[PlanetCCRMA] Questions that might be able to be added to the FAQs

Jonathan Gazeley jonathan.gazeley at bristol.ac.uk
Wed Jan 27 02:07:47 PST 2010

On 01/26/2010 02:28 PM, Robert Vogel wrote:
> Could you recommend a parts list that you would prefer to use if you were configuring a new machine today ?

I have built my own machine for audio work. It's not perfectly silent, 
but I can offer the following advice:

- Use 120mm fans wherever possible. I use Akasa Amber series in my case 
and they are very good.

- Get a heatpipe cooler for your CPU with as large a fan as possible. I 
have an OCZ Vendetta and usually when the PC is idling, the fan is 
barely spinning.

- Get a passively-cooled graphics card. Expect it to run hot!

- Choose a motherboard with passively cooled components (I think that's 
most these days, but it's worth checking).

- Choose your PSU carefully. Many have 120mm fans but many are also 
surprisingly noisy. I chose an Antec EarthWatts, which has only an 80mm 
fan but is very quiet, and also >80% efficient with power.

- It is possible to buy acoustic insulation material to stick to the 
inside of your case. I haven't used it, and I don't know if it works, 
but some people swear by it.

Overall, ignore everything the manufacturer tells you, including their 
alleged figures and statistics. Always go by reviews! I think this 
question recently came up on the linux-audio-user list, so it might be 
worth checking there. I often check reviews on 
http://www.silentpcreview.com I think they are targeted more towards 
home theatre PCs, but much still applies to an audio workstation.

Good luck!

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