Friendly advice required for music PC build
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Author:  Barry79 [ Tue Apr 17, 2007 12:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Friendly advice required for music PC build

Hi all,

I wish to build my own PC and am hoping to get some help from you kind folks. The PC I hope to build is intended for audio processing and composition applications primarily, but some general desktop use also. In addition, I do some instrument recording now and again.

So far, I have chosen the following items for my machine, but these are not set in stone -

Intel Desktop Board DP965LT
Intel Core 2 Duo E6300

perhaps also a -

Seagate Barracuda 10 500GB IDE ("FDB motor - Quietest acoustics on any desktop drive" according to one website I looked at...)

How do the above choices sound to you, and have you any suggestions that you think are better? I feel a little unsure about the Motherboard... I would like a motherboard though with a firewire port as I will be using a D/A interface that requires one.

What relatively quite and straightforward options have I for keeping the CPU cool?

Also, I am unsure about what Graphics card to get. I'm not particularly worried about Graphic performance as I don't play any games, but I also don't want the processor and ram hogged by Graphics. I will be working with both Windows XP SP2 and Linux Debian. I can't see myself moving to Vista until I really have to. What advice can you offer me in this area? How would I keep the card cool?

I still haven't looked into cases and/or a fan for this, but I'd welcome any suggestions. BTW, what components does the case fan cool primarily? Is it the Hard drive?

How do I know if my components are cool enough, and how cool should they be?

Thanks very much for your help and remember I'm still at the getting my feet wet stage when it comes to all this stuff.


Author:  butters [ Tue Apr 17, 2007 4:50 pm ]
Post subject: 


My two cents, you mileage my vary:

Motherboards: This is the most crucial part of your system for stability and long-term reliability. Don't be stingy as premium boards from tier-one vendors can be had for less than $150. Look for good voltage regulators and solid-state capacitors (they're silver and not as cylindrical as electrolytic caps). The Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 is a great board for an outstanding price:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813128042

Graphics - A GF7300 is more than enough for Compiz/Aero effects, nvidia has better Linux drivers, and they're not that power-hungry. Here's a good passive card from Gigabyte:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814125036

Cases: Antec. P150/Solo is great or P182 is even better (if you can deal with the size and aestethics). These cases have very well designed (and flexible in the case of the P182) airflow paths. The SPCR reviews are the definitive overview of how these cases are supposed to work (and the forums are the authority on how to make them even more efficient at quiet cooling).

SPCR's most loved CPU cooler is the Scythe Ninja. It will easily cool an E6300 (stock) passively in either Antec case with just the rear case fan set to low.

Read this:


Then this:


And you'll have a pretty good idea of how to build a quiet system.

Author:  Barry79 [ Sun Apr 22, 2007 12:23 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thanks very much for your help,

Here are the items I'm currently thinking of getting, I'll need to get a DVD player/rewriter also...

Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 2.13GHz Socket LGA775, 2MB, BOXED

MSI P965 Platinum Motherboard

Motherboard heatsink:
Scythe SCNJ-1000 Ninja heatsink

Seasonic S12 Nätaggregat 430W, 120mm fläkt, 4xSATA, ATX/EPS, PCI-E, 20/24pin

Computer Case:
Antec P180 Black Advanced Super Mid Tower

Graphics Card:
Albatron GF7300GT 256M PCI-E HDTV DVI

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 500GB IDE 7200rpm 16MB

Kingston DDR2 HyperX PC6400 2048MB CL4, Kit w/two matched HyperX 1024MB LL

So this is where I am now. Is that PSU suitable? Are there any other items on my list that I should get? Will I have enough fans in the Seasonic and the Ninja only? Would you recommend I change anything in the list above?

Thanks again for your help,


Author:  jaganath [ Sun Apr 22, 2007 12:44 pm ]
Post subject: 

I'd change hard drive from Seagate 7200.10 to something from WD or Samsung, see complaints about 7200.10's here.

Author:  niels007 [ Sun Apr 22, 2007 1:57 pm ]
Post subject: 

Its not a very high power system, and I would prefer going with an Antec Solo case.

- better HD suspension
- smaller
- cheaper

I'm sure that the Seasonic powersupply won't ramp up with the components you've chosen. The harddisk suspension really makes it easy to build and effective. As for case fans I'd say ditch the antec fan and go for a Nexus, which you can run at 7 volt.

And do make sure that the graphics card is passively cooled, google seems to conflict on your card.. :)

The p180/182 would do of course, but for this system its overkill.. Plus it will not be any less noisy as long as the PSU fan doesn't ramp up, which it shouldn't in the P150 / Solo.

Author:  angelkiller [ Sun Apr 22, 2007 2:06 pm ]
Post subject: 

jaganath wrote:
I'd change hard drive from Seagate 7200.10 to something from WD or Samsung

Agreed. Seagates (or at least mine) are loud idlers and even louder seekers. I've heard good thinks about WD's WD5000AAKS.

