Building with low power/low noise components

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Ryan Wright, May 30, 2003.

  1. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    I'm looking to upgrade my server. It is a P2/266 with 500 megs of RAM, running Windows 2000 Server. I use it to run various home automation applications and various services (file & print server, DHCP, etc).

    Recently I have become power and noise conscious. I'm tired of the constant humming, and I'd like to reduce it's power consumption as much as possible. The system currently eats 140 watts 24/7 as measured with a meter, which adds up to about $120 a year in electricity.

    I could use some advice in selecting components. I've no idea of what to buy or where to look. All I need is a low end (by today's standards - somewhere around 1Ghz would be plenty) system with silent fans (if that's possible) and plenty of PCI slots. If I can get the power consumption down with it, that's just gravy.

    Thank you in advance for your help!
     
  2. John*Jones

    John*Jones Stunt Coordinator

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    As far as silent components goes here are a few sites:

    www.quietpc.com

    www.silentpcreview.com

    Two popular silent power supplies are the Nexus NX3000 (19.8 dB at average pc consumption) and SilenX (14-18 dB depending on model).

    Papst & Panaflo fans are known for being quiet.

    Hope this helps,

    John
     
  3. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Ryan, what hard drives are you using? If your server is running fast SCSI drives then getting the noise down with the other components may not be worthwhile.
     
  4. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Don't buy anything from quietpc.com. I have their 400-watt "ultra quiet" PSU and it's loud as poop. I replaced it with a 300 watt Fortron (who probably make the best quality/value PSUs currently) and there was a dramatic difference, not in performance, just noise level. Fortron also manufacters the SilenX PSUs.

    Just to be safe on the power side of my comp (a P2.4b/2 HDs with 160gigs total/GF4 4200/512mb ram/Asus P4PE) I ran 3dMark and got only 8 less marks between the 2 power supplies, which could be due to any number of things. Probably shouldn't be too surprised at the (lack of) performance difference between the 400w Q-Technology (Quietpc) and 300w Fortron since they both supply 200 watts on the combined +3.3v & +5v rails.

    The Nexus is indeed causing some commotion, and it costs less than a SilenX.
     
  5. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    I've got a Nexus and am very happy with it.

    The problem with quietening down a PC is that as soon as you replace one part, you notice the noise of everything else. Before you know it you've run up a huge bill.
     
  6. John*Jones

    John*Jones Stunt Coordinator

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    Scott, I'll agree with you on the 400W Ultra-Quiet PSU...it is loud and that's why I sent it back. However, I've dealt with QuietPc a number of times and I still recommend them.

    Their Ultra Silent 300W PSU is quiet and they now sell the Nexus which is even more quiet...although I wouldn't be surprised if you could find it cheaper someplace else.

    Rob brings up a good point. Once you solve one noise problem, another one will take it place. This is why I'll be modding my Lian-Li this weekend [​IMG]
     
  7. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the info thus far. I'm running a 60GB IDE drive for the system, and dual 120GB IDE drives (mirrored) for my mass storage. All drives are 5400rpm and are fairly quiet.

    Any thoughts on power? I assume the drives and the CPU will eat the most power on this system. I may have to do some searching to see if I can come up with power consumption figures for various CPUs... I was looking at a dual P3 board, but that's not going to do much to help in either department (power or noise).
     
  8. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    On the system using the Nexus 300w PSU, I've got the following:

    Asus A7N8X mobo
    Athlon XP 2500+ cpu
    512mb DDR ram
    1 x 60gb HD
    2 x 120gb HD
    1 x Promise IDE controller
    1 x Pioneer DVD ROM
    1 x Sony DVD-RW
    1 x Gefore2 MX graphics card (yeah I know, but it does for that machine)
    1 x Hercules Fortissimo II sound card
    2 x external HD bays in the 5.25 slots which means the system sometimes has five hard drives.
    3 x case fans

    If you're running a beefy graphics card then a bigger power supply might be needed but it's not something I'll venture into.
     

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