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Quiet/Silent, powerful system in small'ish package

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June 2, 2011 3:53:08 AM

Hello all,

I am trying to build a *quiet/silent*, but yet powerful system (i7 2600K) in a relatively compact package (mATX/mini-tower).

I am not a gamer, so the purpose of the system is to mostly run number crunching programs (most of them under a VM) in additition to doing the usual PC work under Win7 (MS Office/Web stuff) and some development work.

Based on online research I have the following items for a quiet/silent system:

Case: Antec mini P180 (if I can't find this, can anyone suggest a good alternative?)

CPU: i7 2600K

Motherboad: ASUS P8P67-M PRO

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler: CORSAIR CWCH60 Hydro Series H60 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler (supposed to be quiet)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: SeaSonic X750 Gold 750W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(or would the SeaSonic X Series X650 suffice assuming it's just as good?)

Video card: ??? Again, not a gamer, I was thinking perhaps something fanless, however I don't want to end up with a slouch of a video card that'll sit on top of a powerfull system if I should decide to do some visualizations or check out a game. A friend suggested this card:

EVGA 01G-P3-1450-TR GeForce GTS 450 (Fermi) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Is this a quiet card? Are there other alternatives I should consider? (NVIDIA because I'm interested in CUDA)

Recommendation for quiet fast 1TB HDD?

I hope this configuration makes some sense for a quiet/silent type system, if anyone sees a major mistake here, I would appreciate a heads-up.

Thank you very much for your comments/suggestions.


ps: What is the consensus on getting an SSD for installing the OS (Win 7) and some more frequently used program (like MS Office, and the Oracle Virtualbox VM software (not that big), Chrome browser, and my tiny Windows version of Emacs) .. do you think that would fit on 60 GB and noticably speed up booting and starting programs?



Here's the Q&A from the *How To Ask For New Build Advice* sticky:

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next month

Budget Range: around $1300

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Regular computing, Running multiple virtual machines for work/research (Linux under Oracle's VirtualBox)

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com I guess, doesn't really matter.

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel, mATX/Mini-tower, NVIDIA (because I'm interested in CUDA), quiet, moderate overclocking potential

Overclocking: Possibly

SLI or Crossfire: Not sure

Monitor Resolution: Currently have 2x 1280 x 1024 .. hope to move to larger monitors and resolution down the line

Best solution

June 2, 2011 9:34:49 AM

^ Nice choice of parts,...

Some suggestions -
1. PSU - Yes, the 650W version would suffice for the above setup, actually even the X560 would be fine, but just to have a good headroom, get the X650,...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2. CASE - Available @ amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Antec-Mini-P180-Case-White/dp/acc...
http://www.amazon.com/Antec-Mini-P180-Case/dp/B001450OM...

3. HDD Setup -
IMO a SSD would really be worth it for OS and apps,...
This is a good one -
Corsair Force CSSD-F115GB2-BRKT-A 2.5" 115GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
There are newer and much faster ones, but are a bit costlier...
Corsair Force Series 3
$25 off with promo code HARDOCPX6X1A, ends 6/7
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD for data - Samsung F4 2TB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Or the faster F3 1TB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU - The GTS 450 for a non-gamer or an occasional gamer would be a very good choice,...

Some combos -
CPU + Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Mobo + RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
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June 2, 2011 7:05:23 PM

You don't need to bother with SLI or Crossfire if your not playing games so that one would just be an extra expense. As for the SSD I'd say go for it, they don't have any moving parts so they're supposed to be silent. For space on those 60 GB would work just fine, I don't know how big oracle is but the other programs including your operating system wont even take up ten gigs.
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June 3, 2011 4:00:49 AM

ragenalien said:
You don't need to bother with SLI or Crossfire if your not playing games so that one would just be an extra expense. As for the SSD I'd say go for it, they don't have any moving parts so they're supposed to be silent. For space on those 60 GB would work just fine, I don't know how big oracle is but the other programs including your operating system wont even take up ten gigs.

