I've spent a good few hours trying to piece together a desktop computer using the following criteria (arranged in order of importance). I've come up with two options that look promising (on paper, anyway), but which are compromises when it comes to my wishes - I have questions regarding them. I've also began working on piecing together a third, but got stuck. Completely silent
(passively cooled, no moving parts).Powerful
enough to play high-end games (I don't really game much any more since I don't have time for it, but would like to have the option).Stylish
. This is subjective, of course, but to give some examples, I think the Streacom FC5 WS
and the Fractal Design Define series are stylish. Simple, clean, black, no fuss, almost no buttons and LEDs, optical drives, etc.)Small
. (M-ITX, if possible. M-ATX also possible. As you'll see, the second option completely drops this criteria.)
The completely silent criteria is the only one I'm not open to compromises on. Powerful... well, I understand I won't be able to get the most powerful system in the world, but at least middle-of-the-road.Option 1: Powerful, stylish, small-ish.
This might well be my choice, my main question here is, will all the parts fit together?
It's hard to tell without having them on hand, and I don't want to order parts I have to send back because they wouldn't fit.
Also, what's the best thermal paste out there, these days? When I built my last computer (almost 5 years ago), it was Arctic Silver 5. It has since fallen from grace, apparently.
Case: Silverstone Fortress SST-FT03 Mini
PSU: Silverstone ST40NF
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-I DELUXE
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K
RAM: Corsair Dominator DDR3 1866MHz 16GB
Graphics card: Asus Radeon HD 7750
SSD: Samsung 840 250GB
CPU Cooler: NoFan CR-95C
(Though I can't find anywhere to buy it, here in Norway. Alternatives are Silverstone NT06-E and Cooler Master TPC 800).Option 2: Powerful, stylish, but quite big
This one might give the most bang for the buck, though it's annoying that I can't get a smaller case (eg. the FC5). At least, the advantage here is that I can use a full-sized ATX board, plus the CPU cooling is already taken care of.
My main concern here is the power supply, will it be able to feed the components properly? They assume one wants to use a 150W power supply, but that would be greatly insufficient.
Would it be possible to use the Silverstone ST40NF (link above), possibly making room for it if one were to forego installing an optical drive (which I have no intention of installing, in any case)?
Case: Streacom FC10
PSU: Same PSU as in option 1
Motherboard: MSI 990FXA-GD80
- seems to have enough clearance for the heatpipes.
CPU: AMD FX-4300
- the most powerful one I could find with 95W TDP, which the cooling supports.
RAM: Kingston HyperX Beast 32GB 2400MHz
Graphics card and SSD: Same as in option 1
CPU cooler: Built into the case
Flexible PCI-E riser from eBay.Option 3: Small, stylish, silent, powerful - but no room for CPU cooler
This might well have turned out to be my favourite choice, if not for one big problem: The PSU in this case is awkwardly placed, meaning I can't use any particularly tall CPU coolers - which pretty much precludes the use of passive ones. Would there be a way to make one fit, eg. using a smaller than ATX power supply (again, the same Silverstone mentioned in option 1), or possibly yanking out the hard drive cage and putting it there (since I need no hard drives)?
I haven't gotten anywhere with piecing together components yet, as I've been trying to find ways around the PSU location problem - but, in general, I would probably use many of the same as in the previous two options.
Case: Lian Li -PC-Q25
Can anyone see a way around the PSU location problem, aside from having the PSU hanging outside of the case?
I also tried to piece together something with the Streacom FC5 WS case, but the problem there is I couldn't find powerful components that fit together, and that it doesn't seem to support a proper power supply. I'm open to corrections, of course.
I'm also open to other suggestions regarding cases, fans, whatever you think might be helpful. Many thanks in advance for any assistance, and when I do find the components and decide to build one of the computers, I'll post all the photos and information I can.