Planning to build up a small! pc help needed

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

Hi there,

I am thinking about building up/buying a small! Barebone PC System.
It should have enough power to do office work, listen to music, rip and
encode a dvd in acceptable time. But it should be quiet enough to learn,
if it is turned on.
I have seen a board with an integrated Via 1000 processor sound and
graphiccard, but I can not find it again...this was about 150Euro...

Perhaps you can help me out or suggest something new.

Greetings!
Benjamin Herbert
12 answers Last reply
More about planning build small needed
  1. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    Benjamin Herbert wrote:

    > I am thinking about building up/buying a small! Barebone PC System.
    > It should have enough power to do office work, listen to music, rip
    and
    > encode a dvd in acceptable time. But it should be quiet enough to
    learn,
    > if it is turned on.
    > I have seen a board with an integrated Via 1000 processor sound and
    > graphiccard, but I can not find it again...this was about 150Euro...

    Via is too slow for your purposes.

    Generally, "small" and "quiet" are not very compatible.
    If you're willing to make a custom case, I'd suggest going
    with a low-end P4 or P4 Celeron, and using a Scythe Heatlane
    Zen fanless heat pipe based CPU cooler. It's pretty large,
    but I've put together a relatively compact computer around it.

    If you're willing to pay for a slick prebuilt case, check out
    the Shuttle Zen XPC ST62K:

    http://www.silentpcreview.com/article139-page1.html

    Unlike other Small Form Factor barebones, this one is actually
    quiet. It has a fanless external power brick, and a heatpipe
    based CPU cooler with a single exhaust fan to provide all
    cooling. It's quite a slick package.

    You probably don't want any of the other Shuttle SFF offerings,
    though. Other Shuttle models feature compact internal power
    supplies with whiny little fans.

    Isaac Kuo
  2. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    jmc wrote:

    >Here's a review of the SN25P. Apparently, though it has more fans,
    >they're not 'whiny little fans'. They mention a couple of times how
    >quiet the system is, and how cool the processor stays:

    Almost all review sites do NOT have a testing lab in anything
    remotely resembling a quiet environment. SilentPCReview does.

    Usually, when a review site says "whisper quiet", it means
    absolutely nothing. All it really means is that it wasn't
    as loud as a lawn mower, and that their testing lab has a
    high ambient background noise level (i.e. because of the
    loud PCs that they write their reviews on).

    >http://www.sudhian.com/showdocs.cfm?aid=653

    Isaac Kuo
  3. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    jmc wrote:
    > Ok. Somewheres in there, I believe it gives a noise level of 54
    (dB?),
    > the loudest system was 64...

    > Not an expert on this: is 54 dB (if I have this right) noisy?

    It's a matter of perspective--54dB is VERY noisy by SPCR standards.
    Measurements for their Shuttle Zen XPC ST62K with some very simple
    modifications ranged from 24db to 28db (during hard drive seeks).
    These noise levels were measured from 1m away.

    In contrast, they were quite disappointed by their next reviewed
    Shuttle, which was about 6db higher in noise level (about four
    times as noisy). Keeping in mind that decibels are a logarithmic
    scale, 54db is about 500 times louder than 28db.

    In other words, it would take 500 Shuttle Zen XPC ST62K's in
    the same room to equal the noise level of just one of those 54db
    Shuttles.

    OTOH, if you live in an apartment next to a waterfall, a 54db
    Shuttle would be "whisper quiet".

    Isaac Kuo
  4. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    On Thu, 03 Mar 2005 16:55:53 +0100, Benjamin Herbert
    <post@npng.de> wrote:

    >Hi there,
    >
    >I am thinking about building up/buying a small! Barebone PC System.
    >It should have enough power to do office work, listen to music, rip and
    >encode a dvd in acceptable time. But it should be quiet enough to learn,
    >if it is turned on.
    >I have seen a board with an integrated Via 1000 processor sound and
    >graphiccard, but I can not find it again...this was about 150Euro...
    >
    >Perhaps you can help me out or suggest something new.
    >
    >Greetings!
    >Benjamin Herbert


    The Via processors are not powerful enough to rip and encode
    DVD in acceptable time. They are incredibly slow CPUs that
    just barely outperform a Celeron 500 at most tasks. Their
    one good point is use of a 133FSB, which in itself doesn't
    matter much for the CPU but allows the higher memory bus for
    the integrated video. I suggest something a little faster,
    even a Tualatin Celeron 1.4GHz can be used on an
    all-integrated motherboard and be completely silent with the
    right heatsink-fan.

