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 Post subject: Low End Budget pc that is Silent or Quiet at least
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:43 am 
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Location: Galway, Ireland
Hi, I'm considering updating my PC and would like it to be as silent as possible. I would like it to cost no more than 500 Euro and it doesn't need to be too powerful, as my usual daily work on it is web browsing and playing music. I play older games, like Jedi Academy, Darkstar One, Flight Simulator 2004, Baldurs Gate and Colin McRea and my Monitor is old 15" NEC AccuSync 72vx which will do 1280x1024 at most I think. I would like to have a motherboard with Asus Express-Gate maybe, so for normal use I wouldn't need to turn on windows. Could you suggest something please?

Regards
Mr Abraa


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 Post subject: Re: Low End Budget pc that is Silent or Quiet at least
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:21 am 
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I'm assuming you want to build your computer (which requires some thinking and research) as opposed to getting a finished product or a barebone. Do tell if I assumed wrong...

500 euros isn't low-end anymore.

I think your main choice is whether you want to go with a small mITX case or not.
Several small mITX cases include efficient and fanless power supplies but are limited in terms of capability and upgradability.
If you go with a larger case, you're going to have to either make-do with a relatively poor power supply (making noise and/or wasting electricity), order a pico overseas or spend a lot of money on a good power supply.
A potential alternative would be to use a motherboard including its own power supply such as the DH61AG in a larger case. But I'm not sure what peripherals (and graphics card in particular) such a board could handle.

If you go with a small case with an integrated power supply, you'll have to use the CPU's integrated graphics. For your old games, that should be OK as long as you don't pick the worst.
If you want really-low end but totally silent, there are solutions like AMD's Zacate and Intel/Nvidia's ION. These motherboards come with an integrated CPU and heatsink so all you'd need to buy is the motherboard, the case, some RAM and a drive. But you could have a lot more power for a little more money.
Intel has the best CPUs but the integrated graphics might not be enough for you. In your situation, that's probably what I would try anyway: an H61 motherboard and a G530 CPU. The reason I would go with that is that these parts are great value (the combined cost is about 75 euros here but should cost a bit more in your country) and you can upgrade the CPU later for a more powerful model with better integrated graphics. The better CPUs are expensive now but will become cheap on the used market down the road. If you're not willing to buy used CPUs and upgrade your computer, that might not be such a good idea though.
AMD has comparatievely crappy CPUs but offer an interesting product for low-end gaming: the Llanos. The integrated graphics in these is pretty good and my local price would be 105 euros for a a triple-core CPU and a motherboard.

The best option in terms of upgradability if you're willing to spend a bit more for a larger computer with a separate power supply would be an Intel CPU and a dedicated graphics card.
Considering the games you're playing now, a fairly cheap fanless graphics card would be alright and wouldn't consume a lot of electricity. You could upgrade it some day if you want to play newer games.

You will probably want a third-party heatsink with the more powerful CPUs but I think that's a detail. The big choices are outlined above. If you can determine the type of case and CPU you want, we could suggest specifc products.


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 Post subject: Re: Low End Budget pc that is Silent or Quiet at least
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:00 am 
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Location: Galway, Ireland
Well, I used to build computers when I was younger, so it's not completely new to me, although I haven't been in market for quite a while so I wouldn't know what's best choice right now. I was thinking of m-Itx before, but the idea of integrated graphics doesn't really appeal to me. I mean it's ok for a while, but when there is virtually no chance to upgrade that becomes a nuisance. Therefore I'd rather go for common ATX board, as I suggested with preference towards some ASUS model with express-gate and good fan controls. So far I always used AMD CPU's but I'm open to changes ;) The computer I have atm is quite enough for my usual use, but it's quite loud and lacks refinement. It's case is some fancy LED lit up model with DVD-ROM mounted sideways :/ Here is it's specs:

