It is currently Sat Oct 25, 2014 1:44 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Planning to buy a new ARM StealthPC - a few questions...
PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2004 12:34 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 7:13 am
Posts: 6
My old computer has finally given up the ghost, so I'm planning in purchasing a new ARM Systems StealthPC and was hoping some folks with experience could help me out a little.

I'm most likely going to go for an A64 3000 rig with no video card and no OS. But in terms of the other options, what do you think?

- I assume I should spring for the 400 watt PS as I'm planning on picking up a GeForce 6800 within the next few months.

- What is the real difference between the level 2 and level 3 noise reduction packages? I'm having a damn hard time figuring it out based on the info available on the ARM site. Is it worth the extra money?

- Any comments on the difference between the Hitachi and Samsung Spinpoint hard drive mechanisms?

- Any one willing to share their impressions of ARM rigs for those that have used/own them?

Thanks!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2004 7:03 am 
Offline
*Lifetime Patron*

Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2003 11:19 am
Posts: 356
Location: Baltimore, MD
I've been using an ARM-built FX-53 for a bit over a week now (and am expecting to get a couple of A64 3400+ into the lab any day now). Working with Steve and Roy was a great pleasure during the ordering process. They are friendly, helpful, and very knowledgeable. So far, I'm quite pleased with the process; while I usually like to build my own, this time I'm very glad to let someone else take the time and effort to create a quiet box to my specs. That, plus a 3-year warranty from a single source (rather potentially than dealing with individual manufacturers/vendors) made the deal worth the extra $$.

ChrisM wrote:
I assume I should spring for the 400 watt PS as I'm planning on picking up a GeForce 6800 within the next few months.

As you'll see in other parts of SPCR (see an excellent article on the matter and a good pointer to relevant PSU threads), most systems would be hard-pressed to need more than a 300W PSU. On the other hand, the price increment for the 400W is small and gives you a bit more headroom in case you add many more disks, several graphics cards, etc.
Quote:
- What is the real difference between the level 2 and level 3 noise reduction packages? I'm having a damn hard time figuring it out based on the info available on the ARM site. Is it worth the extra money?

I cannot comment directly. I chose the Level 4 to maximize quiet; level 5 really only adds some sorbothane-like feet (that we'll actually use elsewhere). My rationale is that I didn't want to do anything extra after I got the box.
Quote:
- Any comments on the difference between the Hitachi and Samsung Spinpoint hard drive mechanisms?

As has been reported in innumerable places, the Hitachi drives have a quasi-periodic chirp/growl/meow that can be quite annoying and loud, even while their normal operations are quiet. Their performance on benchmarks are nominally better than the Samsungs, they tend to run hotter, and are spec'ed slightly louder. For the quietest operations, at the expense of slight performance, the SPCR consensus (and my personal experience) goes with the Samsungs. Related is that Samsung drives appear to have two types of motors in the current stock--NIDEC and JVC; if/when you talk with ARM, you might want to specify the NIDEC for the Samsungs.
Quote:
- Any one willing to share their impressions of ARM rigs for those that have used/own them?

So far, I've been very impressed. The insides are lovely and neat. The system was nearly ready to run straight out of the box. It's noise level is less than many of the systems I've built (at least in part, thanks to the extra acoustic packing inside the case). The specs were pretty much what I would have bought through the usual suspects (though I really like their case).

_________________
This space for rent. Will oppress peasants for food.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2004 3:12 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2003 9:32 am
Posts: 5
Location: Pismo Beach, CA
FWIW - I've had my ARM Systems computer for about a year and a half now (3.06 P4, fully loaded with four hard drives, usually runs in the mid to high 40C's with occasional forays into the 50C's), never a problem with it and I'm very happy. Acoustically it is as quiet as I could possibly want in a machine - I can't hear it! It's located under my desk (carpeted floor) about five feet from my keyboard.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 9:23 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 7:14 pm
Posts: 25
Chris,
I just got my ARM Systems PC delivered yesterday. I was planning on posting a longer email later when I am fully done evaluating it but I'll give you my 2 cents:

- I went with the 400W PSU "just in case". I have a medium-power PC (P4 2.8C and Radeon 9600XT) which definitely didn't need the 400W, but I thought I might need it in the future. Also, under heavier load, the 400W is probably less likely to ramp up the fan as fast.

- For the noise reduction level, I didn't even think and took level 5. That's the whole point of ordering from them, so... You are right that the description is not that clear. You should call Steve (707-285-2685x107). Especially if you don't put a video card in it, you might have to tell them how you want your fans tuned.

- As for Hitachi vs. Samsung, I got a pair of SATA 160GB Samsungs. They are the dreaded JVC motors, but they are actually very quiet in the enclosed case. I just told Steve about the whole JVC vs. Nidec thing, and if he can, he surely will try to get you the Nidecs, although, as I mentioned, my JVCs are quite ok (after only a short evaluation though).

- Now, for general impressions on ARM, what can I say? They are great. I spent so much time with Steve evaluating the various options on the phone, then talking to him after receiving the machine, it is incredible. Very very helpful and friendly. And the construction quality of the machine is absolutely outstanding. Perfect attention to detail, very tidy (cables...). Nothing to do with an "assembled" PC. They really make production-quality machines with that added hande-made touch.

In two words: highly recommended.

A couple of misc. details: the case they use has an optional 2x3.5" disk bracket that is screwed to the bottom of the case, nicely in the path of the airflow intake. That make space for 4 HDs right in the airflow. If you think you'll ever have more than 2 disks, get the extra bracket and the grommets.
Also, I got the graphics card reworked by them with the Zalman heatpipe and fan, which nicely screws into a vertical bracket. Make sure the bracket comes with the case (I assume it does), since you'll probably want to do the same.

Don't hesitate to ask questions

Laurent


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group