Is your graphics card passive? If not, get one that is. Or just use onboard. Since you're not running Vista yet, why deal with the extra heat when you don't have to? And from what I've heard, it doesn't use that much extra memory. Especially with 2GB. After I upgraded to 2gigs, I don't have to close Firefox when I go to play a game.

Author:  Greg F. [ Sun Apr 22, 2007 3:53 pm ]
Post subject:  OH BOY

since I just completed a modest build this weekend I get to chime in with my two cents.
I very much agree with Niels on getting the Solo for its hard drive suspension. My Ultra Wizard was only ten bucks after rebate, and it is a decent enough case, but "it is what it is". there isn't any suspension. I knew that and it was only ten bucks so I can pitch it when I want. The Solo has the suspension and that is what you want.
The Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive I bought has loud, scratchy seeks. I am disappointed, but it is in a loud case and I don't have something called AAM enabled (I guess). Still, my Samsung PATA drives sitting in a computer right next to it are as quiet or quieter.

The most difficult part will be finding a quiet CD-DVD player/burner. I bought this one: ASUS Black 18X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 18X. It is SATA, fast, and loud. I don't know any way around it.

The KN9 with Brisbane 3600 is running at 21-22 C idle and about 25C when playing music, virus scanning and surfing. I don't game. Yate Loon 120 on the back, Nexus 80 on the front and Scythe with fan on cpu. I guess I could do without something there. The Fortron 300 watt is fine.
the XGX7600GS (bought over holidays for $50 after rebates) is passive. As Angel said, get a passive graphics card for what you are going to do.

I am listening to BigUp's roots station right now. Lord Creator's Kingston Town. It's only an MP3 and not OGG or FLAC, but sounds good enough with Foobar through the MAudio Transit USB and into 2A3 tube mono blocks and some home brewed monitors.

Author:  jaganath [ Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:46 am ]
Post subject: 

a quiet CD-DVD player/burner... It is SATA, fast, and loud. I don't know any way around it.

Have you tried Nero DriveSpeed?

Author:  Barry79 [ Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:46 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi again and thanks for all the replies,

The P180 is cheaper than the P150 as far as I can see, but the difference in price is of course the P150's inclusion of a PSU.

P150 -
http://www.tbh.se/index.asp?id=3&kat_id ... d_id=27836

P180 -
http://www.inwarehouse.se/Product.aspx? ... &ReferId=7

I think I'm right in saying that if I was to go with the P150 that I wouldn't need to get the Seasonic S12 430W, and that the P150's PCU would be just fine. Correct? Maybe not -

>> I'm sure that the Seasonic powersupply won't ramp up with the components you've chosen. The harddisk suspension really makes it easy to build and effective. As for case fans I'd say ditch the antec fan and go for a Nexus, which you can run at 7 volt.

Is the P150's fan much more noisy than a Nexus one? I came across 3 Nexus fans with diameters of 80, 92 and 120mm during my travels. Would the 120mm be a good choice running at 7 Volts -


Will that be enough to keep my system cool, with the Ninja being my only other fan?

Here's the Graphics card I referred to above. Its passively cooled as I understand it -

Albatron GeForce 7300GT 256MB PCIe -

Also read good things about this harddrive, what do you think -

Western Digital Caviar SE16 500GB SATA II 16MB -
http://www.inwarehouse.se/Product.aspx? ... eferId=145

Thanks again everyone. I'm really looking forward to building my machine and telling you all about it!


Author:  niels007 [ Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:04 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi Barry,

The P150 comes with a 'pretty good' powersupply, not as good as the Seasonic.
The Antec Solo is basically a black P150 without the powersupply

The powersupply in the P150 has a 80mm fan, which has two consequences:
- it doesn't directly suck air over the Scythe Ninja heatsink
- it needs higher speed to blow the same air as a 120mm fan in say the Seasonic s12 430W.

Antec cases come with 'tricool' fans, which are 'ok' at their lowest speed setting but not quite the best. I'm assuming you want it to be as quiet as possible, then price of a fan or two isn't a big deal. It will give you years of pleasure.

Looking at your system I would be inclined that the airflow generated by:
- Seasonic 430W powersupply
- rear case fan, nexus 120mm 7 volt
would be enough to cool the entire sufficiently if you use a Scythe Ninja heatsink. edit: i.e. the heatsink WITHOUT the fan!

This would mean to get the Antec Solo case, not the P150 or P180/182

Should the processor get a bit hot, which I really doubt.. You could always get another nexus to mount on the heatsink and run at 7 volts, that will almost add no audible noise to the system.

There are more options but in my experience this way you get the least noise for a fair amount of money.

Author:  stromgald [ Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:11 pm ]
Post subject: 

The P150's included PSU is perfectly fine. It's very quiet, and only slightly louder than a Seasonic, which are the quietest PSUs out there unless you get a completely passive one.

Personally, I'd say stick with the stock Antec Tri-Cool and set it on low. If it's too noisy, then get the Nexus. The stock Antec fan on low is fairly quiet.

Your other choices look fine, although I can't vouch for Albatron graphics cards. I've primarily stuck to ASUS, Gigabyte, and XFX.

Two fans, exhaust and CPU should be enough, especially with such a low power graphics card.

