ZOG loungeroom PC spec

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ZOG loungeroom PC spec

Postby zog on Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:15 am

Hi,

I'm bouncing around some ideas for a new PC for our loungeroom, and thought I'd see what you guys think!

This is not a gamer system, though the odd game may get played. Essentially hometheatre/audio, and web browsing. Linux (Xubuntu) will be the OS.
Reqs.
It has to be QUIET. Zero fans maybe too much to ask, but 1 or 2, silent, fans I can deal with.
And look nice (it is for the loungeroom!)
Dual HDMI & DVI, doing full HD, with hardware video decoding under Linux.
Low power use.
gigabit ethernet.
-> Already have the soundcard sorted.
-> Already have a fanless low profile Nvidia 210 card with good Linux drivers.

Current idea I'm throwing around:
Antec ISK100-65 tiny case (fanless 65W external PSU)
Intel i3-2100t low power CPU
(some mini-ITX motherboard that works with the above 2)
4G of RAM
small SSD (40-60GB).. most media files on network drive, hence need for gigabit eth.

the Intel i3-2100t might already have decent linux drivers to use it's built in video.. but the Antec ISK100-65 case has a slot for a low profile PCI-E card just in case. It has 80mm case fan, of a standard type so I can fit soooper qwiet after market fans if I need to.

Right now I'm using an old junker P4 Dell GX280 "secretary PC" with the Nvidia card added to it.. it does the job fine thanks to the Nvidia, but it's noisy as hell with the fans, and they cant be replaced as they are wierdo Dell ones.

Any ideas?
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Re: ZOG loungeroom PC spec

Postby zog on Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:33 pm

brain dump continues:

I'm home sick today.. one thing i did to when not lolling on the couch was measuring the current power use of the NOISY loungeroom PC.
90W idle! and 120 - 140W when playing youtube. Apart from the whiny noise it makes, thats at least $177 per year in electricity.

checking this guy out, who made a similar system:
http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2011/0 ... er-pc.html
and info on the case:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/Antec_ISK300-65

the i3-2100t can expect to idle @ 22W.
I'm hoping I can even ditch the CPU fan to reduce noise.

current favoured list of parts:

Intel Core i3 2100T Intel Core i3 2100T
In stock $139.00 [Click to change the quantity.] $139.00
Gigabyte GA-H67N-USB3-B3 Mini-ITX Motherboard Gigabyte GA-H67N-USB3-B3 Mini-ITX Motherboard
In stock $129.00 [Click to change the quantity.] $129.00
Corsair CMV4GX3M2A1333C9 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 Corsair CMV4GX3M2A1333C9 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3
In stock $29.00 [Click to change the quantity.] $29.00
Antec ISK 300-65 Mini ITX Case Antec ISK 300-65 Mini ITX Case
In stock $95.00 [Click to change the quantity.] $95.00
( using http://www.pccasegear.com/ as a reference)

parts I already have: SUPER TALENT SSD, Nvidia GT218 [GeForce 210] vidcard with fan removed.

Also have considered systems using a Shuttle SH67H3 bare bones PC as a base, but didnt want to get locked into "non standard" bits, plus it uses 2 fans.
Could drop the price of this down a bit using an Aywun MI-008 mini-ITX case ($49) but .. more fans in play, and a not very efficient power supply.
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Re: ZOG loungeroom PC spec

Postby [DRuG]NikT on Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:39 pm

One of your main issues is I reckon that the PSU fan and other cooling will be noisey... I'd go for a standard sized box that can hold a fanless PSU - here's a link to the first one I found on google, but maybe there's ones to suit smaller cases??

http://www.topbuy.com.au/tbcart/pc/400w ... BDF-300363


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Re: ZOG loungeroom PC spec

Postby zog on Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:47 pm

[DRuG]NikT wrote:One of your main issues is I reckon that the PSU fan and other cooling will be noisey... I'd go for a standard sized box that can hold a fanless PSU - here's a link to the first one I found on google, but maybe there's ones to suit smaller cases??

http://www.topbuy.com.au/tbcart/pc/400w ... BDF-300363


What keeps pushing me towards that particular Antec case, although it is not as nice looking as the Silverstone or Lian Li ones is it ships with a 65W fanless external (laptop style) PSU brick.. The seperate unit fanless PSUs like the Seasonic are great, but they blow the budget out of the water.


