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 Post subject: Recommendations for silent hardware with requirements
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:49 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:22 pm
Posts: 4
Hi there. So I'm a software developer and past self build fanatic/gamer. I'm done with those days, been a LONG time (years) since I upgraded my computer, so I'm out of the loop on the latest hardware (lol, I remember the days of having to check my OC Hardware and Silent PC Review pages multiple times a day, so little time now :().
I would appreciate some help with hardware choices of today given the following requirements.
What I have now is an AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ (Black edition or similar as I recall), 4GB DDR2 400, GeForce GT 240, 1 sata HDD. It runs as a server 24/7 (Plex, VERY light traffic family only gallery over LAMP), very rare gaming (only Starcraft II and Urban Terror, oh yeah, I only run Linux), web surfing, and some development. Has 3 fans right now, 120mm case, 120mm in PSU, and a CPU fan.
So as mentioned, I don't know too much about the latest hardware, but it seems like I should be able to build (or even buy cheaper these days) a completely fanless solution that would still be an upgrade. I don't need the fastest thing out there, perhaps a target of ~2x performance on the CPU, and at least > current performance on GPU to maintain current gaming capability.
With all of you're current knowledge, can you make any hardware recommendations for me to have a look at? The only thing I've found close so far without building is the Intel NUC line, but they are lacking a bit in the GPU department. Nvidia "just works" with Linux (Intel just works mostly too, but ATI can be problematic) so I'd like to stray from ATI based grapics.
Oh, and I would love to go solid state, but they are quite expensive still for now. Given what I use the computer for, I'm looking at least possible cost vs performance, e.g., even 1.5x the CPU would be fine if it's quite cheap to build/buy. However, it would be cool if whatever hardware/case I end up with still allows for upgrading to SDD later. Also, I have this case now: http://www.avadirect.com/product_detail ... ?PRID=6025. If there is fanless hardware I can pop in there for an upgrade (and I have a lot of past experience with case/psu/etc/ modding too if I need it) even better! :)
Thanks! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for silent hardware with requirements
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:07 pm 
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Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Welcome to SPCR.

It won't take a lot to get 2x CPU performance over your 5200+. CPU Mark for the 5200+ is 1351. The $60 Ivy Bridge based Pentium G3220 is 3225. You can go up from thare if you wish.

Similar with the gfx card. Passmark for the GT 240 is ~640. The low end retail Nvidia card is the $100 GTX 650 which comes in at 1831. The downside is there aren't any Nvidia passives.

If you bump up to an i3, then the integrated graphics is a bit slower than your GT 240 (Passmark 552)...and you could always upgrade to a discrete card later.

I highly recommend getting an SSD. Prices have come down quite a bit.

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for silent hardware with requirements
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:50 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:22 pm
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Oh, this is great! Thanks.
So actually, my current video card is fanless and just fine with me, so I could just get a new board, memory and cpu and eliminate 2 of 3 fans? (Case and CPU leaving just PSU fan). Wouldn't need to change much either. I like this so far... The CPU you mention says it comes with heatsink and fan, how is it cooled fanless then?


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for silent hardware with requirements
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:17 am 
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Location: UK
I think you'd be fine with modern onboard graphics. If down the line you find that you need more graphics power then you can always add a card later.

If fanless is what you want then perhaps have a look at some of the Streacom heatsink cases like the FC10. Expensive but it does mean you don't need to buy after market heatsinks as they are part of the case!

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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for silent hardware with requirements
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:12 am 
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You are still looking at dissipating heat from 54W TDP devices. If you want passive CPU cooling, there are two paths:

- a large fanless cooler. Take a look at the NoFan. The CPU in the review has a 130W TDP. So, any of the three coolers in the review would work...and I'd bet some smaller ones would work as well. Maybe some folks that have done some recent Pentium or i3 builds can chime in.

- a case that's used as the cooler (as edh mentions).

Do you plan to reuse your case? What is it? Is is suitable for using the PSU as an exhaust? What is the PSU?

There are lots of case fans that are silent at low rpm.

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for silent hardware with requirements
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:17 am 
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Posts: 82
Location: Scandinavia
I guess you will be disenchanted even with latest modern onbard graphics cards because, as far as my experience goes, they performed much worse than Nvidia GT 640, which I consider to be the minimum spec Nvidia card for gaming. By the way, I think it is a good idea to buy the latest CPU for your new build because microprocessor technology has quite saturated and Intel is apparently struggling to come up with genunine innovations (Intel recently postponted their new Broadwell CPUs due to technical problems, which is rather unprecedented). In other words, I speculate that you should be able to use Haswell CPUs for a relatively longer time.

