Help with new Build, please.

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mystarmann
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Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:51 am

Help with new Build, please.

Post by mystarmann » Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:23 am

Hello there, dearest silentpcreview community! Newbe here.
I am working for 2 months for a law firm this summer and my boss wants me to build a pc that “emits no noise (except for my dearest Beethoven), always works (fast), looks decent, has a high performance and could store 2 libraries in PDF form”. Money doesn’t matter, it’s company money. Size doesn’t matter either (that office is huge).
Now I encounter 2 problems: First, I am new to the silent pc idea. Best I ever did was helping a friend out building his jet-engine-pc-rig.
Second, I do realis that not all of these things will fit into one pc, so I decided to cut down a bit on the things he won’t need: the high performance obviously isn’t needed in the graphics department for a person that mainly uses his pc as a library, search engine and typewriter. This way, I hope to get rid of some heat.
Long story short: This website is like heaven for me, you are all great and I learned more about silent computers around here in a night than in my entire life before I found you.
However, I hope to ask you for your advice on that impossible computer.
So I made some basic list of the things I thought about using and wanted hear your opinion on them. (Do you know anything about compatibility? Do you have suggestions about better or more convenient hardware? Do you have any ideas?) Thanks in advance.
ASUS ATX DDR4 3000 (O.C.) Motherboard X99-DELUXE :MB
Silverstone Fortress FT02 :Case
No Idea about CPU cooling, I only worked with water-cooling before and that seems to be noisy, so if any of you have an Idea, I’d be thankful.
Intel Core i7-5930K 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor :CPU
Corsair 288-pin DIMM DDR4-2666 16GB (4 x 4GB) 1.2V :RAM
Samsung Electronics 840 Pro Series 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive, 256GB (for the OS) and 2 Samsung 840 Evo (or pro) (1TB) :Storage
GeForce® GTX 750 Ti KalmX (2048MB GDDR5) (Maybe something weaker?) :Graphics card
be quiet! Straight Power 10 700W CM :Power supply
LG, CD Blu-ray LG BH16NS40 bulk black :Optical Drive
Win 10 :OS
Asus Xonar Essence STX 24-bit 192 KHz Sound Card :Sound Card (Flawless Beethoven)

So what do you think? Is there something I can do to make it quieter without losing out too much on the key features?
Thank you very much for taking the time.
Very Best,
Mystarmann

CA_Steve
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Re: Help with new Build, please.

Post by CA_Steve » Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:33 am

Welcome to SPCR.

If his needs are only "library, search engine and typewriter" and music server/player, your proposed specs are like hunting mosquitos with napalm. :D

A 6W Atom Bay Trail or Cherry Trail CPU could meet these CPU/GPU needs. If you wanted to stick with Haswell, a 54W i3 or Pentium would work well. An 84W i5 would be mostly idling.

What are the monitor(s) resolution? Chances are you don't need a discrete Gfx card.

Music: You don't mention the speakers/audio system...but, instead of an internal sound card, I'd go with an external DAC for better sound. This can drive a headset or an external amp.

Case: No need for a monster case. Consider the NUC format. Something like the MSI Cubi with an i3.
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

mystarmann
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:51 am

Re: Help with new Build, please.

Post by mystarmann » Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:33 pm

CA_Steve wrote:your proposed specs are like hunting mosquitos with napalm. :D
Haha, thank you Ca_Steve! :lol:

Well the reason I use napalm is that I was told to get rid of the Mosquitos, no matter the price. (And maybe my old gaming-rig-building influenced me slightly).
Thank you very much for your advice! I’ll think about some weaker graphics option.
Well, the reason why I go with some I7, is that my boss will blame “somebody” when something doesn’t work. So I thought that an I7 will definitely cover him for the next few years. But if an I7 produces more heat (and would therefore require louder cooling), than I could perfectly see a switch to i5 or i3. The fact that an I7 costs more doesn’t bother me or him. So pricewise, I could hunt the mosquitos with nuclear bombs, as long as it’s quiet.
Do you have any Idea about CPU cooling?
Thank you so much.
Best,
Mystarmann

Quinnbeast
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 1:55 pm

Re: Help with new Build, please.