P.S. All the versions of that motherboard seem to be passive, but I'm not sure about outside the US. Make sure there aren't any fans on the motherboard, otherwise the rest will be wasted effort. Chipset fans can be extremely noisy.

Author:  jaganath [ Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:28 pm ]
Post subject: 

The P150's included PSU is perfectly fine.

"perfectly"? The NeoHE had major problems in its early revisions,not guaranteed the OP will get an A4 rev.

Author:  niels007 [ Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:27 pm ]
Post subject: 

My little Antec Solo + Seasonic scheme was also chosen because the psu will cause airflow over the cpu heatsink, something you'd not have with the powersupply in the P150. My estimate (95%sure?) is that it won't get hot enough or draw enough power to ramp up with the given components. So you get active cpu heatsink airflow for free!

If the processor is cool, you might even end up with just the PSU fan in there, no fan on the Scythe Ninja AND no case fan. :) Though there is a chance that that's a little enthusiastic. I'm sure with my lowly Sempron it would work.

Here, the solo + s12 430 combo is 15 euro more expensive than a P150. IMO the p150 route means a slightly louder powersupply and the need for more airflow = more noise around the CPU area because the PSU isn't helping there.

Author:  ghia [ Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:03 am ]
Post subject: 

My Antec Solo with no case fan + Seasonic 430W works just fine with a fanless Ninja on a 89 W Prescott. The psu fan never rumps up.

Author:  niels007 [ Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:53 am ]
Post subject: 

Ghia, that is impressive.. I would say your PrescHOT and on board video will probably use at most the same power as the E6400 with a 7300 based gfx card.

Barry, that would be an insane system, with just one fan, the one in the powersupply.. :)

Author:  Barry79 [ Thu Apr 26, 2007 12:59 pm ]
Post subject: 

Cool guys, thanks very much for all your help, its been a pleasure to read all your posts!

I think I'm almost there with regard to the parts I need to buy. One quick question. Niels mentioned putting a Nexus on the Ninja, but the Ninja already comes with a 20.94 dBA fan, and the Nexus 220mm Real Silent is rated as 22.8 dBA. Perhaps you mean a different Nexus fan Neils, but I'm not sure.

OK here's my list now. I'm going to get an anti-static wrist-strap also, should I get an anti-static mat too or is that overkill. What cables etc. might I also need to get. Another tool suggestions?

Thanks very much again and I'll of course post pics etc. once I build this machine.


** MSI P965 Platinum Motherboard

Motherboard heatsink:
** Scythe SCNJ-1000 Ninja heatsink

** Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4GHz Socket LGA775, 4MB, BOXED m/fläkt

Fan (x2) (one for the case and one for the ninja if need be)
** Nexus 120mm Real Silent

Computer Case:
** Antec SOLO Mid Tower / ATX / MicroATX / Black / Silver
http://www.komplett.se/k/ki.asp?sku=326 ... A15260DF1C

** Seasonic S12 Nätaggregat 430W, 120mm fläkt, 4xSATA, ATX/EPS, PCI-E, 20/24pin

Western Digital Caviar SE16 500GB SATA II 16MB
http://www.inwarehouse.se/Product.aspx? ... eferId=145

Graphics Card:
** Albatron/Asus GF7300GT 256M PCI-E HDTV DVI

Kingston DDR2 HyperX PC6400 2048MB CL4, Kit w/two matched HyperX 1024MB LL

Author:  jaganath [ Thu Apr 26, 2007 2:32 pm ]
Post subject: 

the Ninja already comes with a 20.94 dBA fan, and the Nexus 120mm Real Silent is rated as 22.8 dBA. Perhaps you mean a different Nexus fan Neils, but I'm not sure.

First rule of SPCR: never trust the manufacturer's noise spec-


The Scythe fan included with the SPCR sample was a Scythe DFS122512L. This fan appears to be of medium quality, but does not fit the noise specification given on the Scythe website (Ninja and fan). The included fan has a slight buzzing sound at 12V, but is relatively quiet when undervolted.

However it's good enough that you may not need to change it,depending on how quiet the rest of your PC is.

Author:  niels007 [ Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:00 pm ]
Post subject: 

Yeah as Jag said, specs are often really not quite correct! :)

Another 'first rule' is to not 'over cool' a system. On many forums you see people boasting about low temperatures, which is just a way of saying that their pc's are too noisy! There is nothing wrong with full load temperatures of 60c, even for todays processors.

Your chosen mainboard seems ideal with the cpu in the top left, exactly where the powersupply will be positioned above. This means that the chances of needing zero Nexus fans are quite high, and at worst you'd use one undervolted as case fan.

Buying two won't hurt, you can always use it somewhere else in the future, but you may be amazed that none is needed. Unless Sweden suddenly turned tropical with 40 degrees temperatures.. In which case, I'll emigrate as I like the thought of that + blonde women but now we're getting way off topic.. :)

Edit: Anti static measurements aren't required unless its REALLY dry air and you get 'zapped' when you touch doors or metal objects all the time.. Even then it would likely not happen when building your pc.

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