Quiet i3 Home Office / Web Dev w/ SSD ~750

My 6 year old p4 system's mobo died last week. I need to replace it very soon. Back in the day I built a handful of machines, and I'm a software developer so I'm not afraid of technology, but I've been out of the game for a long time. I've been reading up on all of the great articles on this site and others.


BUDGET RANGE: (e.g.: 600-800) $700 before rebates, (without OS)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: MS Office/Email, PhP Development, Light photoshop, minimal java development. Maybe light gaming.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: monitors, 500GB WD Green for media, keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS (will be Windows 7)
(e.g.: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS) **Include Power Supply Make & Model If Re-using**

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, not picky


OVERCLOCKING: Yes, a small bump within stock tolerances one system is stable.
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No (want to try onboard)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: can't remember, I think dual 1600x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Quiet but not silent. Have a full ATX cheap case, cheap fans, 750W that this is replacing, everything will seem quiet by comparison. I think what I need help with is the mobo, case, and the little accessories like fans, cables, cooling supplies. It's been a long time so I don't remember what all I need. Pretty sold on the SSD for power, noise, and speed.

Suggested Parts:

CPU: i3 530 ~$125

Video: Want to try integrated graphics (was told dual monitors are supported through HDMI)

Mobo: Gigabyte H55M-UD2H - ~$105

Case: Antec NSK3480 $90

RAM: 4GB (2x2GB) OCZ Gold ~$110 (Please help double-check timings, voltages, etc. Very open to suggestions)

SSD: Kingston 64 GB SSDNow V-Series SATA - $160

HDMI Splitter ~ $10

Optical Drive - DVD-RW for around $25-$30.

Fans, Cables, etc: ?

So this is looking like right around $630/650 so far. Thoughts?
7 answers Last reply
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  1. A couple of quick things:

    You probably don't want to use an HDMI splitter; I think that'll just send the same image to both screens. You might be able to use DVI for one screen and HDMI for the other, though, or something like that...just make sure before you buy. :)

    You may also want to try to up the RAM a bit...4 GB might be okay, but between Java (and Eclipse or NetBeans or whatever you use for development) and Photoshop, you'll want as much memory as you can scrape together.


  2. I can't tell, are you saying you need a new case? If so, I'd recommend this one:


    Very quiet and an easy to clean front filter. Also for quietness, you probably should get an aftermarket cooler. A Hyper 212+ (while extreme overkill cooling wise) will be nice and quiet. (Remember, bigger, lower RPM fans => quiet!).
  3. You have done a good research job.

    Dual monitors should not be a problem. I just built a system using the smaller gigabyte motherboard the S2H and a i5-660. It went well.
    The mobo has a dvi, a vga, and a hdmi connector. You can use any combination of two of them. As I recall, there was a minor restriction if HDMI was one of the two. I suggest you download and read the motherboard manual. I think you would want the extended desktop, not a clone of the monitors. I don't think a HDMI splitter is what you want.

    I like the Antec case, but if you want a very quiet case, consider the Antec Solo. Shop for free shipping, cases are heavy, and can cost $20 to ship. Go to www.silentpcreview.com for some good quiet computing info.
    We used the corsair 400CX psu which was also quiet; about $50.

    I was surprised at how quiet the stock cooler was. I guess that the 32nm does not generate much heat. A $30 oem cooler with a slow turning 120mm fan
    would be quieter. You can become obsessed with quietness.

    We used corsair 4gb kit of ddr3-1333 which cost about $95. No need to go faster.

    I particularly like your pick of a small SSD.

    The 660 at stock ran 2m superpi almost as fast as my overclocked i7-920. It also played civ4 decently on a 1920 x 1080 monitor. I was impressed.
  4. Thanks for the advice you two.

    Yes, I think I want to get a new case. When I built 6 years ago, I just got one of the cheapest cases. It has a loud 650W PS. All the fans are loud. The side panel is clear, which I don't care about, but my wife thinks is obnoxious, especially since the fans all have LED's.

    I've been looking at the SPCR website. I couldn't find any firm recommendation to whether the solo would be quieter than the nsk3480, both are recommended over there. The nsk3480 is a little cheaper that the solo + PS. I'm sure spending more on solo + PS would be quieter, but how much for the $?

    As far as the cooler, so the i3/i5 will in fact come with something stock? I'd probably try that out, and see how loud it is.
  5. Retail Intel cpu's come with coolers. The fans are small, and can get noisy if they need to spin up to maximum speed. That does not happen with normal web browsing type of activity. A cooler needs to be installed with the motherboard outside of the case. Either to attach a backplate, or to check that the stock cooler pushpins are all secure. I hate to take a motherboard out of a working sustem to install a cooler later.

    The Antec 3480 has limited room for a dvd drive and still be able to clear the psu. Read the 3480 article on spcr. You will have to shop for a shorter than normal dvd burner.
  6. Thanks for the info. That is a good point about the time required though. Everything would have to be disconnected.

    I did read that article and my takeaway was that the people with trouble were using a non-stock PSU, which then caused the trouble. Maybe I misread it.

    That's part of why I liked that case. If people were willing to buy it with the PSU and scrap the PSU for something else, then it must be a pretty good case.
  7. I like the case also.

    The review said that the new 3480 had a new 380w stock psu, compared to the older version of the case. It appears that you will need a dvd burner that is 6.5" or shorter to avoid interference with the psu cables. I do think you can find one, but you will have to read the manufacturer's spec sheet to be certain.
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