Post by Quinnbeast » Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:28 pm

Wow. If that's your 'typewriter spec', I'd love to see your ideas for a high-end gaming machine!
Workhorse: i5 3570K, Asus Z77V-LX, Be Quiet Dark Power 550W, 8GB Corsair XMS, EVGA 970 SSC, Sammy 840 Pro 256GB, 1.5TB WD Green, Fractal R4, Noctua NHU12P. Dell 2312U, Dali Zensor 1 + Audioengine N22.

Movie/FLAC/Misc Box: E8500, P5QL-CM, 4GB Corsair XMS, 4850 512mb Vapor-X, Corsair 450VX, 64GB SanDisk Ultra II + 1.5 GB WD Green, Zalman 7000AlCu w/mod.

CA_Steve
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Re: Help with new Build, please.

Post by CA_Steve » Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:15 pm

Just to put things in context: The cpu horsepower needed to meet your employer's needs is a middle grade CPU from 4-5 years ago :)

A NUC style PC in idle uses 6-7 watts. The case fans alone in your FT02 build use 6-7 watts ;)

There are only 2 possible reasons to build a Haswell-E for him:
- You need a hobby
- He randomly decides to take up 3D modeling, professional video editing, or other CPU intensive task.

Step away from the 5930K. It's not a smart way to go.

Here's the things you should figure out:
- How much drive storage does he need?
- What's he doing for backups?
- How many monitors are there and what's their resolution? Is he happy with these are wanting to go bigger / higher resolution?
- How much memory does he need? What does he have now, and in typical use, how much physical memory is used for tasks?
- if music is a big deal to him, shouldn't you focus on the sound quality that he can hear rather than PC performance he won't ever need?
- What's the audio output going to? Headphones or amp/speaker? What's he currently using?
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

mystarmann
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Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:51 am

Re: Help with new Build, please.

Post by mystarmann » Thu Jul 23, 2015 12:52 am

Thanks everyone for replying and helping!

Quinnbeast, I worked in a lab that is working on a quantum computer prototype. Therefore, my ideas for a high-end gaming pc need a nuclear power plant as power supply and need to be close to the Ocean for cooling purposes. :D

CA_Steve, thanks, you are such a great help! Well, I don’t know whether a better CPU produces more heat, so I just thought: take the best, just in case. Now I certainly do need a hobby (although I do not quite get the reference. Are Hasswell Es harder to implement?), but as said, I just like to play it safe: My thought process was, bigger, better, stronger, as long as it doesn’t make it to hot and therefore loud, but I asked for your opinion because I knew I would be influenced by my habits and my lack of knowledge.

But you are surely right, so should I rather tune down to a Hasswell, or maybe rather Broadwell, or even Sandy Shores, or maybe lower? I just fear potential freezes or such he uses win10 after all...

Drive Storage: He said he wants to save multiple libraries in PDF format and I don’t necessarily want to make him upgrade later. He hates waiting, so I thought that a few SSDs should do the job. 2TB for daily stuff and libraries as well as 0.25TB for the OS and the important stuff on an even quicker SSD to give him the feel that it starts fast and is therefore fast.

Backups: He isn’t doing any yet. Maybe I can convince him to do so, as his second computer blew up a month ago and he lost months of work. What are you thinking in this regard? How does this influence the PC-built?

For the moment he only has 1 monitor. But on the long run he thinks about getting 2. He has a 1080p one, but as he starts to get problems with his eye sight and wants to get the screens closer to him, he is sure that he needs 4k. (Now I don’t think that he’ll mind or notice if that thing only runs 2 1080ps.)

About the memory: I probably went a bit high there… Well, he has 4GB now and complains about the fact that they are always loaded 100%. As he is about to shift from IE to Chrome as main browser and always has at least 15 tabs open, I thought 16GB might do some good, but I guess 8’ll do. Thanks for keeping me on the ground. I’ll go with 8 (and add some in the worst case)

You are probably right about the music stuff, but for the moment he only uses a headset for skype calls and plays music from a separate player out of (horrible) shelf speakers, so anything would make his situation better really. Now he wants to switch to headphones for music and maybe a mic for skype calls. So I thought let’s make him try a soundcard with some AKG studio headphones. He was so impressed, that he immediately told me to put “one of these” into his new pc. So I just went with the best thing that I know of, the asus xonar series.

