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 Post subject: Compact, 100% silent brand PC?
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 1:52 pm 
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Hello

A couple of years ago, I bought an Acer Aspire L100 as a replacement desktop PC, but once set up at home, it turned out to be much less silent than expected (the fan would blow at 100% speed every once in a while).

Are there compact, 100% silent desktop brand PC's (eg. Asus EeeBox PC), or is the only way to either get a laptop (and connect a regular keyboard/monitor/mouse for home use) or stick to the usual tricks (big case, suspended hard-disks, slowed-down CPU fans with FanMate, etc.)?

Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Compact, 100% silent brand PC?
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 2:14 pm 
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Shuttle has at least one small fanless barebone. Others probably have some as well.

What are your requirements?


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 Post subject: Re: Compact, 100% silent brand PC?
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 11:19 pm 
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I'd rather just grab a computer from the store instead of building it myself.

As I need to compile the Linux kernel, I need something faster than an Atom, but without the increased noise + form factor.

Also, when I choose to put it in Sleep mode at night, I want the whole thing to be silent, even the PSU.


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 Post subject: Re: Compact, 100% silent brand PC?
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 12:02 am 
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littlebigman wrote:
I need something faster than an Atom, but without the increased noise + form factor.

Also, when I choose to put it in Sleep mode at night, I want the whole thing to be silent, even the PSU.
Build something around Intels Sandy Bridge i3 2100 or 2100T. Now if you want to go that small idk if you can go silent, as you will be limited a lot by what heasinks you can use/install. Ill throw an idea out there, maybe it interests you,

Case M350 Universal Mini-ITX enclosure
PSU Premium picoPSU-80/6.6A 80W AC-DC + 4-Pin P4 Mini Power Cable
CPU Intel Core i3-2100T Sandy Bridge 2.5GHz 2 x 256KB L2 Cache 3MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 35W Dual-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I32100T
CPU Cooler: Try the intels first or something low profile like Scythe Kozuti Low Profile (40mm Height) (not completly sure it will fit with the hdds)
Mobo: ASUS P8H61-I (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
Memory: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL8D-4GBHK
HDD: Hitachi 5k500b or Intel 320 Series 120GB (7mm without the plastic spacer).

The M350 is a very small case, but the hdd are mounted on top, the new mITX boards have the CPU socket located after the PCIe slot, thus making the CPU more centered in the mobo, this imo might not allow to place niether hdd bracket (this im not sure just my guess, see the picture), but intels 320s are 9mm ssd but come with spacer that if taken out should go down 7mm + maybe with Kozuti 40mm it might work (I still doubt it but crosscheck it, the heatsink is just out, here is picture mounted in an mITX).

An alternative could be to go with a new upcoming ECS mobo, that has a pcie port that according to their description also works as mini sata, check Guru3d ECS H67H2-I motherboard review, quoting from there,
Quote:
The weird looking connector all the way to the left is a Mini PCIE x1, also known as mSATA card connector.

From ECS website,
Quote:
Followings are other amazing features included in ECS H67H2-I motherboard:
- Mini PCIE slot fully supports mini PCIE or mSATA devices

Now its important that you check if in fact it can take mini sata because in laptop mPCIe ports cant take mini sata drives, but if it is, then you can go with Intel 310 series, which is an intel X25m in a mini sata factor. There are 2 available atm,
Intel 310 Series (Soda Creek) SSDMAEMC040G2C1 mSATA 40GB mSATA (mini PCIe form factor) MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - OEM
Intel 310 Series (Soda Creek) SSDMAEMC080G2C1 mSATA 80GB mSATA (mini PCIe form factor) MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - OEM

I just did a similar build but at the end went with a bigger case to fit a bigger heatsink and case fans to run them as low as i can. Either way its best for you to cross check all the above, as im not 100% sure all will work, specially with the tight space of the case. Good luck.

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 Post subject: Re: Compact, 100% silent brand PC?
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 5:23 am 
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Thanks much for the infos. Too bad no brand came up with a totally silent desktop PC.

