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 Post subject: Building a Allround Silent PC
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:31 pm 
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Posts: 14
Hi

Introduction:
Im thinking about building a new PC because my Mac Mini is becoming too slow for me. I built a PC like 4 years ago with the latest Technology but i just couldn't stand the noise so i bought a Mac Mini a year later and used it ever since. Im not very good when it comes to building and i didn't attach the Fan of my last C2D good enough so it was always too hot and noisy. So im not sure if i should try again. everything else worked well though.

What i need:
What i need is a cheap allround PC that can play modern games on a decent level. im fine with 30-60 fps and medium settings and it should be quit. i would trade quietness for performance since i don't play that much and even if i do it will be mostly indie games that are easy on the hardware + minecraft. i wouldn't say no if the pc could run Diablo 3. i want to spend as little as possible since im a student.

PC Questions:

- is buying now a good time?
- should i go with a Sandy Bridge CPU and if yes which one? i think an i5 is more than enough.
- is an SSD essential for a quite PC? i remembered my old HDDs were too loud so im not going to reuse them.
- what else should i consider?


if you already have a build that resembles my needs i would be very happy if you could post them.

Thank You


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 Post subject: Re: Building a Allround Silent PC
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:49 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:12 am
Posts: 2769
Location: ITALY
What means cheap? And what means decent levels?

Some caveat.

A cheap PC cannot be as small as a MacMini.
A quiet PC cannot be as small as a MacMini.
A cheap PC cannot game quietly.
A cheap PC cannot game at 60fps (but neither 45) at resolution > 1440 x 900 (or so about: but neither the MacMini).
Obviously, IMO/IME.

Well, PC Answers:

- is buying now a good time? Maybe: if you live in USA you may wait one or two months for CPUs struggle and new SSDs.
- should i go with a Sandy Bridge CPU and if yes which one? Maybe: they are the best available but they come at premium. The 2500K seems to me the more balanced option among SB, but AMD looks far cheaper.
- is an SSD essential for a quite PC? Maybe: but if you may enclose and/or suspend the disk, you may stand quite well a mechanical drive: however, as already said, newer SSD are coming, wait for deals.
- what else should i consider? Videocard's noise, mainly. Or so I mean.

Said that, let me know how much will be for you the total amount for:

1 x CoolerMaster Sileo 500
1 x Nexus Value 430W
1 x CoolerMaster Hyper 212+
2 x Nexus 120mm Real Silent Case Fan
1 x Western Digital WD15EARS
1 x MSI GTS 450 Cyclone (or Gigabyte GTS 450 OC2 WindForce, or MSI HD5770 Hawk, or a Gigabyte HD5750 Silent Cell: BUT check first TechPowerUp! for performance levels)

You have to add CPU, motherboard, RAM, an optical drive (if any) and you have a very good price baseline (IMO). Do the same for both Intel and AMD and I think you'd have enough information to think about.

You may give a look to this comparison to figure out if and when AMD fits your need (Sandy Bridge is not included, but you know it's a bit better than Clarkdales/Lynnfields): currently a Phenom II 955 is 70USD less than i5-760 (or a similar Sandy Bridge), and AMD motherboards are way cheaper than Intel P67 ones.

_________________
Regards,
Luca


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 Post subject: Re: Building a Allround Silent PC
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:08 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:44 pm
Posts: 332
Location: Seattle
Dipro wrote:

PC Questions:

- is buying now a good time?
- should i go with a Sandy Bridge CPU and if yes which one? i think an i5 is more than enough.
- is an SSD essential for a quite PC? i remembered my old HDDs were too loud so im not going to reuse them.
- what else should i consider?


if you already have a build that resembles my needs i would be very happy if you could post them.

Thank You

-I would wait because Powercolor is preparing a fanless AMD 6xxx card. They showed off a prototype at CES. And the PCI-E 3.0 specs were recently finalized and I assume motherboards sporting them will be released by the end of the year.

-AMD motherboards tend to be cheaper than their Intel counterparts. And AMD's high-end PCUs are cheaper than Intel's.

-No, SSDs are not mandatory. Their prices are falling, but they probably won't reach student budgets before you graduate. My strategy is to suspend single platter laptop drives. The motors don't work as hard and the heads don't travel as far, so less noise all around. A pair of 5700 RPM drives in RAID-0 approximate the performance of a 7200 RPM desktop drive.

