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Kainhander

Silent But Deadly Computing - Fractal Design Meshify and Le Grande Macho RT review

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Introduction

 

As a person older than Linus, there're three things that get on your nerves the longer you're around: slow computers, fan noise, and that damned bright RGB radiation. Now that I have kids too, all I want is some god-d***ed peace and quiet.

 

So when I decided to build a new work/play rig I decided that focusing on performance and noise would come first, LEDS can be fixed with a wire cutter or a hammer.  I put together a Ryzen 1600 build pretty cheaply using the stock cooler and an old aluminum Thermaltake Tsunami case, but the noise was terrible. The Aluminum case reverbed all the noise, the fan on the stock Ryzen cooler clicked at certain speeds, and it ran hot. It was time to go to war.

 

After endless comparisons of air vs water, how silence vs mesh cooling perf, I ended up deciding on the Fractal Design Meshify C case and the Thermalright Le Grande Macho RT air cooler.  I wanted to see if you could have a mesh case, good cooling, AND almost no noise.

 

Test Specifications

Common Hardware

  • AMD Ryzen 1600 at Stock & 3.6 Ghz Overclock speeds

  • Asus PRIME X370-PRO Motherboard

  • EVGA SuperSC 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3200 Memory @ 2933 speed

  • Samsung 850 EVO 500GB SSD

  • MSI GeForce GTX 1070 8GB Video Card

  • SeaSonic PRIME Titanium 750W PSU

  • Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Paste

 

Measurements & Methodology

We will be measuring Noise and Temperature readings for each setup iteration.  To generate as much load and heat as possible, IntelBurnTest (IBT)  and Furmark (FM) will be run at the same time. IBT will run a Standard Stress Test utilizing all cores/threads, and FM will run the “GPU stress test” at 1920x1080.

Noise

Noise will be measured using the Niosh Sound Level Meter App for iPhone, which is a free calibrated app for collecting A-weighted noise measurements. It will be measured while idle, and at the end of the testing cycle at two locations:

  1. 15cm diagonal to the front/left corner of the case to simulate the PC on the desk

  2. 1 meter diagonal to the front/left/top vertex corner of the case, which tends to be where my head is while sitting in a chair with the case on the floor under the desk.

 

The environment will be as controlled as possible, with HVAC, refrigerators, and other noise generating sources turned off.  Tests are run during quiet times, which resulted in an approximately 22dB background noise level.

 

Temperature

Temperature readings will be collected using HWiNFO, and logged to CSV for analysis.

The environment will be as controlled as possible, with HVAC keeping the room steady at 22C, and only shutoff at the beginning and end of tests to measure noise levels.

 

Variables Tested

We will be testing the following setup iterations:

  1. Old Thermaltake Tsunami Dream case + Stock AMD Wraith Spire cooler

  2. Fractal Design Meshify C case + Stock AMD Wraith Spire cooler

  3. Fractal Design Meshify C case + Thermalright Le Grande Macho RT cooler

  4. Fan setup iterations on #3

 

Fractal Design Meshify C Review

 

Since we’ve all seen 10 unboxing videos with slow panning 4k b-roll, techno music, and small plastic potted plants, I’ll skip to my thoughts from the build:

 

Pros
  • Love the design

    • Front panel has a nice “low-poly” design, should help hide dents / damage over time

    • Rim of front panel reminds me of a jet engine intake cowl, brings images of airflow

 

  • Tempered Glass and good airflow for $89

  • Has decent supplied fans

  • Case feels solid for how light it is

  • The power LED is subtle, very nice for us anti-rgb crowd

Cons
  • Stripped out two motherboard mounts while installing them with not much force.

  • Tight fit with my longer 175mm PSU, can’t see using HDD cage with this size PSU, especially with my meaty mitts.

  • Could not find a nice way to route the USB 3.0 cable for the front panel. It’s nearly too big to fit through the middle shroud hole, and then has to take a 90° turn to hit the motherboard header. This also resulted in a strained diagonal cable across the back of the case, so I went through the large grommeted holes to the right of the motherboard.

  • Leaks sound like a screen door (who knew?). You will hear your crappy CPU cooler fans and coil whine from your motherboard or graphics board. Since it’s mesh on top, front, and back, the noise might bounce off more surfaces in your room, and into your ear.

