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 Post subject: Build the Perfect Lab or Office Workstation
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:37 am 
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http://www.silentpcreview.com/Build_the ... orkstation

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 Post subject: Re: Build the Perfect Lab or Office Workstation
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:11 am 
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Quote:
Figure 1. Typical airflow inside a CRAZY UPSIDE DOWN computer chassis. The blue arrow indicates cool air, and the red one warm air.


Great article, but I think the usage of the Lian Li A05NB as the main example wasn't the best choice (as pointed out in the above quote). I did a double take, thinking the picture had been flipped horizontally before looking closer and realizing it was one of those rare inverted cases. Comparing it to yet another non-standard case layout just furthers the confusion by implying the Lian Li is the standard layout and the closer to normal PSU-at-the-bottom layout is the stranger.


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 Post subject: Re: Build the Perfect Lab or Office Workstation
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:13 am 
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I would definitely build a machine like this if I needed to build a new system right now.

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 Post subject: Re: Build the Perfect Lab or Office Workstation
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:04 pm 
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It has been ages since we had a good article of building a quiet PC from scratch. This was definitely well written and well researched, and despite keeping somewhat familiar quiet PCs for years, I did learn a couple new things from this article.

I tend to agree with David_CA that the Lian Li case has a fairly unusual airflow layout. It's been my experience that the dirtiest and dustiest places around computers is in the back where most of the wires are located. In the Lian Li, case, that's where the intake is.

There's only a couple other nitpicky details that I'd like to point out. In the beginning, you talk about what differentiates a workstation from a regular PC, and you even make mention of a graphics card (a Quadro FX). However, your build includes a gaming card rather than a workstation card. I've often found that information on aftermarket coolers for workstation cards has often been lacking. For example, the product page for the Shaman VGA cooler mentions that it supports GTX480 and HD5870, but does not address the Quadros or the FireGLs. I know from past experience that some coolers have worked on the workstation equivalent cards, but I was concerned at every point that I was about to make a very expensive paper weight.

The other nitpicky detail is that you also mention how workstations sometimes require specialized hardware, like A/D cards, IO boards, Video capture, etc. But this layout leaves little room for such expansion.

As I said earlier though, this article provides an excellent explanation of the fundamentals and is a great starting point for anyone interested in quiet computing. Good Job.

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 Post subject: Re: Build the Perfect Lab or Office Workstation
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:48 pm 
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sthayashi wrote:
It has been ages since we had a good article of building a quiet PC from scratch. This was definitely well written and well researched, and despite keeping somewhat familiar quiet PCs for years, I did learn a couple new things from this article.

As I said earlier though, this article provides an excellent explanation of the fundamentals and is a great starting point for anyone interested in quiet computing. Good Job.


I agree. Really appreciate your input, and your article will hopefully contribute to keeping the interest in silent computing alive.

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 Post subject: Re: Build the Perfect Lab or Office Workstation
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:22 pm 
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Nice article from a new contributor !! Thanks a lot for putting it together !

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 Post subject: Re: Build the Perfect Lab or Office Workstation
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:50 pm 
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Very clean build and beautiful pictures! Glad to see HR02 is used but wondering why it's not reviewed in SPCR.

One question regarding Intel's DP67BG, is it fan speed control as good as ASUS'? i.e. can specify a fan speed vs. temperature curve for most fans connected (rather than CPU fan only) no matter 4-pin PWM or 3-pin.

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 Post subject: Re: Build the Perfect Lab or Office Workstation
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:18 pm 
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Curious where you have the 4 Case fans .....
1)CPU Scythe PWM
2)Rear behind heat sink Gelid PWM ???
3)Centre Hard drive Scythe PWM
4) Where is the other Scythe Fan?
Have you blanked off the Case Top fan hole?


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 Post subject: Re: Build the Perfect Lab or Office Workstation
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:40 pm 
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When can we see an article about builiding a *real* workstation? Something like 2 CPUs, 2 GPUs, 8+ disks? You keep publishing articles about how to fit one CPU, one GPU, one hard drive in a nice shinning new case, and how quiet it can be. Well, I have three P18x cases that are equally quiet (quieter than the environment noise), equally limited in computation power, and equally huge. I'll never buy a P18x again because I know I can build something that is equally powerful, equally quiet and much smaller. For example, I love my mini P182 and wish I can exchange all my P18x for mini. After all, why do we need full ATX if you'll never use all the PCI-E slots? I wish there is an article about the smallest case that can be as quiet as P18x (or at least on par).

