clicking the 'Delete' button on the keyboard.
Go to the 'Health' page and check the voltages and temperatures.
Let the PC run in BIOS mode for about twenty minutes, or enough to stabalize while monitoring.
Check that all fans are running. You can also adjust the date and set your boot drive preferences and a few other settings.
Then reboot and you should be in the OS.
A bit later after the photos, I was still unhappy with the voltages and the PS heat output. So I upgraded to a 750W PS and I also added a
PCI slot USB 3.0 adapter so I would have 4 USB 3.0 connections. The MB has a spare USB 3.0 socket header.
Future upgrades: I plan to replace two of my SATA drives. One is a 320GB and the other a 500GB. Both are SATA 3 and the
other two newer ones are SATA 6, 1TB drives. Since SATA 6 1TB drives are cheap now, that's probably what I will use.
I prefer WD HDDs. Greens are OK for this application, but NewEgg had the same price for the Black version, so I ordered two.
They have a 5 year warranty. The MB is all SATA 6 capable. My old one wasn't. The OCZ Vertex SSD boot drive is still performing
very well. 120 GB seems perfect for the OS. It is still less than 50% full, which is about right for a SSD.
I was very dissapointed in the HW Monitor program that I have used for years and I can no longer recommend it.
It misread most of my MB voltages. I thought it was a MB error. Only the RAM voltage was correct. The 12V bus was read as
8V and the 5V bus as 3V and the 3.3V read as 2V. I tried Speedfan and got the same numbers. Both were the latest versions.
This MB has been in production for about a year. I don't know why the readings were wrong. BIOS reported normal voltages.
I tried HWiNFO and all the reported voltages were correct. I also liked the other info the program gave. http://www.hwinfo.com/
I left all the motherboard settings at default. No overclock. (At least for now. )
The RAM voltage is a bit low at 1.464VDC and I will correct that to 1.5VDC, which is the specifcation.
The PC runs cool and stable and the performance is very good.
Once I got the new setup running properly, I tried RipBot on the original 'Matrix' BD and it took about 3 hours to encode
to MKV with my normal two pass settings. I had ran the same encode with the old MB a few days before and it took about 4 hours.
That's a huge improvement in encoding speed.
The reported CPU temps maxed out at 42C during the encode. All eight cores at 100%. The case temps maxed out at 43C,
so blocking the rear case vent didn't cause any increases. The new Asus GPU card ran about 53C when playing back a BD disc.
That's OK for a passivly cooled card. The PC is completly quiet and you can't hear the fans unless you are very close.
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Last edited by redwudz; 11th Dec 2013 at 18:46.
I always enjoy seeing what other people are doing. Very nice. As usual, I am in awe of your cable management skills.
I went the other way -- a quiet low power system for my HTPC. An Intel H87 motherboard and Core i3 4130T CPU. Stock cooler. 4 GB PC 1600 DRAM from the old dual core AMD system. Single 120mm case fan. 120 GB SSD boot drive, old 500 MB storage drive (for PVR functionality). I used an old quiet 430 watt PSU but may step down to something lower when I find a deal. All in a micro ATX case. ~32 watts (measured at the wall, not including the TV) when watching HD cable TV via a Silicon Dust HDHomeRun Prime. A few watts less when idle. Essentially zero when sleeping.
I went with a high horsepower but quiet PC build
Asus Sabertooth X79 motherboard
Intel i7 4820K cpu
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO cpu cooler
8x4GB PNY DDR3 1866 Ram
ASUS GTX780-DC2OC-3GD5 Graphics card - 3 GB - GDDR5 SDRAM
100GB Revodrive x2 PCI-E SSD
Black Magic Intesity Pro
LG BH14NS40 BD Writer
3x1TB hard drive
1x 750GB hard drive
2TB external esata drive
4TB external USB 3.0 drive
Coolermaster HAF-X full tower caseOCZ 1000W PSUOCZ 1000W PSUOCZ 1000W PSU
Runs nice and quiet even with 4 case fans, a cpu fan, two GPU fans, and two MB fans.
