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Music workstation with dual monitors

Joined
Dec 16, 2013
Messages
12
Motherboard
MBA13
CPU
i5-4200U
Graphics
HD5000
Mac
  1. MacBook Air
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Hello everybody,

First of all, thanks for this great community. I've been following this website for years but I rarely post something but now seems the right moment to ask for your advice. Within 2-3 weeks I want to buy my first Hackintosh. My configuration is mostly based on the Buyer's Guide, but I'm still doubting. It's primary use will be music production (Logic X mostly). I've worked with Macbooks for many years but now it's time for a real workstation. Noise level is the most important part of this configuration (besides stability ofcourse), I really want this machine to be as quiet as possible.


  • Intel Core i7-4790
  • Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev. B
  • Gigabyte GA-Z87X-D3H or Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD3H
  • Samsung 840 EVO 250GB (OS, apps)
  • WD Red 1TB or Seagate 7200.14 1TB (samples, projects, documents, etc.)
  • Asus GT640-DCSL-2GD3 - passive cooling
  • Cooler Master Silencio 452
  • 2x Crucial Ballistix Tactical 8GB DDR3-1600 CAS Latency 8, supported by both motherboards
  • Seasonic G-Serie 550Watt PCGH Edition
  • TP-Link TL-WDN4800
  • 2x Dell Ultrasharp U2412M Black, 1920x1200 each

This configuration will cost about 1450 euros in my country. I want to use Mavericks as it's primary OS, I won't switch to Yosemite until 10.10.3 or something like that. Here are some arguments and doubts about the components.

CPU and CPU Cooler
The 4790 is a little bit faster than the previous 4770 and costs the same, it's compatible with both motherboards. I'm used to dual-core processors, this will be my first quad-core so I'm really thrilled about this little monster! I don't want a passive cooler because it needs more airflow (thus more and louder casefans). I've read many reviews and this cooler should be the quitest.

Motherboard
The differences between the GA-Z87X-D3H and GA-Z87X-UD3H are: 2 SATA ports, 2 eSATA ports, Display Port and a different audio chip. All of those things don't really matter to me. 6x SATA is enough, I don't need a Display Port since I use a dedicated GPU and I won't use the onboard audio at all (I currenly use an Apogee Duet 2 and will buy a 19" interface later this year). I tend to go for the UD3H, not because of the extra features, but I found a lot more success stories with this board. I've read stories about the D3H where a beta BIOS is required to gain stability. I need the latest BIOS due to the Haswell Refresh CPU.

Storage
I can't choose between the WD drive the Seagate drive. The first seems more quiet but not exactly built for my needs, it's primary use is for NAS-systems. The Seagate seems noticeably faster but is also noisier. I have no idea "how much" noisier this drive will be.

Case and PSU
The Fractal Design R4 has been recommended many times and there are no reviews between this case and the Coolermaster I choose. The Coolermaster gets very positive reviews and I like the design better. The Seasonic is very efficient and must be very quiet. I'd love to hear suggestions for quiter PSU's, this is the best I could find.

Graphics and dual monitors
I guess 2x 1920x1200 won't be a problem for a Geforce GT640 2GB. I won't use it for heavy gaming or video editing or something like that. It's the fastest passive GPU I could find which is OOTB supported. I don't want to take any risk with buying a HD7750 or R7 250.

I'd love to hear your comments and suggestions. Thanks in advance! :)
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2013
Messages
12
Motherboard
MBA13
CPU
i5-4200U
Graphics
HD5000
Mac
  1. MacBook Air
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
After some more research I found out that the Scythe CPU cooler isn't quiet at all. I'll swap it for a Noctua NH-U12S which seems a lot quieter.
 

trs96

Moderator
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Messages
17,916
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
CPU
i5-4690K
Graphics
HD4600 / RX 570
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
I'd go with the Z or H87X-D3H and the Noctua cooler would also be my 1st choice.
I've got the same Seasonic PSU (650W version) and I really can't even hear it.
I'm using a sound insulated Fractal Design R4. Looks like the only audible noise will
be from the HDD. If you can go with an SSD that would solve that problem. The 512GB
size Crucial MX100 now sells for a little over 200 dollars in the U.S. Prices should keep coming
down as the production increases and more people switch to SSDs.

Could you possibly use a NAS located in another room or closet for your storage needs if you
have to go with mechanical hard drives ?
I've used nothing but SSDs for 2 years now and find it difficult to go back to using HDDs.
It's not that they're loud it's more the quality of the noise that is distracting.
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2013
Messages
12
Motherboard
MBA13
CPU
i5-4200U
Graphics
HD5000
Mac
  1. MacBook Air
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
I'd go with the Z or H87X-D3H and the Noctua cooler would also be my 1st choice.
I've got the same Seasonic PSU (650W version) and I really can't even hear it.
I'm using a sound insulated Fractal Design R4. Looks like the only audible noise will
be from the HDD. If you can go with an SSD that would solve that problem. The 512GB
size Crucial MX100 now sells for a little over 200 dollars in the U.S. Prices should keep coming
down as the production increases and more people switch to SSDs.

Could you possibly use a NAS located in another room or closet for your storage needs if you
have to go with mechanical hard drives ?
I've used nothing but SSDs for 2 years now and find it difficult to go back to using HDDs.
It's not that they're loud it's more the quality of the noise that is distracting.
Thanks for your reply! I think I'll switch to the H87X-D3H, that one should do the trick for me. I've been told that de Cooler Master V550 is even quieter than the Seasonic. I will think about your SSD-only solution, maybe that's a clever solution for my usage :)
 
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