Looking for recommendations for components - for Silent PC

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Confused Chimp
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Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2006 2:59 am

Looking for recommendations for components - for Silent PC

Post by Confused Chimp » Sat Jun 24, 2006 3:40 am

I posted a similar post on THG and the recommendation was to post on this forum as it seems you guys are the recognised authority on the subject of silent computers. So I am hoping you maybe able to help me.

I want to build the quietest system I can (within reason). I want it to be running 24/7 and be completely passively cooled. Reason being is that it will be located in my bedroom and therefore I don't want my sleep disturbed.

It should be an all purpose computer except for games (I have a seperate rig for my games).
I intend use it for watching films, playing music, mass data storage, using the internet etc. etc.
Nothing too power hungry.

The most important thing is that it is silent or as quiet as I can make it. I am anticipating the noisiest components to be the DVD drive (when in use) or the hard disk.
So I'm looking for everything else to be passively cooled and it doesn't have to be very powerful at all.

I am mainly looking for recommendations for:
- PSU
- Motherboard (without any chipset fans and no optional fans when in a passive cooled computer. The motherboard also needs to support atleast 2 seperate sata2 raids, each one made up of 2 HDs in a raid 1 - probably)
- Graphics card

So far I have a few components in mind, I intend to use...
- Sonic tower to cool the CPU
- AMD chip dual core - although not sure on speed yet (might use my 4400 from my gaming rig if it runs cool enough and upgrade my gaming rigs CPU.
- Creative X-FI sound card.

Any help most appreciated. Bear in mind that things need to run pretty cool as I don't even want system fans if I can help it.
Cheers
CC

justblair
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Post by justblair » Sat Jun 24, 2006 4:13 am

Building 100% passive is a difficult game. Its generally a trade off between power and passive.

You can buy for hideous prices cases that allow passive running. Or you can adapt/make your own

That said it is not impossible, is a challenging and rewarding goal to set yourself and is good fun... If you are a technoperv.

Couple of examples of passive works in progress.

My own passive pc playstation hybrid

Hyphe's Truely outstanding passive WIP

And one that is finished and inspired me to build mine passive

Tjokkens simple but effective passive HTPC

I am sure that there are others I have neglected, do a search for ideas.

PSU wise the Silverstone 30nf is popular, But be aware of its wattage. Although it has so much current available on it, it is a good performer. There are others now available. The ones with the fans tat cut in if they get too hot may be a good compromise.

Dont want to get into recomending heatsinks... I think it depends on how you wish the machine to be orientated. One advantage of using the mobo io a horizontal position is that heat rises and can be allowed out through wide open mesh grills.

Running cool, is a subjective statement.. What is cool. If I can keep a processor under 50c I am happy If you want to go to the levels you would expect from a fan cooled system then that is going to take a lot more work.

Good luck with what you decide.
[url=http://www.justblair.co.uk]www.Justblair.co.uk[/url]

jaganath
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Post by jaganath » Sat Jun 24, 2006 9:31 am

I want to build the quietest system I can (within reason). I want it to be running 24/7 and be completely passively cooled. Reason being is that it will be located in my bedroom and therefore I don't want my sleep disturbed.
Even if it is completely passive (ie no fans, which is nearly impossible with acceptable temps) if you use it for mass data storage (ie lots of hard drives) it will still disturb your sleep. Getting a CPU to make no *audible* noise is pretty easy; silencing 10 hard drives is much harder.
I am anticipating the noisiest components to be the DVD drive (when in use) or the hard disk.
This is roughly correct. Of course, all fans make noise, but often a 120mm fan @ 5V makes substantially less noise than a decent capacity 3.5" hard drive.
I am mainly looking for recommendations for:
- PSU
I second JB's recommendation of the Silverstone ST30NF. It has had nothing but praise on this site, and since this will be a low-power rig you shouldn't have problems with overheating.
- Motherboard
Dunno. Look on the recommended lists.
Graphics card
For what you want to use it for, you should be able to get away with integrated graphics.
So far I have a few components in mind, I intend to use...
- Sonic tower to cool the CPU
Sonic tower is a poor performer in low airflow situation due to tight fin arrangement. Scythe Ninja is the SPCR reference heatsink.

Good luck,

JVM
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Post by JVM » Sat Jun 24, 2006 11:10 am

The ASUS A8N-SLI-Premium does have two separate SATA ports for RAID: NVIDIA and Silicon Image, although I don't know for certain that both can be used at the same time.

Graphics card could be a nVidia 7600 GS or 7600 GT with both being passive versions (i.e. EVGA and Gigabyte) and both under $200 dollars with the 7600 GS being less than $150 dollars. You can check out prices on Newegg.

For a PSU, I would recommend the Seasonic S12 series as I have the 600 watt version and it is extremely quiet. Of course, you can go with the lower-powered units.
Antec Solo, Intel Core 2 Duo E8400, Gigabyte EX38-DS4, G.Skill RAM(8GB), Ninja Plus, ECS 9600 GT, SB Audigy Fx, Enermax MODU82+ 625W, (2)Intel (SSD) X25-M G2 160GB, Intel SSD 180GB, Scythe Slipstream "L" rear, Nexus 92mm front, Samsung SH-224FB SATA DVD, HP LP1965 19" LCD, Windows 10 64-bit, CyberPower CP1500AVRLCD UPS

jackylman
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Re: Looking for recommendations for components - for Silent

Post by jackylman » Sat Jun 24, 2006 10:46 pm

Confused Chimp wrote: - Motherboard (without any chipset fans and no optional fans when in a passive cooled computer. The motherboard also needs to support at least 2 seperate sata2 raids, each one made up of 2 HDs in a raid 1 - probably)
Why not RAID 5 then? The Asus M2N-E nForce 570 Ultra is $105 shipped at zipzoomfly.com Personally, I would try and avoid the price premium of SLI boards as it's not necessary for you. As for the disks, the WD 5000KS just got a great review from SPCR.

CPU - Go AM2. A 3800 or 4400 X2 would work fine
PSU - S12-380 or 430
Sound - If you're not gaming, I would avoid Creative. I have nothing but praise for my M-Audio Revolution.
Video - Passive 7600GS of some sort

simeli
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Post by simeli » Thu Jul 13, 2006 1:01 am

passive cases are something hard to achieve, especially since there are components sensitive to heat on the board that cannot easily be cooled with heatpipes and the like.

http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewtopic.php?t=32496

i have posted another reply concerning this matter. using the right components will get you where you want with not too much hassle. a quiet psu fan and another to cool the case/disks will make less noise than the disks themselves. with a 24/7 rig you should plan for a good reserve in temperatures.

integrated graphics are a good start if you don't plan on 3d games. personally i'd go for a pentium m system (MSI 915GM Speedster or the CoreDuo variant MSI 945GM Speedster). It uses no chipset fans and the CPU can be cooled passively quite well in a ventilated case. I use the 915GM Speedster in an Antec P180 with an Enermax Liberty and Sythe 120mm fans and a few Samsungs. I also sleep next to it. You really have to listen carefully to hear that the system is actually running. The Speedster has 4 SATA ports. The CoreDuo version also supports RAID 0, 1, 5, or Matrix RAID. All really software implementation. Don't know exactly what you can do with Windows, but I think the Pro version has some raid support for mirroring. Using Linux this is easy.

You can of course always add a dedicated controller card if you need more.

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