Very quiet system for a procrastinator
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Author:  Straker [ Sun Jul 25, 2004 5:04 am ]
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read some other threads here, there are lots of threads comparing different CPUs... bottom line is Prescotts are awful, even a P4 EE or Athlon FX will usually be easier to cool ( = easier to keep quiet). If money's not a big deal and you want to be able to play games properly (and since it's a new PC anyways) you actually wouldn't be bad off with an X800 Pro, considering you'd probably want at least a 9800/5900 anyways, and the X800 Pro actually uses a bit less power than these under load (and a lot less when idling I think; if it's worth the hassle you can also just underclock it when you're not using 3d stuff). FWIW the stock HSF on my X800 is a lot more pleasant than either of the coolers I used with my old GF4 4400; probably only because the fan is bigger and thus not as whiny, but still.

Author:  wumpus [ Sun Jul 25, 2004 11:18 am ]
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ARM StealthPC Foundation Kit: Very highly rated, toward the upper end of my price range. The fresh-air power supply seems nifty. I can't seem to find where to actually buy it... perhaps I have to call?

This would be my choice.

AMD and Intel seem more or less neck-in-neck in heat production, according to the Recommended chart (I don't have my heart set on Athlon 64 or P4 Prescott). Is there a certain "above this level it gets a lot hotter" optimum performance-quiet mark on one make or another? If it helps, I'll probably have Hyperthreading turned off a good portion of the time, as one of my apps demands its deactivation and I'm bound to forget to turn it back on.

If that's true then the Recommended chart needs to be revised; the A64 runs dramatically cooler than the P4, because of higher IPC (lower clockrate, more work performed per clock) and the amazing Cool n' Quiet which automatically and transparently throttles the chip on idle. And since you have to disable hyperthreading anyway.. this is a no-brainer.

As for video, I'm looking for fanless, probably with the Zalman heatpipe. Since it seems slightly favored today, I'll probably go ATI. I've heard of a bit of flakiness re: Sapphire, which is the first brand I came across that has fanless. I've also heard that LE and SE demarcations should be avoided.

Sapphire is a fine brand. I recommend the Radeon 9600 series, they run extraordinarily cool for the performance they provide (full DX9 support and respectable framerates). Yes, you can get faster cards, but unless gaming is a priority, it's not worth the +100% (or more!) heat and power consumption penalty you'll incur.

Sapphire sells a stock fanless 9600xt:

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDe ... 14-102-342

Or, honestly, you could save $30 by picking any 9600xt and just disconnecting the fan wire from the card. Should be fine, with even modest airflow; the 9600 series runs VERY cool. Oh yeah-- and don't waste your money on 256mb. By the time 128mb is a liability, the card will be totally obsolete anyway.

Author:  wumpus [ Sun Jul 25, 2004 1:39 pm ]
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I wouldn't bother with filters unless you have a serious dust/environment problem. They kill airflow, which is a critical ingredient in any quiet system.

Author:  tragus [ Sun Jul 25, 2004 8:00 pm ]
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EEBaum wrote:
Since I made the original post last night, I had started to lean toward the ARM foundation kit. One thing I couldn't tell is if the fan input holes have filters. They don't seem to (?)... is this something I should concern myself with at all (should I bother trying to custom fit some in)? Also, it seems that I'll have to call or email ARM to buy it, correct?

I've only purchased full systems from ARM. I've found them (Roy and Steve) extremely professional. I'll let one of them give the "official" word about the PSU input holes, but right now there is no filter OR ducting. Either/both could be easily modded. ARM claims they will add ducting in the future, but are concerned by users accidently covering the top intake holes. I can say that I accidently put a stack of papers on the top of the box, and covered over the holes until I realized what I had done. Anyway, they're looking into a scoop or other device to sit up there and help keep the holes from being a placemat. About filters, search for any number of posts by Bluefront, who is SPCR's resident filter fanatic/expert.

Otherwise the slow fans on my ARM systems have internal dust negligable so far. For now, I'd recommend going with wumpus at first. If you discover that dust is a real problems, then you can always decide how to add filters later.

Oh, yes the foundation kit is not well featured on their web site. A quick call or email to them will get you a very prompt reply. Be sure to mention SPCR as your recommending source.

Author:  wumpus [ Tue Jul 27, 2004 9:02 pm ]
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Good plan. I doubt you will be dissatisfied with those components.

Author:  burcakb [ Wed Aug 18, 2004 11:28 pm ]
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Your Zalman is probably your noisiest component. The Zalman can go down to 1500 and still cool adequately with the included Fanmate. You could add an inline resistor to drop it even more. Zalman is incredible in giving good cooling at ridicuously low (read dead silent) rpms. I run my Barton with 720 rpms and have 53C load temps. It might be worth a little tinkering

Author:  Pauli [ Thu Aug 19, 2004 9:31 am ]
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I agree with burcakb. Drop the Zalman fan down to ~1300RPM and see what the temps do. Then drop to lower RPMs if those temps are adequate.

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