Silent, small 'gaming' rig.

Hi folks.

I currently have a regular sized low to mid end gaming pc.

Specs:
Benq G2420HD

Tower: ANTEC 300
MB: Gigabyte G31M-ES2L.
CPU: E8400 with Scythe Mini Ninja.
RAM: 4gb Kingston DDR2 ram
HDD: WD Caviar Black 500gb
PSU: Corsair VX 450w
GPU: ATI HD 4770, 512mb with Stock cooler.

This rig can handle what I want to play just fine which is Black Ops, Magicka, Bloodline Champions and various Source games. I don't really need state of the art hardware. This is my second PC in 6 years.

What I want now is a quiet and small gaming rig. I wouldn't mind replacing the gpu, it's a horrible card.

I want to keep the budget as low as possible and I live in Denmark, so I can't get anything from Newegg etc. I realise I may need a new PSU as 450w is stretching it a bit. The only items I won't replace unless absolutely necessary is the HDD and RAM. The rest can be replaced but I'd prefer if some of the parts could be re-used.

What are your suggestions? I was hoping for a micro-ATX or similar tower.
43 answers Last reply
More about silent small gaming
  1. I'd keep the Antec 300, its a great case. I'd rplace everything else:

    Intel i5-2400
    AS Rock H61M/U3S3
    4 GB or 8 GB ram
    GTX 460 1 GB or HD 6850
    samsung spinpoint F3 1TB drive
    cheap SATA DVD player (assuming your old one is IDE)
    Antec 380-550W PSU, or Corsair 430/500W PSU
  2. I fear you may be asking a bit too much. Silent, small and gaming don't tend to go well together and when you add a low budget to the mix it is going to be very difficult. You may be able to find some sort of comprimise though. My suggestions for upgrading that GPU on a budget would be HD 5770 or if you can stretch the budget a bit then maybe try a GTX 460 or HD 6850. I have a GTX 460 myself and its a tiny card with great value. It's even shorter than the 7950GT it replaced. As for the PSU, i would suggest an upgrade to 550-600W. Lastly, for the case. The only mid range micro ATX case i have had any experience with is the NZXT Vulcan, my friend has one. It's a small case with good cooling but his is ridiculously loud with all the fans on high but turn them down a bit and theyre quiet enough.
  3. claz said:
    Hi folks.

    I currently have a regular sized low to mid end gaming pc.

    Specs:
    Benq G2420HD

    Tower: ANTEC 300
    MB: Gigabyte something mini/micro-atx, nothing fancy.
    CPU: E8400 with Scythe Mini Ninja.
    RAM: 4gb Kingston DDR3 ram
    HDD: WD Scorpio Black 500gb
    PSU: Corsair VX 450w
    GPU: ATI HD 4770, 512mb with Stock cooler.

    This rig can handle what I want to play just fine which is Black Ops, Magicka, Bloodline Champions and various Source games. I don't really need state of the art hardware. This is my second PC in 6 years.

    What I want now is a quiet and small gaming rig. The only thing I wouldn't mind being replaced is the gpu, it's a horrible card.

    I want to keep the budget as low as possible and I live in Denmark, so I can't get anything from Newegg etc. I realise I may need a new PSU as 450w is stretching it a bit.

    What are your suggestions? I was hoping for a micro-ATX or similar tower.


    You wan't a small, silent gaming rig, but the only thing you want to replace is the video card? Am I missing something here?
  4. jmsellars1 said:
    I fear you may be asking a bit too much. Silent, small and gaming don't tend to go well together and when you add a low budget to the mix it is going to be very difficult. You may be able to find some sort of comprimise though. My suggestions for upgrading that GPU on a budget would be HD 5770 or if you can stretch the budget a bit then maybe try a GTX 460 or HD 6850. I have a GTX 460 myself and its a tiny card with great value. It's even shorter than the 7950GT it replaced. As for the PSU, i would suggest an upgrade to 550-600W. Lastly, for the case. The only mid range micro ATX case i have had any experience with is the NZXT Vulcan, my friend has one. It's a small case with good cooling but his is ridiculously loud with all the fans on high but turn them down a bit and theyre quiet enough.


    I realise this of course. It's not like I don't have any money to spend, I'd just like it to be as little as possible :P

    If small is unachieveable then I'll settle for silent. My current GPU and PSU make a hell of a noise. My CPU just uses the heatsink from the Scythe Mini Ninja so that one is perfectly quiet.
  5. geekapproved said:
    You wan't a small, silent gaming rig, but the only thing you want to replace is the video card? Am I missing something here?


