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Thread: It's finally time to build a new PC...three of them!

  1. #1
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    It's finally time to build a new PC...three of them!

    I used to be really into my PC hardware but it's been a while since I dabbled with anything. I built my current PC in December 03, it's getting old now but still chugging along very nicely.

    I think the time is about right now for me to get a new one and some family members have jumped on board too so I'm now not only looking to build a new PC for me, but one for my Dad and one for my brother too.

    The requirements:
    • My PC
      • Will be going in my bedroom and therefore needs to be super quiet and super cool. My current PC makes a racket and is twice as efficient as the central heating.
      • The new PC will be replacing my current PC in here:

        I do have a shelf which I could put in there so if I could get a smaller PC, I could separate that space into two, use the top for the PC and the bottom for something else.
      • I'm looking for a very fast machine, but being cool and quiet is paramount. I'd like a super quick processor with lots of RAM but I'm not fussed about the graphics. Chances are I will be playing a few games now and then but I do my gaming on the Xbox 360.
      • I'll be running Windows Vista Ultimate and plan on using the Media Centre functionality. Will have the PC connected to an LCD in my room and would like to have TV and PVR functionality.
    • Dad's PC
      • Will be made from parts taken out of my old PC. Consists of a ASUS P4C800-E motherboard, Intel P4C 3Ghz CPU, 2GB RAM and an ASUS 9800XT graphics card. I'm thinking of replacing that graphics card with something much cooler though. That thing just adds a whole lot of unwanted heat.
      • Will require a new case, I'm using my current case for my brothers PC.
      • My Dad will only be using the PC for browsing, e-mail, word processing etc.
      • Will be running Windows Vista Home Premium
    • Brother's PC
      • Will be using my current case, Coolermaster Praetorian. Will be getting all new parts.
      • Will be a similar spec to my new build, but my brothers emphasis is on video editing. I need to bare that in mind and put in more ram and he'll need a few firewire ports too.
      • Will be running Windows Vista Home Premium


    I'm completely out of touch with all the modern PC stuff, where should I start? Any recommendations?

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    sounds like for your spec. (& your brother's) that you might want to consider something mATX based, perhaps the Asus or Gigabyte G33 chipset mobos with an Intel Core 2 Duo or Core2 Quad.

    The more powerful G35 is due soon though afaik.

    MSI P55-GD80, i5 750
    abit A-S78H, Phenom 9750,

    My HEXUS.trust abit forums

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    • Biscuit's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI B450M Mortar
      • CPU:
      • AMD 2700X (Be Quiet! Dark Rock 3)
      • Memory:
      • 16GB Patriot Viper 2 @ 3466MHz
      • Storage:
      • 500GB WD Black
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Sapphire R9 290X Vapor-X
      • PSU:
      • Seasonic Focus Gold 750W
      • Case:
      • Lian Li PC-V359
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 x64
      • Internet:
      • BT Infinity 80/20
    Need to know budgets for each build & will you be needing hard drives?

    Initially the thoughts (without hard drives) are

    You: c2d/c2q CPU, 2gig pc6400 ram, asus p5k mobo, Antec p180, corsair 520w, x1950 pro/xt

    Dad: any reasonable case, seasonic/tagen/enermax 350-400w psu, silent 7300GT GFX

    Brother: exactly the same as you. If using vista 64bit then maybe an extra 2g ram

    Any hard-drives that are required go for samsug spinpoints or western digital
    Last edited by Biscuit; 02-08-2007 at 09:47 AM.

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    Thanks for the replies guys! I really should have remembered to mention budgets.

    My PC: £800 sounds about right, the cheaper the better of course.
    Brothers PC: No limit, but doesn't want to go ridiculous

    My Dad's PC is going to consist of my old kit for the most so won't cost much at all. As for hard drives, my Dad can use my current drives. I'll be needing a new hard drive in mine. I'm thinking a raptor for system disc and a big second disk for backups and storage. Same for my brother, but he'll probably have a third external disc for storing loads of video footage.

    For both the new PC's, I'm thinking along the following lines:
    Intel Core 2 Quad-Core Q6600 2.40 GHz - Seems a great price at £170-ish for a Quad Core?
    4GB Ram - I have 2GB right now so it's always nice to double up. I've just noticed DDR3 on Scan's website. Crikey it's expensive for now though. Is it worth going for or should I stick to DDR2? I've always used Corsair in the past and unless advised otherwise, I'll use them again cause I've never had problems with them.
    Motherboard - really unsure about this one, so much to choose from! Are there many boards that utilise some of the new Vista features like flash memory and sideshow etc?
    Case - Thanks for the recommendation on the Antex P180, I've just had a look on their site and it sounds very good in terms of being quiet and cool, exactly what I want! It does look a bit big though. I've been looking at those Shuttle cases, how small actually are they? Are they too small to fit normal parts? I'm also now curious about doing a HTPC, those seem to have quietness as a most important feature.