Antec 380W PSU (not sure what model)
ATHLON 64 X2 4450E 2.3GHZ PIB SKT AM2 2X512KB FSB1000 45W
M3N78-EH ATX motherboard
GF8400GS PCI-Express 256Mb DDR2 64Bit DVI-I graphic card
Memory/2GB 800MHz DDR2 Non-ECC CL6 DIMM
and SB Audigy (one of the better equipped models)
Stock CPU cooler

Computer CPU is averaging 45*C, GPU 60*C, Motherboard 40*C.
This computer will be used now for playing movies with my projector and Logitech 5.1 set of speakers. The new computer may have integrated music card, but I'd really like the graphic card not integrated and possibly less heat generating ;) If you can suggest something good and within budget I'd be eternally grateful :)

Regards


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 Post subject: Re: Low End Budget pc that is Silent or Quiet at least
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:11 am 
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Here's a list that I would suggest:

CPU: Intel Celeron g530
CPU cooler: Arctic Cooling Alpine 11 (there's the normal version, the GT-version and the Pro-version. Doesn't really matter which you choose). It's a very low-end cooler with mediocre thermal performance. But it can cool an effective CPU much more quiet than the stock cooler.
Mobo: your choice (I don't know which mainbaords have ASUS Express Gate.
RAM: choose the cheapest 4 GB RAM. But I'd suggest buying a single 4 GB RAM stick opposed to 2x2 GB. When you're going to upgrade your system, perhaps selling the parts, it's MUCH easier to sell high density RAM than RAM with a low density.
GPU: If you dont do anything graphical intensive, then stick with the integrated GPU from the CPU.
HDD/SDD: If you don't need much space, then I will definitely recommend an SSD! I can't emphasize enough how an SSD can impact on the snappiness of a computer! Choose the cheapest 60/120 GB SSD that is known to be reliable. I'd suggest a Crucial M4.
PSU: Quite a lot of options here. Enermax, Nexus, Cooler Master Silent Pro M.
Cases: Again, there are too many options. It depends on your choice of m-ATX vs. ATX vs. ITX, size, number of HD's etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Low End Budget pc that is Silent or Quiet at least
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:02 pm 
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500 Euros are enough to buy you a nearly quiet pc. Following kuzzia's advice i'd like to add that's mostly psu, case and cpu cooler that make the difference.

You could even go with integrated gpu at first an use those ~120 Euro for getting a decent 22-23" tft. And of course add the vga card as soon as your budget allows to.

Because, honestly, throwing the 15" monitor out would be my personal #1 :)


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 Post subject: Re: Low End Budget pc that is Silent or Quiet at least
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:08 pm 
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Long time since I saw anyone suggest an Intel Celeron for a build ;-)
Not that it's a bad CPU good price and likely a better buy than an Athlon II x2

In this case I would think for light gaming it might make more sense to give the AMD A series a look, there are a few to pick. If your not doing any demaning stuff at all (like photo/video work etc) then a dual core will be likely just fine for your needs.
I'd agree about the monitor comments!


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 Post subject: Re: Low End Budget pc that is Silent or Quiet at least
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:33 pm 
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Pappnaas wrote:
Because, honestly, throwing the 15" monitor out would be my personal #1 :)


If you're experimental, you could keep the 15" monitor and add another one for a dual-monitor setup. There are many advantages to this :)

Mr Spocko wrote:
Long time since I saw anyone suggest an Intel Celeron for a build ;-)


Though the Celeron name scares me off a bit, I'm still comforted by the fact that it is a dual-core Sandy Bridge. That's always good to know :)

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 Post subject: Re: Low End Budget pc that is Silent or Quiet at least
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:48 pm 
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mrabraa wrote:
I would like to have a motherboard with Asus Express-Gate maybe, so for normal use I wouldn't need to turn on windows.
It sounds good in theory, but it isn't so hot in practice. Better to just get a fast booting SSD.

