P180 + C2D E6600 sanity check (+ references)

Got a shopping cart of parts that you want opinions on? Get advice from members on your planned or existing system (or upgrade).

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Luud
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P180 + C2D E6600 sanity check (+ references)

Post by Luud » Mon Dec 18, 2006 8:17 am

Hi all,

I've found a huge amount of great information in the articles and forums here at SPCR (at the bottom a list of references). Based on what I've found so far I've come up with the following shopping list for my new PC which is to replace my dual AthlonMP that is doing a helicopter imitation under my desk. (It will be promoted away from my desk to become our home server. I failed to get this one quiet as the fans on the two CPUs keep resonating and I am no longer willing to spend money on this one as I don't care it making noise in the garage).

This computer will be a workstation mainly running Linux and may do the occasional number crunching. I will probably be running Windows next to it for playing some games once in a while, but I'm not a hardcore gamer and thus do not care for SLI. (update 4: That said, it might be that I need two video cards to be able to drive two large screens and have to deal with SLI none the less, see below for details.) The system must be reliable and quiet and should be as fast and cool as possible within those constraints.

Parts list

Case: Antec P180B, Black
PSU: Seasonic S12-430
MOBO: MSI P6N Diamond
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo (Conroe), E6600, Socket 775
CPU-Cooler: Scythe SCNJ-1100P Ninja Rev.B + 120MM fan
RAM: Kingston KHX6400D2LLK2/2G, 2048 MB, DDR2, PC6400, 800 MHz, 2 x (CAS4) (2 times for a total of 4GB)
GPU: Asus EN7600GT SILENT /2DHT, 256 MB, DDR3, PCI Express x16
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint T166, 500 GB, 7200 rpm, 16 MB, Serial ATA300 (HD501LJ)
FDD: TEAC 3,5 FDD + 7-in-1 Cardreader
DVD-RW: NEC AD-7170S, Serial ATA150
Monitor: HP LP3065 flat-panel monitor (30", 2560x1600)
Printer: HP Color LaserJet 3600dn (Linux supported, double sided, color laser)

Dropped items:
MOBO: Asus P5W DH Deluxe
GPU: Asus EN7600GS SILENT/HTD, 512 MB, DDR2, PCI Express x16
HDD: Western Digital WD5000KS, 500 GB, 7200 rpm, 16 MB, Serial ATA300
Monitor: Dell UltraSharp 3007WFP-HC* 30-inch LCD-breedbeeldflatpanel
Monitor: Samsung SyncMaster 305T, 30 inch, Black
DVD-RW: NEC AD-7170, ATAPI/E-IDE

Discussion

I may over clock the E6600 as that seems good to do with this one (but reliability is more important than the extra speed gained with over clocking). That's why I choose the PC2-6400 memory. Also, this will allow me to upgrade to a quad core with higher bus speeds in the future if I want to.

I choose the WD5000KS based on it's large capacity and it's good review here on SPCR. update 2: However, jedster mentioned that the Samsung is a better choice based on his personal experience. Given the good review of the 400GB Samsung here on SPCR and the price difference compared with the WD lead me to select the Samsung now as best choice.

The Asus EN7600GS was chosen as it is silent (no fan) and supports resolutions up to 2560x1600. I would love to connect a 30" dell to this one. Maybe the 512MB is overkill and it could do with less. I could also opt for a 7900 if there is a fanless one on offer. update 2: There is no 7900 fanless that I can find, however there is a new 7600GT from Asus which has half the memory (256MB) but much faster core and memory speeds. And is is still fanless.

My expectation is that a system like this will run less than 200W as a 300W Fortran seems capable of handling something similar. (Based on Rei's post. Also the Power Distribution within Six PCs and Power Consumption of 5 C2D mobos with IGP & discrete VGA were inspirational.)

