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 Post subject: Need help building a silent $800ish Mini PC
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:55 am
Posts: 2
Location: Toronto
Hello, I'm looking into building a silent pc for around $700-900 for my gf. I'm not very experienced building computers in general just to let you guys know.

I'd like some suggestions on a build. The PC will be used for word docs, internet, hd video, and light gaming (old games like warcraft 3) but I'd like it to be able to at least run newer games decently. I want it to be an attractive mini tower, and to put more cash into the gpu rather than the cpu. Please help me out =]

I'm thinking the build should be along these lines:
Case: Antec P180 mini
Mobo: No clue.. intel mobo for i3 or i5
CPU: i3 or i5
GPU: Single card that's cool and quiet
HDD: Cheapest WD Green, upgrade to SSD later
Memory: No clue, 4gb of anything
PSU: Whatever accomodates my components and is quiet
OS, monitor, keyboard, mouse: I already have Windows 7, monitor, kb/mouse so these don't have to be included in the budget


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:52 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:06 pm
Posts: 3395
Location: US
I personally don't like that Antec P180 min. I n otice that it is no longer on the SPCR recommended list.

I think the Antec solo is a better case even though Antec considers it to be a lesser ranked case in their linup.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:08 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:15 pm
Posts: 336
Location: Portland, Oregon
You can do it for less than $900, easily.

The Mini P180 is a mATX case, but it's the size of a standard full size ATX tower. If you want something smaller you might think of some other suggestions... Solo, TJ08 or 3480. I have the 3480 and you'll have a tough time making it "silent" though you can get it pretty quiet.

I would suggest i3-530 and whatever decent motherboard Newegg is bundling it with for an extra $10 off. They'll all perform with 10% of each other, it's more about what you need out of the board that matters. Skip the i5-6xx series, they perform only marginally better than the i3-5xx. If you want to move up in processing power the next best step is the i5-7xx series, but these will be hotter and harder to cool quietly.

CPU Cooler - try the Scythe Mugen. It's top 5 rated and the cheapest of the bunch by a decent margin. You can run it passive (no fan) if it's near one of the case fans on an i3. For the i5's you can use the included fan to keep the temps down.

GPU: look for the Powercolor 5750 passively cooled. There are two of them, either will be just as good, one of them (Go Green!) stays under 75 watts peak power if you are concerned about it. It will actually do you pretty good, even with modern games.

Any decent quality 380 watt or higher power supply will be more than enough. Make sure it's 80+ Bronze certified. Both of the Antec cases I mentioned above come with one that will do you just fine. If you choose to go i5-7xx then you may think about 450 to 500 watts for your PS.

RAM - whatever the cheapest 2 GB or 4 GB DDR3 Dual Channel you can find is. If it's Win 7 32 bit then stick with 2 GB. If it's 64 bit then get 4 GB. Any more is pretty much a waste for casual gaming.

I'm guessing all of the above will run you in the neighborhood of $600- $650. Take the remaining $250 - $300 and get in on the SSD thing right now!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:58 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:06 pm
Posts: 3395
Location: US
psyopper wrote:
You can do it for less than $900, easily.

The Mini P180 is a mATX case, but it's the size of a standard full size ATX tower. If you want something smaller you might think of some other suggestions... Solo, TJ08 or 3480. I have the 3480 and you'll have a tough time making it "silent" though you can get it pretty quiet.

I would suggest i3-530 and whatever decent motherboard Newegg is bundling it with for an extra $10 off. They'll all perform with 10% of each other, it's more about what you need out of the board that matters. Skip the i5-6xx series, they perform only marginally better than the i3-5xx. If you want to move up in processing power the next best step is the i5-7xx series, but these will be hotter and harder to cool quietly.

CPU Cooler - try the Scythe Mugen. It's top 5 rated and the cheapest of the bunch by a decent margin. You can run it passive (no fan) if it's near one of the case fans on an i3. For the i5's you can use the included fan to keep the temps down.

GPU: look for the Powercolor 5750 passively cooled. There are two of them, either will be just as good, one of them (Go Green!) stays under 75 watts peak power if you are concerned about it. It will actually do you pretty good, even with modern games.

Any decent quality 380 watt or higher power supply will be more than enough. Make sure it's 80+ Bronze certified. Both of the Antec cases I mentioned above come with one that will do you just fine. If you choose to go i5-7xx then you may think about 450 to 500 watts for your PS.

RAM - whatever the cheapest 2 GB or 4 GB DDR3 Dual Channel you can find is. If it's Win 7 32 bit then stick with 2 GB. If it's 64 bit then get 4 GB. Any more is pretty much a waste for casual gaming.

I'm guessing all of the above will run you in the neighborhood of $600- $650. Take the remaining $250 - $300 and get in on the SSD thing right now!


Very good! I differ with you only on one point. It's a pain in the rear to add memory to existing memory, especially when you are trying to match what you bought and installed 2 years age. In addition Win7 has reports of chewing up and overrunning its memory. I don't know if extra memory will help, but it won't hurt.

Get least expensive memory, but get some extra. In this day and age 4G is almost too little. Get at least 6G.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:55 am
Posts: 2
Location: Toronto
Thanks for the comments guys. My gf decided she did not really care if it was silent and wanted a antec 900 two instead. =\

I ended up getting her the antec 900 two, asus p7h55d-m evo, core i3-530, saphire vapor x radeon 5770, 4gb gskill ddr3 1600, wd 640gb black, and a corsair vx450.

It's audible but not nearly as loud as my comp (very annoying).

I'll use the advice for when I build my comp which i plan to make very silent!


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