Reliable, Silent, Efficient

I'm going to be building a new PC in the coming months and currently I'm trying to get ideas from others, also this post will really help me organize my own thoughts. Here are my requirements from utmost importance to lesser importance:

I.) Reliability
I want to put this computer together then forget about it for 5+ years. Besides taking an air compressor to it once a year.
If something does fail, I want a part manufacture with great customer support. I don't want to be heckled when trying to get a replacement.
Parts that can cool themselves adequately without having to struggle to do it.

II.) Silent and Efficient
I feel these go hand in hand, a silent PC is an efficient PC.
Features such as noise deafening material are preferred.
Big fans and heat sinks to cope with the low airflow as a direct consequence from the silence requirement.

III.) Simplicity
No fancy unnecessary stuff, such as LED's or over the top design.
Simple looking like Apple's products, except functional, I don't wan't to give up function because it looks better.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here's a preliminary list of parts I have been looking at, basically I want to know if there is anything I should know about the part or if there is a better alternative.

I.) The Case:

A.) Corsair Obsidian Series 550D Black. $150
Pros:
Absolutely beautiful case, ability to take off panels to increase cooling.
Noise deafening material.
Cons:
Costs a pretty penny
Very physically large
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139012

B.) Antec Sonata Series SOLO II Black $130
Pros:
Fine looking, beautiful case
Physical dimensions coming in at 2 inches of less depth and height compared to the others.
PSU mounted on top will aid in cooling the rest of the tower, eliminated the possibility of an additional fan.
Noise deafening material
Cons:
No vent on the side of the case, I see this feature almost critical to the proper function of today's graphics cards.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129177

C.) COOLER MASTER Silencio 550 $110
Pros:
Sexy looking and beautiful case
Sound deafening material
Smaller than the Obsidian
Hot swap-able 3.5inch drive bay and SD card reader.
Cons:
Larger than the Sonata SOLO II
USB ports and etc on top are prone to dirt falling in.
I'd probably accidentally press the power button that is top mounted.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119251
Pictures: http://www.guru3d.com/article/cooler-master-silencio-550-review/1

D.) Fractal Design Arc Midi Black $110
Pros:
Good looking case, lots of ventilation that may allow a more passive cooling solution.
Fan controller
Cons:
I've spilled liquid on top of my PC more than once, this would spell the end of a computer in this case.
I'd probably accidentally press the power button that is top mounted.
I'd get crap in the USB ports that are on top.
No noise deafening material and is also physically large.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352007

E.) Other cases I think are nice but I am not convinced they are as great:
Antec Three Hundred
Antec P280
LIAN LI PC-9F Black
Fractal Design Define R3 Black Pearl
NZXT Source 210


II.) The Power Supply:

A.) KINGWIN Lazer Platinum Series LZP-550 550W $150
80+ Platinum Certified efficiency
Modular Design
Single 12V Rail
Power handling much beyond the rated 550W to achieve 80+ Platinum
Is silent, fan does not turn on until 50C
Cons:
Expensive
3 year Warranty
Fan does not turn on until 50C, may decrease life, also not ideal in a case with the PSU mounted on the top.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817121080

B.) Seasonic SS-560KM 560W $125
Pros:
80+ Gold Certified efficiency
5 year Warranty
Single 12V rail
Modular design
Cons:
Uhhh.... It's not Platinum Certified
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151098

III.) The video card:
I don't really play games, but I do run dual screens and want 3d acceleration and video acceleration.

1.) XFX Double D Black Edition FX-777A-ZDB4 Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB 170$
22nm transistors very excellent power efficiency.
Large dual fan cooler that may do well in case without side ventilation
Vents some air out the case.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150599

2.) I'm not sure of other options with this level of power efficiency for a decent level of performance.


IV.) Ram:

1.) GeIL Evo Two 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 $105
Pros:
2x8GB allows future expansion and lower power consumption.
Large heatsinks
2 sticks is easier on memory controllers than 4, may result in better overclocking.
Lifetime Warranty
Cons:
Who the hell is GEIL? Are they reputable?
Are those heat-sinks that large due to over-engineering, or do they actually need them while competitors do not?

2.) Suggestions?

