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Standard User ichatergosum
(committed) Thu 14-Jun-12 19:59:05
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PC cases


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I'm embarking on what for me is a major leap into the unknown, namely building my own PC.
I've decided on most of the components, but would like to get some advice regarding cases. I want a quiet case.

The machine will be running continuously, and pretty much full pelt, processing work units for the Folding at Home project, so quietness is a major requirement. (I'm doing this to spare my Apple kit wink

Although this is an Apple related forum, I'll bet there are quite a few roll your own experts around here.

Anyone have any advice?

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Standard User micksharpe
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 14-Jun-12 21:07:12
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Re: PC cases


[re: ichatergosum] [link to this post]
 
Check out Quiet PC. System builders know from trial and error what components go together to provide good air-flow but when you do-it-yourself, you're pretty much on your own so be prepared to shell out for a good case. If you want really quiet operation, consider liquid cooling.

P.S. If you go for air cooling, make sure that the case that you select provides enough room for the mobo and cpu cooler that you want to use. It is very easy to buy a case that does not provide enough room for large coolers. Quiet PC should be able to tell you what cases, mobo's and coolers work well together.

“If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise” - Robert Fritz
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Edited by micksharpe (Thu 14-Jun-12 22:40:17)

Standard User ichatergosum
(committed) Sat 16-Jun-12 00:35:58
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Re: PC cases


[re: micksharpe] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for your reply. I've been browsing the cases on offer on that site. They have a good range.

It's all to do with compatibility isn't it? I'm plodding through the choosing of components slowly - next up, the power supply.

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Standard User RapsterUK
(newbie) Sat 16-Jun-12 02:18:45
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Re: PC cases


[re: ichatergosum] [link to this post]
 
The case I use has won awards for being both cool and quiet. I can assure you that the awards are justly awarded.

The case in question is, SilverStone Fortress FT02, I have the black version. Plenty of room for tower coolers, in mine I have a Zalman CNPS10X Performa and this, with a specified height of 152mm, mine is actually 155mm tall, fits in the case with about 18mm to spare.

Sadly, keeping components cool and quiet is not a cheap business - not in my case, anyway.

See what I did there...? wink
Anonymous
(Unregistered)Sat 16-Jun-12 04:56:03
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Re: PC cases


[re: ichatergosum] [link to this post]
 
Hello ichatergosum

Sorry I'm 'anon' but came to this site for a very different issue, just noticed the thread and don't want to have another password to remember!

Anyway, the case/noise issue is largely related to cooling and therefore related to how much heat the components are generating. That depends upon; are you going to run projects that take advantage of a GPU (or more than one), are you going to overclock the processor, what type of processor will it be, how efficient is your PSU (80+, 85%+ ??), hard disk or SSD and will the project need the disk running?

I strongly suggest you go for a good quality PSU for many reasons. A few % extra efficiency will pay back the extra cost in electricity savings - even a few watts soon mount up when running 24/7/365. More efficient means the fan has less heat to 'blow away' and a quality PSU is likely to have a decent quiet fan installed anyway.

Hard working GPUs and silence are nigh-on mutually exclusive terms, they suck in the amps and blow out the Watts! Water cooling with a large radiator and large slow turning fans will keep the noise down, but at a cost.

Sandy or Ivy bridge processors run pretty cool at stock speeds and a look at specs for third-party coolers will find you a quiet (sadly not silent) solution for £20-30. Check though that the total height will fit in whatever case you decide on and remember that if you fit noise reducing foam inside the case that will reduce the clearance. Overclock the processor and it's 'how long is a piece of string'? Again water cooling with a big rad and fan can be an effective but costly answer.

Low voltage RAM helps a little but the options are limited.

If you don't have the GPU processing and don't overclock the CPU (or at least not much) and have only SSD then you can pretty much rely on a good PSU and processor cooler in whatever case you like. Even if it has cheap fans installed, they are not difficult to replace with quality, quiet fans and you might be able to do without them altogether. If you are going to overclock and run a GPU or two, the post from 'micksharpe' to look at 'Quiet PC' is good advice.

