My new SFF PC ... just put together

Show off your quiet rig.

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Cov
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My new SFF PC ... just put together

Post by Cov » Sat Apr 05, 2008 12:36 pm

CPU ... Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 / 3GHz / 6MB cache

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Memory ... GeIL Black Dragon / PC-6400 / 800 MHz / 2x 2GB

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Motherboard ... Asus P5E-VM HDMI

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CPU Cooler ... Zerotherm CF900

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Hard Drive ... Western Digital WD10EACS 1TB

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Power Supply ... Silverstone ST50EF-Plus-SC

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Graphics Card ... eVGA GeForce 8800 GT / 512MB

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Monitor ... Samsung SM2493 HM

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Keyboard ... Saitek Eclipse

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psyopper
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Post by psyopper » Sat Apr 05, 2008 1:46 pm

Open the case, we want to see what's inside!

I've been working on a new build around the same processor and motherboard, I'm curious to hear how your setup went?

Cov
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Post by Cov » Sat Apr 05, 2008 2:01 pm

psyopper ... thank you for your reply, I should have put at least some comments next to the pictures, here we go:


1) The CPU ... was hard to get. It was everywhere out of stock and when I called the store where I got it from, they confirmed to reserve it for me but it was the last one in stock.

2) The memory modules are not easy to get either, not because they're in short supply like the CPU, but it seems that they're just not popular enough.
Well, I found a store who have them in their product range and ordered just these modules from them ... nothing else.

3) The motherboard ... well it had to be mATX, and this one seems to be the best mATX there is at the moment. Many performance fans still don't believe that this mATX can compete with high class full ATX boards - but it's true.

4) The CPU cooler ... hasn't got the best performance in cooling, but I needed a very low profile CPU cooler. So the choice was very limited.
Was thinking of a Zalman one, but didn't like the way it was fixed onto the socket ... with a lever. This one looked much more stable. Anyway ...

5) The hard drive ... first I thought about 500GB, but as the prices are constantly falling I just went with the 1TB version. By the way, the Samsung F series is very attractive too because they use only 3 platters instead of 4 for this size but the WD runs with a lower rpm, so is quiter ... I think.

6) The power supply ... I was thinking of Corsair HX520W modular, but then changed my mind in the last minute with this one because it is specially made for SFF cases, with short cables = less clutter.
Besides this, the performance / quality is very good too.

7) The graphics card ... I was thinking for a long time between the 8800 GT and the 9600 GT. This one does run very hot, but the performance doesn't leave any space for complaints - so far.
I was playing a few games on my old low spec PC and boy, the difference now is massive. I didn't even know what graphics quality there was sleeping in the games I had, until this card showed features which my old PC was not able to show.

For example the layers of floor, rocks, tanks, cars, water, sky, clouds ... everything looks 100 x better now ... of course while running smooth like silk.

8) The monitor Samsung SM2493 HM really is special.
I couldn't make my mind up before, was thinking between four different brands ... thanks god I went with this one. The Samsung is awesome.
Should have bought it earlier.

9) The black optical drive looks funny in the silver case, but you know what ? ... I don't mind anymore.

10) The keyboard was a surprise ! ... no, not a present. I bought it by the looks of the picture, more or less just out of fun. And good I bought it, this one not only looks awesome, it is the best keyboard I have ever typed on too !!


The setup was painless.

Just two little problems:

1) I did not have any sound in the beginning, for no obvious reason.
Tried everything, until I decided to install XP over Vista to see if that makes any difference.
Before that I installed SP1 for vista and after the installation was finished, I suddenly got sound ... incredible.

2) The first game I tried out on this PC was Halo - Combat Evolved (from 2003), I play it online a lot but now I noticed that I could only play one cycle. When one cycle was finsihed, the computer froze and I had to go into Task Manager and exit Halo in order to get out.

This problem resolved itself as soon as I installed the external graphics card instead of using the onboard VGA. Suddenly the speed as well as the max resolution went up.

Cistron
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Post by Cistron » Sat Apr 05, 2008 2:09 pm

Isn't the interesting part the internal organisation, fans, noise and operation temperatures?

