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Silent Gaming Challange!

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August 29, 2007 10:45:13 PM

I'm planning my next build over the hovercraft-like noise of my current build. Your comments are welcomed on how to go about building a perfectly silent *zero* dB gaming machine. I believe it to be possible. Looks mean very little to me, so case style is bottom of the list.

Peltiers, old camping fridges, water cooling, heat pipes, the Ross Ice Shelf... I'll consider anything. (That ice shelf would raise the bar on extreme... Shame I live in the wrong hemisphere. Paddle noble penguins, paddle I say!)

And now the constraints:
CPU must not cost more than $250 (overclocking is new to me, but I like learning new things). I'm expecting recommendations of the q6600 (do any quad cores have G0 stepping yet?) and the e6750, of which I have heard good things

GPU will probably be an 880GTS 320mb. I don't think I'll need the hysteria inducing power of a GTX or ultra, since the 9800s are just around the corner so to speak. This single fact leads me to consider that waiting for Crysis and building then would be more prudent, although I can still start stocking up on Styrofoam ;) 

Ram isn't too big a deal for me. Tight timings versus superior speed are the same difference in my world.

Hard drives has me looking at hybrids. These seems trés cuteé (bonus points for knowing where I got that from. I'm aiming to only have 1 drive, no raid (unless you can convince me otherwise :sol:  )

Power supply will be the most difficult choice. I had a weird thought ( :pt1cable:  looked like that there so it did) that cooling the entire case would improve PSU performance since cooler power supplies work better.

Motherboard isn't something I've looked at much. Given the earlier constraints, there are likely less than 6 contenders.

I believe Vista is in fact a rare form of digital venereal disease that comes on new PCs. You can presume then that I'll be using XP, possibly the 64-bit edition if the driver situation is good. Btw, try disconnecting your speakers while you're playing a game under vista. It might just freeze on you :kaola: 

I can handle the other components like DVD drives.



Let the game begin! :hello: 
August 30, 2007 12:01:18 AM

well, the few things that come to mind for quietness, are watercooling for your cpu, gpu, and motherboard chipset (seperate watercooling loops for best cooling from what ive heard), you can probably get some good recommendations on which parts to go for, danger den is one brand that comes to mind as recommended

an ssd for the OS hdd would be the quietest and fastest, but if youre okay with some noise, then mechanical hdds are much more plentiful and affordable. otherwise waiting till ssds come down in price is also an option. you may want to reconsider a secondary larger hdd for data storage (a quiet mechanical hdd most likely), that only needs to be accessed less frequently, so noise wont be an issue, aside from when its accessed for backed up data occasionally.

the case and case fans are going to have a large impact on noise too, a P182 or so should work quite well for being both cool and quiet.

as far as the psu, going for either a quiet psu (not sure which brands), or getting one and then changing out the stock fans with much quieter fans is always an option too. there are instructions online on how to do that (discharging the psu, etc). but, at the same time it can be very risky if you rush it.

regarding a cooler case helping your psu, youre right. the hotter your case is (and more demanding your parts are), the louder and hotter your psu will run too (effectively shortening its life by however much an amount, at least when in excess anyhow), so usually having the psu near the bottom of the case is a good idea, BTX form factor or similar im guessing. in its own seperate chamber no less, to isolate it from unnecessary heat exposure, and vice versa.
August 30, 2007 11:33:51 AM

I too had danger den in mind.

SSD is still pretty pricey, and I'm not too miffed at the clickity click of a hard drive once in a while. I'm hoping a hybrid drive will be the best of both worlds. Looking out for a 750gig version.

QuietPC and others mention the P182 as being a good case for low noise systems. I have to ask if everything will fit though.

PSU wise, I'm looking at PC P&Cs quad silencer 750W. If anyone has one of these, let me know how quiet it really is :) . Fiddling around with the gubbins of a PSU isn't something I'm enthused by.

It'd be interesting to see if there are any silent refrigerated cases available. Or a man in the shadier back threads of the forums selling liquid nitrogen...
Related resources
August 30, 2007 12:11:24 PM

Hi,

here is the system that I build last winter, very silent.

Antec P180B
E6600
EVGA 8800GTS 640MB
P5W DH Deluxe
Arctic Cooler 7 Pro
Zalman fan controller

I set the bios at optimal for cpu fan, no noise at 800 rpm.
All fan set to low speed via zalman fan controller (4 fan), no noise.

