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I can still hear you...


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71 replies to this topic

#1
Gorth

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Long story short, I have this antiquity which was scheduled for retirement when the prices for the up and coming Nehalem cpu's have dropped from their initial (ridiculous) prices, probably some time after New Year.

I found out yesterday, that I have gotten an unplanned for bonus from work, combined with my old computer coughing and sputtering more and more (it's kept together by chewing gum and super glue atm), I thought I might get my self something to get me by until mid next year.

Since my old rig sounds like a 737 taking off, threatening to give me tinnitus, I thought I would try the silent option rather than necessarily the latest and fastest. If it can run NWN2 as decently as my work laptop, then it's good enough for me.

The point is, I don't want to hear it. 20 meters of monitor cable and wireless keyboard and mouse doesn't count o:)

Any advice on what to look for, brands, makes and models etc. welcome, as long as it is quiet.

How good is passive/water cooling? Any pitfalls? Is it overrated? Etc.

Oh, and it has to be available in Australia, so no newegg etc. Just what stuff to look for, I have to find it down here :lol:

Anybody who can help me enjoy a moment of silence?!?

#2
mkreku

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Passive cooling is good, but it will never be completely silent. You always need at least ONE fan to keep airflow high enough inside a case full of passively cooled gear. Watercooling is also pretty silent but not dead silent. You need a small pump to make the water flow through the system. I also happen to think watercooling is more of a hassle than anything.

Antec makes some very good silent cases, mainly because they allow you to hang your harddrives on rubber thingies. They also have soft rubber feet to stand on so they don't transport sound as much as some other cases. I've tried the P180 and Sonata 3 cases and they are both very good.

Both Nvidia and ATI have passively cooled GPU's. Both get very hot but Nvidia's version (of their fastest passively cooled card) breaks the 100 degrees Celsius barrier and that is just insane. I'd aim for a Sapphire HD3870 Ultimate:

http://www.sapphiret...ew.php?gpid=217

Harddrives are usually louder than one thinks. If you're really interested in a silent computer, you need to invest in a SSD. I'd wait for Samsung's newest SSD's to hit the market. It's 256 GB and supposed to be cheaper than the current SSD's:

http://www.appleinsi...acbook_air.html

The CPU cooler can easily be passive if you go for one of the midrange Core 2 Duo CPU's. Or you can throw money in the lake by buying a top-end CPU and underclock it to get the temperature down.. Anyhow, the Thermaltake HR-01 Plus has been getting great reviews and it's completely fanless:

http://www.thermalri...W50aHVzaWFzdA==

The last thing that makes sound in your case is the PSU. I'd probably recommend the Antec Phantom here, but that's getting old.. I'm sure there are newer, better models now, but I must say I have lost track of it all. Someone else shuold be able to help you there.

#3
Gorth

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Thanks Mkreku, I'll follow those links and catch up on my reading when it gets daylight here again... :lol:

#4
Gorth

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Antec makes some very good silent cases, mainly because they allow you to hang your harddrives on rubber thingies. They also have soft rubber feet to stand on so they don't transport sound as much as some other cases. I've tried the P180 and Sonata 3 cases and they are both very good.

Both Nvidia and ATI have passively cooled GPU's. Both get very hot but Nvidia's version (of their fastest passively cooled card) breaks the 100 degrees Celsius barrier and that is just insane. I'd aim for a Sapphire HD3870 Ultimate:

I am currently "investigating" (as in 'probably going to get') the Antec P190. If nothing else, for the convenience of already built in 1200w worth of powersupply (split in two and both in a chamber of their own in the casing). Plus, I found somebody who ships it to where I live :lol:

Gfx Card looks good. I'll do a price comparison down here to find a reseller.

Harddrives are usually louder than one thinks. If you're really interested in a silent computer, you need to invest in a SSD. I'd wait for Samsung's newest SSD's to hit the market. It's 256 GB and supposed to be cheaper than the current SSD's:

Well, I hope to build something within the next 4 weeks :lol:

The CPU cooler can easily be passive if you go for one of the midrange Core 2 Duo CPU's. Or you can throw money in the lake by buying a top-end CPU and underclock it to get the temperature down..

I am curious about your objection to water cooling? I'll admit complete ignorance on the subject.

#5
Gorth

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Ok, since I usually put my foot where my mouth is, I went ahead and bought the casing and power supply. It should arrive during the week.

Antec Performance One P182

Antec TruePower Quatro 1000

While the P190 looked nice with it's built in 1200w PSU, it didn't look like it was optimised for "Quietness" the same way as the P182. Only dual layered soundproofing and a big gaping hole in the side where a lot of noise can escape.

Unfortunately, they didn't have the gfx card You suggested, so I am holding off for a moment on that one. I'll have to browse a few more shops to locate one it seems (I found a smaller/older model, HD3450 or something, but why settle for second best?).

