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a mix of HTPC/Gaming/Work computer

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August 23, 2007 2:54:46 PM

Goal:
  • Silent fileserver that's on 24/7 next to bed (need to be able to sleep).
  • Able to watch HD content (1080p) and work with 3d programming on my DELL 30" screen.
  • Occational gaming, RTS (WC3 and later SC2), no FPS.
  • Not needing to upgrade for several years, except for adding more storage space or memory.

    Proposed Hardware:
    Chassi: Antec P180b.
    Storage: 4 of Samsung SpinPoint T166 500GB raided.
    Memory, PSU, CPU, graphics card, MB, cooler, fans undecided.

    Budget:
    It's not really a matter of budget, I will save extra and hold the purchase so I can get the stuff I need. I want to be able to keep this as a Home Theatre, Multimedia, FileServer computer for a long long time.

    Q: Is it more quiet with several 800RPM fans than few 1200RPM fans. (120mm)


    Q: Do Quad cores out performace Dual core at video playback? (I know it does at rendering).

    Q: what do i need to buy, or do, to make the OS automatically adjust the fans to respond when I play games or when I leave it on during night for maximum silence at all times?

    Q: 2 weaker Graphic cards in SLI or a single better card (with upgrade to SLI 12-18 months later)? SLI is better for 2560*1600, but how much better? I.e. 2 x nvidia 8600 vs 1 x 8800.

    Q: how much power would i need?
    August 23, 2007 4:12:27 PM

    Look at pci-e raid cards as well you do not want to be running 4 disk in raid 5 with a on board software raid chip.
    August 23, 2007 4:32:30 PM

    Joe_The_Dragon said:
    Look at pci-e raid cards as well you do not want to be running 4 disk in raid 5 with a on board software raid chip.


    ok, why?
    Related resources
    August 23, 2007 6:23:53 PM

    Q: Is it more quiet with several 800RPM fans than few 1200RPM fans. (120mm)

    More fans = better. In terms of physics, sound is measured in a log.10([Watts/sq. Meter]), therefore 2 * 30dB does NOT equal 60 dB, it's more like 32-35 dB (honestly I don't feel like calculating it). Get as many very silent fans as you can (ie. every available fan slot in the case). I would suggest since you're doing a RAID setup that you also purchase a couple 5.25" hard drive bays for keeping them cool and increasing circulation in the case.

    Some fans I'd suggest:

    Scythe S-Flex 800RPM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    Scythe S-Flex 1200RPM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    Hard Drive Bays:

    Scythe Kama Bay
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    Note: they also come in white and silver, all available on Newegg.

    I have 2 of the Scythe 1200RPM fans in my computer that has been running 24x7 for the past 1.25 years. It's extremely quiet, and I'd recommend them to anyone. For lower priced Scythe models go for the Minebea line.
    August 24, 2007 12:27:17 PM

    ty KyleSTL. I'll definitly will be getting maximum of fans. Any other things i need to consider when I connect the fans? Outlets on MB or something. Remember, I want to be able to control the fans with software.

    how well does the 8600 stand against 8800 at HD decoding considering the hardware acc on the 8600?

    And I'm really curious to see comparisons on different setups (models, with sli or not, etc.) at high resolution 1920x1280 to 2560x1600.
    August 24, 2007 1:26:58 PM

    Speedfan will regulate your fans AFAIK as long as they are connected to the motherboard.
    August 24, 2007 1:36:56 PM

    One thought on video cards. Whatever you get, only get a fanless video card if the case has good airflow in that area. I have a fanless card in my HTPC case but the fans don't push enough air to the video card, so the case gets hot which makes the few casefans it has work harder, which translates to a louder system.
    August 24, 2007 4:22:45 PM

    Domp., a few more items:

    What kind of "3D Programming" are you talking about? Like Maya?

    Is money no object? (I ask because you have a 24x16 30" Dell monitor, *drool*) What's your expected expense/budget?

    I may have a couple more suggestions.
    August 25, 2007 12:09:28 PM

    evongugg said:
    Speedfan will regulate your fans AFAIK as long as they are connected to the motherboard.


    cool, I'll look into it. thanks.

    burntham77 said:
    One thought on video cards. Whatever you get, only get a fanless video card if the case has good airflow in that area. I have a fanless card in my HTPC case but the fans don't push enough air to the video card, so the case gets hot which makes the few casefans it has work harder, which translates to a louder system.


    what kind of case do you got?

    Quote:
    Quad core. 4gb of ram (you didnt mention OS). X1950pro/xt.
    This will do whatever you need it to do for a couple years, considering your not a huge up to the minute gamer.


    I'm seriously considering Quad core as well, as it seems to be "the way of the future". But i'm still wondering what kind of advantage it has over the dual core when decoding HD video.

    Ram? What speed? I'll probably run XP or Vista (want to try the Media Center). And as I "need" (read: want) to run Visual Studio for openGL programming.

    And why should I go for 1950 instead of 8600? I thought nVidia had better support and driver updates and so on. What is the difference on the cards on very high resolution? All the test seem to focus on games, overclocking and medium resolution. :S


    KyleSTL said:
    Domp., a few more items:

    What kind of "3D Programming" are you talking about? Like Maya?

    Is money no object? (I ask because you have a 24x16 30" Dell monitor, *drool*) What's your expected expense/budget?

    I may have a couple more suggestions.


    I actually doesn't expect the programming to be as demanding as the other activities. It's mostly OpenGL and so on.

    And money is certainly an object, but I understand it might not sound like it. For each spent dollar I need to wait longer. But I don't want to be stuck before a technology shift, without possibilites to upgrade ram and such. My current problem with my computer is that it's totally inupgradable. I can't buy new video card, as I only have agp 4x, not worth spending money on pc2700 ram. Why should I buy IDE harddrives when there is the possibilites to raid SATA 300? And I already has the most powerful cpu available for my MB.

    It has been a long time since I bought my current computer so I don't know much about ddr2, ddr3, etc. Graphic Cards, CPU cores, etc. But I'm reading and learning. I know what is out now, but I don't know for how long it will stay here.
    When will intel change sockets, when will new graphic cards come out, when will it be standard to have ddr3 for main memory, new PCIe standard? etc.

    Either I spend money on a great system that I have small intentions to upgrade (except hdd and/or ram).
    Or I wait and jump onto new technologies, get a MB that has high upgrade capabilities, and buy minimum now, so I can upgrade every now and then. But I'm not sure how valid that strategy is.
    !