If you don't care so much about having the latest technology, I use a Saphire ATI '5670 Ultimate' card. (Fanless and doesn't need a power cable) StarCraft 2 maxed out with it, and Half Life 2 idles at 60 FPS and generally it bottoms out at 30 during intense action.


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 Post subject: Re: Building a Allround Silent PC
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:11 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:44 pm
Posts: 332
Location: Seattle
quest_for_silence wrote:
A cheap PC cannot be as small as a MacMini.
A quiet PC cannot be as small as a MacMini.
A cheap PC cannot game quietly.
A cheap PC cannot game at 60fps (but neither 45) at resolution > 1440 x 900 (or so about: but neither the MacMini).

If (s)he could afford anything from Apple, an extra hundred or two for quieter parts in a new build won't be an issue. :P


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 Post subject: Re: Building a Allround Silent PC
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:23 am 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
A cheap PC cannot be as small as a MacMini.
A quiet PC cannot be as small as a MacMini.
A cheap PC cannot game quietly.
A cheap PC cannot game at 60fps (but neither 45) at resolution > 1440 x 900 (or so about: but neither the MacMini).
Obviously, IMO/IME.


i think you misunderstood me. i just said that i have a mac mini now i don't expect my pc to be as small it was just a sidenote. what im willing to spend is 800$ - 1000$ max. the cheaper the better. as i said i don't expect to have the uber gaming pc for that price.

and i don't live in the us.


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 Post subject: Re: Building a Allround Silent PC
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:53 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:12 am
Posts: 2769
Location: ITALY
Dipro wrote:
i think you misunderstood me.

Well, I think that you've misunderstood me and my english: maybe I didn't have to use the latinism "caveat".

Dipro wrote:
what im willing to spend is 800$ - 1000$ max. the cheaper the better. as i said i don't expect to have the uber gaming pc for that price.

Well, it's not easy reasoning in terms of "$" when the green dollar is somewhat low on the foreign exchange market.

I already gave you a preliminary list of usually-best-bang-for-the-buck parts: check it out, to see if it works till for you.
Some other else has already downgraded the videocard requirements I've pointed out: check if it works for you, you may spare around 50 euros (I assume you live in Germany from the word "uber").

Dipro wrote:
and i don't live in the us.

Generally speaking, I think it's a good point for each of us to show our own location, so that any advice may be better addressed, particularly when talking about prices and quotes.

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Regards,
Luca


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 Post subject: Re: Building a Allround Silent PC
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:05 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:19 pm
Posts: 14
Ok i live in switzerland.
I will buy the stuff from here: digitec.ch the site is in english. I checked most of your parts and sadly almost.none of them are available.

I thought i could get a ok pc for 800$. I font expect to run crysis 2 in 30fps. I just want to play the occasional game on decent settings and it doesnt have to be whisper quiet. While browsing it should be little noise for gaming it can be louder since i will wear headphones or jack up the volume anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Building a Allround Silent PC
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:52 am 
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Location: ITALY
Dipro wrote:
Ok i live in switzerland.
I will buy the stuff from here: digitec.ch the site is in english. I checked most of your parts and sadly almost.none of them are available.

The most economical (or so about) products I've found there are:

PSU: be quiet! STRAIGHT POWER, E8 400W (fixed cables) OR Cooler Master Silent Pro Series PSU - 500 Watt (modular)
Case: Cooler Master Sileo RC-500-KKN1-GP - black
CPU Heatsink: Cooler Master RR-B10-212P-GP Hyper 212 Plus
Fans: Scythe Slip Stream 120mm SY1225SL12LM-P - PWM Fan AND Scythe Slip Stream 120mm SY1212SL12L - 1200rpm
Hard Disk: Western Digital Caviar Green, 64MB, 1TB, SATA-II
Videocard: Powercolor HD 5750 SCS3 1GB, PCI-E x16 2.0, DP, HDMI, passiv
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition, 3.2GHz, AM3, 4C/4T (for AM3 system) OR Intel Core i5 2400 BOX, 3.1GHz, LGA 1155, 4C/4T (for LGA1155 system)
Motherboard: Asus M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 (for AMD) OR Asus P8P67 LE (for Intel)
RAM: Kingston HyperX Blu, 2x2 GB, DDR3-1333, CL9-9-9-27@1.5V (for 32-bit OS) OR Corsair CMX8GX3M2A1333C9, 2x4GB, DDR3-1333, CL9@1.5V (for 64-bit OS)

I don't know if they are actually available, but all of them have four or five green lights under the tag availabilty.
Have good luck!

