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Thread: What is the best Z97 / H97 motherboard for a silent PC ?




  1. #1
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    Default What is the best Z97 / H97 motherboard for a silent PC ?

    I'm looking for a motherboard where I can completely turn off the fans if the current case temperature is low enough.
    If all fans are off, the PC will be completely silent.

    For instance from the screenshots I saw of the ASRock utility, the lowest possible speed is 10% instead of 0 rpm. This is unfortunate because I would otherwise have bought the Extreme 4 from them.

    I currently have an Asus board which has now died, so I would prefer another manufacturer. However the Asus fan control utility does turn off the fans completely when they are not needed.

    I would prefer if this is possible to manage fan control from the UEFI rather than from a utility needing to run in the installed operating system.

    Another requirement is to be able to connect at least 6 hard disks and 1 SSD, so a board with 2 controllers like the Extreme 4 is an advantage.

    I don't need overclocking features, and I will not install a graphic card, the Intel graphics that come with the processor (looking at an i7 4790S) will be enough for me.

    What brand or model do you guys recommend ?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What is the best Z97 / H97 motherboard for a silent PC ?

    The ASRock Z97 Extreme6 board's UEFI allows the CPU 1 and 2 and three Chassis fans to have their speed set to 0% at a given temperature.

    I don't know which board's utility you saw, but the A-Tuning software of my Z97 Extreme6 exactly matches the settings in the UEFI, and can be set to 0% fan speed.

    But, the fan speed control options in the UEFI and utilities tend to vary depending on the model of the board. Some boards will have better options, others not. That of course is determined by price, higher provides better options.

    Therefore each board's UEFI fan speed control options must be verified individually. That is the hard part.

    A fan's speed at 10%, or any percentage depends upon the fan itself, they are all different. There are no standards for fan speeds or what speed it will start running at. A fan may have a top speed of 1000 RPM, but not start spinning until the voltage applied to it makes it spin at 500 RPM, which is 50%. 98% of fans running at 10% of their top speed (if they could) would be inaudible and move very little air.

    Six HDDs will not equal a silent PC... are you serious about that?

    If you use the Intel stock cooler on even an i7-4790s, you'll need to set the 0% temperature to ~60C, or the fan will be running more than you probably would like it to.

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    Default Re: What is the best Z97 / H97 motherboard for a silent PC ?

    First of all thank you for your reply.
    I must have looked at a screenshot of an outdated version, nice to know that 0 rpm is indeed an option.

    Regarding the hard drives, I am counting on the HDD Saver feature of the ASRock motherboard to have 5 of them turned off most of the time, in any case they are silent enough compared to the CPU fan in my current system.

    By the way, the case fans I currently have use 3-pin connectors.A
    re there 3-pin fan connectors on your board that can be controlled using voltage ?

    For my new system I am planning a fanless CPU cooler (made by a company called "nofan"), and I'd like to re-use my existing 3-pin case fans.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What is the best Z97 / H97 motherboard for a silent PC ?

    Two of the Chassis fan headers on the Z97 Extreme6 board are three pin fan headers, and are voltage controlled. The other Chassis fan header is four pin PWM. The 0% fan speed setting applies to all of these headers.

    You are reading more into the HDD Saver feature than it is capable of. It only controls two drives via the special power cable provided, with two SATA power connectors, that plugs into the mother board. This feature is described as supporting two HDDs only.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What is the best Z97 / H97 motherboard for a silent PC ?

    I don't if this will keep your O/S ssd awake.

    Change Never to 5 minutes and this should tuck in your hard drives and put them to sleep:

    What is the best Z97 / H97 motherboard for a silent PC ?-linp3-png
    Q9650 @ 4.10GHz [9x456MHz]
    P35-DS4 [rev: 2.0] ~ Bios: F14
    4x2GB OCZ Reaper PC2-8500 1094MHz @5-5-5-15
    MSI N460GTX Hawk Talon Attack (1GB) video card <---- SLI ---->
    Seasonic SS-660XP2 80 Plus Platinum psu (660w)
    WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data)
    Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD (boot)
    SLI @ 16/4 works when running HyperSLI
    Cooler Master 120XL Seidon push/pull AIO cpu water cooling
    Cooler Master HAF XB computer case (RC-902XB-KKN1)
    Asus VH242H 24" monitor [1920x1080]
    MSI N460GTX Hawk (1GB) video card
    Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
    win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium
    HT|Omega Claro plus+ sound card
    CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD UPS
    E6300 (R0) @ 3.504GHz [8x438MHz] ~~ P35-DS3L [rev: 1.0] ~ Bios: F9 ~~ 4x2GB Kingston HyperX T1 PC2-8500, 876MHz @4-4-4-10
    Seasonic X650 80+ gold psu (650w) ~~ Xigmatek Balder HDT 1283 cpu cooler ~~ Cooler Master CM 690 case (RC-690-KKN1-GP)
    Samsung 830 128GB SSD MZ-7PC128B/WW (boot) ~~ WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data) ~~ ZM-MFC2 fan controller
    HT|Omega Striker 7.1 sound card ~~ Asus VH242H monitor [1920x1080] ~~ Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
    win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium ~~ CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD U.P.S
    .


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    Default Re: What is the best Z97 / H97 motherboard for a silent PC ?

    Ideal would have been a solution where I can choose which HDDs go to sleep individually, because there's one of them that I'd like to keep powered while the other 5 can go to sleep most of the time. I thought ASRock's HDD Saver would do it but since this feature only supports 2 HDDs it is a disappointment.

    Still, it looks like the Extreme4 is the best choice for me.

  7. #7
    profJim's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the best Z97 / H97 motherboard for a silent PC ?

    If you don't mind buying several "ECO" drives, they often automatically go to sleep after ~5 minutes of disk inactivity.

    The ECO drives typically spin at slower speeds, about 5900 rpm versus the faster spinning hdd's that spin at 7200 rpm.

    You should check out the WD Green drives along with similar drives from Toshiba/Hitachi and Seagate.

    Check out what silentpcreview.com | Everything about Silent / Quiet Computers has to say about which drives are best.
    Q9650 @ 4.10GHz [9x456MHz]
    P35-DS4 [rev: 2.0] ~ Bios: F14
    4x2GB OCZ Reaper PC2-8500 1094MHz @5-5-5-15
    MSI N460GTX Hawk Talon Attack (1GB) video card <---- SLI ---->
    Seasonic SS-660XP2 80 Plus Platinum psu (660w)
    WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data)
    Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD (boot)
    SLI @ 16/4 works when running HyperSLI
    Cooler Master 120XL Seidon push/pull AIO cpu water cooling
    Cooler Master HAF XB computer case (RC-902XB-KKN1)
    Asus VH242H 24" monitor [1920x1080]
    MSI N460GTX Hawk (1GB) video card
    Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
    win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium
    HT|Omega Claro plus+ sound card
    CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD UPS
    E6300 (R0) @ 3.504GHz [8x438MHz] ~~ P35-DS3L [rev: 1.0] ~ Bios: F9 ~~ 4x2GB Kingston HyperX T1 PC2-8500, 876MHz @4-4-4-10
    Seasonic X650 80+ gold psu (650w) ~~ Xigmatek Balder HDT 1283 cpu cooler ~~ Cooler Master CM 690 case (RC-690-KKN1-GP)
    Samsung 830 128GB SSD MZ-7PC128B/WW (boot) ~~ WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data) ~~ ZM-MFC2 fan controller
    HT|Omega Striker 7.1 sound card ~~ Asus VH242H monitor [1920x1080] ~~ Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
    win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium ~~ CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD U.P.S
    .


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