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 Post subject: My first quiet PC .
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 2:21 am 
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Joined: Fri May 24, 2013 1:17 am
Posts: 12
Hi , new at this forum . I´m on the go to build a silent PC ( more true : my brother is going to build it for me ).
I read this article : http://mashable.com/2013/02/17/worlds-q ... -computer/
My question is : I have just bought Seasonic platinum fanless 520 W PSU (not installed yet).
And now I´m going to choose a PC case . In the article above they have Antec P 183 v3 .
Is the Antec a good combibation with the Seasonic I just bought ?
My current setup is : Mobo: Asus P8Z68-V PRO GEN3 .
CPU : i7 2600K 3.40GHz.
16GB RAM DDR3.
GPU : ATI Radeon HD 5450 (passive cooling).
CPU cooling : Noctua NH-D14.
PSU :Corsair HX850W 80PLUS.
2 ssd drives . 3 WD SATA drives.
PC case :Fractal design R4 ( 2 fans in the front and 1 in the back).
OS:Windows 7 64 bit on ssd drive no 1. Windows 7 32 bit on ssd drive no 2.
Audio: external interface :Motu .
So the primary to do is to replace my current PSU with Seasonic ,and maybe change CPU cooling . And put it in the Antec P183 with the case mods named in the article above .
Is it something more I can do to get the quietest setup .
I only use my PC for DAW use , no games or video watching ( only some DAW tutorials).
I would be very glad for some advice though I want the quietest setup that is possible so I can record music in the same room where I have my PC .
All the best.


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 Post subject: Re: My first quiet PC .
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 7:34 am 
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Hi and welcome to SPCR.

The P183 v3 is a great case for quiet/silent computing. That said, I think you could still use the Fractal R4 with some fine tuning as it's also a great case.

- Other than the PSU, what are the prevalent noise sources?
- Have you made use of the R4's fan controller and/or Asus' Fan Xpert s/w utility to set up a silent fan profile?
- Are you using the stock fans with the R4 and what's the configuration?
- Does your DAW software use GPU acceleration for any tasks? If not, why have an HD 5450 in there when you can use the HD3000 igp in your CPU? If so, then maybe the 5450 is underpowered for the task.
- What WD HDDs are you using? Are they noticable? Is it vibration noise or seek clicking or high freq noise?
- The CPU cooler is best in class. leave it!
- ...and yes, the 520FL is a good fit...for both cases. Note: You really could have bought the 400W.

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 Post subject: Re: My first quiet PC .
PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 9:31 am 
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Joined: Fri May 24, 2013 1:17 am
Posts: 12
Thanks !
- The CPU fans and seek clicking from the SATA drives .
- I have the R4`s fan controller on 5V .I have tried Asus Fan Expert with different settings
but I couldn`t hear any noise difference .
A friend of mine recently installed Kazemaster PRO (Scythe) but he only connected it to
the two front and rear case fans . I have them on 400 rpm .
- Noctua NF-S12B in the front and R4`s stock fan in the rear , all on 400 rpm .
- My DAW (REAPER) have settings so I can "Refresh speed of the user interface graphics".
(Fast or lazy).
- 699GB WDC WD7501AALS-00J7B0 (SATA).
932GB WDC WD10EACS-65D6B0 (SATA).
932GB WD10 EARS-00Y5B1 SCSI Disk Device (SATA).
I can hear seek clicking.
- Good to hear .
- My brother told me to buy 400W , but I could only find 520W in Sweden .
What can I do to sort of fine tuning in the R4 ?
All the best.


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 Post subject: Re: My first quiet PC .
PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 8:31 am 
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400rpm case fans should be silent.

The seek noise is probably coming from the 750GB WD Black drive (WD7501AALS-00J7B0). The two WD Green drives should be pretty quiet.

You could greatly improve the noise level by cutting down the number of HDDs. Two 1TB drives and one 750GB is a lot of spinning disks. Maybe you could just get one 3TB WD Red drive and call it a day.