Is an 80W/6.6A PicoPSU enough to power this whole setup?


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 Post subject: Re: Compact, 100% silent brand PC?
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 6:03 am 
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littlebigman wrote:
Is an 80W/6.6A PicoPSU enough to power this whole setup?
Well accroding to MissingRemote Intel Core i3-2100T and DH67CF Mini-ITX Motherboard, idle at 15W and load 43W, with a similar setup, only 1x4gb module though, and different mobo so might get slighly higher than him. He went for picoPSU 150XT (120W power adapter), so did i (with 150W power adapter), but to have more room to grown and we are not using such a small case. Another review worth checking is Xbit Labs Every Watt Counts: AMD E-350 vs. Intel Core i3-2100T

There is somone in AVS that is using the picoPSU 80W also, check this post,
Quote:
15W idle for the cpu? Thats GREAT! Just to be sure: you are using a picopsu-80 with this configuration? Did you have to get the P4 cable to get it to work? If memory serves, the 80 does not come with a p4 cable by default - you gotta buy it separate

Yup, 15W idle for the whole system, and yes, using the picopsu-80 with a separate p4 cable. The picopsu-80 actually has a mini p4 cable adapter specifically made for it which you can buy separately, but it's too short for the DH67CF, so I bought a regular p4 adapter. Works well.

Yeah, I have that same 80W ac-dc adapter as well. The 4-pin mini power cable was too short though, so I bought a regular molex to p4. Works well with no issues
Others have gone with other setups, like from JonnyGuru Reviews - Pico PSU Round Up
Quote:
I have the picoPSU 120-WI-32 with a 19V 6.3A AC adapter.
The review gives great scores to the picoPSU 120WI-25V + Fujitus FSP120-AAB Power Supply Charger AC Adapter 19v 6.3a (crosscheck is this one, as i opted for going for different setup so im 100% is the same brick as the review).

I think the 80W pico + 80W brick should work, but up to you, there are lots of options.

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 Post subject: Re: Compact, 100% silent brand PC?
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 6:37 am 
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You didn't state your requirements. "Faster than an Atom" is BS. Kernel compiles are multithreaded and your compiles will be a good deal faster on a quad-core than a dual-core for instance. So if you care about compile performance, you are one of the few who would really benefit from a more powerful CPU than the one mentionned above. With a more powerful CPU comes a beefier PSU, a bigger heatsink and a bigger case (if you care about noise) and so on.

There's a simple solution to your noise and footprint problems: get the powerful PC away from you, someplace where it won't offend. If all you're going to do is to compile kernels, it doesn't even have to be in the same city.


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 Post subject: Re: Compact, 100% silent brand PC?
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 9:02 am 
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Thanks for the feedback. I'll try to find a CPU that offers a good compromise between performance and power dissipation.


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 Post subject: Re: Compact, 100% silent brand PC?
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 9:36 am 
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littlebigman wrote:
Thanks for the feedback. I'll try to find a CPU that offers a good compromise between performance and power dissipation.
In case you do benefit from more cores, and you still want something similar to Intel® Core™ i3-2100T Processor, check the quad core Intel® Core™ i5-2500T Processor, i havent seen it hit retail not sure if its probably OEM only but seems a nice quad with low TDP.

Btw i was doing some pics for another forum, just gona post them here in case might be usefull to you, since you want a low profile case, mostly trying to see if the Sycthe Kouzuti would fit on M350 with ECS mobo and its chipset passive cooler.

Image

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Compact, 100% silent brand PC?
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 9:46 am 
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If you want a Sandy Bridge, a 2500T shouldn't consume that much more power than a 2100T and your compiles will happen a good deal faster, especially if you can cool it well enough. There are cheaper quand-cores but the official prices aren't so far apart and a 95W part would also cost you extra (cooling, PSU). I wouldn't pay that much for a CPU myself but if you really want a somewhat powerful CPU in a small form factor on your desktop, I don't think it's going to come cheap.
AMD also has 45W quad-cores. They're not as good but they're a lot cheaper. And AMD makes it affordable to get even more cores.

