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Thread: Quick and Quiet P.C. can I have my cake and eat it?

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    Senior Member manwithnoname's Avatar
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    Quick and Quiet P.C. can I have my cake and eat it?

    Skip to the bold text if you 'do hate people that ramble on and on ... and on ..'

    Had a few issues with my P.C. over Christmas (It's a piece of ... err ... see 'my system' for specs) it locked (the screen would go black - there was still a signal because the monitor did not go into standby, Fans running, lights on but no response) after been on for 2 hours - every day. Got a bit angry with the P.C. and managed to break the plastic pins holding the heat sink and fan on. Not wanting to fry the machine I went to old faithful (AMD K6-2 450, 34GB IBM HD,ATI RAGE FURY PRO, 256 MB ram, PC partner motherboard, 250W PSU). The beast is very quiet, it can just about surf the internet.

    I have got cable broadband so I was going to build a new P.C. hoping I can try some of these new fangled online games that everyone else seems to play. So I was thinking: Can I have my cake and eat it? I want a quick and quiet P.C. it does not need to be quick all the time and I do not have any issues with overclocking, .

    I'm expecting people to post quick or quiet, question does anyone have a quiet P.C. they use to surf the internet, boring work type stuff and when it time to 'kick ass and chew gum' crank up the speed on the CPU, GPU and fans to play games. I reckon if I'm immersed in a game I will not notice a bit more noise.

    I need to let my credit card cool down after Christmas, I will have about 1000-1200 pounds to spend but in Feb or more likely March (BTW the last thing I got was Sledge Hammer forget CSI this guy is a proper cop ! http://www.hmv.co.uk/hmvweb/displayP...;-1&sku=345059)

    ... I need everything but a monitor.

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    radix lecti dave87's Avatar
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    I would think of something like this:

    From Scan -
    AMD Opteron UP 146 OEM LN12561 £105.15
    256Mb XFX PCI-E GF7800GTX LN12637 £368.89
    HP 840i Lightscribe DVD-Writer LN12221 £44.25
    250Gb Western Digital Caviar RE2 LN12741 £82.51
    Zalman VF700-CU VGA Cooler LN9530 £19.96
    Scythe Ninja HeatPipe Cooler LN12286 £32.30
    Saitek Eclipse Keyboard LN11725 £29.25
    Logitech G5 Laser Mouse LN11652 £44.29
    500w Seasonic S12-500 LN11601 £87.53

    From Kustom PCs
    G.Skill 2Gb HZ Black Alu PC4000 £187.00
    Akasa Eclipse 62 Case £88.07
    SilenX 120mm x 38mm Depth Fan £17.30

    Then a motherboard - perhaps the DFI LanParty SLI-DR? or the A8N-32 SLi – bringing you to £1106.50 plus the cost of the motherboard. If you go for an SLi capable machine then you can always add in another 7800GTX later. You could change the KB & Mouse to personal taste tho – might bring the price down a bit. This should be pretty silent as its using 120mm fans and hefty coolers – less airflow required to remove the same amount of heat. The SilenX fan is powerful but only 17dB or something and the loudest part – the cooler on the 7800GTX is being replaced by a nice quiet copper Zalman one. It takes you to the top end of your budget, but is a pretty impressive PC.

    Hope this helps a bit,

    Dave
    Last edited by dave87; 07-01-2006 at 07:44 PM.

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    A shadowy flight. MSIC's Avatar
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    Quick spec from Komplett using their 'PC Builder', primarily as
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    b) comes built for you with 3 year warranty
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    Seasonic S12 Powersupply 500W, 120mm
    Corsair Value S. PC3200 DDR-DIMM 1024MB
    Creative SB Audigy SE , Bulk
    POINT OF VIEW GeForce 6800GS 256MB
    Antec Performance One P180 Miditower,
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    Microsoft Windows XP Home SP2
    NEC DVD±RW burner, ND-3550A, 16x,
    JBL Creature II Speakers +Subwoofer,

    Total = 989.42

    I am such a fan of the Antec P180 chasis, it really does do the job so well.
    In addition to the above (which you can't do using the PC builder), i'd spend a little extra on an Artic Cooler for the GPU (£10) and a Zalman CPU fan (£25 ish). See my system.