Still, I'm looking for the best PSU regarding noise and efficiency. I'm aiming at the S12-430 now, but maybe I need to consider the Corsair HX520. I do not expect to need that power, but if it is quieter and more efficient, I'm willing to spend the extra money. Also it seems I might go for a Silverstone ST30NF Power Supply (Fanless) and keep a 120mm fan in the lower chamber of the P180 in stead of relying on the fan of the S12-430 and taping the holes around it closed. update 2: At this moment I settle for the Seasonic S12-430. I have a spare Nexus 12cm fan in the cupboard that I plan on using in the lower chamber. I may opt therefore for the Silverstone SST-30NF, but it is way more expensive than the Seasonic.

update 3: Switched the DVD-RW for a serial ATA one. The reasoning is that SATA cables will obstruct airflow less than the PATA cables. (although with good flat PATA cable folding you may be doing a better job than with round PATA or SATA cables). The one I chose is just another one from NEC for no specific reason. If someone has a reason to pick another drive from another brand because it is quieter in use or is known to be very good. please let me know.[/size]

All your suggestions regarding any of the components are welcome. update 2: Also discussion on the monitor and printer are welcome. Anyone have experience with my choice of materials? All comments are more than welcome and may help more people than just me.

update 4: Switched the motherboard from ASUS to MSI. Actually it is a switch of chipset from Intel to Nvidia and MSI has currently the best candidate regarding the features on the board. See further discussion below.

Monitor and printer choice:

I'm hoping to be able to get a 30" monitor. From what I could find on the internet the HP is for me probably the best choice. I've been reading about many issues with the Dell monitors. The Dell has the advantage of including a card reader, but the HP has 3 dvi inputs, allowing multiple computers to be connected to one screen. The Samsung is simply more expensive.

As for a printer, it must be supported under Linux. Being network capable and also able to print double sided automatically is a big plus. I prefer laser printers and the color printers are becoming afordable. The specified one goes for less than EUR 1000,-.

Motherboard choice:

update 4: At first I had decided on the Asus P5W DH Deluxe motherboard. It has all the features I want and is very popular. From what I can find about it, it is a good board, though there may still be some rough edges with driver support under Linux. It seems however, that those issues can be overcome and good progress in the Linux kernel is made.

However, I may need to make the change to an nVidia chipset based board. A good match for what I want in features is recently released by MSI. It is the P6N Diamond board. See this post and replies to it below for further discussion.

SPCR references: 1. Edited 19-12-2006: Added additional references for Antec P180 Case and Scythe Ninja Heatsink
2. Edited 13-02-2007: Changed specs, see posts later in this thread for argumentation. GPU changed from 7600GS to 7600GT, HDD changed from WD to Samsung. Also added wish list for external parts, i.e. monitor and printer. Added section on explaning my choice of monitor and printer. Added references about HDDs. Improved layout / sectioning and updated the discussion of choices.
3. Edited 13-02-2007: Swapped DVD-RW drive for a SATA version.
4. Edited 06-05-2007: Change of motherboard, switched from Intel to Nvidia chipset.
Last edited by Luud on Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:34 am, edited 10 times in total.

jackylman
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Post by jackylman » Mon Dec 18, 2006 10:49 am

The only thing I'm questioning is the 4GB RAM. What do you need that much RAM for? :shock:

http://www.crucial.com/library/howmuch.asp - Unless you're running Vista-64 or doing heavy 3D modeling, Crucial says 2GB is sufficient. Keep in mind that the figures on this chart may even be high because this company is trying to sell you memory (they look about right to me though). Win XP will only recognize 3GB anyway. Not sure about Linux.

jaganath
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Location: UK

Post by jaganath » Mon Dec 18, 2006 11:28 am

My expectation is that a system like this will run less than 200W
Absolutely, max consumption will be around ~150W in the current form.
I'm looking for the best PSU regarding noise and efficiency. I'm aiming at the S12-430 now, but maybe I need to consider the Corsair HX520. I do not expect to need that power, but if it is quieter and more efficient, I'm willing to spend the extra money.
At your load level, S12-430 is more quiet and efficient than Corsair HX520. For absolute lowest noise the ST30NF + external fan is a good choice, but expensive.

I must say, it's a very, very refreshing change for someone to do so much research before making their first post; I think you'll fit in just fine around here. :wink:

NeilBlanchard
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Post by NeilBlanchard » Mon Dec 18, 2006 7:10 pm

Welcome to SPCR!

WinXP (32bit) will recognize 3.25GB, with up to 2GB available for any one program, or up to 2GB for Windows itself. WinXP Pro x64, or 64bit Linux will see and use all the 4GB, or 8GB, or up to a couple of TB... :shock:

Good lookin' system!

Luud
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Location: NL

Post by Luud » Tue Dec 19, 2006 1:03 am

Thanks all for your replies.

