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.
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)
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
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,-.
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.
- Power supply fundamentals
- Recommended Power supplies
- Power Distribution within Six PCs
- Review Seasonic S12-430
- Review Corsair HX520W & HX620W Modular power supplies
- Review Seasonic S12 Energy Plus
- Antec P180: A Visual Tour
- Antec P180 Review, Part 1: A Silent System
- Antec P180 Review, Part 2: The Whole Nine Yards
- Scythe SCNJ-1000 Ninja heatsink
- POSTSCRIPT: SCYTHE NINJA, version 3, Ninja RevB SCNJ-1100P
- WD Caviar SE16 500GB: Big Low-Noise Champ?
- Samsung Spinpoint T Series: Successor to a Quiet Legacy
- Forum: How much will a 300w power supply run?
- Forum: Tuning my Antec 180 to new heights, advice welcome! Updated
- Forum: Antec 180 SLI rig - comments welcome
- Forum: First Quiet System in P180
- Forum: Core 2 duo all SPCR inspired components <- close match to my system proposal
- Forum: Power Consumption of 5 C2D mobos with IGP & discrete VGA
- Advice on a Core 2 Duo system
- e6600 build, Need recommendation/help.
- And more by searching the forums on P180 for example...
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.