    http://www.pricewatch.com should have a few vendors selling
    them.
  5. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    Suddenly, without warning, IsaacKuo exclaimed (3/3/2005 8:07 PM):
    > Benjamin Herbert wrote:
    >
    >
    >>I am thinking about building up/buying a small! Barebone PC System.
    >>It should have enough power to do office work, listen to music, rip
    >
    > and
    >
    >>encode a dvd in acceptable time. But it should be quiet enough to
    >
    > learn,
    >

    >
    > If you're willing to pay for a slick prebuilt case, check out
    > the Shuttle Zen XPC ST62K:
    >
    > http://www.silentpcreview.com/article139-page1.html
    >
    > Unlike other Small Form Factor barebones, this one is actually
    > quiet. It has a fanless external power brick, and a heatpipe
    > based CPU cooler with a single exhaust fan to provide all
    > cooling. It's quite a slick package.
    >
    > You probably don't want any of the other Shuttle SFF offerings,
    > though. Other Shuttle models feature compact internal power
    > supplies with whiny little fans.
    >
    > Isaac Kuo
    >

    I'll second the suggestion to look at Shuttle barebones. I have an
    older one sitting here (SS40G) which has had various flavors of Linux on
    it. I love Shuttles, they're very well designed and thought out, and
    especially some of the newer cases are *very* cool looking. this one's
    my current favorite, has PCI-E and Silent-X:

    http://global.shuttle.com/Product/Barebone/SN25P.asp.

    Also, this link goes to a site that specializes in Small Form Factor
    computers: http://www.sfftech.com/

    jmc
  6. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    Suddenly, without warning, jmc exclaimed (3/3/2005 9:14 PM):
    > Suddenly, without warning, IsaacKuo exclaimed (3/3/2005 8:07 PM):
    >
    >> Benjamin Herbert wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>> I am thinking about building up/buying a small! Barebone PC System.
    >>> It should have enough power to do office work, listen to music, rip
    >>
    >>
    >> and
    >>
    >>> encode a dvd in acceptable time. But it should be quiet enough to
    >>
    >>
    >> learn,
    >>
    >
    >>
    >> If you're willing to pay for a slick prebuilt case, check out
    >> the Shuttle Zen XPC ST62K:
    >>
    >> http://www.silentpcreview.com/article139-page1.html
    >>
    >> Unlike other Small Form Factor barebones, this one is actually
    >> quiet. It has a fanless external power brick, and a heatpipe
    >> based CPU cooler with a single exhaust fan to provide all
    >> cooling. It's quite a slick package.
    >>
    >> You probably don't want any of the other Shuttle SFF offerings,
    >> though. Other Shuttle models feature compact internal power
    >> supplies with whiny little fans.
    >>
    >> Isaac Kuo
    >>
    >
    > I'll second the suggestion to look at Shuttle barebones. I have an
    > older one sitting here (SS40G) which has had various flavors of Linux on
    > it. I love Shuttles, they're very well designed and thought out, and
    > especially some of the newer cases are *very* cool looking. this one's
    > my current favorite, has PCI-E and Silent-X:
    >
    > http://global.shuttle.com/Product/Barebone/SN25P.asp.
    >
    > Also, this link goes to a site that specializes in Small Form Factor
    > computers: http://www.sfftech.com/
    >
    > jmc

    Here's a review of the SN25P. Apparently, though it has more fans,
    they're not 'whiny little fans'. They mention a couple of times how
    quiet the system is, and how cool the processor stays:

    http://www.sudhian.com/showdocs.cfm?aid=653

    .... but Newegg isn't carrying it yet. Bummer.
  7. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    Suddenly, without warning, IsaacKuo exclaimed (3/3/2005 10:20 PM):
    > jmc wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Here's a review of the SN25P. Apparently, though it has more fans,
    >>they're not 'whiny little fans'. They mention a couple of times how
    >>quiet the system is, and how cool the processor stays:
    >
    >
    > Almost all review sites do NOT have a testing lab in anything
    > remotely resembling a quiet environment. SilentPCReview does.
    >
    > Usually, when a review site says "whisper quiet", it means
    > absolutely nothing. All it really means is that it wasn't
    > as loud as a lawn mower, and that their testing lab has a
    > high ambient background noise level (i.e. because of the
    > loud PCs that they write their reviews on).
    >
    >
    >>http://www.sudhian.com/showdocs.cfm?aid=653
    >
    >
    > Isaac Kuo
    >
    Ok. Somewheres in there, I believe it gives a noise level of 54 (dB?),
    the loudest system was 64...