You can have the P182B now, and similar mb/cpu for less.

BTW, it's "Très cute" (very nice/beautiful). Come from province of Québec, it's one of our common expression.

EDIT :

Got a raid 1 of Seagate 320GB, no noise too.
August 30, 2007 12:31:16 PM

I wanted a virtually silent system last year and also ended up building a system around a P180. As djbrad said, the arctic cooler 7 makes a difference too.

My one recommendation would be a Samsung Spinpoint HD - it is not audible at all except under heavy load in my case. The new 500gb model is also a very good performer.

If you are very serious about silence you will end up replacing the supplied Antec case fans. They're good but not perfect. I recommend noctua fans for an even quieter experience.
August 30, 2007 1:47:22 PM

Scythe fans are an excellent choice, I believe the 800RPM 120mm S-Flex is rated at 8 dB (note: 10dB is the universal standard for "inaudible"), also put as many silent fans in a case as possible. Many silent fans are way quieter than one noisy one (it would take 10 x 8 dB fans to generate 18 dB of noise, or 20 to make 28 dB - it's a log based-10 function).

Video card-wise MSI, Gigabyte and Asus make some prety good fanless GeForce 8600GT cards ($110-130 on Newegg), if that's enough power for you.

If money is no object on the case, Lian Li makes a silent series of cases that include sound dampening and all. You can also pick up silent supplies here ( http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_p... ), I would suggest rubber screws for hard drives and fans, the power supply sound dampener and, if you need it, the Noise Pax sound dampening kit.
August 30, 2007 3:02:09 PM

I own a p182. And I cant understand why people always say its silent. Very quiet yes, silent no. The only way to make it silent is to turn off the fans. And yes it will fit everything.

If you want a silent pc there are 2 options.
Watercooled and another one I will explain.

Second option is to get a case without chambers for PSU etc.. Just find a case that is open plan. It will have to be big though. Remove all the standard fans. Get a Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme. Pair this with a Scythe S-FLEX 800RPM. Or if you dont plan on overclocking dont even bother the fan. The HS is so good even a q6600 will stay cool. But the Scythe S-FLEX 800RPM is silent anyway so I would put one anyway. If you are getting a 8800gts 320mb get a dual slot card as this will help with cooling of the rest of the case. Add one more Scythe S-FLEX 800RPM to the back of the case to exhaust hot air out the case and thats it. The system will run fine like this. Also because the Scythe S-FLEX 800RPM fans are inaudible you can run them at full speed.

I have a system that runs exactly like this. Except I didnt bother with a fan at the back of the case. Mine has a total of 2 fans gpu and cpu. That is also in a 5 year old no name case. With it like this I can overclock an old 125W TDP 4800x2 to 2.96ghz with max load temp 55c.

The system is silent. And I mean silent. The only way to tell if its on is if the screen is on or you look at the LED's on the case.

As for hard drive I recommend the Samsung spinpoint drives. They are very quite.

I can only tell you about good PSU's have no idea about quite ones. Generally I've never come across a loud PSU. The fans are normally 120mm and run very slowly so they dont make much noise.
August 30, 2007 3:20:43 PM

I'm looking at the reserator 2 for cooling. http://www.zalman.co.kr/eng/product/view.asp?idx=216&co... It's just daft enough to work, but also super expensive. I called into peats (computery shop) during my lunch break and chewed the fat with the staff there who told me about it and about bestbuy.com, a website that'll ship over the atlantic. I had a look, but I've either the wrong site or they don't have what I need. If I can, I'd like to take advantage of the exchange rates (whilst avoiding any nasty taxmen of course).

Thanks to kyle and bigh for all the quiet fan names :) 
Those spinpoints are good drives alright. I've added the name to my list. The new hybrid hard drives are pretty exciting though.

djbrad007: that must be where Strong Bad stole it from!

Budget is €1500 btw. And I meant to say 8800GTS but I can't edit that for some reason.

Mostly, I'd like suggestions for Ram and mobo. I might be overclocking but it scares me because I've never oc'd anything before.

Kyle: The only log based functions I know are the lumberjack convention and the sawmillers conference.
August 30, 2007 3:28:54 PM

Oooh, just remembered. G0 stepping. I sure hope I don't get flummoxed with the old B3!
August 30, 2007 3:39:21 PM

why buy a computer when jesus is coming?


he scored a 3dmark score of 1,000,000.



and he can run bioshock at 1000fps.



the best part. he's totally SILENT.
August 30, 2007 3:49:24 PM

I didnt realise that rumor was true. They reported it on Toms and Anand but I didnt believe them. I believe it now. I just read it on a reputable sight the Inquirer!