V.) CPU Cooler:

1.) Prolimatech PRO-MGH-C Megahalems Revision C CPU Cooler $70
Pros:
Absolutely massive
Passive, or bring your own fan.
Cons:
Absolutely massive.
A massive heat-sink ruined my last motherboard. It worked for 4 years but suddenly one day any bump to the tower would shut the computer down. Eventually the computer would need to be run horizontally. Then a little timer later the computer would only run with the tower upside down. So the cooler had slowly over time ripped something apart as evidenced by requiring the computer to be upside down(As well as requiring the sub-woofer to be off), thereby shifting the weight, to complete whatever electrical connection was ripped.
I would need to find a solution to supporting the weight
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835242008


2.) Suggestions welcome.

VI.) CPU

Intel's new cpu's are around the corner, so I have not chosen. It does need to be an overclock-able model though - No way I'm missing out on overclocking one of the new 22nm processors with the 3d transistors, especially when there's talks of 5 ghz being easily attainable.

VII.) Motherboard
Needs 2 PCI slots that will not be blocked, 3 PCI slots are preferable.
The UEFI type bios
Overclockability

I really like the features of the ASRock Z77 Extreme6 LGA 1155 Intel Z77

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157295


VIII.) Parts to be carried over

128GB Mushkin Chronos Enhanced SSD
1TB Samsung Spinpoint HDD
500GB Samsung Spinpoint HDD (Backup drive, if selected case supports hot swapping, this will be the drive for it)

LG SATA SuperMulti-Writer

(PCI cards that must have an available PCI slot)
SoundBlaster X-FI XtremeGamer (PCI)
Hauppauge TV Tuner (PCI)

(PCI card that I can manage without)
Wireless Network Card (PCI) - this is what I will do without since a PCIe wireless card is substantially cheaper than a new TV Tuner or a decent Soundblaster X-Fi that is still sold.

24inch Dell U2412 LCD
22inch Acer AL2216W LCD (Vertical mount)

Logitech Z5300e 5.1 speakers 560Watt - If anyone has any information on the remote for this system please let me know, I need a replacement as the current one's headphone out is bad.


Microsoft Intellimouse Optical
i-rocks keyboard
7 answers Last reply
More about reliable silent efficient
  1. I'm going to be building a new PC in the coming months and currently I'm trying to get ideas from others, also this post will really help me organize my own thoughts. Here are my requirements from utmost importance to lesser importance:

    I.) Reliability


    II.) Silent and Efficient


    III.) Simplicity


    Alright so I'm going to try to make this as neat and as organized as your post :P

    Reliability: Pretty much almost all computer component companies now a days have great customer support and phenomenal return policies and such.

    Silence: Silence is not that hard to do. Just get large fans, they are quieter.

    Efficiency: Efficiency is not something that you really need to worry about, except with major components like Power Supply, and Graphics card.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Components

    Case: First things first, all of the cases that you linked are very nice, and pretty simple. However, for the money, my personal favorite is the COOLER MASTER Silencio 550. Also, the NZXT Source 210 is very nice. All of NZXT's products are great quality, but that case is not necessarily the most silent one that you can get. I'd go with the COOLER MASTER Silencio 550.

    Power Supply: For this build, you don't need a big Power Supply. 550w is the most that you will need. Out of the two that you have selected, the Seasonic would probably be the most reliable, just because Seasonic makes very nice stuff. Even though it's not Platinum, it's really nice. Bronze is actually average, so gold is great. The Seasonic will most likely last for much longer and will be more reliable. Also, modular Power Supplies are wonderful for keeping cable management in order, which helps airflow, which in turn, can increase the life of the computer.

    Video Card: The card that you have selected is wonderful. Something comparable to the 7770 would be a 550 ti, with little performance sacrifice, and you would save a bit of money.

    Memory (RAM): GEIL is okay, but the absolute high standard for memory is Corsair. They have incredible products and their support is great. You really can't go wrong with them. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233246 However, if you do get 2x8gb sticks instead of 4x4gb sticks, you sacrifice cas latency, which actually is somewhat noticeable once it gets that high (10) on 8gb sticks. It won't do anything to efficiency either really. So your best bet would be with something like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233143 . It's cheaper and will provide a bit better performance, plus, most likely more reliability, because there will be less stress on each stick, and, Corsair is generally all around reliable.