Are you just recording a couple of live mics or are there also tons of virtual instruments or something? If the former, just toss the Black drive. If the latter, there's more to discuss...like using an enclosure for the hard drive.

Anyway, here's the initial test: unplug the 750GB Black drive and see if the seek noise goes away.

cooler fan: as I mentioned before, the NH-D14 is tops for cooling/noise. So, there must be something wrong in your fan control set up.
- My guess is your bios is set up for PWM controlled fans when it should be set for the 3-pin voltage controlled Noctua fans. If it's set wrong, the fans may just run full out all the time. Take a look. After that, you should be able to use Fan Xpert to make a decent fan profile. You can also use the ULN adapter cables to mess with the max speed.

Hopefully, an Asus P8Z68-V owner will join the discussion on how to best control 3-pin cpu fans.

gfx card: yeah, I don't see a reason for you to have a graphics card in there when you can just use the integrated graphics on the cpu....unless you need it for extra monitors or something.

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 Post subject: Re: My first quiet PC .
PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 8:23 am 
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Joined: Fri May 24, 2013 1:17 am
Posts: 12
Thanks !
Yes I have tested to turn off the case fans and I heard no difference in noise level
when I had them on 400 rpm or turned off . So I thought it was the PSU and the CPU cooler
that made most noise . (seek clicking is only audible when I start my PC and when I load
Vst instruments from the 750GB WD Black drive (WD7501AALS-00J7B0) ).
I think you´re right about the 750GB WD Black drive , because I hear the seek clicking
when I load Vsti from that HDD . I also remember that the 750GB WD Black drive made
lot of seek clicking noises in my first PC that only had that HDD and a non isolated
case from Lian-Li.
I can not unplug the 750GB WD Black drive because I have a froozen shoulder that gives
me lot of pain , so I have to wait until my brother is coming in July .
( I´m also very bad at computer´s )
Just now I mainly compose with heavy Vsti and uses the 750GB WD Black drive as sample
library drive .
I´m using one of the two WD Green drives as project drive, and one as storage drive .
I need big HDD´s for both projects, sample library and storage .
(I also have one 1.5 TB external HDD for backup )
When you say : like using an enclosure for the hard drive , do you mean some sort of
insulation ?
My brother can check in the Bios if the NH-D14 have a wrong setup .
What I have heard I can use the Kazemaster PO to reduce the speed of the NH-D14 ?
It has 6 channels .
I have two monitors .Can I use the integrated graphics on the CPU then ?
I have googled but couldn´t find if ..
I thought the Radeon HD5450 was dead silent when it is passive cooled ?
In this review : http://mashable.com/2013/02/17/worlds-q ... -computer/
I read that the Antec P183 has two kind of case mods:
1 : Antec P1xx REV2 General Quiet Modification Package .
2 : AcoustiPack Acoustic Composite Sheet Package .
Is this the best case mods available ?
I found reviews on no 2 and it seems to be very good .
Do you think it´s possible to make my PC so silent as the Puget Serenity SPCR edition ?
Unless I´m thinking to buy a studio computer cabinet like this one ( I could only find
them in Sweden ) : http://www.jbmusik.se/ljuddampad.php
(But they are quite expensive )
All the best


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 Post subject: Re: My first quiet PC .
PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 12:14 pm 
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Location: Monterey Bay, CA
You may not need to modify the case if you resolve the hard drive and cpu cooler noises. I'd work on those two things first and see if it takes care of the problem. You can always add acoustic dampening material later.

Hard drive. Ok, you use the WD Black for VST samples and it's the seek noise that is noticable. A couple of solutions:
- Best noise solution: consider buying an SSD for your samples. I don't know how large your sample library is...but you can get a 250GB Samsung 840 for ~$170...and the 500GB for $350 or so :)
- Cheapest solution: keep the drive, but put it into an enclosure to dampen the seek noise. It might work well enough. Or, you might also need to add additional noise dampening for the case.
- Next cheapest solution: Replace the drive with a quieter one that has similar* performance. You may still have to throw it into an enclosure. *Wish I knew how much performance you needed...this is mostly sequential read speed of multiple files (VSTs), right?

