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Passive cooled Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge possible?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I am planning to build a completely silent HTPC to play Bluray, Netflix and Music using either SB or IB cpu (i5 or i3). This computer is going to be in my bed room so I would like to passive cool everything if possible. What is the maximum processing power I can get while still keep the fan out?

The case will be fairly small with matx or mini-itx motherboard.

Thanks
Lian Li v354
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Intel i7 950 Asus Rampage III Gene GTX 580 Patriot 24GB 1600Mhz 
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Lian Li v354
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7 950 Asus Rampage III Gene GTX 580 Patriot 24GB 1600Mhz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
RE4 2TB + 7k3000 Raid 5 DVDRW Win 7 x64 (2) 24" Viewsonic LED 
PowerCase
Corsair 850w Lian Li v354 
  hide details  
Reply
post #2 of 3
You can buy a silent fan for just a out any cooler on the market and most likely the psu will be the loudest part of your htpc. If you want you can can get lower tdp core i3 cpu's which will run cooler but have less power when and if you play games.
post #3 of 3
Get an i3 T version. Lower TDP means that you need less cooling and you can probably find some passive powerbrick-style PSU, which will mean no PSU fan.

The better option, in my mind, is to buy some Noctua or Gentle Typhoon fans and a fan controller. Then you can turn the fans down to below ambient noise. Don't forget that really don't need your HTPC to be perfectly silent in order not to be noticed. My projector has a fairly loud fan that can be bothersome while just playing around on the computer, but I don't notice it at all while watching a movie. Even when I really listen for it, I barely notice it, and that takes enough effort that I end up disengaging myself from what I'm watching. When you're focused on the movie/TV shows, you won't hear a thing.
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