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Quiet, compact gaming computer DIY - Page 2

post #16 of 38
Thread Starter 
I'm listening to my comp now, and loudness goes at follows:

PSU is the loudest, closely followed by the working HD, and then the CPU fan which i can manually adjust is very quiet when down low.

I'm looking at a review of a miniATX motherboard. It's test system is giving me a good ideas for a base for my system.
post #17 of 38
Well.. It's not that hard

Antec NSK1380 or NSK3480 cheap, decent quiet power supply - $100

Intel C2D E6750- $200

Get the Zalman CNPS9500 cpu fan - $60

The WD Hard Drives are very quiet, i think 500GB is enough? - $100

A mini ATX motherboard of your choice, make sure it has a heatsink instead of a fan (P5K-VM looks good, but i have no idea of what to look for in a miniATX) - $75

Ram- 2x 1gb DDR2-800 sticks - $30

Graphics card- i don't know how big your monitor is.. but i think the best choices are: 8600gt (low-end) - $100
or 8800gt (high-end) - $220

Just don't buy the galaxy branded 8800gt, the fan runs at 100% all the time and it's extremely loud

Lightscribe DVD-Writer - $30 (i hardly use lightscribe, but it's like a dollar extra..)

So.. $695 or $815+ monitor+ OS+ keyboard& mouse (an approximation, but i think it should be fairly accurate)

It won't be silent, but it will be quiet enough that you won't hear it unless it's a quiet night

I picked the 'sweet spot' for all the components i think.. It'll run all the newest games, and will do so at high resolutions with maxed settings at 1680x1050 except for crysis if you get the 8800gt

EDIT: When did i turn into a geek?
post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SenjStevo View Post
I'm listening to my comp now, and loudness goes at follows:

PSU is the loudest, closely followed by the working HD, and then the CPU fan which i can manually adjust is very quiet when down low.

I'm looking at a review of a miniATX motherboard. It's test system is giving me a good ideas for a base for my system.
mini != micro and my link in the earlier post had this mobo and pretty much every other g33 and g35 mobo.

For quiet psu look at seasonic and corsair, suspend your hdds so they don't vibrate inside the case, and get a thermal right ultra 120 and some yateloons at 7 volts.
post #19 of 38
Thread Starter 
Yeah i ment that Mini is something else, am i right? When buying any computer stuff i always wish i lived in the US, so much choice...for so little money..sigh..
post #20 of 38
The smallness factor really limits how quiet you can make it. A case like the Antec NSK1380 is definitely small, but with only the one PSU fan for cooling the whole system, I wonder how quiet it could possibly be when gaming with even a midrange card like the 8600GT (which is all I'd dare stick in there).

Going to a case like the NSK3480 separates the power supply and CPU/GPU areas, which will make for a quieter, and cooler system, but it's larger overall (but still much smaller than a regular ATX mid tower).

To be able to fit the high-end graphics cards like the 8800GT, Radeon 3870, etc, you'll almost certainly need a full-size case, due to the length of these modern graphics cards. And to cool one quietly with an Accelero S1, you'll definitely need a case with some room to the main chamber.

The Asus P5K-VM looks like the best uATX mobo right now for the C2D. It has all solid capacitors, a nice layout, and good chipset.

I'd try to get an Asus DVD burner, either the 1814BL or 2014BL, as both are excellent rippers in EAC (C2 error correction, no caching of audio) if that matters for you (and since you're on head-fi I'd think that it would).

Make sure to get low-latency RAM, and 2GB should be all you need unless you're going to run Vista 64bit. Patriot LLK, Corsair XMS2, and Crucial Ballstix are all great options in this area.

Make sure you get a video card with 512MB of RAM if you plan on gaming at 1080P resolutions or higher, as cards with 256 really take a nose dive in performance at high resolutions.
post #21 of 38
^ Iron Dreamer gave some really good tips there. Which is the main direction I am heading, microATX, which you should consider. I really have no reason to actaully do it since my Asus P5B Deluxe Wifi mobo is working so good, but I just killed my Enermax Charka case so I'm taking the opportunity. I'll be purchasing a that Asus G35 mobo and their microATX case as well. And bring everything over from my old case. For me this is a downgrade, but my guess is the two mobo will perform similar (if not I might have to box it up and return). I won't be concerned since I don't play any new games anymore. This seem to be the trend today, to get everything smaller.

