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 Post subject: Another newbie requires suggestions
PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2004 6:38 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 5:57 am
Posts: 7
Location: South Africa
Hi --

I have been lurking for some time now - ever since I discovered SPCR & realised that building a silent PC took more than waving a credit card in the air <bg>

My proposed system is as follows (my apologies in advance for being long-winded)

1. Antec SLK3700-BQE Case
I would like to start by buying a case that doesn’t immediately require cutting!

2. Asus A8V Deluxe rev2.0 Motherboard
I realise that I will be paying a premium for an AMD socket 939 processor. However, the design of the motherboard (which is getting good reviews on the over-clocker websites) appears to be more ‘sorted’ than the equivalent socket AMD 754 motherboards, e.g. the Cool’n’Quiet works, the AGP/PCI lock works, under-clocking is good, etc.

3. Corsair Extra Low Latency Memory
It is very unlikely that I will ever be into heavy over-clocking. However, under-clocking is definitely on the cards. My understanding (hopefully not too misguided) is that this memory provides very low latency as standard (i.e. without the need to over-clock) thereby generating less heat.

4. Graphics Card
Unimportant at present - with the recent release of the new Nvidia & ATI processors I would like to delay purchasing a new graphics card for a while, until the market prices settle.

5. Disk Drives
I am by nature a SCSI man. However, since SCSI drives are relatively expensive – and noisy - I would like to install two [minimum 150GB / 7200 rpm / S.M.A.R.T] SATA drives, configured as Raid 1. It would be nice to include the new toys (e.g. NCQ), but these are not critical. I note the forum recommendation for Samsung SpinPoints – however, any / all suggestions would be appreciated.

6. Other Stuff
I will probably limit this to a Zalman 7000 AlCu as a starting point.

That's it for now. Any / all suggestions are welcome.

Many thanks

-- rowan


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2004 7:02 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 10:06 am
Posts: 3214
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
1. Good choice on the case, although you may be able to get a different case which is better and cheaper (the BQE is by no means the best). Read this article for other recommendations.

2. Good choice for quality motherboard, bad choice for reducing heat power. You talk about underclocking, but I can tell you straight that undervolting does a LOT more to reduce heat output (and power draw) than underclocking. Unfortunately, Asus boards have almost never allowed the user to undervolt. I also can't readily recommend a 939 alternative right now.

3. I don't quite follow how lower latency means reduced heatoutput. In any event, I don't think heat is a serious problem for RAM when run at stock frequencies or below.

4. You can't run a computer without a graphics card. Presumably you'll be reusing an older one. Any idea which one?

5. Spinpoints are the #1 recommended. Seagates and Hitachis come after that if you need more space.

6. You may or may not wish to consider a different power supply. The BQE supply is adequate, but hardly the quietest on the market.

EDIT:
And WELCOME TO SPCR

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2004 10:57 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 5:57 am
Posts: 7
Location: South Africa
Hi --

First of all, many thanks for the welcome <g>

And many thanks for the comments.

Re under-clocking: My apologies, I confused under-clocking with under-volting. The reviews mention that the A8V motherboard allows CPU voltages between 0.8V and 1.8V, plus a 'LowVoltage' setting (WTMB). This I took to mean that the A8V does allow under-volting.

Re the low latency memory: This provides 2-2-2-5 as standard. My interpretation: no need to overclock. [This is probably a very misguided statement]

Re the graphics card: I would like to hold off purchasing a 'state-of-the-art' graphics card for 3-4 months, until all of the usual suspects have brought out their mid-range cards: not being a gamer, the max'd out cards have little interest for me. I also want to experiment with TV tuner cards. I haven't decided yet, but I will probably go with a relatively inexpensive last-year's-model card (possibly with a built-in TV tuner) for a while - something that I can toss without too much pain.

Re the power supply: Thanks for the raising the issue. The system is for my study, so total silence isn't an issue at this moment in time. Hopefully the stock power supply will be acceptable.

I am also limited in what I can purchase locally (I live in South Africa) e.g. Zalman is only now becoming available in South Africa - at least, it will be in two week's time <g> Ditto Antec & Corsair: most local dealers have never heard of the brands. If it wasn't for Google I wouldn't have arrived at first base yet <bg>

Go well

-- rowan


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 3:15 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 9:05 am
Posts: 1443
Location: Turkey
You may start cursing your PSU on the second day, once your ears get used to silence :) (I have no idea on the BQE PSU btw)

And you REALLY want to cut out the stamped exhaust grill on ANY case you buy and replace it with wire grills. Major, major noise source not to mention restricted airflow

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 11:16 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 5:57 am
Posts: 7
Location: South Africa
Phase II definitely involves sharp instruments :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2004 7:15 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 10:06 am
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Well, it's been my understanding that modern Asus boards don't actually allow undervolting. They can achieve those voltages if there's a processor that uses them, but they don't let the user choose them. I don't know if that's the case with the A8V, but it appears to be the case with many of their other motherboards.

The low latency memory will perform ever so slightly better than normal memory. But you pay a price premium for it. Quite frankly, I've never quite understood the necessity of getting Low Latency RAM and it's not clear to me if you know why you're getting it either.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 5:19 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 5:57 am
Posts: 7
Location: South Africa
Hi --

Re the under-volting: You may very well be correct. I based my comments on the AMDZone review, which stated that the BIOS allowed the voltage to be set between 0.8V and 1.8V. However, until my MB is delivered, I can't really comment.

Re the low-latency RAM: You are correct in that my earlier postings (on RAM) were somewhat muddled in their thinking (if thinking was emplyed at all <g>) I did read an article that implied that the extra low latency ran cooler, though upon reflection I cannot see how this can be generalised. However, since I always purchase RAM from one of the better manufacturers (e.g. Corsair / Kingston), and since the premium is relatively minor, I will probably stick with the decision.

If you are interested there is an interesting article on the Corsair extra low latency memory at http://www.hardwarezone.com/articles/vi ... =4&id=1221

Go well


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