I've got a Seasonic in my current main Linux quadcore, nice PSU!
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Re: ZOG loungeroom PC spec

Postby [DRuG]NikT on Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:08 am

Ah nice then..

Only thing I'm really looking at is fanless for your rig, coz i know u'd appreciate it.

+1 for not bending on the no fan policy. :evilgrin:


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Re: ZOG loungeroom PC spec

Postby [DRuG]Shane0 on Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:49 am

For me I would personally go for this case http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?mai ... s_id=14571

Same model etc but with a 150w PSU, for a extra $10 I reckon its worth the 85W to give your system some some breathing room or you might find the 65W PSU a bit toasty
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Re: ZOG loungeroom PC spec

Postby zog on Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:35 am

[DRuG]Shane0 wrote:For me I would personally go for this case http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?mai ... s_id=14571

Same model etc but with a 150w PSU, for a extra $10 I reckon its worth the 85W to give your system some some breathing room or you might find the 65W PSU a bit toasty


I was considering that one as well, but I think it would add an extra fan (PSU fan) to the mix. Also this review http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/ ... view/934/6 mentions it's less efficient compared to the brick one.
Did a bit of googlising as a lot of reviews dont mention wether the 150W PSU has a fan, but here they show that it does:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... hp?t=57439

I'm hoping spending $50 extra on the Intel mobo that drops the overall power use will help combat this.. For an SSD and a Nvidia 210 card (11W power use), which will be the only peripherals, I reckon I'll squeeze it all into 65W. And I'm hoping the Linux drivers for HD H264 decoding on the i3 CPU are mature enough I dont need to even drop in my trusty Nvidia.

Waay too much information on dropping power use and PSU efficiency here:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... 6&p=538253
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Re: ZOG loungeroom PC spec

Postby zog on Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:06 am

[DRuG]Shane0 wrote:For me I would personally go for this case http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?mai ... s_id=14571

Same model etc but with a 150w PSU, for a extra $10 I reckon its worth the 85W to give your system some some breathing room or you might find the 65W PSU a bit toasty


starting to think I should have gone for the slightly gruntier PSU now!

I purchased the bits, and all are playing nicely together.. except when I drop in a PCI-E video card it wont start up. Now the card is a low profile, low power use Nvida GeForce 210. Might be the power issue... or could be something altogether different. system is using a whole 17W right now from the 65W and the GeForce 210 is supposed to use like 11W or something, but who knows.

Have latest BIOS installed on mobo.

Here are the bits I ended up getting:

ISK300-65 case $86.90
Intel DH67CFB3 mobo $126.50
2x2GB Corsair DDR3 ram $31.90
Intel i3-2100t CPU $139.00
Noctua NF-R8-1800 80mm 1800RPM Sound Optimised Fan $25

.. and a CPU cooler that I havent attached yet, for playing with passive cooling, right now have the stock intel cooler&fan in.
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Re: ZOG loungeroom PC spec

Postby [DRuG]NikT on Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:11 am

Jon's here so he gets cred for this suggestion.. tried the gfx card in another machine?

My thoughts? Is it hiding one of those PCIe power connectors that it's expecting u to run from a psu?


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Re: ZOG loungeroom PC spec

Postby zog on Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:26 am

[DRuG]NikT wrote:Jon's here so he gets cred for this suggestion.. tried the gfx card in another machine?

My thoughts? Is it hiding one of those PCIe power connectors that it's expecting u to run from a psu?


Yeah, on reflection I dont think it's a power limit.. otherwise why would they sell the case with a 65W PSU and a PCIE slot. And a bit og googling shows some people saying they are running add-on vicards fines in these small cases. I'll see if I can borrow some other vidcards to test. This card has no seperate power in. Therer are some comments on the 'net that "some" PCIE cards dont like these DC->DC power brick style power supplies, I hope it doesn't extend to all low end nvidia cards.

The Nvidia card works perfectly in Ye Olde Dell GX280 that this box is to replace.

Unit is VERY quiet with the Noctua 80mm fan!! pricy but nice part.

On a positive note this unit uses 14watts idling. And the onboard video does have the grunt I need, just have to get down and dirty with some bleeding edge drivers.
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