Design Improvement Suggestions
  • Would have been nice to get a solid Moduvent for the top if you don’t need the extra mesh / venting.

  • Would have been nice to have some soundproofing on the metal side panel.

  • Would have been nice to have a 140mm fan support on the back instead of 120mm

  • USB3.0 front panel cable needs to be longer to use with the supplied shroud hole.

  • A more flexible connector for the end of the USB3.0 front panel cable would be nice for tight turns.

  • A shroud hole for GPU power would be nice too.

  • Front and backmost shroud holes could be bigger / have rubber grommets.

  • Front IO could have been on separate panel so it’s not attached to the removable door - would make the mesh easier to clean

  • It’s 2017, have a USB type C connector! Maybe if Fractal Josh stopped going on yacht trips to the flippin’ Catalina Wine Mixer they could have afforded this.

 

Build Tips
  • If you don’t need the hard drive cage, remove it before doing anything else. Can’t remove with PSU in.

  • If you are putting this on carpet, face the PSU fan UP.

  • Figure out routing the front panel cables before doing any other cabling, especially the USB cable.

 

 

Thermalright Le Grande Macho RT Review

I looked this up in an online translator, and apparently the name means “the great chauvinistic pig”, hopefully it’s a pig for CPU heat and it doesn’t offend any of the lady folk.

Why This Cooler

 

Finding this cooler was a trip, I originally wanted something cool and quiet of course, and was leaning towards an AIO kit because I postulated in my head that it would be more resilient to a child tipping my case over.  A 1KG air cooler would have a hell of a lot more torque / pressure on the motherboard than a liquid cooling block would if it fell over.

 

So I was looking for an all-copper 240mm solution, and first settled on Be Quiet!’s Silent Loop cooler, but I couldn’t find it for under $200 or so dollars, and that’s because it had to be imported by a third party. I contacted their support, and found out they can’t sell it here in North America because of patent issues, which was interesting. I looked at some other AIO solutions, reviews, etc and couldn’t fall in love with another solution. Also some of the pumps noise recordings in the reviews reminded me of a fish tank aerator pump, which also turned me off of liquid cooling.

 

Looking at air coolers again, I was going to go with the shiny khakis & poo colored Noctua DH-15 or a Be Quiet Dark Rock 3, but then I found this guy on a TechPowerUp review, and it came in both cooler, quieter, and cheaper than the other two. So of course, I needed to review it.

 

Pros
  • Love the design, all you see is the anodized black plate and heatpipes. It hides everything else around your CPU socket.

  • Cheaper than similar Noctua offerings.

  • Comes with the Thermalright TY-147a, a PWM fan that apparently doesn’t suck at low speeds. No ticking like the Wraith Spire fan!

  • Comes with small skin-saving gloves, and a very nice long screwdriver, and a low speed adapter.

  • Base plate is nickel-plated copper, with a nice polished finish.

  • Assembly was a breeze.

  • Hides messy fan cables with no effort!

Cons
  • May not fit your motherboard / memory / case.

  • Want to change the rear case fan whose header is under this thing? Say hello to removing your graphics card, and using offset pliers.

  • Be careful when clipping the fan on. I was sloppy and dragged the anti-vibration pads off of the fins - had to start over.

Improvement Suggestions
  • I wish it was sold more places, I bought mine off of the only approved US reseller on Amazon.

  • Would be great to see a version with a larger baseplate for TR4 applications.

Build Tips
  • Do a dry fit with your memory before fitting the fan in place. Mine cleared it, but I ended up unclipping/reclipping it lower to get more air over the VRMs.

 

 

Test Results and Thoughts

And the scientific results are in…

 

Configurations Key:

Tsunami Stock / Tsunami 3.6 Ghz - Tsunami Dream Case, Wraith Spire Cooler, 1 Noctua + 1 Be Quiet! 120mm fans.

Meshify Stock / Meshify 3.6 Ghz - Meshify Case, Wraith Spire Cooler, 2 stock Meshify 120mm fans.

Macho Meshify / Macho Meshify 3.6 Ghz - Meshify Case, Le Grande Macho cooler, 2 stock Meshify 120mm fans.

