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 Post subject: Re: Optimal CPU/chipset/mobo for a passively cooled PC..?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:28 am 
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Vicotnik wrote:
Do you know if the tasks you will use the system for has great use for many cores? A dual core is cheaper and easier to cool, especially if you plan to go on with this all passive business.. ;)


Hi Vicotnik, to be perfectly honest with you I do not know and you have a valid point with the dual cores. On the other hand none of us knows for sure what we may like to do in two or three years from now. I usually keep my PCs about 5 years and having a quad core CPU is just "way cool" even for a retired old man.... :mrgreen: ..!
I looked through both these reviews:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/intel-2100t-2400s
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1156-page6.html
...and again the "vanilla" 2400 scores best on the SPCR weighted score so I will stick to it....PASSIVE... :wink:
Do you(or anyone else) know whether my GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 mobo is "decent enough" to allow undervolting..?

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 Post subject: Re: Optimal CPU/chipset/mobo for a passively cooled PC..?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:23 am 
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canardlover wrote:
Do you(or anyone else) know whether my GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 mobo is "decent enough" to allow undervolting..?

Vcore in BIOS from 0,750 to 1,700 Volt and Dynamic Vcore from -0.200 to +0.480 Volt (depending on CPU)
from a review that doesn't allow linking. The board allows undervolting. Dynamic Vcore lowers voltage in idle mode.

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 Post subject: Re: Optimal CPU/chipset/mobo for a passively cooled PC..?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:08 pm 
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boost wrote:
canardlover wrote:
Do you(or anyone else) know whether my GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 mobo is "decent enough" to allow undervolting..?

Vcore in BIOS from 0,750 to 1,700 Volt and Dynamic Vcore from -0.200 to +0.480 Volt (depending on CPU)
from a review that doesn't allow linking. The board allows undervolting. Dynamic Vcore lowers voltage in idle mode.


WOW, cannot thank you enough boost for your knowledge and excellent guidance... :D ....I am now back "in office" and started to think a bit about the RAMs to be fitted. Looked through a SPCR guide recently and my eyes fell on the Kingston HyperX LoVo DDR3-1600 which can work down to 1.35V and they also have heat spreaders fitted which should be compatible with the Thermalright Macho cooler.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1221-page4.html
If I stick to my earlier 8 GB RAM decision I have several choices and again my simple thinking would be to mount 4 x 2 GB RAM rather than 2 x 4 GB..!?!? That would give me twice the heat spreader surface area for a rather modest increase in cost and RAM heat will be spread out into all four slots. I cannot judge if this would hamper performance so please correct me if I am lost here...thanks.. :D ....

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 Post subject: Re: Optimal CPU/chipset/mobo for a passively cooled PC..?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:13 am 
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canardlover wrote:
If I stick to my earlier 8 GB RAM decision I have several choices and again my simple thinking would be to mount 4 x 2 GB RAM rather than 2 x 4 GB..!?!? That would give me twice the heat spreader surface area for a rather modest increase in cost and RAM heat will be spread out into all four slots. I cannot judge if this would hamper performance so please correct me if I am lost here...thanks.. ....

RAM heat spreaders only serve a cosmetic purpose. Back in the days of fast DDR1 Ram and closer to 2V on the Ram a heat spreader was good for overclocking. Modern RAM (and memory controllers in the CPU) only go up to 1.65V (for 24/7 operation, for suicide runs it's still close to 2V on sub-zero cooling) and the RAM doesn't get warm. I repeat: At normal operating voltage of up to 1.65V, more likely 1.5V with newer chips, RAM doesn't get warm. The heat spreaders serve the single purpose, you can tell different brands of RAM apart by their pictures. I bought Corsair Vengeance, because it was on sale. The heat spreaders are very tall, if they don't fit I'll remove them. I'll lose the warranty, but I never had trouble with RAM, if it works it works, if it doesn't work you'll know from the moment you plug it in (so I#ll do an initial test before removing the heat spreaders).
Do get 2 X 4GB, RAM is cheap these days. I already bought 4X4GB, don't know if I need it at the moment, but it doesn't hurt to have it either. If you don't want to void your warranty get RAM with low profile heat spreaders.
Memory controllers up to the current Sandy Bridge aren't optimized for low voltage RAM. You don't gain anything in terms of power draw. Ivy Bridge slides from Intel mention low voltage RAM somewhere, but Ivy Bridge is still 6 weeks out so I don't know for sure.