Here some explanations on my side:

jackylman
4GB seems a lot indeed, but I'm involved in seismic data processing where terabyte datasets are common. When considering a single panel of cross-spread data (sorry for the jargon) you are looking at serious memory consumption, more so when you go to transform domains.
In general I agree with your statement. My current machine has 1.5 GB memory and under normal use my swap partition is hardly touched.

Another reason to have so much memory is to create a /tmp dir in a ram drive. This will seriously speed up a lot of work (e.g. emerging stuff in gentoo ;-) )

jaganath:
Good note on the Corsair. I think I'll stick with the S12-430. As I read in a post by MikeC in these forums, I can always make it fanless by removing the casing and the fan, and controlling the case fan in the bottom chamber from the fan controller in the PSU. Of course, that will void my warranty...

Thanks for the compliment. I've been reading SPCR for about 2 years now (I estimate), and have been monitoring the forums for a while pondering about the setup of my next machine. One of the things I find when searching the forums is that there is so much information that it is sometimes looking for a needle in a haystack if you want an answer on a specific topic. That's why I created the list of references, it might help others as well.

NeilBlanchard
Yep, Linux runs on terabyte memory systems. Cool stuff.

nycdan
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Post by nycdan » Mon Dec 25, 2006 4:46 pm

Hope this is viewed as relevent to this post and not a derailment.

Has anyone had recent experience running either the Corsair or Seasonic PSUs in the p180 case? I'm concerned about the downward-facing fans on the bottom of the case restricting airflow and wonder if a rear-facing fan be a better PSU solution for this case?

Thanks.

-Dan

Nickp
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Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2003 1:19 am

Seasonic in p180b

Post by Nickp » Mon Dec 25, 2006 5:21 pm

I have a Seasonic s12-600 in a p180b and it works great. I faced the intake fan up and put the unsed connectors below the supply. I used a Nexus fan at the mid point of the power supply chamber and taped off the extra holes on the back of the case so all the air goes through the power supply. The power supply fan nevers speeds up and overall it is quiet.

wcnngt
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Post by wcnngt » Mon Jan 01, 2007 2:49 pm

Did you have success in building it? I am thinking of replicating your rig :)

jedster
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Location: Las Vegas, NV

Post by jedster » Wed Jan 03, 2007 3:42 am

I personally found working witha modular power supply to be a great benefit with the 180's unique PSU mounting. Perhaps the corsair unit reviewed recently would be good. I went with the Seasonic M12-700 which was way overkill but Fry's had it relatively cheap and I am running 6+ HDs and 4+ tuners as well as a video card and a E6600. Still, 700W is way overkill -- wish I had the patience to get the corsair 520.

Also, I'd recommend the samsung 501lj over the western digital. it is definitely quieter in the case than the wds. i've tried both.

Luud
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Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2006 3:44 am
Location: NL

Post by Luud » Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:46 am

wcnngt wrote:Did you have success in building it? I am thinking of replicating your rig :)
Sorry,
No haven't ordered any parts yet either. We are still working on the house so I won't have much time for it at the moment. I do keep looking and refining the system though.

Here is an updated list of what I'm targeting for now. Changes are in red.

Case: Antec P180B, Black
PSU: Seasonic S12-430
MOBO: Asus P5W DH Deluxe
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo (Conroe), E6600, Socket 775
CPU-Cooler: Scythe SCNJ-1100P Ninja Rev.B + 120MM fan
RAM: Kingston KHX6400D2LLK2/2G, 2048 MB, DDR2, PC6400, 800 MHz, 2 x (CAS4) (2 times for a total of 4GB)
GPU: Asus EN7600GT SILENT /2DHT, 256 MB, DDR3, PCI Express x16 Less memory, but faster and still no fan
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint T166, 500 GB, 7200 rpm, 16 MB, Serial ATA300 (HD501LJ) Cheaper and reported quieter than the WD
FDD: TEAC 3,5 FDD + 7-in-1 Cardreader
DVD-RW: NEC AD-7170, ATAPI/E-IDE, Zwart, OEM

Wish list :-) :

Monitor: HP LP3065 flat-panel monitor (30", 2560x1600)
Printer: HP Color LaserJet 3600dn (Linux supported, double sided, color laser)

Edited 13-02-2007: Switched from WD to Samsung HDD, see next post for argumentation
Last edited by Luud on Tue Feb 13, 2007 3:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