    CPU Cooler: Well, I suppose that is okay, but if you want something easier, and more trusted/tested, I would go with a Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo, or if you wanted something even smaller, the Hyper N 520 is a good solution, and is also very quiet, which is a big plus.

    Processor: Wait. Just wait. If you are not in a hurry, since the new Intel Ivy-bridge is coming out soon. I have the feeling that it will be wonderful. If you do not want to wait though, and want something efficient and powerful, the i5-2500k is a great choice.

    Mother Board: That mother board is a great choice, since I believe that the Z77 mother boards will be fully compatible with Ivy-bridge, though I may be wrong, so it would be a good idea to wait until Ivy-bridge comes out if you really want to. If not, that mother board is great. (I personally love the looks of ASRock's Extreme series mother boards :P)

    All in all, it seems that you've got a good build idea going so far. If you want some good cooling with fans, but still want it to be silent, these are a great option: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835185057
    They operate at a low noise level while still providing quite decent air flow, and they are nothing fancy, just normal fans.

    Hope that this helps a bit. If you have any further questions or concerns feel free to ask, and I will answer. :) Best of luck!

    -Jrwizbang
  2. I. That shouldn't be a problem - Sandy Bridge-based builds will be around for a long time to come. As far as support goes - I *ONLY* recommend brands with good technical support - yeah I get a lot of crap from it from the regulars here, but I've been around a lot, used a lot of systems, and had a lot of things go wrong. If I want a replacement I want it *NOW* - not six weeks from now.

    II. That's another thing you don't need to worry about - case manufacturers have become really wise to noise levels and adjusting their cases accordingly. Some are notorious for including crap fans with their otherwise great products *COUGH* Corsair *COUGH* but those can be easily replaced if they get too loud.

    III. Yeah I'm not a fan of flashy cases or "bling" - I like my cases like I like my cars - something not too stylish but practical and it gets you from point A to point B easily.

    ---

    1. You don't need a monster case like the Corsair 550D or Antec Sonata unless you're using a monster motherboard like the Asus Rampage IV or EVGA SR-X. Go with the Fractal Design case - it's a good case that's simple in design but has lots of great interior features.

    2. Put a bit more into your PSU and get something from Corsair or PC Power & Cooling, try one of these:
    - PC Power & Cooling Silencer: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817703027
    - Corsair TX750:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139021

    The PSU is *THE* most important part of any build and skimping or compromising in this area can have disastrous consequences.

    3. There's no good mid-range GPU in the $100 - $200 range anymore - the 7770 is not a good choice. The 6850 would be better and if you could find something like the Sapphire Flex series where you can run multiple displays in 1080p in HDMI you can do so with no problems. If you cut the case in half you'll save about $100 and then you can upgrade to a Radeon 7850: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102986

    4. Geil is a decent choice for RAM - they're a fairly new manufacturer but they've been getting some decent reviews. Go with Crucial or Kingston - they've been around forever and have some of the lowest fail rates on the market. I don't know what the primary use for this PC will be but 2 x 8GB will not mix well with Sandy Bridge, you will need 4 x 4GB. Supposedly Ivy will correct this problem but that remains to be seen.
    - Crucial: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148544
    - Kingston: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820104255

    5. CPU cooler - Prolimatech makes some killer heat sinks but you will have to provide your own fans and paste, and that cost can add up. I'd recommend going with something from Cooler Master or Noctua - everything is included.

    6. CPU - Ivy actually has a real release date and that's next week but I can't keep all the various CPUs and things straight, so what it will bring still remains to be seen.

    7. The Asrock is a fine choice, I'll also recommend the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128545

    8. As far as the other parts are concerned - you don't need to worry about carrying the X-Fi over - sound cards just aren't needed anymore. The TV Tuner is fine if you use the DVR - capabilities of Windows 7, and definitely carry over and reuse any HDs and optical drives you may have - that will cut costs significantly.
  3. I have a 550d with a micro atx motherboard inside and it's nice. The double sided door is damn genius along with all the removable lids that have fan filters. The front door is also made of pure aluminum and it's thick (around 1/8 th of an inch). It's a good case, but it's expensive also. I haven't had one single thought of remorse due to purchasing the 550d case despite being on a budget. One huge thing the made this case stand out to me was that it does not look like a damn space ship.