    I never said it's the only thing I want to replace. It's just the one thing I really want to replace.

    Sorry for double-posting.

    EDIT: disregard this post.
  6. I would recommend a Sapphire Vapor-X card, like the 5770. Or What I'm currently running, a Sapphire 6870 reference with a Zalman VF3000A. At the lowest fan setting, the two fans are super quiet and keep the card just above 50 under load.
  7. I can see my OP is a tad unclear.

    HDD and RAM are here to stay. The rest can be replaced. It would be great though if I can reuse the Scythe Mini Ninja.

    EDIT: DISREGARD THIS POST TOO.
  8. claz said:
    I never said it's the only thing I want to replace. It's just the one thing I really want to replace.

    Sorry for double-posting.



    Quote:
    The only thing I wouldn't mind being replaced is the gpu


    So you mind if everything is replaced, but don't mind if the gpu is replaced?

    Then you say in your next post that you want to keep the hdd and the ram.

    I'd say you were seriously unclear, not just a tad.
  9. You can build a very small and quiet gamer in a Lian Li PC-Q08. I've got a GTX460 in mine; PSU is a 550W Antec Truepower New. If you look up user "jtt283" on Youtube, the only thing I've posted there is a slideshow of the build. I'm at work, where it's blocked, so I can't send the link.
    The PC-Q11 is even smaller. If you use a HD5770, you can use a 300W PSU; FSP has a highly-rated 80+ model.
  10. geekapproved said:
    Quote:
    The only thing I wouldn't mind being replaced is the gpu


    So you mind if everything is replaced, but don't mind if the gpu is replaced?

    Then you say in your next post that you want to keep the hdd and the ram.

    I'd say you were seriously unclear, not just a tad.


    It just feels to me like you're trolling because I made a couple of incoherent posts. So far you haven't contributed anything. The others apparently understood what I wanted and made a few suggestions.

    I've edited the OP just for you.

    EDIT:


    Onus said:
    You can build a very small and quiet gamer in a Lian Li PC-Q08. I've got a GTX460 in mine; PSU is a 550W Antec Truepower New. If you look up user "jtt283" on Youtube, the only thing I've posted there is a slideshow of the build. I'm at work, where it's blocked, so I can't send the link.
    The PC-Q11 is even smaller. If you use a HD5770, you can use a 300W PSU; FSP has a highly-rated 80+ model.


    It looks interesting! I'm a little concerned that you suggest a 300W PSU though. Will that even be sufficient?
  11. Hardware is pretty expensive in my country :( I'll probably end up buying a HD 6850 and leave it at that.

    HD 5770 costs 200 dollars, HD 6850 costs 250 dollars. I wouldn't mind switching to SB and get an i5-2500k but I'd probably have to switch MB and then it'll all add up.

    To give you a little perspective, the Asrock P67 Extreme4 costs 160 dollars on Newegg and the lowest price in my country is ~230.

    I'm unsure as what to do, hehe. I'll see if anyone else has a good idea/suggestion.

    But for now, what do you think? Pay 50 bucks extra for 6850 over 5770?
  12. Yes I troll incoherent posts that make no sense.
  13. geekapproved said:
    Yes I troll incoherent posts that make no sense.


    Whatever gets you through the day. Now please, stop bashing a thread I made in a hurry and stay on topic. Tyvm.
  14. A 300W PSU would NOT handle a HD6850; that was only if you got a HD5770 (or less). With the emphasis on "silent" and "small," often the form-factor imposes physical limitations on the sizes of components you can use. One advantage of the Lian Li cases is they'll take a standard ATX PSU (like the 550W one I used), otherwise you may be limited to something even smaller, which may limit you to the 300W range (at least if you want to stay on budget). XFX has a single-slot width HD5770. MSI I believe has a low-profile (but dual slot) version, and I think they also have a low profile GTX460.
    I originally used a HD4850 in my Lian Li PC-Q08R, but there's a MSI GTX460 "Cyclone" in there now.
  15. Onus said:
    A 300W PSU would NOT handle a HD6850; that was only if you got a HD5770 (or less). With the emphasis on "silent" and "small," often the form-factor imposes physical limitations on the sizes of components you can use. One advantage of the Lian Li cases is they'll take a standard ATX PSU (like the 550W one I used), otherwise you may be limited to something even smaller, which may limit you to the 300W range (at least if you want to stay on budget). XFX has a single-slot width HD5770. MSI I believe has a low-profile (but dual slot) version, and I think they also have a low profile GTX460.
    I originally used a HD4850 in my Lian Li PC-Q08R, but there's a MSI GTX460 "Cyclone" in there now.


