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 Post subject: Developer workstation, could you please check ?
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 6:57 am 
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 6:34 am
Posts: 2
Hello,

I'm planning to buy this config, mainly for development and programming (in image processing). I will run ubuntu 12.04 as the main OS, and sometimes Windows 7-64 and mac OSX through virtualbox.

I would like it to be as silent as possible (the pc is in my bedroom). Could you tell me if there is something wrong or strange about putting these components together ?

Case : NZXT H2
PSU : Seasonic X-400 fanless 80plus gold
Motherboard : ASRock B75 Pro3
CPU : i3-2100T
CPU cooler : Dynatron K129
Ram : G.Skill NT Series 16 Go (4x 4Go) DDR3 1333 MHz
SSD : Crucial M4 128 Go (don't need a data disk)

Any advice or comments are welcome!

Thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: Developer workstation, could you please check ?
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 1:21 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:59 pm
Posts: 115
Location: Canada
What will you be using for case fans? Fanless PSU and CPU cooler will make the case fans critical.

That CPU cooler is worryingly small and unsubstantial.

Why a fanless PSU? You could probably use something like an Antec EA-450 Platinum. It's cheaper, should be more efficient and would provide a bit of airflow. I haven't read reviews commenting on noise levels from it as of yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Developer workstation, could you please check ?
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 2:27 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Posts: 1728
Location: Switzerland
I second Falkon: I don't know what you want to do but that cooler looks like it's made for fast (meaning loud) airflow and for really small cases.

You could use an mITX case with a bundled fanless PSU which would cost a good bit less than your case+PSU. In that case, you'd typically want to use a fan on the heatsink. People typically use more massive heatsinks in larger cases such as the one you've selected. These can work without a fan if your CPU isn't too powerful.
Your system will draw little power and a 400W+ PSU would be overkill.

The 2100T is expensive for what it is. It's not much better at power consumption than the less expensive and more powerful 2100.
Unless you've got an unusual reason for buying a dual-core i3, you could also consider a cheaper Pentium-branded CPU or possibly a quad-core if you actually need serious performance for more than two threads. If you get a quad the larger case and PSU would be more justified.


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 Post subject: Re: Developer workstation, could you please check ?
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 9:54 am 
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 6:34 am
Posts: 2
Thank you very much for both of your comments.

I was planning to use the 3 fans provided with the NZXT H2 case, and thought that being located at the bottom of the case a fanless PSU would be ok.

For the CPU I thougt that the 2100T wouldn't heat up a lot and thus a fanless cooler was good. But if that requires the case fans to rotate fast it's not what I want.
So I should choose a heatsink with fan, and thus there is no need for a T-serie cpu, so I can take the 2100, I'm right ?

For the PSU, I prefer having around 400W to allow further evolutions (add a GPU and some HDD).


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 Post subject: Re: Developer workstation, could you please check ?
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 5:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:59 pm
Posts: 115
Location: Canada
lorenzo1986 wrote:
So I should choose a heatsink with fan, and thus there is no need for a T-serie cpu, so I can take the 2100, I'm right ?
More or less, yes. The case you chose rules out pretty much every tower-type cooler, which could have been run without a fan in your configuration. A downblowing cooler will likely need a fan because of the fin orientation on the heatsink. The NH-C12P SE14 I use (114mm height) is basically silent with the ULNA adapter, but costs about $60.

lorenzo1986 wrote:
For the PSU, I prefer having around 400W to allow further evolutions (add a GPU and some HDD).
In that case you would be better off going with something like the Seasonic X-560. It would give you power overhead for almost any single discrete GPU configuration, cost less than it's fanless counterpart, and remain silent (fan off) at low loads, which your system would always be at without a discrete GPU.


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 Post subject: Re: Developer workstation, could you please check ?
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 4:18 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Posts: 1728
Location: Switzerland
lorenzo1986 wrote:
For the CPU I thougt that the 2100T wouldn't heat up a lot and thus a fanless cooler was good.

Sure, it's possible. But I don't see the point. If you're going to use more than one fan, in principle it would be more efficient to put one directly on the CPU heatsink.
The 2100T is underpowered compared to most current desktop CPU but it's no Atom. It'll heat up at load and you'll need a more substantial heatsink if you want to keep noise low.

I don't think there's much point in using all three case fans by the way.
And I don't know how noisy the stock fans are. Maybe you ought to buy a good case fan separately.

lorenzo1986 wrote:
So I should choose a heatsink with fan, and thus there is no need for a T-serie cpu, so I can take the 2100, I'm right ?

The T-series seems to have a small efficiency advantage relative to the regular version. But yeah, the 2100 or even a more powerful CPU would be fine with a more substantial heatsink.

If you want an expensive PSU, the 550W Superflower/Kingwin Platinum is technically the best. The X560 recommended above might be better value or not (I don't know). But the X400 is for sure not very good value at the prices I've seen.


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