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 Post subject: Re: Low End Budget pc that is Silent or Quiet at least
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:04 pm 
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1. Start with a low cost Micro-ATX. The ItX boards cost a slight premium. I would search around the benchmarks and look for one that is optimized for a fast boot up. There are substantial differences between motherboards on boot up time.

2. The next most important thing to get is an SSD for quick boot times. This is the most important component for purposes of user experience. Intel SSDs are the most reliable. You can get an 80G Intel 320 in the US for $139.99.

3. Get a low cost Intel CPU. If you are planning to go without a video card, get the Ivy Bridge with the 4000 integrated graphics.

4. FSP has a nice PSU that is inexpensive and can mount as either as either an ATX or SFX PSU. It is the FSP300-60GHS-R 300W. It is low cost and has a very quiet fan (at least at the loads and I run at). 300 watts is plenty of power now adays.

How many Euros does that eat up? What do you have left for a case, memory, and heat sink?

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 Post subject: Re: Low End Budget pc that is Silent or Quiet at least
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:49 pm 
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I think Asus killed Express Gate on desktop mobos when they introduced UEFI...so sometime in 2010/11.

Your games are fairly old and your monitor's resolution is relatively low. So, you probably don't need a video card if you get a modern CPU with IGP. I'd lean toward a G6xx Pentium on the low end ($60-80) or a G8xx ($80's). If you want a better IGP, then the i3-2105 ($135). You can always add a low end video card later if you need higher performance.

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 Post subject: Re: Low End Budget pc that is Silent or Quiet at least
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:33 pm 
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Mr Spocko wrote:
In this case I would think for light gaming it might make more sense to give the AMD A series a look, there are a few to pick. If your not doing any demaning stuff at all (like photo/video work etc) then a dual core will be likely just fine for your needs.


I wouldn't recommend going AMD. As i understand, the op has a tight budget. If going cheap socket 1155 you could add (come Haswell) the last i5 or i7 in 10-18 Month and enjoy a comparativly cheap update while keeping the rest of the stuff.

And in case of light gaming: Every Intel G-CPU with a 70$ gpu runs circles around every AMD APU that's available. If you'd add a gpu to AMD-APU, the gaming results will be inferior to any GXXX + same gpu combination.


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 Post subject: Re: Low End Budget pc that is Silent or Quiet at least
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:19 am 
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ces wrote:
1. Start with a low cost Micro-ATX. The ItX boards cost a slight premium. I would search around the benchmarks and look for one that is optimized for a fast boot up. There are substantial differences between motherboards on boot up time.

2. The next most important thing to get is an SSD for quick boot times. This is the most important component for purposes of user experience. Intel SSDs are the most reliable. You can get an 80G Intel 320 in the US for $139.99.

3. Get a low cost Intel CPU. If you are planning to go without a video card, get the Ivy Bridge with the 4000 integrated graphics.

4. FSP has a nice PSU that is inexpensive and can mount as either as either an ATX or SFX PSU. It is the FSP300-60GHS-R 300W. It is low cost and has a very quiet fan (at least at the loads and I run at). 300 watts is plenty of power now adays.

How many Euros does that eat up? What do you have left for a case, memory, and heat sink?


Agree. m-ATX is the way to go since, usually, there are no needs for all the expansion slots. And ITX is a bit too expensive. Intel are known for their reliability, but SSD's from Crucial m4 and Samsung are also reliable.
On the comment 3: if you're really not doing anything graphical intensive, then I believe the integrated graphics solution from Intel 2000/2500 will suffice. I can't comment on the PSU since I don't know it.

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 Post subject: Re: Low End Budget pc that is Silent or Quiet at least
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:27 am 
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The games you listed are so old, that the IGP (integrated Graphics) of a Sandy Bridge CPU will have no problems with it. And just about every mainboard (be it mITX, mATX or full ATX) has a 16x PCI-E slot, so you can add a graphics card when you need it. Because that is when you want to buy a new graphics card - WHEN YOU NEED IT.
Any card you buy today will be cheaper or be replaced by a higher performing part in a couple of months. So hold off until you play a game that chokes your IGP.