    I already have the Corsair VX450 which is 80+ certified etc. That one should be able to run a HD 6850 from what I've read.
    I think the HD 5770 is too short-term and the 6850 is so much better and not that much more expensive. What I'm thinking of doing is to buy the HD 6850. Would that one fit into the Lian Li case? Otherwise I'll probably just use my current Antec Three-Hundred.
    My current pc is only 2 years old, which is why I'm a bit reluctant to replace everything. I'd prefer just keeping my 'decent' E8400 cpu and replace the GPU and perhaps the case if it fits without causing a meltdown due to being too cramped.
  16. Onus said:
    A 300W PSU would NOT handle a HD6850; that was only if you got a HD5770 (or less). With the emphasis on "silent" and "small," often the form-factor imposes physical limitations on the sizes of components you can use. One advantage of the Lian Li cases is they'll take a standard ATX PSU (like the 550W one I used), otherwise you may be limited to something even smaller, which may limit you to the 300W range (at least if you want to stay on budget). XFX has a single-slot width HD5770. MSI I believe has a low-profile (but dual slot) version, and I think they also have a low profile GTX460.
    I originally used a HD4850 in my Lian Li PC-Q08R, but there's a MSI GTX460 "Cyclone" in there now.


    I already have the Corsair VX450 which is 80+ certified etc. That one should be able to run a HD 6850 from what I've read.
    I think the HD 5770 is too short-term and the 6850 is so much better and not that much more expensive. What I'm thinking of doing is to buy the HD 6850. Would that one fit into the Lian Li case? Otherwise I'll probably just use my current Antec Three-Hundred.
    My current pc is only 2 years old, which is why I'm a bit reluctant to replace everything. I'd prefer just keeping my 'decent' E8400 cpu and replace the GPU and perhaps the case if it fits in the Lian Li without causing a meltdown due to being too cramped.

    I of course realise that my CPU will be a giant bottle-neck but it should be able to run most games at an acceptable level. When the SB becomes cheaper or the IB is released, I'll replace my CPU.
  17. geekapproved said:
    Yes I troll incoherent posts that make no sense.


    His original post makes perfect sense learn how to read. He doesn't want to replace his hard drive or ram simple he would like to reuse as many parts as possible simple he knows his Video card and psu are crap and knows they needed to be replaced.. also quite simple.. now what hes asking is for a cheap replacement for both of those or if more needed to be replaced to achieve his goal if not he would like to keep using what he has.. wtf was so hard about that?

    Find a cheap quality 550 watt and the new 6790 is pretty bad ass and also pretty cheap. In all it shouldn't cost more then $250 could even be less a lot less with rebates.

    Personally my fav power supplys are enermax but corsair isn't a bad brand either. i would give you links but i only shop at newegg and im not really sure where else to get the deals. also if you want cheaper and you don't skimp on a quality PSU even a 500 watt should work. Don't go below that however. 450 is really pushing it. Even if it works it could be damaging your components assuming its being maxed out. Definitely the life span of the psu will be degraded.

    Your cpu ram and the rest should be perfectly fine. If you want to upgrade the cpu though anything that fits in your socket should be able to use your current heatsink as long as you have good airflow. i highly suggest a quad core though :)

    Since you didn't give a price rang it is a little harder to say exactly what to get but those upgrades should benefit your computer for a while longer.

    (i am not aware of the power requirements of the 6790 (6850 would of course be better but not nearly as cheap and it would use a lot more power i believe) so your 450 COULD work leaving only a video card upgrade actually necessary but i would go with a quad core cpu if your board supports it would add a lot to the system which if it was an amd computer would be a really small cost but not to sure about intel.)

    I cant really say about the motherboard. Honestly if you can find a quad core that will fit on yours i don't see the need to get a new one. Unless you really absolutely want a micro atx Honestly the only motherboards i really like are asus gigabyte and evga. For an intel computer i would personally just stick with a EVGA but I'm more an enthusiast then a small quite cheap computer guy. Though no matter what kind of computer im building there are 2 things i always believe you should never skimp on. that being the motherboard and the power supply. the rest can be picked pretty much at random as your income allows.

