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Silent and Efficient PC build...

Last response: in Systems
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January 10, 2006 7:04:17 PM

A while ago, I posted some stuff about looking into a low-power (consuming) CPU. I was tempted to go with the pentium M desktop boards, or the Asus CT-478 adapter. The advice I got was to stay away from that setup - lack newer instruction sets, and the higher cost of the CPU's, adapters and desktop mobo's. I listened - I'm looking at a socket 754 system right now. I am reusing my ram (2 x 512gb Mushkin DDR400 cas2), optical drives, hdd's (2 x raptor 74), and case (Antec 1080B).

Generally speaking, I program, browse the web, do database work and programming and use photoshop quite a bit... I know the integrated graphics might not be the best for photoshop, but getting a graphics only adds cost, power consumption and heat...

The case is being modified internally to accomodate a 120mm exhaust fan. Currently it has twin 80mm fans. Other changes internally are the addition of acoustic dampening material and another 120mm fan blowing at the PSU from the hdds in the 5.25" bays... Air will be routed using a duct from the fan to the two hdds. This will ensure that air is being pulled from around the hdds.

The hdds are going to be relocated into the 5.25" drive bays using scythe hdd mounts. They also isolate the hdd's from the case (hdd chassis will be grounded via a grounding wire though..) Each drive will have a vantec HDC-502A hdd cooler mounted to it. I doubt I will use the fans on the heatsinks, we'll see.. I just want to make sure my raptors stay cool...

The PSU is going to be a phanton 500. It is a very efficient PSU and is Q U I E T... That is why I have the fan in the top portion of the case blowing at it - to eliminate the built in fan from coming on.

Motherboard is going to be a Biostar Tforce6100 mATX board coupled with a AMD Athlon 64 3000+ (Venice core, part ADA3000BXBOX). The CPU only puts out up to 57 watts of heat, according to AMD. That is less than the Semprons put out! Heatsink is going to be the Artic Cooling Freezer Pro 64. For the price, its not bad. With a 6 year warranty and artic cooling's low vibration fans, it should be a good combo. It isn't as hefty (top heavy) as others such as Scythe's Ninja.

I am actually going to use the integrated graphics on the motherboard. I was thinking about going to a Radeon Xpress board, but the chipset is too new for me. I like to buy stuff with little quirks (also why I didn't go with a pentium M desktop.) As I said earlier - power efficiency and noise are my big concerns with this build.

Even though CRT monitors by far are not as power efficient as LCD's, I cannot do graphics work on an LCD yet - plus the cost of a really good LCD is too much for me.

Main programs used on my PC: Visual Studio .net 2003 Pro, Adobe Photo Shop, Access (at work we use access and SQL Server - I just use access at home for projects and some developement - its easy to implement on a client's machine, and most people that I do side jobs for are single-user, single machine operations...) and Firefox.. Thats about it, beyond streaming audio...

I know its not a perfect build - but the prices are right, and the equipment is of decent quality. Let me know what y'all think. Thanks!

~Garrett

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January 13, 2006 2:15:41 AM

Hum.. integrated graphic simply add more heat to motherboard chipset..so, there is no real advantage going with that.

I have what I cal a fairly silent PC.. if it was,nt for my 2 Seagate HDD, I would say a very quiet PC.

First, I choose the Asrock dual SATA2 motherboard. To me, it prove to be rock stable and fast. Good thing, no chipset fans. Then I use a 939 3000+ with cool'n quiet enabled. I have an X600XT PCIe video card. The fan is routed to my fan controller and I make it running at more than half speed. Just like my 3 other fans in my system.

So, if you don't need that much power from the video side, a nice fanless video card will do good.
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