Cov
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Post by Cov » Sat Apr 05, 2008 2:18 pm

Cistron ... we live in the same City ... come over and see for yourself dude. :)

FartingBob
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Post by FartingBob » Sat Apr 05, 2008 2:21 pm

How much did you fork over for the BD drive? Seems excessive for a 24" monitor. My 22" makes 1080 content look very nice, but when im using it as a TV from about 2m away i cant really tell the difference for 95% of the scenes.
Still, very nice setup. I agree with you on the saitek, it looks brilliant and is easily the nicest keyboard ive owned for everyday use. Nice to see you managed to gert a E8400 as well, those buggers are hard to track down, but from what ive seen, worth the effort.
How much did the system set you back overall?

Cov
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Post by Cov » Sat Apr 05, 2008 2:54 pm

Farting Bob (phew) ... here is a breakdown of what I paid:

1.) PSU = £ 58.74 ($117.-)
2.) Motherboard = £ 83.41 ($ 166.-)
3.) HDD = £ 139.81 ($278.-)
4.) Keyboard = £ 22.27 ($ 44.-)
5.) Graphics Card = £ 138.52 ($ 276.-)
6.) CPU = £ 148.99 ($ 297.-)
7.) PC case = 74.35 ($ 148.-)
8.) CPU cooler = £ 18.36 ($ 37.-)
9.) BluRay Player = £ 83.50 ($ 166.-)
10.) Monitor = £ 344.98 ($ 687.-)
11.) Memory = £ 60.51 ($ 121.-)
12.) Mouse = £ 4.95 ($ 10.-)

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Together = £ 1178.39 ($ 2348.-)

Cov
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Post by Cov » Sat Apr 05, 2008 3:50 pm

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chahahc
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Post by chahahc » Sat Apr 05, 2008 4:41 pm

The LEDs on the RAM modules make me smile :lol:

Cistron
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Post by Cistron » Sun Apr 06, 2008 2:51 am

Cov wrote:Cistron ... we live in the same City ... come over and see for yourself dude. :)
Hahaha, NW3, where are you? Fancy bringing your PC for a tea-snack? I think you're buzzing all over the hexus forums as well, don't you?

Cov
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Post by Cov » Sun Apr 06, 2008 5:36 am

Cistron ... not all over, but I use the forums of

Hexus.net
HardForum.com
SilentPCpreview.com
overclock.net
overclock3d.net
xtremesystems.org
evgaforums
asusTeK

every forum has its own advantages and disadvantages, there are other good forums but you can't have everything, eh? ... and I live in Perivale (UB6) ... :wink:

thejamppa
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Post by thejamppa » Sun Apr 06, 2008 7:40 am

I really love how those Geil memories look like... I saw you took Zerotherm cooler. How is it performing?

Cov
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Post by Cov » Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:00 am

thejamppa ... where do you live ? If in UK, I would recommend to order from Novatech for those memory modules.

http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/spec ... GEL-BD644G

The CPU cooler is alright. You might as well go for the Silverstone NT06 Lite passive cooler - cooled by the PSU fan which is just located a few mm over it ... or the Zalman CNPS8700-NT is very good too.

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductI ... tID=537572

When I touch the CPU cooler, it feels even cold at all times when I use the PC only for Word and Internet. I believe complete passive cooling with this 45nm CPU would be possible.

Having played demanding games on it, it does get hot ... but not very.
Regarding the temperature values ... I get contradicting information from BIOS, Everest and Vista's System Diagnosis. Even the frequency is given as 3GHz from one and as 2GHz from another tool.

Mike from Hexus said the following:
The difference in reported frequnecy is almost certainly stepspeed kicking in where at idle it will automatically underclock the CPU to save power and lower temps. You can turn it off and would be best advised to when overclocking but at stock I can't see a problem with that running.
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scara
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Post by scara » Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:49 am

It looks like your HSF and PSU are blowing in opposite directions just mm apart from each other! If thats the case then I'd definitely switch to an NT06L for better temps and less noise.

You could also fit a VF-1000 to the 8800gt for similar reasons. That might allow you to undervolt all those case fans too :wink:

Cov
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Post by Cov » Sun Apr 06, 2008 1:34 pm

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The Keyboard has three modes: bright / half-bright / off

this is bright

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and this is half bright

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Please note that the digital camera from my mobile phone is not able to capture the pictures properly. It does look better in reality than on those pictures.

FartingBob
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Post by FartingBob » Sun Apr 06, 2008 1:39 pm

I have the saitek II keboard, which hasred blue or purple lights, with a adjustable knob or brightness. Its by far the most bling thing in my PC.

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