Unfortunately there is no microATX mobo that uses DDR3 rams, so if you are going to purchase a microATX case, I highly recommend waiting to see if there will be one that support DDR3 soon. And even if you do get DDR2 rams, it is cheap enough to invest in speed at higher than 1000mhz. In some rare case it is possible for a ram with lower timing to beat a faster ram with higher timing. Patriot offer the most affordable ram at best peformance, but generally not for overclocking. Crucial higher end rams are pretty good too. Oh god, I remember purchasing that Patriot 5-5-4-9 for $294 a year ago. It really makes me want to cry.

The main concern for me is how well a 135mm PSU fan and two 80mm are going to cool a microATX case with a 8800GTS, my past experience is that PSU with 120mm fans cool extremely well. You only need super cool temp because it is exaggerated in the gaming market, it is not a necesity for a cpu to run at 100*F at all time. I highly recommend buying the expensive Scythe or Enermax fans, they have fans rated below 10db and should be inaudible. You said "gaming" in the thread title, which indicates good video cards, it will be difficult to get them to be quiet unless you buy a fanless card or water cool it, or some very expensive aluminum case. I use the software RivaTuner (there isn't a reason to get ATI card right now) to control the fan speed.

As for PSU I think this market is really overpriced, especially some $150 ones that still use cheaper capacitors, but don't waste money on more wattage than you need. For example, I think SLI is redundant unless you are that much into gaming, it is cheaper to buy a single very expensive card, than the SLI path which rewuire you: an SLI mono, two cards, a very expensive PSU, ending up costing much more electricity, and only average 25% gain of performance for 3d graphic. Don't concern too much with the "80 PLUS" efficiency tag, it is just a marketing thing to make the product cost more (ie THX). My current PSU uses two 80mm fans and was a bit noisy so I installed my own 10db Enermax fan to my PSU and connect it to my Zalman 6 fans controlller, along with all other case fans.

The first Geforce9 card is already available, I would not buy an 8 series card right now and wait for more of the 9 cards to be released. Since the 8800gt is such a big hit, the best in term of performance and value in the 8 series, maybe wait until the 9800gt comes out.

Also about CPUs, I highly recommend getting a quad core, it is cheap enough now. There is a good performance increase in term of allowing many softwares running at once. The Core2Quad E6600 is only $250 now, and there is also the cheaper Xeon 3210 that works with the standard 775 socket mobo too, so for me it is a much better value than spending $200 on a dualcore at the same speed.

Overall I think the most afforable and versatile solution for a quiet computer, if you get an Enermax Charka case which has a 250mm fan and use a 120mm PSU for exhaust, I beleive that will be the only two fans you need in the whole case to keep everything cool and quiet. I don't know what harddrive people uses, but I never ever had issues with noisy HDD, not 7200rpm anyway, my Western Digital is also quiet except for those fast read or writes that it makes the not so loud grinding noises, which is actaully fun to listen to. If you partition it right and stretch the work load between two different harddrives or array then it would be much smoother.
post #22 of 38
Thread Starter 
Thanks.

I forgot all about the impact my current cheap DVD writer was having on ripping, i should really get that sorted before i seriously start using my pc as a source.
post #23 of 38
I'm actually loading the OS on my new build, hopefully I'll have it complete and up to par in a day or two. You can see my other build around here somewhere. I switched to SFF for the moment with the same issues, size, silence and space. look at the SG01 case with a NT06 lite cooler. It's a passive cooler and uses the PSU to pull heat away from the processor, I've been using it for the past few days on my q6600 and it's working great, between 85-90F not enough cooling for the qx6700 though, (had to remove and will probably sell)
post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by brotherlen View Post
I'm actually loading the OS on my new build, hopefully I'll have it complete and up to par in a day or two. You can see my other build around here somewhere. I switched to SFF for the moment with the same issues, size, silence and space. look at the SG01 case with a NT06 lite cooler. It's a passive cooler and uses the PSU to pull heat away from the processor, I've been using it for the past few days on my q6600 and it's working great, between 85-90F not enough cooling for the qx6700 though, (had to remove and will probably sell)
Fahrenheit is confusing. Are those your load temps with the q6600 and nt06? If so that is phenomenal! How much for the qx6700
post #25 of 38
I just built a very silent system. Use the Enermax fans. They have magnetic bearings and they're cheap and death quite. Also check out The MCE Store: Media Center & HTPC Cases, PVR Cards, and Components at the Best Price