In general, I would recommend a mostly closed case with fairly directed airflow for such a PC instead of something like an M350.

edit: I started typing this before the above post. 2500Ts are available retail. If you ask me the M350 is too small for this.


Last edited by HFat on Tue May 17, 2011 9:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Compact, 100% silent brand PC?
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 9:49 am 
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HFat wrote:
Kernel compiles are multithreaded and your compiles will be a good deal faster on a quad-core than a dual-core for instance.
I understood that to mean a one time compile of a linux operating system that he would then use as the operating system on that computer.

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 Post subject: Re: Compact, 100% silent brand PC?
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 9:58 am 
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HFat wrote:
2500Ts are available retail.
I havent seen it on mayor retailers like amazon/newegg, etc. If you talk about those two places that have it at $270 for preorder, i wouldn't call that retail.

HFat wrote:
If you ask me the M350 is too small for this.
I agree, but the OP intentions are small sized like the prebuilts HTPCs, the M350 is as close as i seen.

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 Post subject: Re: Compact, 100% silent brand PC?
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 10:31 am 
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Abula wrote:
I havent seen it on mayor retailers like amazon/newegg, etc.

They're listed in shops here. It's hard to compare prices when some things cost about the same while other cost over twice the US price. They're cheaper than 270$ but not cheap because they're not discounted like the more common parts. Like I said, I wouldn't pay that much for a CPU.

edit: ah, yes there's a way to compare... the availability of the 2500T is not as good but it only costs 15% more than the 2500 here.


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 Post subject: Re: Compact, 100% silent brand PC?
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 1:46 am 
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Thanks for the infos.

I checked the Sandy Bridge CPU's and the mini-ITX boards that take them, and the bill for just those two components is about €200 for a Intel Core i3 2100 + ASRock H67M-ITX.

Alternatively, to have an idea of their performance, I'd be curious if someone could tell me how long it takes to compile a Linux kernel on a...
- Sapphire PURE White Fusion, which uses the AMD E350 processor
- ZOTAC NF610I-K-E or ZOTAC G43ITX-A-E, and either the Intel Celeron Dual-Core E3400 or the Intel Pentium E5400.


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 Post subject: Re: Compact, 100% silent brand PC?
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 3:32 am 
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Abula wrote:
littlebigman wrote:
Btw i was doing some pics for another forum, just gona post them here in case might be usefull to you, since you want a low profile case, mostly trying to see if the Sycthe Kouzuti would fit on M350 with ECS mobo and its chipset passive cooler.
Abula, Did you end up coming to a conclusion on this? The Sycthe Kouzuti is only 40mm high. If it can't fit, nothing can.

Do you know how high the stock Sandy Bridge cooler is. I read one place that it is only 20mm high... but I wonder if that was an error...

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 Post subject: Re: Compact, 100% silent brand PC?
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 6:27 am 
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littlebigman wrote:
I checked the Sandy Bridge CPU's and the mini-ITX boards that take them, and the bill for just those two components is about €200 for a Intel Core i3 2100 + ASRock H67M-ITX.
Im not too sure, but i read somewhere that the Asrock didnt allow voltage control, so they werent recommending it (if i find the link ill post it), there were going more for Asus/Zotac. I personally just went with intel out of not OCing, and there some people that believe that intel boards are the best in power consumption.... this is my first intel board and ill be building on the weekend, so cant say much here.

littlebigman wrote:
Alternatively, to have an idea of their performance, I'd be curious if someone could tell me how long it takes to compile a Linux kernel on a...
- Sapphire PURE White Fusion, which uses the AMD E350 processor
- ZOTAC NF610I-K-E or ZOTAC G43ITX-A-E, and either the Intel Celeron Dual-Core E3400 or the Intel Pentium E5400.
Idk Kernel, or if it would fully use hyperthreading, but on the review that i posted, the i3 2100T is 3x to 4x faster than dual core atom. The AMD350 imo is a great combo for htpc, their strength is their built in GPU, their cpu imo is meh, it might be slightly faster than atom, but in the same ballpark, i would go with at least intel 2100T or 2500T if you want a quad core, their idle consumptions are on par or lower than atom, on load the might be higher, but also 4x more... so imo is good setup.