Components these days are so cheap: a Pentium G6xx can be had for under 50 Euros, same for 8 gigs of DDR3 and a mainboard. There shouldn't be much reason to upgrade tower or PSU (unless yours is noisy). An SSD is good for quiet, as mechanical HDDs tend to be the noisiest part of a quiet computer. A 128 gig SSD (preferably Samsung 830 or Crucial M4) can be had for under 120 Euros. So with just under 300 Euros, you would be good, it wouldn't surprise me if you come in under 250 (of course depening on the country you hail from).
I'd suggest getting a nice 24" Full HD TFT to go along with this, they usually come in under 200 Euros.


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 Post subject: Re: Low End Budget pc that is Silent or Quiet at least
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:00 am 
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So many posts and so many options :) The monitor is 17", my mistake ;) PSU is Antec EA380 with 80mm supposedly quiet fan and I think that what makes the PC I have now the noisiest is that flimsy case it's in, because it's so thin it does vibrate a lot.
I didn't realize that you get GPU's now with CPU, last time I checked, they were integrated in chipset on MB. My bad experience with them comes form old intel i915. I'll look at your propositions though, cause you're right about having no problem getting Graphic Card if I need one, providing I'd have free slots in mini-ATX case. As for SSD I've been thinking of getting one of those for the system, and either getting one quiet HDD or using my Toshiba 1TB external drive as a second storage (games and movies etc.)
So in summary I'd go for mini ATX with (probably) Intel G-CPU, integrated Sound card, some good quality quiet fan for CPU and a good PSU too. Are there any particular cases you'd recommend for good air flow and low vibrations? Also I could use a suggestion on which mobo maker should I choose (I always had ASUS before, but I know they're not always that great).

Regards


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 Post subject: Re: Low End Budget pc that is Silent or Quiet at least
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:25 am 
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mobo: just find a mobo that suits you. You can't really go wrong in this area.
Case: Fractal Design Define Mini. It's a bit big for at m-ATX case but otherwise a great case. You may also consider a Silverstone Temjin TJ08-E or Silverstone Precision PS07. That's about the m-ATX cases I know.
CPU cooler: You might as well go with the Arctic Cooling Alpine that I mentioned since your CPU will hardly dissipate much heat. The AC Alpine should easily cool your CPU well while being inaudible.

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 Post subject: Re: Low End Budget pc that is Silent or Quiet at least
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:34 am 
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To get back at my first answer, you have a problem: there are no good and cheap power supplies except the low-power ones which would restrict your ability to upgrade. And you'll probably not find low-power power supplies in Ireland except bundled with a small case (which you don't want).
So... are you willing to import a part which will limit your ability to upgrade? Or are you willing to put up with a noisy and wasteful power supply (but still better than your current one of course)? Or are you willing to spend a lot of money on an ideal part you don't really need at the moment?
The Arctic Cooling mentionned above is probably a good buy if you get a power supply which isn't too noisy (otherwise there's little point).

With the direction you're currently heading into, noise and vibrations are not going to be a big problem so you should buy whatever case you like or reuse your current one.
The cases typically recommended here are nice but quite expensive. If you really are on a budget, you might be better off getting whatever is cheap in Ireland or buying someone's old case for pennies on the dollar.

Asus makes good boards but they aren't the cheapest and they typically consume more electricity than the simpler boards offered by other vendors such as Intel. If these downsides don't bother you, get an Asus.
Regardless of brand, the cheapest boards for the CPUs you're considering have "H61" in their name. It means they have less features than more expensive boards but they've got all the features you need (going by what you told us) and they waste less electricity than the better boards.
There's a difference between mini and micro ATX by the way. Micro is what you want I guess.

