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Non-Gaming build; cool, quiet, energy-efficient <$500

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February 21, 2012 2:57:48 AM

I already have a gaming computer, but its loud and power hungry. I've just about had it with the noise and the heat, and I rarely play games anymore. I want to build a second (non-gaming) computer that will become my primary computer for most of the time. During weekends and holidays, I'll switch to my gaming computer to do any serious gaming.

My primary requirements are: cool, quiet and energy-efficient without spending an arm and a leg. Computer must also be able to drive 3 monitors (currently using 2 DVI + 1 DP via converter)

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Approximate Purchase Date: This week

Budget Range: $500 Before Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: programming, surfing the internet, watching movies

Parts Not Required: HDD, ODD, OS (Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers).

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, amazon.com

Country: US. MICROCENTER nearby.

Parts Preferences: none

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 3x 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Cool, quiet and energy efficient. Able to drive 3 monitors. Mobo should also have good-quality 6 channel sound. Either that or factor in a dedicated sound card.
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I'm open for anything. I was thinking of getting of those new APUs, but then I realized this is pointless because I will need a dedicated GPU anyway for the triple monitors. Ditto for buying a cheap pre-built system.

Possible suggestions:

CPU- Pentium G620 LGA 1155 - $50 (underclocked i3-2100, HT disabled) or Core i3-2100 - $100
Mobo- ASRock Z68 Pro3-M Socket 1155 - $105
Ram- Kingston HyperX blu 8GB DDR3-1600 - $35
GPU- Sapphire FLEX Radeon HD 6450 - $60
PSU- FSP Aurum GOLD 400W - $60
Case- Cooler Master HAF912 - $55

HDD- already have
ODD- not needed
OS - already have
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Total $365 before taxes, rebates.
February 21, 2012 3:07:44 AM

i5-2500/i5-2400?
Maybe a mobile GPU?
LGA1155 - H67
Quiet PC Fans?
Also the NZXT M59 Classic is a really nice looking case, very quiet to.
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February 21, 2012 3:12:57 AM

Hi bud,

I already have a similar setup for my kitchen computer. It has a TV tuner so that I can put on the morning news while I browse and check my email. No multi-monitors for obvious reasons. It has a passively cooled AMD E-350 Dual Core Processor. The chip has a built AMD 6310 graphics and runs everything great. Windows 7 Aero is smooth, 1080p video, and the occasional low level 3D game. It has 3 video outputs, but I'm unclear if I can drive a monitor with all three. Worst case scenario, you would need a AMD 6450 which would run three monitors and has no fans to speak of. It would be a truly silent system other than the HD and use very little power.

MB and CPU $119 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Memory 4GB DDR3-1333 $20 - $40

AMD 6450 if needed $42 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You would more than likely be able to drive 2 monitor off the 6450 and 1 of the APU if they all required a digital input. I have no input on the case, but you have plenty of budget left.
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February 21, 2012 3:40:13 AM

Interesting suggestions.
I personally dislike the E-350; I have that same APU/mobo for my home server and am currently running fanless. It idles very hot and makes electronic interference noises. Attaching the fan makes it fairly loud. It's also fairly underpowered, I was thinking something along the lines of Pentium G or Core i3 series. Or maybe a 32nm AMD cpu. If I were going the APU route, I didn't think of also getting a GPU as well. I was thinking of running all three outputs off the GPU, but I guess it's possible to run two GPUs simultaneously. Then there's the 6450 Eyefinity Edition

@bbqroast: What do you mean by Mobile GPU? NZXT M59 is kind of ugly from the front, but if its quiet, it can be forgiven ^^;
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February 21, 2012 3:43:36 AM

according to AMD 17 watt Trinity will be able to drive up to 3 monitors (from the AMD demo at CES)

a desktop 35 watt should be able to run 3 monitors and do some serious work including gaming (the 17 watt part ran dirt 3, played HD video and converted videos at the same time on separate monitors)

if you can wait a little with your gaming computer you can get a 35 watt trinity which would be great

and later if you want to upgrade graphics you can buy and crossfire a dedicated GPU with your IGP
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February 21, 2012 3:46:16 AM

madooo12 said:
according to AMD 17 watt Trinity will be able to drive up to 3 monitors (from the AMD demo at CES)

a desktop 35 watt should be able to run 3 monitors and do some serious work including gaming (the 17 watt part ran dirt 3, played HD video and converted videos at the same time on separate monitors)

if you can wait a little with your gaming computer you can get a 35 watt trinity which would be great

and later if you want to upgrade graphics you can buy and crossfire a dedicated GPU with your IGP


What's the ETA on Trinity?
nvm I got it. A8-5500 might do the job.
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February 21, 2012 3:54:17 AM

kish20 said:
What's the ETA on Trinity?


according to AMD (not rumors) it should arrive mid-year, expect it may-july max.

if you can't wait you can sell you gaming PC and get a medium powered PC which can play all the games you want, and be quiet and power efficient

I can give you the link to the trinity video at CES if you want

BTW at AMD financial analysts day, a 17watt trinity ran F1 at max settings (as I remember), while intel Ivy bridge had taped a video to trick customers
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February 21, 2012 3:58:44 AM

Yeah, I've heard of that Intel scandal. As far as Trinity horsepower, this isn't for a gaming computer, so I don't really care. I'd rather give up power for cold and silence. Also, a medium powered PC is a no-go. I made this thread exactly for this reason ;) 
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February 21, 2012 4:05:39 AM

as I've said, if you can wait a little for trinity you may get something powerful for programming, HD movies and internet for even less than 500$

AMD is known to have very low prices
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February 21, 2012 4:44:18 PM

But if I don't want to wait for Trinity (AMD has low prices, but terrible schedules), I've posted some possible suggestions above. Input appreciated.
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February 21, 2012 5:01:43 PM

madooo12 said:
according to AMD 17 watt Trinity will be able to drive up to 3 monitors (from the AMD demo at CES)

a desktop 35 watt should be able to run 3 monitors and do some serious work including gaming (the 17 watt part ran dirt 3, played HD video and converted videos at the same time on separate monitors)

if you can wait a little with your gaming computer you can get a 35 watt trinity which would be great

and later if you want to upgrade graphics you can buy and crossfire a dedicated GPU with your IGP


AMD made no such claim
link please


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