ces wrote:
Did you end up coming to a conclusion on this? The Sycthe Kouzuti is only 40mm high. If it can't fit, nothing can.
Well my personal guess, by those pics is it does, if you see the side pic it just slightly higher than the sound card, and the sound card still not at the top ioshield so there is some space there + the space from the edge of the case, so my guess is yes, but i dont own the case nor the kouzuti to really say so. But one thing is certain, the kozouti wont allow for the 2.5hdd brackets to be mounted, so there will be a need to go external or with a mini sata like the ones posted above, without knowing for sure if you can boot from that port or if its really an msata compabtible wit intels 310 series.

ces wrote:
Do you know how high the stock Sandy Bridge cooler is. I read one place that it is only 20mm high... but I wonder if that was an error...
I read somewhere that the stock cooler was 45mm (the none T), i yet to see any info on the T versions, i did read and seen there are smaller, but how much mm idk, but ill be able to let you know on the weekend, as all my parts for my build are on guatemala, just on route to me, so ill probably get them today or tomorrow, but wont be building until saturday, ill try to get you some pics of the 2100T cooler.

In the mean time here is pic comparing both from vrzone,

Image

Guessing by that pic, it might allow hdd bracket placement on the M350 with its reduced height (with a more centered CPU socket), although not 100% sure since i don't own a M350.

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 Post subject: Re: Compact, 100% silent brand PC?
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 7:54 am 
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Abula wrote:
In the mean time here is pic comparing both from vrzone,

Image

Guessing by that pic, it might allow hdd bracket placement on the M350 with its reduced height (with a more centered CPU socket), although not 100% sure since i don't own a M350.


What is the heatsink displayed on the left and what is the heatsink displayed on the right? Are you saying that the left one is a 2100 heat sink and the right one is a 2100T heat sink?

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 Post subject: Re: Compact, 100% silent brand PC?
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 8:05 am 
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littlebigman wrote:
I checked the Sandy Bridge CPU's and the mini-ITX boards that take them, and the bill for just those two components is about €200 for a Intel Core i3 2100 + ASRock H67M-ITX.

Alternatively, to have an idea of their performance, I'd be curious if someone could tell me how long it takes to compile a Linux kernel on a...
- Sapphire PURE White Fusion, which uses the AMD E350 processor
- ZOTAC NF610I-K-E or ZOTAC G43ITX-A-E, and either the Intel Celeron Dual-Core E3400 or the Intel Pentium E5400.

I think you should explain yourself better. Are you on a budget? I don't understand your choices then. The E350 can only be bought new and the other CPUs are so old it makes no sense to buy them new. What are you trying to do?

The E350 would basically perform no better than a cheap fanless dual-core HT Atom for compiling kernel (it has better single-threaded performance which wouldn't help).
The Core CPUs are nice and would be better of course. But they're old. You can do much better nowadays, even if you stick to dual-cores. Maybe you can find a used Clarkdale on the cheap (as people are upgrading to the latest and greatest). But AMD has affordable quad-cores as I said so if you're one a budget...

If you want cheap and silent, pick that cheap Shuttle Atom barebone, add a drive and some RAM and you're good to go. It would be slow but not as terrible as you might think. But if you want fast compiles, you've got to spend more money and/or to live with the noise. If you know someone selling powerful silent boxes for 200 euros or so, tell me!