    One advantage we do have is that we don't need any new monitors right now so all the money spent will be going directly on the PC's themselves.

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    • Biscuit's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI B450M Mortar
      • CPU:
      • AMD 2700X (Be Quiet! Dark Rock 3)
      • Memory:
      • 16GB Patriot Viper 2 @ 3466MHz
      • Storage:
      • 500GB WD Black
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Sapphire R9 290X Vapor-X
      • PSU:
      • Seasonic Focus Gold 750W
      • Case:
      • Lian Li PC-V359
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 x64
      • Internet:
      • BT Infinity 80/20
    if you want to save a little then go for the intel 965 chipset such as Asus P5B or Gigabyte GA965p-ds3

    The newer boards are the P35 chipsets. Personally i woudl stick with a DDR2 model but there are some that offer DDR3 functionaltiy aswell should you wish to leave some room for upgrade

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=615972

    If not, the other P5K chipsets are probs the ones to go for or maybe Abit IP-35

    I dont think that 32bit windows allows for 4gb ram but feel free to correct me if im wrong. The 64bit version is the way to go i think. As for brand corsair is fine however a lot of people recomend the crucial ballistix. Look at the warranty when buying ram.

    Shuttle cases have dedicated motherboards. If you are looking to make a small form factor pc then go for a uATX motherboard and either a HTPC case or uATX case. uATX's are not great for cooling though and they can be fiddly to work with. Might be a good idea to measure up the space and then do some browsing using the measurements.

    Best hard-drives around are samsung spinpoints or western digital. Samsungs have the best warranty i believe and both are extremely quiet

    Are you planning on overclocking?

    If you wish i can build all the parts into shopping lists and paste the info on here. I thought you might want to do that yourself though... its all kinda part of the fun

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  9. #6
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    • mroz's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte P35-DS4 rev 1.1
      • CPU:
      • Q6600 G0 @ 2.4GHz (was @ 3.2GHz), TRU120X (lapped) + Sythe S-Flex 1600rpm
      • Memory:
      • Corsair 6GiB DDR2 Twin2X 6400 C4 (was 2GiB)
      • Storage:
      • Samsung Spinpoint 500GB x 2
      • Graphics card(s):
      • GTX 460 (was Gigabyte 7600GS passive)
      • PSU:
      • Corsair HX 520
      • Case:
      • Antec 900 aka The Vacuum Cleaner
      • Monitor(s):
      • They're everywhere
      • Internet:
      • Zen upto 75Mb/s (typically 26Mb/s when no one else is using the internet)
    My budget is lower than yours however I'm building for similar reasons & have been looking into parts for a couple of weeks now. I'll be going with an Asus P5B-plus mobo (the plus version supports on board Raid, which might be useful for your brother's video work) with a Q6600 (waiting for the G0 stepping, though that prob won't make much difference). It's P965 based which makes it an older gen than the P5Ks with the P35 chipset, but fine for a Q6600 & will even do 1333fsb with a bios upgrade if you wanted to put an E6750 into it.

    The recent price slash to the Q6600 makes it very attractive in my opinion unless your main use is gaming over the next 12 months (few current games will exploit four cores). As to an hsf, my choice is the Tuniq Tower 120 as I intend to have a go at a moderate overclock & that'll be my first overclocking experience.

    Regarding ram, I'd also stick with DDR2. I've consistently read DDR3 is still massively overpriced to be worthwhile.
    Last edited by mroz; 02-08-2007 at 07:13 PM. Reason: Minor addition

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  11. #7
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    Thanks again for all the help!

    I don't plan on doing any overclocking, I really really want the PC in my room to be inaudible and rather than act like a heater, I'd rather it be closer to an air conditioner.

    Biscuit, it'd be great if you could piece together a spec for me! It would be somewhere for me to start

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    • Biscuit's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI B450M Mortar
      • CPU:
      • AMD 2700X (Be Quiet! Dark Rock 3)
      • Memory:
      • 16GB Patriot Viper 2 @ 3466MHz
      • Storage:
      • 500GB WD Black
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Sapphire R9 290X Vapor-X
      • PSU:
      • Seasonic Focus Gold 750W
      • Case:
      • Lian Li PC-V359
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 x64
      • Internet:
      • BT Infinity 80/20
    If its quiet your going for then i would avoid raptor drives. You could ge them and find some kind of silencer, ihave heard these are quite effective but the few miliseconds response time just isnt worth it IMO

    For you i would say this kind of thing would suit.