    Oddly enough my gtx 460 runs 2 celcius cooler than in my nzxt gamma.
    On iddle my cpu run's about 2-3 celcius hotter than on my nzxt gamma, but has the same load temperature as on my previous case.
  4. Sorry for the delay, I've been busy.


    Case:

    Quote:
    jrwizbang:
    First things first, all of the cases that you linked are very nice, and pretty simple. However, for the money, my personal favorite is the COOLER MASTER Silencio 550.

    g-unit:
    You don't need a monster case like the Corsair 550D or Antec Sonata unless you're using a monster motherboard like the Asus Rampage IV or EVGA SR-X. Go with the Fractal Design case - it's a good case that's simple in design but has lots of great interior features.


    As of right now I am leaning towards the COOLER MASTER Silencio 550. It comes in at a decent price, isn't extremely big, and that 3.5 inch hotswap bay could be very handy. I'm going to rule out the Fractal Design Arc Midi due to the fans on top because I'm know I will spill liquid on it one day.

    Quote:
    plasmid:
    [So many cases] look like a damn space ship.


    I feel the same way! I can't stand them.


    Power Supply:

    Quote:
    jrwizbang:
    For this build, you don't need a big Power Supply. 550w is the most that you will need. Out of the two that you have selected, the Seasonic would probably be the most reliable, just because Seasonic makes very nice stuff.

    g-unit:
    Put a bit more into your PSU and get something from Corsair or PC Power & Cooling


    I know I don't need very much power, but the Seasonic SS-560KM appears to be the only PSU with the features I want -it just happens to be 560watts, I was initially looking in the 400ish watt range. The Corsairs and PC Power & Cooling, while great PSUs, aren't modular and they don't have the efficiency I want.

    The reason I'm placing such a great deal on efficiency is because of my current computer. The room it is in is MUCH warmer than the rest of the house while even being in the usually cooler basement. To cope I've cut out a ceiling tile and placed a fan that just so happened to fit between the boards that brace the upstairs, the air blows down the channel between the board and exits to a storage room. This computer has an Antec Truepower II 550watt, Core 2 Quad (Conroe), AMD HD4850.



    Video Card and CPU:

    Quote:
    jrwizbang:
    The card that you have selected is wonderful. Something comparable to the 7770 would be a 550 ti, with little performance sacrifice, and you would save a bit of money.
    --------------------
    Wait. Just wait. If you are not in a hurry, since the new Intel Ivy-bridge is coming out soon. I have the feeling that it will be wonderful. If you do not want to wait though, and want something efficient and powerful, the i5-2500k is a great choice.

    g-unit:
    There's no good mid-range GPU in the $100 - $200 range anymore - the 7770 is not a good choice. The 6850 would be better and if you could find something like the Sapphire Flex series where you can run multiple displays in 1080p in HDMI you can do so with no problems. If you cut the case in half you'll save about $100 and then you can upgrade to a Radeon 7850
    ----------------------
    Ivy actually has a real release date and that's next week but I can't keep all the various CPUs and things straight, so what it will bring still remains to be seen.


    My computer is used mainly for: Video, Sound, and Picture editing, Cad software, Compiling, Researching, Encoding, Transcoding, Unzipping, dealing with large PDF files, Email, and going to Reddit -God how I wish I never found that site. So I've been doing some thinking and I read an article on Anand about the new Ivy Bridge CPUs. The two I like are the i7 3770k and i5 3570k, both of which use the Intel HD4000 graphics. Now, I really don't play games at all, I don't currently even have one installed. I recently have became aware that the GPU, in practice, doesn't do much at all for pretty much any of my purposes, I've always thought it helped with video and picture editing and playback, but apparently you need very specific formats and software tools. I've read that the Intel HD4000, with it's QuickSync, works much better in practice than GPU's do. So I'm going to forgo the GPU at this point, but I still want to be able to add one in the future if need be. I will need to buy a motherboard with a DisplayPort(for the Dell U2412) and a DVI port (for the Acer AL2216).

    On whether I go with the 3770k or 3570k, it depends on what performance gain I find there is between 8 threads vs 4 threads and the price difference for that gain.

