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 Post subject: Building new silent system (in UK) - need recommendations
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 8:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 7:49 pm
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Hi, I've found a buyer for my current LOUD pc and now want to buy or build a silent system within the next week. I'm in the UK and don't want to spend a more than £500 in total for the whole PC (excluding the monitor). I haven't been keeping up with the latest technologies. Any recommendations?

So what do I need for the whole system?
1. case (& case fan?).
It only needs to hold 2 hard disks & 2 optical drives. I don't need a giant case.
2. CPU & fan/cooler.
Intel or AMD? I don't play games so I think I'd be happy with a lower-end CPU, but want to stay clear of Celerons. I heard that AMD processors get particularly hot and would require more fan power to cool them which means more noise. Is this correct?
3. mobo & fan/cooler.
Which socket type? Obviously this depends on the CPU but is there any particular combination that is particularly silent?
4. hard disk.
I've seen this for £90 at Ebuyer: Seagate ST3200822A Barracuda 7200.7 Plus 200gb Ultra ATA/100 7200rpm 8mb Cache - I heard that the Barracudas have fluid bearing making them quiet & reliable - is this correct? Also, should I go for Serial ATA or standard IDE? I heard that there's not much performance difference. What about heat & noise?
5. Graphics card (& cooler?).
I will buy a 19" monitor which I want to run at 1600x1200 @ 100Hz, so need a reasonable card.
6. RAM (which type?)
7. Sound card (bog-standard Soundblaster?).
8. PSU.
There seem to be a lot of 300w PSUs around. Is this enough?

Have I left anything out?

Recommendations of products, prices & vendors are appreciated.

Thanks,
May :wink:


Last edited by may_hem1 on Thu Jun 24, 2004 8:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 8:48 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
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Location: Phoenix, AZ
Read, read, read, and read.

Read the Recommended Components section.

Read the FAQ for Newbies: Please read this first!! sticky at the top of this very forum.

Read the Article Index Lots of good info there on nearly every aspect that you have questions on.

And just read the forums. Every item on your list is talked about with surprising regularity. Take an hour or two and just cruise through them, being sure to read the Stickied threads at the top of each.

Yes, that's a lot of reading. But you'll be better for it.

And, WELCOME TO SPCR!!! :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2004 12:11 am 
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Location: Sheffield, UK
Hi May,
I agree with Rusty please read the recommended sections and reviews etc, as you will get a much better feal for what is good for you - the information we can give will just be a very cut down version of all the great stuff found in this site.

However, here are a few start points :)
I would look into an AMD system based on one of their (socket A) mobile athlon CPUs, they are cheap and low power:
http://www.overclock.co.uk/customer/home.php?cat=528
Look into getting an undervoltable motherboard (see recommended stuff), I think quite a few people go for the ABit option, but they come with a noisey northbridge fan so need a replacement nothbridge heatsink (see zalman).
Make sure you get a passively cooled VGA card (should be easy if you're not into games), or get one that you can modify with an artic cooling VGA silencer (or with it prefitted) if you want more power for 3D stuff.
Seagate barracuda or Samsung spinpoint are both good (the spinpoint is marginally quieter), think about decoupling them.
Go for crutial RAM, they're not expencive and very reliable.
Don't worry about power, as long as you get a good quality psu (i.e. not one thrown in with a £20 case), 300w will be plenty power.
For cases, look for one with 120mm fan fittings, there are plenty to choose from - a lot of people go for antec mid-tower models.

Hope this helps, happy quietening!

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 Post subject: Re: Building new silent system (in UK) - need recommendation
PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2004 12:36 am 
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may_hem1 wrote:
Hi, I've found a buyer for my current LOUD pc and now want to buy or build a silent system within the next week. I'm in the UK and don't want to spend a more than £500 in total for the whole PC (excluding the monitor). I haven't been keeping up with the latest technologies. Any recommendations?


Ummm, OK. Do you want quiet, or do you want silent? There's a pretty big difference between the two, in terms of time doing research, money spent, effort building, etc.

If you want true silence then you're likely going to have to accept firstly that you're going to have to mod stuff (eg. power supplies, cases), voiding your warranty in the process. If you want true silence without modding, you're into quite expensive kit I think (others may disagree).

Secondly you'll more than likely find you'll buy stuff and it won't come up to scratch and you'll have to replace it (/me looks around at pile of discarded 120mm fans and PSUs in the corner of the room!!!).

If you're happy with just quiet, rather than silent, the whole job is much easier.

But what the guys above said is true, read, read, read, read, read the articles and forums here, they're a mine(-field!) of information.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2004 11:40 am 
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nutball has again hit it on the head. define "quiet" (in this site, by silent, we mean absolute dead silent, which is pretty much an utopia, and yes, we do take words seriously)

How quiet is quiet for you? Will you be sleeping in the same room with it? Or do you just want to be able to concentrate without a vacuum-cleaner noise in the background? How quiet is your average work environment? Are there any people moving around, talking, shuffling? Or do you work alone, without any music on, away from cars, etc, no dogs barking?