Luud
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Location: NL

Post by Luud » Tue Feb 13, 2007 3:47 am

jedster wrote:Also, I'd recommend the samsung 501lj over the western digital. it is definitely quieter in the case than the wds. i've tried both.
Good point. I might consider that one as well then. Thanks

A little searching again: Did SPCR review that samsung?
The 400GB version has a review (Samsung Spinpoint T Series HD400LJ)

From the conclusion section of that review
spcr wrote:From a noise perspective, the Spinpoint T only has one real competitor: The Western Digital Caviar SE16. Neither drive clearly has the upper hand, and a choice between the two is likely to come down to the kind of noise that bothers you personally. Heavy users who want to avoid seek noise will probably prefer the Western Digital, but the large chunk of users whose drives spend most of their time in idle may prefer the smoother idle noise of the Spinpoint T.
For me it sounds like I would prefer the WD as I will only hear the HDD when I'm close to the PC and if that's the case I'm working on that PC. When I'm working on it, I manage to keep my HDDs working as well most of the time.

Still, your argument of heaving had both drives and preferring the 500LJ is compelling. Maybe I should just follow your advice...

Let's compare prices then:

Samsung Spinpoint T166, 500 GB, 7200 rpm, 16 MB, Serial ATA300 (HD501LJ) -> EUR 149.10
Western Digital SE16, 500 GB, 7200 rpm, 16 MB, Serial ATA300 (WD5000KS) -> EUR 170.28

It seems the Samsung is going to be the winner here. At least when we consider soft mounting as the vibration is reported to be higher than that of the WD.

Luud
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Location: NL

Updates

Post by Luud » Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:12 am

Updated original post to reflect current choice of parts.
Marked changes at end of that post.

DGW
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Post by DGW » Tue Feb 13, 2007 7:45 am

I've actually built my system with some of these parts. Its working well for me and quiet enough that most of the time I cant hear it. I run windows XP. This is my list.


Parts list

Case: Antec P180B, Black
PSU: Seasonic Tornado (I bought this one for a different PC and it didn't work there, works fine in this one)
MOBO: Asus P5W DH Deluxe
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo (Conroe), E6700, Socket 775
CPU-Cooler: using the one that came with the CPU, works for me
RAM: 2 gig of corsair CM2X 1024 8500C5D (Didn't know I'll have to overclock this to get 8500 out of it, when I boot, it reports 5200)
GPU: GigaByte GeForce 7600GT fanless, 256MB DDR3
HDD: Seagate 400 gig 7200.10 (I planned to buy the 500 gig WD but succumbed to price, this one was a lot cheaper and I've always had good luck with Seagate SCSI drives. I have a netcenter with the WD5000YS and its silent)
FDD: brand X, from one of my old computers
DVD-RW: Plextor PX755SA--because its SATA and I've had good luck with Plextor
Monitor: Dell 2405FPW
Printer: HP Color LaserJet 2605dn (I haven't had it for very long, but I think this is a great printer)

I know zip about overclocking so I haven't tried overclocking the memory yet.

Luud
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Post by Luud » Tue Feb 13, 2007 7:56 am

DGW wrote:DVD-RW: Plextor PX755SA--because its SATA and I've had good luck with Plextor
Good point about the Plextor being Serial ATA. I just picked one from the list I saw on the online shop site. Being SATA may be beneficial for general airflow in the system. Thanks.

Why did you go for the GigaByte 7600GT in stead of the Asus one? I would think that Asus on Asus may be beneficial for stability and interoperability (although it shouldn't matter officially). Was it not yet available as fanless, or is the heatsink layout of the GigaByte more practical?

Luud
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Post by Luud » Tue Feb 13, 2007 8:17 am

Just looked at the GigaByte site. By the looks of it, the heatsink setup seems more practical than the one from ASUS. Which version do you have and why that one?
[*] GV-NX76T256D-RH (silent pipe II) Rev. 3.0
[*] GV-NX76T128D-RH
[*] GV-NX76T256D-RH (silent pipe II) Rev 1.0
[*] GV-NX76T256DB-RH

By the looks of it I should pick the first: GV-NX76T256D-RH (silent pipe II) Rev. 3.0

They are all capable of driving 2560x1600 resolutions over DVI (dual link).

Mike_P
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Post by Mike_P » Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:01 am

ok..

