The Bengal Rig v2
Published: 27th February 2015 | Source: OC3D |
Here are the culprits. The stock NZXT case fans are not only loud, but have a really annoying frequency. Admittedly I've got really sensitive hearing and my system is about two feet away from my head, so your mileage may vary. For me though it was so loud I couldn't think. As if they weren't bad enough the Cooler Master fans supplied with the Nepton 280L seem to have their noise profile taken from a 747. At idle, 20%, they were perfectly lovely. At anything above they were pretty noticeable and by the time they got above 70% I'd get noise abatement warnings from Megadeth.
One of the cool things about working here at OC3D is I know which fans to go for if quietness is the thing I desire, and five fresh Corsair Quiet Edition fans soon arrived. If you didn't know, perhaps you've been living as a hermit, then the SP model provides greater static pressure, perfect for radiators. Whilst the AF are all about air flow. It's as if they've deliberately named them something sensible! (are you listening GTX970 EX OC Black Edition naming committee?)
It's the perfect demonstration of what I was saying on page one. You don't want to start faffing about with tidy cables and lighting until you've got the day-to-day running of your rig how you'd like it. The Corsair fans instantly cured the noise and now I have a rig with buckets of cooling capacity, ridiculous levels of performance and, in answer to the water/air debate, a system that's actually quieter than my old rig. It's a win all around. Okay it's just a win for me, but it's nice to have a rig that is nearly niggle free, rather than the original Bengal Rig which never felt right.
As always there is a to-do list. Get the internals looking tidy for one. There is a reason that I haven't included a picture of the drive-bay. I have a lot of drives because I require a lot of storage, but the cables included with the V850 PSU are pretty inflexible and manufacturers seem determined to provide the smallest possible amount of cable between each SATA power. So it needs cable tidying, but also I'd like to get some braided orange cables for the PSU to really pick out the orange of the Z97X before I take too much time tidying things away. As you can imagine there is a lot to do here at OC3D so personal time is at a premium.
The fantastic Bengal Tiger head on the window is currently hard to see, or at least not the showpiece it should be, so some lighting is definitely on the agenda. Nothing gaudy, just enough pick out the edges. Highlights, not spotlights. Although it's nearly impossible to find them (why don't NZXT have a part department) I'd love a new 'plastic vented top' as the clips that hold it in broke in transit. Otherwise the case is extremely solidly built.
Recent reviews of some enormous SSDs have shown that the speed/capacity dichotomy is now an "all things for everyone" option, so I'd like to consolidate a bunch of small SSDs into a couple of big ones. I'm still keeping an eye out for some DDR3 that has plenty of capacity, speed, but also has an orange heatspreader. The red Kingston is aesthetically okay, like the red rings on the Corsair fans, but they're a compromise. Some memory manufacturer somewhere must bring orange to the party, I can't be the only one who likes it as a colour?
There we have it. The Bengal Rig v2. It's more of a work in progress than some 'hey here is my system' that you might come across, but it's a good demonstration of how much performance and quietness can be had from modern hardware, air-cooled route. Hopefully it might inspire some of you to take the plunge without worrying that everything seems to have to be hard-line, chrome-plate to get noticed.
VB - Keep an eye on the forum thread for more tweaks and updates......