I heard a 3dmark score 1,000,009. Which should equate to a 200fps increase in games at least.
August 30, 2007 4:01:19 PM

they're going to sell him on newegg and ncix for you cannucks.

August 30, 2007 4:01:48 PM

Spurious spuriousness aside, I reckon I'll get a p35 motherboard. Future proofing and upgrade potential are secondary objectives here.
August 30, 2007 4:17:38 PM

I suggest going to frozencpu.com and looking at their "ultra quiet" section.


As for p35, are you sure you don't want to wait for the x38? its got a 2 x16 pci-e lane for full crossfire. And Pci-e 2.0(if you care)

maybe Sli?


and if its true that penyryn will be supporting 1600mhz FSB, well than the p35 just won't cut it.
August 30, 2007 4:48:40 PM

I don't believe in AMD/ATI much. They may never catch up. PCIe is fanciful folly to me. I'd sooner use a usb key. In fact, I'm getting by now without one.

Sli, maybe. But I'm hoping to get by with 1 GPU. It's a simpler system for the simpler man :) 

When are the penyryns due?
August 31, 2007 1:05:53 AM

I took an angle grinder to my case 2 years ago I cut out the mesh for the rear case fan and mounted a coolermaster R120 set as exhaust and mouted its pot in the floppy drive bay.
(I think not going riad is crazy.)
August 31, 2007 1:13:43 AM

authoratah said:

When are the penyryns due?


Q1 2008
August 31, 2007 9:08:53 AM

Thanks Jag. That'll be after Christmas I'm sure. Not sure I can wait that long.

Which motherboards are there out there that can support DDR2 and DDR3 memory? I'd like to have the option of upgrading to good DDR3 when it comes along (since the tighter timings of DDR2 right now even out the difference).

I have my reasons for not going Raid. Intel matrix technology makes raid attractive because it lets you do a Raid 0+1 (debate your symantics elsewhere) over 2 hard drives. I worry so about noise and power. And budget of course.

To help out with the build, the following are things I don't need:
firewire
wifi
bluetooth
infrared (IrDA for you purists :) )
August 31, 2007 10:22:50 PM

I just did a bit of quick research and I discovered that Cyber Monday (or Black Monday if you prefer) is near the Crysis release date.

I have a cunning plan...

Summary thusfar:
Case: Antec 182se
RAM
Power Supplies
Mainboards Gigabyte something. A P35 board to be sure
Processors Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4GHz Socket LGA775, 8MB, BOXED w/fan
Memory: The new gskill one (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
Graphics Cards:
Hard Drives Spinpoint t166 500gb. What of those new hybrid drives? Anyone got links?
Optical Drives NEC DVD±RW burner AD-5170 IDE Black OEM, DVD+R/+RW/DVD-R/-RW (Dual layer)
Operating Systems Surely XP. I used vista at work. Enterprise edition. I likened it to a venereal disease. The boss thought it was a joke. We were both right.



Your thoughts please. I have a board in mind. Can you guess which one it is? :whistle: 

Next question: How's my budget of €1500 doing

And finally, are there any Dubliners like meself who've successfully shipped a system over the Atlantic? Any tales of smuggling the parts over inside bassoon cases are more than welcome!
September 1, 2007 1:30:24 AM

hmmm im gonna guess a gigabyte board.....haha they're p35 boards are tops for sure.

since graphics is blank im gonna suggest (if your going to play crysis) waiting to see which DX10 cards can play them at the resolution you want at a reasonable framerate.

i was going to suggest sli'ing silent 8600gts'

but if your leaning towards an 8800gts i suggest an aftermarket cooler.

stock intel fan is still audible from what i hear in these forums,but it gets the job done.

maybe consider a zalman?
September 1, 2007 1:17:44 PM

I'm a complete Noob myself, but with the help of people here, I just went through the exact steps you're at right now and built a new sytem which has a lot of similarities with what you're looking for, so I thought I'd share it:

Q6600 (G0 stepping)
x1950 Pro, 256mb, powercolor (Passive)
Gigabyte GA-P35C-DS3R
Corsair 450w
2x1gb Ram (Cas Latency 4)
Thermalright Ultra 120-Extreme Heatsink, w/Scythe S-Flex 800rpm fan attached
Antec Solo case (w/Scythe S-Flex replacing the Tri-Cool that comes with the case)
Western Digital 250gb hdd
DVD R/W (don't remember the brand...!)