I would recommend the following rig:

CPU: Intel Core i3 4130 £88.88
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Intel-Extended- ... B00EF1G98W
Motherboard: ASRock H81M-DGS £39.99
http://www.amazon.co.uk/ASRock-H81M-DGS ... B00EOBXQC0
GPU: Asus Nvidia GeForce GT 640 DirectCU Silent (Fanless) £72.55
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nvidia-GeForce- ... B009KZ4EO4

My hunch is that i3 4130 will be at least five times faster than your current CPU.

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_lookup. ... Hz&id=2015

Since your chassis is not tall enough for gigantic CPU coolers, I personally recommend Noctua NH-L12 (height: 93mm). You can set about CPU cooler choice with checking the maximum height of CPU coolers that can be accommodated by your chassis.

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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for silent hardware with requirements
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:04 am 
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Posts: 4
Thanks all, this has been VERY helpful. I think I'm ready to start my first upgrade in years!
The case is listed in my first post, I would like to keep it. Believe it or not, there is a LOT of open space above the cpu, at least 120mm cube (I use no internal optical drives and a single hdd). I already have a high end PSU (Don't recall which, but it's about a 500W modular, 120mm fan that exhausts through the top of my case after I modded it). I don't mind keeping the PSU/exhaust fan there. If I can drop out 2 out of 3 fans, I think it will be a welcome change.

So, based on pricing here in the US, I'm looking at this so far:

MSI H81M-E33 based on price and ports (I do need lots of USB, I think I've got 5 (all lower power though) items plugged in at any time:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813130730

Between the G3220 and G3430 ($60-99)

One of the fanless coolers you've all mentioned, I'll have to first grab the board and cpu to measure, but I'm 99% sure I'll be able to fit one of them.

Obviously new RAM. I currently have the case and CPU fans on a fan controller, I can make the case fan nearly silent too worse case and keep it in, it's the CPU fan that's the loudest. Still researching and reading your suggestions, but so far this seems like a good upgrade with about 3x performance and low cost. I'll try the built in graphics as you all mention, then worse case just toss my (passive, sitting right under the PSU so heat gets pulled right off and out by my PSU right now) 240 back in. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for silent hardware with requirements
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:21 am 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 11:23 am
Posts: 625
Location: Germany
i own the same case, albeit with a different front, was sold as "Sharkoon rush Cube" in germany, but has been discontinued some time ago.

The case is suited for spcr, the PSU will blow some air out , but it sits above the expansion slots. The case is made of aluminum and if you remove the top cover, stability of the whole case is wobbly at best. But if assembled, everything is fine.

I use a Scythe Shuriken Rev B.@C2D small Intel CPU. A 7770 completes this little pc. It serves mainly as gaming station for my wife (WoW mostly). Haven't bothered to connect the back then purchased case fan, because temps were ok.

This rig is also scheduled for upgrading, but i have to save a few pennys more to get going.

If i had to buy now, it would be a H87 with cheapest Haswell i3 available, keep the 7770, add 8GB RAM and some 240GB SDD, top performance isn't the issue, i'd be bound to look for something in the range of crucial M500, if i could afford i'd go for a Samsung or Intel SSD.

To cut things short: Pick a small i5 or go Xeon 12XX V3 if you want even more power, add a Samsung or Intel SSD, and try to get a Scythe Shuriken Rev. B. Higher cooler will likely not fit, because of a metall beam restricting cooler height. You could cut the beam away, but i decided to keep it and use a smaller cooler. The case is totally fine if you do not plan on using high end gaming cards or heavy overclocking.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for silent hardware with requirements
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:01 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:22 pm
Posts: 4
Any experience with this?
http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=189
I just finished taking all measurements in my case. With just a couple easy cutouts, I can fit this one easily. The 120mm case fan would sit right behind it if I choose to keep that in. :)
Best part, it fits my AM2 I have now AND the newer LGA sockets, so I could get this and eliminate the 1 or 2 fans before I worry about all the other stuff.

Better yet, this one. Someone's already modded this one into the case I've got. :)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 06175527:s


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