Vincent, I would ignore nearly everything the Zyrin just posted. The earlier advice (from MikeC particularly) was much better.
For educational purposes, here's what's wrong with Zryin's list. I'm not meaning to pick on you personally Zyrin, but your list is an almost perfect example of how not to think about silent-PC components. To not comment on it would imply agreement
case = I would recommend the AMS gtower....Pick a sturdy, thick aluminum case.....removable motherboard tray....sturdy drive cage....side panel fan at PCI card corner....top blowhole....noise dampening....at least four external 5-1/4 bays....The wider the case, the less the noise.
Wow, lots to rethink there:
Probably the most important factor to look for in a case is ventilation, particularly the front intake. Your system can't breathe if it can't get air in. The gTower has a particularly poor intake, you'd have to do some serious modding to make it on par with some of the better choices out there.
Aluminum cases should be avoided. Aluminum has a tendency to hum, or resonate, much more than a steel case would. It's also more expensive. The one positive that aluminum cases do have is lower weight, which doesn't seem like a feature that Vincent is going for.
A removable motherboard tray is a useless feature for someone like Vincent who isn't likely to be tinkering with their machine often.
Side panel fans and blowholes are options to be avoided, not sought-after. They put a fan directly in the path to the user's ears, and their usefulness for system cooling is dubious at best. (adding a side fan often raises temps instead of lowering them, by disrupting the airflow patterns within the case)
Save dampening to be as a last resort. Dampening is really only useful for removing that last lingering bit of noise, rather than trying to quiet loud components. For the time/money it requires, there are better solutions.
Why would you possibly need 4 5.25" bays?
And where did you get the idea that a wider case is less noisey?
PFC (active-passive) or non-PFC is not really important but PFC recommended cuz less power goes through ur PSU....get one with the large fans under it.. it'll handle stress better.. there's some with blowers in them that's good....minimum 350 watt....and if u aren't a savy PSU person then dun trust namebrands cuz computer parts manufacturers are different then PSU manufacturers.
Zyrin needs to do more reading on what PFC is. Having Active PFC is good for your electric bill, and the environment.
The size of the fan mounted to the PSU has little or nothing to do with how it will handle stress.
The few PSU's on the market with blowers in them are all generally too loud to be considered for a quiet-PC. If you're picking the PSU yourself, look to our recommended list for guidance.
I'm not exactly sure what Z's trying to say in the namebrands bit. Yes, many of the "namebrand" PSU's on the market aren't made by the company whose label is on them; Zalman, Nexus, etc, etc. But that's no reason not to buy them.
cpu = doesn't really matter.. athlon or pentiums. of course get lastest generation though ....the new heatsinks from intel are fine, aren't noisy, and perform well
If anything, the choice between AMD vs Intel matters now more than ever. And whatever you do, do not
get the latest generation of Intel CPU. If you do, for some reason, go Intel, go with one of the previous generation Northwood's, rather than the newer Prescotts. And the stock heatsinks from either CPU manufacturer will likely be too loud for your tastes, you should plan on buying an aftermarket heatsink from the very beginning.
motherboard = not that important even though its one of the most important, so pick a reliable one with all the features u need and will need.. PCi-e?, northbridge fan?, check layout of MB. some motherboards handle problems better then others. get a namebrand. intel is not namebrand.
I'll agree that you should pick on based on the features you want and need. (I'd look for one without a northbridge fan) If you go the intel path, the intel boards would be a fine choice. They're not the highest performing, but they are rock stable.
memory = at least get rams with a heatsink and that matches or exceeds ur FBS. middle of the road within a company is good. memory gets cheaper and its not a bottleneck unless u have too little. memories of same speed check CAS.
Heatsinks on RAM is a marketing tool designed to remove money from the pockets of the foolish. If the memory happens to have them its fine, but it should never be a buying consideration...it adds nothing to the performance of the RAM. And there is no reason at all to buy RAM that is rated for higher than the FSB of the CPU. (unless you're overclocking, which Vincent isn't) Faster rating does not equal faster. I'd say that 1gig of medium-price level, name brand stuff of whatever flavor your CPU requires is a pretty safe bet.
videocard = at least radeon 9600 or nvida 5700 speed. DX9 support?.. 128 bit or 256 bit architecture with at least 128 MB of v.fast memory. cooling esp important. lotsa of problems come from hot videocards. get rid of the small videocard fan.
For what you're actually doing with the machine, pretty much any video card on the market today would work perfectly. If you go with a pre-configured system, whatever their bottom-rung VGA option is would generally be fine. There are fanless 9600's available, which would be an excellent choice.
harddrive = WD raptor.. wouldn't trade its performance for any ata drive i can think of.
The tiny performance boost of Raptor comes at a big noise (and price) penalty. The Samsungs are a much better option for those not needed to be on the bleeding edge.
fans = .........
Too much there to even start discussing. Go with a quiet, low flow fan at the exhaust only to start with. The Nexus fans are probably the #1 default choice right now. Intake fans, PCi-slot fans, blowholes out the top, intakes in the side, etc, are all prety much useless. About the only reason to add an intake fan is if your HDD is running overly warm.
Hope that helps clarify things.