I've basically been a lurker for some time now... exhaustively reading the wealth of research and material here to zero in on my choice components. I have no need for a top-of-the-line gaming rig. As a computer guy who constantly digs around in other people's computers though, I want a really 'nice' rig when I'm at home.
This is my inaudible rig built in a Lian-Li PC-B25S -- a gorgeous case with truly magnificent finishes and craftsmanship. Specs, while maybe not top-of-the-line, are perfect for my needs.
Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 @ 2.66GHz/4GB ram
Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L Rev 2 Mainboard
1.25 TB total harddrive space on a 250GB hdd and a 1TB hdd, both are nothing fancy.
Graphics are an XFX ATI HD-4650 1GB. I replaced the whiny stock gpu cooler with an Arctic Cooling Accelero S1 Rev.2... passive, it shaves 10C off my idle temps and when stressed the card rarely, if ever, reaches the idle temp of 49C which was what the stock cooling did.
The PC-B25S has a simple grown-up sort of look, with a few oddities here and there -- which I like, because even the untrained eye realizes there is more to this thing than just some big box store PC. The rear and top baffles are covered in noise-dampening foam. The top off the case has a 140mm fan which is the only fan I can ever hear if I turn them all up to full.
The inside of my baby has very few wires interrupting air and workflow. This case has made cable management very simple.
That's what she looks like with the VGA/Accelero S1 combo installed.
One more compartment photo for good measure
I was able to sneak all wires in this area basically out of view. There is a hole up there in the m/b tray which, isn't necessarily for cable management as its very small, but I still managed to get the additional power cable thru there.
I've read many articles here about making an indirect path for air to cut down on noise escaping. This was what excited me most about the Lian-Li PC-B25S design... Everywhere that air enters or exits is shrouded with baffles and noise damping foam, save for the PSU which is positioned farthest away from the end user.
When I bought the tower, I also slipped a Nexus NX-5300 into my shopping cart. I couldn't resist... It's a beautiful PSU in terms of noise... I can't even hear it when I put my ear close to it.
That's the rear baffle -- note the thin layer of noise dampening foam that lines it.
Lastly, my accelero. This is one gorgeous piece of equipment. When swithching from active to passive cooling, I was anticipating a slight increase in temperatures. Not so. I have seen a dramatic decrease in temperatures and its 100% silent.
So, that's my 'rig' as it sits today! Nothing terribly special in terms of hardware but I love this computer. A friend of mine who has an Antec P183 says my machine is 'ridiculously' quiet... that's music to my ears
Thanks to everyone here for providing research and resources for silent computing. You have saved me, and will continue to do so as I do plan to keep investing in this rig.