Thank you very much for all your great help! (I’ll suggest to my boss to donate something if he likes his PC, and if he doesn’t, he can just take it from my paycheck)

With gratitude and the best wishes,
Mystarmann

CA_Steve
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Re: Help with new Build, please.

Post by CA_Steve » Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:18 am

mystarmann wrote:Drive Storage: He said he wants to save multiple libraries in PDF format and I don’t necessarily want to make him upgrade later. He hates waiting, so I thought that a few SSDs should do the job. 2TB for daily stuff and libraries as well as 0.25TB for the OS and the important stuff on an even quicker SSD to give him the feel that it starts fast and is therefore fast.
I was going to ask you to just look and see how full his Hard drive is, because I think you are overestimating the storage needs for his library. Instead, here's a quick calculation. If you downloaded Wikipedia, it would take up about 50GB of storage. Wikipedia has about 2.9 Billion words. Assuming 1000 small font pitch words per page, that's 2.9 million pages. The American Jurisprudence 2nd Ed. library has 231 volumes. I don't know the page count, so let's say 1000 pages per volume, for a total of 231k pages. That's less than 10% of wikipedia's size. So, a complete US law library would take up maybe 5GB of storage if digitized in an appropriate manner. Let's say they were digitized in a non optimal way and are 10x bigger. That's still only 50GB for one library. <shrugs> You really ought to look and see how much space these libraries take up on his current PC.
mystarmann wrote:Backups: He isn’t doing any yet.
Wow, an expensive mistake with a cheap solution. This could be a long discussion in itself. The simplest suggestion:Buy a simple external HDD, like the 2.5" WD Passport, plug it into a USB port and set up Windows Backup to do a daily backup during the work day. Buy a second one, plug it in for a weekly backup and then store it elsewhere to protect against power loss (or theft or fire, etc) affecting both the PC and the backup.
mystarmann wrote:For the moment he only has 1 monitor. But on the long run he thinks about getting 2. He has a 1080p one, but as he starts to get problems with his eye sight and wants to get the screens closer to him, he is sure that he needs 4k. (Now I don’t think that he’ll mind or notice if that thing only runs 2 1080ps.)
Everything supports 1080p. Haswell supports 4k/30Hz via Displayport. Broadwell supports 4k/60Hz via Displayport. Skylake isn't out yet.
mystarmann wrote:About the memory: I probably went a bit high there… Well, he has 4GB now and complains about the fact that they are always loaded 100%. As he is about to shift from IE to Chrome as main browser and always has at least 15 tabs open, I thought 16GB might do some good, but I guess 8’ll do. Thanks for keeping me on the ground. I’ll go with 8 (and add some in the worst case)
Chrome spins off a process or two per tab. Each process uses 50M to 200MB of RAM. Call it, 150M x 20 for your 15 tabs, for a total of 3GB. 8GB for that, Windows and apps is fine.
mystarmann wrote:You are probably right about the music stuff, but for the moment he only uses a headset for skype calls and plays music from a separate player out of (horrible) shelf speakers, so anything would make his situation better really. Now he wants to switch to headphones for music and maybe a mic for skype calls. So I thought let’s make him try a soundcard with some AKG studio headphones. He was so impressed, that he immediately told me to put “one of these” into his new pc. So I just went with the best thing that I know of, the asus xonar series.

Yeah, Asus Xonar is fine. I think there's a limit to the noise/IMD performance you can get with an audio card inside a PC as it's a hash of high frequency digital noise in there. The sound cards fight it by shielding the heck out of everything, adding more ground planes, etc. Easier to just use USB or optical out to an external DAC/headphone amp. It can lead to better sound, assuming the headphones are up to it.

More to this post later in the day.
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

CA_Steve
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Re: Help with new Build, please.