3 Quiet Fans 3.6 Ghz - Meshify Case, Le Grande Macho cooler, 2 stock Meshify 120mm fans with low speed adapters, 1 Noctua 120mm fan with low speed adapter. 

3 Noctua Fans 3.6 Ghz - Meshify Case, Le Grande Macho cooler, 2 Noctua 140mm fans, 1 Noctua 120mm fan.

 

Stock Ryzen 1600 Results

 

image.png.0d10aa9b891884449c216b1c7b79752c.png

image.png.34c0acc9799fdb6e837d6bad5bc94878.png

 

Ryzen 1600 3.6 Ghz Overclock Results

image.png.c18da3e9daf4eedd03bd82543ca325dc.png

image.png.eb842e766bb0bb6211a044180b23d484.png

 

 

With every iteration we were able to reduce the noise, temperature, or both.  Focusing on the 3.6Ghz tests, noise at the floor level was reduced 9.5dB, max CPU temperatures reduced 21.6C, and max GPU temps reduced 5C.  

 

Using my subjective ears, I like the final fan setup the most as well. Using all Noctua fans for the case changes the tone and feel of the fan noise to be mostly unobtrusive. At head level and full load I get readings of 22.3 dB, which is barely above background noise. It amounts to “is there a fan on, somewhere upstairs?”.  The fridge in the next room is louder than it, the HVAC blower is louder than it, the dehumidifier in the basement is louder than it. It is essentially silent in this environment.

 

The only downside to something this quiet is that up close you do hear coil whine and other electronics noise, especially when FurMark is thrashing the graphics card.

 

Conclusions

  1. The Fractal Design Meshify C is cooler and quieter than a 12 year old Thermaltake Tsunami Dream.
  2. The Le Grand Macho RT cooler is cooler and quieter than an AMD Wraith Spire cooler.
  3. Noctua fans may be ugly, but this 3 fan setup is cooler and quieter than the stock Fractal Design fans.

 

If I were to do these tests again, I hope to keep a better notebook as I forgot to take a few readings here and there. I would also give the system time to cool between runs, as the idle temps were skewed because of a quick test cycle. I also hope to purchase a better noise level meter if I get into noise testing.

 

As for what I did with the damned RGB, I ended up adding a UV strip, and doing a little infilling of the Fractal Design logo with UV/Neon paint. This gave it a nice ghostly ultra-violet iradescence, and all you can see while the system is running are the creeping fans and shiny heat pipes everywhere. It can't be fully captured with a camera, but here's the best pictures I have.

 

S0966214.thumb.jpg.59c4aa1605ecb1caf2abd3d37869e120.jpg

 

IMG_6785.thumb.JPG.a311a17d737a3c7d7c46e7ffa6db395f.JPG

 

IMG_6783.thumb.JPG.d9ec87024fe14b0a34e18df108d5b93a.JPG

 

S0017036.thumb.JPG.6981733e72f462f1ed4e3d9d75f8df1e.JPG

 

Thanks for reading!

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Very through, well planned, well executed with conclusive data and stats. I like it. Might refer to this post in the future for people looking into this case. 


"Put as much effort into your question as you'd expect someone to give in an answer"- @Princess Luna

Make sure to Quote posts or tag the person with @[username] so they know you responded to them!

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Storage 1x Samsung EVO 250GB, WD Black 3TB, WD Black 5TB    PSU Corsair CX550M      Cooling Cryorig H7

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Sorry for necro posting but I'm going to be building a system with the same cooler (Le Grand Macho RT) and the same chassis (Meshify C) and I wanted to know if I can still fit the 2 fans on the top side?

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Posted (edited) · Original PosterOP
On 1/14/2018 at 6:06 AM, Millidan said:

Sorry for necro posting but I'm going to be building a system with the same cooler (Le Grand Macho RT) and the same chassis (Meshify C) and I wanted to know if I can still fit the 2 fans on the top side?

 I was only able to fit a 120mm fan in the top-rear position, but I could fit a 140 in the top front position.  This wasn’t due to the cooler though, but the 8-pin CPU power cables Sticking out from the motherboard in the back.

