pmg435T
Bronze

XPS 8930 or Aurora R7 selection advice

Last week I posted these questions on the XPS desktop board. I would like to get some feedback from the Alienware R7 users regarding minimizing fan noise. Specifically if liquid cooling really lowers the fan noise even when the computer is NOT mainly used for gaming. Or is the fan noise the same for the air cooled unit (either XPS 8930 or R7) in that situation.

Following is the information I posted on the XPS board:

Currently I have a XPS 435T/9000 I bought in 2009 with a Core i7 920 CPU and ATI Radeon HD 4800. It runs very quiet, the fans hardly noticeable. I listen to music on my computer through speakers; I cannot use headphones. Now I want/need to replace the 435T with something new. I looked at the XPS 8930 with the i7 8700, 16 GB ram, 256 GB SSD and 1 TB HDD. For the graphics card I thought the GTX 1060 would be somewhere in the middle of capabilities and sufficient for now. I am not a gamer, but I don't want to limit myself in the future (my nephew could use it for games). I noticed that the case is much smaller than my old 435T. With the high power CPU, graphics card and PSU crowding the available space, I am afraid that the temps will be high and the fans will be loud, as I found complaints about this in several posts already. That is when I started to look at the Aurora R7 because of the liquid cooling option which is not available on the 8930. As far as I can tell I would need to go to the GTX 1070 for the graphics card in the R7. I am willing to pay the extra cost just to have a silent computer on my desk so I can listen to my music without the fan noise.

Another concern is the PSU. The standard PSU is only 460W. The load on the PSU as a percentage of the total power rating would be quite high, degrading the components in the PSU and causing premature failure. Does anyone think that I am overly conservative in this respect or should I spring for the 850W unit with liquid cooling anyway. BTW, the Aurora case is not one I would select but it doesn't look outrageous so I can live with it.

I appreciate any advice and comments to make my decision a more informed one.

Thanks,

Paul

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Tesla1856
Diamond

Re: XPS 8930 or Aurora R7 selection advice


pmg435T wrote:

 

1. Another concern is the PSU. The standard PSU is only 460W. The load on the PSU as a percentage of the total power rating would be quite high, degrading the components in the PSU and causing premature failure.

2. Does anyone think that I am overly conservative in this respect

3. should I spring for the 850W unit with liquid cooling

 


1. Exactly. Not many people understand this. I tell everyone that asks before hand to get the 850w Power Supply. If it only ever runs at 50% utilization, that is excellent.

https://www.dell.com/community/Alienware-Desktops/Considering-getting-the-new-Aurora/m-p/5866767

2. No

3. Yes.


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Tesla1856
Diamond

Re: XPS 8930 or Aurora R7 selection advice

I have a loaded Aurora-R6 (Intel-i7, GTX-1070, etc.). With 850w PS and Liquid-Cooler of course.

I would not call it silent. I'm not sure its even possible to build a silent high-performance desktop computer (at least not affordably).

At idle (or even surfing web, or writing a document), the Aurora-R6 is pretty quiet. When gaming (Fallout-4 or WoW) the fans pick-up (they have to or something might melt-down). 

I've seen some tiny HTPC that are pretty quiet, but they are custom-builds and were really only built to (just barely) decode 1080p video and HD-Audio in Home Theater environment.

We just installed some Dell OptiPlex 5050 SFF (as a favor to a client). Those are small, quiet, and very fast (Intel-i5, M.2-SSD, on-board Intel graphics only).

 


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Gaming when I'm not programming.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
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pmg435T
Bronze

Re: XPS 8930 or Aurora R7 selection advice

Tesla1856:

Thank you for all the information and the links to the other posts.

You confirmed my concerns about the PSU and that the 850W unit would be the best option.

Perhaps I exaggerated a little when I said that my current setup is very quiet. During word processing or surfing the web I can only hear the PS fan at low rpm, but it is almost unnoticeable. Only when the CPU gets under a heavier load does the CPU fan ramp up and it is quite loud.

I tried to configure an XPS 8930 with the same components as an R7. I had to use the 460W PSU for this comparison because the 8930 does not have an 850 PSU option or liquid cooling for that matter. The price differential is a little over $300. That difference would only account for the Alienware case and perhaps the control software. Adding the 850W PSU and liquid cooling would add an additional $150 for a total $450 premium over the 8930.

Since I don't do heavy gaming, I need to really think about the 850W PSU and liquid cooling and if I can justify that price differential in order to get the undoubtedly better R7 system.

Perhaps you can sway my decision one way or the other if you believe that the liquid cooling really makes the computer a little quieter even if no heavy gaming is involved. To me a quiet computer is important, but at a reasonable cost.