    Only case i can suggest is a lian li pc-v352 as its the one i just built my new computer on and the only micro atx case i have ever used. $99 though for that kind for quality is pretty damn cheap imo however. it fit in 16 gigs of ram 6 core cpu xfi sound card 4 hard drives ( one being ssd so it kinda fit anywhere ) 2 blue ray player/ burner and a 6970 2 gig card. and a 650 watt psu.
  18. I'm not that sold on ATI/AMD cards being that quiet....
    So, my suggestion would be the following...
    http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX32151(ME).aspx
    There are deals out there on this card....but if you can get it cheap there then I would get this...it's quiet!
    Hope this helps...JQ

    As a side note I am personally looking at the Gigabyte gtx460 to upgrade my system.....
  19. The VX-450 is good, although if it is old, remember that capacitor aging may have reduced its capacity somewhat.
    You'd be limited to a low-profile cooler, possibly not much better than stock, so don't plan on a high overclock in a mini-ITX case.
    If I ever give that machine away or sell it, I will likely put something like a HIS HD5670 in it with a dual-slot IceQ cooler to exhaust what little heat it does produce.
  20. On the subject of noisy video cards, I have to say I've been fortunate. I've owned three HIS cards with the IceQ4 coolers, and they were almost inaudible. The MSI GTX460 "Cyclone" is also generally quiet; although I can hear it when it ramps up for games, it never gets obnoxious. I have an Asus GTX560Ti with the two fans on it with different blade counts, and although it "looks" odd, if the intent was to reduce noise, it worked, because maybe I barely hear it during games.
  21. johnnyq1233 said:
    I'm not that sold on ATI/AMD cards being that quiet....
    So, my suggestion would be the following...
    http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX32151(ME).aspx
    There are deals out there on this card....but if you can get it cheap there then I would get this...it's quiet!
    Hope this helps...JQ

    As a side note I am personally looking at the Gigabyte gtx460 to upgrade my system.....


    I looked at the GTX 460 a bit and it appears to require a molex adapter to connect to my PSU, so to save money and just to be safe I'll just buy the HD 5850. I have been unlucky with my HD 4770 though, makes a lot of noise - granted it's an awful card.

    @jtt283: My VX 450 is 2 years old but it hasn't been used that much in the last year or so. My setup doesn't use that much power either, so it hasn't been under that much stress.

    I don't plan on OCing anyway, my Motherboard (Gigabyte g31m-es2l) isn't good enough for that. I think my MB cost like 60-70 dollars, hehe (keep in mind that hardware is expensive here).

    EDIT: It appears I can get a new MSI ATI R5850 Twin Frozr II for the same price as the HD 6850. Which one would be better?

    EDIT 2: Nvm about the 5850, it requires two 6-pins it seems.
  22. given your 450PSU, teh 6850 uses the least power of all the cards you've pointed out. the 460 needs 24 amps, the 560 needs 24 amps, the 5850 needs 28 amps, and the hd6850 needs about 22a

    (these are whole system amperages)
  23. ScrewySqrl said:
    given your 450PSU, teh 6850 uses the least power of all the cards you've pointed out. the 460 needs 24 amps, the 560 needs 24 amps, the 5850 needs 28 amps, and the hd6850 needs about 22a

    (these are whole system amps


    Thanks, I guess the obvious choice is HD 6850 then :-) I wouldn't mind trying an nVidia card some day though.
  24. Seems like a good choice.
  25. I've only had one ati card and it crashed out on the hour...I used to set my watch with it...lol
    Seriously, since I bought my first Nvidia card I've never ever had an issue with a game not working or compatability concerns....this card I referenced to the Gigabyte is the card I'm buying in a couple of weeks....
    also, your vx 450 should have a 6 pin for pci-e cards...I have the vx550...JQ
  26. johnnyq1233 said:
    I've only had one ati card and it crashed out on the hour...I used to set my watch with it...lol
    Seriously, since I bought my first Nvidia card I've never ever had an issue with a game not working or compatability concerns....this card I referenced to the Gigabyte is the card I'm buying in a couple of weeks....
    also, your vx 450 should have a 6 pin for pci-e cards...I have the vx550...JQ


    It does, I think. Cba to check right now. If it has one, it only has one :P Some of those cards require two. I read that some people don't like the molex adapters, I never understood why though.

    It's also a matter of reducing the strain on my poor little PSU. I built a gaming rig for a friend of mine a year ago (or more, dunno). His card is 4850 I think and it runs like a dream. Even my stupid HD 4770 runs fine and I've never had compatibility issues. Only problems I had with that card is poor rendering. It would randomly create an artifact on my screen, never fixed the problem, might be a faulty card or whatever.