    For further reading, SilentPCReview is great
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    Mines is pretty quiet and is fairly shifty:

    Antec Sonata II With 2 Akasa Amber 120mm quiet fans
    Abit AN8 Ultra Otes(heatpiped NB before Asus)
    AMD 3700 San Diego at 2.8Mhz with an Astek Vapochill Micro with a 92mm Fan
    2GB Ballistix DDR4000
    Gigabyte x800xl Silent Heatpiped Version (for sale)
    and the noisest thing is my WD 74GB Raptor if I wanted quiet as in my HTPC I would have a Samsung Spinpoint

    When the HD is not in use it is very quiet, you can never get totally quiet as you always need fans even with a watercooled setup but what is important is to have all the same fans so that it is acoustically the same. If one noise source is different from the others it can be the one thing that really bugs you.

    A while back I had a 9800Pro when they where the card to have and the fan on that drove me totally insane, as it was high pitched, wheras larger fans are more whoosey if you get what I'm saying?

    Oh and I like my quiet systems I had a iDEQ 200T SFF and that was quiet but I still butchered it and put in even quieter fans This is now my HTPC rig with a 3Mhz Northwood Pentium a gig of corsair XMS a passive cooled 9600pro and I have a Samsung Spinpoint, it is plenty fast for a media PC, probably a bit overkill in fact.

    So to sum up yes you can have quiet and fast

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    lol get a ready made system mate check out scan and tekheads they offer cool ones with sweet performance, or............

    you could build yourself but this would mean concentraing on the fans and case and while powerfull hard ware tends to be very loud u may be in a pickle lol, go for silenx fans nice antec p180 case and either a passivly cooled 7800 gt or the gtx with two slot cooler quieter
    and obv you NEED a good cpu mayb a dual core or a nice opteron lol and if you want a dual core opty would be sexy,

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    • billythewiz's system
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    Quick, Quiet and Reasonably Priced ?

    You can have two

    Having said that, if you've got £1200 to spend you can probably have Quiet and Quick.

    Quote Originally Posted by manwithnoname
    if you 'do hate people that ramble on and on ... and on ..'
    Then you may want to skip my entire post. It is rather long

    Your problem is that to have a fast system you'll need high speed and therefore high power components (CPU, GPU and PSU). These high power components need to be kept cool and that means fans (which can be noisy) or some fancy cooling, which either costs or limits the spec. The trick with fans is to spend a little more and to get them as big as you can. Bigger fans can spin slower and achieve the same cooling. Slower spinning = quieter so go for 120mm fans in the case.

    I'm in the same position as you, trying to put together a new system and have it all
    I can only really help you wit hair cooling (fans). If you want a water cooled or phase change cooled system you'll have to speak to someone else

    Starting with the case, MSICs suggestion of an Antec P180 is an excellent, if pricey, option. It was specifically designed (in conjunction with SilentPCReview) to be quiet and has excellent cooling capabilities. There's a standard white version for ~£90 and a SPCR branded black version for ~£120 (£30 for badge ). Read all about it here. I'm very tempted to get this case but I'm not sure I can justify the money. There are other good cases in the £40-£50 range. Some cases come with (cheap) fans, others require you to buy them seperately. As I said, nice big 120mm fans are best, preferably low noice ones

    The PSU is also a big contributer of noice. Again the Seasonic S12 are an excellent range of quiet PSUs (I'd go for the 600W, but that's me ). Again their only real problem is their cost, but we have to spend your £1200 on something

    CPUs and Motherboards also have fans and are a source of noice. There is a huge selection of CPU coolers available. Some of the better ones use phase change heat pipes and have huge fans on them. Motherboards have a tendency to have cheap ans nasty fans on their northbridge chips. These can be replaced, but if you don't want to risk dmaging your MoBo or its warranty then there is Mobos with static coolers. I intend to get a Asus A8N-SLi Premium for this very reason.

    Hard disks can be noisy but there are some that are very quiet. Again MSIC has done his research. The Samsung SpinPoint P120S is an excellent choice.