 

I did do some further testing to see if the top fans did anything for temps, but all I got was more noise.  I ended up taking out the F-12 in the rear and didn’t see any temperature changes, but removing it dropped the noise 1dB further.

 

 If you end up going with this case and this cooler, just get some good quiet 140 mm fans for the front and leave it at that. The cooling from those two fans and the LeGrand macho fan will be extremely sufficient, and very quiet.

Edited by Kainhander
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6 hours ago, Kainhander said:

 I was only able to fit a 120mm fan in the top-rear position, but I could fit a 140 in the top front position.  This wasn’t due to the cooler though, but the 8-pin CPU power cables Sticking out from the motherboard in the back.

 

I did do some further testing to see if the top fans did anything for temps, but all I got was more noise.  I ended up taking out the F-12 in the rear and didn’t see any temperature changes, but removing it dropped the noise 1dB further.

 

 If you end up going with this case and this cooler, just get some good quiet 140 mm fans for the front and leave it at that. The cooling from those two fans and the LeGrand macho fan will be extremely sufficient, and very quiet.

Thank you for answering, I have ordered it a few days ago and hopefully it'll arrive soon.

Do you mean I leave the back exhaust fan empty or just the top ones?

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Posted (edited) · Original PosterOP
4 hours ago, Millidan said:

Thank you for answering, I have ordered it a few days ago and hopefully it'll arrive soon.

Do you mean I leave the back exhaust fan empty or just the top ones?

Leave both top ones empty, most of your airflow will be going from front to back, so trying to suck it out through the top just causes turbulence for the most part.  The Le Grand Macho tower will act as a giant airflow straightener, so air will only want to go front to back.

 

Doh, had just woken up and didn't read the whole thing before replying.  I wouldn't use any top fans, and I would try to use it without a rear fan as well. 

 

The Le Grand Macho RT (LGMRT) does a pretty good job of straightening the airflow in the top part of the case, so top fans only gave me turbulence / more noise, and no noticible cooling benefit. 

 

Since the fan on the LGMRT is pretty decent, and the cooler fins are widely spaced I found I didn't need the rear fan either - it wasn't doing much if anything with this cooler.

 

If you're not sure whether to ditch the rear fan, you could always get it, and then setup your fan profile to only turn it on when it gets hot, that way you don't have to hear it all the time.

 

What CPU / Graphics card were you going to use in your build?

 

Edited by Kainhander
I can't read apparently.
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Wow this is just what I was looking. Same case I was looking, same CPU cooler and same RGB colors, I didnt even thought about using UV light, it blow my mind. Thanks for the review though.

 

Just one question, did you use blue and violet UV light? and what type of paint did you use for the FD logo.

 

Im considering the latest update, using 2 Thermalright TY-147a 140mm. I guess that should be enough 


i7-9700k | AsRock Z390 Phantom Gaming ITX | Corsair Vengeance LPX 2x8GB | EVGA RTX 2080 XC Gaming | Samsung 860 EVO | Corsair SF750 | Ncase M1

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Nice to see another person appreciating Thermalright. Very underrepresented.

Got this beast on my R7 1700 (leisurely OCed to 3.7) - Thermalright HR-02 Macho Rev. B. The D15 from Noctua goes for double the money but has +-1 degree of temp difference. 

https://www.computeruniverse.net/en/thermalright-hr-02-macho-rev-b


CPU R7 1700    Motherboard Asus Prime X370 Pro  RAM  16GB Corsair LPX 3000 (at 2933Mhz)    GPU EVGA GTX1070 SC  Case Phanteks Enthoo Pro M    

Storage 1x 256 m.2, 1x 500 SSD, 1x 1TB, 1x 4TB   PSU Corsair 1000W  Cooling Thermalright Macho Rev B (tower)

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Sorry for late post, just saw this now....so you reckon my setup is overkill with the 2 top fans? the one above the cooler does seem to be drawing out a good bit of warm air.....

Min d you the build is a bit louder than I'd like so you have me tempted to take 'em out.

20190224_192550.jpg

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....And please excuse my poor cable management, it's my first build :/

Your build has inspired me to get that sorted, yours is nice and neat. Oh and thanks very much for all the testing you did, really helpful info 🙂

And by the way I have two 120mm front fans

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