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Quiet, but powerful mATX system

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July 9, 2011 5:04:21 PM

Hi all,

Ok, so I'm thinking of building a *quiet* (or as silent as I can manage) and powerful system in a reasonably small sized package, hence mATX. Not a gamer, do mostly programming and number crunching under Linux (using Oracle's VirtualBox, I may sometimes run more than 1 VM) and the usual computing/surfing/writing etc. under Windows (will be moving from XP to Windows 7 finally)

Basic idea to go with a Z68 board because it can use the iGPU and also be overclocked if needed later.

Here's what I have so far based on an earlier query, additional input greatly appreciated, I am ready to pull the trigger on the purchase in the next few days. (Newegg, or local microCenter here in the US, or amazon)

Case: Antec mini P180

CPU: i7 2600K

Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: SeaSonic X Series X650 Gold
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

In order to keep the noise down, I would replace the stock cooler on
the i7 (I assume it comes with one) with this:

Antec KUHLER H2O 620
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I'd appreciate some suggestions for reliable parts in addition to
feedback to the above. Specifically I am looking for recommendations
for:

* 8GB of RAM .. does it matter what brand?

* A SSD drive in the range of 60-120GB for faster bootup and storage of frequently used programs
* A *quiet* fast 1TB HDD?


Finally, I currently have have 2 Dell LCD monitors (both analog/digital) running 1280 x 1024 .. hope to move to larger monitors and resolution down the line. If necessary I may add a quiet discrete graphics card later (hence the healthy 650W PS) though I'm curious to see how the iGPU does. I am also interested in CUDA which may also lead to a discrete card eventually.

Oh, a decent CD burner :) 

Am I forgetting anything? I do have a keyboard/mouse/monitors/Speakers/OS

Again, the primary reason I am building this myself is that I want a quiet system and avoid a huge box.

Thanks!!
July 10, 2011 10:44:13 AM


Case:
these are due in in 2-3 weeks
http://www.quietpc.com/us-en-usd/products/pc-cases/fd-d...

also a nice site for quiet stuff.

HSF:
liquid cooling is not as quiet as you may think. you have fan noise and pump noise.

I recommend a Noctua NH‑C12P SE14.

SSD Crucial M4 either 64GB or the 128GB

Ram: Gskill, Corsair Mushkin. just make sure its DDR3 1600, 1.5v, CL 9 or 8

CD:
any 4 or 5 egg rated drive on newegg. look for best price with free shipping.
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July 10, 2011 1:26:06 PM

Even adding a discrete gpu down the road would not require a 650w psu.

A good 500w unit would be overkill.

I'd suggest 1.35v memory, afterall, your building a quiet machine and you want to reduce all the heat you can.
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July 10, 2011 4:50:34 PM

geekapproved said:
Even adding a discrete gpu down the road would not require a 650w psu.

A good 500w unit would be overkill.

I'd suggest 1.35v memory, afterall, your building a quiet machine and you want to reduce all the heat you can.


Hi,

I'm not an expert re memory, could you explain about the voltage for the memory? Wouldn't higher voltage => more heat => more cooling required? (again, not an expert here :) 

Do you think it would make sense get a 650W PS to "future proof" the component in case I want to reuse it in a different system a few years from now (assuming the price differential is low)? What would be the max a good (?) discrete gpu would draw?

Thanks!
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July 10, 2011 5:02:49 PM

Actually cpu's are using less power than they used to, so even in the future if you upgraded your 2600K, which I doubt you will ever need to, you would still be in the same power envelope or less.

Even with a high end discrete card, a 500w unit would be more than enough for your build. You said your not a gamer, so your not going to be using a anything even close to a high end discrete graphics card anywyas.
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July 10, 2011 5:13:47 PM

I appreciate the advice re the PSU, thanks. Could you briefly comment on the 1.35v RAM recommendation?

Thanks!
--
oops .. mental dyslexia .. re-read the message, all clear now .. never mind.

Thanks :) 
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July 10, 2011 5:24:21 PM

jerreddredd said:
Case:
these are due in in 2-3 weeks
http://www.quietpc.com/us-en-usd/products/pc-cases/fd-d...

also a nice site for quiet stuff.

HSF:
liquid cooling is not as quiet as you may think. you have fan noise and pump noise.

I recommend a Noctua NH‑C12P SE14.

SSD Crucial M4 either 64GB or the 128GB

Ram: Gskill, Corsair Mushkin. just make sure its DDR3 1600, 1.5v, CL 9 or 8

CD:
any 4 or 5 egg rated drive on newegg. look for best price with free shipping.


Hi

I've poked around the quietpc site before, I agree, lots of useful info there.

Re the case you mention, I haven't been able to find it anywhere for purchase, and the reviews are scarce, so I decided to go with the Antec mini P180 as it has been reviewed very positively which makes me a bit more comfortable. Plus I want to build the system in a week or two.

I worry about those massive heatsinks .. I'd feel better if they wouldn't hang off sideways off the motherboard ... but I guess that's how most people mount them, so it must be ok. I'll have to look into this some more.

I got the case, motherboard and CPU squared away, so next will be the power supply and the RAM.

I appreciate you taking the time to share your knowledge.
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July 10, 2011 7:43:45 PM

Lower voltage ram will run cooler and use less power.
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July 11, 2011 8:00:27 AM

Quote:
No very little, but if it's the same price, why not get the newer lower voltage chips?


as long as they don't cost much more, I'm all for it. It seems that every time I see stuff that is "green" it cost a lot more or performs poorly :( 
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!