    Then there is the graphics card. I'm no stranger to the "new fangled online games that everyone else seems to play" so I'm going for a 7800GT. These have big fans on them and I'm having difficulty finding any reviews that comment on the noise they make, so if anyone knows, I'd be grateful. If you're new to gaming you may not want to spend quite as much as me and a GeForce 6800GS is probably an excellent choice. You may even be able to get passively cooled versions.

    If this isn't enough then you could get a fan controller. I'm not familiar with them, but the clue is in the name. They basically allow you to turn down your fans so that they don't sound too much like a fighter taking off

    Lastly there is soundproofing. Basically eggbox foam that goes inside the case and absorbs all the sound.

    If I haven't bored you enough and you want to read more then www.quietpc.com is a company dedicated to quiet PCs (uncanny name don't you think )

    Have fun and let us know how you get on.

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    always buy the cpu, mobo and ram from the same place, will save potential headaches in the future.

    Nox

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    Senior Member manwithnoname's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billythewiz
    Quick, Quiet and Reasonably Priced ?

    Then you may want to skip my entire post. It is rather long ...
    I don't mind people that ramble on and on .. so long as they end up some where - and I think you ended up somewhere

    Thanks for the suggestions so far

    I have read a lot of articles about quiet P.C.s (I did manage to find http://www.quietpc.com ) and read a lot of articles about overclocking. The bit I'm trying to get feedback on is 2 settings for a P.C. a quiet one and a performance one, is there any point to this?

    I admit to not been able to fully comprehend how quiet you can qet or if there would be any noticeable difference (i.e. quieter) to have a underclocked system when large processing power is not required. I have read articles about AMD (cool'n'quiet) and intel (not sure if intel has a catchy phase for their version of cool'n'quiet) processers but they seem to focus on power consumption.

    ... what about 11 settings so when you want to play that game you can crank it up to the 'Spinal Tap' setting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by manwithnoname
    I have read articles about AMD (cool'n'quiet) ... but they seem to focus on power consumption.
    That's true, but that's also the trick to a quiet pc. When you first switch it on and do a bit of surfing you want all the fans running slow and quiet. Then when you start a game you want the fans to speed up as required. That's what "cool'n'quiet" tries to do.

    There are also help that you can get from the bios. A mate of mine has an Abit and that allows you to save various configurations. High overclocking with fast fans for gaming and no O/Cing and slow/quiet fans for ordinary (dull ) use. I think these configurations can be selected from a Fn key on start up.

    I suspect that other BIOSes have similar features.

    I've also heard of people who uses a passively cooled under clocked systems for media PCs (recording TV in their living room). Nice idea, but not compatible with modern 3D gaming.

  10. #10
    Treasure Hunter extraordinaire herulach's Avatar
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    Yep, see my project log, getting upgraded to a 7800/X2 around easter and im relatively confident ill still be able to run with 1 fan at 5V

  11. #11
    radix lecti dave87's Avatar
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    I think if you get the cooling sorted out you can have a quick and quiet machine without the need for 2 stages. The PC I outlined has probably the best airflow you can get short of using delta fans, so can run overclocked and still be quiet, doing what you wanted without the hassle of changing from one to the other when you want to play a game.

    Dave

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    A shadowy flight. MSIC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwithnoname
    The bit I'm trying to get feedback on is 2 settings for a P.C. a quiet one and a performance one, is there any point to this?

    ... what about 11 settings so when you want to play that game you can crank it up to the 'Spinal Tap' setting.
    Nice Spinal Tap reference by the way

    If you get a GeForce card, RiveTuner has a setting in it for '2d' and '3d' mode, ie when a game kicks in, the core clock goes up (as you define it to) and the fan rpm goes up (again, by your own settings).
    So although i don't know about any type of mechanical switch (was this what you were wanting?), this nice free little utility does that exact job.
    As for AMD's Cool 'n' quiet technology, i believe it also does pretty much the same thing by increasing clock speed (actually the multiplier if i remember reading correctly) when more CPU power is needed, up to the maximum rate that you have set (2.0Ghz, or whatever if overclocked etc).
    In fact now that I think about it, my Intel 865 chipset motherboard also does a similar thing - it was supposed to be a 875 feature only, but many manufacturers learnt how to turn on the 'dynamic overclocking' feature that i think increases speeds by a few percent when CPU is pushed.