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 Post subject: Re: Optimal CPU/chipset/mobo for a passively cooled PC..?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:32 am 
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Many thanks boost, got the message... :wink: ...maybe I should shop around and see if I can get 4 x 4 GB as well. If I understand it correctly the mobo is mounted in the Arc case such that the RAM sticks are vertically oriented which will aid the upwards air convection between them...Right..?

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 Post subject: Re: Optimal CPU/chipset/mobo for a passively cooled PC..?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:37 pm 
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Hi again folks, after some head scratching while trying to consider all your viewpoints I have arrived at the following setup:

intel Core i5 2500K 3.3GHz
Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3
Corsair XMS3 Vengeance DDR3 PC12800/1600MHz CL9 2x4GB
Seasonic X-400FL 400W
Thermalright HR-02 Macho
Crucial m4 2,5" 128 GB
Samsung SH-222AB
Fractal Design Arc miditower
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 Sve(64-bit OEM)

...and I have now checked a couple of local vendors for prices so unless you find something terribly wrong above I will place my order within short. Again thanks to all of you for your guidance.... :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Optimal CPU/chipset/mobo for a passively cooled PC..?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:56 am 
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Yes! :) Ditch Windows and go with a Linux flavor of your choice and your system will be 100% Vicotnik approved. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Optimal CPU/chipset/mobo for a passively cooled PC..?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:23 am 
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Should be a great system. You probably only need the one fan on the CPU cooler to cool it at a very low speed and noise.
You could post pics of the finished build in the gallery.

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 Post subject: Re: Optimal CPU/chipset/mobo for a passively cooled PC..?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:18 pm 
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Vikotnik: I have considered Linux but after consulting with my son who uses it he said: "Sorry dad, but that´s nothing for you...lol...". What would the real advantage for me be vs. Win 7...???
boost: yes, the CPU fan seems reasonable to keep until I know for sure what temps I will experience. I assume there will be at least two fan headers on the mobo and with SpeedFan added I´m sure there will be several options to regulate the fan(s)
The DVD-RW is a cheap one with ball bearings and not very quiet but I have searched the SPCR and other sites without finding an alternative which is documented to be really quiet. Please help me if you can...!!
128GB SSD is "minimal" and I still struggle mentally with two alternatives:
1) go up to a single 256GB SSD or
2) add a silent HDD like the Samsung Eco Green 5400rpm in RAID0 to take advantage of the Intel Smart Response and with external HDD for backup of my photos and videos.
My storage space is rather limited - in this current PC I have used up only 98GB out of 232 GB.That´s it.

If I start a build thread when my stuff has been delivered I count on you guys to be with me still and I´m sure we can work out the details later... :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Optimal CPU/chipset/mobo for a passively cooled PC..?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:46 am 
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canardlover wrote:
I have considered Linux but after consulting with my son who uses it he said: "Sorry dad, but that´s nothing for you...lol...". What would the real advantage for me be vs. Win 7...???

I dual boot Win7 and Xubuntu actually, but Xubuntu is my main system. I prefer Linux over Windows mainly because of the freedom. The easy stuff; surfing the net, email, personal office work etc is pretty much the same on both Windows and Linux. Windows is better at games, I keep Win7 beside Linux mainly for that reason. But I feel that I'm being held back by Windows. Tinkering and looking under the hood is not encouraged. With Linux you get the feeling that you can do anything with the hardware you have. The knowledge gained by tinkering with a Linux system is also quite timeless imo. A bit like math. :)
Not that you need to tinker with the system just because it's Linux. Install the latest version of Linux Mint or Xubuntu and you're good to go, no leet haxxor skillz required. If you have a problem but access to Internet there's great international support for all the big distributions.
The reason for you to use Linux would perhaps be to learn. On the other hand, if you have better things to do and if Windows serves you well, perhaps your time could be spent better.
canardlover wrote:
The DVD-RW is a cheap one with ball bearings and not very quiet but I have searched the SPCR and other sites without finding an alternative which is documented to be really quiet. Please help me if you can...!!

