Planning Quiet S1 build

schismal

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Jun 19, 2019
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I'm about to take my first dip into the SFF world with a Ghost S1 + medium tophat. I'm at the planning/gathering hardware stage, and I have a question about memory/cooler compatibility that I cannot seem to answer on my own. For background, low noise builds are important to me, which I know is not always compatible with SFF. I'm attempting a negative pressure airflow arrangement with only three case fans: 2 Noctua exhausts on the tophat, and one bottom exhaust beneath the PS. I may need to undervolt CPU/GPU in order to achieve my noise goals.

Case: Loque Ghost S1
CPU: Ryzen 7 3700x
MB: ASUS ROG Strix X570-I Gaming
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-L12S (low profile mode to keep fan farther from side panel)
Memory: Not sure if I need low-profile sticks?

Storage: Samsung 970 PRO M.2 NVMe + my old standard SSD
GPU: My old last gen Nvidia card, will be upgraded eventually
PS: Corsair SF600 Platinum

A few questions from the planning stage:
1) With this MB and cooler, do I need low-profile memory sticks? For some reason, I cannot figure out whether or not they will physically conflict with this CPU cooler.
2) What kind of realistic expectations should I have regarding noise? Some noise during load is excusable. Noise during idle or low intensity work is not.
3) That copper S1 top grill is ?. Is Amazon the best place to watch for it? (currently out of stock)
 

rfarmer

Shrink Ray Wielder
Jul 7, 2017
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1) Most commonly used ram for bent NH-L12S is either Corsair Vengeance LPX or Crucial Ballistic.
2) Make sure and use good fans, Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM is usually considered the best fan for performance and noise.
3) Amazon is the only place in the US to buy The Ghost, tophats and grills new. There are currently some copper grills on ebay but you will have to pay over retail if you want one.
 

schismal

Cable Smoosher
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Jun 19, 2019
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1) Most commonly used ram for bent NH-L12S is either Corsair Vengeance LPX or Crucial Ballistic.
2) Make sure and use good fans, Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM is usually considered the best fan for performance and noise.
3) Amazon is the only place in the US to buy The Ghost, tophats and grills new. There are currently some copper grills on ebay but you will have to pay over retail if you want one.
Thanks a ton!

Okay, so here's where we get into the details. I was planning to use DDR 3600 sticks, but the low-profile options are limited. From what I've seen, we have:
1) Corsair Vengeance LPX, CL18 (link)
2) Kingston HyperX, CL17 (link)
3) Crucial Ballistix, CL16 (link) -- compared to the Ballistix Sport (which doesn't come in a 3600 flavor) and the first two options, the heat spreader seems taller and I feel like this will be a problem

I'm leaning toward the first two options. It's been years since I built my last PC, but Kingston had a decent reputation back then. Not sure if they still do, since I don't see them often recommended around here.

As for fans, I've been 100% Noctua for years and have no intention of turning back. And I appreciate the copper grill info. I'll probably just wait for it to reappear on Amazon after my build.
 

rfarmer

Shrink Ray Wielder
Jul 7, 2017
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The Noctua NH-L12S in normal low profile mode has 33mm ram clearance, after bending you will lose 2-3mm. The Crucial you listed is 38mm tall. The Corsair is 31mm and the one I have seen used most. The Kingston HyperX is 34mm.
 
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schismal

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Jun 19, 2019
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The Noctua NH-L12S in normal low profile mode has 33mm ram clearance, after bending you will lose 2-3mm. The Crucial you listed is 38mm tall. The Corsair is 31mm and the one I have seen used most. The Kingston HyperX is 34mm.
Ah, I hadn't realized that bending would be necessary. I did a search and found the video explanation. That makes the decision very easy. Thanks so much!
 
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kmnvhs

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Feb 14, 2020
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I would switch to the Alpenföhn Blackridge (CPU cooler with 6 heat pipes) with a slim fan (Noctua Nf-a12x15) on top. I use this combo in my ghost and its super quiet. Yes you need lp ram for ryzen I would choose corsair lax 3200MHz7Cl16 (price+perfomance).
 

