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post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
You still want a fan in your system
Agreed 100%. All computer systems (using normal desktop parts) need airflow. Even the largest "passive" heatsink like the Thermalright HR-02 needs some airflow to work. Don't believe me? Try wrapping one in a plastic bag and see how far you get.

The other thing is that with a 7200RPM HDD in there, the system is not silent. May as well get a fan that is as quiet as the HDD. Besides, what are the chances you hear the system running when you have TV playing, unless you like watching TV on mute?
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post #12 of 20
My suggestions (bearing in mind that I'm not from the US and so might not be getting you the best deal):

CPU Cooler: XIGMATEK Thor's hammer HDT-S126384 - $69.99 ($49.99 After Rebate) + $2.99 shipping

Why? Well, for starters It works perfectly well fanless. Besides that, it can keep an i7 920 @ 3.44 Ghz cool at load without fans. It's a beastily heatsink for a fanless setup.

Memory: One of the following:
Geil Value PLUS 2x2GB DDR3 1333 Mhz - $39.99+0.99 shipping
Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 2x2GB DDR3 1600 Mhz - $44.99+0.99 shipping
OCZ Reaper HPC Edition 2x2GB DDR3 1600 Mhz CL8 - $44.99 ($34.99 After Rebate)

Why? Well, first off, the Geil Value RAM is cheaper, the Mushkin is better and the OCZ is better and cheaper, but runs at a higher voltage and has the OCZ reputation for RAM to contend with.

Power Supply: Seasonic SS-560KM - $120.99 + $10.72 Shipping

Why would I recommend such an expensive power supply? (At least, relative to everything else...)

Well, my understanding of your budget was that it is pretty much limitless. At least, as far as building a PC of this spec is concerned. This power supply has even more overkill than the one you're specifying in terms of power, but more than that, it's ALSO 80+ Gold rated, and will be fanless until it starts to get too hot, at which point, the fan will kick in. That means if your other unit would start to get too hot because your PC hasn't got enough airflow, then this one won't just die due to heat. It'll start to cool itself down.

Neat, huh?

Case:
Now, as for the case - I understand you picked it because it looks good, but from what I've read, it's not good to work with. If you really want a weird looking case, you might want to consider this:

LIAN LI PC-T1R Red Aluminum Mini-ITX Test Bench Computer Case - $79.99 + $9.99 Shipping.
(There's also a Black Version

It'd keep your parts in the open, allowing the natural convection of air to play a role in the cooling of the computer (as I expect you want it to), without looking like... Well, like the other one does. Plus the other one has a fan in it, and you might not want to have a fan motionless? Also, it's cheaper, and while it would limit you to m-ITX, that's not really a big issue when we're talking about HTPC, is it?

My main gripe with your current case is that if you're still going for a silent build, you probably won't be able to fit a silent CPU cooler on it easily.

Here are some reviews for you on your current choice of case:
Overclockersclub
Overclock3D
Tech-Reviews

Since the case is quite a personal part of the case, I suggest you work out what you want to put there yourself.

If I may ask, why no Blu-Ray drive? I mean, if you were willing to get an i7 originally, I'd've expected you to at least have considered one?


Edit:
Also, why not consider a 5900rpm 2TB hard drive, instead of the 7200rpm 1.5TB drive? It ought to be quieter and more energy efficient with more space for all of that precious media, and since load times of games etc aren't going to be an issue, your only "real" downside will be as it boots up.
Edited by Korlus - 2/8/11 at 11:33am
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post #13 of 20
Your PSU will not work with this.

The PSU is designed to cool it's self

Having a hot, motherboard above it will not let the air escape.

Seasonic have stated this that it needs ventilation,but no airflow.
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post #14 of 20
I've the skeleton, it's really good but the only big problem is that you can't mount coolers wich are taller than 9,5-10 cm.

You can put a Zerotherm BTf 95 fanless http://www.zerotherm.net/eng/product/BTF95.asp but it works only with 775 and AM3. Withoud needing any modding :

Other option is taking a Noctua NH C12 (wich can Work wuite well without a fan if your cpu hasn't a too much hich TDP - and the big fan of the skeleton still moves a lot of air) . Even a Thermalright AXP 140 will probably be enough to provide sufficient cooling........ One of this two is probably the best solution.

Said this you can always mount a H50 if you don't wat to cut anything.