Post by CA_Steve » Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:40 pm

So, here's two builds.

1) Small footprint: NUC form factor, MSI Cubi-001BUS (black) or Cubi-004BUS (white).
- Case: nuc sized
- CPU/Mobo: Broadwell i3-5005U
RAM: 2 x 4GB DDR3L SODIMM. G.Skill Ripjaws, Crucial Ballistic Sport, Kingston. 1600 or 1866 speed.
Storage:
- Samsung 850 EVO 500GB or 1TB mSATA for OS/Apps/Data
- WD Green 1 or 2TB 2.5" for daily backups
- Weekly Backup external HDD: WD My Passport 2TB
Audio: use external DAC/headphone amp. Asus Xonar U7 for an example.
Optical Disk: External. Samsung SE-506CB/RSBD (black) also comes in white.
Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.

Will idle at 7W-15W depending on what's plugged in to the ports and active and pull maybe 20W with his typical use. Has one fan that is said to be very quiet. Broadwell CPU has 2 cores and supports hyperthreading. More than enough CPU horsepower to meet his needs and integrated gfx will support 4k/60Hz via the miniDisplayPort. Get monitors that support Displayport daisy chaining and he can run two at 4k.

Case 2: Typical ATX build. Haswell CPU.
- Case: How about the Silverstone FT05? A little smaller than the FT02. Or, Fractal Define R5. Fractal can be quieter.
- CPU: Haswell i3-4370 (2 core), i5-4690 (4 core)
- cooler: Scythe Kotetsu
- Mobo: Asus Z97E/USB3.1 You could go with an H97 board, but I don't think Asus has updated them with a USB 3.1 Type C port, yet. Might come in useful down the road.
- RAM: 2 x 4GB DDR3-1866. G.Skill Ares, Crucial Ballistic Sport, Kingston.
Storage:
- Samsung 850 EVO 500GB or 1TB 2.5" for OS/Apps/Data
- WD Green 1 or 2TB 2.5" for daily backups
- Weekly Backup external HDD: WD My Passport 2TB
Audio: use external DAC/headphone amp. Asus Xonar U7 for an example. Or go with the internal Xonar.
Optical Disk: FT05 requires a slimline. R5 takes a std ODD.
Bluetooth keyboard and mouse or wired. Got plenty of USB ports.
PSU: bequiet! Straight Power E10 400W. Fanned, but very very quiet. Or, Seasonic 400FL2 passive.

Will idle at 30-35W. Will run at 40-60W with his apps.
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

mystarmann
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:51 am

Re: Help with new Build, please.

Post by mystarmann » Fri Jul 24, 2015 12:41 am

CA_Steve, thank you very much for your help.

I know I’m stubborn and my questions were a bit specific. You did some extensive research for me and took the time and the nerves to help me. Thank you.

I’ll go with the second solution with one minor change to it (the deluxe version of the same Mobo, just in case), the internal Asus soundcard and the I5. I’ll ask my boss about the cases, as he will have the pleasure to look at one of them daily and silently.

Warm Regards,
Mystarmann


PS: CA_Steve, I’ll inform you on the result and my boss’s reaction, if you want.

CA_Steve
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Re: Help with new Build, please.

Post by CA_Steve » Fri Jul 24, 2015 3:51 am

Have fun with your build.
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

pcgeek
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Re: Help with new Build, please.

Post by pcgeek » Fri Oct 02, 2015 1:15 am

mystarmann wrote:
mystarmann wrote:Backups: He isn’t doing any yet.
Wow, an expensive mistake with a cheap solution. This could be a long discussion in itself. The simplest suggestion:Buy a simple external HDD, like the 2.5" WD Passport, plug it into a USB port and set up Windows Backup to do a daily backup during the work day. Buy a second one, plug it in for a weekly backup and then store it elsewhere to protect against power loss (or theft or fire, etc) affecting both the PC and the backup.
But why still buy an external HDD when you can also make your backups on a cheap dynamic cloud server? For example, price fighters like 1&1 offer dynamic cloud servers for a very low price. I'd say it's just as easy, if not easier, than buying an external HDD.

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