For the first time in five years I bought a whole new PC. I've always cobbled together machines from parts. But I've been increasingly dissatisfied with what I could do; the machine always ended up loud and hot.

This time around I bought a gaming machine from, an online retailer specializing in quiet PC components. And this machine is sweet. High end ATI X800 video card, excellent disk and CPU, etc. And it's so quiet I thought it wasn't working when I first turned it on. The server locked in my closet 10 feet away from me is louder than the new machine sitting next to me.

The main trick to being quiet is to not have fast fans. The new box has no case fans, something I would never have thought would work. And the CPU and GPU fans are big and slow. The Zalman CPU fan is only running at 1400 RPM, and the wacky 350 gram Zalman GPU cooler has enough heat pipes and heat sinks that it can also work with a quiet 1400 RPM fan.

They also put in a good power supply, a Nexus NX-4090, whose fan is powerful enough to make up for the lack of case fans. And I sprung for some extra Acoustipack sound dampening for the case.

It all adds up to a very nice machine that's very quiet. I probably could have saved 10-20% building it myself, but then I wouldn't have gotten it right, either. And I'm happy with the service I got from them. It took a bit over a week for them to build the machine, but they did a good job on the build and did a bit of customization I wanted with no hassles. Recommended.

  2004-12-18 16:29 Z