1. LiteOn makes a SATA DVDRW drive and its ALOT cheaper than the craptor.

2. I'm assuming you dont plan on doing much 3D gaming. Such a powerful system w/ lots of ram and a 7600GT talk about odd ball out. If thats the case (no gaming) just get a cheap passive 6200 or similar. 2D resolutions should all be the same. If you're going to do some 3D then get something better than that 7600GT! i believe the 79xx series is compatible w/ that zalman vf900 cooler, for quiet operation ;) it just seems like such a waste of a power house to use the 7600 gt

Luud
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Post by Luud » Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:53 am

Mike_P wrote:1. LiteOn makes a SATA DVDRW drive and its ALOT cheaper than the craptor.
Yep, LiteOn is a fine brand as well. Haven't had too much issues with those drives. And indeed, rather cheap compared to the rest of the field.
Mike_P wrote:2. I'm assuming you dont plan on doing much 3D gaming. Such a powerful system w/ lots of ram and a 7600GT talk about odd ball out. If thats the case (no gaming) just get a cheap passive 6200 or similar. 2D resolutions should all be the same. If you're going to do some 3D then get something better than that 7600GT! i believe the 79xx series is compatible w/ that zalman vf900 cooler, for quiet operation ;) it just seems like such a waste of a power house to use the 7600 gt
It would seem that way. I don't expect to do too much massive 3D gaming. But there is more 3D work than just gaming. I'm thinking the new 3D enhance Linux desktops. Also, there are 3D seismic data viewers which benefit from the additional speed of such a card.

The card has to drive a 2560x1600 screen. That is not really a light task. The 6xxx series is not capable of driving a 2560x1600 screen. They miss the dual-link DVI (note: this is not the same as dual dvi ).

I prefer an out of the box passively cooled card. The best I've seen so far is the 7600GT. I may look into the 7900GT option with the zalman cooler. But that depends on price as well. I once bought the ATI 9700pro. It still runs fine, but the depreciation of a card that was at the time more than EUR 400,- is something I don't like to repeat again. I can live with the EUR 150,- range of the 7600GT/GS series.

(Note that I don't want ATI. Sure, nice hardware, but Linux support is terrible. I would prefer an Intel as they support Linux very well, but they have only integrated graphics solutions at the moment and are not yet on par with ATI and NVidia. But rumor has it that may change somewhere in the not to distant future.)

DGW
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Post by DGW » Tue Feb 13, 2007 1:36 pm

I have this one, but I dont know if its rev 1 or 3.
GV-NX76T256D-RH (silent pipe II)

I picked it from a review of silent cards, which I though I saw here on SPCR, but I can't find it, so it must have been another place. They liked both the gigabyte cards (7600gs and gt), they thought they were the best of the ones tested. The card uses two slots, which made me pause for a bit, but then I figured I wouldn't need the slot for anything else anyway. I believe that at the time the review was written the GT was the fastest fanless card they could find.

I don't think you can get much quieter than a video card with no fan, even with a zalman fan. For my purposes, the 7600GT is probably already overkill, but its quiet and somebody else spent the time to review it against other fanless video cards, something I can't do. I have the ATI 9800 pro in another computer with a zalman VF-700CU fan on it.

everybody has their own opinions about DVD-RW. I have the LiteOn in another computer, the Plextor is quieter when reading/writing. Seems like its faster too, but maybe not. I think the LiteOn may not have been available when I bought the Plextor, but I may have bought the Plextor anyway. I have long ago learned that cheaper is not better.

Beyonder
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Re: P180 + C2D E6600 sanity check (+ references)

Post by Beyonder » Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:14 pm

Luud wrote: Parts list

Case: Antec P180B, Black
PSU: Seasonic S12-430
MOBO: Asus P5W DH Deluxe
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo (Conroe), E6600, Socket 775
CPU-Cooler: Scythe SCNJ-1100P Ninja Rev.B + 120MM fan
RAM: Kingston KHX6400D2LLK2/2G, 2048 MB, DDR2, PC6400, 800 MHz, 2 x (CAS4) (2 times for a total of 4GB)
GPU: Asus EN7600GT SILENT /2DHT, 256 MB, DDR3, PCI Express x16
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint T166, 500 GB, 7200 rpm, 16 MB, Serial ATA300 (HD501LJ)
FDD: TEAC 3,5 FDD + 7-in-1 Cardreader
DVD-RW: NEC AD-7170S, Serial ATA150
Looks like a good system. :) That said, I'm a cheap bastard, so here's $.02:

You definitely don't need a Seasonic S12-430; I doubt this system could break 150W at load. I'd go with the S12-330 myself. That'll save $40.

