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Thread: Ultra quiet PC?

  1. #1
    Senior Member joshwa's Avatar
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    Ultra quiet PC?

    My parents in law want a new PC - they have a P4 HP laptop that is the loudest computer I've ever heard, even when it's doing NOTHING it still has at least one loud fan on, and then when you open IE, it decides to boost the speed and start another fan...

    Anyway - they want a new PC - but a SILENT one - I figured the best bet is a Pentium M (Core solo and core duo are based on the Pentium M, and eventually these chips will be in Desktop systems... right?) coz we all know the Pentium 4 is a WAY TOO HOT stupid beast*... and the Pentium M (at 1.8ghz) beats a Pentium 4 (at 2.8ghz), and is about 4+ times cooler...

    But the Pentium M and systems (eg AOpen XCube) are an expensive way to get silent high performance...

    So ... what would you recommend? Are there silent shuttles based on the Athlon 64? are they anywhere near as low power / heat as the Pentium M?

    And when are we finally going to see Core solo and core duo in desktop systems? Why is it taking so long? (do apple have some kind of exclusive use deal? or are Dell and Intel desperate to sell off crappy* P4s and the new BTX standard that they've invested so much money in?)

    So far, parts planned: (prices guessed)

    Pentium M 1.8ghz around £180
    AOpen XCube Silver £200 (comes with silent temp controlled heatsink / fan)
    1gb ram £60?
    DVDRW/CDRW combo £30?
    built in gfx, built in snd
    Win XP Home £60?
    17" Dell TFT £120?
    keyb / mouse
    Samsung HD 160+gb (or seagate)
    Floppy drive

    Please don't suggest VIA EPIA systems - been there done that - they'd like to have a quicker system than their current P4 2.5ghz laptop... not go back in time to 1999**...

    * crappy in heat / performance and mhz / performance ratio terms.
    ** release of the pentium 3 - based on a 1ghz VIA epia being roughly equivalent in performance to a p3-500mhz chip...
    Last edited by joshwa; 02-05-2006 at 02:46 PM.

  2. #2
    Seething Cauldron of Hatred TheAnimus's Avatar
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    throw new ArgumentException (String, String, Exception)

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    joshwa, are you looking for a ATX PC for just browsing and stuff?

    If so, hit me up on msn- nonidadon@hotmail.com and I can reccomend you setups and stuff.

  4. #4
    Senior Member joshwa's Avatar
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    • joshwa's system
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheAnimus
    sweet - thanks dude - that makes the Pentium M system much better value for monet.

    noni - don't have msn access currently... ta.

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    Senior Member FatalSaviour's Avatar
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    The Core Solo and Duo's are not pin-compatible with the original Pentium M socket IIRC. Don't know if that affects your decision in any way, but just wanted to give you the heads-up.

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    • Hottentot's system
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    Not sure I would go with any SFF box as the small power supply fans are very whiney.
    The quietest system I have is an antec sonata with a passive heatsink on the CPU. The system just makes a quiet hum. All the AMD processors can be set-up to use cool'n quiet which would help.

  7. #7
    Seething Cauldron of Hatred TheAnimus's Avatar
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    worth saying in my silent system its the HDDs that make the most noise, which is why i'm looking at loading XP on a flash stick (2gig) so i can spin down all the HDDs when not needed.

    its also worth saying that the HDDs which make a lot more sound than a tagen PSU with fans, are in silent drive enclosures.
    throw new ArgumentException (String, String, Exception)

  8. #8
    Senior Member joshwa's Avatar
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    I have the AOpen XCCube EY855 as my main system and it was pretty much silent for about 6 months, but recently one of the fans has gone all jittery like the ball-bearings aren't happy... it also has the "silent fan - heat controlled" fan system as well... the temp of the CPU I have (a 1.8ghz p-m) stays around 34 - 40 C from memory.

    I priced up an Athlon64 system with Sonatta case from kustom and the price ended up around the same!

  9. #9
    Tak
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    I would also avoid SFF-type cases. Airflow is restricted and customisation is limited. You'll want 120mm fan(s) running at a low voltage for minimal noise and sufficient airflow, which you probably won't be able to fit in an SFF case.

