To liquid cool multi-GPU PC build or not? Concerned about noise floors and heat

I am drafting a PC build for Blender 2.8 to experiment with rendering short animations and stills using Cycles. I plan to use an X570 motherboard with an AMD Ryzen 3950X and dual RTX 2080 ti’s. The specific case, motherboard and RTX 2080 ti’s are to be determined, see below.

The machine will be in the same room as me during rendering and I’m concerned about the noise and heat output. I want to avoid extreme noise floors and pitched whining but don’t know if that’s a possibility given such a setup. Should I be researching a custom loop and liquid based cooling solution for this system? I’m prepared to deal with headaches and take my time but maybe I’m better served with an air cooling solution?

I don’t have much experience and am looking for insight from those who are working with mid to high end builds and can relate to my concerns.

On my Desk, to my left sits a 1st Gen Ryzen 1800x, cooled by a NZXT Kraken X52. GPUs are a Turbo RTX 2070 and a ROG-Strix 2070. Everything sits in BeSilent Dark Base 700 with 4 Silent Wings 3 all oriented to pull air out of the case.
Of course the machine is audible during rendering but nothing that is distracting. Normally I have some music playing anyway. And I was really distracted by the computer.
While your stated specs are a notch from that I don’t think it will make that much of a difference.

For a dual gpu setup, I don’t think you need a custom loop to cool them adequately. Pick a motherboard with enough space between pcie slots to fit up to 2.5 slot gpus (there are some good mobos to fulfill this need), and a good implementation of the 2080ti, with emphasis on silent operation.
As for the cpu, an AIO would be the best option imo.
And finally the chassis. A top quality case from Be Quiet!, Fractal Design and Phanteks S series and other top brands would be optimal.
If you need specific guidance for the build, then mention the budget and I’m sure you’ll get some good advice here.

I see you and @chalybeum have mentioned the Be Quiet! and BeSilent designs which I’m not familiar with so I’ll explore these. A case designed with sound dampening in mind (assuming it pays respect to airflow) seems well suited to my concern. I will keep the other manufacturers you mentioned in mind @birdnamnam. Thanks for your suggestions.

I did see an alarming article (link for those interested in reading to be weary of multi-fan RTX cards for a *multi-GPU build and to opt for a single-fan blower style card.

I wasn’t aware there were 2080 ti implementations with an emphasis on silent operation so now I’ll have to figure this out.

Speaking in terms of motherboard and budget I’ve been looking at the Gigabyte X570 Aorus Xtreme since it has 3x PCI-E 4.0 slots, two of which are spaced apart and triple M.2 connectors and garners nice reviews despite the price tag. I’m okay with venturing into the $5,000 - $7,000 range (less cost is of course fine, too) and figure I’d make a separate topic about the overall build as I narrowed down finer points of concern (like the topic of this thread, I was concerned about working next to the sound of a jet engine taking off). Nothing is set in stone right now besides the 3950X and dual RTX 2080 ti configuration.

Be careful. This is not your case. This article is about 4 Founders Edition gpus (not 2) with the classic FE Nvidia dual blower configuration. Not custom implementations. This case is well known and documented. But it’s completely irrelevant here. I hope you understand the difference.

With two custom 2080ti installed on a motherboard with good separation distance between the pcie slots, you shouldn’t have a problem.

This is my mistake. I did mean multi-GPU with dual fans in the referenced link though I did fear that this effect could spill to a dual GPU setup and create issues for me.

No, this isn’t the case. This…

has nothing to do with this…

in terms of thermal behavior. In the first image, the 4 gpus are stacked one upon the other and have no space left between them (they almost touch), while in the second image (which is similar to what you’re aiming for, except for the sli bridge), the two custom-cooler-design gpus have enough space between them in order to “breath” and not throttle during full load periods (like rendering).

The article was reffering to something similar to the first image, and there is a reason for that (I just explained it).


Your pictures and description make perfect sense.

Is there a technical term for the “custom-cooler-design” I should use as a query for the RTX 2080 ti? Searching for RTX 2080 ti is returning many variants.

Any gpu without the Founders Edition cooler is considered a custom design. In each generation of Nvidia gpus there is a specific FE or stock cooler design. In this case (the 2000 series, I mean), any gpu that doesn’t have this design

is considered a custom version.