I've used it about 2 weeks now and can tell you that it's whisper quiet. You can't hear anything if your ear is more than 1-2 feet away from the case. Even putting your ear against the case, you can only hear a very very faint purr. This is at idle, at 100% max load, at any time. The system is nice and cool (even at max, it's still quite decent temps), and quiet. Love it!

The only sound I ever can hear is the seek of the hard drive. My HDD is elastic-suspdended (comes with the case), so there's no vibration, but I can still hear the sound of the disk when it seeks. It's very, very quiet - sounds a bit like coffee percolating - but if the room is dead silent, you can hear it (if there's any noise at all - a/c, traffic with windows open, etc - then I can't hear it). Overall, I'm very pleased that a very, very faint (and very occasional) seek noise is the only thing I ever hear.

I was ready to run the heatsink passively without a fan, but the Scythe S-Flex is so quiet (inaudible, essentially) that I leave it on.

From what I understand, the 8800gts you mention can't be passively cooled. Maybe an Accelero would be good for you? For me, I wanted a pre-made silent cooling on the VGA, and the x1950 Pro is the best VGA I could find which comes pre-built passive. It's big, but it fits into the Antec Solo/P150 with no problem. Maybe it'd be enough for your gaming needs? You could also look at the 8600gt or 7950, if you prefer nVidia as you mentioned - they also have passive cards. If you really want the 8800, ask around if it can be passively cooled, but you'll probably have to deal with VGA fan noise...

About your other points:
Motherboard - the GA-p35c-ds3r might be good for you: it has ddr2 and ddr3 slots. Stable, good overclocking potential if you're interested.

Case - Antec's P182 is bigger than their Solo case. Obviously more useful if you need the space, but for me, I don't need it. And from what the experts at silentpcreview say, a smaller case is easier to cool than a big one and therefore will generally be more quiet.

CPU - Several places now will guarantee G0 stepping. It's about 3-5% less power consumption than the B3, so might be worth finding it. No idea where in Ireland, tho!

Shipping - Newegg says they don't ship overseas, but in a few forums I found postings by people who convinced Newegg to do it on an exceptional-basis (you agree to waive the warranty, etc). TigerDirect does ship overseas, no problem. Or you could have everything shipped to a friend in the U.S. and then have them send it to you (not sure how much customs would be a cost/worry...). With the euro so strong against the dollar (plus generally lower prices here in the U.S. anyway), it might be worth it for you.

Silentpcreview.com is by far the best place for information about quiet parts. Go troll around there for a while. Their focus is clearly different than here at tomshardware, but they're crazy about reducing noise. I cross-referenced the recommendations from here with the info on silentpcreview's, and then picked the PSU, case, heatsink and fans based on their (insanely thorough) evaluations and knowledge, and I'm very very impressed with the incredibly quiet result.

Good luck!
September 1, 2007 1:41:05 PM

Almost got the list ready to go now :) 

I was looking at the dsr3 but I never use firewire and eSATA would go to waste. What I really need is a list of P35 boards that go with a q6600 and the gskill ram I mentioned above. Stupidly large heatsink assemblies amuse me so.

Thanks for your post julia. I think I might be able to get by with silent air cooling now :D 

Now all I have to do is find a single site to buy the lot from.

Oh and boxzor, stop reading my mind :p 
September 1, 2007 7:43:46 PM

If you want a gaming PC then you have to go with either a 8800GTS or GTX, how to get them really silent? simple... liquid cooling. The problem with silent hardware is that is too expensive for less performance, at least until you hit the liquid cooling area, that's where you can get your money's worth (Sort of).