_________________
Regards,
Luca


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 Post subject: Re: Building a Allround Silent PC
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:54 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:19 pm
Posts: 14
thank you very much for your help. i will try this build out.
how much more powerful/louder would the i5 be? and do you think it would be worth the price?
i will post prices for the two builds in a minute.


AMD Build:
CHF 877.- or 903$

Intel Build:
CHF 943.- or 971$


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 Post subject: Re: Building a Allround Silent PC
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:39 am 
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Posts: 2769
Location: ITALY
Dipro wrote:
how much more powerful/louder would the i5 be?

It depends: are you talking about gaming?
If so, another 30CHF for the 2500K may worth a lot, expecially at low-mid resolutions: it might give a framerate up to around 60% higher. For the i5-2400 again yes, but noticeably less.

SB won't be any louder than AMD X4, as the cooling kit is the same, the CoolerMaster Hyper212+ with the Scythe PWM fan.

Dipro wrote:
and do you think it would be worth the price?

To me, definitely yes. However, you may also spare 20-30CHF on the AMD motherboard if you take a mATX one.
Another possible saving comes from the 1200rpm Slipstream: you might also bet on the stock fans, banking on the fan control system (the Asus Q-Fan in the relevant BIOS section or, better, a software like SpeedFan - Windows - or fancontrol - Linux -). I won't do so, but I'm an hardcore silencer, not a gamer with his headphones.

With reference to that, another option to consider: as the PowerColor card is relatively hot, you might need to use the intake fan (so, if in case, a second 1200rpm Slipstream might be advisable) which I wouldn't use, at first try.

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Regards,
Luca


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 Post subject: Re: Building a Allround Silent PC
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:04 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:19 pm
Posts: 14
very good. i will try a few builds out.
are 8GB of RAM necessary for the 64bit system?

oh and i just had a look at my old system. i have a Be Quiet Dark Power BQT P6-Pro 530W, ATX2.2 could i reuse that? this would save me another 100CHF.


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 Post subject: Re: Building a Allround Silent PC
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:34 am 
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Location: ITALY
Dipro wrote:
are 8GB of RAM necessary for the 64bit system?

No, they aren't: they are just decisive for performances (with 64-bit OS), while 4GB today are still (a bit more than) enough (and even the max acceptable for a 32-bit OS). If in case, you might spare 20 CHF filling all the RAM banks with four Kingston modules (instead of two Corsair modules).

Dipro wrote:
oh and i just had a look at my old system. i have a Be Quiet Dark Power BQT P6-Pro 530W, ATX2.2 could i reuse that? this would save me another 100CHF.

Well, I mean no: haven't you written
Dipro wrote:
i just couldn't stand the noise
?
If you want to spare something more, I guess it should be better to go for the E8 (or - as a slight downgrade - an E7 or L7).

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Regards,
Luca


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 Post subject: Re: Building a Allround Silent PC
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:43 am 
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i tested my old pc a couple of hours ago. following the noob guide and i noticed that i had a very loud GPU/CPU and loud HDDs but the PSU was pretty quiet.


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 Post subject: Re: Building a Allround Silent PC
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:34 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:41 am
Posts: 708
Location: Denmark
Case: The HD cage in a Sileo does NOT reduce vibration (I own that case). No cable routing. Maybe if your harddrive vibrate very little. A WD green and a SSD maybe?

Processor: (At least in Denmark) The Core i5 2500k is approx 15 USD cheaper than a Phenom II 1090T. If you look at the reviews, the Core i5 2500k kicks the ass out of a Phenom II 1100T! (20 fps, Starcraft, maxed out, 1920x1080). Combined with the power efficiency (read: less heat dissipation and lower power consumption resulting in slower fans) and general performance advantage, the new Sandy Bridge processors really seem the only viable choices ATM and I'm a passionate AMD-fan. The price should also be similar to the processors that they are replacing (for example the much popular Core i5 750)

http://www.techspot.com/review/353-inte ... age11.html

The several reviews of Sandy Bridge that I've read all suggests that they are MUCH better than the current processors. Of course, the motherboards might be a little expensive.