Personally, I always loved the Antec 1200 as it had room for a lot of kit inside and all bar the large, quiet top fan were speed adjustable. It is quiet when they are turned down but not so quiet if everything is running flat out on a 30C summer day. Recently I've tried a Fractal Design R3 and although I didn't get it for the sound properties, it has impressed me how quiet it is - and at a reasonable price.

If money is no object, just rip out all the fans and keep feeding the beast with liquid nitrogen. But for a more practical and economic solution think how much heat the system will generate and plan for that. Remember too that any fan filters benefit greatly from regular cleaning.

Good luck!
Standard User ichatergosum
(committed) Sat 16-Jun-12 12:00:14
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Re: PC cases


[re: RapsterUK] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for your comments, Rapster.
I took a look at the SilverStone Fortress FT02. It looks good but it's too deep for where I want to put the thing unfortunately.

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Standard User ichatergosum
(committed) Sat 16-Jun-12 12:56:20
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Re: PC cases


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
That's a generously long reply, 'Anon'. Thank you - it gave me plenty to think about.
At my level of expertise, I find that 'thinking about' tends to 'going round in circles', although I have made some progress.
One case I'm initially considering is the Fractal Design Arc Midi Tower
I'm hoping I've made a sensible first choice there. Any thoughts?

The list of components I've compiled so far are:

Gigabyte GA Z68MA-D2H-B3
Intel Core i7-2600k
2 x 2GB Corsair CMX8GX3M4A1333C9
Samsung Super-writemaster Sh-s223c
Western digital Caviar Blue 160GB (7200) SATA 8 MB 3.5 inch
Gigabyte KM5200 USB Keyboard and Mouse kit
Dell IN1720 17 inch WideScreen LCD Monitor

That leaves the PSU. What constitutes a good quality PSU?
I'm not going the GPU route for processing the Folding work units.
If I could find a smaller monitor, I'd opt for it. Basically, my aim is to set everything up, with Ubuntu as the OS, and let it rip.

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Standard User micksharpe
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sat 16-Jun-12 13:12:24
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Re: PC cases


[re: ichatergosum] [link to this post]
 
Buy an 80 PLUS PSU and use a PSU calculator to size your PSU correctly. Don't over-specify otherwise you'll waste a lot of electricity, even with a high-efficiency PSU.

“If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise” - Robert Fritz
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Standard User ichatergosum
(committed) Sat 16-Jun-12 13:41:50
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Re: PC cases


[re: micksharpe] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for the 80 Plus advice - I hadn't come across that. This highlights the feeling I have that I'm groping in the dark pretty much.

I used the PSU calculator, and came up with 252 Watts.

I selected 1 DVD-RW/DVD+RW Drive for my presently chosen optical drive, and 1HDD under the Regular SATA tab for Hard Drive. Was I correct there?

It seems most PSUs are sold on the basis of using them with graphics cards, which I won't be using. Any recommendations? Just a pointer in the right direction would be a help.

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Standard User micksharpe
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sat 16-Jun-12 14:25:17
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Re: PC cases


[re: ichatergosum] [link to this post]
 
Sorry. By "over-specify" I meant don't buy an 800W unit or something similar. A 400W PSU will be fine and you would be hard-pressed to find anything smaller than that. Any 80 PLUS unit from Quiet PC should do the job. A fanless PSU would, of course, be the bee's knees but they are expensive and only really appropriate if you're taking the liquid cooling route. Don't buy a budget PSU. They will have cheap and nasty capacitors and probably poor efficiency and regulation at low power usage (which you will have.)

How about the Nexus Value-430 from Quiet PC -- 430W, 80 PLUS and 15dB noise level (very good if they're being honest) for £60?

I always agonize over what case and PSU to buy. Choosing all the other stuff is easy by comparison. crazy

“If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise” - Robert Fritz
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Edited by micksharpe (Sat 16-Jun-12 14:29:17)

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