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Fast, Quiet, Cool Running New Build

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Last response: in Systems
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October 16, 2009 3:26:12 AM

This is my first build in 15 years (so a lot has changed!). I have researched and hopefully have gotten something that makes sense and will not kill the wallet too badly. Please comment if I left something out or you have a better idea about how to reach my goals (in the ADDITIONAL COMMENTS below).

Thanks much.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE:
Approx. 10/16/2009 - 10/20/2009

BUDGET RANGE:
Approx. $1,200 - $2,000

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
Internet Browsing
Gaming (such as MS Flight Sim X, Spore, Tom Clancy's Hawx)
Desktop Applications
Watching Movies via sites like HULU.com
Audio Mixing
Database/Web Development with IDE tools such as Oracle DB and JDeveloper

PARTS NOT REQUIRED:
Keyboard
Mouse
5.1 Speakers
Monitor

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:
newegg.com
tigerdirect.com

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
Sacramento, California, U.S.A.

PARTS PREFERENCES:
Quiet PC components such as Antec Case, Xalman PSU, HDD enclosure, Acoustic dampening, etc.

OVERCLOCKING:
Maybe but not likely

SLI OR CROSSFIRE:
Yes

MONITOR RESOLUTION:
1280x1024

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
While Speed (particulaly startup/shutdown as it will not be kept on most of the time) is important, I am shooting for a very quiet and cool running computer without sacrificing too much on power.

Build Components:
CPU:
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Quad Core 3.2GHz
Estimated Cost: $197.99
http://www.directron.com/hdz955fbgibox.html?pgrab=1

CPU Cooler:
Zalman CNPS9900 LED PWM Quiet CPU Cooler
Estimated Cost: $54.99
http://www.directron.com/cnps9900led.html?pgrab=1

Motherboard:
ASUS M4A79T Deluxe Motherboard
Estimated Cost: $188.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU:
Zalman ZM660-XT 660W Modular Power Supply Unit
Estimated Cost: $197.36
http://www.pcconnection.com/IPA/Shop/Product/Detail.htm...

Memory:
CORSAIR DOMINATOR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMD4GX3M2A1600C8 - Retail
Estimated Cost: $129.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...(Desktop+Memory)-_-Corsair+(XMS+Series)-_-20145265

Graphics:
GIGABYTE GV-R485MC-1GI Radeon HD 4850 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
Estimated Cost: $129.99 (x2) = $259.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case:
Antec P183 Black Aluminum / Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Estimated Cost: $114.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...(Computer+Cases+-+ATX+Form)-_-Antec-_-11129061

Hard Disk:
Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS 300GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Estimated Cost: $229.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Disk Enclosure:
Smart Drive Hard Disk Drive Enclosure Silencer 2002C - Copper Lined
Estimated Cost: $69.95
http://www.quietpcusa.com/Smart-Drive-Hard-Disk-Drive-E...

Optical Disk:
Black Samsung SH-S223F SATA DVD Burner, 22x DVD+/-R, 16X DVD+R DL, 8X DVD+RW. OEM
Estimated Cost: $27.99
http://www.directron.com/shs223f.html?pgrab=1

Acoustic Soundproofing:
AcoustiPack™ ULTIMATE PC Soundproofing Kit (APU)
Estimated Cost: $47.95
http://www.quietpcusa.com/AcoustiPack-ULTIMATE-PC-Sound...

OS:
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM
Includes free Windows 7 upgrade coupon(limit 20 per customer)
Estimated Cost: $109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total Estimated System Cost: $1,630.16

More about : fast quiet cool running build

October 16, 2009 10:27:53 AM

Some things i'd look at for a quiet and cool running system would be a Scythe cooler over the Zalman. Check here for reviews and see 7 of the 10 quietest AMD coolers are Scythe.
http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm
The site also features full reviews of the coolers along with audio files of each cooler for comparison.
Crossfiring HD4770s would give the same or better performance then crossfiring HD4850s and would run cooler and quieter. I'd also consider a HD5850 instead of crossfire.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-4770-crossfi...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I'd really look at SSD hard drives rather than the velociraptor. Silent running and much much faster than conventional HDs.
http://www.guru3d.com/category/memory/
http://www.anandtech.com/storage/
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-x25-m-vertex,23...

Just some things to look at.
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October 16, 2009 12:09:10 PM

there's a problem with your zalman cpu cooler, you said quiet running so it basically means the zalman = OFF The zalman is about 54dba 1m. Get a core contact freezer and use fan speed controller to lower to a quiet 34dba 1m +1 for scythe cooler, is you really want peace and quiet go for scythe
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October 16, 2009 3:11:08 PM

Right!

The Scythe Zipang 2 Cooler is going to be much quieter and should easily handle dissipating the heat generated by the AMD Phenom II and it is AM3 compatible! Although hard to find I found one at LinkeComputer http://www.linkecomputer.com/products/1000374/SCZP-2000... for $42.33 + 8.99 Shipping. It should fill the bill nicely. Thanks!

I think I will also change the Graphics card to dual HD4770's at $94.99 each from newegg.com as I originally considered two 512Mb cards for 1Gb total anyway (I don't think that I will need more than that!) although I am concerned about space on the ASUS M4A79T Deluxe Motherboard. Any suggestions???

POWERCOLOR PCS AX4770 512MD5-P Radeon HD 4770 512MB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video ... - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I am not sure about the SSD though. Is it really worth paying twice as much for half the storage? The Intel X25-M Gen2 160GB 2.5" Solid State Drive costs $503.99 and the Velociraptor I identified is less than half that for about twice the storage. I suppose that I could get 2 Intel X25-M 80GB 2.5" Solid State Drives at $248.22 each which is marginally better.

However, should I get an SSD as my primary drive and another HDD as my data drive since I have a large iTunes library which just sits there most of the time and all of the Oracle DB stuff also usually just sits there and is not dynamically used anyway for my purposes. Would a SSD Primary disk and a Seagate or WD HDD as a data drive work well together or would one slow down the other???

Thanks,

BSB
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October 16, 2009 4:34:01 PM

I would think that an 80GB SSD along with a 500GB-1TB conventional HD would be a good solution with your OS and most commonly used game on the SSD. There's plenty of room on the Asus 790FX for crossfired cards.
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