I really appreciate your expert inputs.

Paul

 

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Tesla1856
Diamond

Re: XPS 8930 or Aurora R7 selection advice


pmg435T wrote:

Tesla1856:

 

1. You confirmed my concerns about the PSU and that the 850W unit would be the best option.

 2. even if no heavy gaming is involved.

Paul

 


1. So that answers that question. Computers with better parts inside cost more money. You are hoping to keep this new computer for a while?

2. I guess I misunderstood. I thought you said (in above post) that you wanted to have the option to game on it occasionally.

Here are my opinions:

1. I think a computer of this size needs a 850w Power-Supply (if for nothing else, to allow it to run at only 50% utilization).

2. An Intel-i7 processor needs a Liquid-Cooler. (period)

The old XPS machines were pretty quiet. They had older (slower) processors and nobody really pushed them very hard. That isn't their use-case or application.

The new processors can get very hot. If they are installed in a XPS (or any computer for that matter) with only FAN cooling ... the fan is going to have to run very fast (read loud) to keep them cool enough to not melt. 

What else can I help you with?


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Gaming when I'm not programming.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
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pmg435T
Bronze

Re: XPS 8930 or Aurora R7 selection advice

I agree with you that better parts cost more money. My concern is that with identical parts the $300 price difference could only be attributed to the R7 case, which seems excessive. I am ready to pay $150 extra for the larger PSU and liquid cooling because those I would consider improved parts for improved performance and worth the extra expense.

And yes, I want to buy a powerful computer now because I like to keep it for many years without running out of performance capabilities in the future. It seems that more processing power (and memory capacity) is required every time some new application is released.

When I said that no heavy gaming was involved I really meant to indicate that currently the computer would only occasionally be used for a game. I was hoping that under those conditions I would have an option of temporarily tolerating more noise when using an 8930. But I don't want to run the possibility of frying the CPU and degrading components due to the high case temperatures.

Since an 850W PSU is only available for the Aurora R7, that leaves me with only one choice if I want to go that route.

You now also confirm my suspicion that the new processors can run much hotter than the older ones and that better cooling is important. That means liquid cooling, even if the CPU is not run at maximum load all the time.

So if I want to get the most capable computer for my purpose and be also future proofed, I can see why you would recommend the liquid cooling option.

One other question that you might be able to help with. Since I only occasionally run games, would downgrading to an Intel i5-8400 vs i7-8700 and a GTX 1060 vs GTX 1070 lower the power and cooling requirements sufficiently so that I can use the 8930 with a 460W power supply and air cooling? Also do you believe that the i5-8400 would soon be outdated and run out of processing power in the next 8 to 9 years and therefore not a good choice? I would like to keep my new computer for at least that long.

Sorry for the long post.

Thank you for your invaluable information. I guess all your advice is based on practical experiences and that is worth a lot to me.

Paul

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Tesla1856
Diamond

Re: XPS 8930 or Aurora R7 selection advice


pmg435T wrote:

1. I agree with you that better parts cost more money.

2. When I said that no heavy gaming was involved I really meant to indicate that currently the computer would only occasionally be used for a game. 

3. Since an 850W PSU is only available for the Aurora R7, that leaves me with only one choice if I want to go that route.

4. You now also confirm my suspicion that the new processors can run much hotter than the older ones and that better cooling is important. That means liquid cooling, even if the CPU is not run at maximum load all the time.

5. So if I want to get the most capable computer for my purpose and be also future proofed, I can see why you would recommend the liquid cooling option.

6. Since I only occasionally run games, would downgrading to an Intel i5-8400 vs i7-8700

7.  and a GTX 1060 vs GTX 1070 lower the power and cooling requirements sufficiently so that I can use the 8930 with a 460W power supply and air cooling?

8. Also do you believe that the i5-8400 would soon be outdated and run out of processing power in the next 8 to 9 years and therefore not a good choice? I would like to keep my new computer for at least that long.

9. Sorry for the long post.

10 .Thank you for your invaluable information.

11. I guess all your advice is based on practical experiences 

Paul


1. Good. I suggest you buy the computer and config you will need in 2 years (so you can keep it 4-5 years).

2. To do it well (even if only occasionally) it has to be built to handle it.

3. Right. Since XPS excludes 850w PS and Liquid Coolers, it is (unfortunately) excluded from consideration. If they would not have purchased Alienware 9 years ago, I'm pretty sure the XPS would now have them as options (because XPS would then be the Dell flag-ship gaming desktop platform).