    Not an expert on this: is 54 dB (if I have this right) noisy?

    jmc
  8. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    On 3 Mar 2005 18:07:32 -0800, "IsaacKuo" <mechdan@yahoo.com>
    wrote:

    >
    >jmc wrote:
    >> Ok. Somewheres in there, I believe it gives a noise level of 54
    >(dB?),
    >> the loudest system was 64...
    >
    >> Not an expert on this: is 54 dB (if I have this right) noisy?
    >
    >It's a matter of perspective--54dB is VERY noisy by SPCR standards.
    >Measurements for their Shuttle Zen XPC ST62K with some very simple
    >modifications ranged from 24db to 28db (during hard drive seeks).
    >These noise levels were measured from 1m away.
    >
    >In contrast, they were quite disappointed by their next reviewed
    >Shuttle, which was about 6db higher in noise level (about four
    >times as noisy). Keeping in mind that decibels are a logarithmic
    >scale, 54db is about 500 times louder than 28db.
    >
    >In other words, it would take 500 Shuttle Zen XPC ST62K's in
    >the same room to equal the noise level of just one of those 54db
    >Shuttles.

    No, apparently your noise theories are flawed since you've
    been misinterpreting info based upon prior misunderstanding
    of the log db scale. The decibel IS already a logarithmic
    scale.

    "Loudness" is a human perception. That puts our
    concentration of noise in a human-perceived context. In
    that context, each 10 db increase is approx. a doubling.
    54db is about 2.5X louder, not 500 !
  9. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    kony wrote:
    > On 3 Mar 2005 18:07:32 -0800, "IsaacKuo" <mechdan@yahoo.com>
    > wrote:

    > >Keeping in mind that decibels are a logarithmic
    > >scale, 54db is about 500 times louder than 28db.

    > >In other words, it would take 500 Shuttle Zen XPC ST62K's in
    > >the same room to equal the noise level of just one of those 54db
    > >Shuttles.

    > No, apparently your noise theories are flawed since you've
    > been misinterpreting info based upon prior misunderstanding
    > of the log db scale. The decibel IS already a logarithmic
    > scale.

    Umm...yes of course it's a logarithmic scale...

    A decibel is defined to be one tenth of a bel, which is a
    common log scale (common log means base 10). Thus, a
    difference of 10 decibels is equivalent to a factor of 10.

    > "Loudness" is a human perception. That puts our
    > concentration of noise in a human-perceived context. In
    > that context, each 10 db increase is approx. a doubling.
    > 54db is about 2.5X louder, not 500 !

    Each 10db is not a doubling, but rather a factor of 10.
    A doubling is approximately 3 decibels.

    Now, I'll admit that I wasn't completely open about the
    effect of human perception. Human perception scales
    roughly with the square root of actual loudness.
    Thus, it takes roughly 6 decibels to double the
    PERCEIVED loudness. An increase of 500x the actual
    loudness is only PERCEIVED as 22x louder. That's
    still a lot!

    I've no idea where you got the idea that a 10db
    increase was a doubling. It isn't.

    Isaac Kuo
  10. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    IsaacKuo wrote:
    > kony wrote:
    >
    >>On 3 Mar 2005 18:07:32 -0800, "IsaacKuo" <mechdan@yahoo.com>
    >>wrote:
    >
    >
    >>>Keeping in mind that decibels are a logarithmic
    >>>scale, 54db is about 500 times louder than 28db.
    >
    >
    >>>In other words, it would take 500 Shuttle Zen XPC ST62K's in
    >>>the same room to equal the noise level of just one of those 54db
    >>>Shuttles.
    >
    >
    >>No, apparently your noise theories are flawed since you've
    >>been misinterpreting info based upon prior misunderstanding
    >>of the log db scale. The decibel IS already a logarithmic
    >>scale.
    >
    >
    > Umm...yes of course it's a logarithmic scale...
    >
    > A decibel is defined to be one tenth of a bel, which is a
    > common log scale (common log means base 10). Thus, a
    > difference of 10 decibels is equivalent to a factor of 10.
    >
    >
    >>"Loudness" is a human perception. That puts our
    >>concentration of noise in a human-perceived context. In
    >>that context, each 10 db increase is approx. a doubling.
    >>54db is about 2.5X louder, not 500 !
    >
    >
    > Each 10db is not a doubling, but rather a factor of 10.
    > A doubling is approximately 3 decibels.
    >
    > Now, I'll admit that I wasn't completely open about the
    > effect of human perception. Human perception scales
    > roughly with the square root of actual loudness.
    > Thus, it takes roughly 6 decibels to double the
    > PERCEIVED loudness. An increase of 500x the actual
    > loudness is only PERCEIVED as 22x louder. That's
    > still a lot!
    >
    > I've no idea where you got the idea that a 10db
    > increase was a doubling. It isn't.

