I have a dream....

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I have a dream....

Post by Peterthinks » Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:45 pm

No fan...any form factor....8 or more gigs of ram (so I can make a dvd in ram and burn it)
solid state drive......dvd burner

Linux...Ubuntu or Puppy linux(puppy runs in ram or on a drive)

Decent speed but I don't need to play anything more than a few flash games.
conversion or whatever can take longer, speed is not a great factor.

Hdmi on the board so I can hook it up to the big TV(I read PDF files)...or a card that I can plug in so I can run a cable to the TV, video card would be nice....no fan on the video card of course.
USB 2.0 or better, gonna get a nice flash drive to move stuff around (corsair)

video card should have enough to do all the fancy compiz 3d stuff ubuntu can do.

So what do you think?
I need a shopping list.
Ram (corsair probably)
video card?
power supply?
heat sink(s)

what am I after here....I know what I want it to do but what pieces do I need?

Thank you for your time and consideration.


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Post by JamieG » Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:40 pm

Have a look at this system for some ideas. If your system will be power efficient enough, you could use a picoSPU 150W instead of the fanless ATX PSU used in that build.

Any particular reason for going completely fanless?

IMHO, most people who want completely fanless builds are going over the top for no reason. Decent fans at <400-500rpm are virtually silent and cannot be heard much over 30cm away (particularly when inside a case) but having one fan can help reduce temperatures by a fair amount for virtually no noise impact.

For reference, my main system in my sig has a single Scythe Slipstream 800rpm at 5V mounted on a Thermalright HR-01+ CPU heatsink. It's hardwired to 5V so I don't know the exact rpm but I guess that it is somewhere between 400rpm and 450rpm. Other parts are an SSD and a PW-200V laptop style fanless PSU, so the Slipstream is the only noise making component, and I cannot tell by listening whether the system is on, even at 2am on a quiet night.

With the motherboard out of the case, I can hear a very slight ticking noise from the fan with my ear right next to it, but that's it.

I've tested the system with the CPU fan unplugged and CPU load temps using Prime95 are >10 degrees C worse than with the fan on (and this is with an underclocked and undervolted E5200 at 2Ghz and 1.0V in BIOS).

My advice is to pick some decently power efficient components that will do the trick but plan for at least one low rpm fan either on the CPU heatsink or as a rear exhaust.

The Intel Clarksdale i3's or i5's would be a pretty good starting point for a system for your needs - I think the integrated graphics should be enough to handle any Linux desktop needs but I'm not a Linux expert.

Something like this might work:

- Intel Core i5-661 processor - 3.33GHz, 32nm, 87W
- Asus P7H55D-M EVO LGA1156 microATX Motherboard (CPU and mobo reviewed here)
- Thermalright/Scythe/Noctua/Prolimatech socket 1156 CPU cooler
- 8Gb DD3 memory of your choice
- DVD burner of your choice
- SSD of whatever capacity you want with either an Intel or Indilinx controller
- 1-2 Nexus Real Silent or Scythe Slipstream 800rpm fans, with 1-2 Zalman fanmates or 5V fan adapters to control the fan speed.

As for a case and PSU combo, maybe try the Antec NSK3480 and swap the included PSU for a fanless Fortron PSU or Silverstone Nightjar PSU if you can find one, as there are vents in the top PSU part of the case that will allow the PSU to be cooler by convection.

Alternatively, you should be able to power this system off of a picoPSU - the 150W picoPSU and 12.5A power brick combination should be sufficient to power your system, with a few molex-to-SATA power cables.

Another case to consider, especially if you go with the picoPSU option would be the Silverstone TJ-08, so you would have a system something like this, with a single fan.

Hope this helps!
My PCs:
Main PC (E5200, G31, Lian Li Q07) | Gaming PC (E6850, X38, 5870 Vapor-X, P182) | HTPC (4850e, 780G, 3450, NSK2480B)

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Post by PlanetOfTheApes » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:31 pm

Case: RV01, RV02 or FT02
Rationale - stack effect cooling

CPU cooler: NH-D14
Rationale - following review seems to suggests that it may be the best passive cooler


Mobo: A top end full size ATX board. For example GA-P55A-UD7.
Rationale - High performance chipset cooling helps offset increase in temps due to reduced air flow.

PSU: ST45NF (fanless)
Rationale - I have one and it's only one I trust noise wise. Others also recommend Seasonic's X-650 but is semi-fanless.
Last edited by PlanetOfTheApes on Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:46 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Life ... Image

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Post by Peterthinks » Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:56 pm


I'm not against fans...just noise.

In fact while we are at it my keyboard drives me nucking futs!

It has a lot to do with my wife too, we keep different hours and either she is keeping me up or I am keeping her up. I tried one of those cast rubber keyboards but it made me type like a drunken monkey......

My dream is something quiet we can both live with in the bedroom...I am considering switching out the fan to see if that works but why not shoot for perfect?

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Post by vortex222 » Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:22 pm

No such thing as perfect.

My HTPC uses a single 12cm fan at 500-700 rpm, its not audible and has a passive video card. To run the system totaly passive, it would have to be underclocked so much that its performance would be less then half of what it currently is. And there is no point to that.

So its the teeny tiniest compromise to have some nice performance. Somtimes one can be amazed at how much difference can be made when you start by simply slowing down the fans already in the computer.
Antec P180, Intel e8400@3.2ghz(400x8)1.2v w/ninja b passive, 16gb Corsair DDR2, Corsair HX520, 2x120mm Noctua, BFG gtx260-55nm@stock (software fan controlled), Asus P5Q-ProTurbo, sb-xfi premium, Corsair F60 SSD, 2tb WD green and 5lb Peal&seel /w some acustipac type product=faint, needs no work and weighs 60lbs.

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Location: Australia

Post by darkb » Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:36 am

Before building my fileserver I experimented with something similar to this..

780G mATX mobo with noctua tower chipset cooler (NC-U6 or something like that)
1gb ram (spare)
sempron 140 cpu (single core athlon II)
ninja rev.b cpu cooler (also spare)
64GB falcon ssd

Was sitting in an old NZXT lexa case with open fan holes. Was silent, and cpu stayed at ambient temp the whole time.. managed to barely top 40C under orthos load.

Edit: for reference, my filesever including 3 greenpower drives and a corsair CX400W psu and the above hardware uses 27W idle according to the kill-a-watt equivelent device I have here in Aus, with 240V mains.. though the hdds were probably not spinning at the time.

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