Kxrma

Case Bender
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Feb 24, 2020
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I would switch to the Alpenföhn Blackridge (CPU cooler with 6 heat pipes) with a slim fan (Noctua Nf-a12x15) on top. I use this combo in my ghost and its super quiet. Yes you need lp ram for ryzen I would choose corsair lax 3200MHz7Cl16 (price+perfomance).

I'm putting my very first build together (Ghost S1) and would like some help clarifying a couple of things.

I plan on using the 3700x with the Asus ROG Strix x570 i gaming mobo with the Ghost S1.

Is it better that I go for the Noctua L12s (which I've read may have some compatibility issues with this motherboard) or the Black Ridge? And do you recommend adding two Noctua 120mm fans (one above one below heatsink) to the Alpenföhn BR? I was planning to get Corsair LPX 32bg CL16 RAM but I'm not really sure what will fit on this motherboard with either of these two coolers and the fans.
 

schismal

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Jun 19, 2019
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If You want power and silence then the right way is Black Ridge with Noctua slim 92mm and slim 120mm fans. Will cool much better than NH-L12S.
2 more heat-pipes and one more fan. Fans as intake.
https://www.alpenfoehn.de/produkte/cpu-kuehler/black-ridge
It will fit NF-A12x15 on top and will still have enough room to avoid turbulence from the side panel.
Thank you for the recommendation!

So (a) no bending necessary, and (b) you recommend two fans on the heatsink? A 120 slim on top and 92 slim on bottom? Would 120 slim on the bottom interfere with memory? Or with taller motherboard parts? And I'm assuming you have both fans in a pull configuration so we intake from the side panel.

Also, what motherboard are you using? Seems like there may be a conflict with the ASUS M.2 heatsink and/or IO shroud. Not sure how easily those can be removed to make room.

Thanks for the feedback! Glad I'm not the only one here concerned with noise.
 

schismal

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Jun 19, 2019
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Thank you for the recommendation!

So (a) no bending necessary, and (b) you recommend two fans on the heatsink? A 120 slim on top and 92 slim on bottom? Would 120 slim on the bottom interfere with memory? Or with taller motherboard parts? And I'm assuming you have both fans in a pull configuration so we intake from the side panel.

Also, what motherboard are you using? Seems like there may be a conflict with the ASUS M.2 heatsink and/or IO shroud. Not sure how easily those can be removed to make room.

Thanks for the feedback! Glad I'm not the only one here concerned with noise.
Nvm, figured out the answers. 92mm on the bottom for compatibility with the LPX memory, set to intake. M.2 heatsink will need to be removed on the ASUS board, and that seems simple enough.
 
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schismal

Cable Smoosher
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Jun 19, 2019
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So the build is finished. A few notes for anyone trying the same thing:

1) You need one 15 mm exhaust fan on the bottom, and 2 x 15 mm exhaust fans on the top. Running without these will lead to high temps, and increased fan noise (especially the non-controllable PCH fan on the ASUS board, which will spin at 6000 RPM). With this negative pressure setup, however, the noise is below ambient levels when idle, and only mildly noticeable under load. I haven't put it under crazy stress yet, but my last gaming session gave me a CPU temps below 70, GPU below 60.

2) The Black Ridge could only be mounted in a slightly suboptimal orientation due to conflicts with some motherboard components. So the curved side in the heatsink pipes have to point upwards, and the ends of the heatsink actually extend beyond the bottom of the case when mounted in this orientation. As a result, a (second) tophat is needed on the bottom of the case in order to clear the heatsink. Not terrible, since it gives more room for fan mounting anyway, but it was unexpected.

3) For some reason, the ghost side panels are not very secure, and they rattle a bit when the desktop moves. Not sure if I missed something during installation, but it's annoying. The tophat pieces are secured together by screws, of course, but the main case side panels just slide into place, and they don't seem to be 100% secure when there's a top and bottom tophat in use. I note that this didn't seem to happen when I only had one tophat installed, so it might be unique to a tophat+bottomhat setup. This is the most irritating part of the build for me, and if anyone has an idea on how to fix it (maybe I missed some obvious assembly step), I'm all ears.