They specialize in silence for Home Theater use.
post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderman View Post
Fahrenheit is confusing. Are those your load temps with the q6600 and nt06? If so that is phenomenal! How much for the qx6700
I think he means celcius, i think i have to leave my computer in the freezer if i want the cpu to be that cool.
post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by terrymx View Post
I think he means celcius, i think i have to leave my computer in the freezer if i want the cpu to be that cool.
if it was celsius then he just fried his chip. I think the max case temp for a chip is like 85C before they start throttling.
post #28 of 38
The easiest / cheapest way would be to buy a Antec P180/182 a Scythe Ninja heat pipe cooler or equivalent. Run all fans on low, it is my experience that the fans supplied with the Antec P182 EU version will run just fine being fed 7v without hum or other vibration issues.

The general trick is to run the fans in the 3-layered Antec at 7v with a big passive cooled CPU cooler. That way you get decent cooling and very low noise emissions. I ran my old setup like that with a thermal right CPU cooler and a Q6600 G0 stepping without being that hot stayed around 60 during load which is quite low.

While the P182 is the quietest affordable case the smaller NSK chassis from Antec will do just fine they just lack some of the refinements that the P182 has.

The new Intel CPUs in the E8x00 series run even cooler so they could possibly do fine and perhaps even allow room for some overclocking without adding fans.

Just make sure you get a passive cooled GFX or one with a low noise cooler installed on. The same goes for the northbridge cooler on your motherboard.

If you browse around techPowerUp! - The latest in hardware and gaming you will find that Antecs NSK and P-series chassis are used in a lot of "quiet" rigs.

I hope you find the case and hardware you are looking for.

EDIT: There are two really quiet fans on the market. Noctua fans from the silent series, and NeXus real silent fans.
post #29 of 38
Just saw this new project at TPU and I thought I would just post it as inspiration, I hope that is O.k. : Silent PC Rev 2.0 - techPowerUp! Forums

The part of the forum if you need specific advice on components and cases: System Builder's Advice - techPowerUp! Forums

Cheers,
Frederik
post #30 of 38
Thread Starter 
Right heres my rough draft:

MicroATX Case:
Antec NSK3300(smaller and a bit cheaper in the uk i think) OR
Antec NSK2400(better cooling, kinda cool horizontal audio stack look)

Mobo:
Asus P5K-VM G33 supports faster RAM speeds but..

The P5E-VM HDMI G35 or P5E-VM SE G35 are newer.
The SE version is about £30 cheaper but i'm not sure why apart from the lack of HDMI.

CPU:
Core2Quad E6600(as recommended by terrymx)

Heatsink/fan?
Don't know yet, there are many options, i'll probably post on SilentPC forums and find out which heatsink would be best taking into account the size of a microATX case.

Hard Disk:
Any Western Digital Caviar seems to be a good option.

RAM:
I'm not interested in overclocking, so i guess any good DRR2-800 or 1066 will be fine. 2GB minimum i would think, maybe 4GB because i have Vista-64bit.

VGA+cooling:
Again this depends on the microATX case limitations, but i'd love to get a 8800GT and Artic Cooling Accelero S1
Or i'll have to be satified with either a 8600GT, the newer 9600 model or a ATI card which is small enough.

Optical Drive:
Asus DVD burner, either the 1814BL OR 2014BL(cheers Iron_Dreamer)

Now all i need is £600
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