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Old August 7, 2009, 02:49 PM
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Question Gaming machine; goals: upgradeable and quiet

I'm looking to build myself a new machine, primarily for gaming. I'm shooting for something around $1500CAD (and I'm located in Toronto, Canada), though that's not necessarily a hard limit. My current machine is going to be put to use for something or other, so the upcoming machine is going to be 100% from scratch. My current machine is a loud old beast, and I've grown tired of the noises, so part of my aim here will be to put together a reasonably quiet machine.

My big goal here is to leave myself a fair amount of breathing room with respect to upgradability over the next few years. I'd like to get started on this in the next few weeks.

I feel reasonably happy with my choices on many of the components, but there are some (which I've bolded) that I am more up in the air about, and would particularly appreciate any feedback or suggestions on those.

This is what I'm currently looking at (with links to Canada Computers):

Motherboard: ASUS M4A78T-E [142.99]
CPU: AMD PHENOM II X4 810 [184.99]
RAM: A-DATA XPG (2x2gb) DDR3-1333mhz [89.99]
Video: ASUS EAH4870 [194.99]
Cooling: ?? no idea
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer Quad Crossfire 750W [142.99]
Case: NZXT Hush Quiet ATX Mid Tower [112.99]
Monitor: ?? no idea (something in a 24")
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATAII [104.99]


Total (without monitor or cooling): $973.93

So there we go. I'm not sure where to start with my cooling (though I think I want to stick with air cooling), and same goes for my display. Finally, I'd be interested to know if it's worth investing in a smaller, higher performance hard drive.

Thanks!

Last edited by forwhat; August 7, 2009 at 02:58 PM. Reason: OCD
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Old August 7, 2009, 04:26 PM
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The stock cooling that comes with the case/cpu/gpu should be fine unless you're planning to do heavy overclocking.
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Old August 7, 2009, 10:27 PM
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Ah, I did forget to mention my OC preference. I don't see myself overclocking the machine heavily, but I wouldn't be adverse to buying some aftermarket cooling if it would allow me to overclock a bit. (And assuming it doesn't increase the sound too much.)
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Old August 8, 2009, 12:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forwhat View Post
Ah, I did forget to mention my OC preference. I don't see myself overclocking the machine heavily, but I wouldn't be adverse to buying some aftermarket cooling if it would allow me to overclock a bit. (And assuming it doesn't increase the sound too much.)
If anything, after market cooling would be quieter than the stock heatsink as they are more efficient and use larger fans, so the fan can spin slower. Also for only a little bit more you can step uo to a 4890. Pretty much everyone at HWC that has any experience with a SSD will tell you it is a wise investment and will make your PC feel much faster. I don't have any experience (university in the fall), but since you have the room in your budget I'd suggest getting a 60-120GB for your OS, games and apps, and then use the 1TB for storage. You could even drop it down to the Seagate 7200.12 and you wouldn't notice a difference except it would run quieter and cooler. It would be a bit slower in benchmarks, but for real world performance as a storage drive you definitely wouldn't notice anything.
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Old August 8, 2009, 12:59 AM
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If it's quiet your after, you may be fine with stock heatsinks. But silent is a whole different ballgame with aftermarket heatsinks and some fanswapping.

As for your choice of case, I personally think the Hush is rubbish in terms of quietness, Go with a P series Antec or even an Antec Solo. I've heard that the CM Sileo is also a decent case in terms of quietness by no experience with that. I agree with CanadaRox's suggestion of a SSD. Also, is your current $1500 limit including the monitor or not. If not, i7 might be possible.
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Old August 8, 2009, 06:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CroSsFiRe2009 View Post
If it's quiet your after, you may be fine with stock heatsinks. But silent is a whole different ballgame with aftermarket heatsinks and some fanswapping.

As for your choice of case, I personally think the Hush is rubbish in terms of quietness, Go with a P series Antec or even an Antec Solo. I've heard that the CM Sileo is also a decent case in terms of quietness by no experience with that. I agree with CanadaRox's suggestion of a SSD. Also, is your current $1500 limit including the monitor or not. If not, i7 might be possible.

+1, you will be better off with an P183 and swap out the fans.
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Old August 8, 2009, 06:48 AM
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If you want gaming and to go with a 24in screen I suggest getting an HD4890, preferably one from XFX for their great warranty. I personally have one and I underclock it severly for when I am not gaming and it is VERY close to being silent, I could lower the fan a bit more, but I like that it runs at 52 degrees. Otherwise, when I start gaming I overclock it and bump the fan speed making it fairly loud, but once the sound from the game comes, it just dissapears. There is also the option of the Sapphire Vapor-X 4890 which according to HWC reviews is much quieter than the others.

I can't speak for the Hush, but I like my Antec P183 in terms of quietness, I usually run it with my tri-cool fans on medium and I won't lie to you, they are audible but its not exagerated and if I want I can always reduce them to low which does a quite good job. I also have 3 other intake fans in the case and they are inaudible. 1 of them is a yate loon and the other 2 are Noctuas. I considered changing the tri-cool, but in order to get the same airflow from the other fans, they'd have to run near max speed and would produce similar noise and I wouldn't be able "to go at high". So overall, I like this case and it may be a good one for u. With it, you can also use the Antec CP-850, it only fits in 3 cases, this being one of them. It is also quiet.

As for the screen, I can only suggest getting a resolution of 1920x1200 for your screen. Besides that, I can't say much with my old CRT, but I was looking for some Samsung monitor.

As for RAM, I must say I am partial to G.Skill, these sticks are the same price as the one you mentionned.

For more information regarding noise, I suggest you have a look at silentpcreview.com | Everything about Silent / Quiet Computers
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Old August 8, 2009, 06:51 AM
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That PSU is known to be quite noisy (despite its 'Silencer' moniker). If you're going ATi for vidcard, I'd suggest any of the Vapor-X series - they're cooler and quieter than the reference coolers. For quiet cpu cooler - Noctua NH-U12P.
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Old August 9, 2009, 01:38 PM
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Thanks all for the great comments. That's exactly what I was hoping for. You've given me some things to think about. I'll update the thread with my revised build plan in a bit. :-)
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Old August 10, 2009, 09:35 AM
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Samsung Syncmaster T240HD 24IN Widescreen Lcd Monitor 1920X1200 5MS Dvi Vga Hdmi Component Dtv Tuner - DirectCanada

buying that monitor is 2-3 weeks with my new system...i am also a samsung nut hugger. also got a HDTV tuner if you watch movies or tv or what not on it.
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