In case you really want a dedicated graphics card, the cheapest 5450 cards are about 25 euros here. They're not a big upgrade over the Pentium/Celeron integrated graphics but generate very little heat (and would allow the CPU to run cooler) and have the usual advantages of dedicated cards in terms of support and compatibility. I would personally not bother and try integrated graphics first but it's nice to have the option.
More powerful cards can also run without making any noise but they'd most likely be more expensive and generate more heat.


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 Post subject: Re: Low End Budget pc that is Silent or Quiet at least
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:21 am 
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The best quiet and inexpensive PSUs are probably those from Be Quiet! though I've never used one myself, they have a great reputation. PSUs that are guaranteed to be silent, like Seasonic X-..., Enermax Modu87+ or Superflower GoldenKing are all in the 100+ Euro range, which makes them probably too expensive.

The Silverstone TJ-08E is said to be quiet, although I've heard that the 180mm intake fan is NOT quiet and there is almost NO selection of 180mm fans to replace it.
A safer bet would be the Silverstone PS07, as being reviewed by SPCR. Basically the same case with a different front plate and two 120mm fans instead of the 180mm. It's also cheaper.
Antec still offers the NSK-3480, which would do the job.
The important aspect of your case should be a 120mm rear exhaust fan mount.

The thing is: your proposed system takes NOTHING to cool.
With no graphics card and a low-end Sandy Bridge, you'd don't really need much airflow. You don't need a front fan. (So you could get the TJ-08E and not connect its front fan.)

Get the Thermalright HR-01 Macho CPU-cooler (~35 Euro) and a 120mm Scythe Slip Stream @500 rpm and you're golden. With an SSD, the only thing possibly making noise is the PSU.
If you'd spring the 100 Euro for the Super Flower Golden King Pro 500W (what a name) power supply, which with your system would always be passive, you'd have a SILENT computer.


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 Post subject: Re: Low End Budget pc that is Silent or Quiet at least
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:41 am 
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mrabraa wrote:
S I think that what makes the PC I have now the noisiest is that flimsy case it's in, because it's so thin it does vibrate a lot.
I would hold off on replacing your case. The real problem is the components that are vibrating the case. Once you replace them, your case is unlikely to be a noise problem. Honest... even though that doesn't seem like it right now.

It doesn't cost that much more to get an Ivy Bridge with the 4000 IGP. I would get that. It is the most powerful integrated graphics chip around. It will make it much more unlikely that you will need to eventually buy a graphics card.

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 Post subject: Re: Low End Budget pc that is Silent or Quiet at least
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:47 am 
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haha, I decided to go with Fractal-Design-Define-Series-Micro Case and Seasonic S12-380W already, but will check these props too. User Ces posted about motherboards optimized for fast-boot and I'm looking into that now, but all I found out is Intel motherboards, so I'm stuck now with choice for that ;) So much choice makes it always hard to decide ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Low End Budget pc that is Silent or Quiet at least
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:50 am 
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tim851 wrote:
Seasonic X-..., Enermax Modu87+ or Superflower GoldenKing are all in the 100+ Euro range, which makes them probably too expensive.
Silverstone PS07,
Antec still offers the NSK-3480,
Get the Thermalright HR-01 Macho CPU-cooler (~35 Euro) and a 120mm Scythe Slip Stream @500 rpm and you're golden. With an SSD, the only thing possibly making noise is the PSU.
If you'd spring the 100 Euro for the Super Flower Golden King Pro 500W (what a name) power supply, which with your system would always be passive, you'd have a SILENT computer.


Some nice choices, but I think they will run up the cost beyond his budget. One big savings would be to just keep the old case. If he can get the FSP PSU, that will serve his needs.... and if he has some money left over at the end he could substitute the least costly of any of the PSUs you are proposing and do just fine.

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 Post subject: Re: Low End Budget pc that is Silent or Quiet at least
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:54 am 
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mrabraa wrote:
Fractal-Design-Define-Series-Micro Case
I really think you should hold off on the case. The money you save can be spent on better components. In the end it is the components that generate the noise. With the right components you will have no vibrations for your current case to accentuate. With lesser components that generate noise, no case will help you.