At stock it'll idle at 26C and full load 50C
PS: also a OCZ 1000W PSU
Last edited by Arnold_Layne; 11th Dec 2013 at 20:29. Reason: correction
Very nice, and thanks for the pictures. And I'll say it again, I used a guide by redwudz when I did my very first build. Thanks for that.
Just a few weeks ago, I did a new AM3+ build with the Vishera FX-8350 X8, see my computer details. (My wife's office computer finally croaked, so she got my 2 year old 1090t X6 AM3 build. She joked about getting a "hand-me-down", and all I could say was it's a helluva hand-me-down!). Got a good combo deal on it from Newegg.
I haven't got around yet to directly comparing a couple encodes. My impression is, however, that it might do ~30% faster than the 1090t on an X264 encode. Just from the fps I saw on one encode I've done on it so far. Not that I much needed that, but faster is always nice.
Anyway, it's plenty fast and multi-tasking is, well, I can't seem to bog it down.
I'd be interested in reading about others' recent builds.Pull! Bang! Darn!
I really like my new setup with my main encoder PC. Especially with MKV encodes. H.264 likes a lot of cores.
My HTPC had a four core AMD CPU that ran very warm and just barely would play HD BD files using the on board video chip on the Micro ATX MB. I didn't want to add a video card. It was in a very restricted Lian Li desktop case. It would work OK, but the CPU temps would run a bit high, as would the case temps. I tried a more aggressive fan setup, really no improvement, just more noise. Not good with a HTPC.
Then I switched to a 65W three core AMD A6-3500 Llano APU. I was very surprised how well it performed for a really cheap CPU. It plays HD BD and MKV and performed very well. I'm sure Intel has similar CPUs. Whatever. There are several good choices for a low power/low cost HTPC.
It wasn't long after I assembled this PC that Newegg advertised the 4.4 Ghz version of the Vishera CPU for the same price I paid for my 4 Ghz version. But that's normal. Still, $200 for a 8 core CPU running at 4.4 Ghz is amazing. The future can only get better.
Cable management is just a good practice. It probably doesn't change case temps that much. I was just taught to run cables the most efficient way. It just takes a bit more work. Get a lot of cable ties and if you don't like it the first time, do it over. A good case design helps a lot. You can run some cables behind the motherboard backplane and some underneath the MB. It also helps to have a modular power supply to cut down on extra cables. What I have left over, I stuff into the top of the case. Just keep working at it.
Last edited by redwudz; 12th Dec 2013 at 00:12.
it's kind of funny, but in some ways AMD can be thought of having the superior architecture at the moment, which i know flies in the face of conventional wisdom. i don't know if you know this but starting with bulldozer AMD started calling each alu a "core", similar to how the define "cores" with gpu's (both intel and amd mean "alu" when they say gpu "core" and intel's "compute unit" is also just an alu) and what used to be called a core (i.e. alu's, fpu/simd unit, L1 cache, etc) as a "module".
here's where it gets interesting pre-bulldozer AMD cpu's had 3 alu's per core, as did intel's cpu's up until haswell (which has 4 apu's per core), so by AMD's new naming convention your old X6 would have 18 "cores" (6 true cores by 3 alu's each), intel's true quad cores would be called 12 "core" cpu's and haswell quad core cpu would be called 16 "core" cpu's.