You have already said you want to mod it so there will probably be no problem in cutting away some plastic from the back right angle if you want to mount big tower coolers as here:








AS you can see a Noctua NH D14 fitted perfectly. I can just suggest that if you buy a good cooler with a good silent fan (as are Noctua's ones) it's almost useless because they are already dead silent and what you will here will still be the big boy fan of the skeleton.
I also saw one with a thermalright spitfire to cool the video card wich was a very good idea because the radiator was just underneath the big fan of the skeleton.
Hoping to have been helpful, please let us know how it ends in the end.

forgot to say I'm suggestin an I3 2100 or 2120 as a CPU.
Edited by Ctekcop - 2/8/11 at 11:52am
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post #15 of 20
For that price, go w/ the Seasonic X-650. The fan won't even spin up when you're under 40% load, and it's still quiet when the fan does spin up.

Also, not sure where you're buying from, but if you have a MC nearby you can go w/ an i5 2500k for $180.

Good passive heatsink is the Thermalright HR-02. Though I suspect any large hunk of metal will do

And no SSD boot drive and a WD Green for storage?
Edited by ebolamonkey3 - 2/8/11 at 11:48am
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post #16 of 20
Also forgot to say that now here in europe they are selling a white edition of the skeleton, i think it's really nice and maybe can help with the modding.......



Snd don't listen to people who says it's bad, it has some flaws but it's really good. Buy it, don't worry.
Edited by Ctekcop - 2/8/11 at 12:04pm
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post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Ok, I've revised my original build, based upon a better selection of some parts...

However, I have a question about the main components..

i3-661 = $215 & uses a cheaper MB than a traditional CPU + a Dedicated Graphics Card...

I was not planning on gaming with the machine, but since I have this money into it, it would be a travesty not to..

For $215 more I can go i5-760 ($10 cheaper) & a decent graphics card (AMD 6850 @ $190) + the additional cost of a P55 MB.. (what like $50 more?)

Bumping the price up to $1,041, which isn't too much more than the current price..

The benefit = A Much Faster Process & Much Better Video Performance with the the ability to pretty much play most games..

What do you guys think, would this be a better direction to take?

==========================

It seems like to me there are really only 3 viable HTPC choices here...

Cheap (i3 CPU/GPU) Decent CPU / Weak GPU?
Moderate Performance (i5-760 + Nice Dedicated Graphics Card)
High Performance (i7-2600k CPU/GPU) (Saves some cost w/o graphics card, and not much more expensive)

However with High Performance, it's sort of overkill & the weak GPU isn't going to play newer games...

I'm stuck on which road to take, suggestion on main components?
Edited by _GTech - 2/8/11 at 10:17pm
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post #18 of 20
as i said earlier, you don't want to use the integrated gpu if you want to watch HD.The refresh rate mismatch results in annoying artifacts if you do.

Personally I would go for a mid-high range AMD setup with a mid range gpu-that will offer better performance for both gaming and movie use, but at lower cost.
post #19 of 20
Don't get the i7 2600k. At the very most, get the it 2500k and spend the extra money on a moderately priced GPU (like the ATI 5670). If you want to game on it, then move that "moderately priced" GPU up to an AMD 6850/70 or an Nvidia GTX 460 1GB.

The problem with those graphics cards is that they tend not to be silent. You can use MSI Afterburner (or a similar programme) to run the fans at 25% when they're not getting too hot (i.e. watching movies etc) quite easily, but you'll need to set it to do that when you log on.

Ultimately, if you don't mind throwing money at the system and getting a PC that can do everything quite quietly, I'd suggest a regular PC case, with a regular ATX motherboard and the PSU I pointed out - which will be silent when not gaming, and near-silent when gaming. The i5 2500k will overclock like crazy and currently outperforms everything that isn't the i7 2600k (and may do so depending on hyperthreading settings on the i7, as they're basically the same processor).

The only thing I'd suggest looking for in the motherboard are heatsinks on the VRMs. They tend to be a mark of a better motherboard.
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post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
Korlus, you make some very solid points mate, it's time for the i5-2500k, it's only a little more than the i3-661 too, but you will need a Graphics Card, unfortunately..

I think it only makes sense to go to the Sandy Bridge i5-2500k for $228, it's too good not to use it! I don't use Hyper Threading, it's a cheap trick to me..

Thanks + Rep
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