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New office PC?

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August 1, 2012 10:26:42 AM

Hi,

I need to figure out which computer my mother should buy - it needs to be a prebuilt computer. The computer is only going to be used for office work in word, excel etc, internet and viewing photos - so in other words quite simple tasks. Additionally it should be as silent as possible (without compromising quality and performance).

I looked at this shop (I know it's in danish but the components should be easy to identify) where they build PC's with some options for customization - http://www.komplett.dk/k/config.aspx?ConfigSystemId=106...

What parts would you pick in this configurator?

I was thinking that no discrete graphics card is needed - but can there be improvements in the picture quality with a dicrete?

Regards to PSU, it would be great if there was a fanless PSU but it seems this is not possible - which of the ones listed do you think is most silent?

And which motherboard would you pick? ASUS P8Z77-V LX or I B75MA-P45?

As for ssd/hdd I was thinking about either Intel SSD 330 120GB or Samsung 830 128GB (I got the latter myself and I've been very happy with it) - and then a WD Blue 500GB for storage. 500GB is going to be more than enough, so the priority is just low-noise and reliability.

I hope someone got some input, thanks :) 

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August 1, 2012 10:46:51 AM

Chassis are all the same as far as I can see.
Corsair 500W. There are fanless PSU's (go up to ~450W) but I don't think they offer one.
ASUS P8Z77 board, why get an old B75 board?
3570k. I know you wont be overclocking but its the only CPU with HD4000 integrated graphics (I think). Plus, if you want to overclock its only a CPU cooler away.
4GB of Corsair Vengeance 1600Mhz.
Samsung 830, the Intel 330 is quite old now.

A Video card wont offer any improvement over the integrated for what its usage is.
August 1, 2012 11:59:08 AM

Thanks for your reply :) 

Yeah it's all Fractal R3, I think that's fine - I considered that case for my own PC as well.

Even though I listed this Komplett PC it should of course be good components all over - if some of the choices are bad, or there exists much better options not listed as a choice, I need to figure out something else :) 

Do you think the Asus P8Z77 is a good board? Also regarding PSU I assume you refer to the CX V2 500W, but would it make sense to get the 600W version instead? Im thinking it could result in lower noise because the fan may not need to spin so much when there's more headroom?

I actually thought most of the Ivy Bridge cpu's had HD4000 but I think you're right, itseems like its only 3770K/S/T,3570K and 3475S that got HD4000.
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August 1, 2012 12:18:10 PM

Headroom (on this kind of rig) doesn't really matter and you'v got plenty of it anyway. Its a 500W PSU so even without looking at its amps, it should have around 450W on the 12V rail (which the CPU and GPU draw from, so the most important rail). That 3570k will draw 77W at full load, so you have ~370W of headroom on the 12v rail. You could even put in a decent GPU and still have ample headroom.

If you want better thermals (heat causes the fan to spin faster), you should be looking at a HX unit. A higher efficiency means less energy is lost to heat. But I don't think its worth the price just for the minimal change in acoustics.

Of the two its the better board, for the purpose its going to be used for its probably overkill. Nothing wrong with it.
August 1, 2012 7:34:55 PM

Okay thanks :)  Would you then consider the Cosair CX V2 500W a quiet psu?

I was also thinking about picking 8GB Vengeance memory instead of 4GB - probably more than needed but it's so cheap so why not :) 
August 1, 2012 9:55:22 PM

I dont know if the Corsair 500W will be loud, never had to use it before. But Corsair is a good brand, so I doubt it will be that noisy, if you can even hear it over case fans and such.
August 11, 2012 3:51:54 PM

Thanks again :)  Been away for a little while, so sorry for my late reply :) 

Got one final question regarding the hdd - I was thinking to go WD as I've had WD drives myself for a while, but I am a litte unsure about which one to go for. I thought it is probably not necessary to go with a black drive as it's only for storage (really just word docs and pictures) - but I've heard some negative feedback on the Green drive - and the higher capacity is not needed either (500GB is going to be plenty), so I thought Blue was a good solution with good speed and low noise? It's also the cheapest option of the choices in the configurator.
August 12, 2012 5:19:56 AM

Considering you have an SSD, HDD speeds aren't as important, but I personally see no reason to compromise on it. I would go with the Blue drive if you don't want to go all out and get a Black drive.

The problem with Green Drives is that they are trying to please a market that doesn't exist, and is failing to do so. They perform slower than 7200RPM drives, often cost equal or more than faster units and have negligible energy savings. Their only realistic use would be in mass storage (Say business servers or archiving) where speed isn't all that important and energy consumption has to be minimized in any way possible. Problem with that is enterprise drives (Caviar Red) exist which are already perfect for that. They have no benefit to desktop usage either. I think someone at Seagate calculated that you save 10c a year on energy using a green drive, with the potential of wasting hundreds of dollars in lost productivity due to its slow speed. So not much reason for a Green drive.

Or look to Western Digitals competition, Seagate. Their Barracuda drives are equivalent to WD Blacks and often much cheaper, and according to benchmarks a bit faster. I have one of the 1TB Barracuda's and can say that I have had no issue with it.

HDD sound isn't a big concern, if it is making sound (high pitch whirring or ticking), probably means the things broken and needs to be replaced. It would be drowned out by the louder things in the case anyway.
August 12, 2012 9:35:05 AM

Okay, I think I'll go with a blue - they got a Seagate 500GB too which is just a little bit more expensive. The 1TB is cheaper than a black drive though, but well, I don't think the drive will be filled further than 100GB :) 

Regarding the black drives, I just remember from my old computer where I also had a black drive, the drive made some resonance which my Samsung Spinpoint didn't do. Also in my new computer where I got the same drive, it does make some fairly loud clicking noise but only when I set my computer up to render something (and it loads in a lot of very big textures) - the drive seems to work fine, and I've heard others having the same noise - so I don't know if the drive is broken in some way or if it's supposed to sound like that.
August 12, 2012 9:54:36 AM

HDD's do vibrate a bit, which if its secured loosely or to thin sheet metal (typically found in generic cases) can cause the metal to vibrate and make sound. Any decent case wont have this problem though.
August 12, 2012 10:15:40 AM

The mount shouldn't be a problem in any of my computers, my old one is an Antec P182 and my new one is Antec P280. The latter is a little annoying though because I have to place something heavy on top of it to stop it from vibrating (I guess because I got the Corsair H100 mounted in the top) - but thats another story :) 
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