    But in general, there's no great need to worry about any of this, as some of the above machines will be both powerful and quiet at the same time. It is entirely possible, just requires a bit of thought at the buying stage.

    Slience is, however, a relative thing, and you don't need to get too carried away with it. You only need it quiet ENOUGH. To quote the very good SPCR website,
    C) What is silence?
    Silence is an absolute. You can’t make it “more silent”. It either makes sound, or it doesn’t. It’s like going into the mountains where the air pressure is lower than on flatlands, and claiming that you’re in a vacuum. You can make things QUIETER, but not more silent. It’s POSSIBLE to make things silent, but given the amount of heat put out by modern computing components, it’s not bloody likely.
    I'm commenting on an internet forum. Your facts hold no sway over me.
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    Senior Member manwithnoname's Avatar
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    herulach water cooling!? It's been a while since I built a P.C. I'm not going to tax my 'fat' fingers with water cooling, I can only see myself causing hundreds of pounds of damage ... and I'm a poor swimmer.

    MSIC thanks for the link to silentpcreview thread, liked 'Quiet CD-ROM/DVD-ROM section' I have a Yamaha cd writer when it reads a C.D. it drowns out my noisy PSU.

    I'm beginning to think I don't need to go crazy for the premium quiet components, just about anything I buy will be quieter than the P.C. I have at the moment. Any how what's in/on my mind ..

    CASE: P180 case - any reason why scan don't sell this
    PSU: Seasonic S12 - not sure what watt yet
    HD: Samsung SpinPoint P120S
    VIDEO: some version of the Nvidia 7800 with a Zalman fan
    CPU: AMD OEM - an Opteron might be in stock by the time I have my money
    (Does any one have a good word of intel on the forum? I haven't see one recomendation .. yet.)
    CPU COOLER: Scythe Ninja HeatPipe or Zalman 9500
    MOTHERBOARD: I really like what I have read about the Asus A8N32-SLi but I don't think I would run SLI but it's good for overclocking.

    Things I need to consider:
    CD/DVD drive
    floppy drive
    mouse + keyboard
    Fans for the case.
    sound card
    opps memory (kind of ironic forgetting that!) 2GB of something

    P180 case question, any comments on the front door of the case (I need the case to be on the floor on a carpet will it open O.K?) I have read a few reports of it been a bit shonky.

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    Treasure Hunter extraordinaire herulach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwithnoname
    herulach water cooling!? It's been a while since I built a P.C. I'm not going to tax my 'fat' fingers with water cooling, I can only see myself causing hundreds of pounds of damage ... and I'm a poor swimmer.
    Watercooling really isnt that hard, or indeed that expensive, unless you want the really pimp stuff, thats more for looks than performance (aquacomputer im looking at you) something along the lines of the zalman reserator, will cool anything pretty adequetly, and shouldnt set you back more than 200 quid ish including the northbridge and gpu blocks, although saying that, my cooling was only 220, so it doesnt really seem worth it.

    Each to their own i suppose, but youll never get anything else as quiet, the only things audible in my system are the hard drives accessing and the cd rom when it spins up.

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    Senior Member manwithnoname's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by herulach
    ... youll never get anything else as quiet, the only things audible in my system are the hard drives accessing and the cd rom when it spins up.
    herulach fare play with the water system, like I said I think anything I get will be a lot quieter than my current P.C., I'm not sure I much noise I can tolerate, if it's still ticking me off I might follow your route.

    Excuss my ignorance, and I'm not trying to be smart either as I have only briefly looked at water sytems, these used fan(s) on the radiator to cool the water, I'd expect a bit of sound from the fan(s).

    On that CD/DVD spin up noise, does any one have a quiet drive?

  16. #16
    Treasure Hunter extraordinaire herulach's Avatar
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    YEah, but unless im gaming for really extended periods of time i dont need to turn them on. The reserator has no fans. Sorry if im alittle over zealous, but when people say quiet i tend to take it to mean silent, which is what i want, a quite optical drive would be awesome though if anyone has any suggestions.

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