AMD claimed that they analyzed the work their old architecture was doing and found that of the 3 alu's per core, 90% of the time only 2 of them were actually doing anything, the third just sat there. intel says that in pre-haswell cpu's 2 alu's are used for integer math and 1 was used for boolean comparisons (yes/no, on/off).
here's what i have always wondered, if an 8 "core" piledriver which only has 8 alu's can come close to matching the performance of an intel quad core like a 2700k, which has 12 alu's and by AMD's logic 12 "cores" then doesn't that imply that each alu on an AMD cpu is "stronger", even accounting for the higher clock speeds of AMD's cpu's?
doesn't that mean that if AMD were to release a 12 "core" cpu, i.e. 6 modules with 12 alu's clocked at the speed of a 3770k that the AMD cpu would be much faster?
note, i am talking about integer performance as both processors would have the same number of alu's, i'm not talking about fpu/simd performance where the AMD would have an advantage by virtue of having 6 fpu/simd units verses the intel 4.
now that i think about it the AMD would probably mop up the floor with the intel even in integer performance by virtue of the greater number of fetch/decode front ends as well as the greater cache.
now before someone claims i am an AMD fanboy, yes i do own stock in AMD but that's only because i think they stand to make a nice profit by supplying processors to both sony and MS for the next gen consoles, my current rig is an intel based system and baring something radical from AMD on the cpu front, my next build will also be an intel.
Cool story, bro.
Seriously, these kinds of guides are so helpful to people who are afraid to DIY. Good on ya, sir.
Thanks, bigass. There are a lot of guides out there. Newegg also has some. I learn from some of them myself.
Really a PC is a fairly simple device. It only has a handful of parts. A MB, CPU, RAM, video card, hard and optical drives, a power supply, fans and a case. And most all the parts and connectors can only go together one way. Most anyone can assemble a PC with just a bit of help. And you can end up with a PC that will perform well and last quite a while.
deadrats, Interesting about CPU design and architecture. I 've been using AMD for quite a while and have only built two Intel PCs out of about twenty or so that I have assembled.
AMD just suits me better.
I also try to stick with Gigabyte motherboards, though I have used most of the popular brands. I shop for quality, price and performance.
redwudz, I built my first PC a few years ago after using and upgrading them for, what, two decades. The biggest challenges were not letting sweat drip into the case as I put the CPU in, and finally trying to get all the cables to be tidy before calling it a day. It wasn't nearly as scary as I'd made it out to be. Following some guides like the one you put up here gave me the confidence to give it a try. The real headaches were up front, making the agonizing choices of what components to buy. I'm sure that -- along with a conscious fight against gear acquisition syndrome and perpetual awareness of the wife approval factor -- is what's kept me from doing anything more than adding a BD drive here, or a little memory there, or switching to a SSD.
Ultimately, I try to get at least five years, sometimes more, out of any PC I buy or build. My first-gen i5 is still serving me well. I'm sure another $700 in upgrades would get me some faster encoding, but I'm happier clicking the render button and going back upstairs to play with my son.
Anyway, thanks again for sharing your build. It's tempting me to take a tiny paintbrush to my case fans.
@redwudz: yeah i only use gigabyte or msi, in my experience those two make the best motherboards.
AMD's next apu with the "steamroller" cores, if recent leaks are anything to go by, could be a winner in it's segment, with internal AMD documents claiming it to be up to 40% faster in graphics tests than a 4670k and anywhere between 8% and 25% faster than a 4430 in general computing tests.
remember this is a "quad" core, meaning 2 modules, an "8" core apu based on steamroller cores could actually challenge a 4770k.
It seems to me your second fan (rear side) is incorrectly mounted (pushing air inside rather than outside) yet the way you describe the situation seems normal to you so i don't know what to make of that.
If it work....it work i guess
yes, increasing die size means fewer die per wafer and lower yields but you need to realize that they would also be able to charge significantly more for the resulting processor.
projected retail price of the "steamroller" core apu's is in the $140-$160 range, while intel's cpu's command a premium, with microcenter being the cheapest retailer and places like tiger direct and newegg absolutely bending intel customers over.
there is an old adage in the automotive field that "winning on sunday sells on monday", which is used to explain why car manufactures spend untold millions developing and racing specialized cars that bear little resemblance to what is actually sold in car dealerships and why they spend even more millions sponsoring all sorts of events, many that have zip to do with cars.
