Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Help choosing quiet parts

Last response: in Systems
Share
February 27, 2009 7:19:46 PM

Hi Everyone,

I am in the process of replacing my aging core 2 duo system. Not only is it a bit slow for my needs, my computer sounds like a jet engine idling on the tarmac. As I type this, I'm actually wearing earplugs because the noise is so annoying.

So, I'd like to get some advice from everyone on a case, cooler, and PSU that will help keep my new system as quiet as possible. I'm not looking for silence, but something that I can't hear from the bedroom, with the door closed, would be great. For those interested, the old system is a supermicro case/psu with a stock intel cooler, 2 120mm fans, and a video card so crappy it doesn't even need a fan.

Thus far, the base build consists of:

Phenom II X4 940 3.0ghz (black)
Asus M4A79 Deluxe mobo
16gb G.SKill DDR2 ram
2 x 640gb WD HD's (raid 0) for main drive
2 x 640gb WD HD's (raid 1) all my other crap
Leaning towards a Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 for graphics
XP Pro (64-bit)...maybe vista64 Ult but probably not.

My main PC uses are LAMP and .NET programming, and some light graphic design. I don't play very many games, unless you still count Zelda via an emulator :)  I do currently have 2x24" monitors, so if someone has suggestions on a better/quieter graphics card, I'm all ears (once I take out my earplugs, heh).

I'd like to go full-tower with room for expansion, and a modular power supply. Beyond that, I just don't know. All I know for sure is that I don't really want to get into liquid cooling at this time. I'm dropping a decent amount of coin on the system thus far, and I'd like to say money isn't a factor, but I can't spend $500 on a case, no matter how nice it may be.

So...long story short.... quiet case + quiet cpu cooler + quiet PSU = happy Dave :) 

More about : choosing quiet parts

February 27, 2009 7:28:04 PM

A HD 4670 would be a better choice here than a HD 4850, even though it's slower. Quieter, consumes less, and still good enough for light gaming. It will handle two monitors even at 1920x1200 in 2D mode, no problems.

XP Pro 64-bit works admirably for me with Visual Studio.Net 2003 and 2008 installed. No idea about Vista 64-bit. Since you don't game, you don't care about Direct X 10, which is the main reason why people buy Vista.

Get an Antec P182. It's one of the quietest and under $200.

The quietest CPU cooler ever made is Noctua NH-U12P.

If you want a quiet power supply your best bet is a Seasonic, or a Corsair 650TX. (the 650TX is designed by Seasonic too, btw)


Related resources
February 28, 2009 4:18:45 AM

Enermax Modu82+ is an extremely quiet modular PSU.

Why not change the mobo to M4A78T-E with on-board graphics?
February 28, 2009 2:40:25 PM

aevm said:
Oops, you wanted a full-tower. Check out the CoolerMaster Haf 932.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119160


Hey Aevm,

Thanks for the info; I like the looks of that case, although not as much as the Antec Twelve Hundred -- Any ideas on how that fairs? Other cases I've been admiring are the Thermaltake ArmorPlus and the XCLIO A380BK.

From what I've read, Noctua seems the way to go, good reviews everywhere I've looked.

do you think 650w PS is enough for the system?
February 28, 2009 2:43:38 PM

theAnimal said:
Enermax Modu82+ is an extremely quiet modular PSU.

Why not change the mobo to M4A78T-E with on-board graphics?



I was looking at the board earlier on. The integrated graphics appealed to me, but I really wanted to max out with 16gb ram to help with virtualization, and I haven't come across a 16gb kit (or reasonably priced 4gb dimms) that are above DDR2, and the specs on that mobo call for ddr3 only.

Another part of me wouldn't mind having room to expand to full AM3 specs, but I think the current AM+ cpu and ram will keep me going for a few years.
February 28, 2009 4:19:28 PM

david1982 said:
Hey Aevm,

Thanks for the info; I like the looks of that case, although not as much as the Antec Twelve Hundred -- Any ideas on how that fairs? Other cases I've been admiring are the Thermaltake ArmorPlus and the XCLIO A380BK.

From what I've read, Noctua seems the way to go, good reviews everywhere I've looked.

do you think 650w PS is enough for the system?


P182 is much quieter. Dimensions are 21.3'' x 8.1” x 19.9”. Plenty of room for expansion.

(Antec 1200 dimensions are 22.9" x 8.4" x 20.2".)

425W+ PSU is plenty.
February 28, 2009 4:21:28 PM

david1982 said:
I was looking at the board earlier on. The integrated graphics appealed to me, but I really wanted to max out with 16gb ram to help with virtualization, and I haven't come across a 16gb kit (or reasonably priced 4gb dimms) that are above DDR2, and the specs on that mobo call for ddr3 only.

