Thank you all for the good suggestions!
It looks like I should make some substantial reconsiderations here and I would probably need a little more help than expected....
At the moment I'm using three 3TB external HDDs and two of them are already full (probably within a couple of years I will end up having 4 hdds).
The idea was to try to sell them and get three internal ones. So for the time being I was planning to get 1 internal 3TB hdd + 1 ssd.
ATX vs. Micro ATX.
I thought that as long as I go for relatively low power components then the factor is not that important.
I chose the Define R4 vs. Define Mini due to the fact that it is probably easier to cool quietly in larger cases. Moreover, I thought that a little bigger case could be more adaptable to future configurations.
Now, taking in consideration the suggestions I received and the fact that my pc use won't change over the years, do you think it would be better for me to go with Micro ATX choosing a smaller case with only one bigger ssd and building/buying a NAS for the rest of the hdds?
If you're in the US, I'd look at the Kingwin STR-500/Rosewill SilentNight. No coil whine and the quality is just as good as the Seasonic models.
I'm in Europe, I could eventually find:
- Super Flower Golden King Platinum 500W
- Super Flower Golden Silent Platinum fanless 430W or 500W
I recommend getting at least 256gb of SSD storage. You could go for a 256gb Crucial M500 which is like $20 more than a 128gb 840 Pro. For the very slight sacrifice in speed, you get the same reliability and double the space.
I can definitely tell you the HDDs will probably be the loudest components in the build.
If you are just plinking around with CAD and Photoshop, then you don't need a graphics card, the iGP is fine. If you spend a lot of time with Photoshop and work with very large images, then there is some benefit at getting a low end gfx card to accelerate some of the functions. My guess it that it's marginal for you. As for CAD, you probably want to do a search on "gpu acceleration" for your specific program and see if there are benchmarks.
I would suggest not bothering with a GPU initially and use the onboard graphics. If however you then find that you need more graphical power, adding a graphics card is easy. Far better this way round than buying something now which you then don't need.
Ok, I will wait and see if I need it!
Don't restrict yourself to looking at just Z87 based motherboards. If silence is important then many H87 boards might be better as they are more aimed at media centre use so tend to have more undervolting and underclocking options - regardless of CPU you will want to try this to get the quietest setup.
Could you please explain to me what you mean by 'tend to have more undervolting and underclocking options'?
I’m looking for a “high performance” and close to silent pc for:
- extensive office use (Office suite, management software, online databases)
- Photoshop and CAD (not professionally)
- watching HD films (quite often)
- heavy browsing and p2p
- NO GAMING
You're not looking for a high performance pc then...
That’s why I used quotation marks when I wrote “high performance”…
Any fanned video card is not compatible with a "close to silent pc", providing that silent mean actually silent.
Said that, you may consider an AMD FirePro V3900 or V4900 paired with an Arctic Cooling Accelero S1 Plus: it's what I've done in a somewhat similar setup, and IMHO it works enough well even without any fan strapped on the cooler.
So, going back to my question, are you suggesting that I should get a video card?
The setup you are referring to is it actually post it somewhere in the forum so that I could take a look at it to have an idea?
For a discrete graphics setup, rather than the excellent Seasonic, personally I would opt for the BeQuiet or the Corsair (or maybe the Cooler Master V700, if it was enough cheap where you live).
Bequiet! Dark Power Pro 10 550W, Super Flower Golden Silent Platinum fanless 430W, and Seasonic P-460FL all cost the same.
Seasonic Platinum 520FL and Super Flower Golden Silent Platinum fanless 500W both cost eur 20 more than the previous three.
Could you please explain why you would prefer the BeQuiet over Seasonic?
At any rate, as said by others, any regular ATX PSU is way overkill for such an expected power draw.
The power consumption of the AMD FirePro V4900 is nearly 75W and they suggest at least 450W of power supply. So, in case I get the video card (now or later) it looks like I need at least that amount of power supply.