it's called "market presence", it's similar in concept to the old hollywood adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity.
it's why car manufactures make and sell cars capable of 150+ mph speeds with 300, 400+ horsepower when the maximum speed limit in this country is about 65 mph (i think there may be some western states where it's slightly above that).
i'd be willing to bet that if AMD were to make an "8" core steamroller apu that was capable of beating a 4770k by say just 10%, not only would they motivate current AMD owners to upgrade but they would also take some potential intel customers that may have been waiting for the right time to upgrade to a faster intel product.
in short, you can't analyze the potential market reaction to such a processor with a stringent "bean counter" mentality, you need to analyze it from a more fluid market lens, one that weighs the loses due to lower yields against the gains from greater market penetration and adoption.
now, are there people in AMD that have considered this? i'm sure there are but i'm not convinced that the top level management at AMD has the balls to be aggressive in the market place, they strike me as being way more conservative in their approach, sort of like a football coach that is scared to go for it and only calls outside slants and running plays on offense and sticks with the prevent defense because he doesn't have the balls to call for a few bombs and a few all out blitzes.
guys like that usually don't get anywhere in life because fortune favors the bold.
i hope AMD hires some top level management with a brass set some time in the near future.
themaster1, In one photo, the fans may be arranged wrong as they are just sitting there, but when installed, they both have the intakes on the same side and they are in series. The first fan blows into the radiator and the second fan vacuums the air from the radiator and exhausts it outside the case. If they were arranged backwards, no air would come out. Setting up the intakes this way results in a higher velocity air column and better cooling through the radiator. It's one option on the Corsair site, but they usually set them up for intake and I have them set up for exhaust from the inside of the case.
Setting them up this way also results in my problem with drawing in dust. Though I have two fans blowing into the case, the rear radiator fan setup is actually more efficient and creates a slight vacuum in the case and seems to have caused my dust problem. I plugged off the rear vent and now most all of the case air seems to be coming from the front case fans. I'll know when I check the radiator for dust in a month or two.
I'm pleased to see somebody else using air filtration.
I've had some success using regular light foam pads wrapped in very fine panty-hose. Getting a good seal while still being easily removable for cleaning is a PITA. Have seen a few cases with this designed-in, but not many. You would think somebody would have gotten a handle on this.
As you have found, you need to have more incoming volume than outgoing, otherwise the vacuum sucks air in from every crack. I found plugging them less effective than just adding another incoming fan.
I'm really not big on expensive cases, to me it's just a box to hold the good stuff. I rarely spend much over $50.00 on a case and often re-use old, discarded units. One day I'm going to make one out of cardboard, glue, and duct tape.
The setup that has always amused me is a case that has a front air filter, then a side intake with a fan and no filter with a duct blowing directly into the CPU cooler. The cooler is usually caked with dust.
There are a lot of poorly designed cases out there. One easy test is to check the temperatures with the side covers off. If it's quite a bit cooler than with the covers on, you have a cooling problem. I like two 120mm front intake fans. It would be nice to have two 120mm rear exhaust fans, but there isn't usually enough room on the back of the case. And I'm not discounting the power supply fan for case cooling, through running a lot of case heat through the PS is not really a good practice.
The Lian Li case I'm using has two easily accessible mesh air filters under a front panel that pops off. I wash them about once a month. They are a lot more durable than foam filters, though probably not as efficient.
My home also has central air conditioning, so rarely gets above 80F (27 C). The outside temps can reach 116 F (46 C) here. When I open up the doors when it's over 90 F for ventilation, I did have the 60 C CPU warning buzzer go off on my PC. But that's only during a encode. I try not to do that when it's very warm inside. If I routinely had inside temps over 90 F (32 C) I would need fans that would move more air and would be a bit louder for efficient cooling.
I've used huge air coolers for some of my CPUs and cases, some with two 80mm fans and a lot of noise. I also tried out one with two top mounted 120mm fans that took up a lot of space, but didn't perform all that well. But this was in a desktop case and I just couldn't get enough air flow. And there was no room for a liquid cooler. I finally went with a 65 W CPU and solved that problem.