I've never really been a fan of silent PC, not because im a noise loving freak, but simply because I cannot justify losing performance for less noise, especially when I have my headphones on. However I can relate to what you want (Nobody likes fans humming), but there's no easy way out for this, either you cripple your investment to the level of an HTPC (undervolted C2D with Tuniq HSF, 8600GT, Antec Phantom 500W) or pay for your comfort (Liquid cooled Q6600, 8800GTS, and Antec Neo series [Very powerful and silent units, I own one myself])
September 1, 2007 8:40:15 PM

Beta list here:

Chassis Antec P182 SE

Power Supply PC power and cooling silencer 750 quad

Mainboards Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R, P35, Socket-775, ATX, GbLAN, DDR2, ICH9R, PCI-Ex16

Processors Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4GHz Socket LGA775, 8MB, BOXED w/fan

Memory Crucial DDR2 BallistiX PC8500 2048MB CL5 ,Kit w/two matched BallistiX 128Megx64

Graphics Cards 8800GTS
Hard Drives 2 x Samsung SpinPoint T166 500GB SATA2 16MB 7200RPM [ SPECIAL OFFER ]

Optical Drives (1 dvd reader, 1 dvd burner)

Thermal paste
Scythe S-Flex 800rpm fan OR zalman reservator 2 cooling tower


Just read a little about those antec neo power supplies. I have my heart set on a PC Power and Cooling 750, but I can't find any sites (like amazon let's say) that sell them

Thanks for the input Emp. The reason I chose the p182SE is because it has 2 clever holes just for external hoses. (I get an A for homework, right? ;) ) What is your opinion of the reservator (from zalman)? I spoke with a spritely fellow in a computer shop called Peats who said he was happy with his. The blue tower in the corner would be quite a feature.

As for watercooling in general, I'm aware of a few solutions such as thermaltake and danger den. The maintenance costs are the only con, plus the hassle of trying to find coolant.

I live in Ireland remember. It's a nice place; no snakes, no nasty spiders, no natural disasters... But the rain can be a bit annoying and very few American sites ship here, so despite the great exchange rate, I can seldom take advantage of it.

Anywho, compatibility check on that beta list and a list of American shipping sites is next. I looked at the p182SE shipping from the US. All around $200 just to plonk it on a boat heading my way. :pfff: 
September 1, 2007 10:42:20 PM

Small fans are the big noise polluters, try water-cooling the CPU and adding a adjustable speed controller to the smaller fan/s before attempting the "silent movie" treatment.
My Thermaltake Armor has 2-90mm and 2-120mm Colling fans, the 120's are quiet but the pair of 90's makes me crazy.

I have 1 dedicated 90mm fan to pull air across both of my HDD's and another in the top of the case, at full speed they made quite a racket, so i hooked em up top my trusty ZM-MFC1 and turned both of them down all the way, what a difference it made.

I'm going to water-cool the CPU with my upcoming upgrade and eliminate the noisy little booger for a CPU fan.
September 2, 2007 2:33:47 AM

I hear you mad-dog, my old thermaltake xaser came with 6 90mm fans! Hence the hovercraft like din, even with a fan controller.

This super shiny p182se is hard to find. I've begun contemplating some mirrors and ductape.
September 2, 2007 6:05:10 AM

thats a great build.

but i'd recommend adding the new thermalright HR-03 (plus) Reviewed here on THG

(http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/08/27/how_cool_are_the...) sorry don't know how to link. someone show me? haha.

and maybe arctic cooling freezer 7 pro instead of stock cooling and Scythe S-flex? although it is a great fan.

is ireland its own country or part of UK? i forget if its ireland or northern ireland thats its own country

and i'll stop reading your mind. jeez ruin my fun. =]
September 2, 2007 9:21:11 PM

http://www.anandtech.com/casecoolingpsus/showdoc.aspx?i=3040&p=17

Anad says the quad isn't what I need. Just as well. None of the sites here have it.

I reckon I might save on a few things bringing them over from the US. Not heavy things...

My problem is that Komplett.ie (an Irish site) have an offer on hard drives, jes.de (those crafy Germans) have the case I need, shippable for €20 (yay! not $200 from America, but even with those Germans charging me €200 the total works out the same).

And then there's Dabs.ie who can offer me a ds3r for about €115. Shipped and all.

SO now I have to pick out a different PSU and a way of buying from 3 sources or less.

You can all see now why I began planning ahead in time for November. Which will inevitably leave me swearing at Christmas :ange:  :non:  :whistle: 
September 3, 2007 3:37:16 AM

stick to the quad.


its future proof.


crysis is going to take advantage of the extra cores.


and so will most other apps in the near future.
September 3, 2007 11:18:42 PM

I see you managed to get a great rate on blank lines there boxzor :p  I take it I am supposed to read between them somehow?

It would appear I only need 6400 style RAM, since 8500 would far outstrip my needs.