    The only beef I have with AMD is their CPUs which, for me, have always run extremely hot and noisy. Granted it has been a few years since I had one. And their drivers are bad.
  27. I'm gaming 1080p on a gts250..it's like a 100 card!!
    I ran the farcry 2 benchmark at 1080p all at high and never dropped below 39fps.
    This card only requires one 6 pin connector
    I'm going to buy the gigabyte GTX460 that I referenced you cause it has an incredible rating. I have 2-6 pin connectors for the graphics card. So power won't be a problem...here is the link to the GTS450 it will work fine off your vx450 supply..
    http://www.nvidia.com/object/product-geforce-gts-450-us.html
    It's more powerfull than my GTS250..you should be able to game at 1080p with no problems...
    JQ
  28. johnnyq1233 said:
    I'm gaming 1080p on a gts250..it's like a 100 card!!
    I ran the farcry 2 benchmark at 1080p all at high and never dropped below 39fps.
    This card only requires one 6 pin connector
    I'm going to buy the gigabyte GTX460 that I referenced you cause it has an incredible rating. I have 2-6 pin connectors for the graphics card. So power won't be a problem...here is the link to the GTS450 it will work fine off your vx450 supply..
    http://www.nvidia.com/object/product-geforce-gts-450-us.html
    It's more powerfull than my GTS250..you should be able to game at 1080p with no problems...
    JQ


    Just seems too low budget. I need a new gpu because I was too cheap last time
  29. Sounds like you want the GTX 460 1GB or the HD 6850 then.
  30. What website do you have in denmark?
  31. aznshinobi said:
    What website do you have in denmark?


    Well, we have all sorts of websites. Mostly UK, German and Scandinavian. I'm only familiar with Danish sites though, it's easier with repairs and such.
    I mostly shop at www.fcomputer.dk and komplett.dk, the latter is somewhat international.
    Hope it helps.
  32. What is your budget now?
  33. http://www.guru3d.com/article/msi-radeon-6850-review/9
    You probably want to go with HIS coolers, generally I've noticed they are quieter.
    Currently HIS is marketing this custom cooler, reviews I've seen done for this cooler have all been pretty good. The 6790 also is not a bad card, at it's price (In the US) it stands by the 460 768mb and does perform at that price.
    http://www.komplett.dk/k/ki.aspx?sku=632179
    Converting over, that is 200$ where as in the US that card is only 150$.
  34. aznshinobi said:
    What is your budget now?


    My budget is around 250 dollars for the GPU. Total budget would be around 600 but a new gpu might suffice. E8400 isn't all that bad.

    I've read that the ASUS 6850 is quieter and cooler than the others.
  35. http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/asus_eah6850_directcu_review,9.html

    According to this review, it is cooler. Not sure if quieter, not a lot of the main sights that do dBA reviews have done the 6850. IE TPU, Guru3d, etc.
  36. I'm not sure about Asus video cards; of all the video cards I've owned, they're the only ones that outright failed (HD3850 and GTX560Ti), and it was just days or weeks after installation. Newegg RMA took care of it, of course, but it makes me wonder about Asus' final QA process. HIS, XFX, EVGA, and Sapphire haven't had any issues, nor the lone Biostar.
  37. aznshinobi said:
    http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/asus_eah6850_directcu_review,9.html

    According to this review, it is cooler. Not sure if quieter, not a lot of the main sights that do dBA reviews have done the 6850. IE TPU, Guru3d, etc.


    Well, there's this review/comparison:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6850-eah6850-ax6850,2794-16.html

    I'm picking up the ASUS 6850 tomorrow. Won't be able to install it till next weekend though.
  38. Alright good luck!
  39. Update: Bought the card and edimax ew-7728in.

    Anyone know if the Edimax wifi adapter will suffice? Was sort of an impulse purchase as I need a wifi adapter for my desktop.
  40. should be fine
  41. ScrewySqrl said:
    should be fine


    I found out it isn't. My MB doesn't have a PCI slot. I guess I'll have to buy a USB adapter.

    EDIT: The spec list on Gigabyte's website says it has 2x PCI expansion slots.
    MB: http://www.oldi.ru/upload/iblock/6d5/0122722.jpg
    WIFI: http://rasmusbroennum.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/edimax-ew-7728in-1.jpg?w=212&h=188

    Have I confused myself or will it fit?

    EDIT 2: I unpacked the HD 6850 card and it appears to be the V2, which has two 6-pin connectors. My PSU only has one though, should I just use a molex for the last 6 pin or just use the one?
  42. go ahead and use the molex, it will work fine.

    also the two white slots on your board are PCI slots. One will be covered up by the GPU, but the other will do
  43. ScrewySqrl said:
    go ahead and use the molex, it will work fine.

    also the two white slots on your board are PCI slots. One will be covered up by the GPU, but the other will do


    Thanks :) I was just confused by the "three-split" connector on the Wifi adapter, but I guess that's how all PCI connectors look like.
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