    Memory:

    Quote:
    jrwizbang:
    GEIL is okay, but the absolute high standard for memory is Corsair. They have incredible products and their support is great. You really can't go wrong with them. [CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3 1600] However, get 2x8gb sticks instead of 4x4gb sticks, you sacrifice cas latency, which actually is somewhat noticeable once it gets that high (10) on 8gb sticks. It won't do anything to efficiency either really. So your best bet would be with something like this [CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3 1600]. It's cheaper and will provide a bit better performance, plus, most likely more reliability, because there will be less stress on each stick, and, Corsair is generally all around reliable.

    g-unit
    Geil is a decent choice for RAM - they're a fairly new manufacturer but they've been getting some decent reviews. Go with Crucial or Kingston - they've been around forever and have some of the lowest fail rates on the market. I don't know what the primary use for this PC will be but 2 x 8GB will not mix well with Sandy Bridge, you will need 4 x 4GB. Supposedly Ivy will correct this problem but that remains to be seen


    The reason I want 2 sticks instead of one is because of past experience, however I'm not current on how the newer technology handles ram with respect to overclocking and etc.

    With my Conroe CPU going from 2 sticks to 4 sticks forced me to back the clock down from 3.55GHZ to 3.1GHZ due to the chipsets memory controller and it not being able to deal with the stresses of 4 sticks at higher clock speeds.

    Another reason is that back in 06 when I built this machine, I purchased 2 x 1GB sticks(240bucks back then) which was sufficient at the time. As time went by memory usage seemed to always be creeping up so I purchased another 2 sticks 1GB each for 4GB total. On, I think, about the 3rd year of this PC one of the original sticks failed, it was still under warranty so I sent it and the good stick it came with (because of their policies) in, it took WEEKS to get the replacements. When I received them, both of the replacements were dead -it was a bunch of bullshit, the company was Patriot, I want a better brand this time. I decided that 4GB was kind of becoming limiting anyways and so I trashed those sticks and purchased some Crucial Ram 2x2GB for a total of 6GB with the 2x1 sticks. Since last year 6GB was cutting it close, I purchased another set of 2x2GB sticks for 8GB total. I wished for more but DDR2 was getting expensive again. I now have 2x1GB sticks of ram that are still good but not in use- wasted money. This is why I want to get 16GB -even though it seems like a lot now, a few years down the road it won't be.

    I disagree that 4x4GB will be more reliable, twice the amount of chips means twice the parts that could fail. Also, those memory sticks need to be able to handle normal stresses. If 4x4GB is more reliable for the reason of there being less stress on each stick, then there is an inherent flaw that won't show it's face as soon because its "laziness" was masked by its "peers."

    Back in the days of Conroe the memory speed and latency never had a significant impact on performance. Has this changed? Why won't 2x8GB mix well? I'd like some more information on this if you can.

    Carry Overs:

    Quote:
    As far as the other parts are concerned - you don't need to worry about carrying the X-Fi over - sound cards just aren't needed anymore. The TV Tuner is fine if you use the DVR - capabilities of Windows 7, and definitely carry over and reuse any HDs and optical drives you may have - that will cut costs significantly.


    There's no way I would ever give up that X-Fi. I consider it the single greatest investment in a computer part I have made. I love the sound it provides and unless things have really, really, really improved with onboard sound lately, there is no way onboard could match it. Back when I purchased it many would claim it wasn't needed and that "xxx" onboard sound was just as good. Well I've experienced the "xxx" onboards sound they were referring to back when and I reasoned those who claimed that were either deaf or using monitor speakers. With the 5.1 surround Z5300e, absolutely no comparison can be made. The only thing bad about the X-Fi, is Creative, their drivers have been the single greatest consistent pain I have had to deal withr.

    The TV tuner is nice because instead of buying a DVR, I use it instead with Windows Media Center linked to Xbox 360's Media Center to stream everything over to my TV. I can watch Live TV with the Xbox and pause it on the XBox and it gets relayed to the PC to and recorded.
  5. Yeah for your purposes, you can just stick with integrated graphics, especially if you do go with ivy bridge. As far as ram goes, 2 sticks vs 4 sticks wont really make that much of a difference as far as life goes or efficiency, but G-Unit is right, "2 x 8GB will not mix well with Sandy Bridge, you will need 4 x 4GB. Supposedly Ivy will correct this problem but that remains to be seen" So it all depends on what you decide on for a processor.
  6. Hmm, I'll have to research why that is sometime. Is there a particular article you feel covers why that is well?

