How To Build A Quiet PC (Page 2)


Photos and writeup by Trevor Freeman.

INITIAL PROBLEMS
Intel Core2Duo E6300 Processor with 4GB of Kingston Memory The Scythe Ninja CPU cooler turned out to be a complete waste of money! The mounting brackets did not hold the massive heatsink securely to the motherboard. Plus, the heatsink was so tall that it blocked the flow of air to the rear case fan. It wasn't long before I switched to the stock Intel heatsink fan, which I discovered was pretty darn quiet after all!

For a while I had the Scythe fan mounted in the front of the case as an air intake fan. This was eventually removed when I sold the CPU cooler and I replaced it with an Antec Tri-Cool 120mm fan.

Another problem was that the beige DVD drive looked very out of place in the glossy white case. I quickly remedied the situation by removing and painting the faceplate with a 99-cent can of gloss white spray paint from Wal-Mart. The color is a near-perfect match!

DOES THIS LOOK WEIRD TO YOU?
Despite the hundreds of great reviews, I did not like the LCD monitor I purchased. The Hanns-G 19" widescreen monitor just did not look right to me. I made sure to connect it using the DVI cable and set it to the correct resolution. After adjusting the brightness and contrast settings to my liking, I still wasn't happy with how the screen looked. I ran a few color calibration programs and adjusted the Gamma and Brightness but it still gave me a headache to look at the screen for prolonged periods of time. After the first week, I gave up and went back to my old 17" Trinitron CRT monitor.

Setting up both computers Something about the new monitor was killing my eyes, and NewEgg would not accept it for return unless it had 7 or more dead pixels! So I put the monitor up for sale on eBay and sold it as gently used for $150 dollars at a net loss of $20. This goes to show that you cannot always trust reviews, even though this monitor had hundreds of positive ones.

Besides the monitor, I continued to use several other parts from my old Dell computer including the Altec Lansing ADA885 4.1 channel speakers, the HP PSC 1610 printer, and APC Back-UPS 500 surge protector. Over time, most of these would be replaced as well.

NEW ACCESSORIES
By July of 2008, the computer had been running smoothly for nearly a year. My Motorola Surfboard 4200 cable modem from 2003 stopped working and was replaced with a new Motorola Surfboard 5101 modem. Around the same time, I added an Airlink 101 AR525W wireless router and set up a home network with our other computer and Xbox 360. My APC Back-Ups 500 also kicked the bucket after eight years of faithful service, and I replaced it with an APC BE750BB Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS).

CHANGES AND UPGRADES
My computer setup as of December 2009 In April of 2009 my beloved Altec Lansing ADA885 speakers became stuck in headphone mode and no amount of fiddling, banging, and tinkering with them would bring them back to life. Until I can fix them or find a suitable replacement, I am using a pair of ElectroVoice TS8-2 speakers with a stereo amplifier that I picked up at Goodwill. Here is a revised table of expenses for the Quiet PC as of December 2009.

In 2009 I added a 1.0TB SATA hard drive, an additional 2GB of memory, and a new wireless keyboard/mouse combo to the Quiet PC. In its current configuration, this is the best computer I've ever had. I feel like I have accomplished all of my goals in building my new quiet computer. Thanks for reading!

-Trevor Freeman
Created: 19 August 2007
Revised: July 2008, December 2009

COMPLETED QUIET PC PICTURES




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