4. Correct

5. Right

6. In 2-3 years, you will regret that

7. The Nvidia GTX-1060 might work. Depends on what games we are really talking about. Also, no VR with 1060.

Not sure why you keep mentioning 460w PS and fan-cooling for processor. On a $1500 purchase, is a few hundred really a big deal? 

8. In a few years, when Windows-12 is released, you will regret it. 8 years huh? 

9. No problem. I think many go through this decision process (that's why I'm still typing) . 

10. You are welcome.

11. Yes it is. Yeah, somehow, I keeping getting pulled back-down into the trenches. 

 


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Gaming when I'm not programming.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
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pmg435T
Bronze

Re: XPS 8930 or Aurora R7 selection advice


1. Good. I suggest you buy the computer and config you will need in 2 years (so you can keep it 4-5 years).

2. To do it well (even if only occasionally) it has to be built to handle it.

3. Right. Since XPS excludes 850w PS and Liquid Coolers, it is (unfortunately) excluded from consideration. If they would not have purchased Alienware 9 years ago, they would have them as options (because XPS would then be the Dell flag-ship gaming desktop platform).

4. Correct

5. Right

6. In 2-3 years, you will regret that

7. The Nvidia GTX-1060 might work. Depends on what games we are really talking about. Also, no VR with 1060.

Not sure why you keep mentioning 460w PS and fan-cooling for processor. On a $1500 purchase, is a few hundred really a big deal? 

8. In a few years, when Windows-12 is released, you will regret it. 8 years huh? 

9. No problem. I think many go through this decision process (that's why I'm still typing) . 

10. You are welcome.

11. Yes it is. Yeah, somehow, I keeping getting pulled back-down into the trenches. 


1. I will do that.

2. You are right.

3. Ok.

4. Yes.

5. Liquid cooling it is.

6. I have to agree with you.

7. To future proof my selection I should stay with the GTX 1070. The price difference over the GTX 1060 is not that high. Also I should remind myself that the additional cost amortized over several years actually is not unreasonable. So the GTX 1070, 850W PSU and liquid cooling option will be part of the configuration.

8. I have my current XPS 9 years now. It is getting really dated and I would like more power. Therefore my desire to upgrade. Perhaps I will upgrade the R7 on a shorter schedule.

Once again thank you for all your help.

Paul

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Tesla1856
Diamond

Re: XPS 8930 or Aurora R7 selection advice


1. So the GTX 1070, 850W PSU and liquid cooling option will be part of the configuration.

2. Once again thank you for all your help.

Paul


1. And Intel-i7. Sounds good. I also suggest 16gb RAM.

2. Sure, no problem. Let us know how you like it (whatever you end-up buying).


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Gaming when I'm not programming.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
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pmg435T
Bronze

Re: XPS 8930 or Aurora R7 selection advice

I have been configuring my system. The main components are now decided:

a. Intel i7-8700

b. 850W PSU with liquid cooling

c. NVIDIA GTX 1070

d. 16 GB memory

e. 256 GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD (Boot) + 1 TB 7200 RPM SATA 6 GB/s storage. BTW, I have no idea what M.2 PCIe NVMe means and if that is the ultimate selection, but I guess it is a better choice than the 128 GB M.2 SATA SSD (Boot) [without the PCIe NVMe] + 2 TB 7200 RPM SATA 6 GB/s (storage).  I believe 1 TB storage would be sufficient. My current setup has 500 GB storage and it is only about 50% full. I still could specify a 2 TB storage drive with the 256 GB SSD for an additional $50 to future proof my system.

f. DVD RW drive

But this brought up some other questions.

1. Should I get the tray load BDRE drive instead of the DVD RW drive? Will the BDRE drive also read/write DVDs? I actually don't need a Blue Ray drive right now but I will consider this option for convenience. But I also could always add an external Blue Ray drive when needed at a later date.

2. I don't know about the 3 wireless selection options. Should I get the DW1810, or the DW1820, or the Killer 1535. I just want to keep this simple and not introduce complications in the WiFi operation. Perhaps you have an opinion on the reliability of this component and a suggestion of which one to get.

3. On a different subject, I currently have the Dell S240W monitor that I bought with the XPS 435T/9000 in 2009. It still works great. But if I want to upgrade to a new monitor, which 24" monitor would you suggest to get. Remember, I do not do a lot of gaming so I looked at the Dell UltraSharp 24 InfinityEdge U2417H.

Perhaps you should charge me for all the advice you have given me. I really would consider paying you for steering me in the right direction and preventing me from making a costly mistake that I will regret later on.

Thank you,

Paul

 

 

 

 

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