Great, informative site--it's helped me learn a lot already. But now l can't abide the noise of my current PC.
So I'd like to build a PC that's very quiet at 1m. Already bought a Seasonic X Series 650w power supply ($100), 2x4GB dual-channel DDR3 G.Skill valueram ($27) and a 2TB WD Green HDD ($60). I'll be getting a 120GB SSD on Black Friday and likely another 2TB HDD down the line when prices return to normal.
I've narrowed down likely cases to either the Antec SOLO II, or the original SOLO. Cost is
a consideration, so I'm not happy with the SOLO II's $130 price, but the top PSU vent should allow convection to cool the power supply w/o using its fan and isolate its heat load from the main case, which would be nice. The SOLO II's 2 HDD suspension mounts are enough for my needs, and the dedicated SSD mount is a plus, but I would
like to save $40, so do your best to convince me otherwise.
My main question is what motherboard and CPU should I go with to not sabotage the noise profile of the SPCR-recommended components I've already decided on. Nor do I want to pack it with tons of excess power so that it requires much extra or expensive cooling. I don't need high-end 3D gaming graphics, but my other usage is pretty heavy. Often ~50 tabs open in Chrome with a dozen extensions, Flash-based music player, half a dozen open programs, always-on bittorrent client and a distributed computing client that utilizes otherwise idle processing power.
Never really had a new PC, so not sure what recent hardware is capable of... I'd like to primarily run Ubuntu Linux 64-bit (so any fan control should not be Windows-specific software). I'll need to occasionally run some simple Windows programs using VirtualBox. I'd also like to be able to watch 1080p video smoothly. Would good integrated graphics suffice for these scenarios or is a GPU a necessity? If a GPU is required now, I'd rather get one that supports two large monitors as that might be a future upgrade. Again, no real 3D gaming happening--if it runs Civilization 4 (released 2005) I'd be happy, but it's not required. USB 3.0, integrated wifi and a couple extra RAM slots are also preferred, but not required if it adds much to the cost.
Any tips would be appreciated--thanks!