Quiet, fast, small & not expensive. My new machine.

Show off your quiet rig.

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Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2007 5:44 pm
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Quiet, fast, small & not expensive. My new machine.

Post by MrBean » Sat Mar 24, 2007 8:13 pm

Hi all.
I am new here...
I have been looking here for 7 months though.
Great site, it helped me a lot.
I hope to tribute to this site by making my experiences in building a silent PC publicly available in return.

I am a 38y old electronic engineer.

I had a dream...
After 18 years of computer noise in my life, I wanted a really quiet PC.
But... it also should be fast.
And... it should be small.
And... it should have a DVI connector suited for my beloved LCD: Dell 2407WFP
And... cost should be acceptable.

20dB became the target.
The key factor would be not to generate heat.

Which parts ?

This review started it: Puget Delivers a Quiet Core Duo PC

uATX case would be to my likings...

The processor generates a lot of heat, how to minimize...
CoreDuo's need a chipset that generates more heat, were expensive. Mobo's for it also expensive.
T2x00? ... to expensive (nov 2006).
AMD's 64 X2 3800+ EESFF (35W) proved to be unavailable.

Mobo: small, not with a lot of big coolers, reasonably priced...

Video-cards also generate heat.
Onboard, but good enough (I seldom play 3D-games), or a passive card...

Disks: 2x, raid striping to make em fast, large enough, I like WD for quality.
(Fast because I hate waiting for the hdd.)

I already had a good sound card.

This is what I came up with:
(after 3 months of looking & thinking :mrgreen: )

Undervolt an AMD 64 X2 EE (65W), a 4200+ in this case for its price (ADO4200IAA5CU).
Asus mobo M2NPV-VM for its onboard video with DVI, ATX form factor, and its price.
Super-Talent T800UX1GC4 1G DDR2 kit for being able to run DDR2-800 4-3-3-8 @1.90V (the maximum ddr-voltage of the M2NPV board!!)
Seasonic S12-500 supply, not saving a few bucks to avoid the "wondering if the supply is big enough", and for quality.
Silverstone TJ08 case, for my personal taste and its price.
Single Scythe Sflex SFF21E case fan replacement, @rear, front removed, as in the puget machine.
CoolerMaster Susurro CPU cooler, good&bad said about it, it turns out to be very quiet at low speeds while still providing some airflow to te VRMs.
2x WD2500YS (250G) for quality, speed & price.
The disks were to be suspended in rubber.
Standard DVD burner.

About €800/$1050 together.

The result.

It took 2 months to build and tune...
Pictures say more than words: (click for hi-res)



More about the disk suspension: HERE




Idle very quiet.
(Mainly airborne noise from de WD disks, one should take 2.5" disk(s) to make it even more quiet.)

2 simultaneous 32M SuperPi's in about 35 minutes (run in seperate directories).
Still very quiet doing that.
(Fast, not the fastest PC in the world, but this one is quiet. As intended.)

Sorry for having no sound measurements. I estimate 23dB idle and 28dB @full load, but that could be as inaccurate as hell.

Click the Cool&Quiet pictures below to see a full desktop with CrystalCPUID, SpeedFan and CPU-Z and the lot.
(BTW: View original size: Yes, that is desktop resolution :) )

The undervoltage results are astonishing :shock:
I tend to believe the Asus tools regarding core voltage and fan speed, since they come with the mobo.
The other tools seem to be off, both measurement & configured.

After 30 min @full load:

After 30 min idle:

(Click the pictures for a full desktop view with CrystalCPUID, SpeedFan and CPU-Z and the lot.)

Normal PC use hardly pushes the temperatures & fans speeds above idle, but everything is quick as lightning under one's fingers.
Most noise comes from the hdd's, go for a quieter hdd if the rig should be more quiet.
The SuperTalent RAM and dual hdd are the least value for money. Save on these to make it cheaper (and slower).
I like it the way it has turned out :D
The only thing I want to change is the rather small chipset cooler. I try to fit a Noctua NC-U6. Later.

There is quite a lot of effort in this looooong and detailed report. I hope you all like it and maybe use it.

P.S. There are a few items I could use help with:
How to configure SpeedFan and CrystalCPUID for a resticted user (say, a guest) so that they cannot mess with their settings?
Advice on a good, quiet DVD player ?
(Not burner, player only suffices, the burner is 10x louder as the whole rig :evil: )

Posts: 14
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Location: Netherlands

Post by MrBean » Sun Mar 25, 2007 8:19 am

Today a small test: 0 rpm cpu fan...
After 10 minutes idle: Core:36C CPu:34 MainBoard:37C

The cpu must be dissipating hardly any heat since the Susurro cooler isnt very big.

P.S. room temp is 20C here.

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Post by frostedflakes » Sun Mar 25, 2007 11:25 am

Looks good. I really like the way you suspended the drives. They are still well isolated from the case, but it looks very secure as well. :)

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Location: Netherlands

Post by MrBean » Tue Mar 27, 2007 8:38 am

I must add for anyone who'd like to copy all or part of it:
The Abit NF-2M-nView is an easier motherboard for this purpose.
No tight ddr voltage but everything adjustable instead. Better.
If you can do without the onboard printerport and TV-out of the Asus board, that is, the Abit hasn't got them.

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Post by andyb » Tue Mar 27, 2007 11:37 am

That looks sweet - congratulations.


PS: remember to backup your data as using RAID-0 doubles your chance of loosing everything if you suffer HDD faliure.

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Post by Jubei » Sun Apr 01, 2007 12:14 am

Very nice hard disk suspension!

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