The only thing you should probably consider is the coming AMD Bulldozers.

Case fans: You might also consider Scythe Slipstream 1200 rpm undervolted to ~5V or simply undervolting the stock fans. According to SPCR they are easily undervolted and quite when undervolted.

_________________
Cooler Master Elite 341, Athlon II X3 425, Radeon 5750 (passive, fan zip-tied on), Crucial M4 64 GB.
Cooling: AC Alpine 64 Pro, rear exhaust Scythe Slipstream 800 rpm @ ~5 V


"SSD's: The difference between a casual jogger and a dog chasing a ball"


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 Post subject: Re: Building a Allround Silent PC
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:48 am 
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the Asus P8P67 LE is not available right now, can i change it with the Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD3, Intel P67, LGA1155, CFX which costs the same?


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 Post subject: Re: Building a Allround Silent PC
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:04 am 
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Location: ITALY
Dipro wrote:
the Asus P8P67 LE is not available right now, can i change it with the Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD3, Intel P67, LGA1155, CFX which costs the same?

I would stay with ASUS: their fan headers and control are far way better than Gigabyte ones, today.
If you can't wait a few days, you may even go for a GA, but to me it won't worth to do so.

Intel boards almost always are simply unrecommendable by a silence perspective (their BIOS is quite inadequate).

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Luca


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 Post subject: Re: Building a Allround Silent PC
PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:32 pm 
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hey i just wanted to stop by and say thank you again. i built the pc last weekend and when i turned it on i couldnt believe my ears. it's whisper quiet. you can still here it but im more than happy.

i haven't even attached the coolers yet since they werent available so im looking forward to that.

i went with a i5 2500k and the gigabyte gfx 460.
last question i have, is the 400w PSU still enough? i currently run on my old PSU because the 400w didnt have two cables for the graphic card but i noticed it came with a normal power cable to 6pin adapter. so i will change it next weekend.


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 Post subject: Re: Building a Allround Silent PC
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:38 am 
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Dipro wrote:
it's whisper quiet.

With the stock Intel CPU heatsink and the Gigabyte board?

Dipro wrote:
is the 400w PSU still enough?

Definitely yes.

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Luca


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 Post subject: Re: Building a Allround Silent PC
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:43 am 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
Dipro wrote:
it's whisper quiet.

With the stock Intel CPU heatsink and the Gigabyte board?

Dipro wrote:
is the 400w PSU still enough?

Definitely yes.


you may have other standards that i do but for me its very very quiet.

ok cool. why do all people say you need 500w-600w PSUs?


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 Post subject: Re: Building a Allround Silent PC
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:46 am 
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Dipro wrote:
you may have other standards

Definitely yes.

Dipro wrote:
ok cool. why do all people say you need 500w-600w PSUs?

Because "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former" (Albert Einstein).
As we're not talking about life, the universe and everything, do your math.

However, why you do need that other power: well, let's do my math.

Basically you need the power needed for the disks, the mainboard, the CPU and the GPU. It's a almost as easy as to do a sum.
A typical 2500K/P67 combo won't pull any more than 110W DC but I want to make a stupid thing and say 130W DC.
Overclocking up to 4.4GHz should add 25-30W DC more, but I wanna make a further stupid thing and say 50W.
An oc'ed GTX 460 pulls from the PSU 110W at worst: but I wanna bench too, so I say 160W.
Add 20W for a single 5400rpm not efficient drive, total amount is 360W for a torture test. Holy crap, I forget the fans: 6W each for some very noisy ones, three of them, another 20W: 380W DC at worst.

But you don't pull 20W from the drive when benching (only when switching your rig on), quiet fans are around 3W and you need just two, maybe you won't oc'ing, maybe you will undervolt the CPU, and you usually won't bench at the same time the CPU and the GPU, and so on: so in real life the *peak* power you will ever see drawn from the wallet will be around 200-230W DC (gaming).

I do that by somewhat wide margin, but check Anandtech and Xbit Labs for some proof of my concept: and enjoy your noisy stock heatsink! :wink:

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Luca


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 Post subject: Re: Building a Allround Silent PC
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:08 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:19 pm
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thanks again. yes it's so noisy i may hurt my ears :wink:




well i ordered the ones you recommended :D


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