CPU Cooler. The NH-D14 comes with two cables called ULN adapters (Ultra low noise). They just lower the max voltage to the fans...which lowers the max rpm and noise. If you can't get the bios/fan xpert to do what you want, you can use a separate fan controller. Scythe has a couple of different ones.

graphics card: you can keep it in there. It's just that if the integrated graphics has the outputs you can use for your two monitors, why would you? The card just adds another 8-9W of power for no apparent purpose.

overall silencing: Yeah, you can make a silent PC. Just recognize it's an iterative process. Find the noisiest component and make it quiet. Find the next noisiest component...and so on.

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: My first quiet PC .
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 6:12 am 
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Joined: Fri May 24, 2013 1:17 am
Posts: 12
Thanks a lot !
Based on your advice , I think like this :
- For sample library I go for 2x 500gb ssd . Just now my sample library is about 200gb ,
but it increases . I have found one ssd with 1 tb but it was much more expensive than
2x samsung 840 500gb . Right ?
Instead of my 2 WD Green drives I´ll buy 1 samsung 840 500gb ssd for the ongoing projects.
My 2 WD green I´ll put in a SATA enclosure and use as external drives .
"Wish I knew how much performance you needed...this is mostly sequential read speed of
multiple files (VSTs), right? " Yes , sometimes it takes 5 min to load the Vsti from the
SATA drive so I have been thinking of an ssd before .Otherwise I´m happy with the performance
of the i7 and 16gb Ram .
- I´ll do as you said with the nh-d14.
- When my brother comes in july he will try to use the integrated graphic , but will it
not take power from the cpu ?
- I have one problem with Fractal r4 : I have Scythe kazemaster pro fancontroller
inside the door, but to make it fit it is installed a bit within the case so I have much
problems with accessing the controls (I have both parkinson and a froozen shoulder) .
That is one of the reason I want to buy another case .Either without a door , or
a deeper door .
Then I also wanted a case with less plastic + space for 5 ssd-drives.
Therefore I´m looking at Antec P183 . But now I wonder if there is space for 5 ssd ,
1 optical drive , scythe kazemaster pro and all the other stuff I have ?
When I read about p183 I got the feeling that it´s not so flexible as r4 .
Is there other cases that is good for audio production ?
I´m very grateful for your help .
All the best .


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 Post subject: Re: My first quiet PC .
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:25 am 
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Location: Guatemala
kvastskaft wrote:
Then I also wanted a case with less plastic + space for 5 ssd-drives.
Why do you need 5 ssd drives?

Quote:
Instead of my 2 WD Green drives I´ll buy 1 samsung 840 500gb ssd for the ongoing projects.
Just as a warning, the 840 (none pro) uses TLC NAD, that will wear much faster than MLC, this is why this ssd is so cheap. Depending on the workload can be years or months. For you OS i would go with Samsung 840 pro, but it will be more expensive.

kvastskaft wrote:
- For sample library I go for 2x 500gb ssd . Just now my sample library is about 200gb
Crucial M500 960GB SATA 2.5-Inch 7mm (with 9.5mm adapter) Internal Solid State Drive CT960M500SSD1, this ssd uses MLC nad, so it should last longer than 2x 840 500gb (none pros), also very similar in price $308x2 vs $599. The only downside is they are on huge demand atm, its very hard to get them, most of the laptop users blow the stock in seconds.

kvastskaft wrote:
Therefore I´m looking at Antec P183 . But now I wonder if there is space for 5 ssd , 1 optical drive , scythe kazemaster pro and all the other stuff I have ? When I read about p183 I got the feeling that it´s not so flexible as r4 .
The P183 is also the same as R4 with frontal door, so you might encounter the same issue as R4 with Kazemaster Pro. For the SSD you can place them anywhere, even with velcro, but just in case you want something more solid, the P183 has 4x 5.25 drive bays, so you could just use two with ORICO AC325-4S -BK Full Aluminum 3.5 " to 4 x 2.5 " Hard Drive / SSD Converter , Crucial 256 / 128 GB M4 and Samsung 830 2.5 to 3.5 Mounting Bracket Adapter (3.5 to 4x2.5 Black).