    Just a guess but I'd imagine he's referring to something like this:

    http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/~jw/dB.html

    "Loudness, phons and sones
    The sone is derived from psychophysical measurements which involved
    volunteers adjusting sounds until they judge them to be twice as loud. This
    allows one to relate perceived loudness to phons. A sone is defined to be
    equal to 40 phons. Experimentally it was found that a 10 dB increase in
    sound level corresponds approximately to a perceived doubling of loudness.

    ....

    Example problems

    ....

    All else equal, how much louder is loudspeaker driven (in its linear range)
    by a 100 W amplifier than by a 10 W amplifier?

    The powers differ by a factor of ten, which, as we saw above, is 10 dB. All
    else equal here means that the frequency responses are equal and that the
    same input signal is used, etc. So the frequency dependence should be the
    same. 10 dB corresponds to 10 phons. To get a perceived doubling of
    loudness, you need an increase of 10 phons. So the speaker driven by the
    100 W amplifier is twice as loud as when driven by the 10 W, assuming you
    stay in the linear range and don't distort or destroy the speaker. (The 100
    W amplifier produces twice as many sones as does the 10 W.)
    "

    > Isaac Kuo
    >
  11. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    Thank you all for the information about my problem and the excursion
    into theory of noise perception ;-)
    These Shuttle cases look damn good!
    I see that I probably can not get a cheap quiet and good looking system
    for that...little money.
    Since I just bought clothes for about 250 Euro this project has to wait
    a little.

    Thank you all and have a nice day!
    Benjamin Herbert
  12. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    On 5 Mar 2005 05:58:52 -0800, "IsaacKuo" <mechdan@yahoo.com>
    wrote:

    >
    >kony wrote:
    >> On 3 Mar 2005 18:07:32 -0800, "IsaacKuo" <mechdan@yahoo.com>
    >> wrote:
    >
    >> >Keeping in mind that decibels are a logarithmic
    >> >scale, 54db is about 500 times louder than 28db.
    >
    >> >In other words, it would take 500 Shuttle Zen XPC ST62K's in
    >> >the same room to equal the noise level of just one of those 54db
    >> >Shuttles.
    >
    >> No, apparently your noise theories are flawed since you've
    >> been misinterpreting info based upon prior misunderstanding
    >> of the log db scale. The decibel IS already a logarithmic
    >> scale.
    >
    >Umm...yes of course it's a logarithmic scale...
    >
    >A decibel is defined to be one tenth of a bel, which is a
    >common log scale (common log means base 10). Thus, a
    >difference of 10 decibels is equivalent to a factor of 10.

    10 decibels = 10 decibels
    You don't say?

    >
    >> "Loudness" is a human perception. That puts our
    >> concentration of noise in a human-perceived context. In
    >> that context, each 10 db increase is approx. a doubling.
    >> 54db is about 2.5X louder, not 500 !
    >
    >Each 10db is not a doubling, but rather a factor of 10.
    >A doubling is approximately 3 decibels.

    You're making an irrelevant distinction about objective
    intensity. Noise is being factored as it pertains to
    people hearing the system, not a laboratory experiment
    where that factor is ignored.

    >
    >Now, I'll admit that I wasn't completely open about the
    >effect of human perception. Human perception scales
    >roughly with the square root of actual loudness.
    >Thus, it takes roughly 6 decibels to double the
    >PERCEIVED loudness. An increase of 500x the actual
    >loudness is only PERCEIVED as 22x louder. That's
    >still a lot!


    Perhaps it would be more accurate to state that you
    completely ignored the only relevant factor- Human
    perception. It does not sound 500X louder @ 54db than 28db,
    which is what you wrote:

    "54db is about 500 times louder than 28db".

    Replace "about 500 times louder" in whole or part and your
    statement would be fairer, but as it stands the "500" and
    "louder" cannot possibly both be included.
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