Your answer to above questions is the only thing that'll get you some other answer than "start reading" :) Really, it's good for you.

I know we're being a little cruel but answers to such questions have been given ad infinitum and we'd all be much happier to help you when you've hit a wall (and you will) rather than walk you on the runway. Once you actually start your build, you'll find the folks here infinitely more helpful than most other sites on the net.

Another important factor to consider before starting your planning is what's your average ambient temperature? Quieting your PC means your components will run a little hotter than the average overclocker geek so your surrounding environment is important.

My advice: define quiet, measure ambient temps, read the recommended sections, start drawing up a list of components, then list them here, along with your reasons for choosing them. We'll be able to help you better then.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2004 2:48 pm 
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Quote:
but this spec will be silent.

Silent? Don't think so. Probably ~30 dBA/1m, maybe a bit higher.

The Segate 7200.7 drive is no longer recommended for quiet PCs; its seek is far too loud. Earlier Barracuda IV and V and no longer available. Samsung is a much better choce.

That + a HDD suspension will probably bring it down to maybe 26-28 dBA, which I would describe as quiet -- if the PSU fan in the 3700 can remain at startup speed. That means trying it & making a fresh air duct to the PSU intake if the PSU fan ramps up in use.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2004 12:28 am 
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Maxamus wrote:
2.4c = £90
Abit IC7 = £76
audigy2 oem = £55


Why P4 system? It's difficult to find 2.4cs nowadays, it'd be better to go for a good nforce2 AMD system with Soundstorm and do away with th audigy. Looking at the resolution, I'd say this was going to be a visual design PC meaning lots of ram required. Spend the 55 quid on more RAM I'd say.

Barton 2500+: 50£ (or a mobile 2400 for 63£)
Epox 8RDA+: 58£ (nice & undervoltable with passive NB but no SATA)

You save 121£ to spend on RAM and all the other things you'll try (fans, PSUs, tin snips, bungee cords, fan controllers, Arctic Silver, etc)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2004 3:54 am 
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Location: UK
Hi, my suggestion for quiet, powerful non-gaming system:
Antec 3700BQE £60
Asus A7N8X-X £43.50
Athlon XP2500 £49.50
512MB DDR400 £65
Radeon 9600 £64
Samsung 160GB £79
Black FDD £4.50
8x DVD+-RW £50
Keyboard/Mouse £25
Nexus 350PSU £56
Zalman 7000 alcu £33

Total £530
This is over your budget but includes everything you need in base unit, including some things you may have forgotten.
Notes: motherboard is single channel but gives up very little performance, has good onboard sound. Radeon 9600 is passively cooled and powerful enough for gaming if ever needed. Samsung is 8MB version. DVD-RW is black NEC 2500A. Keyboard is corded, black/silver Logitech with built-in receiver for cordless optical mouse. Nexus is good quiet 120mm fan PSU with plenty of power (Seasonic version for extra £6). Zalman 7000A fits mobo and is very quiet on lowest setting which will be enough to cool the CPU, even if you overclocked it to XP3200 speeds. Speakers ?
I believe the standard 120mm case fan is pretty good but a fanmate (£6) for it may be good investment. Replacement Globe fan is highly rated and £12. Additional (black) DVD drive for disc to disc copying is £17.
To save money you could swap the motherboard for one with built-in graphics (eg Asus A7V8X-MX £38 ) that save the cost of the graphics card and still provide good performance in non-game/video/photo editing use.
Other people may have other ideas/comments

Seb

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2004 4:10 am 
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The Asus is NOT undervoltable. I'd go with a different mobo

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2004 9:20 am 
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Great, thanks for your thoughts :D

I sell my machine next Sunday so NEED a new machine to arrive by Friday. Can't go 1 day without!

I would prefer not to do any complicated or overly-risky modding, but am willing to take some risk to get a quiet PC. I share a small flat and pretty much live out of my bedroom. I like it to be warm and the radiators are often turned on, occasionally with an extra electric heater :) . The room is usually silent and I live in a quiet residential area so the PC is the only thing I hear. I do need to leave it on overnight and at the moment my room sounds like a factory. I could cope with a gentle hum so a totally silent PC is not essential.

I use the PC for editing photos, downloading & watching DivX movies, listening to MP3 music, reading e-books, browsing the Web, and chatting via Web cam to friends & family around the world. The only processor-intensive thing, I would imagine, is decoding DivX videos. Downloading movies also leads to my hard disc becoming fragmented often and I sometimes leave it defragging overnight. I guess you're right that a bit more RAM might come in helpful but I spend only a couple of hours per week editing photos.

I've already been through lots of the articles and am now putting together a list of potential parts. Will post these here later for your feedback before I order them tomorrow.

May :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2004 3:13 pm 
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Moved to the fancy new System Advice forum. :lol:

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