Image

kvastskaft wrote:
That is one of the reason I want to buy another case .Either without a door , or a deeper door. Is there other cases that is good for audio production ?
Without a door, you could go for Antec Solo II, it was reviewed by SPCR, Antec Solo II: The Legacy Lives On, the only issue that i see on the solo is that you want 5 ssd, so i would add ORICO AC325-4S to the bottom of the case (i would drill the bottom of the case and the adapter). Or if you not using the middle cage for your 3.5 hdds you can use the 3x hdd trays for the ssds, and the solo II also has a side mount on the bottom side, and you can add the last wherever with velcro.

Image

Here is a thread with the Solo II and NH-D14 in case you are curious what to expect, Review of the NH-D14 (won at Noctua's Contest).

Image

The good of this case is no door and still has a noise dampening on the doors and suspension of hdds (you could even keep your green drives inside and suspend them), and does have two 5.25 slots for your optical + kazamaster. The only difficult part on the Solo is has little space on the back for cable management, but its not a big deal, you just have to be a little creative into how to hide it or route it (i used the back of the middle cage to help with this), but will requiere more effort than let say Fractal Design Define R4.

Quote:
I have one problem with Fractal r4 : I have Scythe kazemaster pro fancontroller inside the door, but to make it fit it is installed a bit within the case so I have much problems with accessing the controls
The R4 have a fan controller bult in, but its inside the door though, and its just 3 speeds, 12/7/5V. But another option is if you like more the R4 for all your ssd/hdd needs and for the ease of routing and still want a fan controller with levers/nobs, is to get a more flush fan controller like NZXT Sentry Mesh Fan Controller with Five 30 Watts Channels (Black)

Image

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 Post subject: Re: My first quiet PC .
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:32 pm 
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I don't think you'll need the scythe fan controller. Just run the existing fans at low speed through the built-in controller on the case.

For grins, take a look at your RAM utilization when you have all of these VSTs loaded. You might be the rare case of needing more than 16GB RAM :)

Abula - I think the worries about Samsung 840 lifetime is a myth. Hardware.info has been running an endurance test. Looks like 66 yrs with write amplification of 3.

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 Post subject: Re: My first quiet PC .
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:05 am 
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Thanks a lot !
The most RAM utilization I came uo to is 17 % .
I have friends which use heavy Vsti and that is normal for them with the same loading time as I have .
( For one of them it takes 10 min. to load some projects ).
But maybe you´re right , I maybe need more RAM .
SSD : if I got enough money I go for the 840 Pro .For OS I already have a Corsair force 3 112 gb and
it works very good .
I need the samsung 840 pro for sample library and projects .
Thanks for the tip about the mounting bracket , Antec solo II and NZXT fan controller .
My brother is good with cable management .
I bought a couple of Nexus 120 mm real silent since I read the Spcr review about Noctua NH-D14 .
It think my brother can make my PC much more silent with your advices .
I will let you know . :D


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 Post subject: Re: My first quiet PC .
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 12:47 pm 
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If your RAM utilization maxes out at 17% with 16GB RAM, then that is the definition of not needing more RAM. :) I'm actually a little baffled by the low utilization based on your earlier comments of having a lot of VSTs.

Loading time isn't limited by the RAM. It's limited by the hard drives' ability to read quickly enough to feed the RAM.

So, if you don't like waiting around enough to pay the price, replace the HDD with SSD. Any modern SSD with SATA 3 connection will have large block sequential read speeds 3 to 4x faster than your HDD.

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 Post subject: Re: My first quiet PC .
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:47 am 
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That 10 minute load time for your friends' VSTs has been bugging me. If it's only taking data from a hard drive and loading it into RAM, then (assuming he's got 16GB of RAM) that's a transfer rate of 16GB/10 min or 26.7MB/sec. That is crazy slow. There must be something else going on with his PC. Like it's ancient, with a 33MB/s PATA interface or something. Or, his hard drive is horribly fragmented. Or, he's loading more data into RAM than there is RAM and the data ends up back on the hard drive's cache area. Or, the application s/w is horrible at moving data. Or a combination of the above.