Also, you might consider the Solo over a P180; that would save you $35. You could then put the $75 into more CPU or a faster video card (7900GS would be nice), or just pocket the difference.

born2code
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Post by born2code » Tue Feb 13, 2007 8:18 pm

XFX has a passively cooled GeForce 7950 GT. I believe this is the fastest card you can buy that doesn't have a fan.

Luud
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Location: NL

Post by Luud » Wed Feb 14, 2007 1:17 am

DGW wrote:everybody has their own opinions about DVD-RW. I have the LiteOn in another computer, the Plextor is quieter when reading/writing. Seems like its faster too, but maybe not. I think the LiteOn may not have been available when I bought the Plextor, but I may have bought the Plextor anyway. I have long ago learned that cheaper is not better.
Being quieter in operation is definitely something that I consider important. One of my older DVD drives makes quite a bit of noise.

Beyonder wrote:You definitely don't need a Seasonic S12-430; I doubt this system could break 150W at load. I'd go with the S12-330 myself. That'll save $40.
Hmm, might be worth considering. It would save me about EUR 23,-.
I like to be able to upgrade with additional drives, tv-cards or what have you. Likely a 330W would still be fine. As I'm also considering the Silverstone SST-30NF, the power rating of the 330 should be fine. A Silverstone is way more expensive though (Eur 54,- for the S12-330, EUR 75,- for the S12-430, and EUR 106,- for the 30NF).

Beyonder wrote:Also, you might consider the Solo over a P180; that would save you $35.
I really like a bigger case. It's easier to work in. Still, it is not a bad suggestion in general and might be a good option for someone else thinking a building a similar system as we are discussing here.

born2code wrote:XFX has a passively cooled GeForce 7950 GT. I believe this is the fastest card you can buy that doesn't have a fan.
Might have been a nice option if it weren't for the price. It goes here for EUR 319,-. I'm not going to spend that much money on a graphics card. But maybe, someone else will and it is good to know that it is available if they want to.


Thanks all! You're giving great feedback!

Edit 06-05-2007: fixed spelling errors and typos
Last edited by Luud on Fri Apr 06, 2007 2:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

Beyonder
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Location: EARTH.

Post by Beyonder » Thu Feb 15, 2007 12:55 pm

Luud wrote:
Beyonder wrote:You definitely don't need a Seasonic S12-430; I doubt this system could break 150W at load. I'd go with the S12-330 myself. That'll save $40.
Hmm, might be worth considering. It would save me about EUR 23,-.
I like to be able to upgrade with additional drives, tv-cards or what have you. Likely a 330W would still be fine. As I'm also considering the Silverstone SST-30NF, the power rating of the 330 should be fine. A Silverstone is way more expensive though (Eur 54,- for the S12-330, EUR 75,- for the S12-430, and EUR 106,- for the 30NF).
From a "power consumption" point of view, I actually had a very similar setup: A64, nvidia 6600, gig of ram, 2 hard drives (one for OS and programs, another for media), TV tuner, several USB peripherals, etc--all running on an S12-330. Even when gaming, I don't recall the PS ramping up.

Munch
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Post by Munch » Thu Feb 15, 2007 6:57 pm

PC Power and Cooling's Silencer 610 is a great PS....all sleeved in black too :D . It will fit in the P180 with the bottom 120 case fan removed...move it up front as an intake...It's really quiet when set to low speed. Remove the fan by pulling the fan mount flange away from the case slightly and sliding the holder towards the open case side. You can always flip the fan on the mount and put it back in the lower PS area, that way your cables will not interfere with it. Also the Scythe or similar straight flow-thru CPU coolers may not be the best choice. They don't offer any mobo cooling whatsoever. The Zalman 9500 (w/o LED) is a smarter alternative IMHO. It is quiet and the airflow is radial as well so as keep all of your caps cooler. The P180 is a quiet, solid case....almost like metal clad plywood. Makes a very dull thud when you tap on it with your fingers. You won't anything inside the case and barely hear the front intake.

Luud
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Location: NL

Post by Luud » Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:30 am

Hi all,

Still here and still have the money in my pocket...

As I still have no time to work on the new system yet I just keep tuning the specs.