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 Post subject: Re: Compact, 100% silent brand PC?
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 11:47 am 
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HFat wrote:
If you want cheap and silent, pick that cheap Shuttle Atom barebone, add a drive and some RAM and you're good to go. It would be slow but not as terrible as you might think. But if you want fast compiles, you've got to spend more money and/or to live with the noise. If you know someone selling powerful silent boxes for 200 euros or so, tell me!
I don't know, I've been shocked at just how slow an Atom N280 is at running my computational and heuristic scripts. Everything takes 5-10 times longer than my Core 2 Duo 8400 (a particular solution comes to mind, which took 3 hours on the Core 2 machine, and 30+ hours on the netbook). I ran it on the netbook as an exercise most of the time (to see just how long it would take). Both machines had the same OS and 2GB of RAM. The atom did have a slower HDD, though.
Edit: I may have been cheating. I cannot recall if the E8400 machine was running the solutions in 64-bit or 32-bit. Pretty sure it was all 32-bit, though. And obviously 5-10 times, assuming good multithreading, is really 2.5-5 times per core.

I've heard people say Atom kernel compiles are similar to Pentium III times. I cannot say I have any Pentium IIIs to compare to, though :)

Edit2: Abula: even if that heat sink fits in the m350, is it really going to cool 35W passively? This is not rhetorical; I don't know.

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 Post subject: Re: Compact, 100% silent brand PC?
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 12:09 pm 
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andymcca wrote:
Edit2: Abula: even if that heat sink fits in the m350, is it really going to cool 35W passively? This is not rhetorical; I don't know.
It has a fan underneath.

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 Post subject: Re: Compact, 100% silent brand PC?
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 12:47 pm 
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andymcca wrote:
I've been shocked at just how slow an Atom N280 is at running my computational and heuristic scripts. Everything takes 5-10 times longer than my Core 2 Duo 8400 (a particular solution comes to mind, which took 3 hours on the Core 2 machine, and 30+ hours on the netbook).

I would have expected it to be about 6x slower on average, seeing that it's a single-core Atom. Keep in mind its TDP is over 10x smaller than your average mobile C2D (and over 30x smaller than yours)! On some operations, Atoms are half-decent but on others they are really slow. They just don't have the capabilities of mainstream processors. It doesn't show too much on average but I wouldn't be surprised if a specific task was taking over 10x as long.
But what "100% silent brand PC" can you possibly get for about 200 euros if not an Atom? Anything more powerful than a low-power CPUs (of which Atoms were the best until recently) will also come in a bigger case.

andymcca wrote:
I cannot say I have any Pentium IIIs to compare to, though :)

I've got a nice PIII "USFF" (which doesn't look so small nowadays). It's was the only desktop I had for the longest time and I still use it occasionally. I even compiled stuff on it back in the day.


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 Post subject: Re: Compact, 100% silent brand PC?
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 4:37 pm 
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andymcca wrote:
Edit2: Abula: even if that heat sink fits in the m350, is it really going to cool 35W passively? This is not rhetorical; I don't know.
Yup Ces is correct, the Scythe Kozuti Low Profile (40mm Height) has a 80mm fan (10mm thick)
Quote:
PWM fan 80mm is sandwiched (in vacuum) at the heart of this Kozuti. It will run between 800 and 3300 rpm, will charge between 6 and 24.82 CFM, and will issue between 8.2 and 32.5 dB

Image
ces wrote:
What is the heatsink displayed on the left and what is the heatsink displayed on the right? Are you saying that the left one is a 2100 heat sink and the right one is a 2100T heat sink?
Yes, from Intel SB Core i3-2100T Review (Mini Edition)
Quote:
On the right is the HSF that comes with the T series. The HSF is so low that it is as low as the Zotac's chipset heatsink and can fit into almost any ultra low profile casing (I.E MW-100) without buying a 3rd party 1U HSF. Thank you Intel for making this possible!
Ill take some pictures once i get home on Saturday of my i3 2100T so you can be sure.

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 Post subject: Re: Compact, 100% silent brand PC?
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 8:09 pm 
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If the kouziti fits (i think it does, but not 100% sure), there could be another option to avoid the ECS mobo and since the kozouti wouldnt allow placing the hdd brackets, using 1.8 ssds.