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: My first quiet PC .
PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 7:36 am 
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Just know I´m working with samples from Native Instruments and an older version of Vienna symphonic library ,
especially Vienna have long loading time , but I think later Vienna has improved a bit .
I bought Intel 520 series 480 GB for my sample library .
According to reviews Intel 520 is one of the most reliable ssd´s ( so far I heard ).
My brother is coming soon to install the Intel , Seasonic and change the fan settings .
I have learnd from some studio forums that for project drives one shall have at least a 7200rpm drive .
So I bought this one : http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SATA1000S/
I suspect that the Seagate 7200.14 will give more noise than WD green .
What do you think of this hdd enclosure ? http://www.quietpc.com/smartdrive-classic
When I asked the studio pros about an ssd for my projects also , they discouraged .
The reason is that every ssd wear out much faster when you write a lot .
But if the Intel 520 performes very good I think I buy one more and make several backups on external
hdd´s .
Concerning my friends long loading times : I only know that he uses Vienna symphonic library , Mac
and that he prefer hdd`s instead of ssd´s due to ssd failure . :D


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 Post subject: Re: My first quiet PC .
PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 12:07 pm 
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Wow - the 480GB Intel SSD :) I guess that'll take care of your library.

Seagate: Yeah, it'll be a bit noisier than the WD Greens, but should have less vibration and a lot less seek noise than the WD Black.

SSD and write cycle lifetimes...<shrugs> I think the standard model is an SSD can write 10GB/day for 5 years. Hardware.info did a torture test on a pair of Samsung 840's. The conclusion was ~30GB/day of writes leads to a 23 year life before any signs of problems. My conclusion is your hard drives will fail well before the SSD.

HDD enclosure: That's friggin expensive. It may be that the Seagate is quiet enough. If it isn't, see if you can get the Scythe Quiet Drive.

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 Post subject: Re: My first quiet PC .
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:50 am 
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I write in portions cause my neurological disease make me so slow , so I always get outlogged .
This was a nigjtmare . My brother installed the new stuff : seasonic 520 w , seagate barracuda 1 tb and intel 520 ssd . When he started the pc it was stone dead .


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 Post subject: Re: My first quiet PC .
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:56 am 
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Then started a troubleshooting of 3 days .
The result was that the RAM had failed , the seasonic and seagate was faulty from fabric ,
so I had to make an RMA .
The intel 520 ssd was ok .


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 Post subject: Re: My first quiet PC .
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:03 am 
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I now have my pc ok so I can make music but my brother only had time
to install the intel 520 ( wich is great ) , seagate hdd and my old corsair psu .
He also dropped the rpm on the noctua nh-d14 to approx 700 rpm .


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 Post subject: Re: My first quiet PC .
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:04 am 
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That was quite bad luck. RAM + PSU + HDD, all dead on arrival?
Is it working good now?

Edit: posted at same time with you...

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 Post subject: Re: My first quiet PC .
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:10 am 
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Cause my brother only can visit me one time/year i have to wait with the silent pc .
Its more silent with only 1 hdd and cpu-cooler on 700 rpm ,
but its not quiet enough .
We listened carefully and its the cpu cooler that makes the noise .


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 Post subject: Re: My first quiet PC .
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:20 am 
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I now have intel 520 ssd 480 gb for sample librarys and its fantastic .
Thanks for all advices .
I have realized that i must learn how to build a pc .
I will start with a simple one so it doesent hurt so much if i make a mistake .


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 Post subject: Re: My first quiet PC .
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:12 am 
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thierry. wrote:
That was quite bad luck. RAM + PSU + HDD, all dead on arrival?
Is it working good now?

Edit: posted at same time with you...

I forgot : it was my old 16gb ram that failed so i was forced to buy new , and the only one my dealer had was
Corsair 32 gb . That made my pc much better :P
The new stuff that was faulty was the psu and hdd .


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