Maybe I should look for a motherboard next... :sorcerer:

#6
Kaftan Barlast

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Why did you get a 1000watt PSU? Thats crazy amounts of power thats only necessary with quad-SLi or if you plan to use a dozen hardrives spinning 24/day

#7
Gorth

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Well, you never know. Better to be on the safe side :sorcerer:

#8
mkreku

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Holy crap, haha, that's some serious overkill on the PSU choice :D It won't be silent, but when the zombie apocalypse hits you'll probably be able to use it to power your house or a small nuclear reactor or something.

Anyhow, don't go for the 3450! Only the 3850 and the 3870 (x2) are worth getting out of the ATI family of GPU's at the moment. The rest is pure crap without exception. You might want to wait for the 47X0 series to come out. They're supposed to be released at the end of June, but I don't know if any of them will be silent. Probably not.

I've also heard that Samsung's ordinary HD's are the most silent of the HD's out there. The Samsung Spinpoint F1 is probably the best 1TB drive out there right now. It's crushes the competition in gaming performance while being a bit more silent than Hitachi's offerings (I use Hitachi..), but much louder than Western Digital's Caviar GP. So a slow WD GP or a fast Samsung F1..

#9
Gorth

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Anyhow, don't go for the 3450! Only the 3850 and the 3870 (x2) are worth getting out of the ATI family of GPU's at the moment. The rest is pure crap without exception. You might want to wait for the 47X0 series to come out. They're supposed to be released at the end of June, but I don't know if any of them will be silent. Probably not.

I can probably wait a week or two (I've given myself 4 weeks to build a PC) and have a look at it. In the meantime, I am looking for a store/reseller of the 38xx down here :shifty:

I've also heard that Samsung's ordinary HD's are the most silent of the HD's out there. The Samsung Spinpoint F1 is probably the best 1TB drive out there right now. It's crushes the competition in gaming performance while being a bit more silent than Hitachi's offerings (I use Hitachi..), but much louder than Western Digital's Caviar GP. So a slow WD GP or a fast Samsung F1..

Taking notes... In the meantime, I can look around for motherboard, cpu and memory :sorcerer:

Edit: I am probably going to buy a new retail Windows Vista Ultimate 64 bit (as I would like at least 8gb of ram for some gfx applications). Any special requirements for motherboard/cpu/ram?

#10
samm

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Motherboard: make sure your processor fits ;) also, if you want a silent pc check some reviews on power usage, the less it uses, the more silent you pc can be cooled. Same thing is true for every component, including CPU and GPU (making the absurd 1kW PSU even more overkill ;)), so:

Anyhow, don't go for the 3450! Only the 3850 and the 3870 (x2) are worth getting out of the ATI family of GPU's at the moment. The rest is pure crap without exception.

The 3850 is good, too, but it's so cheap right now that it can be considered budget-class, and that's probably not what Gorth's looking for. Otoh, chances for it being cooled passively are bigger than with a 3870, let alone x2...

Oh, and if you want 8GB of RAM, the mainboard needs 4 Ram-slots.

[edit]Yeah, I'm probably stating the obvious, but sometimes the most obvious things are overlooked. No harm intended :)

Edited by samm, 15 June 2008 - 10:50 AM.


#11
Gorth

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[edit]Yeah, I'm probably stating the obvious, but sometimes the most obvious things are overlooked. No harm intended ;)

It wasn't obvious to me ;)

The PSU may be passed on to a different PC later (next year), but for now I need some place to put the components and see it work when switched on.

#12
Bokishi

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Don't listen to those fools about the PSU, that's not overkill that's just being "ready"

#13
Gorth

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Ok, I am currently looking at the Asus P5E3 motherboard. It supports optional Water/Passive cooling to the fans and has 2 x PCIe2.0 x16 (both @ x16 mode) for the 3870 Ultimate card.

(and 4 memory slots for 8gb of DDR3 ram)

Any reason why I shouldn't go with this one? :)

#14
Bokishi

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Get Crossfire bro

#15
Gorth

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Isn't that sort or the ATI equivalent of nVidias SLI?

#16
Bokishi

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Ya

#17
Gorth

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Thought so :)

For good or for ill, I just bought a Asus P5E3 Premium - X48 chipset motherboard.

With Crossfire support :p

Still looking for them gfx cards though :p

#18
samm

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Two graphics cards = twice the heat :* just get some big, slow, expensive fans to create a nice airflow in the system, if the ones included in the case are not good/silent enough. And tell us how setting up the P182 was, because I'm looking into getting one of these too...

#19
Walsingham

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I actually like engine noise of all kinds. I find it soothing.

#20
Gorth

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I actually like engine noise of all kinds. I find it soothing.

Hey, you should have joined the armoured brigades rather than the footsloggers :rolleyes:

Looking at RAM... I've purchased noname stuff in the past. Any particular brands to look out for (or watch out for if it's bad)?

Looking at prices, I see that 8gb Corsair DDR3 1333 is about 800$ and 8gb of G.Skill DDR3 1600 is about 900$, so I assume this is the approx. price range I am looking at. Should I look elsewhere completely?




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