There was a time when case selection was an important factor in quieting a computer. That is no longer the case.

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 Post subject: Re: Low End Budget pc that is Silent or Quiet at least
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:14 am 
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I know those Antec 80 mm fan psu. They were kind of quiet when new or in idle. After a while they would spped up randomly and start to vibrate.

They were build into some riggs when socket 939 was new, if i remember correctly...

Those Lepa psu's look promising, given their price.
http://www.lepatek.com/eng/product_cont ... /#produkte, W450 around 45 Euro in germany

I would rather be spending around 60-100 Euro for a psu, if your electrical installations are older it often doesn't pay off to go cheap on the psu.


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 Post subject: Re: Low End Budget pc that is Silent or Quiet at least
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:22 am 
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Location: Galway, Ireland
I get your point sir, but this case is absolutely dreadful and I hate it, oh so much. I wish I would have an idea of it's model name to show you pictures of it, but unfortunately I don't (or maybe fortunately because it could give you nightmares ;) ) As I said, the build I have now is enough for my needs although it's quite noisy. The Antec PSU is one of gold-80 type, so I guess I could just get a SSD and proper CPU cooler and get along with that, but I'd rather spend money on something a little newer now. What with the way computer games are done now I might find a cool remake of my favorite game not being playable due to lack of power ;) I just thought to have an extra computer always plugged to projector, cause bringing in a laptop, copying movie on USB Flash and plugging external cheap 5.1 sound card does feel annoying a little and besides I feel like my SB Audigy is just wasted along, when it's only 2.1 speakers attached to it. I'd might still consider fixing the current setup to quiet it down, but I would like to see what I can get for my money's worth in the current market :)

Thanks for understanding, btw. which motherboards had you in mind when talking about optimized for quick boot?

Regards


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 Post subject: Re: Low End Budget pc that is Silent or Quiet at least
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:06 pm
Posts: 3395
Location: US
mrabraa wrote:
The Antec PSU is one of gold-80 type,
Seeing that most likely the Antec has been the primary source of you noise and vibrations... maybe you should start by getting the best PSU.

That would most likely be the the Super Flower Golden King Pro 500W recommended by tim851. It will generate no noise and no vibration. You might even consider just buying it right away and installing it immediately.

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"Aristotle calls man the rational animal. All my life I have been seeking evidence to confirm this" Bertrand Russell
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 Post subject: Re: Low End Budget pc that is Silent or Quiet at least
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:06 pm
Posts: 3395
Location: US
mrabraa wrote:
Thanks for understanding, btw. which motherboards had you in mind when talking about optimized for quick boot? Regards
I don't normally pay attention to that in the reviews. I would encourage you to start by looking at SPCR motherboard reviews. Then just select among the boards that SPCR has reviewed. You could do worse.

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"Aristotle calls man the rational animal. All my life I have been seeking evidence to confirm this" Bertrand Russell
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former" Albert Einstein


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 Post subject: Re: Low End Budget pc that is Silent or Quiet at least
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:37 am
Posts: 6
Location: Galway, Ireland
Ok, thank you all for help, much appreciated. I think I know now everything I needed, will look into costs now ;) And that Antec isn't to bad - after stopping its dan and fan on CPU i found out that vibrations and loud hum I get from HDD, which I will try to suspend now.

Once again thanks for your help


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 Post subject: Re: Low End Budget pc that is Silent or Quiet at least
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:59 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 11:23 am
Posts: 608
Location: Germany
In old cases i used http://www.noisemagic.de/home.php?nr=2350

It's a magnetic 5,25" frame that can be installed at the bottom in old cases. If you have the clearance, suspending the hdd is a piece of cake with this one.

I don't know what they charge for shipping, could be a showstopper.


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