The next pressing matter is listing all the good sites.
jes.de
komplett.ie
elara.ie
scan.co.uk
ebay.ie
newegg
zipzoomfly


This list will quickly grow.
September 4, 2007 12:14:45 AM

*Catches both*

I came across scan.co.uk there. Has anyone a tale to tell, be it good, bad or ugly?
September 4, 2007 9:54:40 AM

I use scan and have nothing bad to say about them. They have always delivered promptly - no hassle. Price wise they seem more than competitive. Everything I have received has worked no problem so I can't comment on returning goods.
September 4, 2007 3:54:32 PM

Thanks Mat. I'm so pleased to have finally found a site that has everything I need.

LN18795 Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R, iP35 Express, S 775, PCI-E (x16), DDR2 1066/1333/800, SATA II, SATA RAID, ATX £70.49

LN19488 Intel Core 2 Quad-Core Q6600 G0 SLACR, 95W, S775, 2.40 GHz, 1066MHz FSB, 8MB Cache, Retail £176.24

LN16546 500 Gb Samsung HD501LJ Spinpoint T, SATA300, 7200 rpm, 16MB Cache, 8.9 ms, NCQ £124.29 (2 of these)

LN14277 2GB (2x1GB) CorsairTwinX XMS2, DDR2 PC2-6400 (800), 240 Pins, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 4-4-4-12, EPP £66.96

LN19006 Samsung SH-S203/BEBN 20x DVD±R, 16x DVD±DL, DVD+RW x8/-RW x6, SATA, Black, OEM inc. Nero £18.79

LN18867 Antec P182 Advanced PERFORMANCE ONE SERIES Super Midi Tower Case, Black (no PSU) £78.48

LN17688 640MB BFG Technology 8800GTS OC PCI-E(x16) Mem 1600MHz GPU 550MHz 96 Streams HDTV/2 x DVI-I £246.15

LN16834 Noctua NH-U12F CPU Heatpipe Heatsink and fan LGA 775 S754, S939, S940 & AM2 £38.76

LN17319 Noctua NF-S12 800 RPM 120mm Quiet Case Fan £25.83

...and a silencer quad on the way

Thar she blows: £870.32. Load the guns of critique.
September 4, 2007 4:34:22 PM

What? No sound dampening material? No PSU exhaust duct? Did everything I say fall on deaf ears? :(  (pardon the pun).

No, seriously, looks great, if I had the money, I might just do the same thing piece-for-piece. I think you're right about the Noctua fans, they look pretty sweet and it sounds like design is a big component of their business (fluid dynamics, etc). I would probably go with the Western Digital AA-series hard drives, but that's just a personal preference. Love the Corsair ram. Gotta say, I'm a little jealous, but honestly my ol' P4 is holding up fine for the time being.

I guess if this ninja-like computer is still putting out too much noise you can always dampen it in the future. Enjoy
September 4, 2007 4:48:55 PM

Hi Kyle,

I had considered it, but with the parts I'm getting I don't think I'll need dampening. If it means that much to you, I'll go down to a hardware shop and buy some sheets of thin laminated polystyrene. ;)  I'll even give you this 'I told you so' coupon:

September 4, 2007 6:05:29 PM

I will consider this "Challenge" completed. Good work, man
September 4, 2007 6:40:31 PM

This part anyway. The next chapter begins on Thursday when everything starts to arrive.

Then the real challenge begins...
September 4, 2007 8:54:54 PM

My question is how silent is silent enough for you? The ordinary office is probably 40dB ambient noise meaning you wouldn't hear the comp even if it was relatively noisy. A home office is probably 30dB ambient.

If you're aiming for silent as in 'no noise in a hermetically sealed, sound proof chamber", it's going to cost a lot more and be less powerful than a machine specc'd to silent as in "I can't hear it over the office chatter".

Also, I don't know if they ship overseas but www.svc.com has a small section on quiet pc.
September 4, 2007 10:08:01 PM

reading in between the lines is exactly what you should do.


what does it say between those lines? (actually it screams)


GO QUAD CORE!!!!!!

September 9, 2007 9:28:28 PM

Yes, subtle.

So now I'm haggling with scan over £4. My fellow countrymen, beware of the tempting shipping charge. It's to UK only, and you may double it if you live in our fine Republic.

Now does anyone know where I put the final list... (scrolls up)
September 23, 2007 5:58:59 PM

Right, that's that lot bought.