There was a little talk on the forum a while back about Pioneer DVR-216. I got one and it's pretty quiet but I think it's discontinued now. Perhaps the recent Pioneers are as good, I don't know. But how often do you use the DVD-RW? They are usually silent when not in use.

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 Post subject: Re: Optimal CPU/chipset/mobo for a passively cooled PC..?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:27 am 
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canardlover wrote:
Hi again folks, after some head scratching while trying to consider all your viewpoints I have arrived at the following setup:

intel Core i5 2500K 3.3GHz
Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3
Corsair XMS3 Vengeance DDR3 PC12800/1600MHz CL9 2x4GB
Seasonic X-400FL 400W
Thermalright HR-02 Macho
Crucial m4 2,5" 128 GB
Samsung SH-222AB
Fractal Design Arc miditower
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 Sve(64-bit OEM)

...and I have now checked a couple of local vendors for prices so unless you find something terribly wrong above I will place my order within short. Again thanks to all of you for your guidance.... :wink:


I have now placed my order on the stuff as above... :D ....except for the SSD which was not available from that vendor.
Thanks Vikotnik for your clarifications on the Linux but I think I will stick to Win 7...sorry.. :oops: .
Folks I am on thin ice regarding the SSD/HDD issue and would like further input before going ahead here. My gut feeling is a 128GB SSD + 500GB quiet HDD combination but I am still struggling with how to configure this to achieve speed/quietness/safe storage. Share your experience and give me your suggestion..Thanks..!

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 Post subject: Re: Optimal CPU/chipset/mobo for a passively cooled PC..?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:14 pm 
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canardlover wrote:
Crucial m4 2,5" 128 GB
If you haven't bought the Crucial yet, take a look at these reliability statistics:
viewtopic.php?p=555937#p555937

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 Post subject: Re: Optimal CPU/chipset/mobo for a passively cooled PC..?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:44 pm 
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ces wrote:
canardlover wrote:
Crucial m4 2,5" 128 GB
If you haven't bought the Crucial yet, take a look at these reliability statistics:
viewtopic.php?p=555937#p555937

ces, many thanks for that overview. When I initially checked customer reviews of one swedish vendor I immediately saw quite many complaints about Corsair SSD instability but very little about Crucial SSD complaints - hence my decision to go with Crucial rather than the Corsairs which are slightly faster. That compares well with your overview..Thanks ces..!
No, I have NOT bought the SSD yet since the vendor where I have placed my main order (as above) does not provide Crucial SSDs... :( ..!
OK, so I will now check into Intel SSDs before deciding but I have a faint memory having read they may be a bit slower..?!?..but safer..!
ces, what would you suggest to me..??? :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Optimal CPU/chipset/mobo for a passively cooled PC..?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:00 pm 
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Folks - in view of ces' post above - and below - allow me to stick out my amateur head once more and come up with a firm suggestion for you to respond to:

1) Intel Intern SSD 120GB 320 Series Intern SATA 2.5"(SSDSA2CW120G3B5)-Retail

2) Seagate Barracuda 500GB(cache 16MB/7200rpm/SATA 6Gb/s) ST500DM002
(having a "SoftSonic" motor and said to be extremely quiet according to the vendors text)

..and the above stuff is available at "my main vendor" as above... :) ..viewpoints..?...alternatives..?

PS -ces and I were posting almost simultaneously - hence the apparent confusion...DS

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Last edited by canardlover on Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Optimal CPU/chipset/mobo for a passively cooled PC..?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:01 pm 
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canardlover wrote:
ces, what would you suggest to me..??? :wink:
It's a personal choice. But faster memory doesn't make that much difference to the user experience. The difference of speeds between two fast, or even a fast and a slow SSD doesn't have much of an effect on the user experience either.

Having to diagnose a non-functioning computer and then having to RMA an SSD back for repair, replacement or dispute, in my opinion materially mars that user experience.

It also seems to me that the Intel often does much better in real life tests than on pure bench marks... meaning to me that more thought has gone into their design.... and that maybe when comparing them with other SSDs you might want to focus more on the real life test results than the artificial benchmark results. If you do, those other "faster" SSDs don't look quite so fast.

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 Post subject: Re: Optimal CPU/chipset/mobo for a passively cooled PC..?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:04 pm 
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canardlover wrote:
2) Seagate Barracuda 500GB(cache 16MB/7200rpm/SATA 6Gb/s) ST500DM002
You might want to look at the Seagate Momentum XT hybrid hard drive.