    I put in a uATX case and motherboard so its nice and small, maybe could add in some different quieter 120mm fans if you prefer to change the ones that are standard with the case.
    Not completely sure about the cooler as i have never heard any talk about it but it does seem to have very low dB levels stated and as its a small case, i didnt think something like the scyth ninja tower (which is what most people use) would fit.

    For your brother, as mentioned before, if you feel confident enough to set up a raid system then just double up the hard drives.

    I would go through all the items and check them out. Maybe change some things but that will give you a rough idea to work on.

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    RIP Evy mroz's Avatar
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    • mroz's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte P35-DS4 rev 1.1
      • CPU:
      • Q6600 G0 @ 2.4GHz (was @ 3.2GHz), TRU120X (lapped) + Sythe S-Flex 1600rpm
      • Memory:
      • Corsair 6GiB DDR2 Twin2X 6400 C4 (was 2GiB)
      • Storage:
      • Samsung Spinpoint 500GB x 2
      • Graphics card(s):
      • GTX 460 (was Gigabyte 7600GS passive)
      • PSU:
      • Corsair HX 520
      • Case:
      • Antec 900 aka The Vacuum Cleaner
      • Monitor(s):
      • They're everywhere
      • Internet:
      • Zen upto 75Mb/s (typically 26Mb/s when no one else is using the internet)
    Quote Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
    For your brother, as mentioned before, if you feel confident enough to set up a raid system then just double up the hard drives.
    Take a look at the mobo specs on Asus's site. The P5B-VM uses the same southbridge as the P5B, ICH8 & doesn't support RAID across most of its sata ports. In fact all those boards will only do RAID between one of the internal sata ports & the esata port on the rear.

    If you want internal RAID built in to a P5B, you need to pick one with the ICH8R southbridge. No prizes for guessing what the R represents

    It's a bit annoying as many sites, such as Scan's, state the boards all support RAID but neither give details nor explicitly specify the southbridge chipset, so there's no easy way to tell them apart without reference to an external source.

  14. #10
    awm
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    While Intel no doubt has the performance crown. If you want cheep and low power AMD has been putting out some low power processors under $100 (no idea in pounds, sorry). I think its the Athlon X2 BE-2xxx series.

    It really depends on how strongly you factor price into the equation. Years ago I bought an Athlon XP 2500+ for $80 and its still doing well and I don't think it would have made sense to pay more for a slightly higher clock speed.

    The final thought I'd like to convey is thinking about acoustics before you buy, as you are doing. My computer is very noisy and I suspect that the graphics card, which I really don't want to tinker with, is a huge portion of the noise. I really regret not buying a card with either a silent or a large low rpm cooling system (i.e. not stock). I guess I'd ask others on this since the 9800 pro is a little old and not necessarily indicative of the current generation of deafening cooling system.

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    RIP Evy mroz's Avatar
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    • mroz's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte P35-DS4 rev 1.1
      • CPU:
      • Q6600 G0 @ 2.4GHz (was @ 3.2GHz), TRU120X (lapped) + Sythe S-Flex 1600rpm
      • Memory:
      • Corsair 6GiB DDR2 Twin2X 6400 C4 (was 2GiB)
      • Storage:
      • Samsung Spinpoint 500GB x 2
      • Graphics card(s):
      • GTX 460 (was Gigabyte 7600GS passive)
      • PSU:
      • Corsair HX 520
      • Case:
      • Antec 900 aka The Vacuum Cleaner
      • Monitor(s):
      • They're everywhere
      • Internet:
      • Zen upto 75Mb/s (typically 26Mb/s when no one else is using the internet)
    Quote Originally Posted by awm View Post
    While Intel no doubt has the performance crown. If you want cheep and low power AMD has been putting out some low power processors under $100 (no idea in pounds, sorry). I think its the Athlon X2 BE-2xxx series.
    Googling athlon x2 be-2350 suggests around £53 to £63.

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    The BE-2350 might be a good choice if you want a quiet system. It runs at 2.1Ghz, is dual core, has a TDP of only 45W. I've just ordered one at about £46+VAT. This makes it less of a bargain than the 3800+ X2 35W version (about £35), but that SKU seems to be very hard to get hold of. I tried my luck ordering a 3800+ from eBuyer but I got the 65W version. One RMA coming up and a load of delivery money down the drain Anyway: I built a home theatre PC for my brother's wedding present using a 3800+ X2 35W and the processor runs unbelivably cool. This means the fans don't need to spin much. Except when the disk is busy the thing is near-silent. In performance terms however these are entry-level dual core processors so bear that in mind.

