Silent all rounder build - help please ** now built.

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limawhiskey
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Silent all rounder build - help please ** now built.

Post by limawhiskey » Mon Jun 08, 2009 4:36 am

So I'd like to get a near silent PC but I need a bit of help deciding on components for it, having been out of the game for a while.

I did intend to build a silent system a while ago (2 years?) but never quite got around to finis ... ahem ... starting it. Hopefully I can use the stuff in my new build.

I'll be using a system HDD (partitioned for XP, Win 7 and poss a linux distro too) and data HDD (photos, mp3 & flac library)

What I already have:
Case: Antec Solo (P150)
PSU: Antec Neo HE 430 PSU
CPU cooling: Scythe Ninja Rev B
HDDs: Old 200 GB drive (for now) plus Samsung EcoGreen F2 1TB 5400rpm

What I will need:
Processor (intel core 2 i think)
Motherboard (no idea on this)
RAM (looking to get at least 4 gig)
Graphics card (top of the range not necessary)
Better 120mm fans for case and CPU?

I'm in the UK so any suggestions for suppliers of fans and general silent PC friendly equipment would be good. I remember struggling to find nexus fans last time I was looking.

Would it be worth using a 2.5" HDD for the system drive to reduce vibrations and noise? I was also thinking, as i'm toying with the idea of a second 1TB drive, about wiring a couple of 80mm fans in serial for the HDD bay intake on the case - is this a good idea?

So, any suggestions for processor and mobo? I use photoshop lightroom a lot, so would like this to run very smoothly, it's painful to use on my old PIII 3.2 GHz system. Eventually I would like another DVI monitor so will need a graphics card with dual DVI too.

Any help would be much appreciated.
Last edited by limawhiskey on Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jessekopelman
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Post by jessekopelman » Mon Jun 08, 2009 1:24 pm

I don't see the point of mixing and matching 2.5" drives with a GreenPower or EcoGreen. Any 2.5" drive that has better performance than the EcoGreen will not be quieter. Better to save your money and upgrade to a SSD in a couple of years. I think you will find the EcoGreen performs much better than the old 200GB so I would leave that out of the system all together -- stick it in an external enclosure for occasional use.

theycallmebruce
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Post by theycallmebruce » Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:25 pm

One thing I'd suggest is to consider a board with integrated graphics, unless you are planning on doing 3D work or games.

NeilBlanchard
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Post by NeilBlanchard » Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:09 pm

Welcome to SPCR!

I'd say you should check to see if the Ninja you have is compatible with the Intel socket you want to use -- or maybe I'm thinking of the original Ninja? I'd get a bolt through kit for it!

jessekopelman
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Post by jessekopelman » Tue Jun 09, 2009 1:21 pm

theycallmebruce wrote:One thing I'd suggest is to consider a board with integrated graphics, unless you are planning on doing 3D work or games.
I thought this too, but then noticed he needed 2X DVI for two monitors. I think even the boards that have both HDMI and DVI only support cloned view.

Hezu
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Post by Hezu » Tue Jun 09, 2009 2:08 pm

jessekopelman wrote:
theycallmebruce wrote:One thing I'd suggest is to consider a board with integrated graphics, unless you are planning on doing 3D work or games.
I thought this too, but then noticed he needed 2X DVI for two monitors. I think even the boards that have both HDMI and DVI only support cloned view.
That is clearly not true as I'm currently running a setup where both HMDI and DVI feed different signal from Sapphire Radeon HD 4760 Ultimate to pair of BenQ G2400WD monitors. Granted that this is under GNU/Linux, but I doubt Windoze video drivers would be inferior...

Monkeh16
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Post by Monkeh16 » Tue Jun 09, 2009 2:43 pm

Hezu wrote:
jessekopelman wrote:
theycallmebruce wrote:One thing I'd suggest is to consider a board with integrated graphics, unless you are planning on doing 3D work or games.
I thought this too, but then noticed he needed 2X DVI for two monitors. I think even the boards that have both HDMI and DVI only support cloned view.
That is clearly not true as I'm currently running a setup where both HMDI and DVI feed different signal from Sapphire Radeon HD 4760 Ultimate to pair of BenQ G2400WD monitors. Granted that this is under GNU/Linux, but I doubt Windoze video drivers would be inferior...
Uh, he's talking about integrated graphics. Most boards only have one DVI link (even if they have DVI and HDMI ports), those with two are usually (I suspect intentionally) crippled to only allow cloning.

CA_Steve
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Post by CA_Steve » Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:12 pm

If you spend a lot of time in [url=http://aphotogeek.wordpress.com/2008/10 ... /Lightroom[/url], then get a quad core.

Also, the current version of Photoshop makes use of your GPU for display processing (zoom, rotate, etc) and will use more of your GPU over time. So, I'd advise against a mobo with integrated graphics and just get a ~$100 video card instead.

limawhiskey
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Post by limawhiskey » Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:33 pm

Thanks all for the ideas and advice :)
jessekopelman wrote:I don't see the point of mixing and matching 2.5" drives with a GreenPower or EcoGreen. Any 2.5" drive that has better performance than the EcoGreen will not be quieter.
I also want to keep the OS and long term storage separate. I have a tendency to install a lot of programs and frequently end up restoring a clean image. I also remember reading that 2.5 inch drives were better for noise but it seems that idea is outdated, especially looking at the recent review of the EcoGreen.
Last edited by limawhiskey on Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

limawhiskey
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Post by limawhiskey » Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:36 pm

NeilBlanchard wrote:Welcome to SPCR!
Thanks :)
I'd say you should check to see if the Ninja you have is compatible with the Intel socket you want to use -- or maybe I'm thinking of the original Ninja? I'd get a bolt through kit for it!
Good point - I've jut had a look - it's the Ninja Plus Rev. B (I'd post a link but I can't yet as a new poster), it comes with a mount for the LGA 775 socket.