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 Post subject: Re: Optimal CPU/chipset/mobo for a passively cooled PC..?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:02 pm 
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[/quote] You might want to look at the Seagate Momentum XT hybrid hard drive.[/quote]

Well, it seems to me that a hybrid disc will defeat my strive towards a "passive and silent" PC - assuming that the disc will always have to spin..?!?...right.?
But it sure appears convenient with the cache software doing the "thinking" for me.
So I will echo most reviewers who tend to finish their writing by saying something like.." I still prefer a SSD plus a HDD working in concert.."
ces, I must correct myself above regarding the Intel SSD. I believe I should rather pick the 520 series with the SATA III 6.0 Gb/s connection.
So what do you think about these two working in concert:
1) Intel SSD 120GB 520 series Intern SATA III 2.5" (SSDSC2CW120A3K5)
2) Seagate Barracuda 500GB(Cache 16MB/7200rpm/SATA 6Gb/s) ST500DM002)
My aim would then be to have Win 7 "spin down" the HDD when not in use. From what I see this particuler one does not have the IntelliPark function.

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 Post subject: Re: Optimal CPU/chipset/mobo for a passively cooled PC..?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:33 pm 
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canardlover wrote:
I still prefer a SSD plus a HDD working in concert.
I was thinking of the SSD plus a Momentum XT.

I think there is a new Intel 520 that concedes speed to no other SSD and also can be expected to have Intel reliability. I would think that would be a good selection.

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 Post subject: Re: Optimal CPU/chipset/mobo for a passively cooled PC..?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:27 pm 
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ces wrote:
canardlover wrote:
I still prefer a SSD plus a HDD working in concert.
I was thinking of the SSD plus a Momentum XT.
I think there is a new Intel 520 that concedes speed to no other SSD and also can be expected to have Intel reliability. I would think that would be a good selection.


1) Sorry I did not get that SSD+XT combination...hmmmm...interesting but a bit pricey, have to think about it. Anyone done that..?

2) ces, does that mean you will approve my suggested Intel SSD..??..or do you have another 520 in mind..?

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 Post subject: Re: Optimal CPU/chipset/mobo for a passively cooled PC..?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:59 pm 
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canardlover wrote:
2) ces, does that mean you will approve my suggested Intel SSD..??..or do you have another 520 in mind..?
I think we are talking about the same one:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/5508/inte ... -sandforce

Also, the Seagate with 8G of ssd has the data safety of a HHD with hopefully the speed and reduced sound footprint of an SSD.

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 Post subject: Re: Optimal CPU/chipset/mobo for a passively cooled PC..?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:18 pm 
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ces wrote:
canardlover wrote:
2) ces, does that mean you will approve my suggested Intel SSD..??..or do you have another 520 in mind..?
I think we are talking about the same one:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/5508/inte ... -sandforce

Also, the Seagate with 8G of ssd has the data safety of a HHD with hopefully the speed and reduced sound footprint of an SSD.


Thank you ces for highlighting the intel SSD stability to me, I will now stay with the above 520 model unless "someone out there" has a better idea.

Just read some customer reviews on Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB(SATA 6Gb/s 16MB 7200rpm) and they all praise it for being both fast and very quiet. A worthy alternative HDD..?

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 Post subject: Re: Optimal CPU/chipset/mobo for a passively cooled PC..?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:37 pm 
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canardlover wrote:
Just read some customer reviews on Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB(SATA 6Gb/s 16MB 7200rpm) and they all praise it for being both fast and very quiet. A worthy alternative HDD..?
My personal preference is the Black caviar. But the blue may be a bit quieter.

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 Post subject: Re: Optimal CPU/chipset/mobo for a passively cooled PC..?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:05 pm 
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ces wrote:
canardlover wrote:
I still prefer a SSD plus a HDD working in concert.
I was thinking of the SSD plus a Momentum XT.

I think there is a new Intel 520 that concedes speed to no other SSD and also can be expected to have Intel reliability. I would think that would be a good selection.