I was checking X18M 80GB Ssd Drive GEN2 1.8IN Sata 5MM on intels pdf (79mm x 55mm x 5mm), The M350 has the following dimensions 192 x 210 x 62mm, so in theory you could place the ssd sideways, hell maybe you could even fit it on the front wifi/bluebooth compartment (im not sure but it might). This would allow to use any board and any cooler (well not any but you wouldnt worry about the hdd brackets, but something like the kouzuti), you might need MicroSATA to SATA Adapter to use the normal sata power n data cables, and some cutting to route the cables data/power to the front.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Compact, 100% silent brand PC?
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 9:43 pm 
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Some people on other websites are saying that the 2500T will not be available in retail packaging, as it is only being released to OEM's for inclusion in SFF systems.

Apparently Intel does not care about silentpcreview.com.


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 Post subject: Re: Compact, 100% silent brand PC?
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 4:55 am 
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Abula wrote:
Ill take some pictures once i get home on Saturday of my i3 2100T so you can be sure.
Abula, where did you buy your i3 2100T from?

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 Post subject: Re: Compact, 100% silent brand PC?
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 4:56 am 
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Abula wrote:
I was checking X18M 80GB Ssd Drive GEN2 1.8IN Sata 5MM on intels pdf (79mm x 55mm x 5mm), The M350 has the following dimensions 192 x 210 x 62mm, so in theory you could place the ssd sideways, hell maybe you could even fit it on the front wifi/bluebooth compartment (im not sure but it might).
Good thinking.

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 Post subject: Re: Compact, 100% silent brand PC?
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 5:46 am 
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ces wrote:
Abula wrote:
Ill take some pictures once i get home on Saturday of my i3 2100T so you can be sure.
Abula, where did you buy your i3 2100T from?
Amazon

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 Post subject: Re: Compact, 100% silent brand PC?
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 6:05 am 
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Abula wrote:
ces wrote:
Abula wrote:
Ill take some pictures once i get home on Saturday of my i3 2100T so you can be sure.
Abula, where did you buy your i3 2100T from?
Amazon
I see that it is available on newegg for $134.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819116394

Newegg customer comments:

"I was very impressed at how well even the stock heatsink (a particularly small, heatpipe-less one) cools this chip. I stressed it using various tests over a 72-hour period and the hottest it got in my chassis was 58 degrees C, and I don't think the CPU fan is even trying all that hard. The heat output was so low I even disconnected one of my two 120mm chassis fans, and that took me from about 56 degrees C to 58 degrees C... again, on the STOCK cooler! Just fantastic! I am planning to put a Xigmatek Dark Knight on it and I'm pretty sure it'll be able to run passively without "

"I had an E8400 and was worried about how this cpu would stack up against it. It does very well. Uses a lot less power and seems to be a bit faster as well."

" Seems to be quite a bit faster/smoother than my e3300 clocked at 3.75ghz!"

"Just upgraded from an Intel e8400 box to the Core i3-2100T. I use the box for Windows 2008 R2 Hyper-V virtualization server....The 2100T is faster than the e8400, uses less power ( by half) and even running multiple Virtual machines, this CPU doesn't even blink."

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 Post subject: Re: Compact, 100% silent brand PC?
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 6:15 am 
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ces, I saw in another thread that you ordered one of the Kozutis, but may not have used it yet. Do you have any impressions on noise/thermals?

abula, does Amazon ship to Guatemala? Do they have a spanish language storefront? IIRC, newegg is only USA and Canada?
Edit: Also, I keep thinking your name is Abuela :)

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 Post subject: Re: Compact, 100% silent brand PC?
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 6:22 am 
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andymcca wrote:
ces, I saw in another thread that you ordered one of the Kozutis, but may not have used it yet. Do you have any impressions on noise/thermals?

abula, does Amazon ship to Guatemala? Do they have a spanish language storefront? IIRC, newegg is only USA and Canada?


I have not used the Kozutis yet. I may save it for Ivy Bridge. Newegg sells into China.... But Guatemala is probably too small a market for them. Though you should ask them. See what they say.

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