I just sat behind one of those nice 30" monitors. This one was the HP version. There is nothing much to say, just that I'm sold. I want one!

Now, some other setups have been rolling into the offices here. Dual monitor setup with 24" wide screen TFTs, basically the little brothers of the 30". So, I now would like to be able to expand to a dual 30" setup in the future possibly. Talk about shifting "requirements"... :lol:

To be able to go for that, I need the ability to have two video cards in the system. This will most likely need a change of motherboard as I want to stick with Nvidia because of the Linux support. So, looking for a motherboard with an nForce chipset. Asus has those, but I couldn't find one with external serial ATA (which I recommend to anyone who uses external hard disks. It's way faster than USB).

So I'm now thinking of the following motherboard:

P6N Diamond

http://www.msi.com.tw/program/products/ ... hp?UID=786

It is nForce chipset based and SLI ready. Has all the features I like, including eSATA and even allows for more memory (16GB max).

It is quite new though and I still have to figure out how well support is under Linux. But hey, I've still got time.

As always, feel free to comment.

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Post by MikeC » Thu Apr 05, 2007 9:05 am

Luud ---

Just dropping in to second jaganath's opin about your first post, how much research you did and how nicely you formatted all those links: Very impressive. 8)

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Post by sjoukew » Thu Apr 05, 2007 1:51 pm

your post looks impressive !

But why the p5w and not the p5b motherboard. The p5b has a better south bridge than the p5w. The p5w has a 2nd pci-e 16x slot, which can be used for ati crossfire. I wonder when that is gonna happen with your current demands.
The p5w is a good board, I just can't find the big advantage compared to the p5b in your case.

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Post by Luud » Fri Apr 06, 2007 1:54 am

sjoukew wrote:But why the p5w and not the p5b motherboard. The p5b has a better south bridge than the p5w.
Well, mainly because the p5w is so popular. It should be a good board then. But thanks for the info about the south bridge. However, as it stands now, this might be a mute point as I am probably moving away from the intel chipset in favour of the nVidia one.
sjoukew wrote:The p5w has a 2nd pci-e 16x slot, which can be used for ati crossfire.
ATI crossfire may be nice, but it is useless for me. I've had it with ATI. Their Linux support is too crappy. I know they are trying, but every driver update for my Radeon 9600 Pro is a nightmare. I always have to create the xorg.conf from scratch and then just pray it works. So now I stick with a version that works and don't care for newer stuff. It will not allow me to have a proper OpenGL enhanced desktop (think Compiz/Beryl) anyway. Three years of patience is long enough.

So, the next setup is going to be using nVidia graphics cards. It is reported to work better with Linux. However, two nVidia cards on an intel chipset based board seems to be not possible. I don't necessarily care for SLI, but it would be nice to hook up 2 30" monitors in the future which in the current setup needs 2 video cards. (I read somewhere that the compatibility problems are in the software due to nVidia not allowing it with their drivers... something I find not very encouraging but I guess a strong marketing move by them as I now may move to their chipset as well. Not because I want to, but because I have to.)

Then again, a Quadro FX 4500 can drive two of these screens I think, but is way too expensive for now.

Anyone with more insight in these matters, please enlighten me.

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Post by Luud » Fri Apr 06, 2007 2:22 am

MikeC wrote:Luud ---

Just dropping in to second jaganath's opin about your first post, how much research you did and how nicely you formatted all those links: Very impressive. 8)
Thanks for the kind words Mike, not to mention all your nice reviews...

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Post by sjoukew » Fri Apr 06, 2007 3:44 am

I don't think you need 2 vga cards for two displays. Almost all VGA cards have multi-monitor support, as long as you buy a card with enough vga memory it should not be a problem to hook up 2 dell screens. The biggest resolution my ati x1950pro (256mb) can output is 2460x1600 32 bit, on both outputs, that looks more than enough to me.

And about the p5b, that is almost as popular as the p5w.

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Post by Luud » Fri Apr 06, 2007 4:25 am

Ah, you may be very right, I could also consider a card like this then:

MSI NX8800GTS-T2D640E-HD-OC
Or
ASUS EN8800GTS/HTDP/640M

Having one card is better for cooling. These new cards are not fanless however, and I'm not into modding such an expensive card. Although I might get lucky soundwise if we are to believe this thread:8800 series stock fan noise feedbacks

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