9 hours of assembly


22 hours sleep because I think I put my back out lifting it up the stairs.
Why didn't ye warn me about the size of the noctua cooler?

And now the thing sounds like a diesel engine. I think I need a GPU cooler, a DVI to HDMI adaptor, a HDMI cable (v1.2 or 1.3, help me out here), a means of connecting my speakers to the TV I have...

Hang on, I'll draw a diagram. You guys can draw the lines in.
September 23, 2007 8:08:56 PM

Right, here's the diagram.



As you can see, it's getting a bit complicated here at mission control.

Desired result:
Audio: Use the TV speaker in the 7.1 setup as the main center speaker
Means I'll have a spare speaker - so that'd be like 8.1 maybe?
How do I wire both PCs into the creative T7700 speakers I have? (got them cheap on ebay :)  ) First PC mobo is a D865GLC (that'd be the old one) second/new PC is a P35-DS3R

Visual: Ok, so I have a 32" HDTV and a HP LP3065 (for a few days). I can't wire the old one to the 30" monitor because it needs to be driven by a dual link DVI. This means I'm using a VGA-VGA to connect the old one to the TV. It's been in use this whole time, so no change there.

The new Computer can power games at HDMI quality, since it has a Dual link DVI 8800GTS. More about that later.

What I want is dual screen madness with 8.1 surround sound. :pt1cable:  Can it be done? Are the resolutions going to be vastly different?

Useful stats:
TV max res: 1366x767 (or 1360x768 if you're a purist)
Monitor max res: 2560x1600

Star prize to the first person who figures out how to wire the whole shebang. After that, I've the task of setting up the new PC to contend with. I have an OS ready to go (and it's 32 bit because I reckon I'd rather have legacy support for the sake of the odd performance increase that comes from a 64 bit version even though I'll have a 32 bit version in the old computer which now, as I write, defeats the purpose entirely).

So yeah, post summary:
Which is a nice quiet cooler for an 8800GTS by BFG? I have 3 noctua fans in and spare 120mm fans handy. Fanless preferred.
What's the difference between HDMI versions 1.2 and 1.3, and which do I want?
Which OS should I put on the new PC? I have XP 32bit on this one I'm using to annoy talk to you all
Should I use an earthed socket adaptor since the PSU I got came with the wrong type of plug? I need a UK style 3 pin jobby
How do I wire the TV speaker as the centre speaker for the sound system?




Can you believe I turned it on, and it was actually louder than my current one!? :ouch:  :sarcastic:  :kaola:  :cry:  :lol:  Don't even ask about assembly. Started at sundown, finished at dawn.
September 28, 2007 5:58:05 AM

Oops, sata cable stuck in the fan there. That'll be what was causing the racket
September 28, 2007 5:39:10 PM

What is the brand on the HD-TV?
2 RCA Splitters might work to hook to the TV and the Center channel. They should look like this http://www.worldofcables.com/store/catalog/AUD-1400-01..... split the one mono line into two, then on of those to the speaker, and the other to another splitter. Then a stereo RCA line from the to the tv. Just a word of caution, you may damage/cause death to your TV. The TV can maybe handle 5 or 6 Watts at most for input. You are trying to put 20 or 30 into it. Also you will destroy your sound quality.

The way that I would really recommend doing this would to be by a 2.5 Stereo Mini Jack Splitter, looks like http://image.bizrate.co.uk/resize?sq=160&uid=553812812&.... Hook that to your front out on your computer. Plug in a mini jack to RCA converter (should look something like http://www.promusicaustralia.com/guitar/leemimages/YCX.... ), and the speakers. then you are using the stereo output on your tv + your speakers both at good efficiency.

Another caution: doing the following may destroy or damage the speakers or sound cards.

Buy 4 Mini jack splitters and plug them into your input on the speakers. Buy a second set of 7.1 cables, plug them into the splitters and hook them to one computer. Do the same with the other set.
September 28, 2007 10:12:03 PM

I dropped into peats there the other day and was told something similar.

TV is a Tevion 32" LCD HDTV.


I have a more pressing problem to solve before I get going with this though:

After I'd built my PC and everything was hunky dory, I decided to swap drive letters D: and E: so they'd match my old setup more closely. I went into computer>manage and used disk management. First I swapped D: to Z:. Then things started to go a bit wrong. When I tried to turn E: into D:, it told me that since I had a disc in the drive (though t nothing of it at the time) the disc would keep responding as E:. D: is now Z:, and I'm trying to turn E: into D:. The drop down menu hasn't got D: or E: availible. Oddly enough, E: to D: swappage has already occured. So I try to swap Z: (which was D:)  to E:. This should complete a simple E: D: swap, right? Nope. Like I said, E and D aren't in the dropdown menu.

