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Want to build very quiet, powerful,small form factor system under 1400$CAD.

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February 8, 2011 3:00:13 AM

Hello,

Looking to make a very quiet, powerful, small form factor system. Micro ATX or Mini iTX please.

Approximate Purchase Date: End of Feb-Early March

Budget Range: 1000-1400$CAD

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Games, Music/Video editing.

Parts Not Required: Windows 7 Ultimate,KB/Mouse, Monitor,Speakers.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.ca, NCIX, Tigerdirect, Canada Computers.

Country of Origin: Canada

Parts Preferences: 6950 2GB seems like good B4B, Crucial 120GB SSD 'cause Sata3 is nice. Wifi card.

Overclocking: maybe?

SLI or Crossfire: nada

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080+

Additional Comments: I'm a quality freak. I'd rather pay a little more as long as it's worth it.

Intro:

Built one system so far thanks to the help of this forum. I am planning on my second. Would like to build a smaller one this time. Would like it to be small, really quiet, powerful enough to run everything and at the same time maintain a high quality all for around 1000-1400$CAD.

Thanks for all your help guys.
February 8, 2011 5:58:19 AM

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/desktop-cpu-charts-2... <---- I would really wait until early April when the "fixed 1155 SB mobo's come out. Not only is that Sandy Bridge the top of the line in regards to cpu's, it runs cool as ice. That and they aren't all that expensive. If you buy before early April you are going to shoot yourself in the foot.
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February 8, 2011 1:36:03 PM

How powerful do you need?
For gaming @ 1080P, you will need a strongish graphics card, something like a GTX460-1gb. For ultimate performance, get two in sli, or a GTX580.

How small do you need?
You can't get better quality than lian li.

For a small mini-ITX case, here is the PC-Q11:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
10.24" x 7.87" x 12.40" It will hold a GTX460.

A slightly larger mini-ITX that can hold the GTX580 would be the PC-Q08:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
13.58" x 8.94" x 10.71"

For a micro-ATX cube case, you can use what I use, a PC-V351:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
14.69" x 10.98" x 10.31" It is quiet because the two 120mm intake fans are stealthed inside. I have a GTX580 inside with no cooling or noise issues.
With the right motherboard, like my Asus P8P67-M-Pro, you can sli cards up to 11" long.
I picked this one because I have a length space restriction.

A more conventional shaped case would be the PC-V354:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
16.56" x 13.82" x 12.07"

The cases come in black, silver, and red. The cases are anodized aluminum. I have the red, and the color is stunning.
All small form factor cases will have restrictions on the size of cpu cooler you can install.

For that reason, I would favor a cpu based on 32nm construction. If you can wait until the sandy bridge chipset issue is resolved, in april, then do so. The cpu's run faster and cooler than anything out there. A cpu cooling fan will have less work to do, and be quieter. You might be able to buy a cpu & mobo on e-bay, planning to exchange it later.
There is no problem if you use only the 6gb sata ports. Most motherboards will have3 or 4 of them.

If you must buy now, look at a clarkdale duo, like the i5-560 @3.33. It will run any game out there well:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Get a SSD for the OS and apps. They are silent, and fast. Gen 3 SSD's are due out soon, and should be cheaper per gb. I am waiting for one.


--------------good luck----------------
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February 8, 2011 5:19:39 PM

Thanks for the reply geofelt.

I've been eyeing some of the new Lian li cases and they look nice and are aluminum, while most cases these days are still steel. I would need something that fits full sized GPU's.(Q11 probably a no go) Would all these cases be able to fit big cards like the 6950's? What do you think about the V352? I read somewhere that it is similar to the V351, but has less space for the GPU. No one has really confirmed it yet.

In your systems that you own both the V351 and the V354. Which is quieter? Which component tends to make the most noise? Anything I should look out for if I built using one of these cases.

What CPU cooler would you recommend for one of these smaller cases that is very efficient and quiet?

What is your feeling on some of the antec, silverstone SFF cases?

You are right about the Clarkdale duo. I could buy this and other components now, and just swap out a new CPU and MOBO when SB get's it's issues together.

Why not get a Crucial SSD? They are out now, a decent price and are Sata 3?
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February 8, 2011 5:52:15 PM

Take a look at this article
http://www.silentpcreview.com/Silent_Gaming_System_Buil...

that website is an excellent source for silent pc building. Then also have list's of parts they've testing for silence and should answer all your questions above.

I would also recommend waiting till April for SB however.

SSD wise, OCZ vertex 2/agility 2 and Intel x25-M are the best buys.
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February 8, 2011 8:22:03 PM

spindacut said:
Thanks for the reply geofelt.

I've been eyeing some of the new Lian li cases and they look nice and are aluminum, while most cases these days are still steel. I would need something that fits full sized GPU's.(Q11 probably a no go) Would all these cases be able to fit big cards like the 6950's? What do you think about the V352? I read somewhere that it is similar to the V351, but has less space for the GPU. No one has really confirmed it yet.

In your systems that you own both the V351 and the V354. Which is quieter? Which component tends to make the most noise? Anything I should look out for if I built using one of these cases.

What CPU cooler would you recommend for one of these smaller cases that is very efficient and quiet?

What is your feeling on some of the antec, silverstone SFF cases?

You are right about the Clarkdale duo. I could buy this and other components now, and just swap out a new CPU and MOBO when SB get's it's issues together.

Why not get a Crucial SSD? They are out now, a decent price and are Sata 3?


The V351 holds a GTX580, which is 10.5" long with about 1/2 inch to spare. A 6950 is the same length. A 5970 is longer, and will fit if you relocate one of the internal fans.

I also have a Q07 as a backup, not a V354. Q07 is no good for anything else, it has no cooling, and minimal length for a graphics card.
I was considering a V352 which is similar to the V351. They both are the same size, and should have no problem with 10.5" graphic cards. There may be a problem with cards longer than 11.0" , or with the power plug in the end of the card vs. the top on larger cards. The V352 puts the psu over the graphics card, and the Hdd over the cpu side. There are good arguments for either approach.

In any case, the noise comes from fans. The graphics card is the most likely culprit, particularly under load. Look for a dual slot direct exhaust cooler, and you should be fine.
Get a gold rated psu, they will be quieter. I use the Seasonic X750, and they warn you to not be disturbed if the fan is not running; it needs to come on at 50% power or more. I never hear it.

I like Antec as a case manufacturer. They have excellent customer repair service. Their SFF cases do not look like gamers to me.

Silverstone looks good also. Check out their SUGO line. But, they need a proprietary psu that might not be strong enough for a top gaming card.

Definitely get a SSD. Do not worry about sata-3; it will not make a real difference. If you can gat a SSD at $1.5 per gb, then that is a good deal.
As to coolers, Noctua makes the best quiet coolers and fans. The U9B was my choice, but it was too tall for the V351. I settled for the Silenx EFFIZIO cooler. It looks minimilistic, and is cheap, but it does the job. I used noctua fans in push pull and created a duct to get the cpu air directly out of the case. The system is reasonably quiet. The only time I notice it is when I turn it off, and there is complete silence. An alternative that should also work is one of the low profile coolers. The two 120mm fans should be plenty. I saw no need to change out any of the lian li fans which are quiet enough.
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