    Also consider that modern motherboards and Vista support S3 standby, that is to say the system can be put into standby in a few seconds and resume almost instantly. It does this I believe by both hibernating (saving to disk, in case of power failure) and leaving the memory switched on. Other components are shut down and the rig will be silent. I've always been a computer-on-24/7 guy but even I put mine on standby at night sometimes now. So, unless you need to leave it on all night you could consider a more powerful but also hotter processor like the E6600 or even the (very toasty??) Q6600.

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by kingboyk; 04-08-2007 at 11:01 AM. Reason: forgot something

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    A few suggestions for quiet computers:

    Antec case (some "lower" spec models are very reasonably priced and of a very high build standard). A good example for a uATX tower system would be the NSK3400 (comes with it's own 380W PSU). E-buyer sells it. All of their current offerings have a 120mm exhaust fan which gives you much greater scope for quiet cooling.

    CPU - Scythe Ninja is still one of the best for quiet cooling (can be used passively if not going for a mad overclocked / overvolted rig). There are other good coolers out there, but I can recommend the Ninja from personal experience.

    Give careful consideration to the GFX card - try to ensure that it is compatible with a decent aftermarket cooler in the event the stock fan is too loud for you (I've always found this to be the case).

    My rig is pretty inaudible with a Seasonic S12 430W, Scythe Ninja, Opteron 146 undervolted to 1.2V, 7900GT with a Zalman VF900 fitted (runs at lowest setting on fanmate) and Samsung hard drive mounted on a big block of foam. All housed in a relatively old Antec SLK3000B (only cost £30 at the time).

    Otherwise I suggest you have a look over at SPCR forums for more advice on quiet systems:

    http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/
    Last edited by scrandman; 04-08-2007 at 12:24 PM.

  18. #14
    RIP Evy mroz's Avatar
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    • mroz's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte P35-DS4 rev 1.1
      • CPU:
      • Q6600 G0 @ 2.4GHz (was @ 3.2GHz), TRU120X (lapped) + Sythe S-Flex 1600rpm
      • Memory:
      • Corsair 6GiB DDR2 Twin2X 6400 C4 (was 2GiB)
      • Storage:
      • Samsung Spinpoint 500GB x 2
      • Graphics card(s):
      • GTX 460 (was Gigabyte 7600GS passive)
      • PSU:
      • Corsair HX 520
      • Case:
      • Antec 900 aka The Vacuum Cleaner
      • Monitor(s):
      • They're everywhere
      • Internet:
      • Zen upto 75Mb/s (typically 26Mb/s when no one else is using the internet)
    If the gfx card doesn't need to be cutting edge, what about passive cooling? I was thinking of this Asustek EN7600GS for a workstation (general use & some video editing), based around a P5B-plus/Q6600.

    Edit: Personally I'm not too bothered about noise, however the fewer critical moving parts the better so for a non gaming rig I prefer passive cooling on gfx.
    Last edited by mroz; 04-08-2007 at 04:26 PM.

  19. #15
    Oh Crumbs.... Biscuit's Avatar
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    • Biscuit's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI B450M Mortar
      • CPU:
      • AMD 2700X (Be Quiet! Dark Rock 3)
      • Memory:
      • 16GB Patriot Viper 2 @ 3466MHz
      • Storage:
      • 500GB WD Black
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Sapphire R9 290X Vapor-X
      • PSU:
      • Seasonic Focus Gold 750W
      • Case:
      • Lian Li PC-V359
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 x64
      • Internet:
      • BT Infinity 80/20
    Quote Originally Posted by mroz View Post
    Take a look at the mobo specs on Asus's site. The P5B-VM uses the same southbridge as the P5B, ICH8 & doesn't support RAID across most of its sata ports. In fact all those boards will only do RAID between one of the internal sata ports & the esata port on the rear.

    If you want internal RAID built in to a P5B, you need to pick one with the ICH8R southbridge. No prizes for guessing what the R represents

    It's a bit annoying as many sites, such as Scan's, state the boards all support RAID but neither give details nor explicitly specify the southbridge chipset, so there's no easy way to tell them apart without reference to an external source.
    Well spotted. I did rush it a bit sorry

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    Thanks for all the help guys! I've just stumbled across the Zalman HD160XT and my oh my, I nearly wet myself! That thing looks great, bet it's way expensive though. I wonder if the little touch screen can be used as a second display? Hmmm.

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