    Also, as TheAnimus mentioned, the HD is likely to be the loudest component after quieting down everything else. You must have some sort of vibration dampening to minimise HD noise.

    Consider the following:

    Desktop case: Antec NSK2400 media case - recently released, supports MATX boards, HD dampening, and 120mm fans. It comes with a decent PSU but you can sell this and get something quieter like a Seasonic S12-330 for £30 ish. The case is around $85 dollars, due to be released in Europe soon.

    If you want a tower-style case look at the Antec P150 or P180 (though the latter is probably overkill).

    Do some reading at SCPR, especially the forums.

    Board: MSI do a MATX Pentium M board called the Speedster, it's around £120. I think Aopen also do one.

    CPU: Don't buy a Pentium M new, they are far too expensive. You can get a 1.8GHz for £100 or less on eBay. I use a 1.66 overclocked to 2.5GHz cooled by an 80mm Panaflo fan @5v. Effectively silent.

    Fans: one 120mm Yate loon @ 5v will be sufficient for the exhaust, and something similar for the CPU fan.

    Hard disk: Samsung - a 3.5 inch drive would be very quiet in a case with HD dampening, like the Antec cases I mentioned. You can reduce the noise further with a 2.5 inch drive, but this probably won't be necessary. Depends how far you want to go.
    Last edited by Tak; 02-05-2006 at 05:10 PM.

  10. #10
    Tak
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshwa

    And when are we finally going to see Core solo and core duo in desktop systems? Why is it taking so long? (do apple have some kind of exclusive use deal? or are Dell and Intel desperate to sell off crappy* P4s and the new BTX standard that they've invested so much money in?)
    There are some desktop boards out, very expensive at the moment though. I'll be buying one when prices become more reasonable.

    List here:
    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...ad.php?t=95449

  11. #11
    Senior Member joshwa's Avatar
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    • joshwa's system
      • Motherboard:
      • PC Chips M577 AT/ATX
      • CPU:
      • AMD K6-2 500Mhz
      • Memory:
      • 128mb PC100 SDRAM
      • Storage:
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      • Graphics card(s):
      • 3dfx Voodoo 3 3000 AGP (16mb)
      • PSU:
      • ATX 500watt
      • Case:
      • Midi Tower AT
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 98 SE
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    Thanks for the suggestions - I don't think they will be interested in overclocking, so the AOpen XCCube system will suite them, also the smaller SFF system will be more easily tucked away (moving any slight noise away from them)...

    I priced up a MSI Speedster board system and it worked out more expensive (with the PCI Express GFX needed, compared to onboard gfx with the AOpen XCCube...)...

    If I was going to re-build a pc for my own use, I would most likely follow your suggestions for the best overclocking potential...

    Will check out ebay for CPUs to save them some money... // although people seem to regularly sell "pentium 4-m" CPUs as a "Pentium M" ... grr. edit2 - found pentium m 1.8ghz for £100 on ebay - saving 80quid cheers

    Cheers Josh
    Last edited by joshwa; 02-05-2006 at 05:57 PM.

  12. #12
    Tak
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    Ah yes, for an all-in-one system with minimal tweaking and effort, the Aopen cubes are very good. I'm sure it will be sufficient for their requirements.

  13. #13
    Senior Member joshwa's Avatar
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    • joshwa's system
      • Motherboard:
      • PC Chips M577 AT/ATX
      • CPU:
      • AMD K6-2 500Mhz
      • Memory:
      • 128mb PC100 SDRAM
      • Storage:
      • 8GB Fujitsu
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 3dfx Voodoo 3 3000 AGP (16mb)
      • PSU:
      • ATX 500watt
      • Case:
      • Midi Tower AT
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 98 SE
      • Monitor(s):
      • 22" TFT Widescreen
    I also bought a Celeron M 1.5ghz chip for £3.40 inc postage! May see how much I can overclock it

  14. #14
    Senior Member FatalSaviour's Avatar
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    • FatalSaviour's system
      • Motherboard:
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      • CPU:
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      • Memory:
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    Bets on joshwa posting back when the defective Celery has spontaneously combusted, taking the mobo along with it.
    All seriousness though, great buy, good luck with it!

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