Friday, August 22, 2014

RMAed the Logitech Z623 speaker set and got a new one


Almost 2 years ago, I bought the Logitech Z623 speaker set to replace the Corsair SP2200 speakers that developed a crackling issue in the subwoofer (read “RMAing Corsair SP2200 speakers in Japan” and “From crackling Corsair SP2200 speakers to Logitech (Logicool) Z623 speakers”). I bought it from Amazon because they had it for the cheapest offer. It cost me a little under $90 although it should have cost me about $130 if I bought it directly from Logitech as that was the MSRP.

However there was one issue with this particular set. Many of the end users were complaining about a defect with the power button. The speakers would turn on and off on its own at random times.

Not everybody was having this problem so I thought I might get lucky. Even if the problem developed in mine, I would not have a problem with RMAing as Logitech’s customer support is superb. After about one year of usage, the problem developed on my set as well. It was not irritating at first as it would only appear - if at all - at the time of powering up the speakers. But eventually it got worse up to the degree where it would lose power while watching a movie even.

My first Noctua product - the NH-U12S CPU cooler


The Decision

As I sent back the Silverstone HE-01 cooler due to erratic vibration issues (read about it here), after a lot of thought I decided to buy the reasonably new Noctua NH-U12S, single tower cooler. Although this is a very small cooler compared to all of the high-end coolers out there, even compared to the HE-01, it seemed to perform exceptionally well on reviews. I had the Noctua NH-D14, Thermalright Silver Arrow IB-E, Bequiet Dark Rock 3 and Bequiet Shadow Rock Slim in my mind as well. But in the end, I went with the NH-U12S because it would give me peace of mind when looking to buy a new GPU as all of the above seemed to have clearance issues if the GPU had a backplate on it. All of those seemed to have a problem with the clearance with the too most PCI-E slot in the motherboard.

The NH-U12S has two advantages over the HE-01 that I had.

  • Like I said, it's much smaller that means there will be ample clearance between the video card and the heat-sink. There were clearance issues with the HE-01 where I had to insulate the fan clip using tape because it touched the back of the graphics card.
  • While the HE-01 had to rev the fan at 2000RPM to get to its maximum cooling performance, this does it just with a silent-optimized, 120mm 1500RPM fan. A lot of reviewers seemed to praise the Noctua cooler because of its noise to performance ratio.


The purchasing

Unfortunately I could only find two stores (Oliospec and PC-Ones) carrying the product and both of them asked an unreasonable price for it. On top of that, I had to pay shipping as well. It kind of disheartened me because I was so used to buying stuff with free shipping from Amazon and some of the other well known PC stores such as Sofmap, Tsukumo and Dospara. However, as I was all set on that cooler I decided to go ahead with the purchase despite the price.  Obviously I went with the store that offered it at the cheapest accumulative price.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sent back the Silverstone HE01 cooler


A few days ago I bought the Silverstone Heligon HE-01 cooler to replace the Antec  Kuhler  620 closed-loop water cooling unit that I had it my rig temporarily. The cooler performed well at first, but then its fan went bad. I ordered a replacement for the cooler. That fan worked fine. Or at least, it could run at full 2000RPM as advertised.

But as this is a PWM fan, the motherboard would change the fan speed with respect to the CPU temps. I kept it at "Standard" fan speed profile in Asus UEFI. When the CPU wasn't stressed, it was reasonably quiet but still nowhere as quiet as I would have liked. Then I had to think about the CPU temps too. My 4790K CPU would run extremely hot even while doing a not-so-extreme h.264 transcode.

After I bought the cooler, the PC underwent a significant change. I got a new case for the PC and it was substantially smaller than the old case which allowed me to move it to the top of the desk. While the fan noise was OK when the case was located under the desk, it was intolerable  once moved into the new location. This made me lower the fan speed setting to "Silent" profile for the day to day tasks. Now the fan speed would have a wider range of speeds. It would still reach full speed if the temps exceeded 75C (there is no way to override this behaviour) and now there was a bigger chance of that happening because the low fan speed causes temps to be reasonably high even at low loads.