When you have a 125 Watt CPU, you do need a fair amount of cooling. Add in a bit of overclocking and the heat goes up quickly. The CPU in this thread is running at about 42 C under full load and the case temps are about 43 C. That tells me the cooling is working very well. The PC is also very quiet. The optical drives are about all you can hear. Internally, the Northbridge chip and the video card are the main sources of case heat. But there is enough air flow through the case to cool both fairly well. This case also has four hard drives, a SSD drive and three optical drives. These all generate some heat. I will probably not overclock this PC as the performance is OK as is.
I do like the liquid cooling setup like what Corsair has. I have two of the H-50's and both work well. They drop the case temperatures quite a bit. An air cooler leaves quite a bit of heat in the case, even with nearby exhaust fans.
Last edited by redwudz; 13th Dec 2013 at 07:51.
Some interesting points about cooling above:
I've been using foam pads as well on the (two) 120 mm intake fans and it helps a good deal with dust in my 1090T box. I'm using the same setup on the new one. And having slight positive pressure inside the case also helps. Not that I'm an expert on this, just following some suggestions picked up here from time to time.
The FX-8350 build does run significantly quieter than my 1090T Thuban, both with stock coolers, and both with passive cooled video cards. (The Thuban is pretty loud under load.) That was a bit of a surprise. Temperature was higher on the test encode I did, (than what redwudz is getting), approaching 60C. I wonder if that's just because of air cooling I use? Could the fact that I used the paste on the stock cooler instead of Arctic Silver also be a factor?Pull! Bang! Darn!
Last edited by jagabo; 13th Dec 2013 at 09:41.
For video purposes AMD is the best. Intel is least bothered about video editing.
In an absolute sense? No. Can you point to any AMD CPU that encodes video faster than an Intel 4930K or a 4960X?
Most of the newer stock AMD coolers are fairly good. The ones with the heat pipes and copper bottoms especially. The fans are OK, but they tend to wind up in RPM quite a bit and you will get more noise from them. If you have your PC on the desktop, put it closer to the floor. (And further from your ears. )
I don't normally use the stock thermal compound on AMD coolers, unless it's for a lower wattage/performance CPU. But, with that said, you will likely only see a degree or two improvement with a aftermarket compound, no matter what the manufacturers say. This is assuming that both are applied properly. The better thermal compounds don't harden as much with use or high temperatures, that's mostly why I use them. You do need to have a thin, even layer for the best heat transfer.
Be aware that not using the stock cooler and thermal compound can void your CPU warranty. But I've never burnt up a newer CPU from over temp either. I had one dual core that broke one of the plastic hold downs and the cooler was hanging from one side of the mount, with only an edge touching the CPU. The MB was smart enough to shut down the power supply in a second or two. I, of course, tried to restart the PC several times before it dawned on me to check inside the case. No damage to the CPU and I'm still running it.
Thanks redwudz, I'll give it a go.
You know, I recall reading from time to time about "bedding in" or "breaking in" the heat sink/paste. I presume that means the temperatures should go down a bit on subsequent encodes.
Any truth to that?
But I don't remember seeing that on my 1090T when I did my first encodes on it; or ever, for that matter. I'm certain everything has been assembled correctly. As to the fans and ventilation, I re-used the same case for this build, and put the 1090T/AM3 mobo in my wife's case (the comp that crapped out). CPU temperatures were always under 50C. I'm not overclocked. Maybe I should also look at fan setup/calibration in the UEFI BIOS after I do a run with the side off.Pull! Bang! Darn!
UEFI BIOS is still a bit of a mystery to me. My new MB has it, but I don't know much about it.
Some thermal compounds are said to take a day or two to 'settle in' to reach their best performance. I'm guessing what is really happening is that the cooler has squeezed out the thermal compound to a thinner layer and that should give a bit better heat transfer. I wouldn't expect much of a difference in temps after a few days if you use a decent brand of thermal compound and it is applied in a correctly thin layer from the start.