K.Murx
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Post by K.Murx » Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:25 pm

I did avoid the Core 2 Duo in my build, because the socket is pretty much at his end of life. If you want some room for future upgrades, I would suggest the AMD AM3 socket and one of the X3-CPUs.

The pocessors do consume a bit more power, but seem to undervolt quite well.

With regards to RAM, there's not a lot you can do wrong - just get what fits the Motherboard (DDR2 or DDR3) If you are using Windows I would say 4 GB are enough, under Linux I am using 8 GB by now because Ramdisks are much easier and have more uses under Linux (loading the O.S. into RAM, e.g.). But well, the stuff is cheap, so just do whatever you want.

With regards to the graphics card: If you are gaming casually, get a 4670, otherwise I would suggest getting the cheapest, passively cooled card you can find that supports dual monitors (HD 4350/4550 probably?).

limawhiskey
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Post by limawhiskey » Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:55 pm

CA_Steve wrote:If you spend a lot of time in Lightroom, then get a quad core.
This, as well as looking at current prices, has got me the following shopping list:

Quad core Q9550 ~ £175
Will the Ninja be good enough to keep this cool at a low noise level?

8GB DDR2 (4 x 2GB) DDR2 800MHz ~ £85
I'd prefer to match the processor but 800MHz is the right price ;)

Another thing that caught my eye was the Gigabyte passively cooled HD 4850 - GV-R485MC-1GH at ~ £120

I'm pretty confused by the plethora of motherboards, any suggestions? One I saw was the Asus P5QL PRO which seemed a good fit, but not sure if there's a better choice?

And I thought this was going to be cheap :shock: :)

CA_Steve
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Post by CA_Steve » Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:46 pm

Ninja will work...might want to get a backplate adapter for it as the push pin mounting can show 5C or worse load temps.

The Gigabyte passive is nice - probably overkill for your apps. Here's another thread discussing Photoshop CS4 and the GPU.

alleycat
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Post by alleycat » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:04 am

I'm doing a similar build and have decided on a GA-EP45-UD3P. Seems to be some good reviews of this board, but it's a bit more pricey than the Asus you mentioned.

K.Murx
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Post by K.Murx » Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:51 am

limawhiskey wrote: Another thing that caught my eye was the Gigabyte passively cooled HD 4850 - GV-R485MC-1GH at ~ £120
I would not recommend that card.
The 4850 has a very high idle consumption, which - espacially combined with passive cooling - requires quite a bit of case airflow. If you read some reviews on e.g. newegg, you see that many people complain about very high temperatures using this card.

So if you are not an avid gamer, I would not recommend it. Even if you are, the 4770 would be better in my opinion. But you might have to wait a couple of weeks/months until availability increases.

Still, the 4770 uses rather too much power in idle, which is why I suggested a 4670 (which is not plagued by this problem). And if you do not play a lot of games, you quite likely do not need anything better.

limawhiskey
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Post by limawhiskey » Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:56 am

Thanks - I didn't mean to ignore your suggestion - just getting a bit confused by all the options.

From what I've read about the 4850, an undervolted fan directed at the fins seems to be enough to keep it under control and I was going to do that.

I suppose it is over powered for the amount of gaming I do. Is there a well-regarded passive version of the 4670?

K.Murx
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Post by K.Murx » Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:44 pm

limawhiskey wrote:Is there a well-regarded passive version of the 4670?
There is a passive Sapphire version on newegg, but the reviews were rather negative (temperatures too high). Then there is a HIS card wth a Zalman Cooler, but that is rather expensive (~$90 insted of ~$60-$70) The stock cooler is pretty much quiet, anyway.

If it is still too loud for your taste, Arctic Cooling has suposedly scheduled the Accelero L2 Pro for a June release at $16 MSRP, which will fit the 4670/4770/4850. I very much doubt that fan would have to spin up at all on a 4670 - the 4670 and 4770 consume about the same amount of power under load, and the fan of the 4770 reference cooler never spins up.
Of course, for that I presume that the Accelero L2 Pro will be at least as good as the 4770 reference cooler, but I trust AC on that.

loimlo
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Post by loimlo » Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:21 am

I highly recommend Xigmatek 1283 instead of Scythe Ninja. Ninja's stock socket 775 mounting is of poor quality, to say the least. In fact, Ninja's feet aren't strong enough to afford its weight. :lol:
In contrast, 1283's relatively lightweight and firm mounting would keep 1283 at bay. Besides, you can purchase Xigmatek's 775 backplate to further enhance 1283's cooling performance and mounting stability. What's more, SPCR had an excellent 1283's review. Go and read it!

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article818-page1.html

limawhiskey
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Post by limawhiskey » Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:14 pm

Thanks all for your advice. It's now built (with a couple of modifications to the original spec).

I've yet to put it through its paces, and this isn't really something I've done before, so can anyone suggest good monitoring software that will give me GPU and CPU temps?

And is there a recommended procedure for stress testing?

edan
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Post by edan » Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:07 pm

limawhiskey wrote:Thanks all for your advice. It's now built (with a couple of modifications to the original spec).
It looks nice and clean, nice job :)
limawhiskey wrote: I've yet to put it through its paces, and this isn't really something I've done before, so can anyone suggest good monitoring software that will give me GPU and CPU temps?

And is there a recommended procedure for stress testing?
RealTemps and RivaTuner seem to be the most mentioned in reviews and forums from what I can tell. Prime95 is a favorite for CPU testing and Furmark appears to be the badboy of GPU burn-in. The reviews here do a pretty nice job of explaining what they are doing, maybe you could just try to duplicate what they do? (Well, minus the thousands of dollars of sensitive recording equipment ;) )

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