SFF silent build for e-mail etc.

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MrSadman
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Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:39 am

SFF silent build for e-mail etc.

Post by MrSadman » Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:13 am

Hi,

The last PC i built was based around a 4690K, so I am a bit rusty with my market knowledge. In my past builds I have gotten some tips and tricks from a local tech forum, but it seems to have died out.
This seems like a good place to get some input.

My parents asked me to build them a new PC. They want it to be quieter, smaller and boot up faster. They are very basic users, the most demanding task for the machine will probably be watching some videos etc.

So, with this in mind I started looking at parts:

CPU:
i3 8100T - should be more then enough power and help with the quiet part of the build
Pentium G5400T - Cheaper then option 1 but I feel weird buying a CPU with 2 cores in 2019. This would be more sensible though.
Ryzen 3 2200GE - I think this might only be available for system builders.

Motherboard:
So, If I am going to go small, I am going to go ITX. I decided to skip H310 and go for at least B360 chipset. What is needed: at least 4 USB. Do not care for wifi or M.2 slots. Needs to be capable of switching all fans completely off when temps are good. A fast front USB header could be useful.
Gigabyte B360N Wifi seems like a good fit, as it specificly says it can switch off all fans if temps are below a set point.

Storage:
860 EVO 500GB - already purchased during black friday sales. No further storage inside the machine. External HDD for backup would be a good idea.

RAM: Really whatever I find on the QVL of the motherboard that I end up picking. For example something from Corsair Value Select line. 1x8GB configuration I think.

Housing:
Has to be dust proof, look discrete and still nice.
Corsair 250D jumped to mind, however it is out of stock and a bit on the large side when compared to some small mATX cases.
Fractal Core 500 would be a cheaper and smaller option but it is not as good looking and the filters are hard to clean and it does not look as good. Node 304 comes with fan controllers etc, that I don't need.

Everything small from Silverstone seems to have poor dust filtration.
Any input here is welcome.

PSU:
Something modular/semi modular with atleast 80+ rating and a good pedigree. Needs to have a fanless mode.
Actual selection will depend on case size, might need an sfx PSU, but those are again more expensive.
Need to check cable lengths.

CPU cooler:
Actual cooler design depends on the case and motherboard clearance wise but want to get some heatpipes going to allow for passive cooling when idle etc.

External CD/DVD drive for when they need to use one.

Windows 10 Home OEM. These are still cool for home builds right?

So, how is my thinking for this build going? Any major mistakes?

Anyone got any recommendations on reading up on setting up a Windows 10 machine? My sysadmin skills are even more rusty then my market knowledge of components : P

Any help is much appreciated.

CA_Steve
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Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: SFF silent build for e-mail etc.

Post by CA_Steve » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:57 pm

Welcome to SPCR.

Are your parents' needs simple enough to just use a ChromeBox? Or, if they need DVD and/or Windows support, a NUC sized case?

MrSadman
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:39 am

Re: SFF silent build for e-mail etc.

Post by MrSadman » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:16 pm

CA_Steve wrote:Are your parents' needs simple enough to just use a ChromeBox? Or, if they need DVD and/or Windows support, a NUC sized case?
Windows is a must, some government services are not supported on other platforms.

Going with a NUC or a NUC style case or something like the Dell/Lenovo compact machines did cross my mind but an external powerbrick would make problems elsewhere(Cable management is already a problem with the desk setup they have)

CA_Steve
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Re: SFF silent build for e-mail etc.

Post by CA_Steve » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:10 pm

Ok - I like to throw those solutions out there because they can be economical, small footprint, passive and hence dust proof, and smaller energy footprint.
.........

CPU - I recommend against T parts as there is zero benefit for an mITX build. T and non-T CPUs follow the same voltage/frequency curve up to the point where the T parts stop. So, if the application doesn't need the extra oomph, then both parts use the same power. In other words, the T part is less benefit for the same price :) Note that while the G5400 has 2 cores, it also has hyperthreading.

case: the only dustproof case is one without fans. Now, if all you have is a CPU in there, chances are you could go with a decent cooler and never run the case fans. Web browsing/streaming isn't going to use significant CPU resources, which means there won't be significant heat build up in the case. So, don't sweat the filters...pick a case for the features you like.

cpu cooler: Scythe Kotetsu/ Kotetsu Mark II is a good choice for a 65W TDP class CPU. Fan can run down to 400rpm (300rpm for Mark II).

PSU: I've got a Seasonic Focus Plus Gold SSR-550FX. Wattage is overkill for your needs (100W), but it is a shorter ATX supply. It has a passive mode for lower power use and it never comes on for my gaming build.

flyingsherpa
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Re: SFF silent build for e-mail etc.

Post by flyingsherpa » Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:18 am

What about an all-in-one? Doesn't get smaller footprint than that. My dad has a 3 yr old Dell one (Inspiron 24, IIRC) with decent specs. Not as quiet as I'd like (SPCR fanatic here), but definitely quiet enough for him. It actually has "HDMI in" too, so can be used with a different PC one day (I told my dad I'd get him a NUC if the guts on this one ever die) or even with something like a Roku or Fire stick for added flexibility.

If you want to build, the smallest case with internal PSU I know of is something like the Chopin. The PSU may not be quiet enough, though. But if you put something like an Athlon 200GE in there, I'd hope the PSU would be silent at all times... maybe check around for reviews at low power levels, if they exist. Most reviews I saw were people trying to put the highest performance parts in there.

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