    Also would you happen to know the speculation on DDR3 prices right now? Are they at their lowest prices or are they going to get lower yet? I ask because with DDR2, they went from extremely expensive, to very cheap, and now back to expensive --at the time I need it. I'd imagine it likely depends on when DDR4 is released and the production of it takes over DDR3 production, I have no idea as to if DDR4 is in the works or if there is even a time frame. Would it be a better idea to just get the full 32GB of ram now?
  7. Quote:
    As of right now I am leaning towards the COOLER MASTER Silencio 550. It comes in at a decent price, isn't extremely big, and that 3.5 inch hotswap bay could be very handy. I'm going to rule out the Fractal Design Arc Midi due to the fans on top because I'm know I will spill liquid on it one day.


    That might be a problem since *ANY* case made after 2009 has a top fan - do not set drinks on your computer. Period.

    Quote:
    I know I don't need very much power, but the Seasonic SS-560KM appears to be the only PSU with the features I want -it just happens to be 560watts, I was initially looking in the 400ish watt range. The Corsairs and PC Power & Cooling, while great PSUs, aren't modular and they don't have the efficiency I want.


    400W won't get you very far if you plan to use any sort of GPU - even the low end ones like the Radeon 7850 require a minimum 550W PSU. You want a minimum of 650W if you plan to use the best GPUs - 750 or 850 if you plan to overclock and/or add SLI / Crossfire in the future.

    Quote:
    My computer is used mainly for: Video, Sound, and Picture editing, Cad software, Compiling, Researching, Encoding, Transcoding, Unzipping, dealing with large PDF files, Email, and going to Reddit -God how I wish I never found that site


    My brother is addicted to Reddit... glad I haven't discovered it yet. :lol:

    Quote:
    I disagree that 4x4GB will be more reliable, twice the amount of chips means twice the parts that could fail. Also, those memory sticks need to be able to handle normal stresses. If 4x4GB is more reliable for the reason of there being less stress on each stick, then there is an inherent flaw that won't show it's face as soon because its "laziness" was masked by its "peers."


    That's debatable but like I said that Sandy Bridge is known to have issues with 2 x 8GB RAM sticks. Supposedly Ivy will correct this but that remains to be seen.

    Quote:
    Now, I really don't play games at all, I don't currently even have one installed. I recently have became aware that the GPU, in practice, doesn't do much at all for pretty much any of my purposes, I've always thought it helped with video and picture editing and playback, but apparently you need very specific formats and software tools.


    Even if you don't plan to game - if you want to use more than one monitor you will need a GPU. Even a minimum one like the 7770.

    Quote:
    Back in the days of Conroe the memory speed and latency never had a significant impact on performance. Has this changed? Why won't 2x8GB mix well? I'd like some more information on this if you can.


    I built a Conroe-based system as well - based around the Core 2 Duo T6600, and that lasted *YEARS*. But the reason why Sandy Bridge doesn't mix well with 2 x 8GB is due to the design of Sandy Bridge having the RAM controller on the CPU - in previous generations - 1366 and 975 included - the RAM controller was built into the motherboard's north bridge. Sandy Bridge is the first Intel CPU to incorporate this design and manufacturers haven't been able to gear their products accordingly - that will change once Ivy Bridge comes around.

    Quote:
    The reason I'm placing such a great deal on efficiency is because of my current computer. The room it is in is MUCH warmer than the rest of the house while even being in the usually cooler basement. To cope I've cut out a ceiling tile and placed a fan that just so happened to fit between the boards that brace the upstairs, the air blows down the channel between the board and exits to a storage room. This computer has an Antec Truepower II 550watt, Core 2 Quad (Conroe), AMD HD4850.


    I'd suggest reading this about setting up good air flow in your system: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cooling-airflow-heatsink,3053.html

    It's way different than it used to be in '06 - cases and heat sinks have changed significantly.
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