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Comments on my new (cheap and quiet) rig?

Posted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 6:15 pm
by pepve
First time poster here, I hope you don't mind my asking for comments on my new rig. My current system dates from 2000 (and I'm proud to say it was a quiet one for noise standards back then). I thought it was time to get something new. :-) This is what I came up with:

- Celeron E1200 on an Asus P5B-VM (micro-ATX, PWM fan connectors) with 2x512 DDR2-800
- Some cheap optical drive (rarely use it) and a FDD
- Coolermaster Elite 340 micro-ATX case. It's got a mesh bezel, optional 120mm front and rear fans, and it's cheap and has a boring design, which I like.
- NeoHE 430W. Overpowered for this setup, but seems to be the most silent 80mm PSU.
- Spinpoint F1 500Gb, 16Mb
- Arctic Cooling 120mm x 25mm PWM fan, with Nexus soft mounts at the rear fan position.
- If you are convinced I can cool my E1200 passively (I have absolutely no idea), I'm leaning towards a Ninja Mini and let the close-by 120mm do the work. (I don't think the Ninja Mini plus fan will fit on my board.)
- If that's too risky, I'm thinking of the Xigmatek HDT-SD964, and replace its fan by an Arctic Cooling 92mm x 25mm PWM fan.

I plan to duct the PSU to the open 5.25" bay with some cardboard. I may even leave the bay cover off, as sounds from the front of the computer travel about the same distance as sounds from the back. I will suspend the HDD with bungee cord (3-4mm thick, probably). But I'm not sure where, up in the PSU duct may restrict airflow too much, and create a fairly easy soundpath for the HDD's noise. Just below the 3.5" bay is the other option, but it seems more flimsy because the HDD will only be pulled upwards, and I would like to avoid drilling holes in my new case.

I'd like any comments on quietness etc. and especially on how to cool my CPU and how to suspend my HDD. And what do you think are the weak points of this setup? What component will be the noisiest?

Also feel free to comment on the CPU and board choice, especially if it's a stupid choice, but it's not top-priority.

Thanks in advance.

Posted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:10 am
by thejamppa
Hi, welcome to the SPCR!!
Since your goal is cheap and quiet computer, may I recomend you:
Ati 780G chipset mainboard like:GA-MA78GM-DS2H (rev. 2.0) which has 128MB GDDR3 sideport memory making it faster than your regular mobo with integrated IGP

AMD X2 4850e (45W) or its cheaper little brother X2 4050e (45w)

That most certainly give you slightly more umph than celeron. Even Intel has better processors generally, celerons are still pretty out matched for anything AMD has to offer

Your best bet is 2GB ( 2x1 GB ) Modules. 2 GB is pretty much the sweet point for the memory modules.

4x50e are easily cooled passively by Minja. So is celeron though.

Posted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:47 am
by Cistron
Just a point of information: apparently, sideport memory for the IGP has hardly any effects on its performance.

Posted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:08 am
by pepve
thejamppa, thanks for your suggestion. I am tempted to go AMD's way, but my main reason to choose Intel is its Open Source support. Even though good ATI video drivers exist, they still are reverse engineered. I don't like it... (All this matters because I'm a Linux user.)

And I'm glad to hear the Celeron can be passively cooled. Saves me a fan!

Posted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:49 am
by thejamppa
Good luck with your build. 65W celeron is not problem for a Minja.

Posted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 2:49 pm
by feb
AMD (who bought ATI) started to release the specs of its graphic chips and chipsets:
AMD/ATI release register specifications; Novell follows with alpha driver and AMD to open up graphics specs.

People are now working on open source drivers based on those specs, for example .

Like you, I planned to go the Intel route too at first, but now there is hope and I'll give AMD another chance. Now, let's just hope the drivers will be sufficiently complete. You can see their progress on the graphics drivers on

Posted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:00 pm
by pepve
Sounds good, but still not as safe a choice as Intel I think. Maybe next time (already got my order out anyway, there's no way back). Thanks for the info.