When I reuse a CPU cooler, I check it with a straight edge. Most all coolers warp a bit in use because of the initial machining process and way they are held down to the MB.
The all aluminum coolers really warp if they only have hold downs on either side and have been used a while. If you are reusing a cooler, obtain some 1400 or 1200 grit wet and dry sandpaper. Wet it with some water and a bit of dish soap and put it on a piece of plate glass to get a smooth surface. Then move the cooler around in a small circular motion, trying to keep it very level. Check the pattern on the cooler surface after a few seconds. If it's only on the edges, then you need a bit more leveling. Worst case with some aluminum coolers is 400 grit sandpaper. Then you will need a fair bit of sanding afterwards with some very fine grits to smooth out the scratches from that 400G paper.
Most new coolers are OK without sanding or leveling. Some real aficionados will also sand down the CPU heat spreader surface to get the best contact. I would never bother with that unless you are thinking of extreme overclocking.
With most newer MBs, there are several settings, mainly for 'green' low power operations. You can turn these all off for maximum performance. Some are fan settings and you can set them all to high. Others are CPU settings. Some throttle the CPU by reducing the multiplier for cooler operation. Most all of these settings will be automatically overridden if the CPU heats up during an encode. You can change them if you like. But normally you don't need to run the CPU at 100% settings when you are just browsing the internet. You can check your Task Manager for performance and also monitor your CPU and case temps and your CPU settings. For CPU settings, CPU-Z is still very good. MS's Task Manager is also handy. And now I use HWiNFO for reading temperatures and voltages.
Last edited by redwudz; 13th Dec 2013 at 20:58.
Thanks, that's very informative and interesting. Sorry if I got the thread off on a tangent.
So, upon re-reading your first post I see you did compare the same encode on each machine: 4 hours with the 1100T, 3 hours on the FX-8350. That's impressive. I wonder how they managed a (stock) 4.0 GHz clock while staying within the TDP of 125 watts? The 1100T is 3.3 GHz, IIRC. Yeah, I know the FX-8350 been OCed to over 8 GHz with liquid nitrogen cooling, but still...Pull! Bang! Darn!
Update, in case anyone's interested: I think the mobo sensor is inaccurate.
- Removed heat sink, cleaned off paste, re-applied, remounted. No difference in reported CPU temperature.
- Removed side panel, ran an encode (all cores at 99-100%). No difference.
- Disabled "Cool and Quiet" in the UEFI BIOS. No difference.
- Underclocked the CPU to 3.5 GHz. FPS went down proportionately, pretty much. No difference in temperature.
- Underclocked to 3.0 GHz. Max temp went down 2 degrees Celsius to ~ 57 C under load.
Reported temperatures and fan speed do go up and down with CPU load. Core temps run ~ 10 C cooler than the CPU temperature. Mobo temp runs ~ 20 C cooler.
I checked ASUS for BIOS update and it's current.
So I put everything back to optimized defaults. [shrugs] I give up.Pull! Bang! Darn!
Newer CPUs have the temperature sensor built into the CPU. They haven't used external CPU temperature sensors for quite some time. But the MB does do the reading of the CPU sensors and could be incorrect. Generally the most accurate temperatures are from BIOS. They may not reflect 'real life' temps when the CPU is encoding, but they should give you some idea if the unit is running warm.
I use a infrared thermometer to double check my case temps, also the Northbridge temps and the video card temps. It doesn't work really well on the CPU cooler as best you can do is read low on the side of the cooler nearest the CPU. The center would be warmer, but the fan is in the way. All else fails, I just put my index finger on the base of the CPU cooler. If it's at 60C or higher, you will remove your finger very quickly. 50C you can hold your finger there for maybe 5 seconds. The Northbridge chip often runs about 60C, for a comparison.