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Silent SFF Gaming PC Build Guide

It is hard to argue that gaming isn't one of the big driving forces behind technological advancements in PCs. The internet meme of asking "can it run Crysis?" when presented with new hardware is a testament to this fact. Gaming is a medium used by technology companies producing smaller and more potent chips to extol the superiority of their designs. This can be amusing as sometimes it seems like they are just trying to justify their own products — the vast majority of end-users don't need that much horsepower.

It isn't all just PR though. Even though enthusiast PC gamers are a small minority, they have deep pockets and a never ending thirst for high-end gear. They are the ones buying processors, graphics cards, solid-state drives and cases that cost more than the entire systems of some of our readers. And though there aren't that many of them, the articles and hardware geared toward them are usually interesting and entertaining. We find ourselves drawn to stories about liquid nitrogen used to overclock a CPU past 6 GHz or quad SLI builds with 1500W power supplies even though they offer little practical value to most of us.

Of course not all gamers are tweaked out speed demons. There is a large group of gamers who aren't as fanatical, living balanced lives that allow games only in a spare few hours a week. For them, a more pragmatic midrange gaming PC will do just fine. The same goes for the gamers who play specific titles only like World of Warcraft or Starcraft 2, though it's well known that these users can sometimes the most dedicated of all.

Whatever your level of commitment to gaming and how much you're willing to spend to enjoy your hobby, you'll find value in our Silent Gaming System Build Guides. To play most PC games smoothly at the native resolutions on the large LCD monitors of today, relatively powerful systems are required. These PCs consume more energy, put out more heat, and run louder than mainstream machines. While there isn't that much we can do about the power and heat associated with high-end gear, we can certainly help the gamers build a relatively quiet system to fulfill their needs. Since they are typically so loud to begin with, gaming systems have the most to benefit from SPCR know-how.

Given how fast the PC world moves, we will reevaluate our builds periodically and alter them accordingly as new hardware is released. We will not only update the guides, but we will actually rebuild and re-test them to see just how much improvement can be garnered from any changes.

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