It went horribly, horribly wrong. Now I can't get into windows, windows safe mode, last known good config, windows anything. Running Vista Business so I am. Or so I was...

Symptoms of an attempted normal startup get it past the vista load bar, with maybe a seconds look at the mouse cursor before it dies.

Safe mode is similar, only the mouse cursor is a lot bigger and I get a blinking cursor in the top right corner during death. And a very brief flash of a bsod too. the cursor blinks for a good minute before this bsod flashes by.

In both cases the machine reboots and continues looping. During reboot, the recognition of the CDROM drives takes longer than it used too.

I have plenty of tools handy ie knoppix disc, XP disc, boot discs, vista business disc etc. How do I undo a drive letter reassignment?
September 29, 2007 1:45:37 AM

That was scary. Feels like I've jumped the gorge!

Hard reset+vista disk+system reboot+repair console = Yahtzee!

Then it bluescreened when I put a disc in the first drive

...restarted...

Tested the second drive and it locked shut! Paperclipped it out :o 

Should I prepare for more weirdness?
September 29, 2007 3:00:01 AM

Serious conflict......check the bios settings (if it will let ya),
Don't rule out a bad stick of RAM, what PSU do you have...?
Tell ya what, why don't you list the system specs, how many hdd's?, raid?, didya pull the jumpers?
Windows runs best on a clean install, wipe it clean and do a fresh install "AFTER" checking connections, settings and system configuration.
September 30, 2007 4:42:00 AM

Hi Mad-dog,

I think it did the computer equivelent of falling down the stairs and landing on its arse.

Since my last post, the Raid array has failed. Intel matrix storage reports that the first drive in my 2 drive Raid 0 setup has suffered a read/write error. The help file says the fix requires a complete wipe and reinstall of the entire farm/shop/kazbah/shebeen/grocery store.

I have decided to take the comical ali approach instead. Right click, mark as normal.

Compy - "Your raid array has failed!"
Me - "(right click) Ehhh, no it hasn't..."
Compy - "Oh... my mistake"

Other errors that have been popping up include windows backup not working (what a surprise), folding at home not running at all even though it did work for about a half hour and steam crapping out completely.

Steam woulnd't download. Then Steam wouldn't install. Then Steam couldn't get as far as downloading anything.

I picked up an old laptop and played 8 hours of settlers 2 instead.

As for troubleshooting:
Ram is ok, Corsair 6400 4-4-4-12
Processor is ok, q6600 (the noctua heatsink I have on it keeps the core temps in around 30-35C although the overall system temp is 55, probably my GPU doing that)
Mobo isn't checked yet. It's a GA DS3R rev. 1.0 with all the updates and bios applied
PSU is a 620W from Corsair, the HW one. Any suggestions on a more specific test for this component?
Hard drives of which there are two now are "ok" (although Intel matrix storage wants me to think otherwise)
Fans are working wonderfully. They expel warm air which I reuse to defrost my hands (not so great circulation you see, comes from sitting down too long)
Connections were a bit floopy but I rewired all the sata devices (which is all 4 drives, 2x CDROM/DVD and 2x Hard drives, samsung spinpoint 500s)

Sata ports are not set up as 0+1 for the hard drives, 2+3 for the DVD drives.

Vista says I'm using 51% of memory and about 27% load with all my background processes running (which includes F@H). Gigiabyte tells me that dynamic overclocking is enabled so

Oh yeah, the monitor completely shat itself there too. I unplugged it to try and adjust the height (tis an LP3065 from HP here) and when I plugged it back in again, all the colours were backwards. Eventually, I swapped the ports and unplugged the HDMI. Regretably, I forgot to take a screenshot of the pretty colours.

On a much happier note, I managed to get my whole network to fileshare for the first time ever. Except the old Mac running OS 9.2, but that doesn't really count anymore.

Next question: Seeing as I've used the premise that my raid array has failed and I need to order 2 new hard drives (which are now on the way) which is better: RAID 10 or RAID 5? Bear in mind that this is a game biased machine but I would like decent saftey and peace of mind.

Longshot of the month: How do you network mac OS 9.2 to a windows workgroup?
!