Long time SPCR reader, first time poster. After getting fed up with my obnoxiously loud homebuilt Athlon XP 1.7+, I gave it to my girlfriend and decided to build myself a new machine. I did a lot of reading here and was getting a good idea of what heatsink, fans, etc I'd need to get. Then I read the review of the ARM foundation kit and thought "hey, why not just let somebody else do the case work for me". Unfortunately, that kit still wasn't available.
However, just for the hell of it I tried outfitting one of their complete Stealth PC systems. As it turns out, they stocked all exact models of the parts I was planning on getting (motherboard, processor, ram, etc). I've built all my computers for the last 8 years or so, but since they had everything I was planning on getting anyway I decided to just let them do it, so I'd actually have a warranty and everything.
The ARM webpage lets you pick basically every component on the computer, and has a continuously updated total cost. Pretty cool, but it also makes it easier to max out all the options. I was thinking "oh, I'll only get a 2800+", but then I flipped it to a 3200+ and the price only went up 80 bucks or so and I was like "ah, what's 80 bucks". Pretty soon the machine was about 700 bucks over what it started at, but I decided to just suck it up and go with it. One slightly crappy thing is that you can't actually do your whole order online. You just spec it out and submit it, then they call you and confirm the details and get your credit card info. However Roy, the guy who takes care of that, is really cool.
I was really excited about getting my new system, but unfortunately there was a delay. It turns out that during the burn-in they do there, one of the memory modules failed and they didn't have any replacements in stock (I picked the top of the line memory). So that delayed it a week or so, but Roy did throw in a nice APC surge protector to make up for it. The computer came packaged very well. When I got it out of the box I could hear something rattling around inside so I opened it up. It turns out that one of the clips that holds the two sides of the Zalmann VGA cooler in place had fallen off. There didn't appear to be any damage, so I just put it back on.
The system seems very well built, with all the cables and such secured well and heavy things like the VGA cooler secured to the case. The OS was updated with all the latest drivers and everything when I got it, so I just set up Windows with my user name and everything and started playing games right away. I don't have any sound measuring equipment, so all I can say is that it seems very quiet to me. It is certainly not inaudible, but I can leave it on when I go to bed without any problems (and it's right by my head). It is quieter than the Dell 8xxx I have at work, which I always thought was pretty quiet. The case never feels warm, even after a long session of Far Cry. After running 3DMark03, the CPU temp was 56C, case 28C, and I got 3895 3DMarks.
Here's the basic details on my system:
ARM STEALTH UltraQuiet MT w/RamAIR Duct/2x120 Fans/Black
400W ARM STEALTH UltraQuiet PS - Factory Modified Zalman
ASUS A7N8X-E Deluxe
AMD 512K ATHLON-XP 3200+ 400MHz FSB
STEALTH Level-4 Ultra Quiet: w/3xHeatPipe CuHS/UQ fans/Acoustipack Foam
512MB Ultra Performance DDR400 PC3200 CL2 Low-Latency SDRAM DIMM w/Heat-Spreaders (Quantity: 2)
160GB SATA/150 Samsung SpinPoint 7200RPM 8MB Cache
128MB DDR ATI Radeon 9600XT SVGA w/TV & DVI Out
52x32x52 ASUS CDRW w/SW/QuieTrack NR Technology
The total price for that was about 1800 bucks, with the free shipping for SPCR readers.
Well, that's about all the info I can think of right now. If anyone has any questions, go ahead and ask.
(BTW, the wireless card I added, everything else in there is stock)