It's easy to tune out the rest of the world when you don your headset and start blasting terrorists in a game such as Battlefield 4. Your significant other or your roommates, on the other hand, are all too aware of the fun you're having. And they're none too happy about the cacophony of your PC. It's roaring like a jet engine as its power supply strives to feed the computer's components enough juice, while its myriad cooling fans spin up mini cyclones to keep the works cool.
With a machine like AVADirect's Quiet Gaming PC, nobody has to put up with that racket. It's not an over-the-top behemoth—and it's not priced like one—but it is a very capable gamer. And it's nearly silent.
It's the BOM (Bill of Materials)
This $2,542 tower out-games systems costing thousands of dollars more, and it has more than enough oomph for a home-office system, too. That's not a bad price for a PC with this much horsepower: There's an unlocked Intel Core i7-4770K processor, 16GB of DDR3/1600 memory, and a single Gigabyte GV-N780OC-3D video card with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 GPU and 3GB of GDDR5 memory for starters. Storage comes in the form of a solid-state boot drive (a pair of 120GB Kingston HyperX SSDs operating in RAID 0) and a 2TB mechanical hard drive (a Western Digital Caviar Black).
The Quiet Gaming PC lives up to its low-decibel name: The system pads along so stealthily that the only thing people will hear is your rapid-fire clicking and clacking of the mouse and keyboard keys. Speaking of which, you'll pay extra for those and a display; but that's par for the course for custom-built rigs.
AVADirect took many steps to dial down the din, including stashing the mechanical hard drive in an insulated noise-dampening case, lining the insides of the side panels with a 1/4-inch of dense foam padding, and mounting eight large cooling fans all over the inside of the NZXT H630 enclosure.
As reviewed, the system has two 200mm case fans in front and two up top (venting through channels on the side). A series of three 140mm fans draw up air from the bottom and pivot to push it over the video card and the passively cooled CPU (a Zalman FX100 Ultimate Fanless Heatsink handles that job). A fourth 140mm fan pulls air out of the back of the rig. The number and size of these slow-spinning fans delivers the same cooling power more quietly than a few faster, noisier fans could.
As a result, AVADirect's Quiet Gaming PC not only runs quiet, it also runs cool. Even when I hammered away on demanding games like Battlefield 4 and Company of Heroes 2, I felt only a pleasant and merely warm breeze streaming out of the back of the tower. Bear in mind this configuration leaves lots of open space inside the case—there's very little to obstruct air flow. Should you decide to add a second video card (more on that topic later), you'll want to monitor temps carefully (the presence of a Bitfenix Recon touchscreen fan controller will help with that). You might also need to upgrade from the 760-watt Seasonic power supply.
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