Hi again ces and forgive me for not checking the price of the Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid. It has a very reasonable price and maybe this is what I should go for..?! Can you give me an idea of how it will work together with the Intel SSD assuming the Intel 120GB SSD is the main disc C: and the Momentus in the background as storage/archive disc...??...Thank you.. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Optimal CPU/chipset/mobo for a passively cooled PC..?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:53 pm 
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canardlover wrote:
Hi again ces and forgive me for not checking the price of the Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid. It has a very reasonable price and maybe this is what I should go for..?! Can you give me an idea of how it will work together with the Intel SSD assuming the Intel 120GB SSD is the main disc C: and the Momentus in the background as storage/archive disc...??...Thank you.. :)
I don't know. SPCR did a review on the smaller one that has only 4G of SSD and less sophisticated caching.

I have been thinking about buying to see how it works myself. I would expect that for most files you will be able to access the files without the HDD needing to power up its disk. Any any event it should, for small files, be darn quick... much more so than an HDD.

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 Post subject: Re: Optimal CPU/chipset/mobo for a passively cooled PC..?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:51 am 
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If you only have ~100GB of data, get a SSD with 120GB or 180GB and an external 2.5" backup drive. You put an image of your system on the backup drive, maybe some incremental backup, too, and in case the SSD should ever fail, you can restore the latest backup in minutes.

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 Post subject: Re: Optimal CPU/chipset/mobo for a passively cooled PC..?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:57 am 
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boost wrote:
If you only have ~100GB of data, get a SSD with 120GB or 180GB and an external 2.5" backup drive. You put an image of your system on the backup drive, maybe some incremental backup, too, and in case the SSD should ever fail, you can restore the latest backup in minutes.


thanks boost (and ces) for good points. I will leave now to pick up my things and will only buy the Intel SSD for now. Funny you mention the 180GB SSD because exactly that thought struck me during breakfast as a "kiss" solution... :D .....later..!

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 Post subject: Re: Optimal CPU/chipset/mobo for a passively cooled PC..?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:50 am 
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Just to let you know that all things are now in my shop including an Intel 180GB 520 series SSD.Will start with that one only to get things going first and decide on the (iternal/external ?) storage solution later. Will keep you posted on progress..... :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Optimal CPU/chipset/mobo for a passively cooled PC..?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:58 am 
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canardlover wrote:
Will keep you posted on progress..... :wink:

What's going on two months later?

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 Post subject: Re: Optimal CPU/chipset/mobo for a passively cooled PC..?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:45 am 
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canardlover wrote:
canardlover wrote:
Hi again folks, after some head scratching while trying to consider all your viewpoints I have arrived at the following setup:

intel Core i5 2500K 3.3GHz
Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3
Corsair XMS3 Vengeance DDR3 PC12800/1600MHz CL9 2x4GB
Seasonic X-400FL 400W
Thermalright HR-02 Macho
Crucial m4 2,5" 128 GB
Samsung SH-222AB
Fractal Design Arc miditower
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 Sve(64-bit OEM)

...and I have now checked a couple of local vendors for prices so unless you find something terribly wrong above I will place my order within short. Again thanks to all of you for your guidance.... :wink:


I have now placed my order on the stuff as above... :D ....except for the SSD which was not available from that vendor.
Thanks Vikotnik for your clarifications on the Linux but I think I will stick to Win 7...sorry.. :oops: .
Folks I am on thin ice regarding the SSD/HDD issue and would like further input before going ahead here. My gut feeling is a 128GB SSD + 500GB quiet HDD combination but I am still struggling with how to configure this to achieve speed/quietness/safe storage. Share your experience and give me your suggestion..Thanks..!


Hi all and sorry for the loooooooong delay on my progress. The truth is that I bought the stuff in late March as above (except for RAM which were 4x4 GB low profile and the SSD was an Intel 520 series 180GB)
For personal reasons (which I will not rant about) nothing happened until last Wednesday when I started the assembly and today I hit the start button.... :D ... and then installed the Win7 OS... :D .....I'm now up and running and will be back soon with more info.....Cheers/Harald

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 Post subject: Re: Optimal CPU/chipset/mobo for a passively cooled PC..?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:05 am 
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OK, here it is with a few pics. After the initial BIOS tweaking I then istalled the Win7 OEM without partioning of the SSD but for some reason Win7 did that on its own. :roll: ..?? Will be back later with some questions regarding temperature readings...Cheers/Harald
Attachment:
mucho-macho-inköpet.jpg
Attachment:
Mucho macho live.jpg


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