On the other hand, I am struggled to build a workstation with two iCore7 and find the reviews on NewEgg more helpful than SPCR forum. Lots of modding have to be done and I wish there is a definitive guide. Last time I was excited to see that SPCR fits six drives in Lian-Li Q008. Tempted by the claim that the small case can become a 18T file server, I bought a bunch of 3TB drives only to realize that the board does not support 2TB+ drives. Spent tons of time on it, finally got a software RAID working, which is not portable. Luckily I only bought four 3TB drives and had two spare 500GB disks. Otherwise I won't be able to even boot the system (without losing a substantial chunk of storage from my brand new 3TB drives).


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 Post subject: Re: Build the Perfect Lab or Office Workstation
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:40 am 
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alexwy --

Perhaps this article could be criticized as repeating some of the content previous build guides, but that's pretty much the norm for almost any subject matter -- all knowledge is built on what came before.

As for your desire to see a guide on how to build an extremely high power rig that runs quietly, I have no doubt that many of the long-time participants in the SPCR forum could manage this -- but the real question is how many people such an article would be useful for? In this day of 4, 6 and now 8 core >3 GHz CPUs w/ TDP no greater than 125W (and lower typical load), there really isn't much call for multiple CPU systems. In a WS, gaming cards are out of place; normally, multi-monitor support is far more important, so there really isn't much of a power/heat issue there.

We could post an article on the most power-hungry gaming rig we could think up, something that pulls, say, >600W DC peaks, with <20 dBA acoustics -- and know that while hardly anyone would actually build one, the piece would attract a lot of attention. We'll probably do that one day, but it's not exactly high on our list of priorities.

The issues you ran into with 3TB drives can hardly be blamed on our server build guide. We simply indicated what was possible for maximum storage in such a system without spelling out every detail of going to such extremes. Surely, you have to take responsibility for researching and dealing with your own component choices.

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 Post subject: Re: Build the Perfect Lab or Office Workstation
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:23 pm 
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alexwy wrote:
You keep publishing articles about how to fit one CPU, one GPU, one hard drive in a nice shinning new case, and how quiet it can be.

There's also the SPCR community, equally valuable:

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Build the Perfect Lab or Office Workstation
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:41 am 
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Location: Germany
I can't praise this build enough, but one of the author's comments drew my attention:

"It is crucial to choose a relatively high-wattage and an 80-plus efficient power supply. The high wattage is going to provide ample, clean power to all of the components with a great deal of headroom. Such a power supply is extremely unlikely to overheat and will thus operate at a relatively low temperature. Consequently, the cooling fan is not going to have to spin very fast, and the power supply will remain quiet, even at full load."

The conventional wisdom is to choose a lower-wattage PSU. For an office-use PC, even a 200 watts PSU suffices if using integrated graphics (but then, try to find an 80 plus PSU under 300 watts).

In this build, 500 watts at most should be enough, or not?

Does it make sense to select a higher-wattage PSU for the sake of silence, as the author says?


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 Post subject: Re: Build the Perfect Lab or Office Workstation
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:18 am 
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RHN wrote:
I can't praise this build enough, but one of the author's comments drew my attention:

"It is crucial to choose a relatively high-wattage and an 80-plus efficient power supply. The high wattage is going to provide ample, clean power to all of the components with a great deal of headroom. Such a power supply is extremely unlikely to overheat and will thus operate at a relatively low temperature. Consequently, the cooling fan is not going to have to spin very fast, and the power supply will remain quiet, even at full load."

The conventional wisdom is to choose a lower-wattage PSU. For an office-use PC, even a 200 watts PSU suffices if using integrated graphics (but then, try to find an 80 plus PSU under 300 watts).

In this build, 500 watts at most should be enough, or not?

Does it make sense to select a higher-wattage PSU for the sake of silence, as the author says?

It's not the only way to get a near silent PSU, but it is an effective way of doing so. I chose the CP-850 for my rig for the same reason -- the massive amount of headroom ensures that the fan won't spin up until a high load (400~500W in the case of the CP-850). Make sure that your rig doesn't exceed this threshold, and that the PSU always gets fresh cool air through a dedicated intake vent, and the PSU fan will only ever spin at its lowest speed.

The other options would be a low wattage fanless model, or a low wattage fanned model -- with this latter option you would need to research the fan speed curve and compare it to the power draw of your system. See the second-last table on this page, where the fan in the Seasonic G360 approaches 20dbA at 200~250W, compared to 400~500W with the CP-850.


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 Post subject: Re: Build the Perfect Lab or Office Workstation
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:43 am 
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Thanks for your reply, Flemester. I had been thinking along the same lines. But perhaps there are other reasons in favor of the CP-850.


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 Post subject: Re: Build the Perfect Lab or Office Workstation
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:59 am 
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Location: Germany
alexwy,

i think a PCIe 1x SATA raid card would fix your problem, but do watch out if the card supports the drives. As to the missing guide, imho your looking in the wrong place, SPCR is not about building systems for beginners - it's about silent systems.


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