Here is a list, way within your budget, with a top 2080 ti implementation, the Asus Strix OC.
PCPartPicker Part List


Yep, totally seconded. That’s a top of the line system. Nothing to improve there.
Comes the time it can easily be equipped with more storage.
@birdnamnam definitely the master of PCPartPicker build lists.


Well, thank you sir. It’s an honor.

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I have to thank you for always providing the lists for people.
As much as I enjoy helping with the tech stuff here, I hate to dig through those build sites.


There is a trick for that (to make it more pleasant to pick parts, I mean…)
I imagine the system was mine… :smiley:


Admittedly this case was a simple one. There’s not much to think with such a budget. So thanks goes also to OP xD

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I second that. The hard decisions are made with budgets between 1-2K $. Above that, things get easy, and unexpectedly pleasant… :slightly_smiling_face:

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On that note I’d like to say that both of you have regularly contributed to threads I’ve lurked and participated in and always share knowledge with empathy that encourages me to learn about new things that I don’t otherwise have a place to discuss offline so I appreciate your time and insight.

@birdnamnam I’m exploring the parts you linked and am making an effort for myself to try and understand some of the “why’s” behind the decision. I admit that I’m swayed into sorting products by review count and price to set an imaginary standard to go off of without any basis beyond the specifications I’m seeking (e.g. X PCI-E slots, X570 platform).

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Thanks for the kind words. Feel free to ask about anything unclear.
It’s nice to actually see someone really investing time into his build instead of just wanting a quick parts list. We see too much people simply refusing to do the necessary work for learning the basics of their tool.
Edit: I just realized I again misnamed beQuiet! as BeSilent. I always mix it up because of their fans. So please discard that. If there really are BeSilent products out there, they are most likely knock offs and not worth your time or money.

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After looking into the Aorus Master and Xtreme it does seem the Master offers significantly better value. Questions that popped up.

  1. The Aorus Master chipset fan, from the data I’ve gathered, will be quieter than the GPU fans and further dampened by the case so it isn’t worth worrying about the noise. What about the fan failing though? Given this build will running heavy loads do I need to worry about this chipset fan dying on me? A lot of comments online seem to focus on this as the big disadvantage to the Xtreme.

  2. A more general question about heat and noise management. Are there any relevant threads here about what sort of BIOS parameter configurations, tips and tricks Blender users use for their render builds? For example the Master chipset fan profiles can be tailored with the Aorus BIOS so I’m curious about the theory behind peoples BIOS settings here for rendering machines.

  1. Chipset fans aren’t new to motherboards. I used to have an old Asus Rampage (X79 chipset), one of the best mobos ever imo, which had a chipset fan. It worked fluently for several years without issues. Most X570 motherboards are equipped with a chipset fan, with the exception of 1 or 2 models (one of them is the Aorus Xtreme). Not much you can do about this. Most logical options (the Aorus Extreme is too expensive), would have a chipset fan. These fans have an estimated lifespan of several thousands of constant operating hours (I’ve seen some with 60.000+ hours, which is equal to almost 7 years of 24/7 non-stop operation). But there are several articles and tests which show that some motherboards would work fine even without the chipset fan. So, don’t worry too much about this. If something goes wrong during the first 3 years, you can replace the motherboard using its warranty. After that, if the chipset fan dies, then I’m almost certain that by that time there will be fan replacement kits available in the market or other workarounds to address this issue.

  2. You should search articles and forum threads related to the specific motherboard you finally choose. Not Blender specific. I’m sure there is tons of information on how to optimize various voltages (the Vcore, basically) in order to have the best possible temps. Just a tip. I’ve seen many thermal issues caused by high DRAM voltages. High frequency RAM kits usually have XMP profiles with high DRAM voltages. These voltages affect directly the cpu temperatures too (it’s an imc thing, let’s not get too technical about this right now). So, pay attention to this factor, because it can affect the operating temps by a lot.

Is your logic for the 280mm over the 360mm that the two 140’s will be quieter while running ever so slightly warmer?

With the 3950X wouldn’t I want to apply more fans? I am guessing and can’t back up the idea that more fans wold be better.

From what I’m reading the jump to 280mm is the most important while 360mm offers diminished returns and in some cases worse performance though I can’t figure out how dual GPU’s will factor into this since I suspect they’ll raise the temperature of the area around them.