Thanks, I definitely will look into getting a SSD for the OS and my most frequently used programs and use the HDD for document/data.
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June 3, 2011 4:14:18 AM

gkay09 said:
^ Nice choice of parts,...

Some suggestions -
1. PSU - Yes, the 650W version would suffice for the above setup, actually even the X560 would be fine, but just to have a good headroom, get the X650,...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Great .. I found a calculator today that let me estimate my power consumption, and you are right on the money. I'll be going with the X-650W just to give me some potential for future expansion if needed.


Thanks - I'll get the black one, these cases have had great reviews, esp with regard to muffling sound, and aren't too big.

I appreciate the specific recommendations for SSDs and HDDs, and I agree, the SSD is something I will get for the OS and frequently used programs. Can't wait to see how quickly this system will boot and then launch programs once I've put it together.


GPU - The GTS 450 for a non-gamer or an occasional gamer would be a very good choice,...
said:

GPU - The GTS 450 for a non-gamer or an occasional gamer would be a very good choice,...

Do you think this is a relatively quite card?


Re the CPU, originally I was set on the i7-2600K, but I learned today that some of the virtualization features (VT-d) are not available on the K processor but only on the "regular" 2600. So now I am wondering if I should get the 2600 since I do use VMs (Oracle's VirtualBox) frequently to run Linux under Windows. Right now VirtualBox doesn't support VT-d, but it may in the (hopefully near) future.

Of course this brings up the motherboard/chipset. One approach I could take would be, if I understand correctly, to get the H67 chipset that would allow me to use the integrated graphics on the CPU while the P67 would not allow me to do this. This way I could see if I'm happy with the basic graphics provided, and if not, then get a dedicated graphics card.

Since the 2600 does not allow overclocking, not using the P67 chipset should not be a loss - or is there something else I'm overlooking? Would the Z68 (?) chipset give me anything that the H67 wouldn't already provide? I.e., is there a reason for me to consider the Z68 chipset if I decided to go with the i7-2600?

What do you think about 2600k vs 2600? and the chipsets?

I've crammed a lot of new information into my head in the last week or two, and I'm learning new things still today, so it's quite possible I've got some things mixed up.

Thanks so much for your help and specific recommendations, very informative and appreciated.


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July 10, 2011 6:17:52 PM

Best answer selected by esmail.
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August 19, 2011 6:19:06 PM

Have you found out the answers of your questions? I am too trying to figure out whether i should get i7 2600k vs 2600. Please let me know. -CC

esmail said:
Great .. I found a calculator today that let me estimate my power consumption, and you are right on the money. I'll be going with the X-650W just to give me some potential for future expansion if needed.


Thanks - I'll get the black one, these cases have had great reviews, esp with regard to muffling sound, and aren't too big.

I appreciate the specific recommendations for SSDs and HDDs, and I agree, the SSD is something I will get for the OS and frequently used programs. Can't wait to see how quickly this system will boot and then launch programs once I've put it together.


Do you think this is a relatively quite card?


Re the CPU, originally I was set on the i7-2600K, but I learned today that some of the virtualization features (VT-d) are not available on the K processor but only on the "regular" 2600. So now I am wondering if I should get the 2600 since I do use VMs (Oracle's VirtualBox) frequently to run Linux under Windows. Right now VirtualBox doesn't support VT-d, but it may in the (hopefully near) future.

Of course this brings up the motherboard/chipset. One approach I could take would be, if I understand correctly, to get the H67 chipset that would allow me to use the integrated graphics on the CPU while the P67 would not allow me to do this. This way I could see if I'm happy with the basic graphics provided, and if not, then get a dedicated graphics card.

Since the 2600 does not allow overclocking, not using the P67 chipset should not be a loss - or is there something else I'm overlooking? Would the Z68 (?) chipset give me anything that the H67 wouldn't already provide? I.e., is there a reason for me to consider the Z68 chipset if I decided to go with the i7-2600?

What do you think about 2600k vs 2600? and the chipsets?

I've crammed a lot of new information into my head in the last week or two, and I'm learning new things still today, so it's quite possible I've got some things mixed up.

Thanks so much for your help and specific recommendations, very informative and appreciated.

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