Another part of me wouldn't mind having room to expand to full AM3 specs, but I think the current AM+ cpu and ram will keep me going for a few years.


I actually meant ASUS M4A78-E.
March 1, 2009 12:07:27 AM

I agree with theAnimal. If you're not absolutely decided for a full tower, then the P182 sounds perfect here.
March 2, 2009 8:17:37 PM

theAnimal said:
I actually meant ASUS M4A78-E.


sounds like a winner to me. No sense in paying $60 for the other board with the additional pci express options if I'm not planning on running crossfire.
March 2, 2009 8:18:51 PM

aevm said:
I agree with theAnimal. If you're not absolutely decided for a full tower, then the P182 sounds perfect here.


Not a huge fan of the looks of the p182. I like the rugged designs of the other cases much more. That haf 932 is especially pleasing on the eyes! :) 
March 2, 2009 10:56:58 PM

You might want to look in to a passively cooled 4670 since you don't game.

For quiet fans take a look in to Yate Loon and Scythe.

Also check out reviews/builds,etc here:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/
They know silent computing.
March 3, 2009 6:19:26 AM

My advice:

Quiet PSU - Seasonic S12 series PSU 430w or 500w if you want something "bigger".

Quiet Fans - Yate Loons, Scythe (look for the low RPM models), Nexus (cherry picked Yate Loons last time I've checked), Noctua.

Quiet Hard Drives - Traditionally Samsung HDDs, but they seems to have relatively failure rate in the recent past. I have a couple of Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drives in my HTPC. Very quiet.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I'll give you three choices for passively cooled video cards:

Causal or very light Gamer: SAPPHIRE 100252HDMI Radeon HD 4550 512MB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Light/Moderate Gamer:SAPPHIRE 100255U Radeon HD 4670
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Moderate/Heavy Gamer: GIGABYTE GV-R485MC-1GI Radeon HD 4850 1GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I'm looking at the HD 4850 for my gaming PC 'cause when I decide it is too slow I'll toss it into my HTPC and probably underclock it. My HTPC currently has a passively cooled 9600GT which overall has a slight edge over the 4670 in performance.
March 3, 2009 6:54:09 AM

Look at the CM Storm Sniper too, it is very quiet and is very spacious.
March 6, 2009 10:53:12 AM

xthekidx said:
Look at the CM Storm Sniper too, it is very quiet and is very spacious.


You wouldn't happen to know if the Noctua NH-U12P would fit in the Sniper case? Or should I go with the NH-C12P low-profile just to be safe?
March 6, 2009 1:12:23 PM

You are kidding, right? That Storm Sniper is 10" wide. It would fit any air cooler ever invented.

There's a newegg reviewer who says he fit the Noctua NH-U12P in a 8.125"-wide case and still had 0.75" clearance.
March 6, 2009 1:33:54 PM

aevm said:
You are kidding, right? That Storm Sniper is 10" wide. It would fit any air cooler ever invented.

There's a newegg reviewer who says he fit the Noctua NH-U12P in a 8.125"-wide case and still had 0.75" clearance.


You should see me trying to pick out new socks -- it's a 3-hour ordeal. Needless to say I'm a bit anal about stuff sometimes. But hey, thanks for the input, now I can order away!

Unfortunately newegg is out of ALL 4gb and larger sticks so I'll have to get my memory elsewhere. Otherwise, I'm getting excited!
March 6, 2009 6:42:19 PM

Alright...it's ordered. Thanks to everyone for your input.

final specs are:

Asus M4A78-E Motherboard
AMD Phenom II X4 3.0ghz Black Edition
8gb Patriot Viper DDR2 1066 memory
2 x 640gb WD Caviar Black HD's
CoolerMaster Storm Sniper Case, with CM 700w PSU
Noctua NH-U12P CPU Cooler
140mm Scythe fan (for bottom of case)
2x1200mm Scythe fans (for side of case)
Vista Ultimate 64-bit

I'm going to run with the on-board graphics for now and see how that plays out. If I need to upgrade, I'll probably jump to 4670 or 4850, depending on circumstances.

Went with the NH-U12P over the C12p based on fan orientation.

Here's hoping it all arrives in one piece :)  I didn't want to wait for 16gb kits to come in, and it was only $150 for 8gb. So, if I decide to jump to 16 later on, I can take this 8 and drop it in my old system.

I'm giddy...cant' wait.
March 6, 2009 6:55:14 PM

1200mm Scythe fans??? Yeah, I know it's a typo, but it's fun to imagine fans like that :) 

Looks good. The 4GB sticks were ridiculously expensive anyway ($420 for 2x4GB).

Good luck with the build!
!